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Bottlenose Dolphins Living On Ireland's East Coast

30th September 2011
Bottlenose Dolphins Living On Ireland's East Coast
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has said that evidence suggests a pod of three bottlenose dolphins is living on the east coast of Ireland.
According to RTÉ News, the organisation as validated close to 200 sightings of the dolphins - one of whom was spotted off Co Down in October 2010 - along the Dublin and Wicklow coastline in the last year.
The IWDG's Páraig Whooley says that further analysis of theor movements show that they rarely travel north beyond Dalkey Island or south of Wicklow town, ind
icating a core range of 21 miles (33km).
"Remarkably, they seem to split their time evenly between their Dublin and Wicklow hotspots, thus making them extremely easy to locate, observe and photograph," he adds.
"In fact... the best way to find them other than checking this site, is probably to jump on a DART train in Dun Laoghaire bound for Greystones (or visa versa), making sure to look out the correct window."
While well known for being "boisterous, interactive and gregarious", bottlenose dolphins are also "indescriminate killers of porpoises and other dolphin species, with well-documented cases of infanticide".
Neither are they to be taken lightly by swimmers, with "a case load in Ireland of attacks on swimmers leading to serious injury, and at least one overseas case of [a bottlenose] killing a swimmer.
"It's nice to be able to boast of an apex predator lurking so close to the capital," adds Whooley.
RTÉ News has images of the dolphins in action off the south Dublin coastline HERE.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has said that evidence suggests a pod of three bottlenose dolphins is living on the east coast of Ireland.

According to RTÉ News, the organisation as validated close to 200 sightings of the dolphins - one of whom was spotted off Co Down in October 2010 - along the Dublin and Wicklow coastline in the last year.

The IWDG's Pádraig Whooley says that further analysis of theor movements show that they rarely travel north beyond Dalkey Island or south of Wicklow town, indicating a core range of 21 miles (33km).

"Remarkably, they seem to split their time evenly between their Dublin and Wicklow hotspots, thus making them extremely easy to locate, observe and photograph," he adds. 

"In fact... the best way to find them other than checking this site, is probably to jump on a DART train in Dun Laoghaire bound for Greystones (or visa versa), making sure to look out the correct window."

While well known for being "boisterous, interactive and gregarious", bottlenose dolphins are also "indescriminate killers of porpoises and other dolphin species, with well-documented cases of infanticide". 

Neither are they to be taken lightly by swimmers, with "a case load in Ireland of attacks on swimmers leading to serious injury, and at least one overseas case of [a bottlenose] killing a swimmer.

"It's nice to be able to boast of an apex predator lurking so close to the capital," says Whooley.

RTÉ News has images of the dolphins in action off the south Dublin coastline HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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