DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST MAKES DONATION TO PENGUINS-EASTERN CAPE

December 30, 2009 by dyertrust

On the 26th November 2008, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT), made a donation of R10 000 to

Penguins-Eastern Cape (PEC), a marine bird rehabilitation centre situated in Cape St. Francis. The centre is dedicated to mitigating the human impact on marine birds and mammals through emergency response and rescue, rehabilitation, research and education. Penguins-Eastern Cape provides treatment and temporary care for oiled, sick, dehydrated, and injured African penguins, in addition to sick and injured marine birds and those in need of rest and recovery.

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TALKS ATTENDED BY THE DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST

December 29, 2009 by dyertrust

Butterfield and Robinson, an organization taking bicycle enthusiasts around the globe since 1966, invited Wilfred Chivell of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust to do a series of specialized presentations for groups of visiting international cyclists, staying at the Birkenhead House in Hermanus, to give them a deeper insight into the dynamic local marine life. Wilfred has given two visual presentations on the Marine Big 5 (whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and penguins) as well as elaborating on the research and conservation efforts currently being undertaken by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. In return, the seasoned travelers offered to make a contribution to the Trust, generously offering to sponsor two penguin houses per talk, and attendees have already sponsored 11 penguin houses to date! The penguins will surely raise their feathers to you!


WHALE STRANDING ON PEARLY BEACH

December 27, 2009 by dyertrust

On 23rd October 2008, a Southern Right Whale calf, estimated to be at least four months old, was found stranded on Pearly Beach, with no apparent injuries. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) assists Dr Peter Best, Meredith Thornton and colleagues, of the Mammal Research Institute (University of Pretoria), housed at the South African Museum in Cape Town, with data collection when such events occur locally. With no reason for death evident, Wilfred Chivell, founder of DICT, collected skin samples from the whale, as well as numerous amphipods from the skin surface. The skin is used for a study on the fungi that grow on whale skin, which is a co-operative project with the Mammal Research Institute and Stellenbosch University. The eyes were also collected for a comparative study with Bowhead Whales. This project aims to use the lens of the eye to determine the age of the animal. At the Museum, research is undertaken on the ecology, population dynamics and behaviour of cetaceans in the waters of southern Africa, with the principal objective of providing information that will promote their conservation. They also train students, do environmental education and are engaging with the fishing industry in order to reduce whale entanglement. Apart from fieldwork on live animals they also collect stranded specimens to add to the Museum's marine mammal collection, including both skeletal and histological specimens.


ISA CARSTENS HEALTH AND SKIN CARE ACADEMY ADOPTS FACES OF NEED AS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROJECT

December 22, 2009 by dyertrust

TheIsa Carstens Health and Skin Care Academyin Stellenbosch, one of South Africa's leaders in the highly specialised field of health and skin care therapy, has adopted the Dyer Island Conservation Trust's African Penguin Housing Project as their Social Responsibility project. Under the guidance of Isabelle-Carstens Roos, the Academy was the first school of its kind in the Western Cape, registered by the Department of Education as a private provider of higher education.

The first years, second years and staff of Isa Carstens put in a great amount of effort to raise funds for the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. On Friday the 26th of September 2008, all students were allowed to dress-up in black and white and had to pay R10 to participate in this effort. A couple of years ago the people of Stellenbosch started to call the Ladies of Isa Carstens 'the penguins' due to the fact that their uniforms looked literally like penguin suits and that is why they adopted Dyer Island Conservation Trust and the Faces of Need project.

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ANIMALS IN NEED

December 20, 2009 by dyertrust

Whenever an animal in need, whether bird or mammal, is found in the greater Dyer Island area at sea or on land, Wilfred Chivell of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust is called in. Animals are collected and are cared for, where after expert help is sought if needed.

Over time, we have established ourselves as the Call Centre for all animals in need. In this way we know what happens to the animals in our area, and can investigate the causes of animal injuries to minimise them in the future.

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Observations and wound healings

December 10, 2009 by dyertrust

by DICTs Marine Biologist Alison Towner

Early November saw our supervisors,Prof. Les Underhilland Dr Malcolm Smale here for a weekend to go over the projects finer aspects and planning. Malcolms expertise in the project is extremely beneficial and he was full of ideas as to how, why, when, and what else we should look at with the white sharks in the tracking area. Les- renowned for being a statistical genius gave some great insight on how best to analyse and collect data- along with incorporating oceanographic parameters into the picture. Together they really are an encouraging team and we very much look forward to their input throughout the project! We await word from the University on the go ahead.

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BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS IN THE BAY

December 09, 2009 by dyertrust

On Wednesday the 9th December, we took our new research boat Lwazi out and were very excited to see Bottlenose dolphins back in the Bay. The first pod we saw consisted of around 16 adults with at least 6 calves. We bumped into another pod further on that were feeding. We also passed Geyser Rock, home to a 60 000 strong seal colony. The seals have recently had their pups although not all of them make it as we were witness to.