[MARMAM] A Regional Killer Whale Photo ID Catalogue for the Northern Indian Ocean (including Persian Gulf and Red Sea).

Georgina L Gemmell georgina.wildoceans at gmail.com
Sun Aug 2 08:06:09 PDT 2015

Dear Marmamers,

Myself (Georgina Gemmell- Orca Project Sri Lanka) and Tim Collins (Wildlife
Conservation Society) are currently in the early stages of a new and
exciting collaborative project- to compile a regional Photo ID catalogue of
killer whales sighted in the Northern Indian Ocean (including the Persian
Gulf and Red Sea).

The populations of killer whales that inhabit this area remain some the
most mysterious and under studied in the world. Due to their offshore
nature, sighting records are often few and far between with much of the
research effort relying on a citizen science based network.

In order to advance our understanding of these populations and for local
studies to mutually benefit from a wider network of information, we would
like to propose an alliance (tentatively the Northern Indian Ocean Killer
Whale Alliance) between the cetacean study groups and researchers across
the region, where images of killer whale sightings are contributed to a
regional Photo ID catalogue.

Already the project is showing great potential, with several contributions
from citizen science based sources and researchers. Even at this early
stage, the catalogue has revealed some interesting localized ID matches. In
time, it may also reveal information regarding population numbers,
ecotypes, site fidelity and movements between countries.

All images and data shared are fully credited to the photographer(s)/and or
research study. The catalogue will also credit the local research in each
area to ensure that it remains an inclusive effort. Any existing local
killer whale catalogues will be acknowledged, with the corresponding
catalogue codes included for each individual.

We are currently requesting images and records of killer whales from the
Northern Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

Any researchers or study groups interested in joining the alliance, please
contact georgina.wildoceans at gmail.com.

All the best

Georgina Gemmell
*Georgina Gemmell*
Lead Administrator, Orca Project Sri Lanka
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