Displaying items by tag: Dolphins
The Irish Independent reports that some 100 bottlenose dolphins have made a new home off the Donegal coast in the past week.
The pod of bottlenoses - a rare treat in Irish waters compared to the near ubiquitous common dolphin - has been spoted by boaters and wildlife enthusiasts in the inner Donegal Bay, between Rossnowlagh Beach and Doorin Head.
Patrick Lane of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said the bottlenose often swims closer to the shore than its more common counterparts, making it much easier for people on shore to catch a glimpse.
The Irish Independent has more on the story, including photos, HERE.
A pod of dolphins attempted to save the life of an Irishman who drowned in Australia last month after only six weeks in the country.
Irish Central reports that Shaun McBride from Donegal was dismantling scaffolding at a wharf in Dampier, Western Australia, when the structure collapsed into the water.
Police divers reportedly found his body surrounded by a pod of dolphins. One of them was using its nose to push the body to the surface.
Shaun's mother Sylvia told mourners at his funeral in Burtonport that she had been comforted at learning the dolphin's actions in keeping vigil on her son.
Irish Central has more on the story HERE.
A Cork fisherman has described his anguish after one of three dolphins that recently made their home in the River Lee died in his nets.
Anthony Quilligan was fishing downriver from Cork city with his father Simon when they were surprised by the dolphin's sudden appearance.
"We were hauling the nets when I saw the dolphin jump out of the water about seven feet behind the net," Anthiony told the Evening Herald.
"He went back under water and we started to haul the nets faster to get them out of the way, but I saw the net's floats go under and I knew he was caught."
He added: ""He was alive when we got him ashore. We were just getting the last bit of net off his tail, and I was holding his head up out of the water. We wanted to save the creature, but he died in my arms."
Herald.ie has more on the story HERE.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has validated 175 large marine wildlife sighting records for June 2011.
The most commonly recorded species were bottlenose dolphins, accounting for 28 per cent of all sightings, followed by harbour porpoise (25%), minke whales (13.6%), common dolphins (9%) and basking sharks (5%).
Other sightings included Risso's dolphins, killer whales, fin whales, humpback whales and pilot whales.
"This is the second consecutive year that basking shark sightings have declined, with a 36 per cent drop in sightings on the same period in 2010," said IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley.
The total numbers compare with 270 sightings in June 2010. "The 35 per cent drop in sightings reflects the vagaries of Irish summers," Whooley added.
He also noted that this year marks the first time that the biggest cluster of sightings was off the coast of Co Dublin.
The IWDG has more on the story HERE.
Today's Irish Times recounts a day in the life of whale watch operator Nic Slocum.
Originally from the UK, Slocum traded tiring commutes to London for the peaceful life of sailing in west Cork 10 years ago, and shortly after turned his hobby into a new business by running whale watching excursions.
"We don’t promise whales and dolphins every time because they are unpredictable creatures," says the Whale Watch West Cork proprietor, "but for anyone interested in wildlife, there is an abundance of things to see. The marine coast is spectacularly beautiful here."
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
Fastnet Line which runs the Cork-Swansea port route on the Celtic Sea, is assisting the charity MarineLife to monitor cetaceans, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The work of MarineLife is to survey the population trends and track the movements of dolphins, whales, porpoises and other wildlife. The research is undertaken onboard Fastnet Line's Julia (1981/21,699grt) and access to the ferry is provided free-of-charge to the wildlife-based charity.
During the months of July and August the ferry's schedule will allow for further opportunities to conduct daylight sightings of marine-life which is to be posted on MarineLife and Fastnet Line websites.
Adrian Shephard, Chairman of MarineLife Trustees, said: "The route from Swansea to Cork crosses a range of marine habitats and we hope it will generate many sightings of cetaceans and seabirds, including two important species we monitor, the white-beaked dolphin and the balearic shearwater".
In addition monitors recently observed fin whales, the second largest whale on the planet. Such sightings provide vital information and this will contribute to a better understanding of the distribution of cetaceans and other marine life in the Celtic Sea. To read more www.marine-life.org.uk
The first of four summertime surveys is to take place on 10 July. Overall the research by MarineLife is part of a larger project which also involves the use of other ferries operating in the Irish Sea and those serving on UK continental routes.
The 1,500 passenger / 325 car-carrying Julia sails year-round six times a week between September to June and from next month and during August the vessel will provide eight sailings per week. For fares and sailings schedules contact www.fastnetline.com
Basking sharks have dominated recent sightings of large marine wildlife, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
The largest shark species in Irish waters accounted for a whopping 43% of sightings submitted to the IWDG's ISCOPE database between 22 April and 1 May.
Other marine species spotted include minke whales (14%), bottlenose dolphins (10%) and sperm whales (2.5%).
April's unseasonably warm weather and calmer seas brought more people out to the water, which may account for this rise in figures.
Ireland's Wildlife has more on the story HERE.
There is growing concern over the rising number of dolphin deaths along Ireland's south coast, the Irish Examiner reports.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) announced that a record 19 common dolphins washed up dead in Cork, Waterford and Wexford in January and February of this year alone - 17 more than in the same two months of last year.
Padraig Whooley of the IWDG said the deaths were "inexplicable", noting that there were no obvious signs of injury.
He added that the IWDG did not have the resources or funding to carry out the necessary post-mortems to determine the cause of death, which could be viral in nature.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.
The Irish Times has stunning photographs of fin whales and dolphins feeding off Hook Head in Co Wexford captured by animal wildlife photographer George Karbus.
Czech-born Lahinch resident Karbus, who specialises in wildlife photography, said: “It is really hard to capture images of fin whales because they move incredibly fast, so to see them together feeding in one place was amazing and I was able to get some special images.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has released its first study on the ecology of fin whales in Irish waters.
Using the photo identification catalogue collected by the group since 2001, some 62 individual fin whales were identified - 11 of them being return visitors.
The first ever Air Corps marine animal survey of whale and dolphin activity in Irish waters is set to begin today, the Irish Times reports.
A survey team accompanied by members of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) were scheduled to take off from Casement Aerodrome this morning headed for the southeast coast, where humpback whales have recently been sighted near Curracloe and Hook Head.
According to the IWDG, 19 whale and dolphin species have been recorded in Irish waters since 1948, the most common sightings being harbour porpoises.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.