The Dorset coast is a fantastic place to find shark and ray eggcases, and what better way to get the public involved with our local species than to run an eggcase hunt! We ran our event on the beach adjacent to the beautiful Hengistbury Head nature reserve, where we were in for a real treat.
We were delighted when members of the public first started turning up, and it soon became obvious that it was going to be a popular session! It was especially great to have so many families arrive to enjoy the hunt together. After a warm greeting and health and safety briefing by Chris, Georgia gave a quick overview of the eggs that might be found and handed out ID guides made by the Shark Trust. Everyone was provided with litter picking equipment, and it was off to the beach!
It took a whopping two minutes before the first eggs were found, much to the delight of everybody, and they just kept on coming! Everybody managed to find eggcases and it was such a pleasure to see how thrilled they were, and to help them to ID each species that they came from. We were very pleased that some of the students that Georgia has recently given a talk to at Bournemouth University came along to help out and hone their ID skills, and we were especially grateful of the assistance from Jess from The Sea Hippy.
After a thorough search of a long stretch of beach, it was back to the meeting point to dispose of the rubbish (very kindly picked up by the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre) and count up our eggs!
We were over the moon to find out that we had collected an impressive 89 eggcases, from at least four different species!!
All of the data from the day have been uploaded to the Shark Trust’s Great Eggcase Hunt portal – if you find eggcases on your beach, do the same!! The records will be used to map and better understand the distribution of sharks and rays around our coast, which will help to protect those species who need it.
We’ll be running another eggcase hunt in Dorset soon, like and follow our Facebook page for updates!
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