October has been a great month at Mauritius Dolphin Conservation Project!
On one of the first boat trips in October the volunteers were accompanied by the Minister of Tourism of Mauritius! A very exciting trip that was designed to show the minister the impact of tourism on dolphins and so he could see the work the project is doing. Traveling south to Morne the volunteers managed to see bottlenose and spinner dolphins, and was even lucky enough to see two humpback whales!
A highlight of October was the FIRST EVER sighting of the elusive Risso’s dolphin! A group of them was found out in open sea and the volunteers spent a great morning observing these lovely dolphins. And just in case that wasn’t enough the volunteers also saw a huge group of spotted dolphins!
The end of October yielded some exciting sightings. A newborn Bottlenose calf (the creases on its body suggest it’s not even a week old!) caused much excitement and was quickly followed by the biggest group of bottlenose dolphins that the project has seen in the past few years.
The group had about 25 dolphins and they were extremely social. Milling about right on the surf line by Morne, mating and feeding and creating a very exciting atmosphere. Finally, in the hunt for a sperm whale we came across a large group of pilot whales which was very exciting.
A beautiful day was spent taking a Catamaran to Flat Island to do a Northern survey and although they did not see anything on the ride over they did manage to see a group of bottlenose dolphins and some humpback whales on the return trip. They also managed to squeeze in some snorkeling while on Flat Island so a great day all in all!
Taking a break from the regular boat trips, Celine and Julia went with a tourist boat to see what they could find. Luckily for them, the operator used a hydrophone to locate whales and the two volunteers got to see some sperm whales! As it turns out, October has been a very good month for sperm whale sightings.
Overall a great month with some incredible marine conservation sightings!
Volunteer locating sperm whales using hydrophones
Snorkelling off the coast of Mauritius