Please join us for our Annual General Meeting
Date: Monday 30th December
Venue: Kenton Town Hall
Guest speaker: Dr Louw Claassens, Programme Director: Knysna Basin Project
Topic: Conserving the Critically Endangered Estuarine Pipefish
Dr Claassens and a team of researchers spent a few weeks in Kenton during October searching for Estuarine Pipefish in the Boesmans and Kariega estuaries. She gave a riveting and informative presentation on their fieldwork at a meeting hosted by Kenton-on-Sea Rotary. However, since then they have further results from their research which Dr Claassens will tell us about in her presentation at the AGM.
Louw says: everyone is familiar with a seahorse and many people are infatuated with these little critters. Over the past few years the Knysna Basin Project (www.knysnabasinproject.co.za) has been involved in researching the Endangered Knysna seahorse, found in only three estuaries along our south coast. With their research they came to learn more about the Critically Endangered Estuarine pipefish – a seahorse relative that is also found in only a few estuaries along our coast. And they just had to jump into the conservation of this amazing animal.
After successfully getting a National Geographic grant in June 2019, the Knysna Basin Project conducted their first fieldtrip in October 2019. The first couple of questions they wanted to answer were: where does this pipefish occur and why? In other words, what does this animal need to survive. To do this they are using various approaches to find them in the wild: seine netting and environmental DNA (eDNA). Seine netting is the conventional survey approach used to sample these pipefish. In addition to this, they are using eDNA, a relatively new approach that collects bits of genetic material left over in the environment (usually from skin cells, mucus or faeces) by sampling either water or sediment. These samples are then analysed to determine if the species of interest is present in the environment sampled! For the eDNA side of things, they are working with Georgia Nester from the TrEnd Lab (http://www.trendlab.com.au/) in Perth, Australia.
So, they have just completed their first fieldtrip and if you are interested to find out what they found, please join the Estuary Care AGM on Monday 30th December. Dr Louw Claassens will be giving more background on the Estuarine pipefish and why it is so threatened, as well as what they found during their recent fieldtrip.
For more information, please check out their website or get in touch with Dr Louw Claassens at email@example.com
The Knysna Basin Project is an NGO, and we depend on donations to keep our heads above (and below) water. Please consider donating towards our research:
Bank: First National Bank
Account holder: Knysna Basin Project
Bank code: 210214
Account number: 6216 1671 443
Please use your email address as a reference.
Click on the below photos to enlarge: