Celebrating 30 Years of the Shannon Dolphin Project


It’s been over 30 years since the IWDG first headed out into the Shannon Estuary from Carrigaholt in west Clare,  in search of bottlenose dolphins. We didn’t find any ! but the following day on 3 May, we did and the IWDG Shannon Dolphin Project had started. To celebrate the 30 years, share our information, and reach out to those who have contributed in so many ways we have organised a whole series of events over the summer. These includes talks and seminars, podcasts, two bio-blitz (https://iwdg.ie/bioblitz-may-in-the-shannon-estuary/), publications and story boards. All telling different aspects of the Shannon Dolphin Project.


We are grateful for funding from the Local Biodiversity Action Fund 2023 through the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage through the Biodiversity Officers of Clare, Kerry and Limerick County Councils for supporting our ideas. During the summer we have posted a number of stories on this website, shared podcasts and videos on all our social media platforms including IG, twitter and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ShannonDolphinProject/). Links to some of the key articles below:

4. Shannon Dolphin Project: Senescence or Rebirth ? https://iwdg.ie/shannon-dolphin-project-senescence-or-rebirth/ 

3. Shannon Dolphin Project: Maturity https://iwdg.ie/shannon-dolphin-project-maturity/

2. Shannon Dolphin Project: Adolescence https://iwdg.ie/the-shannon-dolphin-story-adolescence/

  1. Shannon Dolphin Project: Conception https://iwdg.ie/the-shannon-dolphin-story-conception/

Attendees at the Shannon Dolphin Seminar in Limerick


Shannon Dolphin Seminar

As part of our programme of events to celebrate 30 Years of the Shannon Dolphin project the IWDG hosted a seminar in Limerick on October.

This seminar aimed to bring together those interested in the Shannon Dolphins; a small, unique population of bottlenose dolphins living in the Shannon Estuary. We hoped to share some of our knowledge gained during our 30 year study (1993-2023), our understanding of how the dolphins use the estuary, long-term trends from sightings and acoustic monitoring data and share some of the individual Shannon Dolphin stories. The Shannon Dolphin Seminar was aimed principally at managers and planners, environmental and biodiversity consultants and engineers with an interest in the future of the Shannon Estuary.

We had a good attendance and lively discussion as well ass key presentations from Simon Berrow, Mags Daly, Joanne O’Brien and Barbara Cheney. A copy of the Shannon Dolphin Seminar Report is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BW6pPplxzvd-tpuObtJHwOqCAed5O-nZ/view?usp=share_link

Listen to our Science Stories on our new Soundcloud account https://soundcloud.com/irishwhaleanddolphingroup

Learn about our long term effort watches from Bioblitz https://vimeo.com/iwdg/bioblitz?share=copy

Shannon Dolphin Publication

We also published a book on the Shannon Dolphins. The publication chartered the development of the project since its inception in 1991, includes personal reflections from key people and provides lots of information we have gained on the dolphins over the last 30 years. We were very lucky to have Minister Malcolm Noonan launch the book for us at the Shannon Dolphin Centre and enjoyed a lovely evening in the company of so many who have supported the project over the years. Please follow link to video here https://vimeo.com/iwdg/sdpbooklaunch?share=copy

Minister Malcolm Noonan at our Shannon Dolphin book launch with Simon Berrow and Mags Daly


Copies of the book can be purchased online at https://iwdg.ie/product/shannon-dolphins-book/

So a big thank you to all those who have support the Shannon Dolphin Project over the years and thank you for support from the Local Biodiversity Action Fund to share all our stories and knowledge.

These events were funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage through the Biodiversity Officers of Clare, Kerry and Limerick County Councils through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund 2023