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Soundings Archive

Australia Conducting Census of Antarctic Whales
The Sloan Foundation has given the Australian Antarctic Division a $700,000 private grant to help fund a census of Antarctic marine life. Australian Minister for Heritage and Environment Ian Campbell said:
    "The Census of Antarctic Marine Life is an ambitious project, involving 20-30 nations, up to 15 research ships and between 100 and 200 research scientists worldwide. The generous grant from the Sloan Foundation enables scientific coordination and planning activities to occur, as well as facilitate coordinated sample storage and data management....

    "The Southern Ocean is a vast expanse of water, greater than any other on earth. Conducting a census of what lives within it, and under its ice shelves, is an important undertaking. The census is expected to reveal many species new to science that will teach us much about how the Southern Ocean ecosystem is structured.

    "The census will give a snapshot in time of the abundance of whales, seals, penguins and many other forms of wildlife....Since top predators are so dependent on the myriad of small creatures in the ocean the census will provide us with additional knowledge about ecosystem linkages."

Australia is conducting the census in connection with the International Polar Year. It will be conducted during the summers of 2007 and 2008.
  • Click here to read Australian press release on the census
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