Common bottlenose dolphin
  Case studies
    Alboran Sea and Gulf of Vera, Spain
    Northern Adriatic Sea
    Slovenian waters
    Croatian waters
    Kalamos, Greece
    Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece
  Other Mediterranean species



Bottlenose dolphins around Kalamos, Greece


A relatively stable presence of bottlenose dolphins was observed in the waters surrounding the island of Kalamos, in western Greece. About 25 animals have shown high levels of site fidelity over the past decade, while others use the area only occasionally. Their flexible feeding habits and opportunistic behaviour may allow them to withstand the effects of overfishing and habitat degradation, but they survive at low densities (approximately 0.6 groups/100km).

In recent years, at least some members of the bottlenose dolphin community living around Kalamos seem to have progressively specialized in foraging around coastal fish farms. They often visit the area around the cages and possibly feed on mullets and other prey attracted by the locally productive area and by the pellets thrown at sea to feed the caged seabreams. No damage to fish farms has beed reported.

Little information exists for other portions of the Ionian Sea. Bottlenose dolphins can be expected to be found in coastal waters throughout the region, but their densities may vary greatly, dependig largely on prey abundance.


Bottlenose dolphins photographed around Kalamos, Greece. Photos © Tethys Research Institute.


Cetacean Alliance investigators:

For more information, see:

Bearzi G., Politi E., Agazzi S., Bruno S., Costa M., Bonizzoni S. 2005. Occurrence and present status of coastal dolphins (Delphinus delphis and Tursiops truncatus) in the eastern Ionian Sea. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 15:243-257. (278 Kb)

Bearzi G., Politi E., Agazzi S., Azzellino A. 2006. Prey depletion caused by overfishing and the decline of marine megafauna in eastern Ionian Sea coastal waters (central Mediterranean). Biological Conservation 127(4):373-382. (444 Kb)

Bearzi G., Fortuna C.M., Reeves R.R. 2009. Ecology and conservation of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Mediterranean Sea. Mammal Review 39(2):92-123. (307 Kb)