Record numbers of three dolphin species have been spotted off the Hebrides and west
Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust HWDT) recorded 2,303 common dolphins, 42 bottlenose
dolphins and 94 Risso’s dolphins in 2016.
Dr Lauren Hartny-Mills, science officer of the conservation charity, said: “The reasons
for the high number of sightings of these charismatic dolphin species – and the broader
effects on the marine environment and other species – remain unclear.
Record numbers of dolphins spotted off the Hebrides
13 February 2017
“But the intriguing findings highlight the importance of on-going monitoring and
research – to strengthen our understanding of what is taking place in Hebridean waters,
and to ensure well-informed conservation action.”
Average annual figures documented over the previous 14 years were 463 individual
common dolphins, 14 bottlenose dolphins and 12 Risso’s dolphins.
The latest findings were made with the aid of 71 paying volunteers on research voyages
over the summer.