November  in iSimangaliso Wetland Park heralds the beginning of one of the most special and awe-inspiring miracles of this world heritage site – the nesting of endangered turtles on the 220km golden shoreline. Annually, between the months of November and March, heralds the start of the leatherback turtles breeding season. In this most ancient cycle of life, turtles return with almost magical accuracy to the very same beach where they […]

There are five species of South African marine turtles out of the seven species found worldwide. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park with its pristine beaches comprises one of the last significant laying sites in Africa for loggerheads and leatherbacks. Marine turtles have a heritage going back at least 110 million years, and fall into two main subgroups. We have the unique family Dermochelyidae, which consists of a singe soft-shelled species, the leatherback. The […]

A coral reef is a delicate living ecosystem made up of a diverse combination of species. As a result of rising global temperatures, coral bleaching is threatening their very existence. It is these diverse species interacting together that create this unique and physical environment. With the sun as its energy source, through photosynthesis light energy is converted into chemical energy. Plants, algae and plankton are the building blocks in this complex and rich […]

An international research collaboration under the auspices of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority is underway to build the knowledge base on caelocanths and marine ecosystems.

Mitsukurina owstoni, or Goblin Shark, is the only remaining representative of the Mitsukurinidae family of sharks, that originated at least 125 million years ago, and often referred to as living fossils.The Goblin shark has only been encountered a few times and very little is known about it. What is known is that it is a slow moving deep sea shark that lives at depths of 1200m/4000ft in seas around the world. Goblin […]

Earthtrust’s Saving Whales With DNA Project is a cutting-edge strategy for ending the global black market in whale meat through the use of DNA analysis. DNA technology is currently revolutionizing many fields and it is poised to have a huge impact on the illegal trade in endangered and protected species of whales. DNA analysis is the only practical way to verify if a product in the marketplace is a “legitimate” whale species (under […]

30 May

One of the best known mutualist relationships (a relationship that is beneficial for both parties involved) is that of the cleaner wrasse and the larger fish or rays on the reef. The cleaner wrasse, in this image the smaller fish (a Bluestreak cleaner wrasse), spends its time at a ‘cleaning station’ on the reef. This area is frequented by the larger fish who stop by every now and then for […]

Scuba divers know that the ocean after dark is a wondrous and entirely different place than under the warm rays of the sun. Many animals hide during daylight hours and come out only at night to feed and hunt. The basic structure of many reefs is the build-up of calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Looking at hard corals during the day, you might be misled into thinking they were not […]

The gurgles, whistles, and squeaks of humpback whales singing off Hawaii’s island shores can now be heard live, courtesy of underwater microphones placed near Puako, Hawaii by the Jupiter Research Foundation. – Wired Science It is thought that male humpbacks will sing for hours to attract their mates. Their day-long songs consist of “repeating low-frequency notes and melodies” that are audible many kilometers away. The females don’t sing but do communicate vocally. […]