Is­lands

The Oban Times - - Districts -

THE He­bridean Whale and Dol­phin Trust (HWDT) has re­ported record break­ing sight­ings be­tween Jan­uary and March this year.

There were 118 sight­ings, to­tal­ing more than 431 in­di­vid­ual an­i­mals, recorded be­tween Jan­uary 1 and March 31.

Bot­tlenose dol­phins were re­ported 12 times over the three months, with en­coun­ters in Barra, as well as the In­ner He­brides and around Mal­laig.

HWDT also tracks and records in­di­vid­ual killer whales and Risso’s dol­phins us­ing photo iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. Dur­ing this pe­riod, both species were re­ported five times across the He­brides.

Sight­ings of killer whales were noted around Skye, Mull and the Small Isles.

HWDT re­lies on mem­bers of the pub­lic to re­port sight­ings of whales, dol­phins, por­poises and bask­ing sharks through its web­site www.hwdt.org.

A spokesper­son from the group said: ‘We are very keen for peo­ple to join in with our com­mu­nity sight­ings net­work. By re­port­ing sight­ings, peo­ple con­trib­ute di­rectly to a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the local marine en­vi­ron­ment. It is re­ally use­ful cit­i­zen science in ac­tion.’

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