Friday, July 29, 2011
Frances Robertson has carried out studies involving marine mammals and human disturbance issues in Canada, Scotland and the US; other research activities have included study of minke whales foraging ecology and photo-id in the Salish Sea, WA. Frances has also spent 5 years working as a free lance marine mammal observer for the seismic survey industry.
The August 3rd lecture is free and open to the public, although donations are encouraged.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
A call was made to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network about a baby seal nursing from a dingy line at the Olga dock. Volunteers went out periodically to see if they could spot the pup. Yesterday, Greg Bishop, an intern with the Stranding Network, was able to locate the pup and administer fluids. The pup was relocated near Shag Rock which is further from people and closer to adult seals. The hope is that by moving pups closer to adult seals they may get fostered by a lactating female. This practice has been reported quite a lot in scientific literature.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
A grass-roots local steering committee has been hard at work for over a year to obtain “National Conservation Area” (NCA) status for the 1100 acres in the San Juan Islands owned by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM.) These lands include Patos Island, Turn Point, Iceberg Point and Watmough Bay, as well as many smaller islands, rocks and reefs. NCA status requires an act of Congress, but once obtained, would protect the lands in perpetuity. (Although the Lopez properties currently have some protection within the BLM, it could be eliminated by policy changes, and the majority of the lands have no protection at all.)
The NCA process requires a grass-roots initiative, (the work of the committee,) endorsement by the SJ County Council (obtained earlier this year,) and support of our local Congressman, Rick Larson, who is very enthusiastic about the project. However, there is still much work to be done before actual legislation can be put before Congress.
Currently the greatest need is for San Juan individuals and organizations to write letters of support to Congressman Larson, stating how they use and enjoy the BLM lands, and why they think the NCA status is important. The NCA website: http://www.sanjuanislandsnca.org/home, has much more information, as well as ideas for both written and email letters to Larson’s office. The need is immediate. Legislation has already been drafted, which Larson hopes to introduce this year, but a strong show of local support is critical to its success. Please take a few moments today to check the website and write a short letter!
Suzanne Chisholm and Mike Parfit, creators of the beautiful documentary film, “The Whale,” have announced that it will be released later this summer in several big American cities – probably starting in New York, Washington D.C., and Seattle. The film, crafted from thousands of hours of footage Suzanne and Mike shot over a period of several years in Nootka Sound, BC, documents the moving story of Luna, a lonely young orca who turned to boaters for companionship and comfort after being separated from his family. Though the story doesn’t have a “happily ever after” ending, it is a beautiful film with an important message.
In May of this year, members of the 2011 Beach Watchers class met with Suzanne and Mike in Sidney, BC. It was an inspiring evening, including a viewing of the film and lots of details of how it was produced and is being marketed. It isn’t easy for an independent documentary to get into theatres in the US, so news of the releases later this summer is heartening. Theatre-showings need to happen before the film can be produced as a DVD.
The newest member of the Southern Resident Orca community is K44, born to K27, (Deadhead,) and first sighted early in the morning of Wed. July 6, on the West side of San Juan Island. The proud Mom, eager to show off her first calf, lifted her offspring up to the surface to provide onlookers with a good view, (establishing in the process that this one is a boy!)
2011 Beach Watcher Mysti McKeehan and her husband tended an injured eagle on Lopez at the end of June, and are hopeful that their efforts helped the bird to recover. The eagle was discovered by Mysti and other neighbors on a beach south of Otis Perkins Park around July 21. He was lying in the sand, scruffy-looking, and seemed unable to move freely. After further observation and consultation with Julie Knight and Wolf Hollow, it was determined that he could fly adequately, (and did not need to be captured for rehabilitation,) but that his left leg was injured, thus impeding his ability to capture prey and maneuver on land. Julie recommended that Mysti and her husband put out smelt or salmon for him, which they did, much of which the eagle appreciatively ate. (See bottom photo.) Other eagles seemed to be aware of him and perhaps in communication. Though still limping and having little use of the injured leg, the eagle (nicknamed Ollie by Mysti's husband Noel,) gradually gained strength and was flying more. Mysti said they have not seen him now for several days, but hope that is a sign that he has recovered sufficiently to take care of himself.
Check out the fascinating video of the eagle Mysti and her husband have posted on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rYswh_5tbo.
The July 6 SJ Journal contains an article about Like Kiln volunteers – our well-known and active Beach Watchers Dennis Linden and Shirley Zyph! There is a nice photo of Dennis, along with thoughtful answers from both about the volunteer work they do and why they love it. Some well-deserved publicity!