Expedition: Marine Mamals of Monterey.
Sea otters and bottlenose dolphins are both species that can tell us about the health of their marine environment. Monterey Bay's population of southern sea otters plummeted when sea otter fur was a popular fashion statement. Although they have not been hunted in the last hundred years, the sea otter population has never recovered to pre-hunt levels. In five of the last six years, the population has declined. Central California did not have a population of bottlenose dolphins for much of the 20th century, but now there are about 450 bottlenose dolphins living along California's central coast. Drs. Daniela Maldini and Thomas Jefferson are gathering data on both of these species to monitor their populations and environment, and to contribute to sound management strategies for the rich coastal ecosystem of Monterey Bay.
July - October 2008 (10 days): 2175 euros.