2015 Projects Funded

Misión Tiburón in Costa Rica

Misión Tiburón’s goal is to promote the conservation and the responsible use of marine resources, especially of sharks, through the development of integrated projects of marine education and scientific research. They hope to be firm and true to their ideals, always respecting the environmental and human welfare.

It is important that the local communities know that scalloped hammerhead shark spends part of its life in coastal habitats and doesn’t have any kind of protection in Costa Rican waters, so its conservation (especially of newborn and juveniles) strictly depends on coastal communities efforts.  Misión Tiburón believes that creating conscience in the communities around Golfo Dulce is an important tool to protect scalloped hammerhead shark and help to increase its survival. The WAVE Foundation’s Aquatic Conservation Fund wants to help them with their mission and has decided to support their grant proposal  titled “Conservation of scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) and its critical habitats in the Eastern Tropical Pacific” with $2,750.

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Anna Maria Island Sea Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Program

A small island in Florida is doing big work toward protecting sea turtles! This year we have funded $2,000 toward placing billboards on the island to educate vacationers about how they can protect the nesting sea turtles during their visit. To take the efforts one step further, the WAVE Foundation’s Aquatic Conservation Fund also decided to adopt a sea turtle nest and cover the costs of the protection until it hatches. The adopted nest is estimated to hatch sometime at the end of July 2015.

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Knoxville Zoological Gardens

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The WAVE Foundation supported $3,000 toward a local conservation project titled “Using eDNA, trapping, and visual encounter surveys to determine the range, habitat associations, and basic life history traits of an undescribed mudpuppy species (Necturus sp.).”

The taxonomy of mudpuppies in the southeastern United States has been in dispute for several years. Current taxonomy recognizes five species and one subspecies. Our evidence suggests that there is a completely new species to science that coexists with the most well-known and widely distributed of the water dogs and mudpuppies, the Common Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus). The putative new species co-occurs with the Common Mudpuppy in the Hiwassee River in Polk County, but the extent of its geographic range is unknown along with basic life history traits. The Common Mudpuppy is distributed from northern Georgia to Canada. If there is an additional necturid species that coexists with the Common Mudpuppy, there may be significant conservation and management implications for Tennessee and perhaps also on a regional and national level as well.

With the funds provided, they are hoping to learn more about this potentially new mudpuppy species and then put the proper conservation initiatives into place to ensure the species survival. WAVE Foundation staff and volunteers hope to assist the Knoxville Zoo with their research along the way. Any updates from this process will be posted and possibly published. Good luck Knoxville Zoo!


Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology

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The WAVE Foundation, with funding from the Newport Aquarium, sent $5,000.00 to the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology for Scalloped Hammerhead tracking. This funding is being applied to various satellite tags and will support Dr. Kim Holland’s research. This is a great conservation initiative that was discovered by General Curator, Mark Dvornak. A lot can be learned about a species by tracking movements and behaviors, and we are hoping the information gathered from the tags will be not only interesting, but also educational for our guests. If you would like to learn more about this organization, then visit their website at http://www.hawaii.edu/himb/sharklab/. We will post updated photos and tracking information as it comes available.


SANCCOB:

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SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) is an organization located in South Africa that works directly with the endangered African penguin and other shore bird species. In 2013, they requested funding for the upkeep and management of their chick-rearing unit for African penguins. We have been able to continue this funding in 2014 and provided $5600 to help maintain the chick-rearing unit.

We decided to continue to fund them for 2015 with $4,000 toward their chick-rearing unit. The chick-rearing unit is extremely important for the operations of SANCCOB, and for the penguin species as a whole. Abandoned chicks are one of the main reasons the African penguin species is in danger of extinction, and SANCCOB rescues the chick and cares for them until they are able to be re-released into the wild. This is a project that is very special to the WAVE Foundation because of the Penguin Encounter Program we have with the African penguins at the Newport Aquarium.