Bottlenose Dolphin - Tursiops truncatus
Population trend: Unknown … Baby dolphins will remain with their mother for two or three years
Type: Mammal (Cetacean)
Location: Wide distribution in coastal and continental shelf waters in tropical and temperate zones. In UK waters especially the Moray Firth, Scotland, Cardigan Bay, Wales and off South West Cornwall in England.
Size: 2.2 – 4.0 metres in length (adult)
Habitat: Both pelagic and continental shelf waters.
Many dolphins die when they are caught accidentally as bycatch of fishing boats. Other threats they face include chemical and noise pollution and habitat degradation. In some countries they are still directly hunted (e.g. in Japan). Although the IUCN classify the common bottlenose dolphin as ‘Least Concern’ worldwide, many inshore bottlenose dolphins exist in small, relatively isolated populations and may be especially vulnerable to human activities. In some specific seas the bottlenose dolphin is classified as Endangered.
Bottlenose dolphins feature in Dolphinaria and ‘swim with dolphins’ attractions around the world. However, these animals were captured from the wild, a cruel process that involves the death of many dolphins each year.
Dolphins are intelligent, wide-ranging, social mammals that use sonar to explore their environment and the close confines of these facilities are not appropriate for keeping these animals.
Did you know?
- UK bottlenose dolphins are amongst the largest in the world!
- Dolphin live in groups (pods) of between 10 and 30 animals.
- Dolphins communicate with each other using a complex language of squeaks, clicks and whistles, as well as a wide range of behaviours such as leaping, tail slapping and posturing.
What MCS is doing:
- Advising the fishing industry on fishing methods that reduce bycatch; whilst advising chefs and restaurants, consumers and retailers about which seafood is of least threat to dolphins;
- Campaigning to reduce marine litter that can cause entanglement;
- Campaigning for better management of marine protected areas in UK seas to protect dolphins and their habitats from damaging activities.