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Marine Mammal Program

Photo By Naomi Blinick

Long-term conservation and scientific understanding of cetaceans

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Fin Whale fluke - Photo by Naomi Blinick

The Gulf of California constitutes 39% of all marine mammal species and a third of all cetacean species in the world. It is therefore one of the most biologically diverse seas on the planet. All of the marine mammal species present in the Gulf of California are protected either nationally or internationally. Marine mammal research in the Midriff Island Region and in particular Kino Bay has been sporadic and limited to certain areas.The Kino Bay Center recognized the importance of studying the regions cetaceans, and created the framework for the Marine Mammal Program (MMP) in 1997, collaborating at the outset with various, principally Mexican, institutions.

At that time, the work with cetaceans was divided into three parts: 1) Sperm whale photo identification, 2) Fin whale photo identification, and 3) recording incidental cetacean sightings. The MMP went through a period of interruption between 2004 and 2008, when there were very few opportunistic outings. The program was revived in 2009 with the objectives of contributing to the knowledge of resident and migratory marine mammal populations and offering information about the seasonal and spatial use of the area by various species. Another goal of the program is to create opportunities for Prescott College students and members of the community to participate in developing marine mammal research in the region.

Marine Mammals Projects