Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Case for Enlarging the Marine Protected Area?

Yesterday morning we spotted a group of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins in an area where they have very rarely been seen before. It was a significant distance to the north-west of the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Protected Area (MPA) and could provide important data in support of a case for it to be enlarged.

- Jim on the forms-

The current Kisite-Mpunguti MPA comprises an area of 39km2 to the south and south-east of GVI’s marine base on Wasini Island. Whilst Bottlenose Dolphins have been seen outside of the MPA to the south-west, to see some to the west of Wasini almost as far as Sii Island is an exciting sighting. Watching them for almost an hour, their foraging and feeding behaviour indicates that this location may be an important area that may also need to become protected.

Despite having been working with GVI for almost 2 years now, this is the first time I have joined a project purely as a volunteer. The Kenya Expedition is a fantastic program for me to do this, providing opportunities to take part in not only terrestrial and marine research, but also in community-based initiatives. So being the one to make this important sighting from the GVI research boat, it is extremely satisfying to think that I am making a valuable contribution to the expedition’s objectives to help conserve this key biodiversity hotspot. With nine more weeks to go, I can’t wait to find out what else might happen and how else I can make a difference!

By Jim Bacon