A more detailed description of the dataset is in this data paper: https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.11.e109649
The eastern waters of Taiwan have been lacking baseline and research data for several years. This study was initiated by Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation (KOEF) in collaboration with the Turumoan whale-watching company since 1998, collecting long-term ecological data for cetaceans in the inshore of Hualien, eastern Taiwan. This dataset includes 10,675 records of cetacean sightings from June 1998 to December 2021. Collection of cetacean sighting records was paused for one year in 2001 due to budgetary reasons. All of the sighting records were collected by whale-watching boat guides that were trained by KOEF. Following a standardised protocol, guides used a handheld GPS device and cetacean sighting record sheets to document information about the cetacean species identification, location, time, number of individuals, the presence of mother-calf pairs and mixed-species groups and other states of each sighting during a whale-watching tour. The collection of citizen-science data during this period has significantly advanced Taiwan's cetacean baseline data in the study area. Additionally, we make data available to the public in the form of citizen-science, making a substantial contribution to the advancement of ocean scientific research.
This is currently the largest dataset of cetacean sighting records in Taiwan (last updated on 2023-09-05). We have also recorded several species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List categorised as "Data Deficient", "Vulnerable" and "Near Threatened". This study is also the first and only long-term study that has documented cetaceans in the study area.
The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 5,247 records.
This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.
The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.
How to cite
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Yu H, Hu C (2023): The observation records from whale and dolphin watching inshore of Hualien, eastern Taiwan｜臺灣花蓮近海賞鯨之鯨豚觀測紀錄. v1.10. Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation. Dataset/Samplingevent. https://doi.org/10.15468/rg87xx
Researchers should respect the following rights statement:
The publisher and rights holder of this work is Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.
This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 70e66bc4-a791-44c5-9c9b-1aa32934a909. Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility.
sighting data; citizen-science; whale-watching tour; cetacean; Samplingevent
All of the cetacean sighting data were collected inshore of Hualien, eastern Taiwan, within an approximate range of 20 kilometres from Hualien Port.
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [23.6, 121.5], North East [24.3, 121.9]|
This dataset contains cetacean sighting records covering 20 different species. Prior to 2015, beaked whales were only recorded at the family level: Hyperoodontidae (Ziphiidae) and both dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima (Owen, 1866)) and pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps (Blainville, 1838)) were mostly recorded at the genus level: Kogia Gray, 1846.
|Order||Cetacea (Whales and dolphins)|
|Start Date / End Date||1998-06-13 / 2021-12-12|
For each whale-watching tour, each ship accommodates one guide trained by KOEF’s cetacean experts to record cetacean sightings. The boat follows a random path until cetaceans are detected and sometimes we also receive sighting reports from other whale-watching boats. While observing cetaceans, the guide documents the location and time of each sighting with a hand-held GPS device, identifies the cetacean species, estimates the number of individuals and confirms the presence of mother-calf pairs and mixed-species groups in the vicinity. Upon returning, the guide fills in the cetacean record sheet, which contains fields included in this dataset. To avoid collecting duplicate sighting data, when there are trips with more than one vessel in the same area, only the data of one ship is recorded within the same trip. Trained volunteers subsequently input the data into a computer for digital storage.
|Study Extent||See the data paper for a more detailed description.|
Method step description:
- While leaving Hualien port, the guide records the departure time using a hand-held GPS.
- The boat follows a random path until cetaceans are detected and sometimes we also receive sighting reports from other whale-watching boats. When cetaceans appear, the ship slowly approaches. The guide then marks the location and time with a hand-held GPS, identifies the cetacean species, estimates the number of individuals and confirms the presence of mother-calf pairs and mixed-species groups in the vicinity.
- When leaving the cetaceans, the guide marks the leaving time with a hand-held GPS. When entering the port, the guide uses the GPS to mark the arrival time.
- After returning to the whale-watching company, the guide fills in the cetacean record sheet, which contains fields included in this dataset.
- The cetacean record sheets are organised once a month and the information on the data sheets are entered into an Excel spreadsheet file by trained interns, volunteers and guides of KOEF.