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We focus our research at the Berry Head National Nature Reserve located in Brixham, Torbay. Berry Head is a popular nature, tourist and dog-walking spot and is home to many stunning species such as the cirl bunting, greater horseshoe bat and the UK's most southern colony of guillemots. In addition to the species found on land, many marine species can be sighted from the main headland in the coastal waters below. Short-snouted common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins can be sighted quite frequently, but our research focuses mainly on the harbour porpoises of Berry Head, which are frequent visitors to the area. We also frequently spot grey seals, and historic sightings have proven that Risso's dolphins, humpback whales, basking and thresher sharks sometimes visit.
The coastal water off Berry Head (regularly used by porpoises) is located within the Torbay Marine Conservation Zone (TMCZ), however, the porpoises are not currently included within the TMCZ framework. With ongoing research, we aim to gain an understanding of the porpoises in the area so that we may better protect them. This includes the continued data collection of animal behaviour, environmental factors, and anthropogenic impacts.
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