2016 – Grant Awarded  - £270

WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, is dedicated to the global conservation and protection of whales and dolphins. Shorewatch is our volunteer-led citizen science project, co-ordinated from our Scottish Dolphin Centre on the Moray Firth. Shorewatch collects land-based field data on whale, dolphin and porpoise activity from sites around Scotland and is helping to provide information on the distribution and abundance of cetaceans in Scottish waters required for effective conservation and planning decisions.

The Sea-Changers grant will help WDC to establish a new Shorewatch site to systematically record cetacean activity in the Pentland Firth, an area which is experiencing increasing human development. The funding will provide specialist equipment (e.g. binoculars, monopod and timer) needed by volunteers to conduct Shorewatches according to a rigorous scientific protocol.

We hope that the information gathered will help identify the area as a key cetacean habitat and monitor any changes over time. It will help to highlight risks to cetaceans and their environment here, and also monitor human activities, so helping to evaluate the impact people have on cetaceans using these waters.

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