Thursday, 16 April 2015

Dolphin sightings off the Hebrides leapt over last decade, research shows

Warmer waters around the Scottish islands may be attracting the increased numbers of the common dolphins, say experts

Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent

Wednesday 15 April 2015 07.01 BSTLast modified on Wednesday 15 April 201510.29 BST

Once rare sightings of the common dolphin off Scotland’s Hebrides have leapt in the last decade, new research has found, giving fans of the popular marine animal new opportunities to see them in the wild.

The rate at which the dolphins are sighted off the islands has increased from just one group a year in 2003 to 34 groups in 2014, said the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust charity.

The scientists are still unsure of the underlying reasons for the increase, but suspect that climate change may be playing a part.

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