Biological collections are essential in scientific development and a unique tool for documenting biodiversity, especially at this time, characterized by the increasing in loss of marine species and entire ecosystems due to habitat fragmentation, climate change, emergence of new pathogens, environmental pollution and direct and indirect catches, among other factors. In addition to their value in the study of taxonomy, biological collections allow documenting historical changes in distribution, diet, contamination, etc. of these species. For this reason, it is of great importance to the biology conservation. SECAC has created and protects the main biological collection of cetaceans in Macaronesia, from the study of stranded animals in the Canary Islands during the period 1980-2016.
The Biological Reference Collection of Cetaceans of Macaronesia (CBRCM) constitutes the best representation of cetaceans in the Macaronesia region, possessing great ecological, educational and scientific importance. The collection includes a tissue bank, osteological material (skulls and skeletons), parasites, stomach contents, etc. of 26 species of cetaceans. The osteological collection of the Ziphiidae family (beaked whales) stands out.The CBRCM has the largest number of specimens of the Gervais’ beaked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus) after the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
From SECAC we work to ensure the adequate maintenance, conservation and increase of this scientific collection that is part of the historical and scientific heritage of the Canary Archipelago and the Spanish state. One of the fundamental objectives of SECAC is to promote, facilitate and regulate this collection with a dual purpose: as a basis for current and future research by the scientific community and its use in exhibitions for educational purposes. To preserve this legacy, SECAC established a collaboration agreement with the Cabildo of Lanzarote.