Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report
This report provides an update on the data that have been collected between 2011 and 2013 on the population of bottlenose dolphins that use the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Since 1989 the bottlenose dolphins which use the SAC have been the focus of an intensive research programme, carried out by the University of Aberdeen in collaboration with the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews. In 2004, NatureScot entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Aberdeen to support these studies and use the data to report on the condition of the Moray Firth SAC. This latest report indicates that, despite some variation between years, the number of bottlenose dolphins using the SAC between 1990 and 2013 appears to be stable. Acoustic data collected between 2011 and 2013 show that dolphins were present at two long-term monitoring sites within the SAC on almost all days during the summer.
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