Teachers or others interested in making their own branch of the Museums of Endangered Ocean Life, get in touch. We can help you find ways of helping kids create their own works of art and science that get posted in the museum, worldwide!

More importantly, we can help kids find ways to truly make a difference, no matter where they live. There is always something to do to make the world a better place, a healthier place, and more fun too. Fred can help put smiles on faces - faces of happier kids with new purpose in a new year!

Become a FRIEND OF FRED and help spread the word about those who help endangered species. Invite Fred to your school. He will bring lots of good information and connect you with others.

More information at

Facing Future Explained

EXTINCT means gone, pau, from all places. Example, the O'o is extinct from its former forests in Hawaii. They no longer exist.

EXTIRPATEDmeans gone from a given area. Example, Grizzly Bears were extirpated from California about 1925. They still exist.

ENDANGERED means that a species is nearing extinction unless actions are taken immediately to save them. It is usually a legal term associated with the Endangered Species Act, but because this is a political tool, it does not always reflect accurate science. Example: the Hawaiian Monk Seal is endangered and will likely become extinct.

THREATENED means that a species is likely to near extinction and become endangered unless actions are taken to protect it and its habitat. Example: Bald Eagles were threatened but have been removed from this list due to habitat protection and reductions in use of chemicals such as DDT.

SPECIES OF CONCERN: Many states have lists that include species not covered under federal protection as endangered or threatened. These may be species extirpated from the state, but present in greater numbers in neighboring areas.

Unfortunately, no reasonable approach has been worked out to list endangered habitats, the primary living space for all life forms. To many scientists, the entire Arctic is now endangered. Imagine, as Richard Ellis says, "If Australia were suddenly to disappear, don't you think we would wake up and do something?" Well, we are losing an area about the size and importance of Australia as the Arctic disappears, transforming due to climate change and taking with it the Polar Bears, Bowhead Whales, and Peoples dependent on that vast ecosystem.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Me, Fred the Monkey
Promise to

Join Friends doing good like
Counting Whales in Islands!
to help Humpback Friends!

Clean up Beach every morning walk, evening walk.


Reduce Plastic Every Day, Recyle for sure.

Visit Kids and Talk Ocean
on at least three continents!!!

Raise Money for good people helping
Endangered Species,
so check out my links!

Visit Pihemanu
to learn more way of helping Albatross friends.

Help kids clean up streams.

Go Plastic Free in Ocean
with Wooden Surfboards, No plastic toys for sand play

Go fishing for fun.
Snorkel. Surf.

Visit Older People, Talk ocean story with them.

Learn English in England

Learn Australian in Australia

Make Friends of Fred Tshirt!!!!!!!!!

Find way help Polar Bear
after me, Fred, do Nordland Polar Bear Dip!!!
(Watch for photo with Marrowstone Friends!)

Make at least 100 People Smile and Laugh!!!

Yippppeeee New Year!!!
In Memory X310

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


When I was a boy I spent a lot of time in the woods,
along a small stream near our home,
and at the beach.
I always wondered then,
why do I not see the birds, the mice, the deer, the whales.
The ones who have died.

When I was on Pihemanu, I saw.
My little friend......the albatross I visited each day
of my study.........She had tried to swim out into the ocean.
I saw her brave the surf and be knocked back, only to try again.
On the day before we left the atoll, I walked
to Monk Seal Point,
hoping to see this one bird I had befriended,
gotten to know, swim out to the reef edge and fly.
To Soar.

It was not to happen.
She had died during the night like so many
albatross fed our leavings. Crayola markers, legos, lighters,
bottle caps, a knife handle, twisted nylon rope, some fishing line,
a couple of chunks of squid.......the only real food, not enough
for her to survive.

My little buddy, Fred
will make the journey to Pihemanu this next summer.
I can only hope he and others with him
will have a more promising report for you.

In Memory of X310.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Albatrosses soar with fixed wings.
They can lock the wings in place and soar..........
covering as many as 3 million or more miles in a lifetime.
They are truly majestic on the air pocket just above waves
as if surfers
wind instead of wave.

Wisdom is the oldest known albatross.
At 58, she has returned to Pihemanu many times
to lay eggs and reproduce her kind
to soar.

I took this photo outside the atoll
in the open Pacific.
This bird would fly off a thousand miles
before returning to feed her young ones.
She would go up into the Bering sea in search of food.

Watching her reminded me of my first years as a father.
I worked at night at the post office while going to the
University of Washington full time during the day.
While hardly soaring, it was a tough duty
with little sleep.
But somehow we are driven as parents to
provide for our young ones
and in those days, our daughter didn't have
as much of my time as I wish,
but every moment was good time.

When albatrosses return home from those long flights,
they aren't around for long.
But they return with just what the kids need.
That is, they return with nourishment if all is good in the sea.

My father and mother-in-law made sure
we, as young parents, had what we needed in our "sea"
and it is up to all of us to make sure the albatross has
that kind of support too. They can not raise their young

We need the Wisdom to find a way to help them survive.


Some species are endangered, others are in danger..........
Albatrosses like this young one, trying to fledge,
fall into the latter category.

Each morning on Pihemanu, I walked to Monk Seal Point,
swinging wide around the seals resting on the beach
and watching razorfish and 'ama 'ama pop air at the surface.
Sometimes I would swim, following wrasse and parrotfish
as the sun grew out of a turquoise sea.
The sand here is coral and shell - the volcanic rocks
lie far below the surface, buried after thousands of years
of sinking into the ocean floor. Subsiding like all Hawaiian Islands.

Baby Albatrosses go slowly too, hatching in March
and gradually sprouting feathers to replace soft down
like you see on the face of X310........

The bird you see in this photo was not banded. There are so many
birds hatched, it would seem impossible to imagine banding them all?
I did know her as an individual though, stopping by to mark her progress
each monring as I went about my study of plastic on her sands.

First day, she was at the edge of the Naupaka, probably not having
moved more than a few feet from the "nest" where she was born.
My notes for 15 June 2009 say, "An adult albatross flew by me,
knicking my arm as it flew past - Laysan Chick at beach."

She was just moving out of the bushes onto the sand.

Next day she was at the water's edge, holding her wings outstretched,
testing the wind.
She had already tested the water once
and was knocked back..........
The young birds, once fairly completely feathered, head to the water
and swim out. They don't fly out, they swim until about at the edge
of the atoll.
Then they fly.
But they must be strong enough to swim before they can fly.

I will post another photo in the series of watching this bird
all in Memory of X310
In hopes of ridding the ocean of plastics. 

Friday, December 18, 2009


The world of the Polar Bear is shrinking.
When Tom Mangelsen and I brought out
(Boyds Mills, )
We knew the bears were in trouble.
In our book, we outline the main problem
and today, the world failed to give a clear and necessary
agreement on climate change.
A Reuters report quotes
Nikita Ovsyanikov, a Russian Polar Bear expert
as saying Russian Polar bears have declined from
in the past 20 years.

As the ice disappears, so do the bears.
If politicians can not make needed changes,
can we make the changes to our earth's climate?

Image by Thomas Mangelsen
See our book and especially, his Images of Nature site and
one of the most beautiful wildlife books ever published.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Tom Mangelsen and I have worked together for more than 20 years now.
He is without doubt, the best wildlife photographer on the planet.
I say this mainly because of how his images portray animals
and with all the respect needed. Pau.

I get to share his photos with kids.
I do this in books with Tom's photos and when I talk story with kids.

So, I get to see the response from kids.
They love Tom's photos so much
and no matter where they live,
they can embrace images of their favorite animal,
get to know them better,
more importantly,
grow to love and gain responsibility for that favorite animal.

I hear their passionate concerns for whales, dolphins, bears, sea otters......

And here you see a wonderful rendition by Hannah, of an otter
based on seeing Tom's photos.
Hannah may have never seen a wild otter,
but she saw Tom's photo of an otter in the wild.

And, she got it!

I have this original and would not part with it for two million dollars.
Offer three million and we will see,
donating all to helping make sure otters
have the kelp forests they need for the future.

Check out a new and wonderful kelp forest project
at the new otter habitat link!

Thank you Hannah! 


You may call them Orca or Killer Whale
To the S'Klallam who have known them for centuries,
They are Kloomachin.

No matter what you call them, they are an
Endangered Species in Puget Sound
where they carry heavy loads of pollutants such as PCB and PBDE,
chemicals that can cause interference with reproduction and immune response.

A serious problem for the whales
has to do with actions on land that harm salmon runs.
Salmon are a major prey of Orcas
and have declined, some also being listed as endangered or threatened.
Habitat loss, poorly managed hatcheries, and overfishing
all contrubute to salmon losses.

Watch for an exciting project, 80 Orcas
which is aimed at educating about how you can help
the whales.

Artwork by Sue Coccia
Edmonds, Washington

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


John Hoover devotes his life to photographing
Underwater Worlds.
He generously gifts his images like this to help us understand and appreciate

The larger fish is a parrot.
Chomps algae and coral to create sandy beaches.
This is a well known and often stated connection in coral reef ecology.
Parrot fish are critical to coral survival. Coral is critical to parrot fish survival.

So too, the tiny Cleaner Wrasse.
That is the little bugger of purple and gold.
It is curled near the bigger fish, but often is seen darting into mouths of
bigger fish like Ulua and Surgeons.

The Cleaner Wrasse stations itself at a location on the reef.
Bigger fish come over and get cleaned of parasites
and stuff caught between their teeth.
Like my dental hygenist, Jeannie, they serve a most important role.

A couple weeks ago I was snorkeling on Kauai at a favorite spot.
It had been maybe three years since I had seen a cleaner wrasse here....

My friend Tom was along and I had told him about how the wrasse had
been there....always. For years and years.

Much to my delight, there were TWO cleaners working the little shelf
where I first saw them twenty years ago.
So, maybe they can come back if we take care of the reefs?
Most important to remember ---
ALL parts, ALL species must be there
to make it all work right. To be Pono.

Thanks to John Hoover for his tireless work
educating us with his books and more.

Be sure to see his
The Ultimate Guide to
Reef Fishes


Today, this is the number of Polar Bears thought to live on earth.
That's about the population of Glendale, Arizona or Niagara, New York.
Not many.

Some with good knowledge of changes in Arctic habitat say
ALL Polar Bears on earth will vanish,
become extinct
in 100 years.

If you would like a 22,000 Polar Bear Poster to begin the count down
and to begin changes to turn this all around,

Fred The Monkey noted.
There are no Polar Bears in Copenhagen this week.
There are oil companies and others with interest in
seeing polar bears disappear.
We want you to learn more about the bears.
Listen to their story.

22,000 Bears count on you to reduce emissions
far more than President Obama thinks politically possible.

Keep in touch for more on 22,000 Bears Can Not Be Wrong. 

And what does this have to do with Hawaii?

Polar Bears and Coral Reefs vanish for the same


What do you see when you look at this photo?

Black-footed Albatrosses.
Marine Debris, definite threat to much ocean life.

Look closer.
The birds rest within native beach morning glories
here on Pihemanu (aka Midway).

Behind them are other natives, naupaka lining the backshore for one.

And, those yellow flowers????

The yellow flowers belong to one of the greatest threats to Albatrosses.
This introduced plant covers wide swaths of the small islands
where Albatrosses nest, or try to nest.

Some of you have wondered why upland plants and animals
are part of the's about all the needs of the ocean
and ocean life.

Verbesina was likely brought to Midway, accidentally
on the tracks of construction equipment during WWII.
It grows rapidly and forms dense "forests" up to ten feet tall.
It only needs a day of rain to keep it climbing higher for an entire month.

It has adapted well to the sandy soil on these islands and it covers once
ideal albatross nesting habitat. The birds are simply unable to penetrate the
thickets and where they do nest in Verbesina areas, nesting success is
reduced, partly because adults returning with food have a more
difficult time finding their young.

Greg Schubert lives and works tirelessly
to rid Pihemanu of Verbesina. He and occasional volunteers
pull up Verbesina, outplanting natives that are outcompeting the alien invader.
Stay tuned for progress he is making and for the many attempts to
restore native plants in the main Hawaiian Islands where
more endangered plants occur per unit area
than any other place on earth.

You can help by joining Friends of Midway

You can also help by planting and encouraging protection of
in your own watershed no matter where you live.      

Monday, December 7, 2009


One of the smallest of all whales,
the Yangtze Finless Porpoise
may follow the Baiji into extinction
unless China adopts protective measures for this rare mammal.

Learn more from the Baiji Foundation.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


What can I add to the chinook litany?
I was a boy catching them and releasing the juveniles
for reasons hard to explain in 1960.
Somehow, I had learned the difference between coho,
chinook, and cutthroat trout. Steelhead too.
The chinooks I loved so much for their black etching on fins
and sleek, steel sides.
It wasn't until my friend Mike Reed and I worked for the
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe
and when friend, Jim Lichatowich and I
discovered their mysterious movements
that I truly fell in love with these fish.

Of course, there were earlier days when my wife, Brenda
landed a 42 pounder
and my father in law taught me much about catching big fish, commercially.
but those were days of plenty.

We. Mike. Jim. And I.
We tried to teach salmon as Mike would say.
Try to get people to realize these fish were disappearing.

And now, I go to the store and see them for sale.
Endangered Chinook. Smoked.

And just tonight, I walk the beach to see their home so destroyed
by cruise ships, overfishing, plastic, indifference.

When will we ever learn.
When will we ever learn.

Chinook Salmon.
Artwork by the most generous, Jocelyn Slack.

Thanks Jocelyn.

If you are the lucky person to own an original Jocelyn piece of art,
You will also be treated to a special chinook salmon field trip
to the Dungeness River
Strait of Juan de Fuca
and More!

Enter the Museum and Enter the world of salmon, orcas, and wider oceans!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Story

"All of these lines across my face
tell you the story of who I am
so many stories of who I am
so many stories of where I have been
and how I got to where I am"

Lyrics by Phil Hanseroth
Sung with much love by Brandi Carlile

Photo by Ron Hirschi, Pihemanu

Life Story by X310
Born on Pihemanu
You know the rest of her story........

Go Plastic Free to Help her story have a happier ending


Sue Coccia is a Washington State Artist
with a special love of whales.
Her "Blue Whale"
helps us see into the ocean world of baleen whales.

It is one of many images by Sue you will see here in the Museum of Endangered.
Unfortunately, many whales remain officially listed as endangered.
These include the largest animal to have ever walked, swam, or otherwise
graced the planet with its presence, the Blue Whale.
I saw my first blue whale off the north end of Marrowstone Island.
As it shot a firehose stream of water nearly 30 feet into the sky,
I watched its back, back, back, back, back.....go on for
what seemed forever. They are immense and inspiring animals.

This image is being posted today
to announce a new website aimed at helping one of the smallest
and probably the most endangered of all whales, the Vaquita.
The Vaquita is a porpoise that might reach five feet in length,
compared to the Blue Whale's 80 and even 100 feet.
They live on the edge of extinction
at the head of the Sea of Cortez.


to learn more.

(American Cetacean Society to learn even more about whales and how to help)


One of the great pleasures of being a writer is to work with artists,
artists like Yuko Green.
Yuko lives on the Big Island and knows much about its natural wonders.
One Yuko illustrated for Winter is for Whales
is a favorite I like to share with Keiki.
Some winters there is a lot of snow up on the mountains,
and kids can talk uncle into driving up with his red F150 -
scoop a bunch of snow into the bed of the truck
and cruise on back to the warmth of the beach.
Dump the snow and


That's what Kai and Lehua are up to here.
They also let us know we need to keep distance from real Honu
and try to make sure safe nesting beaches remain
on the main islands and up in
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
where most Honu nest.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Few fish on the planet have attracted as much attention as trout.
Cutthroat are natives of the west
and have diversified, geographically
into four major groups of 14 subspecies
according to Rober Behnke.

The photo above by

Pat Clayton
of Fisheyeguyphotography

is a Yellowstone Cutthroat, a trout in trouble in part because
of introduced Lake Trout, fish dumped carelessly into Yellowstone Lake.
I caught my first cutthroat when I was five or six and often
help lead guide trips to explore their habitat with my friend,
Doug Rose.
Doug and I love nothing more than to fly fish in small beaver ponds
where Coastal Cutthroats sometimes live out their entire lives.
Other Coastal Cutthroat swim in the Salish Sea and open Pacific
where they are prey of eagles, harbor seals, and maybe an occasional orca.

You can best view Yellowstone Cutthroat up close (inches from their face)
at Lehardy Rapids, Yellowstone National Park.
Or, to hold one briefly, book a guided tour with the best Montana and
Wyoming Guides, Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana.


Brenda Becker has been studying Hawaiian Monk Seals
since 1985.
Her sensitive, thorough, and critical work
has taught us a great deal about these endangered marine mammals.
We have already lost other relatives of the Monk Seal.
In fact, Christopher Columbus more or less started the decline
into extinction of the Caribbean Monk Seal
when he ordered his men to shoot eight of them.

Hawaiian Monk Seals are, unfortunately, still shot by thoughtless people.
Others die from natural predation by sharks.
Some are entangled in marine debris.
Habitat alteration is also a threat.
And yet, many join Brenda Becker to help these marine mammals.

Current USFWS estimates of total population range between 1100 and 1200 seals.
Only one in five juveniles are reaching maturity and
The entire population is declining at a rate of 4% per year.
You can do the math........

Monk Seal Poster Art by Oahu artist, Tammy Yee.


I had the honor of visiting Papahanauamokuakea
 Marine National Monument
this past summer.
Before the journey, I asked kids to ask me questions about
the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and its ocean life.
Some of the best questions came from Mrs. Charna's Book Club
at Columbus School for Girls.
The kids did research before asking me what to look for, what to
study, and what we might be able to do to help the birds, honu, and other life.
One five year old asked,

"How has climate change affected Humpback Whale Migration Patterns?"
I turned to whale biologist, Jan Straley for the answer.
She said the melting ice is increasing summer humpback whale habitat.

Artwork by Yuko Green
from Winter is for Whales by Ron Hirschi and Yuko Green


Hard to imagine the hand we dealt Polar Bears.
Tough to believe too, that their lives hang in the same balance
as many endangered Hawaiian Plants.
Polar bears are marine mammals and their cubs need to be able to swim
across open seas to reach ice edges.
But those edges are farther and farther apart as ice melts.
Adult bears can not catch seals where ice thins, breaking beneath their heavy bodies
as they stalk their prey.
Climate has changed.
Ice melts.
While up in the rainforest, rain does not fall as often, as much as in times past.
Although separated by a few thousand miles,
Polar Bears and Hawaiian Rainforests suffer from the same changes we cause.
They can survive if we make changes with them in our minds.

Art by Jocelyn Slack