Tursiops truncatus - Grand Dauphin ou Tursiops - Tursiope - Bottlenose dolphin
Illustration © M. Würtz. Musée océanographique de Monaco, Fondation Albert Ier

Common bottlenose dolphins are larger than striped and common dolphins, reaching 3.5 m in length and weighing 300 kg. Common bottlenose dolphins can live for between forty and fifty years. They are often seen in groups, usually of less than a dozen individuals, but occasionally made up of as many as fifty individuals. Within the Sanctuary, their habitats are mainly near coastal areas, particularly by the larger islands (Corsica and Sardinia) and also, although less frequently, along the coast of Provence. They rarely venture beyond the continental shelf, and are therefore submitted to strong pressure from human activities. They feed on fish, shrimp, cuttlefish and squid, often catching prey along the seabed. They are opportunistic and show a strong ability to adapt. Common bottlenose dolphins are seen regularly throughout the year.

Nota : Common bottlenose dolphins were the focus of the Mediterranean Life LINDA program, which was introduced in 2004 in order to ‘ensure that the species and economic activities could exist and flourish side-by-side’. For more information, please go to the website of the Life LINDA program: www.lifelinda.org

Threats to the species

The main threat to common bottlenose dolphins are the overfishing of their prey and the presence of fishing nets. These dolphins can also be the source of conflicts of interest with fishermen, with whom they are in direct competition.