Whales and Dolphins of Iveragh
Have you ever watched the sea and wondered what is out there? Iveragh offers over 200km of stunning coastline with many ideal spots to search the water for life under the surface. That is where whales, dolphins and porpoises spend most of their time. Only during those rare moments when they come to the water surface to breathe, feed, breach and socially interact, do we get our chance to also get a glimpse into their lives.
If you want to learn more about what species you can see in the waters around Iveragh, how to identify them, how to do your own watch and how you can get involved in the LIVE project as a citizen scientist, then you are in the right place.
Join the watch!
A lot of data has been collected on whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) in Ireland, largely through the engagement of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. As part of the LIVE Project on Iveragh, we want to figure out the best places to see whales and dolphins and get people involved in recording what they see. For more information, watch this online talk by marine biologist Christina Winkler or read her cetacean blogs. Part of the project is to do monthly effort watches and to get the public to join and learn how to do their own watches. Records collected through all year-round watches will help locals and visitors understand where we are most likely to find these fascinating animals at different times of the year.
Photo caption: View from H0gs Head, Iveragh
Walk the Whale Trail
Having spent months searching for whales, dolphins and porpoises from headlands and boats and also looking through information from other sources and speaking to people locally, we have a fairly good idea of the best places on Iveragh to see some cetacean action! Take a look at our Whale Trail map to find out more about what you can see and where to look.
A map showing the data that has been submitted to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and collected through the LIVE project since the project started.
Report a sighting or stranding
LIVE is proud to collaborate with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Over 30 years of experience in recording and validating data will come into action, when you submit your sighting or stranding to the IWDG. Mentioning the ‘LIVE Project’ after your name will then allow for us to filter those records specific to the peninsula, to map records and look at changes and trends in sightings and strandings over time. Any data collected through the LIVE project will also be made freely available on our website.
Know Before You Go...
on a cetacean Watch
While watching cetaceans from land provides very important data, many of us also want to simply enjoy a ride on the boat, hoping for those ‘sea monsters’ (cetaceans comes from the Greek ‘ketos’) to emerge. When watching cetaceans from the boat however, special consideration must be taken to avoid disturbing and interfering with them. We do this out of respect and consideration for these beautiful animals, but also because legal protections, as outlined in the Wildlife Act (1976). Therefore, legal guidelines have been developed under the Marine Notice No. 15 of 2005, which are enforced to be followed.
To allow local businesses, tourists and educators an easier preparation for talks, visits and presentation, we have put together a whole pack of informational resources. These are partially specific to the Iveragh peninsula (fact sheets), which also include some information on other marine megafauna, but also offer more general material on cetaceans. We hope you will enjoy them!