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Cetacean Recording Network

DBRC manages the the Cetacean Recording Network (CRN) on behalf of Devon Wildlife Trust. The CRN monitors marine animals, specifically cetaceans in Devon. The South West is one of the best places in the UK to spot cetaceans from the coast and supports a rich diversity of wildlife including whales, dolphins, porpoises, turtles, sharks, seals and the odd- looking sunfish.


There are 2 elements to the project:

  1. Recording cetaceans from the coast. This is a volunteer led survey.
  2. Monitoring of marine strandings

Cetaceans are at the top of the food chain and by monitoring their populations we are able to start to build up a picture of hotspots, feeding and breeding areas and gain an insight into the health of the marine environment. Sadly, marine animals are under many direct pressures from human activities and are at risk.

The CRN is part of the Seaquest Southwest project which is run jointly by Devon Wildlife Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

 Top tips for watching marine life from land


1. Get up high! Headlands and clifftops are ideal.

2. Watch on calm, still days with little glare from the sun.

3. Look out for circling and diving seabirds which indicate there may be more there than you think!

4. Get some good binoculars - 8x42 magnification at the very least.

The secret is to become familiar with the species by watching them and getting to recognise them under a variety of lighting conditions, angles and sea states.

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