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Bottle-nosed dolphins at the Losinj dolphin reserve

The west coast of the Lošinj Archipelago, namely the Kvarnerić area, is a natural habitat for the bottle-nosed dolphin. Around 100 of these favorite sea animals live in this area of Lošinj.

Visit ecocentre Blue World - adopt a dolphin!

Although the number seems large and they can often be seen in the sea around Lošinj, they are an endangered species in the Adriatic Sea. This is why Blue World was established with its three bottle-nosed dolphin programs – scientific & research, educational and protective. The program collects information about the lives of endangered sea organisms, not only dolphins but other sea mammals as well such as sea turtles. A few years ago, they launched the Adriatic Dolphin Project aiming to study the population ecology, genetics, acoustics and habitats of bottle-nosed dolphins in the Adriatic.

The bottle-nosed dolphin belongs to the toothed whale family and its body is hydrodynamic and dark blue to grayish on the back, light grey on the sides and white on the belly. Dolphins grow up to 2 to 4 meters in length and weigh between 100 and 150 kg. The animals in the Adriatic grow up to 3 meters and live for about 30 years.

They live in groups of 3 to 4 animals, although you can easily come across groups of some 30 animals, but very rarely. Bottle-nosed dolphins inhale air, so they have to come up to the surface periodically. They are able to stay underwater for 4-5 minutes while searching for food.

Dolphins do not reach their sexual maturity before the age of 10. As they live for about 30 years and breed every 3-5 years, they are able to have very few offspring. It is their low birth rate that makes them endangered and unable to repopulate. A mother carries its young for 12 months and then lives with it for the next 3-5 years. After that, the offspring is separated from its mother and young dolphins unite in smaller groups. These groups are the most playful and curious ones, so they often approach boats and perform various acrobatic tricks.

Bottle-nosed dolphins feed on fish while swimming in schools, and those from Lošinj prefer white fish: hake, goatfish, saddle bream, etc. Both in hunting and everyday life, they communicate and use echolocation, high-frequency sounds to search for and catch prey and to obtain the acoustic maps of their environment.

One of the interesting facts about them is that they sleep using only half their brain and with one eye always open, usually in groups. This is because they live in the open environment of the sea, always in danger, and more eyes see more.

If you would like to help in protection of bottle-nosed dolphins, you can apply for volunteering at the association or adopt your own dolphin.

Sail from the port in one of our camps on Cres and Lošinj (Čikat, Bijar, Baldarin and Slatina) and you may get lucky and see a bottle-nosed dolphin in the sea.

For more information on the bottlenose dolphins in our waters, visit www.plavi-svijet.org.