Sighting of a Super Pod of Pan-tropical Spotted Dolphins off Chennai Coast

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On 6th August 2016, while on a pelagic birdwatching trip off the coast of Chennai, we stumbled upon a huge pod of dolphins approximately about 22 kms from the coast. Initially we thought it could be a group of different species as we saw a lot of movement, and breaching dolphins jumping high up in the air at a distance. They kept moving fast with one or the other individual breaching every now and then. There were calves and adults, … Read More

Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins off Mumbai Coast

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To be able to observe dolphins from one’s balcony or from shore is a possibility for most of us in Mumbai. There must have been a time when Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins (Sousa plumbea) roamed this coastal stretch in large numbers. Today they are scattered in small pockets, one of which is the bay off Raj Bhavan, Malabar Hill.

Other locations in Bombay, where these dolphins are seen is Worli, off Chowpatty in South Mumbai, Marine Drive, Sassoon Docks, and … Read More

Whale and Dolphin Surprises in Goa

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A group of us ventured out to sea off the coast of Goa on a fishing trawler for a full-day survey of pelagic birds. These birds spend most of their lives out at sea, living a solitary life, and visit certain islands only during breeding season. We started our explorations in Goan waters in 2017, but our last two trips, on 14th and 21st October, 2018 were exciting and memorable for a completely different reason.

We usually start off by … Read More

Goa’s Marine Mammals in Danger

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Skipping the Important Details — What About Mormugao’s Marine Mammals?

The coast of Goa has a rich variety of coastal and marine habitats which, besides supporting a lot of biodiversity, also sustains the tourism industry that forms the state’s economic backbone. All of this is now on the verge of destruction, with the latest developments proposed by the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), in association with Jindal SWPL, Adani and Vedanta.

This plan, to expand the port and develop a large … Read More

Studying India’s Marine Mammals — An Interview with Dipani Sutaria

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In a wide-ranging email interview with CI’s Shekar Dattatri, independent Indian ecologist, Dipani Sutaria, gives us a glimpse into her quest to study marine mammals. Based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Dipani is affiliated to James Cook University, Australia, from where she completed her PhD on Irrawaddy dolphins in Chilika Lagoon in eastern India. She is a member of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group. Her current research activities cover human-animal interactions, marine and aquatic mammals, animal behavior, urban biodiversity assessments, and Read More

Sail Tales — Spotting Terrestrial Birds at Sea

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In November 2013, our team from National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) set out on a ship R/V Roger Revelle hosted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for 17 days covering around 6000km in the offshore waters of the Bay of Bengal Sea to document marine mammals. We came across 12 species of marine mammals including blue whales, killer whales and sperm whales. Apart from these we saw turtles, flying fish, butterflies, dragonflies and, unexpectedly, some terrestrial birds. The expedition … Read More