On 29 November, it is Giving Tuesday. This day is celebrated on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Worldwide, Giving Tuesday is a day to do something good. This can be something you organise yourself, or you can support an organisation or charity. We also participate in this day. This year on Giving Tuesday, we are raising money for research in the Dollard. This research underpins the work the seal guards do along the Dutch coast to prevent seals from getting into trouble. We also learn about seal behaviour and the bond between mother seals and their pups through this research. This is incredibly important to learn more about these animals and their habitat: UNESCO World Heritage Site the Wadden Sea. 

Veldonderzoek - observatiemuur in de Dollard

The equipment

On this page are all the materials the team will need for the research in the Dollard.

Snow suits: €800

The snow suits are needed because the team often starts observing as early as 4 or 5 in the morning. This is because they depend on the tide. It can be very cold this early in summer. The team sits on top of the dike with only a front wall to protect them. When the wind comes from a different direction, this is very cold. And when it rains, the researchers get wet. The snowsuits protect them a little from the rain but mostly from the wind. There are now only three snowsuits left and they are starting to get very broken. These suits were very nicely donated years ago, but they have been used a lot in seal care and in the field. Will you help our team get new snow suits?

Onderzoek team in de Dollard

Tripods: €400 and cameras: €3,100

The research team observes the seals with cameras. This way, they can observe from a safe distance at close range. During the observation, photos and videos are taken for later review and use for photo id. The cameras and tripods are broken after years of use. Therefore, we are raising money for this. 

The current tripods are very old. Some parts are broken and it is no longer possible to adjust them or open them properly. The lenses the researchers use are very heavy and expensive and we need stable equipment to use them safely.

For the research, it is very important to closely monitor and record the seals' behaviour. Therefore, two types of cameras are used: a Nikon DSLR (reflex) camera and a Compact Nikon Coolpix camera.

The reflex camera is currently borrowed from one of the researchers. Last summer, it was damaged. The camera is important for capturing photos for photo id. The researchers would be very happy to have a replacement for the current film camera, which has too low a resolution. This makes it difficult to follow the seals' behaviour on video. Which is essential for the research.

The Coolpix camera has been used extensively since the first survey in 2015. This camera is very important for the team because it automatically zooms in. This is useful for when following seals and they suddenly show behaviour that the team wants to capture. This camera then quickly zooms in and starts recording immediately. After seven years, this camera is seriously damaged. Our researchers are very happy with this camera and would therefore like the same model again. Can you help them out? 

Zeehond - moeder en pup zogen

Protective suitcase: €400

The current case has been used for the Dollard since 2015. In here all the research materials needed by the team in the Dollard. The suitcases break down quickly and get very wet from the rain. This is obviously not good for the suitcases and the things inside. Therefore, the wish is to have a good suitcase that offers sufficient protection for the cameras and lenses. Now, when it rains, the team has to run quickly to the cars to protect the gear!

Waterproof tablet: €2,000

The tablet has been in use since 2016 and has been incredibly useful in the field. Last year, the tablet unfortunately broke down. The team was able to finish the season with it but are worried that it will break even further. They would like one that can withstand the field and is waterproof, so they don't have to worry if it starts raining.

Chairs: €240

These chairs belonged to an employee of the Sealcentre. When she heard we needed chairs, they were donated for the project. We are still grateful for that! This has been a few years now and the chairs are almost completely broken. They are also quite low, resulting in back pain after sitting all day. So new chairs are also very important. The team would like to have similar chairs, but a bit higher and also sturdier.

Onderzoek in de Dollard

Waterproof folders: €240

As with many other materials, folders are also not made for the rain. Since there are no plans to attach a roof to the observation wall, water-resistant folders are also on the wishlist. Because the written text gets wet, it is sometimes difficult for the researchers to read back their findings and observations.

Other materials

Above is a small list of the materials needed by the Dollard team. Research in the Dollard is incredibly important for our work and for the health of the seal and its habitat. Would you like to contribute? 

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