Common bottlenose dolphin
 
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    Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece
 
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Bottlenose dolphins in the Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece

 

An abundant community of bottlenose dolphins lives in the Amvrakikos Gulf, western Greece. Intensive photo-identification work showed that these dolphins have high levels of site fidelity within the Gulf. Individual movements in and out of the Gulf are limited, probably owing to dramatic differences between the shallow, highly productive, turbid waters of the Gulf and the deeper, oligotrophic, limpid Ionian Sea open waters. Population size is about 150 individuals.

The Gulf is reportedly facing problems including alteration of water balance, chemical pollution, eutrophication and illegal fishing, resulting in significant ecosystem changes. However, dolphins appear to be thriving, likely due to the abundance of suitable prey – sardines in particular.

 

Bottlenose dolphins photographed in the Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece. Photos © Tethys Research Institute.

 

Cetacean Alliance investigators:

For more information, see:

Bearzi G, Agazzi S., Bonizzoni S., Costa M., Azzellino A. 2008. Dolphins in a bottle: abundance, residency patterns and conservation of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the semi-closed eutrophic Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18(2):130-146. (502 Kb)

Bearzi G., Fortuna C.M., Reeves R.R. 2009. Ecology and conservation of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Mediterranean Sea. Mammal Review 39(2):92-123. (307 Kb)