Ensuring Long-term Survival of the Sperm Whales

Project location: Spain, Balearic Islands
Project start date: July 2003 - Project end date: December 2004
Project number: 2003-26
Beneficiary: One World Wildlife

The Sperm whale is the largest carnivore on earth. Throughout history a victim of human activity: once hunted close to extinction for the prized waxy substance in its head, now threatened by the drift nets, that cause the whale to strand.

The Nando Peretti Foundation is funding a research project proposed by One World Wildlife that will be carried out over two years and will consist of five two weeks research cruises in the waters to the North East of Menorca, using established research techniques: photo identification, ancillary genetic samples and acoustic data. The data collected will be analysed and the photo identification records would be submitted to two European databases (Europhlukes and NAMSC).

Upon completion of the project One World Wildlife will present the findings to the Spanish Government in order to provide it with the relevant information necessary to implement effective conservation measures in the region. It is hoped that, ultimately the area around the Balearic Islands will be designated as protected, therefore ensuring the survival of the sperm whale and the integrity of the ecosystems of which they are a part.

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