|Town/Region||Parque Nacional Bahia de Loreto|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Categories||Cetaceans, Ecotourism, Mammals, Marine|
|Date||18 Sep 2018|
This study represents a continuation of an effort to unify researchers, local authorities and whale watching (WW) service providers in the Loreto Bay National Park (NPLB), with the long-term goal of preserving blue whales and this critical habitat for the reproductive cycle of the species. This Rufford grant-aided project aims to consolidate the implementation of a passive WW method that has proven to be the best way for tourists to enjoy observing blue whales in their habitat without modifying their natural behavior, thus encouraging the long-term sustainability of WW activity in this pristine habitat.
Through data collected by an IP camera system prototype tested during the 2018 season, we confirmed both the viability of the new monitoring method and its application by some of the captains, particularly when no research or NPLB boats were present. From the above, this new independent method demonstrated its effectiveness as a tool through which this effort can be consolidated to regulate and maintain WW activity. However, the recording of diving behavior data from the IP camera system needs to be assessed and compared to the data obtained from focal individual surveys at sea to insure the long-term usefulness of this independent monitoring method. Likewise, to achieve a long-term sustainability, the participation and collaboration of all those involved is necessary. The IP camera recordings will be showed during the annual passive WW workshop to better visualize the passive method at sea and strengthen the motivation of all WW captains, which in turn will continue to provide benefits for both the blue whales and those in the community that depend on them.
Read about Diane's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/diane_gendron_0 or for more information contact: