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Common bottlenose dolphin wild and free © Tim Stenton

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New Zealand announces new whale sanctuary

The NZ government has just launched the Kaikoura Whale Sanctuary on the east coast of the South Island. The area is biologically rich and includes 500m deep ocean canyons which are home to giant squid which is the preferred prey of sperm whales. The sanctuary is nearly 5000 square kilometres in area and provides protection…

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Amazing sperm whales in the Azores

Sperm whales are among the many deep water species that I have been lucky enough to have seen in the last week (including Northern bottlenose whales, Sowerby’s beaked whales, pilot whales, Risso’s dolphins…) off Pico in the Azores. Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whales, one of the deepest diving and perhaps the…

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Two orcas taken in illegal capture in Russia

Two killer whales were captured in recent weeks in Nikolaya Gulf, in the southwestern Sea of Okhotsk, the Russian Far East. The captors are reporting that the orcas were actually taken in 2013 and spent the winter in Nikolaya Gulf. This is impossible because the Gulf is completely frozen in winter. Word is that the…

Dolphins, genetics and conservation

This past week saw the identification of yet another new species of dolphin (an Australian humpback dolphin called Sousa sahulensis): https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/03/australian-snubfin-and-humpback-dolphins-at-risk-of-localised-extinction?utm_content=buffer59341&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer Advances in the use of genetic profiling of dolphins reveals that coastal populations are made up of increasingly smaller and relatively isolated units, rendering them especially susceptible to local extinction. These fine scale genetic…

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WAZA and JAZA to Meet in Japan Ahead of Upcoming Drive Hunt Season

Responding to the collective voice of over 168 Japanese animal welfare and conservation organizations, the Executive Director of the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA) has agreed to meet with representatives from these organizations in a joint meeting with leadership of the Japan Association of Zoos and Aquaria (JAZA) on August 10th in Japan.…

Good news for Welsh Whales and Dolphins

Here at WDC we welcome the recent news that a large wind farm that was proposed in the Irish Sea, has been withdrawn. The Rhiannon offshore wind farm was to be situated 12 miles off the coast of Anglesey, consisting of over 400 turbines and covering an unprecedented 497 km2  – an area where there have…