31 March 2014

Japan's research whaling illegal, says International Court of Justice

These sound like stunning news!

The Court reportedly said that Japan's whaling programme in the Southern Ocean was not for scientific purposes, and the amount of whales being killed was not justifiable in the name of science.

Read more in these EcoWatch and Greenpeace web sites (and many more)...

Whale on a wall

Silvia with a whale mural painting in Ponta Delgada, island São Miguel, Azores, Portugal.

(Photo by G. Bearzi)

Seraphic dolphin "smile"

This bottlenose dolphin may look "happy"... but of course dolphins do not have facial mimic and their emotions aren't appropriately conveyed by their expression.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Evoikos Gulf, Greece)

20 March 2014

One of the few

One of the very few short-beaked common dolphins surviving in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece.

In 2009, about 30 animals were estimated to live in the whole Gulf.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni)

19 March 2014

Ignoring Nature No More

The new book edited by Marc Bekoff:
Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation
456 pages

"For far too long humans have been ignoring nature. As the most dominant, overproducing, overconsuming, big-brained, big-footed, arrogant, and invasive species ever known, we are wrecking the planet at an unprecedented rate. And while science is important to our understanding of the impact we have on our environment, it alone does not hold the answers to the current crisis, nor does it get people to act. In Ignoring Nature No More, Marc Bekoff and a host of renowned contributors argue that we need a new mind-set about nature, one that centers on empathy, compassion, and being proactive. This collection of diverse essays is the first book devoted to compassionate conservation, a growing global movement that translates discussions and concerns about the well-being of individuals, species, populations, and ecosystems into action. Written by leading scholars in a host of disciplines, including biology, psychology, sociology, social work, economics, political science, and philosophy, as well as by locals doing fieldwork in their own countries, the essays combine the most creative aspects of the current science of animal conservation with analyses of important psychological and sociocultural issues that encourage or vex stewardship. The contributors tackle topics including the costs and benefits of conservation, behavioral biology, media coverage of animal welfare, conservation psychology, and scales of conservation from the local to the global. Taken together, the essays make a strong case for why we must replace our habits of domination and exploitation with compassionate conservation if we are to make the world a better place for nonhuman and human animals alike."

18 March 2014

House with dolphin view

Bottlenose dolphins sometimes get very close to the coast – in this case just a few metres.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Evoikos Gulf, Greece)

17 March 2014

Slow down!

Please slow down when dolphins are close!

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Gulf of Corinth, Greece)

16 March 2014

Imprinting of a marine biologist

This National Geographic post describes Maddalena Bearzi's early experience of Sardinia's pristine nature, at the root of her professional career as a marine conservation biologist.

Vanishing Innocents: Fish, Dolphins, and Other Sea Creatures in Troubled Waters

(Photo by G. Bearzi: the coast near Posada, Sardinia, Italy)

14 March 2014

Tanker riding

A striped dolphins jumps in the bow wave of a large tanker in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Mount Parnassos (with some snow) is visible in the background.

(Photo by G. Bearzi)

12 March 2014

Coastal striped dolphin

A striped dolphin jumps near the Gulf of Corinth's eastern coast.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni)

08 March 2014

Yacht riding

A striped dolphin bowrides a yacht for the joy of its owners.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Gulf of Corinth, Greece)

06 March 2014

Risso's dolphin scar

Risso's dolphin "Yaya" shows her impressive scar, possibly left by a shark bite. She survived.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Gulf of Corinth, Greece)

05 March 2014


There's not a day that goes by that all of us don't collectively think of the good times we had in Greece thanks to our lovely professors. The sights we saw, the lessons we learned, the knowledge we obtained, and the memories that were made will stay with us forever. Because of this we can't go for very long without getting together and reliving it, so... a Greece reunion happens every so often. Between Sheepie and the happy chicken talks we have nothing short of a laugh-filled dinner. Before we begin our meal we (without shame) hold hands and "zinggg." So thank you. Thank you for the memories and the love that you gave us.

-- Amanda Reyes / Texas A&M University

04 March 2014

Preserve wild dolphins, not their photos

This shot is dedicated to Dr. Bernd Würsig, the professor of the course that has inspired me to pursue conservation biology; as well as to Giovanni, Silvia, and Nina, the researchers who provided a foundation on which my skills and knowledge of these concepts can grow and expand. I hope that this photograph conveys a sense of pristine beauty that should be preserved in the wild and not just in the still frame of a camera.

-- Katherine A. Gillis / Texas A&M University

Yaya from above

The Risso's dolphin nicknamed "Yaya" swims in front of our inflatable.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Gulf of Corinth, Greece)

03 March 2014

Three species

A Risso's, striped and short-beaked common dolphin swim together in the blue waters of the Gulf of Corinth.

(Photo by G. Bearzi)

02 March 2014

Dolphins in the smartphone

Striped dolphin mother and calf get filmed through a smartphone as they leap in front of an inflatable.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Gulf of Corinth, Greece)