RESEARCH - DOLPHINS IN THE ARABIAN GULF
Coastal areas are among the marine habitats most at risk from human activities. Consequently, coastal dolphins are among the most threatened species of cetaceans and most in need of management intervention to reduce anthropogenic threats. Estimates of population size and distribution patterns are integral components of the information needed to manage human impacts on wild cetaceans.
At least ten species of cetacean have been identified in the Arabian Gulf, but most of these are considered vagrant or seasonal visitor. Only two species of dolphin, the Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) are thought to be common residents of the Gulf. The finless porpoise (Neophocoena phocaenoides) is thought to be an uncommon resident.
The conservation status of these species in Abu-Dhabi waters is totally unknown, largely because of the lack of research on either species. The world conservation status of these species is Data Deficient, that is, there is insufficient information on which to make an assessment. This deficiency hampers conservation and management efforts and our ability to assess the impact of human activities on local populations of this species.
BDRI researchers participate in cooperation with the Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi since 2014, for the first time in Abu Dhabi waters, in a research project in order to obtain accurate data on population estimate, distribution, potential threats and residence patterns of dolphin species observed in coastal waters of Abu-Dhabi (UAE). Moreover the BDRI's chief biologist, Mr. Bruno Diaz Lopez works as research consultant and provides professional training in marine mammal research techniques for the members of the Environmental Agencie of Abu Dhabi.
The final purpose of this project is to inform and improve the design of conservation and management interventions towards these species in Abu-Dhabi waters.
To view some of our recently published research work visit the links bellow:
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