As part of our celebrations of 30 years of the Shannon Dolphin Project we are repeating surveys we carried out in 1993 when we started our journey. In 1993 we carried out two “Minimum Number Estimates” which involved co-ordinated watches from all around the estuary to record and count al dolphins seen. Full scans of the estuary were carried out each hour and the maximum number of dolphins seen during these snap-shots considered the minimum number in the estuary. The May count was cancelled due fog but in October 1993 the estimate was 56-68 individuals.
We repeated this survey this weekend during Biodiversity Week, with 12 people watching at eight locations. Unfortunately, despite superb watching conditions we only counted a maximum of 3 individuals. Does this reflect a decline in dolphins, a scarcity of dolphins in the estuary in May or did we just mis them !!
Bioblitz was funded by the NPWs of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage through Clare, Limerick and Kerry County Councils. The next Bioblitz in the estuary will be on 13 August. Please join us.
For information on the range of events taking place to celebrating 30 years of the Shannon Dolphin Project please watch https://www.facebook.com/ShannonDolphinProject