JBL Expedition 2015: California, South Seas & Australia

La vuelta al mundo en 18 días

Aunque en la novela de Julio Verne los dos protagonistas necesitaran 80 días para dar la vuelta al mundo, también en 18 días se tienen muchísimas oportunidades para observar a los animales, realizar mediciones y, por supuesto, vivir experiencias únicas. El equipo de investigación de JBL, formado por 14 personas, estuvo un día en la isla Santa Catalina frente a Los Ángeles en California, 2 días en la isla de Moorea, 12 días en diversas regiones de Australia y, finalmente, en el desierto de Dubái.

El equipo

consisted of 14 members , 11 of whom had been drawn by lot. The expedition leader Heiko Blessin, JBL sales manager Didier Lergenmuller and the expedition physician Dr. Ludwig Neurohr were clear from the start. Silke and Maik Figura from the Bremen area and Hans-Jörg Buben and Andreas Geisler comprised the North German group, and this group was particularly well versed in the fields of terrarium animals and ornithology. Nele Lechleiter and her father Thijl were especially interested in the fish fauna. Roland Wrobel from Kölle Zoo was the acknowledged salt water specialist and Sophi Pages carried out the biotope data measuring throughout the whole expedition. Matthias Kahmann was responsible for the data logging and for determining our GPS positions, so that we would be able to match each measurement to the GPS data at a later date. Michael Schmölzing carried out the water analysis at each freshwater biotope and Alex Leuthäuser was particularly good at detecting animals. In addition he and Heike Blessin photographically documented each biotope above and under water.

    Catalina Island: from Gobies till to the Great White Shark

    Cuando salimos de Los Ángeles por la mañana temprano para ir a Santa Catalina en ferry, uno apenas se podía imaginar que nos esperaba un agua cristalina con una fantástica fauna y flora a tan solo media hora de distancia de L. A.

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    Isla de Moorea: una isla paradisíaca solitaria en medio del Pacífico

    After the cold California Current we visited the coral reefs of the South Seas, so that, after we had been to the Barrier Reef in Australia later, we would be able to carry out a triangulation of our Pacific results. And even before we had entered the water, we were greeted by that South Seas aura, just like in the movies.

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    2300 km Coral Reef: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

    With over 400 coral and 1500 fish species the faunal diversity is many times higher than in the South Seas. To save money we booked a day trip on the Poseidon, and it was so crowded, it felt like there were another 200 people on board. We were glad when we finally arrived at the Agincourt reef after a 1.5 h trip.

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    Results: Marine water

    This expedition gave us the chance to measure the Pacific’s water values at three different places during the same season. The cold California Current was measured at Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles.

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    De las serpientes marinas a las serpientes terrestres

    Después de la Gran Barrera tuvimos dos días para realizar mediciones y observaciones en la selva tropical australiana. Para ello fuimos a los dos lagos Lake Eacham y Lake Barrine, así como a algunos ríos y arroyos con una flora y una fauna prometedoras.

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    Mudskippers and Saltwater Crocodiles

    During the trip along the coast from Port Douglas towards Cairns we stopped at a beautiful mangrove biotope. Quite soon we were finding lots of mudskippers (Periophthalmus) – they were all over the sand, on washed up coconuts and between the mangrove roots.

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    Underwater Forests in 30 cm Depth

    Aquatic plants and terrarium animal biotopes were on the agenda for the last day. Our friend Paul, who runs an excellent specialist shop for aquariums in Cairns, took us to some places where we found beautiful aquatic plants. The plants were growing in the current of the stream and provided protection to the many existing animals (shrimps and rainbow fish).

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    De la jungla a la montaña sagrada en el Outback

    Even though we were primarily interested in herpetological research and reptiles, we couldn’t miss seeing Ayers Rock, whose aboriginal name is Uluru. But first of all, on our arrival after a 3-hour flight, we were to meet those inhabitants of the outback who outnumber all the others by far.

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    Results: Freshwater

    Australia is home to many rainbow fish and therefore very interesting for us aquarists! Our research team analysed every water where fish or plants were to be found. A mere glance at the salt content (conductivity) shows the adaptability of the rainbow fish:

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    Los charcos en el desierto del Outback

    Unos destinos populares de viaje en el corazón de Australia son las gargantas. Así llaman los australianos a unos desfiladeros en cuya base suele haber agua. Los turistas normales contemplan el agua con asombro, se refrescan a veces en ella y siguen su camino. Nuestro grupo sacó salabres y tests para el agua, se metió en el agua y le hizo fotos a todo lo que tuviese aletas o patas y nadara, andara o diera saltos.

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    Strange Water Values and Red Plants in Ironfree Water

    Close to our camp was the water hole Glen Helen. On the walk to the actual water hole we saw crystallised salt in the riverbed where water was once flowing. An analysis of the water showed a high salinity with a conductance of 5230 microsiemens/cm.

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    The Waters in the North at Darwin: Crocodile-free or not, that is the Question

    Los últimos días de nuestro viaje a Australia nos llevaron a los parques nacionales Litchfield y Kakadú, al norte del Territorio del Norte. Ambos parques nacionales son famosos por su riqueza en fauna y, muy especialmente, por su gran cantidad de cocodrilos. Con respecto a los cocodrilos, solo hay que tener realmente cuidado con los cocodrilos marinos.

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    Results: Terraristics

    Australia has so many different biotopes that we had so many measurements, we couldn’t fit them all on the analysis forms! In the outback we determined the highest UV values we have ever measured.

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    From Desert to Desert It is only 12,000 km

    The JBL Expedition 2015 actually ended in Darwin. The return flight went to Frankfurt via Sydney and Dubai. But when you’re in Dubai anyway, if would be silly not to have a look at its gigantic sand desert and its impressive aquarium with a length of over 50 m.

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