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Kiska the orca

Real stories from the dark side of captivity

Since we launched our campaign, we've been talking a lot about what a dark place...
Theo's rubbish collection

WDC Dolphin Defender Theo awarded BBC Climate Champion Award

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
End captivity background

Uncovering the dark side of captivity

Last week we launched our major new campaign to reveal and uncover the dark side...
Bottlenose dolphins © Christopher Swann

On the anniversary of the massacre of 1,423 dolphins, what’s changed?

One year ago today, 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, including mothers with calves and pregnant females,...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
A dolphin plays in front of the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay

Sharing our Spey Bay stories – tell us yours

2022 is Scotland's Year of Stories, a year in which stories inspired by, created or...
Orcas in Australia

Did orcas help rescue entangled humpback whale?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
An orca named 'Hulk' off Caithness, Scotland

My amazing week watching orcas in Scotland

Orca Watch's 10th anniversary event in the far north of Scotland was exhilarating with a...

More bad news as two humpback dolphin species are elevated to Endangered and Critically Endangered status!

Just the other day i blogged about how, as a direct result of bycatch, the IUCN had uplisted both the Irrawaddy dolphin and the finless porpoise to Endangered status. I thought that was depressing enough but more bad news was to follow with the elevation of Atlantic humpback dolphins to Critically Endangered status and Indian Ocean humpback dolphins being elevated to Endangered status – what is happening to our flippered friends? Why are we decimating thier populations with such ease and consistency?

It was only recently that the Indo-Pacific dolphin was separated into distinct species and this news of their precariously low population numbers brings home the magnitude of the situation facing humpback dolphins across their range. 

Atlantic humpback dolphins are only found in shallow, nearshore waters along the western coast of north and central Africa. Only 20 years ago the species was classified as Data Deficient, meaning that we didn’t know enough about them to classify them, 10 years later research showed them to be Vulnerable, today that status is now Critically Endangered with the species having seen a reduction of approximately 80% in the past 75 years. The recdution in their numbers – approx. 1,500 mature individuals remain – is a direct result of bycatch and other coastal developments.

The Indian Ocean humpback dolphin was only recently classified as a distinct species from the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin and is found, as its name suggests, in the Indian Ocean from South Africa to India. as with other humpback dolphins, they live in nearshore waters and have a restricted range, meaning that human activities, and predominantly bycatch, are resulting in their population decline.

About Nicola Hodgins

Policy Manager at WDC