Updates & Media

Success Was Worth the Wounds

September 3, 2015

COTS Removal Success at Aitutaki

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 12 As we bandage our wounds, wash and pack our gear, and prepare for our departure, we take time to discuss the outcomes of our project with our partners in Aitutaki.  Since discovering and …

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BIOT Field Report

September 1, 2015

BIOT Field Report

Between 7 March 2015 and 3 May 2015, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation conducted two coral reef research missions to the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) as components of our Global Reef Expedition (GRE) program. Our primary objectives …

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After the Fire

September 1, 2015

Reef Recovery After COTS Outbreak

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 11 After a drove of crown of thorns starfish (COTS) moves through the reef, all that remains are the stark white coral skeletons. These quickly become covered in a green and brown fuzz of …

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Faster Than a Speeding Bullet?

August 28, 2015

COTS on the move

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 10 Juvenile and adult crown of thorns starfish (COTS) do not walk on their arms.  Instead, they have thousands of tiny tube feet which occur along the grooves underneath each arm.  Operated hydraulically using …

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Locust of the Reef

August 25, 2015

Sampling COTS: Tubefeet being collected by Alex Dempsey. The spines on the underbelly of the starfish aren’t as sharp as the ones on their bodies, but you still have to be super careful not to get stung.

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 9 Coral reefs are considered one of the most productive and species-rich ecosystems in the world, but that doesn’t make them invulnerable to natural threats. The reefs in the Cook Islands have recently been …

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No Fish With My Chips Please

August 20, 2015

napoleon wrasse

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Expedition Blog: Cook Islands – Day 8 On one of our last nights in Aitutaki we feasted on a traditional Aitutaki buffet, featuring locally grown root crops, breadfruit, spinach, bananas, salads, potatoes, free range chicken and locally caught barbequed fish. …

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COTs Removal: No Easy Feat

August 18, 2015

COTS Removal

Written by Carly Reeves Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 7 We’ve been chasing down the crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) here on Aitutaki for twelve days now, and I’ve got the scars to prove it. A spine to the leg / …

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Worm snails

August 13, 2015

Worm Snails Aitutaki Cook Islands

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 6 We’ve seen a lot of unusual and colorful creatures that attach to the surface of a coral, bore a hole into its skeleton, or become encased by the coral as it grows.  Most …

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The Hunchback of Aitutaki

August 11, 2015

hunchback green turtle

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 5 If you asked me if I thought we’d see a lot of turtles during our mission to Aitutaki, I’d have said no.  There are very few sponges, which is an important food source …

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Aitutaki’s Grazers

August 6, 2015

Herbivorous reef fish Aitutaki, Cook Islands

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 4 It is always exciting to visit a new place and to dive on new reefs. What I find remarkable is that you can tell so much about the state of a reef, the …

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