Dolphin spotting with ZSL
Monday 14 August 2006
Dolphins, seals and porpoises that regularly visit Essex waters will be part of an extensive survey conducted with vital help from the public.
Marine experts from the Zoological Society of London will be on hand at Canvey Island this weekend to help wildlife enthusiasts spot these incredible visitors.
The event is part of National Whale and Dolphin Watch Week which starts on Saturday and is run by the Sea Watch Foundation.
Spotters who turn up between Thorny Bay and Canvey Point on Saturday 12th or Sunday 13th August between 11am and 3pm can collect a species identification guide and a sightings form to record their results.
ZSL Conservation Biologist Dr Renata Kowalik said: “People that come along might see the bottlenose dolphin that has been in the area for a while, common or grey seals and if we are lucky we might even see harbour porpoises.”
She added: “Alternatively, people can send in their sightings if they spot a whale, dolphin or porpoise while out and about walking, fishing or sailing.”
ZSL already runs a Thames Marine Mammal Survey which runs all year and asks people to record anything they spot in the Thames in an online form at www.zsl.org.
Twenty eight species of whales and dolphins have so far been recorded off the British coast line.
Recording sightings of whales, dolphins, seals and porpoises helps build a picture of where these different marine mammals are and informs scientific understanding of their behaviour.
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Notes to editors
National Whale and Dolphin Watch Week 2006 runs from Saturday August 12 – Sunday August 20 2006. Members of the public are invited to take part in the event.
Check http://www.zsl.org/field-conservation/marine-and-freshwater/ to log onto the online Thames Marine Mammal Survey and record sightings of anything spotted in the Thames River.
National Whale and Dolphin Watch is run by the Sea Watch Foundation and sponsored by British Gas and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Sea Watch is a marine conservation charity and research organisation – check www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in other countries worldwide. For further information please visit www.zsl.org
Gorilla Kingdom – opening soon at London Zoo
London Zoo’s most ambitious project ever, Gorilla Kingdom, will open Easter 2007, bringing the forests of Central Africa to the urban jungle.
The £5.3million 6,000m2 development will provide an awesome natural habitat for our gorillas and give visitors the chance to get closer to these incredible animals.
For more information about Gorilla Kingdom contact Emma Kenly on 020 7449 6280
0207 449 6280