Got a knack for spotting whales, dolphins and porpoises? Well there’s a cetacean census coming up Aug. 5-7 that hopes to get hundreds of people to report sightings during those days. — Donn Butt

Spot cetaceans from French Creek northward for science

Eagle-eyed participants sought for cetacean census over August long weekend

In an effort to get a better understanding of the cetacean population from French Creek to northern Quadra Island, the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network is holding its first weekend blitz since 1971.

And the organization hopes you will want to participate. Running from Aug. 5-7, the network hopes to have the public report sightings (from land or boat) of whales, dolphins and porpoises to

The census is for the area from French Creek and Madeira Park on the coast, to northern Quadra Island, said Bailey Eagan with the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network.

First established in 1971 by Michael Bigg of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the original census count indicated there were about 250 killer whales from southeast Alaska to California, which proved to be a “highly accurate” estimate, and put a permanent end to the capture of killer whales in Canada and the U.S., Eagan said in an email.

Since then, members of the public have continued to report sighting of cetaceans and sea turtles in B.C., with the Cetacean sighting network being established in 1999.

However, there is a particular lack of sighting reports from this area, said Eagan.

“We don’t actually know as much about cetaceans in the Northern Strait of Georgia,” she said. “So to address this, that’s why we’re doing the public blitz-style (of census) because we are trying to get as much effort as possible over the weekend period in order to collect information about the species.”

In B.C., there are 12 different cetacean populations that are listed as at-risk, she said.

“So we are constantly trying to get more data and understand how the populations are doing, as well as where they’re spending their time so that we can identify critical habitat, or use it for species at risk management.”

Asked how many participants she hopes to get, Eagan said the original census had 500 people participate. “That was across the entire coast, but we would love to have that number as well.”

The more people who participate, the better the network can track individual cetaceans, “which is exactly what we’re trying to do.”

To register, or for more information on how to participate, go to

Just Posted

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

ECHO Players’ 2018/19 season announced

Qualicum Beach theatre company to show Peter Pan musical, Enchanted April and more

More Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Douglas-fir ecosystem protected from logging

B.C. Gov’t announces 980.5 hectares of protected land added

Qualicum Beach mayor plans to run for re-election

Teunis Westbroek hopes to continue serving needs of Town’s residents as mayor

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read