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Spiders in Borneo: What I carry

Every day, after I put on my long sleeve shirt and long pants (against mosquitoes and spines), I put on a belt that has two leather pouches. In one pouch will be the small vials into which I collect the spiders, and in the other pouch will be the vials full of newly-collected spiders...

March 29, 2012 — Wayne Maddison

Conserving Chagos: What is this BRUV work?

Tom Bech Letessier takes on the story of the remarkably good quality deep (and shallow) stereo film being taken of the reef and pelagic fish:We are now reaching the end of our expedition, and from a BRUVing perspective, it has been a resounding success...

March 28, 2012 — Charles Sheppard

Spiders in Borneo: Falling from above

In a previous post I told how we use a beating sheet -- a sheet stretched with tent poles to catch spiders that fall from vegetation we've shaken or beaten.

March 28, 2012 — Wayne Maddison

Conserving Chagos: Pascaline

As well as being a collection of scientists from around the world, we also have a young trainee member of our team. Pascaline Cotte is 19 years old and is of Chagossian descent, her grandfather being born on Ile du Coin, Peros Banhos atoll...

March 27, 2012 — Charles Sheppard

Spiders in Borneo: Breaking News!

Breaking News: EDY FOUND A HISPO TODAY! Sorry for shouting, but this is big news. Recall my post dreaming about the special jumping spiders we might find?

March 27, 2012 — Wayne Maddison

Conserving Chagos: More rough seas and Crowns of Thorns

The strong winds are starting to take a toll on the divers. So far it hasn’t stopped any work yet but heavy sea conditions have made what is normally a fairly effortless task into hard work, and one data logger located in a storm corner of reef was left because the sea was too rough for safety...

March 26, 2012 — Charles Sheppard

Spiders in Borneo: Leeches and eyeballs

Yesterday afternoon I felt something smooth and cool wriggling around my belly button, so I lifted up my shirt. There was a big leech, maybe 4 cm long, loping along like an inchworm on my tummy...

March 26, 2012 — Wayne Maddison

Conserving Chagos: More on the Three Brothers

The Three Brothers islands on the Great Chagos Bank is a magical place filled with more birds than you would think could fit on the tiny islands. On Middle Brother, a beautiful island with its own large lagoon, over thirty thousand sooty terns were nesting, as well as noddy terns and red-footed boobies.On North Brother, a more challenging island to land on, thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters had nesting burrows in every suitable space on the ground that they could - except for that occupied by the ground-nesting brown boobies.These illustrate how important unspoilt islands are for these birds, as, being ground nesters, they would be completely vulnerable to rats, cats, dogs and of course man in inhabited areas...

March 25, 2012 — Charles Sheppard

Conserving Chagos: On our way to Three Brothers

On our way to the Three Brothers (the islands on the Great Chagos Bank where we will be working next) we returned and spent the day on Victory Bank, a dish-shaped atoll submerged to at least 5 metres depth at its shallowest, where the BRUVers needed to do some more sampling...

March 24, 2012 — Charles Sheppard

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