Inspiring women in ocean science: Ando Raberarisoa

March 13, 2024

Mrs Ando Rabearisoa is a renowned conservationist working on marine ecosystem conservation in Madagascar. She specializes in studying the involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of marine conservation efforts through the system of Locally Managed Marine Areas......Network of Women in Marine Science

'Manta grid' provides a ray of hope against industrial bycatch threat

March 27, 2023

For half a century, industrial tuna fishing vessels have borne scrutiny for catching animals they haven't meant to: "bycatch," in fisheries lingo. Purse seiner vessels, which provide most of the world's canned tuna, have drawn conservationists' particular ire for their indiscriminate ways. They operate by dropping a massive cylindrical net and cinching it together at the bottom, like a drawstring purse, so that everything above is caught.....Mongabay

RESTORATION IS A SUCCESS: Windswept island now home to burgeoning number of 'fancy' seabirds

January 11, 2021

Ano Nuevo Island >> It's not easy to erase every ecological mistake humans made during their 70-year occupation of this rocky, windswept island off the San Mateo County coast. But after 10 long years of restoration and creative burrow-building, Ano Nuevo Island is once again healthy enough to host growing flocks of unique seabirds.

$45,000 Winning Proposal from University of California Santa Cruz Marine Science Scholar Addresses Tuna Fishery Protections for Manta and Devil Rays

March 10, 2020

Doctoral student Melissa Cronin of the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the Grand Prize winner in ISSF’s International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Seafood Sustainability Contest. She receives a $45,000 prize from ISSF for her contest entry, “Incentivizing Collaborative Release to Reduce Elasmobranch Bycatch Mortality,” which proposes handling-and-release methods that purse-seine vessel skippers and crew can use to reduce the mortality of manta rays and devil rays incidentally caught during tuna fishing.

Sifting Through Sound: Using Soundscaptes ot Understand Ecosystem Health

October 25, 2019

What is the sound of a recovering ecosystem? Abe Borker knows. As a seabird biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Borker once counted the calls of individual nesting seabirds. Now he listens to soundscapes - the totality of the sounds of nature - and hears beyond the cacophony of white noise...Freethink 

Most island vertebrate extinctions could be averted, concludes new study

August 18, 2016

Control and eradication of invasive species could prevent as much as 75 percent of all island-level extinctions predicted for globally threatened species...EurekAlert!

Birds are returning to a rodent-free island formerly known as Rat

January 15, 2016

On the island formerly known as Rat, the rats are gone and the birds are back....Alaska Dispatch News

Big data is saving this little bird

October 16, 2015

The marbled murrelet is an enigma. It wasn’t until the 1970s that biologists discovered where the chunky brown-and-white bird made its home, and even then it was by accident: A tree-climber found a murrelet chick at the top of a redwood. Most other bird habitats had been mapped for centuries. But who would have thought to look for a sea bird’s nest miles away in the middle of an old-growth forest?...FiveThrityEight

Alien Planet

June 26, 2014

The first-ever global assessment of seabirds threatened by invasive alien species on the island breeding grounds has been published...Birdwatch News

Save the blue whale - with mathematics. Asha de Vos is moving busy shipping routes away from Sri Lankan pods

April 7, 2014

The first time marine biologist Asha de Vos saw a blue whale, she was on a boat sailing from the Maldives to Sri Lanka; six of the enormous mammals were huddled together, hunting fish. "Blue whales usually migrate to the poles in warm weather, but these ones had stayed behind, " she says. "I was instantly intrigued. Why was nobody else curious about their presence?" Since then, de Vos has spent a decade getting to know the unorthodox blue whales that are permanent residents off the coast of Sri Lanka. Her current mission: to save them....Wired Magazine UK Edition May 2014

Counting the invisible by sound: New approach to estimate seabird populations

April 9, 2014

Many seabird species nest underground, approach their nests only during darkness, and are essentially invisible on land and impossible to count. By deploying automated sound recorders on a remote island and counting the recorded calls, a team of seabird researchers was able to estimate the size of a breeding colony of shearwaters on a remote island in the North AtlanticScience Daily

Nonprofit Targets Island Invaders to Restore World's Rare Species

April 10, 2012

ONE HUNDRED fifty miles off the coast of Baja California, jagged Guadalupe Island climbs more than 4,000 feet above the Pacific. Throughout the year elephant seals, Guadalupe fur seals and scores of seabirds call this volcanic island home. They dive for fish in the island’s rich waters and use the secluded shoreline to escape white sharks, recuperate from migration and raise their young. Today, the isolated landmass supports a thriving community of rare plants and animals. But it wasn’t always this way.... Santa Cruz Weekly

Local push to ban krill fishing embraced by federal regulators

July 15, 2009

The tiny shrimp-like krill is not a seafood delicacy. In fact, it's not even commercially fished in U.S. waters. Yet, federal regulators this week took the unusual step of banning krill fishing along the entire West Coast. The proactive measure, which takes effect Aug. 12, comes at the urging of a handful of scientists along the Monterey Bay who nearly a decade ago launched efforts here to protect the small crustaceans, a dietary staple on the high seas... Mercury News

Alien Rats Prey on Seabirds Worldwide

February 21, 2008

Bite marks in the paraffin-and-peanut butter blocks help researchers and conservationists determine how many rats are in an area and whether a poisoning program has been effective, according to Carolyn Kurle, a researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz... National Geographic News

Rats On Islands Disrupt Ecosystems From Land To Sea, Researchers Find

February 28, 2008

Seabird colonies on islands are highly vulnerable to introduced rats, which find the ground-nesting birds to be easy prey. But the ecological impacts of rats on islands extend far beyond seabird nesting colonies, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz... Science Daily

Ocean's Three

June 4, 2008

Our oceans are in crisis. How three local scientists are turning the tide...Santa Cruz Good Times

Islands Rescued From Invasive Rats

January 1, 2007

Huge gains have been made over the last twenty years in stopping invasive rats and mice from destroying island biodiversity. For centuries the rodents have stowed away on boats to settle on distant islands. So far, black rats (Rattus rattus), Norway rats (R. norvegicus), Polynesian rats (R. exulans) and house mice (Mus musculus) have colonized 80% of the world's major islands...Current Results Nexus

Santa Cruz Surfer Catches Prehistoric "Wolf Of The Sea" Fish In Shorebreak

January 8, 2009

Bernie Tershy surfed Scott Creek with his pal Joe Beek on New Year's Eve. What a great way to wind up another year. On their way back to the car, Tershy noticed a rather large and bizarre looking fish struggling weakly in the surf. Tershy has experience as a commercial fisherman and recognized it as a long-nosed lancet fish, a deep-water dweller that occasionally washes up on northern beaches... Transworld Surf

WIOMSA at the Black in Marine Science Inaugural Retreat

December 13, 2023

The Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) was well represented by several of its members and the countries of the western Indian Ocean region.... WIOMSA NewsBrief 2023

June 1, 2021

When Carolyn Kurle first visited Alaska's Hawadax Island, then known as Rat Island, she immediately noticed the silence. "When you're on an island that's never had rats, it's just like birds everywhere - it's really loud," she says. "So when you get to an island that does have rats, you really notice because it's cacophony versus quiet."..... Scientific American

March 10, 2021

A team of scientists helped eradicate the island of the animals in 2008 and the isle has slowly rebound.... Popular Science

February 6, 2020

Proposed hydropower dams in Gabon pose a substantial threat to the African nation’s most culturally and economically important fishes, according to a new study.... UCSC News Center

October 24, 2018

On October 10th the world lost an unlikely conservation hero: Bill Wood, a trapper who turned his expertise to save scores of species from extinction.... MongaBay

August 11, 2017

A key to meeting the challenges to effective conservation at scale is providing resources that enable creative and effective conservation organizations to deliver lasting results....MongaBay

Fieldnotes: Acoustic Recorders Track Bird Activity

January 15, 2016

Recording devices present new opportunities for researchers to monitor bird populations, according to recently published studies....The Wildlife Society

Eavesdropping on seabirds

December 9, 2015

Ecologists trying to pin down the complex web of connections swirling around a particular species need to start with the basics, things like the size of the population, and whether or not its members are breeding successfully. Simple questions, but if a scientist’s quarry is elusive or cryptic, it can take more than the powers of human observation to find the answers...PLOS Ecology

A classroom without walls

October 7, 2015

Imagine studying California's richly diverse landscapes, from sea to Sierra — and not in the confines of a classroom, but right in the thick of the actual habitat....University News

Native vegetation makes a comeback on Santa Cruz Island

September 16, 2014

On islands, imported plants and animals can spell ecological disaster. The Aleutians, the Galápagos, the Falklands, Hawaii, and countless other archipelagoes have seen species such as rats, goats, brown tree snakes, and exotic grasses delivered by human visitors. Many of the newcomers have flourished to the point of driving unique island species extinct...University News

One Minute Interview: Whales caught in traffic

July 5, 2014

Modelling their habits can keep endangered whales from being kelled by ships, says marine biologist Asha de Vos...New Scientist

Averting Extinction

May 9, 2014

When UC Santa Cruz grad student Brad Keitt came to the wind-swept island of Isla Natividad off Baja California, he found a fishing village of about 400 people and an ecological disaster in the making...University News

Acoustic monitoring eases studies of remote seabird populations

April 2, 2014

Among the screeching seabirds roosting on a handful of remote islands across the world, specialized microphones stand silently intermittently recording the racket. Scientists use the recording to gauge the size of colonies and the effects of conservation projects undertaken to benefit seabirds - a highly threatened group of marine animals...Environmental Monitor

UCSC graduate student's research leads to environmental victory in Coronado Islands

April 10, 2007

As part of her research for a master's degree in ocean sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, graduate student Shaye Wolf documented the large and diverse populations of seabirds that nest on the Coronado Islands, a group of small islands off the coast of Baja California, just south of the Mexican border. Now, Wolf's findings have helped save those seabirds from the potentially devastating effects of a liquified natural gas facility that Chevron was planning to build next to the islands... UC News

Treasure Island (PDF)

October, 2006

A group of dedicated scientists has succeeded in reviving the health of fragile islands on the coasts of California and Mexico as well as the endangered species that rely on them leaving little doubt that the ends justify their lethal means... Audubom Magazine

Albatross study shows regional differences in ocean contamination

April 10, 2006

As long-lived predators at the top of the marine food chain, albatrosses accumulate toxic contaminants such as PCBs, DDT, and mercury in their bodies. A new study has found dramatic differences in contaminant levels between two closely related albatross species that forage in different areas of the North Pacific. Researchers also found that levels of PCBs and DDT have increased in both species over the past ten years... UC News Room

Arctic foxes made Aleutians less green

May 18, 2005

The Aleutians would probably be a lot greener if it weren't for the arctic foxes people planted on them, researchers have found. In a study published in Science magazine in March 2005, scientists from California, Montana and Alaska compared islands with and without foxes in the Aleutians. They discovered that islands with foxes are covered mostly with tundra, while fox-free islands have patches of lush grasslands. The major difference in types of greenery could be the lack of seabirds on islands with foxes, coupled with the fertilizing power of the birds' guano on fox-free islands... SitNews

On California's Channel Islands, Native Predators Became Prey When Feral Pigs Rearranged The Food Web

December 20, 2001

Feral pigs have created ecological havoc in many parts of California, uprooting native plants and turning meadows into mudholes. But nowhere have their effects been as dramatic as on the Channel Islands, where they have caused a complete restructuring of the food web, threatening the native island fox with extinction. A team of biologists has now documented the remarkable extent to which the introduced pigs have disrupted the island ecosystem. They are reporting their findings in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (the article will be published online on December 18 and will appear in print in the January 8 issue of the journal)... Science Daily