Dates for 2013 : 15th-16th June 2013 and 17th-18th August 2013
Location: New Quay, West Wales
Take a short course to learn about British cetaceans, how to survey for them and contribute to their conservation!
The course will consist of illustrated lectures and video presentations as well as headland watches and boat surveys aboard a local research vessel. The area where land and boat trips will be undertaken is the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), a place well-known for the presence and high sighting frequency of bottlenose dolphins (the largest population in the UK), harbour porpoises and grey seals. These populations are protected in the SAC following the 1992 EU Species and Habitat Directive.
The Sea Watch Foundation is the most experienced organisation in the UK for training observers and students interested in marine mammals, having run courses for over twenty years. It has provided training for staff from all three national statutory conservation agencies, the Environment Agency, CEFAS, Department of the Environment, Wildlife Trusts, Royal Navy, and MMOs working with the oil and gas industries. Most of the field guides on cetaceans on the market in UK have actually been written or had consultations from the Sea Watch Foundation. Thus we hope we can guarantee a very high level training course given by highly experienced staff.
The lectures and videos will focus on general biology and classification of cetaceans, species identification, conservation issues facing UK cetaceans, and recommended monitoring survey methods. The course will be based at New Quay, Ceredigion, West Wales, where our Welsh office is based, and will provide an unparalleled opportunity to see marine mammals in the wild and to contribute to cetacean conservation in Britain.
The practical element of the course will combine both land and boat-based surveys allowing participants to directly learn how to conduct systematic watches and fill in standardised recording forms. Land and Boat-based work will teach participants the skills needed for:
- identifying the various cetaceans species found in the area
- estimating group size and distinguishing between calves, juveniles and adults
- determining cetacean behaviours
- assessing sea state and other key environmental features
- learning some basic photographic techniques aimed at identifying single individuals
To find out more go to our training course page.