14 April 2015

14th day of April 2015: It’s Dolphin Day!

Artwork by: Mike Yap

Today is April 14 and it’s the National Dolphin Day. It’s a part of pet health awareness events  established by the American Veterinary Medical Association, a non-profit association aiming to advocate and advance the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health [1].

Dolphins are very smart marine mammals that are known to display  agility for long distance swimming to reach feeding areas [2]. They are also highly social animals that often hunt together to find prey. In fact, they use a hunting scheme by circling, trapping, and catching a school of fish [2].

Like other marine animals, species such as Hector’s, Maui’s, and common bottlenose  dolphins are continually threatened. According to research, their deaths are mainly caused by human activities which includes marine pollution, habitat degradation, harvesting, entanglement in fishing gear (by-catch), climate change, and ship strikes [2, 3, 4].

Hopefully, this particular celebration will increase awareness to save and protect these amazing sea creatures from various threats.

To know more about the dolphins, visit SeaLifeBase.

[1] AVMA Vision and Mission. www.avma.org  [Accessed 04/09/2015].

[2] LeDuc, R. 2009. Delphinids, Overview. In: Perrin, W.F., B. Wursig and J.G.M. Thewissen (eds.), Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Second Edition, p. 298-302.
Academic Press: London [ISSN 978-0-12-373553-9].

[3] Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawbai. 2007. Hector’s Dolphin Threat Management Discussion Document. www.fish.govt.nz.

[4] Bearzi, G., Fortuna, C.M. and Reeves, R.R. 2008. Ecology and conservation of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Mediterranean Sea. Mammal Review. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2907.2008.00133.x.

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