Affected by: Climate change , Fisheries , Pollution
These clever, streamlined mammals are found in most of the world’s oceans, including around the UK. By protecting marine dolphins like these we’re helping keep our seas healthy – which is good for all the other wildlife, and billions of people, who rely on the sea for their survival.
Bottlenose dolphins are generally social creatures that live in groups called ‘pods’, which can contain hundreds of individuals. They sometimes hunt in groups with other dolphins too.
By producing clicking sounds and interpreting the returning echoes (‘echo-location’) dolphins can tell the size, shape and speed of objects underwater – that’s how they catch fish, squid and other food.
Threats to dolphins include accidental capture in fishing gear – known as ‘bycatch’ – and also pollution, shipping and other risks at sea.
Where dolphins live
Bottlenose dolphins are found in most seas outside of the polar regions. You can spot them around the UK too: Scotland is actually home to the most northerly pod of bottlenose dolphins in the world.
Why dolphins are so important
Dolphins play an important role in keeping their environment in balance. They eat other animals – mainly fish and squid – and are themselves a source of food for some sharks and other creatures.
Without dolphins, the animals they prey on would increase in number, and their predators wouldn’t have as much to eat. This would disrupt the natural balance in the food chain and could negatively affect other wildlife and the health of the ocean environment.
By protecting dolphins we’re helping look after our oceans – and that’s good for all the wildlife and billions of people who depend on the sea.