Tools for scientific research on cetaceans (and other taxonomic groups)

IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group
The Cetacean Specialist Group promotes and facilitates the conservation of cetaceans worldwide.  It functions as a catalyst, clearinghouse, and facilitator for cetacean-related research and conservation action. Emphasis is on the recovery of endangered species and populations, while also recognising the importance of maintaining the full diversity of the cetacean species and populations.

Cetacean Bycatch Resource Center
An online clearinghouse for information, statistics, news, inquiries, scientific papers, technological advances and the latest developments in cetacean bycatch mitigation.

Bycatch Reduction Techniques Database
A searchable database of references and summaries from bycatch reduction studies, as well as descriptions of bycatch mitigation techniques.

Cetacean Research Technology
Technical equipment for cetacean research, including hydrophones, suction cups and other tools targeted to marine mammal research professionals.

A software system which allows marine scientists to maintain information for the study of various behavioral and ecological patterns of common bottlenose dolphins. The software provides a graphical user interface to access a collection of digital dorsal fin images along with textual information which describes individual animals as well as relevant sighting data. Users may query the system with the name of a specific individual or the entire collection may be sorted and viewed based upon sighting location, sighting date, or damage category. Alternatively, the researcher may query a database of previously identified dolphin dorsal fin images with an image of an unidentified dolphin's fin. Darwin responds with a rank ordered list of database fin images that most closely resemble the query image. Darwin is also available on GoogleCode.

FinBase is a customized Microsoft Access database that not only stores and manages textual and numerical data from photo-identification surveys, but also performs many of the tasks associated with image management and analysis. A companion ArcGIS™ Extension called the FinBase Mapping Tool was also developed to allow users to easily query FinBase while in a GIS environment and spatially display output.

Distance is a Windows-based computer package that allows to design and analyze distance sampling surveys of wildlife populations.

Program MARK is the most flexible, widely used application currently available for parameter estimation using data from marked individuals.

Programs for the analysis of animal social structure
SOCPROG is a series of MATLAB programs written by Hal Whitehead for analyzing data on the social structure, population structure and movements of identified individuals. The programs are designed to be easy to use, most input is done through graphical user interfaces, and most things can be done without any knowledge of MATLAB. The programs are designed to be flexible so you can tailor the analyses to your data and hypotheses.

Fluke Matcher
A computer-aided fluke matching program which increases efficiency in identifying individuals and finding resights within photo-identification catalogues of humpback whales.

Marine Mammal Habitat Modeling
A resource for researchers seeking to use statistical models to examine relationships between marine mammal occurrence/distribution and the environment. Several workshops have been held on this subject in conjunction with the Society for Marine Mammalogy's Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, and this website is a repository for presentations, schedules, software, references, and other resources associated with these workshops.

Marine mammal skeletal preparation and articulation
A message sent to MARMAM, explaining how to prepare a marine mammal skeleton.

Chelonia - cetacean passive monitoring equipment
Chelonia Limited manufactures passive cetacean monitoring equipment designed for use in a wide range of research projects and environments.

PAMGUARD - cetacean passive acoustic monitoring software
An open source (publicly owned and freely available) development which aims to address the limitations of existing cetacean passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) software capabilities by creating an integrated PAM software infrastructure that is open source and available to all users.

Software for population analysis
A fairly complete list of available software and related information to perform population analysis, particularly in terms of estimation of abundance, and both survival and recruitment rates (using both capture-recapture and recovery models).

PWRC software archive
List of programs developed at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and elsewhere for the analysis of animal populations for wildlife biologists and managers.

Open source scientific software
This site lists some open source software commonly used in cetacean research.

Quantum GIS
QGIS is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, and Windows. QGIS supports vector, raster, and database formats. It lets you browse and create map data on your computer. It supports many common spatial data formats (e.g. ESRI ShapeFile, geotiff). QGIS supports plugins to do things like display tracks from your GPS. QGIS is Open Source software and its free of cost.

Resources for digital media tools
A basic guide to digital media resources to help you get the most out of disseminating your information to a wider public. The particular focus is on geospatial technologies such as Google Earth and GPS, but additional technologies and software are also covered

Obis - Seamap
Website for project OBIS-SEAMAP (Ocean Biogeographic Information System - Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations). Marine mammal, seabird and sea turtle data are organized into a spatially referenced database.

Giovanni is a web-based application that provides a simple and intuitive way to visualize, analyze, and access vast amounts of Earth science remote sensing data without having to download the data. Giovanni is comprised of a number of interfaces, called instances, each tailored to meet the needs of different research communities: Atmospheric, Environmental, Ocean, and Hydrology.

Ocean Colour Portal
EC database of remote sensing information.

The program interfaces with a digital theodolite and provides a dynamic and user-friendly interface to support theodolite tracking. The system collects, manages and analyzes theodolite data and calculates distance, bearing, and location information in real-time. It was designed to store theodolite station information (such as the observation height, geographical position of the station, and reference azimuth) for multiple stations.

Raven Pro
Raven Pro is an interactive sound analysis programme intended for bioacoustics research. Raven allows for the acquisition, visualization, measurement, and analysis of sounds. It is produced by Cornell University's Bioacoustics Research Program. Raven Pro provides a powerful, user-friendly research and teaching tool for scientists working with acoustic signals. Raven Lite is a free software program that lets users record, save, and visualize sounds as spectrograms and waveforms. Raven Exhibit is a sound visualization and recording system optimized for public displays and exhibits. Raven Viewer provides visual access to the sounds in the Macaulay Library archive, the world's largest collection of recorded animal sounds.

Star-Oddi Ltd
Star-Oddi manufactures technology for researches on the oceans and its living resources, including archival tags, temperature and depth loggers, salinity data loggers. Submersable data loggers and underwater temperature recorders have been used in fish tags and tagging other marine animals and within the fields of fisheries research and oceanography.

A global information system with all you ever wanted to know about fishes. FishBase is a relational database with information to cater to different professionals such as research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more. FishBase contains practically all fish species known to science. FishBase was developed at the WorldFish Center in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and many other partners, and with support from the European Commission (EC). Since 2001 FishBase is supported by a consortium of seven research institutions.

A FishBase-like information system for marine organisms. It provides, for each species included, the biological information necessary to conduct biodiversity and ecosystem studies, taking advantage of lists of species already available on paper and electronically, and using the scientific names they provide as ‘hook’ to organize biodiversity information.

CephBase is a dynamic relational database-driven web site that has been online since 1998. CephBase provides taxonomic data, distribution, images, videos, predator and prey data, size, references and scientific contact information for all living species of cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus) in an easy to access, user-friendly manner.
Subsidies paid to owners of fishing vessels and others working in the fishing industry under the European Union’s common fisheries policy amount to approximately €1 billion a year. – a project coordinated by EU Transparency and Kaas and Mulvad – tells you who gets what from the Common Fisheries Policy.


More tools can be found in the Education section.