- CETACEAN RESEARCH
Sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) are currently classified as globally endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, due to heavy exploitation by commercial whaling operations in the 1900s. Little is understood about the modern-day distribution and ecology of this species worldwide, due to its occurrence in predominantly offshore habitats (making it challenging to study) and the unpredictable fluctuations in its distribution between years.
In the Falkland Islands, Southern Hemisphere sei whales have been increasingly observed in nearshore waters since the 1990s, providing a rare opportunity to initiate a coastal field study on the species. Caroline has worked for Falklands Conservation (FC) since 2016, implementing several consecutive field projects on sei whales around the Islands:
The work carried out during the projects to date has included:
In combination, the projects are providing a large amount of novel systematic information on sei whale occurrence in the Falklands, which will feed into the development of conservation and management plans. The work has already been used to successfully confirm the Falkland Islands Inner Shelf Waters as a KBA for sei whales, highlighting the global significance of the area for the species. Outputs from the ongoing work, including scientific papers, will be listed below as they become available.
For more information about Falklands Conservation please visit the Falklands Conservation website