The long coastline of the east Pacific Ocean with its numerous bays offers ideal conditions to observe whales and dolphins.
Highlights of the research trip
Sightings of dolphins
Throughout the year several smaller or larger groups of dolphins can be observed in the “Golfo Dulce” nature reserve on the peninsula Osa. Because of the surrounding rain forest and many rivers which flow into the golf the sea is especially rich in minerals and offers an ideal environment for different fish, which provides the primary foodsource for the dolphins.
Sightings of humpback whales
Because of their size, migrating whales are usually found further off the coastline. Major groups of humpback whales can be observed migrating with their young. Their typical singing can be heard very well.
Sightings of blue whales
Further off the coastline the blue whale can be sighted on its way to their breeding areas near the coast of Mexico. Most of the times, they are migrating in small groups of 2-3 animals. A blue whale can measure 24 to 33 meters and weight up to 190 tons. It can be identified by its tiny fin which is positioned quite far back, and its high columnlike blow which is visible from a distance.
Further species in the region
Amazonas sotalia, bottlenose dolphin, longsnouted spinner dolphin, false killer whale, slender-beaked dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphin
Research activity at sea
During the trip you will learn interesting facts about whales, dolphins and the ecosystems of the oceans from an experienced marine biologist.
You will support the marine biologist gathering scientific data. Therefore, you will use the so called line transect while observing, identifying and counting whales and dolphins. This method is the fundamental basis for research.
The knowledge about local presence and number of individuals of different species help estimating the size of populations in diverse areas. These important facts will be submitted to international and local research institutions. With this support you will contribute to a valuable worldwide effort to protect these fascinating animals.
Knowledge about ecosystems
During brief lectures and relaxed discussions you get insights in the development of marine mammals, their biology, ecology, life in the oceans and plenty more. In addition, you can discover the fascinating underwater world and its colorful reefs by swimming, snorkeling and/or diving. Together with the guide you will explore the reefs and meet other inhabitants of the oceans in their natural habitat. These practical experiences make the great scientific work complete.
Talking to local fishermen and people are further highlights which offer new perspectives and sharpen our view for regional problems (e.g. overfishing, freshwater scarcity, pollution etc.).
There will also be the opportunity to visit nature reserves and wildlife parks on guided tours to see the fauna and flora in its whole beauty.
Besides research work and onboard activities there will be plenty of time to relax, lay back and enjoy the sea, the sun, taking a bath and for joined meals in beautiful scenery.
Details of the trip