|Categories||Cetaceans, Mammals, Marine|
|Date||9 May 2014|
This project will continue to monitor the population of humpback whales breeding in the Babuyan Islands in order to expand the Philippine humpback fluke catalogue and work toward a regional population estimate. The discovery of links with other populations in the western North Pacific will be strengthened through increased effort to compare fluke photos and song recordings with other breeding and feeding grounds (e.g. Japan, Russia, and Hawaii). The monitoring site will be expanded to two other adjacent islands and a genetic study will be conducted to achieve a better understanding of this subpopulation. A land-based monitoring program will also be initiated to fill in knowledge gaps about the seasonality and movements of humpback whales in the northern Philippines. We will conduct boat-based surveys to monitor the status of other cetaceans in this area by documenting species occurrence, distribution, and cetacean-fishery interactions. A photo-identification study on the little-known rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) will also be initiated.
In order to increase the capacity of local stakeholders in managing their proposed Marine Protected and Humpback Whale Conservation Area, the project will provide technical and logistical support. We will assist in delineating and marking the marine sanctuary and marine tourism areas around Pamoctan Island. Community law enforcement training will be conducted for the local sea patrol (bantay dagat) and fisher folk association to increase their capacity to protect their environment from illegal and destructive activities.
We will enhance the environmental education and awareness campaign established in previous years at both the local, national, and international scales. Our environmental education outreach will be extended to all schools in the Babuyan Islands group and the coastal municipalities of Cagayan. Various print educational materials on the local wildlife will be produced and distributed. Our website and social media pages will be maintained and updated regularly to disseminate current and interesting information to the general public.
Read about Jo Marie's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/jo_marie_acebes or for more information contact: