1 Nov

Behavioural Biology Course on La Gomera

From September 17th to October 1st 2022 a behavioural biology course under the direction of biologist Christina Sommer took place on La Gomera for the first time since the pandemic related restrictions had been put in place. This waiting period was used to rearrange and update the course content somewhat: In addition to the usual elaboration of behavioural biology methods, two additional focal points were set: the first on land-based observation and the calculation of associated sighting coordinates, the other on habitat threats and conservation efforts for cetaceans off the island. In addition, the latest scientific publications were presented (e.g. on the topics of garbage in the sea, underwater noise, pressure resulting from tourism as well as the avoidance of ship collisions) and jointly evaluated and discussed. The participants were very enthusiastic about the new program and the joint discussion.

Although the approach of a severe storm put our planning to the test, we were eventually able to carry out all of our boat trips and were rewarded with some beautiful encounters. During the joint trips we were able to observe pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, migrating dolphins and one – unfortunately injured – rough-toothed dolphin. From land we were even able to observe sperm whales passing by. One of the course participants  report on her experiences and her favourite photos can be seen here…