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Dolphins Species
occurring in the
MN Park

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INDO-PACIFIC BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS

Are characterised by being slightly smaller than the oceanic bottlenose cousins (Tursiops truncatus) with a longer, pronounced beak and falcate dorsal fin. Like their spotted cousins these dolphins also begin freckling on their bellies as they reach sexual maturity.  The older the dolphin, the more fused the freckling. Varying shades of grey coloration are found and they have a cape that runs from behind the head with some individuals having distinct dark eye patches. They have a lifespan that can be comparable to ours, living as long as 45+ years in the wild with a fully mature adult measuring 2,5 meters in length and weighing 190kg’s. 

CONSERVATION STATUS

Red List (ICUN): Data Deficient 

SA Red Data Book: Vulnerable

Dolphins of Ponta

HUMPBACK DOLPHIN

The occurrence of the shy and illusive humpback dolphin in the Reserve has been recorded for the past decade. This endangered species is seen normally in association with the gregarious bottlenose dolphin in small groups <5.

They are distinguishable by being much lighter grey in coloration, have a long elongated beak and a distinctive fleshy hump in close proximity to a rather small and squat dorsal fin. Broad flippers with rounded tip. A distinct line extends from flipper to eye. Calves born light grey - darkening with age. Beak our surfacing is characteristic of this species. 

 

CONSERVATION STATUS

Red List (ICUN): Near threatened

SA Red Data Book: Data Deficient

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INDO PACIFIC SPOTTED DOLPHIN

Spotted dolphins occur within the Reserve and are often sighted in the company of the Spinners, usually seen offshore. They get their name from a spotting pattern that develops as they age. The elders can be recognisable through their white lips. The have a long narrow beak  & dark cape extending above the eyes. With age the belly darkens and speckling starts, followed by white spotting on the back. With age the spots fuse. We do not attempt in-water encounters with this species as they have not been habituated.



CONSERVATION STATUS

ICUN: Lower Risk, conservation dependant

SA Red Data Book: Data Deficient

SPINNER DOLPHIN

Long Snouted Spinner  are by far the most acrobatic dolphin in the sea. The acrobatic 360 degree spins are how the spinner dolphin received their name. Spinners are slender and small in comparison to the inshore cousins and have a long and slender beak edged with black margins. We do not attempt in-water encounters with them as they have not been habituated.

​CONSERVATION STATUS

ICUN: Lower Risk, conservation dependant

SA Red Data Book: Data Deficient

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