Our researchers and naturalists are constantly busy studying the western Ligurian Sea marine fauna. Learn about our research projects!
Bottlenose dolphins monitoring
The main reason we created the Association was to continue the study of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), in the coastal waters from Capo Noli (SV) to the boundary with France (IM), that begun in 2018. Field visual surveys take place on a dinghy moored in Imperia; we sail all year round, 10 times per month on average. Researchers are assisted by interns who learn cetaceans and other marine fauna monitoring techniques. Wildlife search is conducted using binoculars. During each survey, we collect weather, nautical traffic and human activities data while searching for cetaceans, sea turtles, sea birds and other animals. If we spot animals we try to approach them to be able to estimate the number, assess their behavior and group composition. Since dolphin’s dorsal fins can be compared, as with human fingerprints, when we sight bottlenose dolphins we take fin pictures in order to photo-identify any specimen. This way researchers can backtrack the movements of dolphins, learn about their social behavior and study the interactions with human activities.
Sea bird monitoring
To the untrained eye it may seem that there are only sea gulls at sea, but they couldn’t be more wrong! Scopoli’s shearwater, Mediterranean shearwater, Gannet and Sandwich tern are just some of the seabirds that you may spot in western Liguria, some of which are resident while others are migratory. There are dated and incomplete information about them, with very few exceptions. During our dolphin surveys we also collect data about avifauna presence and behavior. So far bird sightings have been numerous; also those of less common species such as puffin and long-tailed jaeger.