Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

Happy World Turtle Day: Meet the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Happy World Turtle Day! Here are some facts about the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, one of the species we help out here at Moody Gardens

KempsFacts-Web

Monarch Madness at Moody Gardens!

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

It’s March and that usually marks the beginning of a little thing called March Madness, but at Moody Gardens we’re focusing on a different kind of black and orange…the Monarch Butterfly! Join us as we learn more about this amazing creature featured in our new film Flight of the Butterflies 3D, opening March 9th at the MG 3D Theater.

Monarch Madness

Moody Gardens Research Programs Part 2

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Garibaldi Fish Swimming Among Kelp

As we mentioned in our earlier blog post, Moody Gardens is dedicated to our mission of supporting plant and animal programs. We are a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research. We’ve already discussed the Medical Plant Program, the Beneficial Insect Program, and the Coral Propagation Program, but we are also dedicated to our Saving Elkhorn Coral program and our partnership with United States Fish and Wildlife.

Saving Elkhorn Coral

Recently, a Moody Gardens biologist and twenty other U.S. and European scientists embarked on one of the greatest coral conservation efforts ever undertaken. They traveled to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, to use their knowledge to help save Elkhorn coral. Elkhorn coral is listed on the federal government’s Endangered Species Act, and is also essential for the growth of existing and future coral reefs. Without Elkhorn coral, the reef builder, coral reef, and its inhabitants could be lost.  The lost of the coral reef would be immense for a variety of reasons. They serve as storm barriers for the coastline, are a potential source for pharmaceuticals, and support 85% of the tourism in surrounding areas. Moody Gardens is hoping to support the cause through captive coral sexual reproduction and husbandry techniques.

Partnership with United States Fish and Wildlife

When certain animals or live specimens are confiscated from people who possess them illegally, Moody Gardens assumes care responsibilities. Moody Gardens will care for these animals while their cases are pending and handle long-term care by assisting with relocating them to other facilities. Animals included in this partnership include turtles, Panamanian golden frogs, Cuban Amazon parrots, and the Wyoming toad.

Learn more about the many research programs Moody Gardens is involved in by visiting us on your next family weekend getaways in Texas. Exploring the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid is an opportunity to learn and have a good time.

Moody Gardens Research Programs Part 1

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Queen Angelfish
There is more going on at Moody Gardens than what visitors get to experience. We are doing tons of important work behind the scenes to pursue our mission of supporting plants and animals. Moody Gardens has teamed up with various universities, medical experts, and professionals to create research programs for medical research and other conservation efforts.

Medical Plant Program

Through the Medical Plant Program, Dr. E. Arthur Bell and the Moody Gardens Horticultural department have collected and grown vegetation from the rainforest that may be helpful in controlling diseases, such as cancer and AIDS.  Plant cuttings are sent to the University of Houston for data research to study certain healing properties.

Beneficial Insect Program

With the unmatched help of Sam Houston State University, the Rainforest Pyramid functions without the use of pesticides. This is made possible by an effort to match insects with certain bacteria to balance nature. The program’s hope is that biological control of insects will one day replace pesticides worldwide.

Coral Propagation Program

Coral reefs have the second-most diverse population of species, second only to the rainforests. Since so many species depend on coral reefs for survival, the conservation of this natural resource is vital. Through our captive coral propagation program, we conserve coral specimens for use in public aquariums to reduce the need for acquiring wild specimens. Moody Gardens is also a part of a research program with John Hopkins University. The results may have significant direct applications in paleontology, biochemistry, and possibly an indirect effect on medial research.

Learn more about the many research programs Moody Gardens is involved in by visiting us on your next family weekend getaways in Texas. Exploring the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid is an opportunity to learn and have a good time.

Our Dedication to Saving Animals

Monday, January 28th, 2013

saving animalsMoody Gardens is dedicated to the care and survival of animals. We go to great lengths to make sure we provide a comfortable home for our animal residents and provide assistance to animals in need.

Moody Gardens has worked with the Marine Stranding Network and other organizations to help rescue injured animals and rehabilitate them. Moody Gardens has helped to provide aid in the recovery and release of marine animals, such as dolphins and turtles, back into the wild.

A permanent home is also provided for animals that may not be able to survive in the wild, as in the case of Porter. Porter was a newborn abandoned harbor seal pup that needed treatment for dehydration and injuries. After the Marine Animal Lifeline nursed him back to health, he did not have the survival and hunting skills necessary to be released back into the wild. He is now a permanent resident of the Aquarium Pyramid’s North Pacific Exhibit.

At the Seahorse Symphony Exhibit in the Aquarium Pyramid, visitors are reminded of the quickly diminishing seahorse population. It’s estimated that each year around 20 million seahorses are taken from the ocean to be used as souvenirs, pets, and for medicine. Project Seahorse is a collaborative international effort that focuses on conservation habitats, educating visitors, and making a difference for the seahorse population.

The efforts of Moody Gardens have been as widespread as South America, where a rescue team helped save a colony of Caribbean Flamingos after their home was attacked by jaguars. Also, the King Penguins at Moody Gardens are a genetically desirable group that have been part of a breeding exchange program with other institutions, helping to ensure their species survival.

Come visit the King Penguins and Porter the seal at the Aquarium Pyramid on your next family weekend getaway in Texas. Don’t forget to stop in and see the variety of animal residents at the Rainforest Pyramid! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Why 2012 Was the Year of the Bat

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Bats
Each year, Moody Gardens makes an effort to bring attention to parts of the world and certain animals in need of support. This past year was the Year of the Bat, as declared by the United Nations. Throughout the year, a variety of events were held at Moody Gardens to bring attention to this important animal, which is often overlooked.

Moody Gardens to raised money to donate to Bat Conservation International (BCI). BCI conducts and supports science-based conservation efforts for bats around the world. They work with many other organizations to combine research, education, and direct conservation to maintain bats’ environments and survival far into the future.

One of the first events at Moody Gardens was the Bats Are Doin’ It: A Fundraiser for Animal Lovers.  The event was held in February at the Moody Gardens Visitor Center and tickets ranged from $50-$90. Proceeds from ticket sales (including raffles) and donations were donated to Bat Conservation International. The event also brought attention to the ecological importance of bats, such as eating harmful insects and pollinating crops, such as bananas and mangoes. The purpose of the event was not only to raise funds, but also to increase appreciation for the misunderstood species.

A second Year of the Bat event held at Moody Gardens was the Bats for Bats Fundraiser. Starting in October and going on for several weeks, Moody Gardens held online auctions of sports memorabilia. Items such as a Texas Rangers’ Michael Young autographed photo were sold and the proceeds donated to BCI.

Now that 2012, the Year of the Bat, is over, we are looking forward to any future conservation efforts Moody Gardens will be making!

Come visit us on your next family weekend getaways in Texas, and learn more about the animals of the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid. Be sure book your stay at the Moody Gardens Hotel.

Adopt a Moody Gardens Animal

Monday, January 21st, 2013

200351967-001By adopting a Moody Gardens Animal, you don’t get to take the exotic creatures home with you, but you do get to contribute to providing them with a quality life. Moody Gardens is home to over 5,500 animals, and it costs over $150,000 to feed all of them each year.

 

By becoming an adoptive parent, you are helping to contribute to the cost of food, care, habitat improvements, and animal enrichment.

 

The following animals are available for adoption:

 

Aquarium Pyramid

 

  • Weedy Sea Dragon
  • Harbor Seal
  • Brown Shark
  • Sand Tiger Shark
  • Barracuda
  • False Clownfish
  • Blue Tang
  • Dogface Pufferfish
  • Yellow Tang
  • Bahamas Starfish
  • Raccoon Butterflyfish
  • Peppermint Cleaner Shrimp
  • Blacktip Reef Shark
  • French Angelfish
  • Queen Triggerfish
  • Southern Stingray
  • Cownose Stingray
  • White Spotted Bamboo Shark
  • King Penguin
  • Chinstrap Penguin
  • Rockhopper Penguin
  • Gentoo Penguin
  • Macaroni Penguin
  • Northern Fur Seal

 

Rainforest Pyramid

 

  • Military Macaw
  • White-face Saki Monkey
  • Giant River Otter
  • Pink Pigeon
  • Cottontop Tamarin
  • Pygmy Slow Loris
  • Arapaima
  • Lake Victoria Cichlids
  • Red Bellied Piranha
  • Prehensile Tail Porcupine
  • Blue Hyancith Macaw
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Green Anaconda
  • Green Basilisk

 

When you become a part of the Adopt-An-Animal program at Moody Gardens, you receive a personalized certificate of adoption, 5×7 color photographs, and an animal fact sheet. However, with a higher-level adoption package you will receive even more benefits.

 

The following are the available adoption packages:

 

Level I – $35.00

  • Certificate of Adoption – personalized
  • 5×7 Photograph
  • Fact Sheet
  • Recognition on “Adoptive Parents” board

Level II – $75.00

  • All Level I benefits
  • Father’s Day and/or Mother’s Day card
  • 2 Aquarium Pyramid or 2 Rainforest Pyramid Tickets

Level III – $100.00

  • All Level II benefits
  • Name on Adoptive Parent Web Board
  • Invitation to Adoptive Parent Event (+1 guest)

Level IV – $200.00

  • All Level III benefits
  • 2 Aquarium Pyramid or 2 Rainforest Pyramid Tickets
  • Guided tour of Rainforest Pyramid or Aquarium Pyramid for 2

 

Call the Adopt-an-Animal hotline at 1-800-582-4673, ext. 4325 or email us at adopt@moodygardens.com to learn more. You can also start filling out your adoption application here.

Moody Gardens to develop collaborative conservation project in the Philippines

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Earlier this month, members of the Moody Gardens animal care team traveled to the Philippines to begin a conservation partnership with a marine aquarium facility in Subic Bay.

The project partners Moody Gardens with a nonprofit organization known as Wildlife In Need (WIN). This project pairs resources with conservation needs in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

WIN is the nonprofit arm of Ocean Adventure, Southeast Asia’s only open water marine park. It is nestled between one of Luzon’s only remaining intact primary growth rainforests and a marine-protected area that includes two small bays on the southern shore of the mouth of Subic Bay.

There are three primary goals for the trip – to formalize a Memorandum of Understanding, develop a coral reef conservation program, and explore terrestrial conservation opportunities.

The Moody Gardens team is working with additional field conservation partners including the California Academy of Science, the Florida Aquarium and SECORE.org to design a land-based coral nursery lab, and begin long term coral reef habitat monitoring as the first step towards active restoration work.

Following the trip, Moody Gardens’ staff will provide direct and in-kind support, as well as technical assistance, in building the coral nursery lab. Their ultimate goal is to establish a facility similar to the SECORE lab at the Curacao Sea Aquarium. It will support technical workshops and regional reef restoration efforts at the same time that it serves a public education role as an aquarium exhibit.

Please refer back to the Moody Gardens blog  for updates from the field.

 

Mr. Awesome

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

 

Sunday was Reptile Awareness Day and we’d like to make a belated tribute to one of the reptiles in our Rainforest Pyramid — Mr. Awesome.

Mr. Awesome, or more commonly known as the Crocodile monitor, can be found in mangroves and rainforests in Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, they are facing pressures of habitat destruction and pet trade.

So what makes him so awesome? Well, he’s one of the longest lizards out there. Including his tail, he’s about eight feet long.

Mr. Awesome is a fast runner and a great climber, making it hard for his prey to run away. And if you’re lucky, he’ll smile and show you his long teeth — the longest of any monitor. He eats a variety of prey, from mammals to birds to eggs and even carrion.

But the best part, like all of the animals in our Rainforest Pyramid, is his behavior. Mr. Awesome is quite attentive to our keepers. We’re in the process of teaching him basic husbandry behaviors, for maintenance and emergencies, and he’s showing signs of intelligence similar to a dog – but in his own stubborn way.

Bats for Bats Weekly Online Auction

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

2012 is Year of the Bat and we’re celebrating it with Bats for Bats! We’ll be having a series of online auctions for the coming weeks. Each sports memorabilia was generously donated to support bats and their important role in the environment. The money raised from these items will be donated to Bat Conservation International to fund crucial education and awareness.

ITEM 1
(SOLD!)

Houston Astros Maxwell & Johnson Autographed Baseball


ITEM 2
(SOLD!)

Dynamo Fan Pack with Two Tickets for any 2013 game

 

ITEM 3
(SOLD)

Texas Rangers’ Michael Young Autographed Photo

 

ITEM 4
(SOLD)

Authentic Texas Tech football autographed by Tommy Tuberville

ITEM 5
Bid here: 
http://bit.ly/Bats4Bats5
(bidding ends 11/13)

UT Football with authentic Mack Brown autograph