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Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...

WDC’s Shorewatch work shortlisted for nature award

We are thrilled that our Shorewatch programme has been shortlisted in the Citizen Science category...
Image from one of the WDC Risso's dolphin research catalogues

Local community helps piece together Risso’s dolphin puzzle

Thousands of photographs from members of the public have been published today in two WDC...

Tesco joins new initiative to help protect whales and dolphins

Tesco, the UK's largest retailer has joined WDC, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), and the Royal Society...

Rare hybrid dolphin strands on beach in Australia

ABC in Australia report that scientists have been able to gather vital DNA samples from a rare hybrid dolphin that stranded on Cable beach in Broome, Western Australia.

When the dolphin originally came ashore, efforts were made to rescue it but it could not be saved. The dolphin was found to be suffering from lung worm.

The DNA has revealed that the mother of the dolphin was an Australian snubfin dolphin but it is not known which species the father came from with three or four other species thought to be able to breed with this species. In 2014, a study was published of hybridisation between the Australian snubfin dolphin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.

Crossbreeding in dolphins, while rare, has been observed elsewhere, such as in Scotland where WDC’s field team have come across a Risso’s dolphin/bottlenose dolphin hybrid (pictured below).

“Hybrids are known to exist between several different species of cetacean, however their occurence is still considered rare and to be able to undertake a full examination on a dead one is unfortunate for the individual animal but intriguing for science,” says WDC’s Head of science and research, Nicola Hodgins.


About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.