The objective of the BIOCETCAN project (Biological study of the Canary cetaceans through stranded specimens) is the understanding of fundamental aspects of the biology of the Canary cetaceans through the analysis of stranded cetaceans during the period 1980-2016. The cetaceans that stranded on the coasts constitute a scientific information resource about basic aspects of the biology of these species such as morphology, colour pattern, feeding, reproduction, growth and development, relationships or the genetic identity of the populations. The material collected after studying the stranded animals (tissue samples, osteological remains, stomach contents, associated organisms, etc.) create the Macaronesia Biological Reference Collection of Cetaceans (CBRCM). This information has important implications for the conservation of these species. Another objective of the project is to know the stranding patterns for each of the species involved (frequency, distribution, seasonality, sex, age classes involved).
The specific objectives of the project are:
The biology of the Canary cetaceans and feeding habits through the study of stomach contents and creation of a reference collection of prey, especially jaws of cephalopods (beaks), crustaceans and otoliths.
The trophic position through stable isotopes and fatty acids.
The genetic structure and identity.
The degree of development through the study of the determination of age and skeleton.
Creation of a tool for the identification and osteological study of cetaceans in the Macaronesia subregion (CETOTAXON project).