October newsletter now available online. Read about the activities of the overwintering team. Catch up on the news and try out their vegan recipe. and enjoy the moemnts capture on camera
- KILLER WHALER DIARIES
- WONDERFUL OLA, THE BEST GIANT PETREL
- FANGED FISH
- BIRDER’S FIELD DIARIES
- STIGGY ADVENTURES
- MARION PUTS ON HER BIKINI
- OCTOBER MADNESS
- A VEGAN TASTE
- TIME FOR A POEM
Job opportunities available on Marion Island Overwintering Team – download the job description below and complete a Z83 available on the website. Closing date for applications is 18 October 2021.
The purpose of the Z83 is to assist a government department in selecting a person for an advertised post. This form may be used to identify candidates to be interviewed. Since all applicants cannot be interviewed, you need to fill in this form completely, accurately and legibly. This will help to process your application fairly.
Final Newsletter from Gough 66 Overwintering team,
Read in this issue
- Final Words from the team leader: ” Our 13 months on the island has been filled with a lot of adventure and we were part of history in the making, we accommodated the Geo Searcher crew after they lost their vessel in the sea and got to be part of GIRP. …. I will forever cherish the time I spent on this island with the rest of G66 team members and all our visitors.”
- From The editor: “Here we are once again, with another final issue of a Gough Bunting newsletter. Thank you G66 and GIRP for the best, and busiest, year this island has ever seen. Thank you all once again, and to all the readers of our newsletters.”
- THE GOUGH ISLAND RESTORATION PROGRAMME Some closing words from Andrew Callender (Gough Island Programme Executive), Pete McClelland (Operations Manager) and Amy King (Senior Aviculturist) on the restoration of Gough Island.
- FAREWELL FROM G66 some goodbyes from the Gough Island 66 overwintering team.
- FROM THE METKASSIES monthly weather stats from the SAWS team
South African Polar Research Infrastructure (SAPRI): Launch of the Preparatory Phase
The SAPRI team is pleased to inform you that the contractual agreement for the starting of the SAPRI implementation phase is being finalized between the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF). We have now entered the Preparatory Phase of SAPRI’s operationalisation and interim measures are being put in place to ensure progress is made. Until the formal signature of the contract, the SAPRI cannot officially initiate Phase 1, but in the interim the Preparatory Phase will continue the conceptual design of the RI and predispose priority actions with the support of the community.
These achievements would not have been possible without the trust demonstrated by the scientific SANAP community towards the SAPRI team, the contribution and constructive support of the DFFE Oceans & Coasts Branch managing the SANAP logistics, and the commitment to collaborate offered by other institutions that have historically been involved in polar research. This gestation and birth of SAPRI is a major advancement to streamline, consolidate and grow the South African polar sciences, and represent a systemic innovation to maximize the investments of the various governmental institutions involved. The SAPRI will officially start from the advantageous position of being incubated within South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), which will fast-track the establishment of the governance and of the consortium agreements.
The launch of the SAPRI Preparatory Phase was announced via a webinar and a Q&A session to illustrate the main aspects of SAPRI, its organization into integrated facilities, and the first steps of the implementation phase listed in the business plan. To accelerate the implementation phase, it is proposed to initiate an informal Preparatory Phase of SAPRI and to discuss the following actions with the community of stakeholders:
- Establishment of the User Fora overseeing the requirements of the integrated facilities.
- Implementation of the Task Team for the reorganization of SANAP within the NRF.
- Consultation and discussion on the implementation steps for the Polar Science Transformation Plan.
- Establishment of the DFFE-SAPRI Task Team for assisting with science-related logistics. This will include discussions around the SA Agulhas II dry dock scheduled for November 2021.
The virtual webinar took place on 29th September 13:00-15:00 and was led by the SAPRI team; Tamaryn Morris, Marcello Vichi, Juliet Hermes, Johannes Pauw.
- Overview of SAPRI
- Current status, Business Plan priorities, budget requirements and transformation actions
- Preparatory phase
The following links are available to the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa Archive of the webinar recordings and presentations of the South African Polar Research Infrastructure (SAPRI): launch of the Preparatory Phase:
IMPORTANT documents related to and to be read together with SAPRI proposal available on ALSA archive:
Ross seal ecology, behaviour and physiology in a changing environment
SANAP research project by Prof Trevor Mcintyre in die Department of Life and Consumer Sciences at University of South Afrcia as principal investigator and Dr Mia Wege , Co-Invesitigator from Department of Zoology and Entomology at University of Pretoria.
Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean marine ecosystems are changing rapidly due to anthropogenic climate change. Seals, whales and seabirds, i.e. top-predators, are abundant and conspicuous components of the Southern Ocean ecosystem. Far-ranging and numerous consumers, they connect food webs and are influenced by the distribution of their prey. Labelled as sentinels of change, they are well-studied in comparison to other Antarctic and Southern Ocean taxa. (Image above: Ross Seal. Credit: Mia Wege)
Ross seals (Ommatophoca rossii), the least-studied of all the Antarctic pinnipeds, are unique in their foraging behaviour. Unlike other Antarctic marine predators, they travel north and away from the Antarctic continent. In summer, they hunt for prey in the open ocean, while in winter they spent the majority of their time within the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ), tracking the seasonal ice edge as it grows within winter. This unique behaviour raises several questions and opportunities to study the impacts of climate change on their ocean habitat. (Image above: Ross Seal Credit: Mia Wege)
This project aims to create an integrative view of Ross seals focusing on foraging ecology, physiology, and interactions with the MIZ. Fine-scale dive recorders will measure how Ross seals adapt their behaviour within the water column in response to environmental change. Novel physiological data collected on their aerobic dive limit and oxygen storage capabilities will determine whether this species is operating at, or close to, its maximum physiological capacity and therefore less capable of compensating for natural or anthropogenic changes in the environment.
A time-series created for compound-specific isotope analyses of amino acids using whisker segments will be able discern how specialised these predators are in their diet in relation to changes in a shifting isotopic baseline.Combining these three facets will determine the level of behavioural plasticity in Ross seals and their ability to cope with a changing environment.
Above: (Left) Trevor McIntyre (Right) Mia Wege
Read article by Mia Wege et al: “Distribution and Habitat Suitability of Ross Seals in a Warming Ocean”
To indulge in a few more images of of seals. Credit: Mia Wege
Text and images supllied by Trevor McIntyre and Mia Wege.