IWDG 4th Cape Verde Humpback Expedition - Comes to an End

15th May 2012 Update 16 May 2012
Darren, Pedro, Simon and José are winding down what has been a successful expedition to Cape Verde. We collected 21 biopsy samples and many more fluke images which are already being matched. One of the highlights was a re-sighting of a whale that was seen in Boa Vista during 2011 also, but had not been recorded since 1993 when she was photo IDed in the Barents Sea in Norway... 19 years ago!

The genetics work is still underway and the latest results are very exciting... we will add these latest samples to the analysis and we hope to be in a position to publish this within a matter of months. The stable isotope and organchlorine pollutant analyses are almost complete (I'm spending my days crunching the numbers and writing the papers of late).

Thanks so much to those who generously volunteered their time - namely Darren Craig, José and Pedro López Suárez. Darren's experience and confidence gave us a great boost this year, not to mention the great humour which is so important during those stressful days when neither the weather nor the whales are cooperating. Fair play to Simon for putting in the hours even when the season was coming to an end. Hopefully we will do it all again next year.

Check out the last blog entries here to read daily blog entries

Slán abhaile Darren and Simon,

Conor Ryan

April 2012

IWDG have returned to Boa Vista, Cape Verde to continue their research on the eastern North Atlantic Humpback Whale. Simon Berrow has just arrived to join Darren Craig after Conor Ryan returned to Ireland a week ago. we have two more weeks to get more photo-id images and biopsy samples to wrap up another very successful season.

The primary aims are to collect biopsy samples for genetics and persistent organic pollutant analysis, record whale song and to take photo ID images. All these techniques are helping us to build up a picture of how isolated this population is, about the geographic range of these whales, and how large the population is.

We will continue writing a blog about the fieldwork. Please visit to read daily blog entries

This year's expedition was once again generously funded by Island Foundation and supported by Natura 2000 in Boa Vista.