Displaying items by tag: Ratty River
Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) explained that it's not unusual for dolphins to forage for food in waterways that feed into the estuary, though they usually return to the main catchment on their own shortly after.
With fears that their acoustic abilities were impaired, preventing them from navigating downstream past a series of bridges and concrete pillars between them and the main watercourse, a rescue attempt had been planned for late last week.
But as the Clare People reports, this was called off as the dolphins were spotted less and less frequently in the area.
Later hydrophone tracking by the IWDG led experts to discover that the cetaceans were able to come and go as they pleased.
Despite this, dolphins only have a limited ability to survive in fresh water, and can develop serious kidney and skin problems if exposed for a significant length of time.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), which has been tracking the group, believes they originated from a larger group populating the estuary.
As the IWDG's Simon Berrow explains, such dolphins are known to forage for food in rivers that feed into the estuary, and will return to the main catchment on their own.
While the risk of stranding in the shallower waters of rivers is unlikely, there is growing concern that the dolphins have been in the area for longer than expected.
"We can't rule out the possibility that their acoustic abilities may be impaired by the series of bridges and concrete pillars that span one of the bridges, and that they may be finding it difficult to navigate as a result of an 'acoustic trap'," says Berrow.
The IWDG says it is in discussion with the National Parks and Wildlife Service as to what options are available to step in to shepherd the trio back to the Shannon Estuary if necessary.