Field work in 2020 was postponed to summer 2021 due to COVID-19. The main field season coincides with the harbour breeding in June-August, with Julia travelling to Shetland 14th June – 18th July; Julia will be leading the field data collection with Matt (see team) who will be working closely with Karen, Hugh and other members of the Shetland Orca Sightings network. We welcome contributions by everyone interested in recording their observations of killer whales and their prey species, including grey and harbour seals, whether based on the isles or mainland Scotland (how to get involved). In the meantime, we are also finishing off analyses of preliminary field data from 2019, including:
Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) in Orkney
We deployed acoustic recorders in Scapa Flow, Orkney in July-August 2019. The aim is to test the feasibility of acoustic detection of killer whales and/or harbour seals, and measure underwater noise levels in the area.
Land-based observations of foraging killer whales
A blog about preliminary observational data in Shetland can be found here. Also check out our citizen science project that collects land-based observations of killer whale behaviour and associated seals.