Surveys of the populations of Bottlenose dolphin and the globally endangered Balearic Shearwater around the south west coast of England.

New stretch target

Wow! We have reached our main target of £6,000 with just two days left of our campaign!  Many, many thanks to all our 50+ backers who have made this project possible. Our survey is just 20 days away and we look forward to seeing those of you who have chosen to join us.

We have set a stretch target of £7500 and we will use any additional funds raised to update, maintain and further develop our photo catalogue of bottlenose and white-beaked dolphins and further our survey and conservation work in support of these two species.  

Additional funding will also enable us to acquire photo matching software to help with the identification of individual dolphins both in our catalogue but also check for matches with other catalogues held by other groups in the UK, Ireland and France.

 

With thanks to Maya Plass and Big Wave TV for filming & producing the video and Marine Discovery, Penzance for supplying footage

 

Project aim

MARINElife surveyors with the help of the RSPB and many experienced volunteers are going to survey for Bottlenose dolphin and the globally endangered Balearic Shearwater along the entire coastline between Portland Bill in Dorset and Ilfracombe north Devon (including Lundy Island).  It's an exciting, ambitious and important project to help us and other conservation partners understand much more about these two species and how we can help protect and conserve them in the south west.

We need your help with a unique project to help protect bottlenose dolphins and Balearic shearwaters.

We’ve already catalogued over 100 bottlenose dolphins, but we still don’t know exactly how many they are, where they feed or where they breed.

The Balearic shearwater is the only globally endangered seabird regularly occurring in the UK.  Every summer 1000 or more of these birds migrate up the coast of France, across the channel and along the South West coast.  

The more we know, the more we can do to protect them.

This is a unique one off project which will hugely facilitate the ongoing work to protect these two species:

This is your opportunity to help, and win a free place on one of our offshore dolphin surveys.

Your donation will help us to:

  • Build on our understanding of population structure and feeding, calving and nursery areas for bottlenose dolphins.
  • Update our estimate of the south west bottlenose dolphin population size.
  • Build on evidence to distinguish between inshore and offshore bottlenose dolphin populations.
  • Establish a robust baseline to help identify changes in status and help inform conservation actions.
  • Gather UK population data for Balearic shearwaters during a time when animals visit UK waters to moult, and help establish a UK population estimate.
  • Maximise our ability to estimate numbers in this region, as just surveying one smaller area in a day may be misleading as Balearic shearwaters are often seen in flight, passing through an area.
  • Build on evidence for identifying hotspots for Balearic shearwaters.
  • Better understand the potential threats to Balearic shearwaters, particularly where we may see large groups in relatively restricted areas of the Western Channel.

With your help MARINElife surveyors, with the help of the RSPB and many experienced volunteers, are going to survey for bottlenose dolphins and Balearic shearwater during August 2015, along the entire coastline between Portland Bill in Dorset and Ilfracombe north Devon (including Lundy Island).  

To complete the survey we need:

  • 9 charter boats that will cover all the coastline within 4 km of the shore
  • 5 surveyors on each boat
  • dozens of land based surveyors placed at strategic cliff tops around the survey area

What your donation will be used for

  • Boats, skippers and fuel costs
  • 7 GPS units, 9 stopwatches and other smaller items of equipment
  • Data and photograph processing
  • Reports and publicity of our findings

Our potential charter partners have all agreed to help us in various ways to reduce costs and support our survey needs.

Thanks to: MSeis, Marine Discovery, AK Wildlife Cruises, Gemini Fishing Charters, Magic Charters, Samuel Irving, Atlantic Diving, Obsession Boat Charters, West Bay Charters.

 

These two-sided charts are one of the 'rewards' available if you support us for £20 or more.  Back us for £10 and you will go into a draw for a place to join one of our surveys for a day.

   

About MARINElife (www.marine-life.org.uk)

MARINElife is a long established charity(No: 1110884) which works to 'Conserve marine wildlife through research and education'.

We undertake innovative research, monitoring,  advocacy and educational activities to improve the  conservation status and awareness of marine  species in UK and European waters.

We carry out research on threatened marine mega-vertebrate species that are governmental priorities for conservation action, to help maintain and restore favourable status and to underpin conservation efforts. 

 

IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU PLEDGE FOR A REWARD WHICH INCLUDES A BOAT TRIP IN THE EVENT OF POOR WEATHER THE TRIP MAY NEED TO BE CANCELLED AT SHORT NOTICE.  AN ALTERNATIVE TRIP DATE WILL BE OFFERED BUT WE CANNOT UNDERTAKE THAT WILL BE IN 2015 THOUGH WE WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO DO SO. FOR REASONS OF INSURANCE WE ARE UNABLE ACCEPT PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS ON BOARD MARINELIFE SURVEYS.