When many people dream of the perfect summer vacation or holiday, visions of sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and lush forests come to mind. Islands are a home away from home for many travelers around the world but most people are unaware of the amazing biodiversity that island habitats support. This is where our partners at Seacology come in.
Seacology is an environmental nonprofit with the sole purpose of preserving the highly endangered biodiversity of islands throughout the world. In the last 400 years, the majority of the world’s plant and animal extinctions have taken place on islands. By working with indigenous island peoples, Seacology strives to find the middle ground between improving human life while maintaining the environmental integrity of islands habitats and species.
With a favorable year-round climate and isolation from large land masses, tropical islands support some of the most unique species on Earth. Here’s a sample of some of Seacology’s most recent projects, highlighting the endangered species they have helped to protect.
In exchange for a new community health clinic in Papua New Guinea, Seacology established a 988-acre no-take coastal marine conservation area providing a permanent sanctuary for many island species including the Asian giant softshell turtle, an easily recognizable species with its broad head and eyes close to the tip of its snout.
The stunning bowl coral is just one of the many corals, fish, crabs and other marine species safely protected for the next 10 years near the island of Tonga in the South Pacific. Through another agreement between Seacology and local island peoples, 368 acres of a critical marine habitat reserve are protected into the next decade in return for an updated community hall building.
Found only on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, both the male and female Cook Islands fruit-dove take turns incubating their egg until it hatches. By updating a meeting house in Rarotonga’s Muri Village to include a cyclone evacuation center and gymnasium among other important upgrades, Seacology was able to secure protection for a lagoon and surrounding forest habitat of the Cook Island fruit-dove and other species for 10 years.
Both Seacology and ARKive focus on the conservation of endangered species around the globe and by helping each other share our accomplishments, we hope to raise awareness of the species that need the most help. To learn more about Seacology’s work, check out their website, blog, or videos.
Check out some favorite endangered island species films and images in this MyARKive scrapbook!
Liana Vitali, ARKive Science, Education and Outreach Officer, Wildscreen USA