Wednesday, June 13, 2012

PTMSC offers training on stranded marine mammals

If you’re interested in helping marine mammals that become stranded on our local beaches, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) is offering a free training session on Tuesday, June 26th, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Natural History Exhibit at Fort Worden State Park.

“This is a great opportunity to learn how to respond to calls about marine mammal strandings and/or seal pup sightings,” said Chrissy McLean, PTMSC Marine Program Coordinator. “After training, your name will be on a call list to respond in the geographic area(s) you specify. If you’re available when the call comes in, you can respond if you wish, but you’re not obligated to drop everything and respond instantly.”

Learn about changes in the PTMSC’s stranding program, including our new marine mammal necropsy program, and goals for our local and regional groups in the coming year. There will be a review of species identification and documentation, including a beach session to practice skills.

The more trained volunteers that are on the call list, the more the responses can be spread around, especially when seal pups need “pup sitting” to keep dogs and people away while they rest on the beach.

It’s important for volunteers to understand that in the majority of cases of injured animals, this cadre of volunteers is documenting incidents rather than saving or rehabilitating individual marine mammals. The data collected becomes part of a nationwide database which tracks marine mammal strandings and looks at larger trends in order to address possible problems that might be causing the strandings.

For more information or to sign up for the free training, please call 360.385.5582 ext. 110 for Jamie Landry or email her at No previous knowledge about marine mammals is required.