Media Release – Monday 24 June 2013

The annual whale watching season is now underway, and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is encouraging people to get out for a spot of whale watching and to count our favourite marine mammals as part of this year’s whale census.

“NSW National Parks offer some of the best whale watching locations along the coastline,” said Geoff Ross, Coordinator of Marine Fauna for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

“The annual whale count days are a great time for visitors to come and check out our parks, enjoy whale watching and get involved in one of the ways we measure whale numbers and species passing by our coastline each year.

“It’s a bit of citizen science, whereby everyone can get involved and make a difference to whale research along the NSW coastline,” Geoff continued.

The ORRCA Annual Census Day is taking place next Sunday 30 June Australia-wide. ORRCA is calling for people to sign up for a headland, a lookout, or anywhere you can spot whales anywhere along the coast to register sightings.

In addition to the Whale Census Day run by ORRCA, NSW National Parks also host whale migration studies throughout the season such as the one held at Cape Solander in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park south of Sydney. The Cape Solander whale count started on 24 May and continues until 31 July. A group of around 60 volunteers staff the whale counting stations to contribute to the annual study which started in 1997.

“People can identify their favourite spots in our NSW National Parks and sit and record the whales they spot from dawn to dusk. The migration really is a wonderful sight and visiting our parks on these days are a way that people can contribute to whale research,” Geoff concluded.

During the season, visitors are also encouraged to get involved by sharing their whale sightings on Twitter (@wildaboutwhales), Facebook, or by sharing via the Wild About Whales mobile app. The best whale watching spots can be found in our national parks all along the NSW coast, stretching from Byron Bay in the North, to Eden in the South.

As well as whale watching, there are plenty of other activities to experience in our coastal national parks, from bushwalking and photography, to Discovery tours and spotting a wealth of other marine and land based wildlife.

Start your own coastal adventure at www.wildaboutwhales.com.au.  It’s the best way for you to learn about whales migrating along our coastline, and to find the best spots in our national parks to see whales and enjoy other great coastal adventures. See the website for more details on the ORRCA Annual Census Day.

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