Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation
HomeConservationResearchTourismEducationAbout SDWF


Dolphin and calfThe Shannon estuary is one of the most important sites for the conservation of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in Ireland, as it is home to the only known resident group of bottlenose dolphins and is a known calving area.

The estuary has been nominated as a candidate SAC (Special Area of Conservation) under the EU Habitats Directive. Under this Directive the National Parks and Wildlife Service are obliged to designate areas (SAC) for species on Annex II, these include bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). To date the Shannon estuary is only SAC in Ireland for bottlenose dolphins. There are two sites under discussion for harbour porpoise (Blasket Islands, Co Kerry and Roaringwater Bay, Co Cork) but these have not been formally designated.

Pilot whale live strands in the Shannon estuary

A pilot whale live stranded on 29 June in Poulnasherry Bay. Despite the best efforts of local IWDG members, it was found dead this on the 30 June near Moyasta, Co Clare. read more...
2 July 2004

Pair-trawling in the Shannon estuary SAC

The SDWF have once again raised the issue, with the Department of Marine, of pair-trawling within the Shannon estuary SAC . Commercial fishing is a notifiable activity and it should be monitored to ensure any impact is minimal. read more...
10 February 2005

Multibeam survey to adopt cetacean mitigation procedures

A multibeam survey of the Shannon estuary, carried out as part of the Irish National Seabed Survey, will adopt cetacean mitigation procedures to reduce impact on bottlenose dolphins in the estuary. read more...
22 March 2005

Shannon estuary water levels rise

Water levels in the Shannon estuary have already led to predictions that sea levels in Ireland will increase by 20-88cm over the next 80 years. read more...
30 May 2006

Oil spill in the Shannon estuary

On Sunday 10 December the SDWF were informed by Mike Fitzsimmons of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board that on oil spill had occurred at Aughinish Aluminia in the Shannon estuary. read more...
11 December 2006

SDWF concerned about lack of Conservation Plan for the estuary

SDWF have written to Minister of Environment Dick Roche requesting advice on the current status of the Lower River Shannon cSAC Conservation Plan and the timetable for implementation. read more...
23 January 2007

Jet Skier charged with disturbing dolphins

A Jet skier has been accused of disturbing bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth SAC. read more...
8 February 2007

Striped dolphin was successfully refloated at Lahinch, Co. Clare

A striped dolphin was successfully refloated at Lahinch, Co. Clare this morning but it might restrand over the next few days. read more...
9 March 2010

Striped dolphin live stranded in Shannon Estuary

A young striped dolphin live stranded in Poulnasherry on the north side of Shannon Estuary on Saturday morning 24 April 2010. read more...
24 April 2010

SDWF win Shannon dolphin contract

SDWF won a compretitive tender to carry out an abundance estimate. read more...
29 July 2010

SDWF prepare oil response plan for Shannon Estuary

The Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation have prepared an Oil Spill Response Plan in the advent of an oil spill in the estuary. read more...
6 June 2011

Large number of dolphins reported off Shannon Airport

A large group of bottlenose dolphins was observed on Tuesday 30 August 2011 off Shannon Airport. read more...
30 August 2011

Bottlenose dolphin successfully refloated in the Shannon Estuary

A bottlenose dolphin was live stranded this morning at Beal strand, North Kerry but was "successfully" refloated. read more...
1 June 2012

SDWF publish study on abundance estimates of the Shannon Dolphins.

A recent paper in Aquatic Mammals suggests the Shannon dolphin population is stable. read more...
6 June 2012

SDWF welcomes Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for Shannon Estuary

SDWF made a short submission to the consultation process flagging some issues of relkevance to bottlenose dolphins and their habitats. read more...
24 January 2013

CN1 - the first Shannon dolphin - seen in Brandon Bay on 25 May 2013

As we enter our 21st year of study of the Shannon dolphins. No 1 - the first dolphin photographed 20 years ago - was recorded this weekend in Brandon Bay, Co Kerry. read more...
27 May 2013

Shannon dolphins discussed on Mooney Goes Wild

A long discussion on the Shannon dolphins was recently aired on RTE Radio 1 Mooney Goes Wild. read more...
1 June 2013

Bunratty dolphins safe and well in Shannon Estuary

The three dolphins that were in the river in Buratty in April have been observed in the Shannon stuary from a dolphin tour boat read more...
7 June 2013

The bottlenose dolphin refloated in the Shannon last June 2012 has been seen with its calf

the bottlenose dolphin live stranded in the Shannon Estuary last June (2012) has been confirmed as having a calf read more...
27 June 2013

SDWF write to Minister about pair trawling in the Shannon Estuary

The SDWF propose that no pelagic fishing should occur within the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation. read more...
12 January 2014

SDWF Oil Spill Response Plan
Download PDF file (300 KB)


Note on PDF files: These files can be read using Abode Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free. To save a PDF file to your hard drive right-click the link and select Save Target As...


Special Area of Conservation (SAC)


Search this site:

The SDWF is supported by the following agencies... Shannon Development Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Marine Institute Clare County Council Kilrush Urban District Counil
Website developed by