Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 26 September 2020

Environment

Watch: group of endangered humpback dolphins spotted at Abu Dhabi beach

There are about 700 Indian Ocean humpback dolphins inhabiting Abu Dhabi waters

A pod of humpback dolphins were spotted in shallow waters on Saadiyat Island over the weekend.

The group were seen swimming close to the shore in a video shared on the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi’s Twitter feed.

“We are grateful to experience moments such as these,” said the post.

“Please remember, if you see wildlife, don’t approach them and watch from a distance for your safety and theirs.”

Humpback dolphins can be found in various regions around the world, where they prefer to swim close to the shore.

There are various species of humpbacks, all of which share a distinctive humped-shaped triangular fin.

Indian Ocean humpback dolphins are native to the Middle East, East Africa and the west coast of India.

They are classed as endangered by The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, a global conservation body working to preserve wildlife and nature.

World’s largest population of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins are found in Abu Dhabi.
World’s largest population of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins are found in Abu Dhabi.

Other species of humpback dolphins include the Atlantic humpback, Australian humpback and Indo-Pacific humpback.

“Although once thought to be widespread throughout their range and present in large groupings, their numbers have declined significantly over the years and only small, localised populations are thought to remain,” said the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a UK-based charity.

They were only recognised as a species in their own right since 2014 and their numbers continue to fall, said the group.

Abu Dhabi was found to be home to the world's largest population of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins in a survey carried out in 2014 and 2015.

During the surveys in the capital, scientists spotted humpback dolphins on 32 of the 55 days they spent at sea, or 58 per cent of the time.

They observed 54 independent groups of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins, ranging in size from one to 24 individuals.

Most groups - 79 per cent - had less than 10 dolphins.

More than one-quarter of the humpback dolphins observed in 27 per cent groups were calves.

Using statistical inference models, the researchers estimated that there are 701 Indian Ocean humpback dolphins inhabiting Abu Dhabi waters.

Updated: June 28, 2020 02:55 PM

THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email
Most Popular