Raja Ampat Snorkel-Dive Trip: day two whales, frogfish and nudibranchs
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
2d ago
It’s always a thrill to be leading another Raja Ampat Snorkel-Dive Trip. It amazes me how much we can see in a single day. We’ve already seen Bottlenose Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, Bryde’s Whale and Pygmy Sperm Whales; a smattering of nudibranchs and abundant fish life including a lovely Sargassum Frogfish – one of the species that only the snorkellers are ever likely to see. It’s what makes this place so unique. It’s a treasure-trove of wildlife that seems to rare yet is so abundant here ..read more
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How whale song and human survival are connected
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
6d ago
A new study on whale voice boxes shows how they can produce such complex sounds. But naturally, there are limitations to how loudly they can sing and the implications of this are vast for our own existence on Earth. How whale song and human survival are connected is a fascinating journey through the complexity of life that I cover in my book Wildlife in the Balance. If we threaten the structural integrity of the soundscape it’s like moving the television into the office or the dishwasher into the living room ..read more
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Snorkelling Ricketts Point Beaumaris: Helmet Shield Slug, Dorid Nudibranch & Southern Eagle Rays
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
1w ago
Another lovely weekend swimming snorkelling Ricketts Point Beaumaris and surrounds. Saturday's morning forecast was a little windier than expected. It made for a turbulent swim at Quiet Corner in Ricketts Point Marine park. But it was quite fun watching the shoals of Zebrafish clinging together beneath the crashing waves ..read more
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Is life too short for predator conservation research?
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
1w ago
Introduction Colorado State University chose to begin the review of an important article on apex predators with this erroneous statement: ‘removal of apex predators from an ecosystem can create lasting changes that are not reversed after they return’. This is simply not true. Is life too short for predator conservation research? The study, which looked at the impact of predators over 40 years, has wide-reaching connotations. But it’s the inherently poor understanding of why animals are needed that leads reviewers to make these rather unhelpful and cynical statements ..read more
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Snapper feeding at Ricketts Point: Sat 10 Feb snorkel
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
2w ago
This morning the wind was blowing from the south which is a little exposed at Ricketts Point. But the wind was forecast to swing more east so we waited until about 9AM before heading out. This time we decided to swim from the Beaumaris Yacht Club car park to Quiet Corner. The reef is quite varied along the way. Twice, we were confronted with schools of snapper feeding at Ricketts Point on sea urchins, which is quite significant ..read more
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How nurturing predators makes more food: why we need farms with teeth
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
3w ago
After recent mouse plagues in Australia the state and federal governments allowed widespread use of second-generation rodenticides. However, everything we know about farm pest management tells us this solution isn’t remotely the right thing to do. For anyone who understands ecosystems and nature, that’s pretty much common sense already. In this blog piece I want to talk about how nurturing predators makes more food. And it doesn’t take more than a moment online to find studies that support this ..read more
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Snorkelling at Ricketts Point, Dragonets, Zebras, Sunrise 3-4 Feb 2024
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
3w ago
This weekend we decided to stay snorkelling at Ricketts Point mostly. As always, the best laid plans, didn't quite go the way we hoped. On the Saturday we decided to swim from the Scout Hut at Table Rock, thinking the water might be clearer (it had been very windy the last few days). It wasn't. It was quite murky ... meanwhile, Ricketts Point was clear! In the afternoon we snorkelled at fossil beach in the shallows, then Saturday returned to Ricketts for a pre-dawn swim the next day. This is a great time of day to head out. The light is magical just as the sun rises. Here are some of the week ..read more
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Melbourne snorkelling, wind & webcams: handy links
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
1M ago
I’ve put up a series of links on the webpage for Melbourne snorkelling, wind & webcams. These are the pages I most commonly look at to assess conditions the day before deciding where to go snorkelling. You’ll find these on the home page … they are scrollable, so they should be easy to access both on mobile and desktop. For quick access, bookmark this link: https://simonmustoe.blog/melbourne-and-port-phillip-bay-snorkelling-guide-wildlife/#links My best advice though is not to be ruled by this ..read more
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What is Budji Bim? What am I missing and four reasons it’s important?
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
1M ago
You may not have heard of Budj Bim (pronounced ‘Boodgie Bim’) as it was only declared a World Heritage Area in 2019. So, what is Budji Bim? What am I missing and why is it important? This site joins a prestigious list of places you’ve definitely heard about: Machu Picchu, the Pyramids, Stonehenge, the Great Barrier Reef, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China. All of these locations are globally recognised for their universal heritage values ..read more
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Identifying Spotted and Widebody Pipefish
Animal Impact Blog
by simon
1M ago
I saw a female Widebody Pipefish at Quiet Corner this week and thought you might like a bit of advice on telling this and Spotted Pipefish apart. Identifying Spotted and Widebody Pipefish can be a bit confusing. Widebody Pipefish mostly have very narrow bodies! There isn't much written in the field guides ..read more
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