Cetacean land watch surveys on Santiago Island

May to August 2017, ECOCV team and community volunteers conducted over 70 whale and dolphin land-based surveys in the 7 locations around Santiago island. The most common were short-finned pilot whales Globicephala macrorynchus. This species is prone to strandings. Thus, it is very important to establish coastal areas frequented by these marine mammals. Interestingly, two pilot whales were observed close to Quebra Canela, the main beach in the capital Praia. Three sightings of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae were sighted in Praia Baixo, Sao Domingos municipality and Tarrafal de Santiago in June, July and August. These first regular surveys confirmed that land watches can be a useful and cost-efficient tool for the monitoring of cetacean on Santiago. Further study is needed to expand the network of volunteers and set up regular monitoring stations around the island.