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Dolphins: Delphinidae

Conservation Status

The conservation status of dolphins depends upon the species. Hector's dolphin is considered Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild, because it is often killed accidentally by fishing gear. Population estimates are not available for most species.

Dolphins are threatened by hunting, accidental capture in fishing nets, pollution, and capture for display in captivity. In the 1990s public pressure resulted in the development of dolphin-free fishing nets and the sale of dolphin-free tuna. These changes have resulted in a substantial decrease in the number of dolphins accidentally harvested during fishing. Dolphins are protected in the United States under the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act and are the focus of many conservation and research organizations.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsDolphins: Delphinidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Dolphins And People, Conservation Status, Killer Whale (orcinus Orca): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT