NOVEMBER 2018 Edition
Christmas is right around the corner,
and you're probably rushing to get your shopping done.
Why not pop by the SHOP at BAMZ,
our wide array of gifts are second to none!
Globally and locally wildlife needs our help!
BZS Environmental Youth Conference
It's time to renew your membership
A tale of two loggerheads
Last longtail of the season
Check out the updates on Ron Lucas' Reef Life app
WILD Encounters
Increasingly marine animals are becoming entangled in a plastic web of our own creation and many unfortunately die from drowning and starvation as a result. Two recent cases at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) highlight the plight of animals and also the solution.

On September 13 th , a Bermuda tropicbird, or Longtail, was noticed to be struggling on the surface of Harrington Sound by two observant people who both took the time to call BAMZ. A boat was immediately sent and our aquarists retrieved a Longtail that had one of its leg entangled in nylon string from a helium balloon. Unfortunately the line was wrapped so tightly that it had cut off all circulation to the lower leg. It was immediately taken to surgery but the only option was to amputate the affected limb. Thankfully longtails spend much of their time ‘on the wing’, only using their legs to paddle when on the surface of the water and to navigate shallow nest burrows. It was felt that the loss of one leg would not affect the bird’s ability to survive in the wild and it was successfully released from Nonsuch Island after its surgical wound had healed.
In mid-September, a child doing a beach cleanup in Sandys found a green sea turtle stranded on the rocks. Upon closer inspection of the turtle he found that it had monofilament fishing line wrapped tightly around his neck and fore flippers. He carefully removed the line from the turtle and, with his family, brought the animal to BAMZ. Careful examination by the veterinary team at the aquarium revealed that the line had cut so deeply into the turtle’s neck that it had started to saw through its trachea or main airway. The turtle was shown to have air bubbles coming from its neck every time it exhaled. A surgery was performed to close the hole but the animal still has a long way to go. It was obvious based on the body condition that the turtle had been struggling like this for some months. The turtle remains at BAMZ in critical condition.
These cases, while sad, also show what we can do to make a difference. At its core, the problem is simple – we must stop plastics from entering our oceans. We must start making choices to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics in every aspect of our lives if we are to beat this problem.

We can also make a choice to never release balloons intentionally into the environment. Still considered acceptable by some, this is actually a terrible form of littering. Once the helium is spent the balloons come back down to earth and most will land in the ocean where they immediately become a trap for wildlife, like our poor longtail.

Finally, while enjoying our coastline and beautiful reef system, make a conscious effort to remove your own or discarded monofiliament fishing line from the environment. You will literally be saving an animal’s life every time you do so. Plastics survive so long in the environment that every piece has the potential to keep on harming wildlife over and over again. Make a difference by playing your part to reduce, reuse, recycle and remove .
by Don Burgess

Students from various middle and high schools presented ideas of what to do with the Southlands National Park to Public Works Minister Lt/Col David Burch, and some of those ideas might be utilized to help make Southlands a natural treasure.

The Bermuda Zoological Society held a two-day Environmental Youth Conference on November 14th and 15th, sponsored by the Stempel Foundation.

The conference theme was “The Importance of Preserving Open Spaces” and focused on the 37-acre Southlands property, which has again fallen into a state of neglect and disrepair.

The first day of the conference the students were based at the Bermudiana Beach/Grand Atlantic condominiums. They hiked along the trails at Southlands and heard from a variety of speakers throughout their walk.
After the walk, they had seminars from six different speakers: Dr Ayesha Talbot on Health and Wellbeing; Sean Dickinson on Mountain Biking; and from the Parks Department on the Challenges of Parks. They also heard from Judy Moyter on Sustainability Center, from Hidden Gems’ Ashley Harris on Ecotourism, and Chris Faria on Farming.

The second day of the conference they saw a presentation from Mandy Shailer from the Department of Natural Resources.

Afterwards, the students went on one of six field trips: Trunk Island, Walsingham Nature Reserve, the Community Gardens at Trimingham Hill, Verdmont Museum, Botanical Garden, and Southlands where they culled invasives.
The students then worked in groups on their presentations which they showed to Minister Burch and Stephen Tucker, the Acting Director of Parks.

Dr Jamie Bacon, who organised the conference, told Bernews, “I was thrilled with how well the Youth Conference went. The students were amazing. But we also had wonderful teachers who accompanied them and fantastic volunteer guides, speakers and facilitators.

“Southlands is a national treasure, and I think the students came up with some excellent ideas of how Southlands could be utilised by the entire community. I also believe they gained a better understanding of how precious Bermuda’s open space is.”

To read the full article and see the full gallery on, please click here.
Thank you for your continued support of BZS – without you, our work would not be possible! It’s now time to be thinking about renewing your membership for 2019 and we encourage you to continue your involvement in preserving Bermuda’s natural environment.
Over the last year, your membership has helped us to provide 8,861 educational experiences for Bermuda’s schoolchildren, with more than 75% provided to Bermuda’s public schools. Your membership is truly helping to bring science and conservation education to students across the island at all levels. 

The satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting free conservation education for the island’s school children!

If you have not yet renewed, we hope you will take this opportunity to continue supporting the Bermuda Zoological Society in its work to inspire the next generation of Bermudians to appreciate and care for our local environment.

Method of Payment: 
  • Online Payment via website: BZS or Atlantic Conservation Partnership
  • In Person/Mailed (cash or cheques) - P. O. Box FL 145, Flatt's FL BX
  • BZS members - direct deposit to our BMD HSBC account 010 003432 001 
  • ACP members - direct deposit to our USD HSBC account 010 423499 501
  • Please be sure to include your last name and membership number in the memo. To access online banking institutions, please click the following links: HSBCBNTBClarien

Thank you for your support!
Early this year, in March, you may recall the story of Sheldon, the baby loggerhead turtle that was brought to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) after being found on a beach, at Willowbank, in Somerset. 
Between December and March juvenile sea turtles ( Loggerheads, Hawksbills and Green Sea Turtles) are swept up past Bermuda as they drift with their transient home of Sargassum. Sargassum is brown algae found in the Atlantic Ocean that forms dense floating masses called rafts providing shelter, transport and food for many organisms.

During this stage of their life (post hatchling) turtles are carried around with the currents. As they pass by Bermuda they may be washed ashore by a winter storm or get picked up by birds that later drop them. As a result, these little critters may end up on one of our beaches or dropped amongst the rocks.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Department at BAMZ sees one or two post hatchling sea turtles a year. These post hatchlings are three to four inches in length and tend to be thin and exhausted from their journey when they arrive. Because of their tiny size, they may have sustained injuries from predator attacks. They are given time to rest and regain strength. Any injuries are treated and time is given to heal.

Upon Sheldon’s arrival he weighed in at only 143 grams. After remaining at BAMZ for a few days, under observation, he was deemed healthy enough to release. The decision was made to have Sheldon reside at BAMZ until the water warmed up and large rafts of Sargassum returned offshore (May or June). The challenge, however, was that our aquarists could not locate Sargassum, so he has resided at the facility until some can be located.
Extraordinarily, in the beginning of October, BAMZ received another baby loggerhead; this little guy, Ely, was found at Burchall’s Cove and weighed only 66g upon his arrival. He was carefully examined and deemed healthy enough for release, but similarly to Sheldon, he will have to wait until sargassum is located before he can return to the ocean. Sheldon has grown quite a bit in BAMZ care, and he now weighs a whopping 1,800g, and looks nothing like the little loggerhead that arrived at the facility all those months ago!
Every year the Wildlife Rehabilitation Department at BAMZ rehabilitate and release a number of the white-tailed tropicbirds, or longtails, as they’re locally known. They are medium sized birds; adults can measure up to 30 inches (76cm) including the tail feathers, with wingspans up to 3ft (1m). 
Longtails first arrive in Bermuda between late February and the end of March and pairs of birds can be seen in aerial courtship throughout Spring. At the end of April and beginning of May a single egg is laid in the nest cavity. The egg is incubated in turn by both parents for 42 days with most hatching in June or July. The parents return to the nest over the course of the summer with squid and small fish for the growing chick. The chicks fledge (grow flight feathers) and depart in late August and September when the parents stop bringing it food.

This year, BAMZ received 33 of the birds to be rehabilitated. This may seem to be a large number of birds to be rehabilitated, but according to BAMZ staff it was a quiet year, due to the fact that Bermuda did not experience any hurricanes. At one point, after a particular storm, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Department received 12 birds at once. 
At the end of October, the last longtail was released from Nonsuch Island. This was an uncharacteristically late release of a longtail chick, as it would indicate that he was a late bloomer. However, on a recent trip out to Trunk Island, there were still sightings of longtails nesting in the igloos that were created by junior volunteers.

In the future, if you happen to find an injured or abandoned Longtail, adult or chick, please be sure to deliver them to BAMZ or contact us (293-2727) and we will come and rescue them!

If you would like to learn more about white-tailed tropicbirds, please visit the Department of Environment and Natural Resources page:
Now in its 3rd edition, Bermuda Reef Life HD is a comprehensive underwater photo app featuring some 300 high definition images divided into 15 sections showcasing the beauty and diversity of Bermuda beneath the surface.

Descriptions on each photo are revealed by tapping on the screen. In addition a Reef Species Identification Section allows immediate access to thumbnails with titles so marine enthusiasts can readily identify species and then jump to the full size photos with descriptions.

To download the app to your apple product, please click the below button.
To register for any of the below encounters, please click on the image.