Locally spotted dolphin part of South West population
Tuesday 3rd May 2016
A bottlenose dolphin named ‘stumpy’ spotted recently in Dorset is believed to be part of a South West population, which is the third population of dolphins identified in the UK.
Other populations include the Moray Firth dolphins in Scotland and the Cardigan Bay dolphins in Wales.
Photo identification, scars and nicks in the dorsal fins help marine conservationists and researchers identify individual members of the group. ‘Stumpy,’ a bottlenose dolphin, named for the missing tip of its dorsal fin, has been seen in Falmouth, Penzance, Newquay and Padstow in Cornwall, and is now thought to be a member of the resident dolphin population in South West England.
A number of young dolphins have also been recorded in recent years
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Marine Awareness Officer, Julie Hatcher said, “The South West population, which ranges from Dorset to Cornwall, often splits into smaller groups of 3 or 4, or slightly larger groups of around 20 animals. Although it is not known exactly how many animals are resident in the South West group as a whole, a number of young dolphins have been recorded in recent years, which is encouraging.”
DWT recommends that to help protect these marine giants in their natural habitat, boats must follow the marine code of conduct when near dolphins in the sea. Dolphins are protected by law from disturbance and injury.
The Marine Code of Conduct should be followed at all times...
Julie continues, “Rules include not driving directly towards them, maintaining a steady course and speed so they can predict your movements and avoid boats if necessary, and not splitting up the group. Boat users should also be aware of other vessels around the dolphins and not box them in – move away if there are more than 2 vessels within 1km. Often, dolphins will decide to come over to you, but it must be their choice.”
Let us know about your sightings!
DWT would like to hear about your dolphin sightings. Please share videos and pictures taken in Dorset via , Twitter (@dorsetwildlife) and facebook/DorsetWildlife. Find out more information about the Marine Code of Conduct cick here.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620. Alternatively contact the Kimmeridge Marine Centre (open weekends) on 01929 481044 or Julie Hatcher on 07780484749
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
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