The Present Status of Bottlenose Dolphins
Worldwide, bottlenose dolphins are found in the temperate and tropical parts where the temperature is between 10O to 32O C. They are found in parts of Japan, Australia, California, Chile, Hawaiian Islands, Norway, South Africa, Indonesia, Gulf of Mexico and the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the western pacific.
The dolphins prefer two types of habitats – coastal and open oceans, and according to that they have been divided into two forms – the coastal and the off shore bottlenose dolphins. But all year round there are coastal populations that migrate to rivers, estuaries, and bays and offshore dolphins that come to the pelagic waters along the continents.
Bottlenose dolphins are social animals and are generally found in a group of 2 to 15 with offshore herds even having close to 100 individuals. They also hunt in groups.
Are bottlenose dolphins an endangered species? As far as the status of these dolphins is concerned according to the IUCN red list, bottlenose dolphins cannot be termed as endangered as far as the official statistics go. This is because there is not sufficient data available on their population. Although the chromosomal banding technique has helped in the population estimate and identification of the dolphins, the overall world population of these cetaceans is still not definite. And yet, the worldwide threat to animal and plant populations due to limitless destruction of the ecosystem and their habitats by man, has affected the bottlenose dolphins too and there are numerous threats to the future survival of these creatures.