Vote for Whale Track in the National Lottery Awards 2018

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We're excited to announce that Whale Track has been named as a finalist in the 2018 National Lottery Awards – the annual search for people’s favourite National Lottery-funded projects – and your vote can help us win!

Whale Track, a first-of-its-kind smartphone app that allows anyone to submit marine mammal sightings off the west coast of Scotland, is competing in the Best Environment project category.

Whale Track uses the technology we all carry in our pockets to quickly and easily record sightings of marine mammals in the Hebrides.  Rather than simply educating, the project actively involves people in tracking the movements of coastal species like bottlenose dolphins and unravelling the mysteries of more elusive species like killer whales, helping everyone become ‘citizen scientists’.

 A killer whale, one of the more elusive species on the west coast

A killer whale, one of the more elusive species on the west coast

Whale Track is free to download and uses GPS to accurately track excursions at sea and record locations of sightings. Crucially, the app works without phone signal or Wi-Fi, meaning sightings can be recorded in the most remote areas.

Since its launch in August 2017, the uptake of Whale Track has been incredible. With now over 500 users, over 2,500 sightings, and over 250 excursions, 15,000 animals have been recorded so far, including common dolphin super pods recorded from aircraft, and multiple records of John Coe (the most famous member of the UK’s last remaining killer whale pod).

 Hebrides Cruises Wildlife Guide, Lynsey Bland showing guests their sightings on Whale Track. Copyright: James Fairbairns, Hebrides Cruises.

Hebrides Cruises Wildlife Guide, Lynsey Bland showing guests their sightings on Whale Track. Copyright: James Fairbairns, Hebrides Cruises.

The project beat off stiff competition from over 700 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrate the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with National Lottery funding.

The project with the most votes will be crowned the winner and receive a £5,000 cash prize to spend on their project, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded glittering awards ceremony to be broadcast on BBC One on 26 September 2018.

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Science Manager, Dr Lauren Hartny-Mills, says winning a prestigious National Lottery Award and having their work showcased on national television would be an honour:

National Lottery funding was crucial to the development of Whale Track so we are absolutely over the moon to be in the finals of the National Lottery Awards. Every sighting recorded helps us to better understand the movements of the marine mammals in our waters, their behaviours, and measures we can take to protect them. If you share our love of these amazing animals, please vote for Whale Track to win Best Environment Project 2018!

Liz Bonnin, wildlife presenter and patron of Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, is excited to be supporting Whale Track:

Encouraging the public to play a very real part in the protection of their local wildlife is a very positive step towards protecting this magnificent part of the planet. Please vote for Whale Track to show your support!

Or Call: 0844 836 9689

You can also follow the campaign on Twitter: hashtag #NLAwards and cast a vote by tweeting #NLAWhaleTrack

Voting runs from 9am on 27 June until midnight on 27 July.