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Ocean Health

Dolphins of Greece

Earthwatchers studied a shrinking population of bottlenose dolphins in Greece’s Amvrakikos Gulf.

Previously Funded Expedition

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

The project provided essential data for the management of marine ecosystems and supported conservation efforts in the Mediterranean region.

The number of dolphins in Greek waters has declined, but Earthwatchers have helped to reverse the trend.

The Amvrakikos Gulf has the highest reported density of bottlenose dolphins in the Mediterranean. The nutrient-rich waters of the gulf sustain a rich biodiversity where charismatic animals - including sea turtles and a variety of seabirds - can be easily encountered. In the past decade, however, the number of dolphins in the gulf has sharply declined. Researchers determined that this decline is linked to overfishing.

Scientists and volunteers involved with the Dolphins of Greece project worked to preserve the viability of coastal dolphins in western Greece. Using long-term monitoring by state-of-the-art techniques, they investigated how dolphins interact with their environment and how human activities - particularly fisheries and pollution - affect them.

Bottlenose dolphin, Greece

This marine conservation project highlighted threats dolphins face from fisheries and pollution.

The project provided essential data for the management of marine ecosystems, promoted marine conservation in Greece, and supported conservation efforts in the wider Mediterranean region. The research shed light on the local status of dolphins and identified the main threats affecting them. As a result, scientists and local communities have begun a number of conservation initiatives and hope to spur the local governments to officially protect these habitats and the dolphins that depend on them.

About the research area

Vonitsa, Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece, Europe & Russia

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

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The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Joan
Gonzalvo
Researcher, Ionian Dolphin Project at the Tethys Research Institute

ABOUT Joan Gonzalvo

Dr. Joan Gonzalvo studies and conserves whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

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Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food

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