July 2021 Edition
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Mangrove forest project gets boost from Aspen donation
Summer Camp Groups can visit for FREE!
Congratulations Flora Duffy!
BZS Summer excursions
Meet Ta-Ray-Za
Aqua Camps are going swimmingly
Mangrove forest project gets boost from Aspen donation
An environmental drive to create a coastal red mangrove forest on Trunk Island has been boosted by a $125,000 donation from Aspen Bermuda.

Aspen will give $25,000 a year over five years to support the Bermuda Zoological Society project on the Harrington Sound island and will contribute to its educational Living Classroom programme.

Colin Brown, BZS president, said: “Thanks to the generous donation from Aspen Bermuda Limited, the BZS has an opportunity to create a new red mangrove habitat on Trunk Island.

“The habitat will give our education team new opportunities to teach science in exciting ways and will permit substantive and sustained educational experiences for thousands of students as they move through the Bermuda school systems.”
Red mangroves provide a nursery habitat for numerous juvenile reef fish and provide feeding areas for fish at high tide. Their tangled roots also protect the coastline against erosion.

As coastal and marine ecosystems, mangrove forests help to store carbon and are critical in mitigating climate change in what is known as a Blue Carbon initiative.
Mangroves have suffered widespread losses in Bermuda owing to rising sea levels hindering their ability to seed following storm damage.

Adam Barboza, director of corporate social responsibility at Aspen, said: “One of Aspen Bermuda Limited’s core values is being in it together and, by providing opportunities for experiential learning, our partnership with the BZS will help provide the basis for a better understanding of how we all can make a difference in the world in which we live.

“By supporting the mangrove forestation project at Trunk Island, we look to work with the BZS to raise awareness of climate change, habitat restoration and Bermuda’s ability to provide meaningful solutions for Blue Carbon initiatives.”

Dr Jamie Bacon, BZS education officer, added: “A large amount of a student’s time is spent sitting in a school classroom but the integration of the mangroves will provide further experiential learning on Trunk Island.

“The establishment of a red mangrove forest will contribute to critical habitat restoration, and students will have the unique opportunity to snorkel up to the mangrove at high tide to inspect the diverse marine community living both on the prop roots and in underwater root systems.”

As part of the project, a walk-through exhibit will allow visitors to learn about the forest through signage with the aim of inspiring an appreciation for the critically endangered habitat.
Congratulations Flora Duffy!
Congratulations to @floraduffy! Bermuda's first Olympic Gold Medalist!
Flora has now made Bermuda the smallest nation to win a gold medal at the Summer Olympics!

Gold - Did you know...

This year's Tokyo medals have had quite the journey to take on their final form.

Since 2017, old mobile phones and electronic devices have been collected from across Japan as part of the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project.

From the 78 tonnes of devices collected, gold, silver and bronze was extracted to craft the 5,000 medals for this year's games.

90% of Japan's towns and cities contributed devices, allowing the whole country to get involved in the Olympic effort.
In fact, the design for the medal was even submitted by a member of the Japanese public after a competition received over 400 entries.

The medals are meant to reflect the energy of the athletes competing and their supporters by reflecting different lights.

They also aim to set the standard for games to come and particularly for Paris 2024, where the main themes of the games include enhancing the environment.
Meet Ta-Ray-Za!
The North Rock exhibit has a new resident
Ta-Ray-Za the cownose ray!

The aquarists of the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo were called to someone’s private residence to rescue a ray from a grotto in their private cave system. The thought is that she had entered the grotto, located along Harrington Sound, when she was much smaller. Once she grew, she was too large to return to the open ocean.

Upon arrival at the grotto, the aquarists identified the ray’s species as a cownose ray – a new species that is recently being found in the waters surrounding Bermuda. They visually compared her size against the size of the grotto and determined that there would not be enough food to sustain her, so they began the rescue.

The aquarists entered the water and using nets they were able to curtain off a section of the grotto. Once they had the ray confined to one area, aquarist Kate Cooper identified the ray as a female and aquarist Choy Aming was able to use a soft net to capture her. Once they had her safely secured in the BAMZ truck, they transported her back to the facility.

Upon arrival at BAMZ, the ray was placed into the largest quarantine tank on facility. She was assessed by the Rehabilitation and Quarantine Officer, Roma Hayward, and a treatment plan was set. Over the next 14 days, Ta-Ray-Za was closely monitored, and we found she responded extremely well to human care and was very social with our marine animal specialists.

These rays are commonly found in aquariums around the world and make great ambassador animals. The decision was made to rehouse her in the large North Rock exhibit so we could better tell her species story.

To see Ta-Ray-Za’s story, please click the video link below.
Aqua Camp is going Swimmingly!
So far this summer the Aqua Campers have been enjoying their daily activities, both at BAMZ and during their field trips.
At BAMZ they have observed the seals being feed, kept daily crafting journals, and been guided through the various exhibits.
On their field trips, they've swam at Gibbet's Beach, explored an invasive forest at Spittal Pond, examined sand at Cooper's Island, and explored the Palmetto and Cherry forests on Trunk Island, the BZS "Living Classroom"!
Support the Bermuda Zoological Society Education Programmes