Spotting whales and dolphins off Isle of Lewis

Whale watching.
Whale watching.

WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, will be holding its first Shorewatch training session on the Isle of Lewis on Thursday 2nd June 2011, 5 – 9pm, Coastguard Building, Stornoway where anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to help record vital data about whales and dolphins within the Minch can sign up, come along, and receive expert training.

a Volunteer whale and dolphin watchers required on Isle of Lewis

WDCS Shorewatch relies on community volunteers to monitor the presence of whales, dolphins and porpoises around Scotland. WDCS is asking for volunteers to carry out regular 10-minute watches at specific sites to help learn more about how these amazing animals use our coastline, information which will help in the protection of these animals for future generations. If you like to get out and about and are keen to see more of your local wildlife then Shorewatch is for you.

Our aim is to learn more about how whales, dolphins and porpoises use the area, in particular little known but easily identifiable Risso’s dolphins. By training up community volunteers we hope to extend WDCS research year round; collecting vital sightings data. Anya Mackay, a dedicated WDCS Shorewatcher said: “I love the anticipation every time I head out with my binoculars. The thrill of seeing a whale or dolphin is great, and also helping to gather vital information whilst learning more about the different species is really interesting.”

In addition to learning how to identify Lewis’s whales and dolphins, volunteers have the opportunity to learn how to recognise and report stranded animals, will receive the latest whale and dolphin related news and will also learn how best to raise awareness of the threats whales and dolphins face in Scotland today.

Alison Lomax, WDCS Scottish Conservation Officer, said: “Shorewatch is a great opportunity to get actively involved in protecting whales and dolphins. You can watch whenever you feel like it – on the way to or from work, out with the dog or on a family walk at the weekend, so I encourage everyone to come along to the training day and help WDCS collect this vital data.”

Booking is essential as places are limited. If you are interested in joining us or finding out more about the WDCS Shorewatch Programme, please contact Alison Lomax by email or phone 01343 820 339.