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Canon Environmental Grant To Benefit Humpbacks

Canon Awards Environmental Grant To Benefit Humpback Whales

Benefit Humpback
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Media Release
16th December 2008

Canon Awards Environmental Grant To Benefit Humpback Whales

Canon New Zealand is helping humpback whales by awarding one of three Environmental Grants to the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The DOC received $5,000 worth of specialised Canon equipment for observation work and study of the whales.

Marine mammal specialist Nadine Bott was thrilled to be awarded one of the grants which will assist her out on the water to record images of the whales. “Canon has a real commitment to the environment which is great to see from a corporate company, Canon equipment is fantastic and will enable us to carry out identification with minimal disturbance.”

The aim of the Cook Strait whale survey is to determine the present status and level of recovery of humpback whales in NZ waters; it will also shed light on the migration and destinations of the whales.

Nadine explained the importance of the programme and the annual surveys, which recommence in June 2009. Over a month, the survey team will establish a direct visual count of the whales, capture photos of them and gather acoustic and genetic data.

Commercial whaling ceased in New Zealand in 1963 and today the country is a migratory pathway. The departments study will document the movement patterns of whales in the Cook Strait and the South Pacific breeding grounds, enabling abundance estimates in comparison to historic records.

The equipment selected by the DOC includes an EOS40D digital SLR camera and EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM telephoto and zoom lens. These products will allow the researchers to collect photo-identification images of whales for the purpose of estimating numbers, distribution, breeding success and relationships between animals.
“The underside of the tail fluke in humpback whales has a unique black and white pattern almost like a fingerprint. By taking a high quality photograph of the tail, the animal is able to be identified. This is a relatively tricky process because whales are wild and often unpredictable animals that reside in a vast and dynamic environment and it is essential to have reliable, fast and effective photographic equipment to collect the research data.” says Nadine.

The DOC is one of three recipients chosen from close to 40 other submissions put forward by individuals and organisations carrying out conservation work.

Tony Temaru, national manager – key accounts, Canon New Zealand presented Nadine with the range of Canon products and discussed the synergy between Canon’s environmental philosophy and the project she is embarking on.

“Both Nadine and the DOC are a worthy recipient whose ongoing work will make substantial contributions to the conservation and understanding of these amazing creatures. Nadine is extremely passionate about her project and we look forward to following her progress.” says Tony.

“When it comes to research Canon understands the importance of having quality equipment to record and document studies and we hope that the grant will help the project make a difference.”

In the spirit of kyosei – Canon’s corporate philosophy and a Japanese term that means living and working together for the common good - Canon stresses environmental protection both in its daily operations and through support activities.


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