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.
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.
IWDG Strandings Officer Mick O’Connell talks about the results and impact of the Stranding Scheme at the IWDG Stranding Network Meeting on 7th March 2020.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Stranding Scheme is one of the longest running schemes in the world. It is critically important in identifying trends and threats to whales, dolphins and porpoise in Irish waters.
The IWDG Stranding Scheme has documented the signigicant increase in strandings of common dolphins on our shores since 2011 and Unusual Mortality Events such as the strandings of large numbers of Cuvier’s beaked whales in 2018.
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.