Displaying items by tag: IWDG
Held in conjunction with the Coastal & Marine Research Centre at University College Cork, the evening will see a talk by Barry McGovern on the CMRC's work in Broadhaven Bay as part of the Corrib Gas Project in Co Mayo over the past decade.
In addition, the IWDG's Dr Simon Berrow will look at whale and dolphin strandings around Ireland, with a focus on Belmullet.
The IWDG has more details on the evening HERE.
#MarineWildlife - A humpback whale new to Irish waters has been confirmed by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
Photos of the humpback's fluke and dorsal fin captured by Nick Massett off Clogher and Sybil Heads in West Kerry at the weekend were examined by the IWDG's catalogue experts who have determined that the whale is a new arrival - and one with a fluke colouring that's rarely seen in Irish waters.
Details have since been sent to Allied Whale in the US state of Maine - which curates the North Atlantic humpback whale catalogue - to see if a match can be made among its database of more than 7,000 fluke images.
Meanwhile, Wildlife Extra reports that sailors in the Irish Sea are urged to keep a lookout for a large group of minke whales.
The group includes three juveniles and a calf previously spotted some 19 miles east of Ireland's Eye near Howth.
"Although sightings of Minke whale are to be expected in these waters, such a large group is a rare occurrence," said Danielle Gibas, sightings officer with the UK's Sea Watch Foundation, which is organising Britain's annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch this week till 3 August.
And in other cetacean news, scientists claim that dolphins call each other by name, calling back to the sound of their signature whistle but ignoring whistles that aren't theirs.
Using underwater speakers, they played synthesised versions of dolphin whistles they'd identified with particular dolphins to determine their reactions.
They were surprised to find that individuals called back after hearing their own 'name' but ignored others, whether they were for dolphins in the same group or strangers.
Last night a woman was hospitalised after being struck by the dolphin's nose in the kidney area, leaving her "badly bruised and shocked by the incident".
It's since emerged that this was the fourth such attack by the bottlenose dolphin in the past month.
The cetacean responsible - a 14-year-old female - has made Doolin her home after many years in the Fanore area, and has apparently been responsible for a number of attacks on swimmers over the last two years.
But visitors continue to swim with the dolphin despite warnings by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), which discourages any interference with the protected species.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan was on board the IWDG's research vessel Celtic Mist in Dun Laoghaire on Tuesday 16 July to lance the group's new atlas of marine mammal distribution in Irish waters - an event at which he also confirmed his extension of the protections already afforded to whales and dolphins over a number of coastal sites around Ireland.
The Dublin Bay SAC, running from Rockabill off Skerries to Dalkey Island, is one of the six new sites proposed by the minister's department late last year.
The list also features Blackwater Bank in Co Wexford, the West Connacht Coast, Hempton's Turbot Bank in Donegal, the Porcupine Bank Canyon off Kerry and the South-East Rockall Bank.
According to The Irish Times, the Dublin Bay conservation zone alone covers a sea area of 27,000 hectares and will extend protections under the 1992 EU Habitats Directive to the area's population of harbour porpoises.
#MarineWildlife - Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan was on board the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's (IWDG) research vessel Celtic Mist yesterday 16 July to launch a new atlas of marine mammals in Ireland's coastal waters.
The Atlas of the Distribution and Relative Abundance of Marine Mammals in Irish Offshore Waters marks the culmination of six years of surveys involving more than 1,000 says at sea, and provides up to date information for 19 species of cetaceans: whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Ireland is home to a remarkable diversity of whales and dolphins, and the new atlas shows how common and widespread some of these species are - from the harbour porpoise and common dolphin to the much larger fin whale.
Not all Irish cetaceans are so common, however, and the atlas also highlights the importance of Irish waters for some of the Atlantic’s rarer deepwater species such as the sperm whale and several beaked whales.
These are species about which very little is known, the IWDG says more work will be required in the coming years to allow a better understanding of the conservation requirements of these animals.
Every six years, Ireland is obliged to report on the conservation status of all of its marine mammals as part of its commitments under the European Union’s Habitats Directive. The data from this atlas has already proved invaluable in underpinning Ireland’s 2013 report to the European Commission.
Speaking at the launch yesterday in Dun Laoghaire, Minister Deenihan commended the work undertaken to produce the atlas.
“This fine atlas is the culmination of many years of work by a large number of people and I’m happy to note that it was produced under a project funded over several years by my department in collaboration with the Marine Institute," he said.
"As minister, I have also extended the protection afforded to whales and dolphins through the designation of additional marine special areas of conservation. I would like to thank the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group for this excellent publication.”
The atlas is available as a PDF to download HERE.
Along the way they will be recording any sightings of whales or dolphins along the way using forms supplied by the IWDG.
And the IWDG is currently offering places on board to all members for both week-long legs of the cruise.
The vessel has eight berths that will comfortably sleep a team of one skipper and seven crew - indeed, anyone taking up this offer will be expected to prepare meals and perform other sailing duties!
For more details on how to join The Gathering Cruise on board Celtic Mist, see the IWDG website HERE.
In the meantime, Celtic Mist is offering all IWDG members a chance to sail on day trips from Dun Laoghaire this week - email [email protected] for details.
The studies, part funded by the US Navy, found that beaked whales where particularly sensitive to sonar - and that even blue whales, the largest animals on earth, were distracted from feeding by the subsurface noise.
It's long been feared that the use of sonar is to blame for unusual behaviour among whales, who navigate and communicate with each other over long distances using sound.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) identified sonar activity by Royal Navy submarines as a possible cause of a the mass stranding of pilot whales in Donegal in November 2010, in which as many as 35 whales died.
Now for the first time, sonar has been proven to affect behaviour of cetaceans to a detrimental degree, confirming for many a connection between the use of sonar technology and recordings of whale and dolphin strandings identified since the 1950s. The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.
In more positive whale-related news, the IWDG reports that its next Cape Clear summer whalewatching course over the weekend of 26-28 July is "filling up nicely".
Places are still available but as it coincides with the tourism high season in West Cork, anyone interested is advised to book sooner than later to ensure they have someone to stay nearby.
The most recent weekend course over the June bank holiday witnessed numerous harbour porpoises and common dolphins, but its hoped the elusive whales will make an appearance next time round!
#MarineWildlife - In a week that saw the Isle of Man's first sighting of a humpback whale for three years, BBC News reports on the strange discovery of a rare species of dolphin two miles inland from the shore in Co Donegal.
The carcass of an Atlantic white-sided dolphin was found on a hillside near Meenbanad with head injuries - but no one knows how it got there.
Pádraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said it's most likely that someone found the dead cetacean on the beach and took it to the hillside to decay so that its skeleton could later be retrieved.
The dolphin is thought to be one of a pod that beached at Traigheanna Bay in Dungloe on 21 June. The species is a rare sight in Irish coastal waters, said Whooley, because they tend to feed much further out at sea.
In other stranding news, the IWDG reports that a bottlenose dolphin who live stranded at Beal in Co Kerry last summer has been recorded in the Shannon Estuary with her calf on a number of occasions this month and last.
The Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation has more on the sightings of the dolphin they now call Sandy Salmon.
As the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation (SDWF) reports, the dolphin known as 'No 1' was sighted in Brandon Bay on Saturday 25 May swimming in a group of three.
No 1 is happily a familiar sight in the region, having been recorded most years since the project began in 1993.
"It has long been known that Shannon dolphins regularly use Tralee and Brandon Bays but how important the area is in not clear," says the SDWF on its blog. "If we are to protect the Shannon dolphins we need to ensure we identify all their important habitats and extend protection to these areas if necessary."
Meanwhile, its been confirmed that the trio of bottlenose dolphins who took up residence near Bunratty Castle in the spring have been observed in the mainstream of the Shannon Estuary.
The three were spotted on the first monitoring trip of the summer from Kilrush last week by SDWF researchers of Moneypoint.
"This demonstrates again the value of long term monitoring and the power of a photo ID catalogue to monitor the Shannon dolphins," says the SDWF blog.
In other cetacean news, an in-depth discussion of the Shannon's dolphins and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's (IWDG) research of bottlenose dolphins around the Irish coastline was broadcast on Derek Mooney's afternoon show on RTÉ Radio 1 recently.
#MarineWildlife - Tonight's Nature on One on RTÉ Radio 1 joins the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) on a quest off Hook Head to find the majestic fin whale.
As TEN reports, Colin Stafford Jones was on board with the IEDG's Pádraig Whooley on a mission to track down the world's second largest animal - not only the biggest example of marine wildlife behind the incredible blue whale.
Their adventure will be broadcast tonight (Sunday 9 June) from 7pm on RTÉ Radio 1, and will be available to listen online afterwards via the Nature on One website HERE.