Sur de Fuerteventura - May 2012 Campaign – SECAC
May 4th marked the beginning of the research expedition that the Society for the Study of Cetaceans in the Canary Archipelago (SECAC ) will carry out in Southern Fuerteventura ( los Bancos de Amanay and El Banquete) until 30 June 2012. When the Oso Ondo will set sail from its base port in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, its expedition began with the sighting of a wonderful group of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Because they are a priority species in Natura 2000, included in Annex II, and given the need to increase knowledge about the populations present in the area, these dolphins kept the SECAC team focused on work facing the coast off the island of Lanzarote for nearly the entire day. The oceanographic conditions then worsened in the target area, and during the first few days of the expedition the Oso Ondo sailed facing the northernmost island where the conditions remained acceptable. Meanwhile, the team remained available for the journey towards the south of the Canary Islands.
During the first few days of the expedition, the presence of several groups and species of cetaceans was recorded. Spotted Atlantic dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) have been frequent over the last few months due to the abundance of schools of prey. But common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), which feed on that same banquet, did not appear during those two days. However, another frequent predator species of this small prey, Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera edeni), were not only cited, but appeared with their young. Other species registered by the SECAC were the bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), short finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and Cuvier’s beaked whale. In fact, thanks to photo-identification analysis, it was verified that the group of more than 70 bottlenose dolphins, made up of all ages including new-borns, was the same as the one spotted more than two months earlier facing the southern Lanzarote coast.
The acoustic recordings for the two days were clean and complete, and included the recordings of one of our target species, the bottlenose dolphin.
The SECAC continues to prepare to sail towards the south in search of whale blows…
posted July 18th 2012