Delfini Del Ponente Internship Delfini Del Ponente Internship Imperia, Italy Costa Balenae
Boat-based surveys (10-12 per month),Whale watching tours, Collecting data on cetaceans and other marine fauna,Photo-id matching/classwork Opportunistic surveys,Land base

9 Project reviews of Costa Balenae

Project Details

Research project aiming to assess the presence of bottlenose dolphins in the Western Ligurian Sea. The project includes a field and a lab part.

The aim of the Project is to understand what is behind an important change perceived by fishermen, whale watching companies and yatchsmen: an increase in common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) sightings in the Western Liguria. The area is historically known as a not-ideal habitat for these dolphins that prefer sandy and shallow waters, and encounters have always been sporadic. Somehow, a different trend has started and bottlenose dolphins seems to be a much more regular to spot.

What caused this change? How many dolphins inhabit the area? What kind of threats are facing in the very busy western Ligurian coast?

There is only one way to uncover these important questions: go out at sea, collect data on dolphins’ presence and distribution and then analyse them!

For this reason, we started the very first research project on bottlenose dolphins in our area! We plan to go out at sea 10-15 times per month for a year collecting data, and then if successful, to continue this project long-term. We take photos of the dolphins sighted using a technique known as ‘photo-identification’ that enables us to follow the animals’ movements and estimate how many they are. These missing information, are essential to make conservation plans to protect these dolphins that, living close to the coast, are very susceptible to the human presence (plastic ingestion, collision with boats, entanglement in fishing gear).

The main focus of the project is on
Contact Person
davide ascheri
Spoken Languages
English

Social Impact

Increase knowledges on this population of bottlenose dolphins, protect them and create managment plans for their conservation 

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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