Common dolphin

In 2003 the Mediterranean common dolphin 'subpopulation' was listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals, based on criterion A2, which refers to a 50% decline in abundance over the last three generations, the causes of which 'may not have ceased or may not be understood or may not be reversible'.

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The Ischia island waters have been listed in the last IUCN Cetacean Action Plan (Reeves et al., 2003) as a critical habitat for the endangered short beaked common dolphins.

The Ischia common dolphin community has been consistently monitored since 1997 and it represents the only community documented in the Italian Seas.

Also, after the dramatic decline of the Kalamos community (Greece), it is, together with Malta island waters one of the last Mediterranean key areas for the species.

During the study period, 99 individuals were photo identified.

In 2008, thanks to the efforts and the data produced from the research in the waters of Ischia, a Marine Protected Area was established, the MPA includes a pelagic zone dedicated to the protection of common dolphin critical habitat.

Monitoring the social structure and the status of the population will be a key for the conservation of the species in the Mediterranean Sea.