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Bottlenose Dolphins

SPECIES: Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

LOCAL NAMES: Louper; Tumbler

POPULATION SIZE: Approximately 130

LOCAL DISTRIBUTION: The inner Firth and southern Moray Firth coast are important, with concentrations of sightings around the narrows at Kessock, Chanonry Point and the Sutors at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth. These areas may be important for breeding or feeding. Many individual dolphins stay in the Firth all year, whilst others have been sighted as far south as Aberdeen and St Andrews.

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION: Bottlenose dolphins live all around the world, from the clear tropical waters of Australia and Florida, to the colder waters of the UK. The Moray Firth dolphins are the most northerly resident population in the world. They are the only resident population in the North Sea and one of only two or three populations resident in the UK.

Working Together to Protect the Moray Firth Dolphins
The Moray Firth is recognised as being of European importance for its bottlenose dolphins, which are considered rare in a European context. Part of the Firth has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) to help protect the dolphin population.

The Moray Firth Partnership helped to co-ordinate the development and implementation of the Management Scheme for the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Click on the link to find out more.  The Partnership set up the Dolphin Defenders Project, encouraging hundreds of people of all ages to pledge to change something about their behaviour that could affect the dolphins and their environment and published 'Dolphin Echo', a quarterly newsletter about the Moray Firth Dolphins.

Looking For More Information About Bottlenose Dolphins?  Listed below are some other web sites which you may find useful.  (The Moray Firth Partnership accepts no responsibility for the content or information contained in any of the sites listed. This list is provided for information only.)

Aberdeen University Lighthouse Field Station

Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit (CRRU)

Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust (HWDT)

Marine Conservation Society (MCS)

Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)

Sea Mammal Research Unit

The Sea Watch Foundation

Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)

WDCS Wildlife Centre