ECCO Ocean develops its own projects and also applies to third party projects. Due to the recent beginning of activity we are still in the application phase and we only have a project at the moment.
Connectivity of bottlenose dolphins on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula
Bottlenose dolphins usually occupy coastal or inshore areas and maintain well-defined ranges. Theoretically, these characteristics make them a suitable candidate for spatial-based conservation efforts. In Europe, the Bottlenose dolphin is listed in Annex II of the European Union’s Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and is thus priority species for conservation, requiring Member States to consider key areas of the species for designation of Special Areas of Conservation.
The project consists on the collection of photographs of bottlenose dolphins’ dorsal fins for later photo-identification. The fins of most dolphin species have unique patterns of cuts and nicks, allowing individuals to be identified, just like our finger prints. This is how we intend to build a “catalogue” of individuals of bottlenose dolphins that use the region of Lisbon in a regular basis. Subsequently, the cross-referencing of databases between different regions allows us to understand how wide are the areas used by the dolphins.