Citizen Science

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Cetacean Surveys

Falklands Conservation (FC) is establishing a shore-based citizen science project “Cetacean Shore Watch”, which has received funding from the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) Environmental Studies Budget and the Darwin Initiative. Members of the Falkland Islands’ community will be trained to implement this important monitoring programme, which will collect standardised data on the occurrence of whales, dolphins and porpoises, collectively known as cetaceans, in inshore waters.

Project Aims

We want to involve the local community in year-round monitoring of cetaceans in the Falkland Islands. Community awareness, enthusiasm, and knowledge of cetaceans is vital for protecting them in the long-term, and the collection of year-round presence and absence data from multiple sites should enable analyses such as:
The relative occurrence of different species in nearshore waters;
Seasonal trends in sightings and numbers; and
Site-specific differences in cetacean occurrence;

This information can be used to identify key areas or peak times of year when particular species or groups (e.g. mother-calf pairs) are using the waters close to land. It will also feed into marine spatial planning and inform mitigation programmes intended to reduce the impacts of human activities.

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Getting Involved

To get involved and help with our monitoring work and the conservation of these wonderful species, please sign up to become a FC Cetacean Shore Watch Observer. You will need to be a registered FC Volunteer, and you will need to attend a training day which will cover the methods used in the surveys, how to detect and identify inshore cetaceans in the Falkland Islands, and how to record these sightings. After that you will be ready to start collecting data.

You can carry out watches as often as you can manage, and they can be organised in your own time to fit around other commitments.

Contact outreach@conservation.org.fk for more information, and sign up for our volunteer emails to be the first to hear about new volunteering opportunities.

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Once you have signed up and attended a training day you will be ready to send us your survey reports; download the documents below for your data recording forms and for more guidance on carrying out a watch, completing the forms, and cetacean identification.

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