Prior to 1999, there was very little known about the bottlenose dolphins of the Sardinia Island. To address this, the Italian non-profit research organisation “Accademia del Leviatano” in collaboration with Mr Bruno Díaz López, a zoologist with 17 years of experience as cetacean researcher, started the "Dolphin-project" in 1999. Over the years the project grew to encompass a wider area and more diverse range of issues and in 2004 the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI) was established.
Long-term monitoring of a population is perhaps not viewed as exciting science, but is absolutely essential in order to estimate population trends and understand their causative factors. BDRI members seek to contribute to the understanding and conservation of cetaceans (dolphins and whales), expand the public's knowledge and concern for our marine environment, and add to the knowledge base of bottlenose dolphins and other species of cetaceans through publications of collected and analysed field data.
The BDRI is not a tour operator or dolphin watching organisation, but a well organised team of researchers carrying out one of the most important research projects of a resident dolphin population in Europe. BDRI is partner to ACCOBAMS, the UNEP's Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area.
Using study techniques that neither harm nor seriously disturb the animals, BDRI's researchers are engaged in the conduction of a long term study about the ecology and behaviour of a Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin population, as well as collecting detailed information about their environment.
Because of the high degree of behavioural and social flexibility that some species of cetaceans (mostly dolphins) have demonstrated throughout their range, it is essential to understand factors affecting local cetaceans, if their populations are to be managed and conserved. Information on habitat use also seems applicable to coastal management plans.
This year the main focus will be on the following objectives:
• Determine abundance, mortality rate, and birth rate of dolphins within the north-eastern Sardinia
• Identify individual dolphins, describe the patterns of association of bottlenose dolphins and describe the way in which their social separation is related to the way in which dolphins respond to the food patches created by humans
• Document habitat use and a more detailed understanding of the relationships between bottlenose dolphins - fisheries (gill-nets and trawlers) and aquaculture (obtain information on incidental capture of bottlenose dolphins in human activities)
• Mapping, in Geographic Information System (GIS), of cetacean (bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, common dolphins, fin whales, sperme whales, etc.) distribution and abundance and hot-spots of interaction with human's activities in order to determine special areas of protection
• Study dolphin behaviour patterns and communication
• Describe the dolphin vocalizations characteristics and changes induced by marine noise pollution
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Via A. Diaz 4,Golfo Aranci (O-T) 07020 Italy
Tel +39 3460815414
Tel +39 0789 1831197
The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute is a marine science centre for Research, Education and training in cetaceans’ ecology and behaviour. Students and volunteers can participate in hands-on research on wild bottlenose dolphins and other cetaceans along the emerald coast in Sardinia, Italy. The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute offers through the Internship, Volunteer and Field research Course programs hands-on experience in marine mammal research, boat based field work, intensive training and mentoring in marine ecology. It is a great opportunity for interested individuals to go abroad and participate in the BDRI programs during their gap year or to learn about cetacean’s ecology and behaviour during the holidays. The education and training programs will all take part on the north-eastern coast of Sardinia, a true marine biologist’s paradise. Any reproduction of the photographs, art, or other contents
is prohibited without written permission.