A collection of photographs from the field work of various projects that I have participated in but have not written about. African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and as such, the remaining colonies are closely monitored. During the African Penguin Survey on Dassen Island; chicks are weighed and measurements taken, adults are fitted with data loggers, a moult count and breeding survey are carried out (assess nests for signs of activity) as well as a census on the island’s other bird species (bank, Cape and white-breasted cormorants and white pelicans). The census on Robben Island not only records the number of pairs on the island but also assesses their breeding activity, noting which nests are being used and which have been abandoned. Rocky shore monitoring is not only taking place in Namaqualand but at various locations along South Africa’s coast line. The surveys are completed on the Spring Low (both at night and during the day), assessing the biodiversity in the intertidal benthic communities and their responses to climate change. In addition, some of the surveys have site-specific assessments that are also carried out. The observations being conducted on the Cape fur seal colony on the Robberg Peninsula in Plettenberg Bay are to determine the impact (if any) of the swim-with-seals ecotourism industry on the behaviour of the seals and to provide scientific recommendations for industry regulation and sustainable practice. The South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) is made up of individuals from the Department of Environmental Affairs and South Africa’s Sea Rescue (NSRI). I got the opportunity to document the disentanglement of a 7.5 m humpback whale from octopus pots that were anchoring it to the seafloor. While taking photos for identification purposes, I was able to film the whale’s release and it remains one of the most memorable and rewarding encounters that I have ever experienced.
DASSEN ISLAND AFRICAN PENGUIN SURVEY
NAMAQUALAND ROCKY SHORE MONITORING PROJECT
& SEAL HAUL-OUT SURVEY
ROBBEN ISLAND AFRICAN PENGUIN CENSUS
ROBBERG CAPE FUR SEAL OBSERVATIONS
SOUTH AFRICAN WHALE DISENTANGLEMENT NETWORK
Watch the video that I managed to take, while seated on the cabin roof of NSRI’s Rescue 10 (Spirit of Safmarine III), of the disentangling of a 7.5 m humpback whale that was anchored to the seafloor by octopus pots and their ropes.
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