Good morning everybody,
here I am again with an update on all the activities that we’ve been carrying out during the last weeks.

After a long week characterised by unsuitable weather to go out on surveys, we finally manage to go out with the whale-watching boat Corsara. In the following days, with the exception of Sunday that was day-off for us interns, we were always able to go out for monitoring surveys, but even so, we had to wait until Wednesday 21st to have a sighting of bottlenose dolphins. In fact, during our opportunistic surveys onboard the Corsara, Marco, Linn and I were only able to
observe a good number of loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta and a few pods of striped dolphins, but no other cetacean species of the ones present in the Pelagos Sanctuary.

On Wednesday 21st on the day Davide decided to try and have a long survey to reach the easternmost part of the study area, Patrizia, our intern-coordinator, managed to spot a small group of bottlenose dolphins near the Gallinara island. As I’ve already mentioned, all the sightings of both this and other species of cetaceans are always a wonderful experience, but this time it was particularly special. It turned out that this group comprised two couple of mother
and calf, one of which was super tiny, fact that made us think of a newborn, just a few hours old!!! Due to the presence of calves, the group was quite elusive and tried multiple times to get away from our research boat. In cases like this in order to avoid overstressing the animals and to avoid causing problems with the young individuals, the best approach is to try and obtain a lot of photos in the shortest amount of time possible and then leave them.

After this sighting, we then directed the zodiac to deeper waters to try and look for larger cetacean species, in particular sperm whales that feed on the underwater canyons in the area. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky, but hopefully, in the next few days the weather will remain good and we might have the chance to conduct more surveys. As usual, we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Waiting to see a sperm whale for the first time, and to try and observe more groups of bottlenose dolphins,
Talk to you soon,