New project of stranding network of cetaceans and sea turtles in Algarve
Our researcher Ana Marçalo, is coordinating the new project "Rede de Arrojamentos do Algarve - Cetáceos e Tartarugas Marinhas" (RAAlg) of the University of Algarve which aims to activate the local network of strandings of dead cetaceans and sea turtles along the Algarve.
The RAAlg project team has already started to work and received its first alert at the end of October, of a dead, stranded whale on Praia da Rocha in Portimão. The animal was sent to the landfill in Algar do Barlavento, where the team performed the necropsy and identified the animal as a juvenile sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis), with 10 meters and a weight of 8 tons. This is a rare occurrence on the Portuguese coast and the first register of a dead stranded of this species in the Algarve.
A page will be created about the project, where any citizen will be able to register a bold alert on the Algarve coast, allowing the team to improve its response to the alerts.
Currently, if you detect any stranding, you can contact the national number of the marine mammal support network (ICNF) - 968849101, which will forward the alert to RAAlg. You can also visit the page of Rede de Arrojamentos do Algarve- Cetáceos e tartarugas marinhas (RAAlg) in social media – Facebook and Instagram.
The National Stranding Network is coordinated by the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF). However, regionally it intends to provide a faster response to the occurrence of strandings and, therefore, the creation of local networks sub-coordinated by other entities (Universities, NGOs) is urgent. In this sense, RAAlg integrates a technical team of biologists from CCMAR and University of Algarve, available 24/7, certified and trained to respond to alerts of dead strandings of cetaceans and sea turtles throughout the Algarve, from Odeceixe to Vila Real de Santo António. All stranded animals will be considered for systematic collection of information for the determination of patterns of occurrence and evaluation of causes of death. Fresh animal necropsies are also included to obtain samples for several studies. The travels are being made with the collaboration of nature watchers of the Ria Formosa Natural Park (ICNF), an entity that also provided laboratories in its facilities at Quinta de Marim in Olhão, to carry out related work.