Marine Mammal Species

Please click on the name of each species for images and to learn more

The Atlantic White-sided Dolphin is slightly bigger than the rest of the oceanic dolphin species. These dolphins are found around Ireland, Scotland, the islands around the north of Scotland, the Bay of Biscay, the North Atlantic Ocean, and Europe.

The Blue Whale is the biggest animal to ever live, with this said they almost exclusively eat tiny animals - krill. Blue whales are not commonly seen as they spend most of their time in deep water far out at sea, very rarely coming into shore.

The Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most commonly seen and known dolphins. They have been seen in many films and (sadly) in captivity in marine parks. Bottlenose dolphins are found in nearly all parts of the world except in very cold waters.

Bryde's Whales are not commonly seen and when they are normally by themself or in pairs. They are found in the Bay of Biscay, Southern Biscay, and in northwest European waters.

Alongside bottlenose dolphins, Common Dolphins are the most immediately recognised dolphin species - primarily because they are very often seen. They can be found all around UK and European waters.

Common Seal

Despite their name, around the UK Common seals are less frequently seen than Grey seals, but with their cat-like faces they are easily recognisable. They are found around the coasts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Eastern England. Common seals are seen all year round

This medium-sized whale is known for being able to stay under the water for the longest. Cuvier's beaked whales are frequently seen throughout March to September around the Bay of Biscay.

These medium sized whales are rarely seen. False killer whales have only been seen a few times during summer and spring in the Bay of Biscay.

Fin Whales are the second biggest animal alive today, after the blue whale. They are the most seen large whale in the Bay of Biscay. They are seen in deep water away from the coast.

Grey seals are the most common seal around the UK. They are inquisitive and are frequently encountered by swimmers, canoeists and scuba divers in the water around Britain and Ireland.

Harbour Porpoises are the smallest cetacean in the region. They are seen all around the UK, the frequency varying from year to year, though their small size can make the harbour porpoise hard to see in choppy waters.

Humpback Whales make the longest migration out of all the animals on the earth. Due to this, they are only seen during the summer in the Bay of Biscay.

Killer Whales are, in fact, the largest member of the dolphin family. They are rarely seen, only being found in the Bay of Biscay and on the Northern continental shelf-slope (for example of North Scotland) and in the Capbreton canyon

These social, medium-sized whales, are frequently seen during the summer months on the continental shelf slopes and near shelf slopes, and in the Western English Channel.

Tragically, this whale got its name because it was considered by whalers to be the 'right whale to hunt'. As a result, these large whales are critically endangered and are rarely seen.

Northern Bottlenose Whales are medium-sized whales normally seen annually in the summer, but in recent years there have been few to no sightings of this species.

This whale is the smallest species of the rorqual whales. Northern minke whales are less likely to be seen over deep water than other whales, meaning that they are more commonly seen in the English Channel and in the Northern Bay of Biscay during the summer.

Despite their name pygmy killer whales are not whales, they are actually dolphins that look nothing like killer whales! They are rarely seen and, when they are they are, it is in the deep waters of the South of the Bay of Biscay.

These small whales are rarely seen as they are shy. When pygmy sperm whales have been seen they are found in deep waters in the south of the Bay of Biscay.

This large dolphin is sometimes seen, being seen more in the summer than in the winter. Risso's dolphins are seen in the English Channel, the Bay of Biscay, and near the coast.

These large whales are being seen less frequently in the last few years than before. Sei whales are found in deeper waters over the continental slope and the Abyssal Plain; they have been seen very occasionally in the shallower waters in the North of the Bay of Biscay.

These medium sized whales are sometimes hard the identify, meaning there is no way fail-safe to tell how frequently they are seen. There is evidence that there are some short-finned pilot whales around the Southern part of the Bay of Biscay.

Sowerby's beaked whales are medium-sized and are rarely seen. When they are, it is over deep waters in the South of the Bay of Biscay.

Sperm whales are a large species and one of only a few that don't have a dorsal fin. They are most commonly seen during late summer and early autumn in deep waters and over the canyons of the South of the Bay of Biscay.

These high jumping dolphins are frequently seen in the deeper waters in the South of the Bay of Biscay. Striped dolphins are also sometimes sighted over continental shelf water in the North of the Bay of Biscay.

These small whales are rarely seen, although True's beaked whales are sometimes sighted over deep waters of the Bay of Biscay.

These large dolphins are not frequently seen however there are known populations of white-beaked dolphins in the Celtic sea, Northern Bay of Biscay, the outer channel. A small population is also seen in Lyme Bay in Dorset, believed to be the most northerly population in the East Atlantic.

 

Marine Bird Species

Arctic Tern

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Arctic Skua

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Atlantic Puffin

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