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Common dolphins in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece

 

The Gulf of Corinth is an almost-enclosed sea in Greece, eastern Mediterranean. Surveys to assess local cetacean presence were conducted by the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute in July 1995 and 1997. Dolphin sighting frequencies were high (0.043 sightings/km). Four dolphin species were encountered: striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) and common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

Bottlenose dolphins were encountered only once. Thirteen dolphin sightings were single-species
(striped dolphins) and seven were mixed-species with either two species (striped and common dolphins
in five sightings), or three species (striped, common, and Risso’s dolphins in two sightings) in the group. In all mixed-species sightings, Risso’s dolphins and common dolphins were the minority species present. To date, no single species groups of Risso’s or short-beaked common dolphins have been observed in the Gulf of Corinth.

Interspecific rake marks on the Risso’s dolphins, and behaviours observed through video analysis,
indicate potentially complex and regular interspecific interactions. The available evidence suggests that interspecific interactions between sympatric cetacean species in the area are common, and
apparently complex.

 

Mixed-groups including short-beaked common dolphins, striped dolphins and Risso's dolphins
were observed in the Gulf of Corinth. Photo © Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute.

 

Cetacean Alliance investigators:

For more information, see:

Frantzis A., Herzing D. 2002. Mixed-species associations of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), short beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) in the Gulf of Corinth (Greece, Mediterranean Sea). Aquatic Mammals 28(2):188-197. (941 Kb)