Cetacean Field Course in Tarifa (Spain)
12 days in July 2017 (exact dates to be confirmed)
The Tarifa field course is Odyssea’s most popular project. Situated at the southernmost tip of Europe, Tarifa is the perfect setting for a cetacean field course. The Strait of Gibraltar is home to seven species of whales and dolphins: pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, common dolphins, sperm whales, fin whales, and killer whales. The first four species are year-round residents with the pilot whales being the most commonly observed species. Our field course in July usually coincides with the presence of killer whales, which hunt the tuna passing through the Strait of Gibraltar. Fin whale sightings are rarer; nicknamed “greyhound of the sea”, a small number of fin whales move each year from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and despite their size they can be easily missed.
During the field course, you’ll be introduced to the biology and ecology of whales and dolphins, with particular focus on the seven occurring species. You will be accompanied by experienced marine biologists who will teach you about the main methods used to study these animals, namely behavioural observations and photo-identification. You will be able to put your newly acquired knowledge to use during the boat trips with our partner Turmares. During a visit of a local rehabilitation center, you will learn more about the biology of dolphins and marine turtles and the threats they face (e.g. plastic pollution, entanglement, or noise pollution).
Tarifa and its surroundings are also famous for its excellent bird-watching opportunities and is a must-do activity! There is usually also time for a trip to Roman ruins, the Rocks of Gibraltar and various sandy shores. For an account from one of our past interns, we’d recommend reading Livia’s article here.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us under firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on exact dates and prices will be published as soon as available.