The Trust supports rescue and rehabilitation centre Penguins Eastern Cape
January 09, 2012 by dyertrust
The passionate and dedicated team at Penguins Eastern Cape (Cape St. Francis) led by Trudi Malan had their hands full this festive season. Every year as the penguins go into their annual moult lasting about three weeks, they are unable to swim and feed so any late breeders are forced to abandon their chicks. These chicks are sent to the rehabilitation centre to be hand fed until they are ready to be released. This chick bolstering programme is part of the conservation management plan. With the African penguin being classified as endangered and only around 22 000 breeding pairs left, every penguin counts. This past year has seen 400 penguins at the centre from St Croix Island and Bird Island. Most of the penguins have now been releasedto date 160 birds are still at the centre.
With the help of the donations the Dyer Island Conservation Trust receives we were able to pass on the goodwill and send Trudi and her team R10 000 to help towards the costs of care for these juvenile penguins. At this time 100kgs of sardines per day can be consumed.
The centre has a viewing area for the public where they can see some favourites such as Roxy, Goofy, the committed couple Nip & Tuck (penguins are monogamous) and the blind Stevie.
Check out their wonderful work on In March 2010, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust submitted a letter of concerns regarding the proposed nuclear power station at Bantamsklip, just over 22kilometres from our head office.
Having attended public participation meetings, a real concern exists that Bantamsklip (believed to be the 3rd preferred site) is definitely earmarked for development.
The Trust has together with theMore information can be viewed atThere has been an increased amount of stingray activity during shark cage diving trips on our boat, Slashfin. The first occurrence was on the 6th of January on our morning trip. We had a stingray (about 1.5m in length) come up to our bait line and nearly attempt to take a bite (the front of the disc actually came out of the water). While this was going on, there was a 2 meter Great White Shark interested in our seal decoy (only about 8-10 meters away). The two animals turned and swam towards each other until they were about 1 meter away, at which point they both seemed to get spooked and swam off in opposite directions. This interaction is the first known of its kind, a surface interaction between a great white shark and a stingray. Since this day we have noticed the rays coming up to the surface more often, on one occasion coming close enough to the back of the boat that we were able to get underwater footage of it free swimming.
After examining photographs and videos of the rays we have seen, it seems that the species that has been visiting us is known as a short-tail stingray (Dasyatis brevicaudata). It is a very common species, and it is found here in South Africa. It has been seen the shallows in both New Zealand and Australia, but is commonly found at depths of 180m or more. It has been seen in both shallow in New Zealand and Australia, but is commonly found at depths of 180m or more. Given that knowledge, it has been documented to move into shallow waters with rising tides, which could be one reason why we have seen them some days and not others. The short-tail stingray is the largest species of ray in the world, growing upwards of 2 meters in length (the ones we have seen have been between 1 and 1.5 meters respectively). This species is primarily benthic (bottom-dwelling) in nature, feeding mainly on benthic fish and invertebrates, but it is also known to move up into the water column regularly where it will feed on fish and other small animals.
While it is not necessarily a surprise to see this species moving high into the water column, it is worth noting that they are doing this in the presence of great white sharks, a suspected predator of short-tail stingrays. Another question to ask is why is this happening so often now, when previously these behaviors of coming up to bait lines and cage diving boats were almost unheard of. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, and what explanations we will be able to come up with elucidate this interesting behavior.
Check out the first sightingbelow Fasttrax was on board and recorded the footage belowyou can feel the excitement of the guests on board
–Matt Nicholson (Marine Biologist, marine Dynamics)