October 30, 2009 by dyertrust

October has been declared Marine Month and Monday 19th October was a beautiful day for a coastal clean up. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) with the assistance of a very enthusiastic Grade 6 class from Blompark Primary, led by Mr Dreyer, did just that.

DICT was given yellow garbage bags and data cards from the Ocean Conservancy and the Plastics Federation of South Africa, who are pro-active about litter awareness. The class was given an educational talk in the classroom on the impact of marine litter. They were reminded that every piece of litter has a persons face behind it. The clean up was done on a stretch of beach at Danger Point where the amount of plastic collected along with around 120 tangles of fishing line served to raise awareness on the possibility of harm to seabirds and other animals.

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October 29, 2009 by dyertrust

The Trust is very grateful to members of Virtuoso African Destinations who generously donated R10 000 for dedicated use in whale disentanglements. Wilfred Chivell has been involved in numerous whale disentanglements and officially belongs to the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) apartnership withMarine & Coastal Management. Using specifically designed tools and following safety protocols, we are able to cut away ropes and gear from the animal. Since its inception SAWDN has disentangled more than a dozen whales off the coast of South Africa.

We thank Andr Botha, Marketing & Sales Director fromTrans Africa Safaris, for arranging this much needed donation.

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Launch of our research boat

October 19, 2009 by dyertrust

by DICTs Marine Biologist Alison Towner

Hello to all the shark supporters and welcome to the first blog for the DICT white shark research program. We are so excited to finally have contact with all of those who have donated towards our shark project and aim to keep you fully informed on a monthly basis of any progress made.

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October 03, 2009 by dyertrust

On Wednesday, 30 September, we took a drive to Bettys Bay to meet with the Grade7 students ofDie Voortrekker. Every year that grade gets together to learn more about the African Penguin, and together they bought a very important piece of real estate: an African Penguin house on Dyer Island.

The class had been educated about the severe decline of the African Penguin population around the Southern African coastline, and how these houses are being used to increase the breeding success of the penguins. Following their generous donation, the class was provided with a certificate of recognition for their purchase (their title deed), and given a quiz on the status and facts of the African Penguin by Brenda Walters, of DICT, who was impressed by their knowledge and passion.That afternoon they were visiting the colony at Stony Point where the management of the reserve (Overstrand Municipality) were keeping aside a lightly oiled penguin to enable further education before its transfer to Sanccob.

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October 02, 2009 by dyertrust

This year at the Whale Festival we had an Enviro Marquee to celebrate the Marine Big 5 Whales, sharks, dolphins, penguins and seals. Our icon was Wally the Whale who was a hit with the children.

Dyer Island Cruisesdonated a large scale whale replica to the Festival which lay proudly outside the marquee.

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October 02, 2009 by dyertrust

The Simonstown Penguin Festival SANCCOB Benefit Weekend held on the 25th September kicked off with a masked ball at Boulders Beach Lodge (well organized by Operations Manager Janine Genade and her team) and DICT was very excited to be there. Michelle Garforth (Wild Ltd) was MC and guests included Amelia Venter, world renowned animal communicator; Miss Earth; plus local singer Jakkie Louw who entertained everyone with his special penguin song Drie Pikkewyne. There was much competition for the best masks and ultimate winner went to a couple who had decorated their mask and snorkel with crystal. These masks were donated and auctioned off for SANCCOB. The Trust donated 50 nests toward the event and the first love shack kicked off the auction. These nests will be placed by SANParks at the Boulders penguin colony.

A great evening was definitely enjoyed by all and guests left with a copy of Enviropedia, an invaluable resource of environmental information.

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October 01, 2009 by dyertrust

On Lauren Wallers (PhD researcher) nest rounds last week she came across a nest where previously the adults were incubating two eggs. Being interested to see what happens to this nest as it is very late in the season for penguins to be incubating and they should be coming to the end of breeding and preparing for their moult fast.

Lauren found what she thought was two dead day old chicks in the nest that had possibly been abandoned by parents who had left for their pre-moult fattening. As she began collecting all the dead specimens the chicks peeped at her. The chicks were slowly dying of hunger and cold. They rushed the chicks inside the housing area at Dyer, blowing on them to keep them warm. The weaker one stopped breathing and the manager, Deon Geldenhuys fromCapeNatureblew in its mouth. After throwing up some green liquid (the chicknot the manager), it started breathing again. They managed to keep the chicks warm, and with a call to Venessa Strauss from SANCCOB, set up a feeding regime. SANCCOB had donated a lamp that they could use to warm chicks up, and so Deon performed some MacGyver trick and set up an incubator for the chicks.

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