Centro de Estudios para la

Conservación de Ecosistemas Marinos

Dolphin Picknick off the Panamericana

Today we happened to visit the “nursery”. There were seven young ones – four newborns and three first-year babies. The smallest one was still rather clumsy and popped to the surface like a little cork. The bigger ones were darting about like little torpedoes amongst other members of the group. All were supervised by their (presumed) mums some of whom were conveniently well marked individuals. There was a lot going on. We had a field day! Dolphin galore! Note the newborns with the foetal fold marks still visible. (photo: Caye) Of course I’m talking about Chilean dolphins here. We were on our second round of surveying when we came upon this large group with calves. We always take extra care wh

Dolphins between sea and sky

The sea is like a mirror reflecting the soft grey sky. The horizon has dissolved. Everything around us is sea…. Only the gently sloping coastline with its lush vegetation provides a reference for our searching eyes. Several small grey dorsal fins break the mirror surface and leave small ripples. And then the show begins. Chilean dolphins make a spash in perfect seas (photo - Sonja) Not that Chilean dolphins ever really put on an extravagant show (unlike the other three species of the same genus)! But this group, like many others we’ve encountered over the last days, is “buena onda”….Buena onda is one of my favourite chilenismos – roughly translated as good-natured/ having good vibes. It is t

Al mal tiempo, BUENA CARA!

Hoy no pudimos salir porque hubo un temblor en la mañana que produjo una pequeña marejada. Como consecuencia, los puertos cercanos permanecieron oficialmente cerrados durante el día. Today we could not get out to sea because there was a small earthquake in the morning that produced some unusual wave action. As a consequence, all ports in the wider area were closed by the maritime authorities (i.e. no boats allowed to leave or enter). Pese a las restricciones de navegación, nosotros salimos a navegar como pudimos (ver video). Given these restrictions on navigation, we tried to take to the sea as best as we could .... (see video). :-)

El que se apura en Patagonia, pierde el tiempo.

Freely translated as: “Those who hurry in Patagonia, lose time.” Field work in Patagonia is never easy and always full of surprises…..I teach my students a lot about the importance of asking good scientific questions, but also about having patience and perseverance. Well, in an attempt to achieve the former (answer good questions), our ability to adhere to the latter two p-words is being tested at the moment………. This is week two of our 2017 field season. And things have been a little ropey so far…… The weather has been, well, ….living up to the fullest of its bad reputation. Chilean Patagonia is one of the wettest and windiest places on the planet. Charles Darwin visited Chiloé in 1833 and w

Vivencias en Quemchi

¡Hola a todos y todas! Hey one and all! He estado trabajando una semana con Yaqu Pacha Chile en Quemchi (Chiloé) y me gustaría contaros cómo fue la experiencia. I’ve been working with Yaqu Pacha Chile in Quemchi (Chiloé) for a week and I would like to tell you about my experience. Wet wet wet, a little rain does not deter the motiviated field team (left to right: Lea, Xavier, Poli) En primer lugar contaros que el grupo de trabajo que tienen es muy potente. Todos y todas las componentes saben muy bien cómo hacer las cosas, qué hacer en todo momento y cómo resolver los problemas. Todo el mundo tiene años de experiencia ya en el campo de estudio y saben cómo ayudarte si tienes cualquier problem

Welcome to our field season 2017!

We’re back in the land of Trauco, Truchas, and of course Toninas! – that is in the mythical northern Patagonian waters (Trauco is a famous fabled figure on Chiloé) where salmon farming and flyfishing (for trout = Truchas) abound along with our study subjects, the Toninas or dolphins. This is my 16th summer field season looking for Chilean dolphins (and other small cetaceans) around Isla Chiloé, but this year is very different. Usually we are based at the south-eastern tip of Isla Chiloé Grande and survey familiar waters looking for well-known individual dolphins. Chilean dolphin in front of Patagonia´s volcanos (photo: Sonja). This year we’re embarking on a new challenge – to survey new area

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