Today the Vancouver Aquarium released its new app ‘WhaleReport’ to help citizens log marine mammal and sea turtle sightings as part of the B.C. Cetacean’s Sighting Network (BCCSN). The new app has a species identification guide and uses GPS locations to allow boaters to log marine mammal sightings on the go, even while offline! As has been done for the past 15 years, sightings in British Columbian waters can also be logged manually via the
- BCCSN website: wildwhales.org
- Toll free number: 1-866-I-SAW-ONE
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The timing of the app release couldn’t be better as Biggs (Transient) killer whales were spotted again this morning in Burrard Inlet. Just a reminder when you’re out on the water to be “Whale Wise” and keep a safe distance when viewing marine mammals in the wild.
Any idea how valuable these marine mammal sightings are to marine biologists? We regularly work with BCCSN data to determine Southern Resident killer whale habitat use, acoustic thresholds for behavioural responses to shipping, and to estimate the amount of acoustic masking from underwater noise. Research projects like this wouldn’t be possible without the thousands of citizens who have contributed over 83,000 sighting reports to the BCCSN database. Check out our ongoing killer whale research to see a few of many ways that scientists use citizen-collected data.
You can help! Download the app from iTunes and start contributing to marine mammal conservation projects today by logging your sightings of whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea turtles.