Because the animals live in the sea their activities and requirements are not immediately evident. But does out of sight have to mean out of mind? Research helps us put the dolphins on the map and in people’s minds.
If we are to protect the dolphins we have to know numbers, movement, how the animals react to human generated activities and - crucially – what their ecological requirements are.
- In 2008 a BBC grant is helping us to undertake boat based surveys in the outer Moray Firth to help fill in major data gaps.
- WDCS also continues to fund the work of the Lighthouse Research Station at Cromarty (Aberdeen University) on the bottlenose dolphins. This world-class and long-term research is a crucial component of our work to protect the dolphins.
- With the help of volunteers we also undertake shore-based research, from points around the Firth.
- In addition we have the work of Charlie Phillips, our Adopt a Dolphin Field Officer, based mainly at Chanonry Point, which contributes to monitoring the dolphins and in particular photo-identification.
- WDCS has its own visitor centres: the Dolphin and Seal Centre at North Kessock and the Moray Firth Wildlife Centre on the mouth of the river Spey. These are excellent interpretation and education centres and also a base from which WDCS can undertake its own survey work, tracking the movements of the dolphins year round. For more information about these visit: http://www.wdcs.org/wildlifecentre