Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC)
Sea-Changers Grant given:
The aim of the project was to set up a new WDC Shorewatch site on the Island of Sanday in the Orkneys. The location was chosen because whales and dolphins are spotted there, but sightings data had not previously been sytematically collected. Furthermore, the enthusiasm of the local community for the aims of the project together with the presence of an active community ranger made engagement with potential volunteers a lot more likely. Together, the ranger and Shorewatch officer recruited volunteers and located two suitable Shorewatch sites. These sites extended WDC’s volunteer Shorewatch programme and gathered sightings of whale, dolphin and porpoise presence around Scotland’s north and west coasts.
<p class="font_8">“Inspiring to encourage whale and dolphin watching to lead to their success on earth and not their demise.” Jane Taylor, Shorewatch volunteer</p>
Ten volunteers were trained in the initial Shorewatch training session and six Shorewatches were carried out in the first weekend of the Project, followed by a further 100 Shorewatches in the first year.
A new partnership was formed with the island ranger who will continue to run training sessions in future seasons and support local volunteers who can continue to collect data outwith planned events.
Regular, planned Shorewatches will continue to take place, adding to the pool of data started by this project. The in-situ ranger is now trained to lead further training sessions for new volunteers, and those who missed the initial training sessions.