First training course for cetacean, bird and sea turtle watchers
Last weekend (December 11th and 12th) the first training course for cetacean, bird and sea turtle watchers took place in Lanzarote on ferries organized by CetAVist (Canary Islands cetacean and sea bird watchers network).
It consists of a database that compiles information on the presence and distribution of birds and cetaceans in the ocean waters and channels between the Canary Islands. The studies undertaken would be very costly on scientific research boats so thanks to the collaborating ferry companies and network of volunteer whale watchers much useful information is gathered for researchers.
The project boasts of a network of volunteer watchers who ride on ferries from maritime companies such as Fred Olsen, Armas and Acciona gathering data according to a protocol devised by the University of La Laguna.
The course consisted of explaining the methodology to be used in gathering data as well as dwelling on the identification of species studied.
Special attention was paid on some species of rare birds such as the shearwater (Puffinus baroli) and various species of petrels and terns. Among the cetaceans valuable information is gathered on humpback and pilot whales, cachalots, dolphins and the elusive Cuvier’s beaked whale, whose refuge in the Canaries is among the most important in the world.
The network watchers can take several different voyages among the Canary Islands and can consult the website: www.aviste.me which is national and where the data can be uploaded.