WCA Partner Rocio Espada of Dolphin Adventure Gibraltar is author on a new research paper that has been published this month regarding the management of injured dolphins in the south Iberian Peninsula.
With the increasing popularity of whale watching worldwide, inevitably the number of propeller and ship strikes on cetaceans is also on the up. In this new paper, Olaya-Ponzone et al investigate and document the common dolphin population inhabiting the waters between Gibraltar and Algeciras, and record any lacerations present on individuals. From here, they can then monitor the healing process of the dolphins and become more educated in how the wounds evolve over time.
Over a period of 4 years between 2013 and 2017, 500 hundred wounded dolphins were monitored and tracked using photo identification. Using this data, the research team was able to record how long the dolphins were taking to heal, how severe the injuries were and also deduce the survival rates throughout the dolphin population. Their results can now be used to educate the wider community of the dangers inflicted upon cetaceans with increasing human interaction and help to produce measures which will allow for a safer environment for the common dolphins to inhabit.
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