Getting Involved and Further Reading
If you are able to do so, take a dolphin or whale-watching boat trip to experience these remarkable creatures first-hand. Always make sure, if you can, that the guides respect dolphins and their young and give them the space to live their own lives.
If any one asks you what you want for your birthday, you might suggest one of the 'Adopt a Dolphin' schemes, run for example by WWF in the UK or Whale and Dolphin Preservation in the USA. These schemes not only help research into and preservation of these amazing mammals, but help preserve the wider maritime environment.
Read about the dolphins of Cardigan Bay and adopt a dolphin there at cbmwc.org. Adopt a dolphin at the Seawatch Foundation, both in Wales and both doing valuable work to study cetaceans and protect them in British waters. The Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit works hard to protect dolphins and other marine mammals of Scottish Waters and is well worth a visit.
In preparing this website I have frequently referred to the following books, which, although aimed at adults, are valuable references:
Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communication by Kathleen M Dudzinski and Toni Frohoff. 2008. Yale University Press.
In this engaging and highly informative book, scientists Katlhleen Dudkzinski and Toni Frohoff guide us through the various aspects of dolphins lives and how they communicate and express themselves. The book considers how humans and dolphins interact and the problems of dolphin conservation in the modern world.
The author's deep knowledge and appreciation of dolphins and their place in this world shines through all the pages of this invaluable book. Read more about their work and dolphin communication at their site dolphincommunicationproject.org. See their free podcasts at thedolphinpod.com
In Defense of Dolphins: The New Moral Frontier by Thomas I White. 2007. Blackwell Publishing.
Having studied dolphins for many years, philosopher Thomas White asks the fascinating question; Are dolphins non-human people? Thomas White seeks out the answer by applying his philosophical and ethical understanding to the lives of dolphins.
Looking at dolphin thinking and feeling, language and understanding, as well as their social intelligence, the author's conclusions have potentially revolutionary implications for how we treat dolphins both in captivity and the wild.
Though written from an academic perspective, this book book provides an exciting and inspirational window through which to consider the lives of dolphins, whose intelligence may be different to our own, but nonetheless very significant. Thomas White's site www.indefenseofdolphins.com is also well worth a visit.
To Touch a Wild Dolphin by Rachel Smolker. 2001. Souvenir Press.
American scientist Rachel Smolker spent many years studying the wild dolphins at Monkey Mia, Shark Bay on the remote west coast of Australia.
Over the years that she carried out her research, Rachel Smolker learned to identify and chart the lives of some 250 individuals that lived in the shall waters of Shark Bay. This book provides a highly personal as well as informative insight into the lives of the dolphins that she studied and blends her own story with dolphins such as Puck, Holeyfin, Bibi and others.
Rachel Smolker looks at all aspects of the lives of these complex social creatures with an affectionate but learned eye. This is a great read for anyone who wants to follow the author's personal journey of discovery with the remarkable dolphins of Monkey Mia.
I have also drawn on other sources from the internet, which I have sought to reference whenever possible. The videos on this site are all from Youtube.com where you can also find a number of good quality programmes on dolphin life. The majority of the still images used on this site are from Wiki Commons. Thank you to the many photographers who allow open access to their beautiful images.
I have aimed to ensure the accuracy of the facts on this site but if you want to raise anything with me, whether they be suggestions or corrections, do use the contact form link to drop me a line.
James Carmody. November 2014