Friday, 2 May 2014

New Quay telescope to help track Cardigan Bay dolphins

A state-of-the-art telescope to monitor Cardigan Bay's dolphin population has been set up by a conservation charity.

New Quay-based Sea Watch Foundation has installed a 'digiscope' on the town's pier to record bottlenose dolphin numbers in the bay.

Its Pierwatch project will enable volunteers to track the 300 recorded animals living off the Welsh coast.

The new £3,000 telescope, when attached to a camera, will allow high-quality images of dolphins to be taken.

Sea Watch Foundation sightings officer, Kathy James, said: "Dolphin fins are much the same as human fingerprints in identifying individuals.

Breeding ground
"We can identify them from nicks and notches built up on the fins over time due to interactions with other dolphins.

"We usually monitor the dolphins on boats but the digiscope will give us the option of tracking the dolphins from shore when the weather is bad as well as saving on costs."

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