We often see Bottlenose dolphins in Huatulco.

Bottlenose Dolphin

Tursiops truncatus
Distribution map of the bottlenose dolphins range in the world.

Bottlenose dolphins are commonly seen on our Huatulco dolphin and whale watching tours. The Bottlenose dolphin is a complex of subspecies and ecotypes found globally in tropical and temperate seas. They are the largest of the beaked dolphins. In Huatulco we find the common type, typically in pods of 50 or more individuals.
The Bottlenose dolphin is one of the most studied species and, unfortunately, one of the most common species in captivity. However, very little is known about the local populations. We can identify individuals with a good photo and we are building a database to learn about the Huatulco Bottlenose dolphin population.

Info about Bottlenose dolphins in Huatulco.

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins are the largest of the beaked dolphin species. They can grow up to 4 meters and 500 kilograms. They have typical counter-shading with a dark gray dorsal cape that lightens to an almost white belly. They have a short, broad snout, a round melon, and a stocky body. They reach maturity between 5-15 years of age and can live for approximately 50 years. They mate every 2-6 years and gestation lasts 12 months.
Bottlenose dolphins have the third highest levels of enchephalization of all mammals (behind humans and northern right whale dolphins). This is a relative measure of their intelligence. The pods have close ties and the populations display innovative and unique feeding strategies.

The conservation of Bottlenose dolphins is one of Oceanico Huatulco's research projects.
Conservation and research of Bottlenose dolphins in Huatulco.

Dolphin Conservation

Due to the cosmopolitan distribution and relative abundance of Bottlenose dolphins, the conservation of their species is generally well studied. Much of what has been discovered about Bottlenose dolphins globally can be applied to local conservation in Huatulco. Their prey does not create direct competition with local commercial fisheries, although interactions still occur. In well-studied populations, interactions and injuries caused by commercial fishing are not considered direct threats to their populations.
Bottlenose dolphins are threatened by habitat degradation, pollution, especially plastics, and noise pollution. Individual Bottlenose dolphins can be identified through photo identification and we are collecting images along with pod data to determine population size, relative ages within pods, signs of interactions with fisheries, body scars and their reaction to human activities in the ocean.