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World Sea Turtle Day, Marine News And The Extinction Of The Bramble Cay Melomy: 14th – 20th June 2016

Last week saw a whole host of environment news bubbling to the surface and as a result this week’s round-up is a bit of a turbulent one. This week we have news relating to climate change, World Sea Turtle Day, the stranding of pilot whales, a move forwards for the Sandpiper bird species and the discovery of coral reef bright spots so it is definitely worth having a read! Here’s your weekly Frontier environment news roundup:

World Sea Turtle Day

June 16th marked World Sea Turtles day, an annually celebrated day that is used to both honour and highlight the importance of sea turtles. The day is celebrated on Dr Archie Carr’s birthday, the founder of the Sea Turtle Conservancy Charity and as such works to bring to attention his important work and the vastly positive impact that he had on the enhancement of sea turtle conservation during his lifetime.

Mass Stranding Of Pilot Whales In Indonesia

RT | Antara Foto / Zabur Karuru / ReutersSadly, on Wednesday last week thirty-two short finned pilot whales came ashore during high tide in Probolinggo in the East Java province in Indonesia. Hundreds of local fishermen and government officials worked overnight wrapping tarps around the beached whales in an attempt to pull them out to sea while others swam out into the ocean to drive the other whales away from the beach. Unfortunately by morning, eight whales had re-beached themselves and had died but the rescue efforts did result in the saving of twenty-four others. While vets set about conducting autopsies on the dead whales in an attempt to understand why they had stranded themselves, fishery officials claimed that it could be due to the turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean but at the moment the real reason is still uncertain. What is certain however is the faithful restoration of humanity in this act of pure selflessness to save the lives of the whales.

Coral Reef Bright Spots

In other marine based news, despite earlier reports of the unprecedented extent of coral bleaching that has taken place around the world this year, a new study found what are being referred to as ‘bright spots’ in the coral reefs. The findings of this study, published on the 15th June, has revealed that some corals are now doing significantly better than expected despite being faced with the ever-growing issues of overfishing and human pressure. The same team unfortunately also discovered ‘dark spots’ that were not doing as well as but experts believe that the ‘bright spots’ could now lead the way to conservationists being able to better protect the coral reefs from climate change, overfishing and pollution.

First Mammal Species Goes Extinct Due To Human Impact On Climate Change

The Guardian | Queensland GovernmentUnfortunately last week also brought with it some devastating news as it was revealed that the Bramble Cay Melomys of Australia had been driven to extinction by human influences on climate change. The rodent had previously only been known to live on Bramble Cay off the Great Barrier Reef until extensive searches revealed that rising tides had not only destroyed the mammal’s habitat and food source but had also caused the death of the Australian rodent. Researchers believe that the extinction of this Australian based mammal species is the first to have been primarily caused by human influence on climate change.

Sandpiper Birds Lay Eggs In Captivity

Flickr | KenFinally, last week also brought with it some amazingly positive news as experts revealed that one of the world’s rarest birds, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, had laid eggs in captivity for the first time. Experts believe this now provides new hope for the species, whose wild population is relatively tiny. This is a significant move forwards for the Sandpipers, whose extreme migration between the Arctic and the tropics makes it difficult to recreate the lifestyle conditions of the birds in captivity. With only around 200 breeding pairs remaining in the wild, the seven eggs laid in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire last week hold a glimmer of hope for the critically endangered bird.

Overall there has been a right mixture of good and bad news for both the marine and land based world in the past week. From successful captive breeding results to the extinction of an Australian mammal species, from the celebrations of World Sea Turtle Day to the devastating news of eight pilot whales beaching themselves in Indonesia, this week really has covered it all.  

By Shannon Clark - Online Journalism Intern

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