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© Miguel Iniguez/WDC

Conservation and research projects

Working worldwide to protect whales and dolphins and the places where they live.

WDC has thirty years' experience funding vital conservation, education and research projects around the globe.

Wherever possible, we work with local communities and a guiding principle of any research is that techniques used must be as  non-invasive as possible for the species involved.

Risso's dolphin

Risso’s dolphins
United Kingdom

WDC’s research has already led to a proposal to create a marine protected area in the waters where these dolphins live in the Hebrides.

Carrying out survey for Shorewatch

Shorewatch - Scotland

WDC's Shorewatch project enables volunteers to collect vital sightings data from around the Scottish coastline.

Creel pots

Trialling whale-safe fishing ropes, Scotland

Collaborating with Scotland’s creel fishers to reduce entanglement of minke whales, basking sharks and other marine species.

Bottlenose dolphin calf

Bottlenose dolphins
Moray Firth, Scotland

For over 25 years, WDC has been at the forefront of conservation efforts to protect these amazing dolphins.

Orca - Fife at surface

Northern resident orcas - Vancouver Island, Canada

Our Adopt an Orca programme helps support the work of Orcalab, the longest-running orca research project in the world.

Southern resident orca

Southern Resident orcas - Washington State, USA

We are supporting efforts to restore habitat for wild salmon, the main food for this endangered group of orcas.

Whales, dolphins and their homes.  Over 30 years of success:

North Atlantic right whales - WDC successfully campaigned to get a speed reduction enforced to reduce the threat of ship collisions with whales.

Risso’s Dolphins - Thanks to WDC’s research and campaigning, the Scottish Government created a marine protected area where these dolphins are found.

Orcas - Thanks to the efforts of FEROP, it has become increasingly hard for marine parks to replenish their tanks with orcas taken from the wild off the coast of Russia.

River dolphin exhibition in museum

River dolphins - South America

WDC has been at the forefront of vital river dolphin conservation in the region for nearly 30 years.

Breathing humpback whale

Humpback whales - Gulf of Maine, USA

Our Adopt a humpback whale programme helps to support our work to protect the whales which return each spring to feed.

Gray whale

Great whale conveyor belt

Migrating whales transport and release thousands of tonnes of nutrients, vital for phytoplankton, krill and fish to thrive.

Atlantic humpback dolphin group

Atlantic humpback dolphins - Senegal, West Africa

WDC is helping to fund local conservationists working to save these critically endangered dolphins.

Breaching North Atlantic right whale

North Atlantic right whale - Gulf of Maine, USA

WDC is supporting the campaign to protect one of the world’s most endangered whales. Fewer than 340 whales survive.

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin

Port River dolphins - Adelaide, Australia

Our Adopt a dolphin programme in Australia is helping to protect this group of dolphins which, unusually, is living in an urban environment.

Humpback whales in Alaska. © Alaska Whale Foundation

Humpback whales - Alaska

Supporting ground-breaking research with the first ever study of the "Whale Pump" in the North Pacific.

Group of indo-pacific finless porpoises

Indo-Pacific finless porpoises - Hong Kong

Researchers working with local fishermen to learn more about these special porpoises.

Male orca

Far East Russia Orca Project - Russia

Russian researchers are studying these amazing whales which are still a target for marine parks.

Help protect whales and dolphins and their homes

By adopting a whale or dolphin, by making a donation, or by fundraising for WDC, you can help us save these amazing creatures.

Orca - Rob Lott


Adopt a whale and follow the lives of these amazing creatures.

Bottlenose dolphins leaping


Your support helps us take action to protect their homes.

Humpback whale spyhop


Run, bake, walk, cycle… what could you do to help?