RESEARCH

Research is a core activity for
the IWDG in order to build
informed opinions based on
scientific knowledge & inform conservation actions.


Since the IWDG was established it has aimed to be at the forefront of Irish whale, dolphin and porpoise research by establishing All Ireland Sighting and Stranding Schemes, identifying and monitoring the resident population of bottlenose dolphins in the Shannon Estuary, identifying the south coast as an important site for large baleen whales, monitoring areas of importance using acoustic techniques and surveying offshore waters among other achievements over the past 28 years.

Evidence based opinions and conservation actions have built IWDG its credibility and ensure we are effective at influencing government and industry.

The IWDG will continue to generate original research on whale and dolphins into the future in a relentless effort to understand these amazing animals and help protect them from current and future threats.

Recording
Schemes

Since 1991, the IWDG has operated a sighting and stranding scheme for the whole island of Ireland. Live whales, dolphins and porpoises seen at sea or from a cliff top are reported to the sighting scheme while dead animals found washed up are reported to the stranding scheme.

Both schemes are the backbone to the IWDG and have actively built up an unrivalled dataset over a 28 year period which is crucial to maintain to ensure we continue to develop our understanding of these unique animals into the future.

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Sighting Scheme

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Sighting Scheme is critically important in our understanding of the distribution and abundance of whales, dolphins and porpoise in Irish waters.

Without a robust recording scheme with strong validation the information cannot be used to support conservation actions and policies and inform environmental impact assessments or support marine tourism.

HEAR THE IWDG SIGHTINGS OFFICER EXPLAIN THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SIGHTING SCHEME

Our Expeditions

IWDG Projects

State
Collaborations

The IWDG have built strong relationships with state agencies and departments to further our aims.

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Research
Techniques

Research on whales, dolphins and porpoises requires a range of techniques to understand the world they inhabit and the pressures they are under. 

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Research Vessels

While land observations or acoustic techniques are powerful tools, going to sea is often required to survey areas and use techniques like photo-ID which need sharp, up-close images; and that’s where our research vessels come into play.

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Research Resource Downloadables

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