Studi Cetacei (Centre for Cetacean Studies) was established in 1985
as a research group belonging to the Italian Society of Natural Sciences
based at the Natural History Museum of Milan. One of the most important
aims was to bring together all the Italian researchers and Institutions
concerned with cetaceans, encouraging cooperation and studies in this
field. Nowadays, the Centro consists of more than 100 members belonging
to Zoological Museums, University Departments and non-profit Institutions.
The Centro Studi Cetacei is officially recognized by the Italian Ministry
of Agricultural, Food and Forest Resources and received permission for
its activity by the C.I.T.E.S. Office of the same Ministry and by the
Ministry of Environment, Service for the Conservation of Nature.
The main project carried out by CSC is a national stranding network that
collects data and samples from Cetaceans found stranded or beached along
the Italian coasts. This stranding project has been active since May 1986.
The stranding network gives the opportunity to preserve skeletons for
Museums and to carry out several researches on samples collected from
each specimen. Annual reports on strandings occurring on the Italian coasts
are published on the Journal "Atti della Societa' Italiana di Scienze
Naturali e del Museo civico di Storia Naturale di Milano", which
is the Journal of the Societa' Italiana di Scienze Naturali. The reports
published by CSC have been used for many studies and for the creation
of a database on marine mammals of the Mediterranean Sea held at the NATO
Saclant Undersea Research Center located in La Spezia (Italy). The
database and the associated GIS have been developed within the SOLMAR
project. CSC organizes the National Conference on Cetaceans and Turtles;
the next meeting, the fifth, will be held in Tuscany, December 6th-9th.
sperm whale skeleton at the Natural History Museum in Milan