A new app from conservation charity Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust is set to transform
the way that people can help gather vital scientific data about whales, dolphins
and porpoises off the Western Isles and west coast.
Whale Track is a quick and easy way for anyone to submit their sightings from across
The initiative has the backing of television presenter, wild animal biologist and
biochemist Liz Bonnin, Patron of Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.
“Encouraging the public to play a very real part in the protection of their local
wildlife is essential if we are going to have any chance of safeguarding it for the
future,” said Liz.
“Thanks to great advances in technology, the Whale Track app will allow everyone
to contribute to research, no matter how remote their location – even if they are
out of network or wifi coverage. It’s an exciting prospect, and a very positive step
towards protecting this magnificent part of the planet.”
The app is designed to work at sea and in remote coastal communities where there
is often no cellular coverage – allowing boat operators, fishermen and other seafarers
to get involved, while coastal communities can report their sightings from land.
All data collected by the app feeds into a web portal, allowing anyone to interact
with this information – including by exploring recent sightings, generating sightings
maps and discovering top-reported species.
The free app - which includes a species identification guide - received a £79,000
development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Western Scotland’s seas are one of Europe’s most important cetacean habitats. So
far 24 of the world’s estimated 92 cetacean species have been recorded in the region.
Whale tracking app allows people to report sightings