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Investigation of England and Wales for nursery grounds for Risso - MB5302

Summary Objectives:

The main objective is to gain more information about the Risso's dolphin population (or populations) found on the western coasts of the UK. In particular we shall seek to determine the population sizes, status and habitat use for these animals around the Lleyn Peninsula, in Wales, the Isle of Lewis in Scotland and Cornwall. We shall also try to determine the relationship between the animals seen in these three areas and also collect data on the relationships within the dolphin groups in these areas. At the same time as focusing on this species we shall also collect information on other cetaceans systematically observed during the study.

Key Customer Purpose:

An improved knowledge of this species in UK waters will aid its conservation, and help meet the requirements of the EU Habitats and Species Directive (i.e. that Member States undertake surveillance of the conservation status of cetaceans). The North and Baltic Sea populations of Risso’s dolphin are also listed on Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and covered by the ASCOBANS agreement. Reports and papers on project results will be widely distributed, for example, to the Parties to ASCOBANS and via the European Cetacean Society (ECS). Results will be provided to nature conservation agencies to inform the designation and implementation of MPAs and Marine Conservation Zones under the new Marine Acts for Scotland, England and Wales. Data regarding the importance of these habitats and the requirements for the survival of marine mammals will inform marine planning decisions.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2011

Cost: £15,213
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society