Wildlife Content

Ireland has a rich natural heritage – from the sandbanks of the Shannon Estuary to the fens of Monaghan… from the natterjack toad to the Atlantic salmon… from the Killarney fern to the freshwater pearl mussel.

ISCOPE: Irish Scheme for Cetacean Observation & Public Education

The seas around Ireland are important habitats for whales, dolphins and porpoises. Currently, two cetacean species are listed in Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive - the Harbour Porpoise and the Bottlenose Dolphin. Ireland is obliged to protect their habitats by designating Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for them. But before those areas can be idenitified, we need to know where the cetaceans are!

To help us answer this question, ISCOPE I was established in 2002, it ran until 2006 and was run by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), ISCOPE II ran between 2006-2009. Its aims were to increase awareness and knowledge of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in Irish coastal waters, and to encourage greater levels of public participation in cetacean recording. The project was funded by the Heritage Council; the National Parks & Wildlife Service; the Marine Institute; and the Environment & Heritage Service of Northern Ireland.

The information gathered through ISCOPE helps to identify those areas in Irish waters that are important for the conservation of cetaceans. This information can then be used to identify the policies that need to be in place to support their conservation.

If you would like to contribute to cetacean conservation in Ireland or report sightings of cetaceans either at sea, or stranded, visit the IWDG's website at www.iwdg.ie

ISCOPE Publications

Download ISCOPE I Final Report [PDF 2MB].

Download ISCOPE II Final Report - Ship & Ferry Surveys [PDF 5.3MB].

Download ISCOPE II Annual Report (2006-07) [PDF 1.3MB].

Download ISCOPE II Annual Report (2007-08) [PDF 1.3MB].

Download ISCOPE II Annual Report (2008-09) [PDF 425KB].

Download Review of Cetacean Sightings Sceme in Ireland, 2000-09 [PDF 846KB].

Download Review of Cetaceans Stranded in Ireland, 2000-09 [PDF 494KB].

Download Irish Cetacean Review, 2000-2009, (Published by the IWDG with support from the Heritage Council) [PDF 13.2MB].

Download Review of Inshore Cetacean Monitoring Programme [PDF 1.4MB].

More recent information on cetacean observation schemes and a review of Irish cetaceans can be found at www.iwdg.ie