Job hunting

Marine Mammal and Seabird Observer

Company NameRPS North America  Company LocationNewfoundland And Labrador, Canada.

Job description

RPS has an immediate opening for experienced Marine Mammal Seabird Observers for projects offshore Newfoundland.

Key Responsibilities will include:

  • Use local knowledge and Traditional Knowledge to monitor for and record sightings of marine mammals
  • Familiarity with the “Statement of Canadian Practice”
  • Record marine mammal sightings in daily reports/logs while on seismic vessels
  •     Knowledge and ability to differentiate between different whale and seal species, and to distinguish between other marine mammals and sea birds

Requirements

  • A good attitude to conducting watches of concentrated effort, often for long days and several consecutive weeks
  • Experience identifying marine mammals and sea turtles
  • Ability to make accurate estimates of range at sea
  • Ability to make decisions and convey information
  • Ability to record data in an accurate manner
  • Ability to work as a team
  • Become familiar with Statement of Practice and Project Mitigation Requirements
  • Previous Offshore Experience
  • Offshore Safety Training
  • Marine Mammal Certificate

Start Date: ASAP

Preference given to Newfoundland residents

RPS encourages those interested to apply, MMO certification is preferred however a suitable background would make you eligible for training

For more information please contact Darlene Davis at 902 425 1622 or email your CV to Darlene.Davis@rpsgroup.com

Passive Acoustic Monitoring Operator

RPS has an immediate opening for qualified PAM Operators for projects offshore Newfoundland.

Key Responsibilities

  • Monitor for protected species
  • Communicate sightings and detection
  • Accurately record sightings and compile logs associated with daily activities
  • Operate and maintain field equipment
  • Ability to Troubleshoot PAM Equipment
  • Accurately detect and localize protected species

Requirements

  • A good attitude to conduct monitoring periods of concentrated effort
  • Ability and experience to identify a range of marine mammal acoustic signals
  • Ability to deploy and configure PAM equipment
  • Ability to interpret acoustic software for detection and range estimation
  • Become familiar with Mitigation requirements for the project and the Statement of Canadian Practice
  • Ability to make decisions and convey information accurately
  • Experience working on offshore vessels
  • Offshore Safety Training is required
  • Experience filling out data
  • Experience assimilating data, basic acoustic data analysis

Start Date: ASAP

Preference will be given to Newfoundland residents.

RPS encourages those interested to apply, PAM certification is preferred however a suitable background would make you eligible for training

 

 

Chief of Marine Operations

Company NameThe Nature Conservancy  Company LocationHonolulu, HI, US

Job description

OFFICE LOCATION

Honolulu, Hawaii,USA

PALM

a Little About Us

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working globally to protect ecologically important lands and waters for people and nature. Located 1,000 miles south of Hawai‘i, Palmyra Atoll is one of the most spectacular marine wilderness areas on Earth. Palmyra is a 680-acre atoll with 480,000 acres of lagoons, coral reefs, and submerged lands and is a US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Refuge out to 12 miles and a Marine National Monument out to 50 miles. The Nature Conservancy owns Cooper Island, and manages the atoll in partnership with the USFWS.

Palmyra’s research station supports scientific research by the world renowned research institutions making up the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium (PARC) (see http://www.palmyra-research.org). Staff are hired on a seasonal basis for approximately 3 months at a time to operate the research station and camp facilities. Board and lodging are provided while on-island.

Essential Functions

The Chief of Marine Operations is responsible for all marine operations on Palmyra Atoll. Primary responsibilities include:

  • Safe navigation and operation of a 25’ Dive Boat, a 24’ rescue boat, and four 16’ skiffs;
  • Coordination and oversight of marine activities for and with all visitors, including but not limited to offshore and lagoon boating, SCUBA diving, and fishing trips;
  • Safely deploying and retrieving SCUBA divers during drift dives;
  • Management and supervision of other Marine Department staff and equipment;
  • Other duties assigned by the Field Station Manager and Palmyra Program Director.
  • Communication – the ability to effectively communicate via phone and email is a vital component of this position.
  • In addition to supporting the boating and diving needs of visiting scientists, this position will also support those needs during VIP and other types of guest trips

Responsibilities And Scope

  • Will work 6 days per week, in variable weather conditions (hot, humid, wet), at a remote location, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. These conditions will involve considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain, frequent possibility of injury, long hours in isolated settings, exposure to petroleum products, paint and fuels, employees to be on call on 48 hour shifts to allow for 24 hour a day emergency coverage, employees to assist with community chores even on days off.
  • Ability to live and work productively within a small and confined community on a remote location for up to 3 months.
  • Work and communicate effectively with a diverse group of people, including scientists, field station staff and others, providing and obtaining needed information to ensure smooth operations.
  • In the event of an emergency atoll staff may be tasked with specific duties to ensure communal safety and welfare. This may include responding to minor/major medical emergencies, tsunami evacuation events, marine rescue events, fuel spills and/or fire containment, etc.
  • May supervise staff, or help plan, direct or convey work instructions to other staff or volunteers.
  • Independently analyze and diagnose problems then develop and implement appropriate solutions.
  • Consult with supervisor to develop plans for resolution of unusual or complex problems.
  • Identify and disseminate lessons learned, best practices and methods, tools, consistencies and inconsistencies across seasons.
  • Clearly communicate inventory and other needs via phone and email; keep all Palmyra team members informed of potential issues.
  • During times of low boating and diving, conduct preventative maintenance on boating and dive gear, and other areas of the station as directed by the station manager

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 3 years relevant work experience in the marine field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum 720 days documented record of underway boating service on USCG Small Vessel Sea Service Form or similar documentation.
  • Experience maintaining diesel and gasoline engines, conducting preventative maintenance, and trouble-shooting and performing minor mechanical and electrical repairs while out on the water.
  • Current Rescue Diver certification from a qualified organization (NAUI, PADI or equivalent) or trainings, certificates and skills that match or supersede rescue diver training, as determined by the Conservancy’s Dive Safety Officer.
  • Extensive current knowledge of and ability to trouble shoot and conduct minor repairs on SCUBA gear and compressors.
  • Extensive current experience operating vessels less than 40ft while safely deploying and retrieving SCUBA divers during drift dives.
  • Current experience operating skiffs with outboard motors of up to 150hp.
  • Basic First Aid and CPR certification.
  • Experience operating VHF radios, Sounders, Compass and GPS Chartplotter.
  • Expereince using Word, Excel, Web browsers, etc. to manage inventory.
  • Experience performing physical work and ability to lift 50lbs.

Desired Qualifications

  • Minimum one year as a licensed USCG captain (25 ton or higher).
  • Ability and willingness to apply science to guide decision-making and activities.
  • Ability to apply marine safety to guide decision-making and activities.
  • Experience providing education or interpretation about marine resources to a lay audience.
  • Certification for oxygen administration for SCUBA diving injuries.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in marine safety and marine sciences.
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means.
  • Ability to communicate and work closely with staff, scientists, and atoll visitors.
  • Knowledge of marine management principles and fish and marine mammal species of the Pacific.
  • Sport fishing skills, including rigging, filleting, and processing fish.
  • Ability to maintain, troubleshoot and repair electrical, pump, steering and other boat systems.
  • Experience repairing and servicing diesel and gasoline driven vehicles and equipment.
  • Ability to operate various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g.; lawn mower, chainsaw, tractor, backhoe, bulldozer, dump truck, two-way radio, etc.).
  • Ability to operate a motor vehicle and possession of a valid driver’s license.
  • Knowledge of American Boat and Yacht Council standards.
  • Factory certifications, marine trade education certification or ABYC certification in gasoline & diesel marine engines preferred.
  • Ability to manage time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results.
  • Ability to perform physical work, sometime under adverse conditions or in inclement weather.

Additional Job Information

The successful candidate must possess, or be able to obtain, a valid Passport with an expiration date later than your term of employment, proof of a physical examination showing good physical and a current tetanus vaccination. In addition, TNC requires marine staff to obtain a membership in an Emergency Evacuation Service. More information on these issues can be obtained during the interview process.

To apply to this position, please visit http://www.nature.org/careers and click on Current Job Opportunities. Please submit your resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.

 

 

Animal Training Support I Job

Company NameSAIC  Company LocationSan Diego, CA, US

Job description

Animal Training Support I (Job Number435395)

Description

SAIC has a current opening for Marine Mammal Assistant in San Diego, CA.

Job Description

  • Personnel performing this position will be required to perform preparation of rations, and cleaning of food preparation areas, animal enclosures and commons areas, as well as maintaining and cleaning specialized equipment.
  • Personnel are also responsible for the operation and maintenance of small watercraft.
  • Personnel perform feeding and administration of food supplements, perform observation of marine mammals, and assist with basic husbandry.
  • The personnel in this position may be trained to become a designated secondary handler for specific animals.
  • As part of an integrated military function the MMA1 performs tasks related to the care and training of marine mammals for specific marine mammal projects.

Qualifications

CLEARANCE REQUIRMENT

  • *Must be able to obtain a secret level security clearance prior to starting work.**

Required Skills

  • This position will require scuba diving. Advanced scuba skills are a plus.
  • Job will require working outdoors, on boats in adverse weather conditions.
  • All new hires will have to pass a swim & dive test in addition to possessing at minimum, a basic scuba certification.
  • Personnel must be able to work flexible work hours (shift work) including weekends and holidays.
  • A requirement for this position includes the ability to travel with animals for extended periods of time anywhere in the world, to include potentially harsh environmental and high risk locations, within 72 hours’ notice.

Required Education And Experience

  • Basic SCUBA, High school diploma (or equivalent), and one of the following
  • One (1) year animal training experience -or- Operational and navigation experience on small boats (30’ or under), USCG license (operator of un-inspected passenger vessels/6pac – 46 CFR 10.467) or higher/U.S. Navy Coxswain’s certification, and Operational experience using maritime navigational devices -or- Advanced scuba diving certifications (i.e. dive master, instructor, commercial diver certification, 1st or 2nd class Navy Diver classification), and current First Aid and CPR certification, -or- Two (2) years of college and 3 months experience as a marine mammal custodian
  • Must be physically fit and able to lift at least 50 lbs. Must be able to obtain a secret level security clearance prior to starting work.

SAIC OverviewSAIC is a leading provider of technical, engineering and enterprise information technology services to the U.S. government. Our 13,000 employees deliver systems engineering and information technology offerings for large, complex government programs, as well as a broad range of higher-end, differentiated technology services. The company is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit http://www.saic.com.

EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability

Job Posting Mar 27, 2018, 70207 PM

Primary Location United States-CA-SAN DIEGO

Clearance Level Must Currently Possess None

Clearance Level Must Be Able to Obtain Secret

Potential for Teleworking No

Travel None

Shift Day Job

Schedule Full-time

 

 

Senior Environmental Consultant – Marine Mammals

Company Namenetworx  Company LocationPeterborough, GB

Job description

The Role

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic and experienced Senior Environmental Consultant, Marine Mammals to join our Environment team based in Edinburgh or Peterborough. We will consider part time applications for this position (Minimum of 22.5 hours per week).

You will have excellent communication skills and technical ability with the ability, and willingness, to be flexible particularly since this role is expected to involve both the provision of specialist marine mammals (cetaceans and seals) advice and support as well as more general project management and consultancy tasks.

Given Royal HaskoningDHV’s market leading position in offshore wind EIA and consenting, it is expected that a large proportion of the work will be focused in this area. In addition, we have an extensive portfolio of work and your advice will be required on multiple projects of various sizes including other energy developments, port expansion works, and other developments on and offshore.

You will be expected to provide robust marine mammal’s advice to other members of the team, be able to individually develop your own leads and promote rewarding business development, and assist in the smooth running and continued successful development of the Environment team. The advice provided should cover both an understanding of key legislative or policy requirements and technical understanding of environmental and ecological issues.

You will have extensive experience and appropriate knowledge of the regulatory framework and will be responsible for the management and delivery of environmental assessment projects. Your role will involve directly working with clients, problem solving and representing the company in client offices, regulator and stakeholder meetings and sometimes high pressured environments. It is likely that several projects would be managed and/or supported simultaneously, and consistently delivered to the highest standards, meeting and exceeding clients’ needs.

Your main areas of work are:-

Environmental/ecological/marine mammals consultancy;

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and environmental appraisal including habitats regulations assessment (HRA);

Supporting the delivery of developments and projects within the UK Consent and Planning system and/or Marine Licensing regime;

Provide technical support in area of specialism within the Advice group, Business Unit and other Business Lines.

Environmental investigations, monitoring, data analysis and assessment; and

General support to the wider team.

Essential

Key Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree including marine mammal ecology or conservation or related discipline

Understanding of the environmental impact of development and operational activities on marine mammals

An ability to work with data and to understand and interpret key elements of ecological models, e.g. for collision risk models and population models

Knowledge of relevant survey techniques, survey design and analysis, particularly in relation to offshore environments

Understanding of UK environmental law, the EIA process, and relevant government policy

Experience working with marine regulators and Statutory Authorities e.g. MMO Marine Scotland, NRW, SNH, Natural England, Cefas and the Environment Agency, as well as maintaining links with relevant technical and academic institutions

Robust project management and financial management skills

Excellent written and verbal communication, organisational, analytical and time management skills

Ability to work on own initiative and also as part of a team

Focused, articulate and professional in appearance and standard of work

Commercial acumen and recognition of growth of services

Confidence at the client-interface

Willingness to travel, including possibly to international destinations

For full details on the role please see attached Job Description

Benefits

We offer a competitive salary plus a range of benefits, including a contributory pension scheme, discretionary company bonus, Medical and Dental care, Life Insurance, 25 days holiday and a flexible working policy. Our contributory pension scheme has been awarded the Pension Quality Mark, the highest standard of excellence available for UK company pension schemes.

Royal HaskoningDHV is an Equal Opportunities Employer

 

 

Volunteer: Dolphin Research Project in Greece

Company NameGlobal Nomadic  Company LocationSeattle, WA, US

Job description

Location: Alonissos, Greece

Duration: 7-day placements

Cost: $950 USD Project Fee per 7 day trip

Start Dates: Placements are available throughout the summer months, between June and October

Benefits

  • Work aboard a research vessel alongside marine scientists in the northern Aegean Sea.
  • Hands-on experience in cetacean conservation work and research.
  • Daily seminars given by resident staff or invited field specialists.
  • Ideal for marine biologists and students of animal science, environmental studies professionals and students.
  • Keywords: marine biology, zoology, environmental conservation, cetology research, seminars.

The dolphin has had a close relationship with the human race for many millennia. It has been depicted in art and literature since before the time of the ancient Greeks and was considered an omen of good luck. It was sometimes even linked with the gods, to the extent that killing a dolphin equated killing another human and was punishable by death. Their intelligence and friendly appearance has continued to inspire fascination for this enigmatic creature throughout the ages. This close relationship has nonetheless never been an easy one and dolphins have been hunted for both their meat and skin throughout time. Today they are competing with humans for the remaining fish stock of our seas and are increasingly forced out of their habitats. Fishing equipment and boats are also a common cause of injury and death for dolphins worldwide.

There are four species of dolphins present in the Greek Seas, all of whom are considered threatened, yet no systematic research effort has been carried out so far to study their populations and ecology.

The Dolphin Research Internship programme aims to learn more about the dolphin populations in one of Europes largest marine protected areas, through recording populations and group sizes, identifying individuals, and recording behaviours and habits. As a volunteer you will help out on daily field surveys at sea where you will get to know the local dolphin population and help collect data. Back on land you will help with entering this data into databases, learning how to convert the collected data into effective conservation measures. You will also have the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars on marine mammals and local ecology, which will provide valuable insights into marine mammal life, monitoring techniques and other topics related to the local marine environment.

The important knowledge gathered during this research initiative will be used in the conservation of marine mammals in Greece and in the preparation of effective research and management actions for the local Cetacean population.

As the first study of its kind in the area, the project aims to estimate the relative abundance of the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and identify important areas for them. One of the main components of the project will be to identify individuals and compile a photo-identification catalogue of the two species. The data collected will be used to analyse dolphin abundance, movements, reproductive success, habitat use, and social organization.

Daily Life

You will learn how to photograph individuals and groups of dolphins as well as record group size, composition (newborns, calves, juveniles, adults), and behavior. If other marine mammals are sighted, such as the critically endangered Mediterranean Monk seal, these will also be recorded along with any fisheries interactions.

You will be working alongside the resident researchers on board the organisation research vessel, a 13-metre long traditional wooden caique. As the heart of the organisations activities over the past 23 years, this boat has sailed many thousands of miles across the Greek seas. The work at sea as well as preparations such as the loading and unloading of equipment will be undertaken in the mornings. In the afternoon you will return back to port for recreation and rest. In the afternoon and evenings you will be taught how to file, name, crop, and prepare digital photos of dolphin dorsal fins for subsequent matching as well as attend seminars and lectures from staff and visiting field specialists.

Among the skills and knowledge you will be taught are;

  • Cetacean life history, behaviour, and identification
  • Threats faced by marine mammals
  • Photo-identification techniques
  • Fisheries/marine mammal interactions
  • How the research data will be used for conservation and management purposes
  • Use of equipment (cameras, binoculars, GPS systems)
  • Data storage and computer software processing of digital photos for photo-identification of individuals

The project HQ is located on a relatively remote island in the Aegean Sea, where there are ample opportunities for enjoying the beautiful scenery on walking paths as well as exploring the pristine sea both above and below the surface, while kayaking, snorkelling or scuba diving.

Contact the job poster

Jeremy Freedman 2nd

CEO Global Nomadic

Job Poster Location

London, United Kingdom

Premium

Send InMail

Seniority Level

Entry level

Industry

  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Hospital & Health Care

Employment Type

Volunteer

Job description

Location: Alonissos, Greece

Duration: 7-day placements

Cost: $950 USD Project Fee per 7 day trip

Start Dates: Placements are available throughout the summer months, between June and October

Benefits

  • Work aboard a research vessel alongside marine scientists in the northern Aegean Sea.
  • Hands-on experience in cetacean conservation work and research.
  • Daily seminars given by resident staff or invited field specialists.
  • Ideal for marine biologists and students of animal science, environmental studies professionals and students.
  • Keywords: marine biology, zoology, environmental conservation, cetology research, seminars.

The dolphin has had a close relationship with the human race for many millennia. It has been depicted in art and literature since before the time of the ancient Greeks and was considered an omen of good luck. It was sometimes even linked with the gods, to the extent that killing a dolphin equated killing another human and was punishable by death. Their intelligence and friendly appearance has continued to inspire fascination for this enigmatic creature throughout the ages. This close relationship has nonetheless never been an easy one and dolphins have been hunted for both their meat and skin throughout time. Today they are competing with humans for the remaining fish stock of our seas and are increasingly forced out of their habitats. Fishing equipment and boats are also a common cause of injury and death for dolphins worldwide.

There are four species of dolphins present in the Greek Seas, all of whom are considered threatened, yet no systematic research effort has been carried out so far to study their populations and ecology.

The Dolphin Research Internship programme aims to learn more about the dolphin populations in one of Europes largest marine protected areas, through recording populations and group sizes, identifying individuals, and recording behaviours and habits. As a volunteer you will help out on daily field surveys at sea where you will get to know the local dolphin population and help collect data. Back on land you will help with entering this data into databases, learning how to convert the collected data into effective conservation measures. You will also have the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars on marine mammals and local ecology, which will provide valuable insights into marine mammal life, monitoring techniques and other topics related to the local marine environment.

The important knowledge gathered during this research initiative will be used in the conservation of marine mammals in Greece and in the preparation of effective research and management actions for the local Cetacean population.

As the first study of its kind in the area, the project aims to estimate the relative abundance of the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and identify important areas for them. One of the main components of the project will be to identify individuals and compile a photo-identification catalogue of the two species. The data collected will be used to analyse dolphin abundance, movements, reproductive success, habitat use, and social organization.

Daily Life

You will learn how to photograph individuals and groups of dolphins as well as record group size, composition (newborns, calves, juveniles, adults), and behavior. If other marine mammals are sighted, such as the critically endangered Mediterranean Monk seal, these will also be recorded along with any fisheries interactions.

You will be working alongside the resident researchers on board the organisation research vessel, a 13-metre long traditional wooden caique. As the heart of the organisations activities over the past 23 years, this boat has sailed many thousands of miles across the Greek seas. The work at sea as well as preparations such as the loading and unloading of equipment will be undertaken in the mornings. In the afternoon you will return back to port for recreation and rest. In the afternoon and evenings you will be taught how to file, name, crop, and prepare digital photos of dolphin dorsal fins for subsequent matching as well as attend seminars and lectures from staff and visiting field specialists.

Among the skills and knowledge you will be taught are;

  • Cetacean life history, behaviour, and identification
  • Threats faced by marine mammals
  • Photo-identification techniques
  • Fisheries/marine mammal interactions
  • How the research data will be used for conservation and management purposes
  • Use of equipment (cameras, binoculars, GPS systems)
  • Data storage and computer software processing of digital photos for photo-identification of individuals

The project HQ is located on a relatively remote island in the Aegean Sea, where there are ample opportunities for enjoying the beautiful scenery on walking paths as well as exploring the pristine sea both above and below the surface, while kayaking, snorkelling or scuba diving.

Contact the job posted

Jeremy Freedman 2nd

CEO Global Nomadic

Job Poster Location

London, United Kingdom

Premium

Send InMail

Seniority Level

Entry level

Industry

  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Hospital & Health Care

Employment Type

Volunteer

 

 

Scientists use drone to sample whale breath and snot To study the microbiome of humpback whales

Scientists flew a small drone over the blowhole of a few humpback whales in the US and Canada to collect the microbes living inside their breath. Sampling the community of microbes and bacteria living inside whales, called the microbiome, can help us better understand what makes a healthy whale, and what happens when a whale gets sick.

In the new research, published this week in the journal mSystems, scientists describe 25 species of microbes found in each humpback’s breath they sampled. Though they don’t know how exactly these organisms affect the health of the whales yet, many of the same microbes are often found in other marine mammals, suggesting they play a role in keeping the animals healthy. The study is also the latest example of how drones can help scientists in their quest to conserve species: in Hawaii, botanists are also using drones to hunt down rare plants in hard-to-reach places like cliffs.

drone2 (1)

Just like humans, animals have a microcosm of organisms inhabiting their bodies — which help keep them healthy. While we’re just starting to explore the human microbiome and its functions, very little is known about the microbiome of whales, especially inside their breathing organs, where a lot of infections occur. So researchers decided to sample the spray of water and snot coming out of the hole atop the whale heads, which the animals use to breathe at the surface.

Usually, whale breath is collected by approaching the animals — which can be up to 60 feet long, in the case of humpbacks — with a small boat, and then holding 23-foot pole with a collection plate above the blowhole. That’s obviously time-consuming and dangerous — for people and whales. In search for a better method, scientists used a remote-controlled hexacopter equipped with a petri dish. They then flew it a few feet over the blowhole of 26 healthy humpback whales off the coast of Cape Cod in the Atlantic Ocean and Vancouver Island in the Pacific.

dronewhale

The researchers found 25 species of microbes in the breath of all whales, including 20 that were previously found in other marine mammals. That suggests that those organisms are connected to the creatures’ respiratory health, according to the study, although it’s not exactly clear how. But understanding what makes the microbiome of a healthy whale can help us monitor their health, identify dangerous pathogens in the future, and possibly understand how pollutants in the water can affect whales.

That’s key for their conservation. A number of large whales are listed as endangered or critically endangered, including some humpback whale populations off the coast of northwest Africa and Central America.

Sourse: http://www.theverge.com
By 

 

The secret of dolphins’ speed is not skin-deep, study shows

 

Does dolphin skin have secret powers that allow the flippered mammals to outrace boats? Scientists looking to answer this question have found that dolphins achieve impressive swimming speeds based on muscle power alone.

The findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, solve a longtime mystery on the nature of dolphin propulsion.

Researchers have wondered how dolphins manage to swim so fast at least since the 1930s, when British zoologist James Gray marveled at reports of one dolphin’s apparent speed as it outraced a boat. Gray calculated that the dolphins simply didn’t have the muscle power to swim that fast; they must somehow use a trick of fluid mechanics to overcome the drag that would hold them back. This observation became known as Gray’s paradox.

The answer to Gray’s paradox was thought to lie in dolphins’ smooth skin. Could it manipulate water flow to reduce drag and improve speed? (It’s a reasonable idea – after all, speedy mako sharks have skin covered in tiny toothlike scales that help them make hairpin turns by controlling flow separation.)

The lure of such potential drag reduction spawned a host of research, said lead author Frank Fish, a biomechanist at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. This was particularly true in the 1960s during the Cold War, when both Russia and the U.S. coveted the dolphin’s supposed secrets.

“Cold war paranoia afflicted both Pentagon and Kremlin in the form of wildly exaggerated estimates of the speeds of each other’s submarines,” Duke University biomechanist Steven Vogel wrote in the book “Comparative Biomechanics: Life’s Physical World.”

Researchers tried to pick apart the secrets of dolphin skin in a number of ways, wrapping rubbery artificial skin around test torpedoes and even dragging naked young women (or “nekkid leddies,” as referenced here) through the water to see how their skin responded to the drag. (Women have more fatty tissue under their skin than men do, which gives their skin more “dolphin-like” properties, Fish said.)

Nowadays, to watch how animals affect the flows around them as they move through water, researchers often fill a water tank with 10-micron-wide glass beads and shoot a laser sheet through the water to illuminate the beads and watch how the animals’ movement affects the beads and thus disturbs the flow.

You can do this with jellyfish, not so much with dolphins, Fish said – there are concerns about what would happen if the laser hit them in the eye or if they ingested the beads.

“It’s one thing to work with a fish, it’s another thing to work with a dolphin – we tend to protect them,” Fish said. “Dolphins are very pampered animals, when we keep them.”

Luckily, Fish said, engineer Timothy Wei of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln had been working with other “pampered animals” – Olympic swimmers – and had come up with an ingenious and low-cost solution to track them as they swam.

Instead of using glass beads, Wei used air bubbles. Here’s how: They got a garden soaker hose that’s typically used to water lawns and pumped air through it from an oxygen tank. The tiny bubbles that came out of the hose’s pores created a sheet of bubbles that, when illuminated by sunlight, could act just like the reflective glass beads in the laser sheet.

The scientists had Primo and Puka, two retired Navy dolphins, swim along the length of the bubble wall. After watching the patterns created in the bubbles, the scientists realized that the bottlenose dolphins were producing an incredible amount of power – enough to overcome the enormous drag they were experiencing.

So the answer to Gray’s paradox? There was no paradox, Fish concluded.

“First off, we can stop looking for a magic mechanism to reduce drag,” Fish said. “There may be ways to reduce drag, but the dolphin [skin] isn’t going to show us those.”

In any case, he added, “it basically starts to tell us things about how well designed these aquatic athletes are.”

It could mean that flippered robots could theoretically be an alternative to the propeller-driven kind, said Fish, who said he’s currently working on creating a manta ray robot.

In the meantime, the bubble method of tracking animals’ flow patterns might be useful in testing larger animals in the open ocean – it’s certainly more portable than the laser-and-beads method, Fish said.

By BY AMINA KHAN

How do pink river dolphins reproduce?

pinkd

Reproduction in pink river dolphins start when a couple of dolphins mate to start the gestation period.

-This period can take from nine to twelve months when mothers give birth to the baby dolphin.

-Pink river dolphins reproduce at the end of October to the beginning of November, therefore giving birth between May and July when the water in the Amazon is at its highest.

Source: http://se7en-ila.livejournal.com

 

Open water sea lion interaction

When you love your job…take it to the highest level, when your animals trust in you, decide to work wherever you take them and give you a 100% back…that is a successful animal trainer.

That…is when you really feel proud of yourself and the work you have done!

Congratulations to the trainer Abel Reyes and his team

Well done!

 

IMG-20171218-WA0010_resized