Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin
Species name: Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin
Scientific name: Sousa plumbea
Locally known as: Deghs
Description: The Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin is a slow-swimming dolphin, typically travelling at an average speed of 4.8 km/hr. It feeds on a variety of fish, cephalopods and crustaceans.
IUCN status: Near Threatened
Key threats: Entrapment in abandoned fishing nets and vessel strikes, habitat loss from dredging, land reclamation, port and harbour construction, noise pollution and other developmental activities.
Where they're found today: Abu Dhabi is home to the largest population in the world. You can spot them in shallow waters and channels around the off-shore islands and the mainland of Abu Dhabi where they occur alone or in groups of up to 24 individuals.
Abu Dhabi’s efforts: EAD runs long-term research and monitoring programmes on Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins, which helps us identify the areas that need monitoring and protection.
- A dolphin calf can swim, within a few seconds of its birth, to follow its mother.
- Dolphins emit a unique whistle that identifies them with members of the same species and pod.
- Like bats, dolphins use echo-location to navigate and hunt, bouncing high pitched sounds off of objects and listening for the echoes.
- Dolphins must consciously swim to the surface to take a breath. This means they can never fully sleep.