Author Archives: kwarne

Battling for Bimini

Bimini has become a battleground between the forces of coastal development and mangrove protection. A huge resort development on the western side of the island has chomped through large swathes of mangroves and threatened marine habitats with a blanket of silt. I wanted to see the battle zone at first hand—and had an unexpected demonstration of how vigilant the protectors of mangroves have to be. . . Read more »

Young lemon sharks use mangroves as a nursery area. Photo by Matthew Potenski.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

Tagging Lemons

The role of mangroves as vital nursery habitat for fish is nowhere more evident than in the tiny island of Bimini, off the coast of Florida. Female lemon sharks come to the sheltered lagoon waters to give birth, and the pups live amongst the tangled roots of mangroves, safe from the attention of predators, until they are about three feet long and have a better chance of survival in the open sea. A long-term research program in Bimini is revealing just how important mangroves are in the lives of these sharks, and I turned up right in the middle of the annual population census. This gave me the chance to see how the researchers—a happy band of shark-mad volunteers—go about their work. . . Read more »

Shark census volunteer Hollie Neibert with a lemon shark she has just removed from the net. Photo by Kennedy Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

Travels with Mr. Burns

Sometimes you can push hard on doors of opportunity and they remain steadfastly closed. That was my experience in Cuba, where for innumerable reasons the careful plans I had laid kept being upended by unseen events. But the compensations of travel in this fascinating country are great—not least encountering its pervasive political messaging system. . . Read more »

Despite his best efforts, Juan Carlos keeps getting the message: 'Access denied.' Photo by Kenney Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

To the Bat Cave

One of the mangrove-related creatures I hoped to see in Cuba was the fishing bat, which takes small fish from the surface waters of wetland ponds in swooping aerial dives. While waiting for nightfall, when the bats are active, I visited a cave where another species, the butterfly bat, pours out of its roosts by the tens of thousands—a squeaking, fluttering horde. . . Read more »

With a wingspan of about 12 cm, the butterfly bat is said to be the smallest in the world. Photo by Kennedy Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

Bonefishing in Las Salinas

The Zapata wetland is one of the prime destinations for anglers who target the feisty, fast-swimming bonefish. My guide and I spent a morning cruising the shallows of an area called Las Salinas with an angler who knew where the best place for bonefish was: around the roots of mangroves. . . Read more »

Fishing-guide Marco casts a fly near a clump of red mangrove. Photo by Kennedy Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

Croc Hunting

The vast Zapata swamp in on the southern coast of Cuba had long been on my wish list of mangrove sites, both because of its unique wildlife and also because of the basic intrigue of this country that has cocked a snoot at the Western world. My first quest was the Cuban crocodile. . . Read more »

Freshwater turtle warming itself on a mangrove root in the Hatiguanica River. Photo by Kennedy Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

Thoreau and the Value of Mangroves

I travelled to Massachusetts to talk to a mangrove expert about ecological economics, and took time out to pay respect to one of nature’s greatest freedom fighters, who showed us the way to transcend the soulless rhetoric of materialism. . . Read more »

Site of Thoreau's hut at Walden Pond. Photo by Kennedy Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

Leave the Suntan Lotion

Sometimes the best way to move forward is to go sideways, and while exploring mangroves in Brazil I took time out to visit my son in Salvador de Bahia, and gained inspiration from an art exhibition and a Brazilian sport. . . Read more »

View from the kitchen window. Photo by Kennedy Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

Pilgrim at Key West

Writers need heroes—or at least this one does, and while looking at mangroves in Florida I decided to make a pilgrimage to the home of one of American literature’s most famous sons: Papa Hemingway. I wasn’t disappointed. . . Read more »

Hem's house, a place of pilgrimage. Photo by Kennedy Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.

The Path to Restoration

I was privileged to meet one of the leading experts in mangrove restoration in his home state of Florida. Robin Lewis has spent his working life fine-tuning methods for restoration former mangrove wetlands to full ecological functionality. As he explained and showed me, mangrove restoration is a lot more than just planting seedlings in the mud. . . Read more »

Tom Smith at a Tampa Bay study site, where mangrove regeneration has been prolific. Photo by Kennedy Warne.

kwarne

About Kennedy Warne

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988, and served as the magazine’s editor until 2004, when he relinquished the editorship in order to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Canadian Geographic, GEO and various travel publications, and continues to contribute regularly to New Zealand Geographic. He writes mostly about natural history subjects, and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh; from the rainforests of Fiordland to the kelp forests of Cape Town. His book Roads Less Travelled: Twenty Years of Exploration with New Zealand Geographic is published by Penguin (NZ) in September 2008. He lives in Auckland.