astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

East Pacific Red Octopus (Octopus rubescens)
Also known as the ruby octopus, or red octopus, the East Pacific red octopus is a common species of octopus which ranges from the southern Gulf of California to the Gulf of Alaska. It is also thought to occur in parts of the western Pacific as well. O. rubescens  is a generalist predator, and will feed on a range of benthic invertebrates like gastropods, bivalves, and crabs. O. rubescens is noted for is feeding behavior, in which it will pounce on its prey and then display a sequence of color changes at the moment of capture. 
Classification
Animalia-Mollusca-Gastropoda-Octopoda-Octopodidae-Octopus-(Octopus)-O. rubescens
Image: Kirt L. Onthank

astronomy-to-zoology:

East Pacific Red Octopus (Octopus rubescens)

Also known as the ruby octopus, or red octopus, the East Pacific red octopus is a common species of octopus which ranges from the southern Gulf of California to the Gulf of Alaska. It is also thought to occur in parts of the western Pacific as well. O. rubescens  is a generalist predator, and will feed on a range of benthic invertebrates like gastropods, bivalves, and crabs. O. rubescens is noted for is feeding behavior, in which it will pounce on its prey and then display a sequence of color changes at the moment of capture. 

Classification

Animalia-Mollusca-Gastropoda-Octopoda-Octopodidae-Octopus-(Octopus)-O. rubescens

Image: Kirt L. Onthank

libutron
libutron:

Gunther’s Triangle Frog - Ceratobatrachus guentheri
Also commonly known as Solomon Islands Eyelash Frog,Ceratobatrachus guentheri (Ceratobatrachidae) is a species of frog native to the Solomon Islands and Bougainville and Buka Island, Papua New Guinea. 
These frogs skip the tadpole stage, instead laying eggs on the forest floor that hatch directly into fully formed froglets.
In the past this species was exported in large numbers to Europe and other regions for the pet trade. Despite this it remains widespread and exceptionally abundant throughout the Solomon Islands.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Henk Wallays | Locality: unknown (2007)

libutron:

Gunther’s Triangle Frog - Ceratobatrachus guentheri

Also commonly known as Solomon Islands Eyelash Frog,Ceratobatrachus guentheri (Ceratobatrachidae) is a species of frog native to the Solomon Islands and Bougainville and Buka Island, Papua New Guinea. 

These frogs skip the tadpole stage, instead laying eggs on the forest floor that hatch directly into fully formed froglets.

In the past this species was exported in large numbers to Europe and other regions for the pet trade. Despite this it remains widespread and exceptionally abundant throughout the Solomon Islands.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Henk Wallays | Locality: unknown (2007)

PRISTINE PARADISE: PALAU

Posted by Enric Sala

Pristine Paradise. Palau. It sounds like a mantra, which one cannot help but repeating after being there. We just finished a Pristine Seas expedition to Palau, invited by the government to explore, survey, and document the underwater world of this little island nation that is also a large ocean nation.

Unlike other Pristine Seas expeditions – typically in uninhabited areas – Palau has a population of 20,000 and receives about 120,000 tourists per year. But we went to Palau because President Remengesau has a bold vision, a National Marine Sanctuary where industrial fishing would be banned, where only Palauans would fish – for local consumption – and where protection of the reefs would increase economic revenue to the country through sustainable ecotourism.

Palau has a long history of traditional management of marine resources and encyclopedic knowledge of the natural history of the sea…

(read more: National Geographic)

photos by Manu San Félix and Enric Sala

Bird Droppings Led to U.S. Possession of Newly Protected Pacific Islands
A 19th-century quest for natural fertilizer, bird guano, led to the world’s largest marine reserve.
by Dan Vergano
Blame it on “guano mania.” A craze for natural fertilizer made from bird droppings spurred the U.S. to take possession of a group of remote Pacific islands in the 19th century, and now those islands are home to the world’s largest marine reserve.
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced an expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to cover nearly 490,000 square miles, six times larger than its previous size.
(See “U.S. Creates Largest Protected Area in the World, 3X Larger Than California.”)
The Guano Islands Act of 1856 made it possible. The United States long ago used the act to claim islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as territory, which means that today the U.S. government has the legal authority to protect waters up to 200 miles out from each island, an area known as the exclusive economic zone…
(read more: National Geographic)
photograph: Tui De Roi/National Geographic

Bird Droppings Led to U.S. Possession of Newly Protected Pacific Islands

A 19th-century quest for natural fertilizer, bird guano, led to the world’s largest marine reserve.

by Dan Vergano

Blame it on “guano mania.” A craze for natural fertilizer made from bird droppings spurred the U.S. to take possession of a group of remote Pacific islands in the 19th century, and now those islands are home to the world’s largest marine reserve.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced an expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to cover nearly 490,000 square miles, six times larger than its previous size.

(See “U.S. Creates Largest Protected Area in the World, 3X Larger Than California.”)

The Guano Islands Act of 1856 made it possible. The United States long ago used the act to claim islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as territory, which means that today the U.S. government has the legal authority to protect waters up to 200 miles out from each island, an area known as the exclusive economic zone…

(read more: National Geographic)

photograph: Tui De Roi/National Geographic

Birds Under Threat From Brown Tree Snake in Marianas
The Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons mariae), a rare species found on Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, is one of the #birds at risk from brown tree snakes, which have devastated bird populations on Guam. Efforts to safeguard the Marianas’ remaining native birds, such as snake trapping and translocations of birds to islands without snakes, are underway. 
Read more: Yahoo News
(via: American Bird Conservancy)
Photograph by Jack Jeffrey

Birds Under Threat From Brown Tree Snake in Marianas

The Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons mariae), a rare species found on Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, is one of the #birds at risk from brown tree snakes, which have devastated bird populations on Guam. Efforts to safeguard the Marianas’ remaining native birds, such as snake trapping and translocations of birds to islands without snakes, are underway.

Read more: Yahoo News

(via: American Bird Conservancy)

Photograph by Jack Jeffrey

Strawberry Hermit Crab Beach Frenzy! Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge, in the South Pacific, is home to large numbers of the strawberry hermit crab (Coenobita perlatus). This large biomass of land crabs plays a dominant role in terrestrial food webs on the island where they consume a wide variety of organic matter. The Refuge is a part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Learn more about how the monument and refuge protect fish and wildlife: Howland Island NWRPhoto credit: C. Eggleston

Strawberry Hermit Crab Beach Frenzy!

Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge, in the South Pacific, is home to large numbers of the strawberry hermit crab (Coenobita perlatus). This large biomass of land crabs plays a dominant role in terrestrial food webs on the island where they consume a wide variety of organic matter.

The Refuge is a part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Learn more about how the monument and refuge protect fish and wildlife: Howland Island NWR

Photo credit: C. Eggleston

Dying For Fijis Sea Cucumbers

by Amy West

What’s it Worth? Deepening pressure on Fiji’s coral protectors.
Redfish, Greenfish, Blackfish.
Pinkfish, Curryfish, Lollyfish.


They sound like Dr. Seuss characters and certainly look like they should be. Yet these sausage-shaped, rubbery animals stippled in fleshy bumps are not fish at all, but an invertebrate in the group that includes sea stars, sea urchins and sand dollars. Sea cucumbers, referred to as “bêche-de-mer” or “trepang” when sold as dried food, are largely motionless creatures, which is why divers scoop hundreds of them up daily to export to Asia. A single high value individual in Fiji can fetch about $80 US, notes one report.
Sea cucumbers are not a new food craze; the Chinese have eaten them at least since the 1600s and sought this delicacy from Fiji since the early 1800s. Today, the increasing market demand and the push to dive deeper for these invertebrates and start new fisheries in other countries have sent stocks declining worldwide. Some have disappeared locally in Pacific Island nations, and in Fiji, divers are actually dying for them…
(read more: Monga Bay)
photographs by Stacy Jupiter

The U.S. Protects a Massive and Remote Part of the Pacific

by Patrick J. Kiger

President Obama announced yesterday what could be a massive expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, originally created by President George W. Bush in 2009. While the president didn’t spell out all the details, the Washington Post reported that he might increase the preserve from its present 89,000 square miles to as much as 782,000 square miles of ocean waters and sea floor. Commercial fishing would be barred in that area, and presumably energy exploration as well…

(read more: Discovery News)

photos: NOAA

usfwspacific

The Life and Times of KT, the Bristle-thighed Curlew!

usfwspacific:

image

KT, the Bristled-thighed Curlew, enjoying the warm weather of Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge far from his breeding grounds in Alaska.  Photo Credit: Jenny Howard/USFWS

As the summer breeding season winds down at the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, the Bristle-thighed Curlews (Numenius tahitiensis) prepare for their non-stop flight to Pacific Island wintering grounds. They gorge themselves on berries and a variety of invertebrates at staging areas to raise body fat content for the long flight.

image

The Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, where KT breeds in the summer time.  Photo Credit: Anabel Lereculeur

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) biologist Kristine Sowl conducted a three-year study on Bristle-thighed Curlews at their breeding grounds from 2010-2012. Using coded leg flags, Sowl banded 77 individual adults; seven of the birds have been re-sighted in the wintering grounds, two on northern Oahu, one on Laysan Island, two on Midway Atoll, and two on Johnston Atoll. Of the two on Johnston Atoll, one had a broken wing and was not observed again. The other curlew had a leg flag coded with the letters KT has been observed twice in the same region of Johnston Island.

Read More

dendroica
unknown-endangered:

Guam Rail (Gallirallus owstoni)
Extinct in the Wild
Gallirallus owstoni, also known as the ko’ko’, is a flightless bird endemic to the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. It disappeared from Guam in the late 1980s due to predation by invasive species, especially cats and snakes. The most serious threat to this species, and many others on Guam, is the brown tree snake, which was accidentally introduced to the island in the 1940s from Papua New Guinea. As for many island animals, the native birds of Guam had no defences against unfamiliar predators, and their numbers declined rapidly. 
Captive breeding programmes have been active since the 1980s. In 1995, G. owstoni began to be introduced to the island of Rota, although predation by cats was severe, and few birds survived. In 2010, 16 birds were introduced to Cocos Island, just offshore of Guam. Rats were eradicated and monitor lizard numbers were reduced prior to introduction. There is evidence that this population is now breeding.
Photo: Greg Hume on Wikipedia.

unknown-endangered:

Guam Rail (Gallirallus owstoni)

Extinct in the Wild

Gallirallus owstoni, also known as the ko’ko’, is a flightless bird endemic to the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. It disappeared from Guam in the late 1980s due to predation by invasive species, especially cats and snakes. The most serious threat to this species, and many others on Guam, is the brown tree snake, which was accidentally introduced to the island in the 1940s from Papua New Guinea. As for many island animals, the native birds of Guam had no defences against unfamiliar predators, and their numbers declined rapidly. 

Captive breeding programmes have been active since the 1980s. In 1995, G. owstoni began to be introduced to the island of Rota, although predation by cats was severe, and few birds survived. In 2010, 16 birds were introduced to Cocos Island, just offshore of Guam. Rats were eradicated and monitor lizard numbers were reduced prior to introduction. There is evidence that this population is now breeding.

Photo: Greg Hume on Wikipedia.