Tursiops truncatus ponticus — Overview

Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphin learn more about names for this taxon

IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)


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Range Description

The range of Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphins includes the Black Sea proper; Kerch Strait along with the adjoining part of the Azov Sea (Tzalkin 1940, Birkun et al. 1997, Sokolov 1997); and the Turkish Straits System (TSS) (Kleinenberg 1956, Beaubrun 1995, ztrk and ztrk 1997) (see Figure 1 in the Supplementary Material). The genetic data suggest that the TSS constitutes an ecological barrier between the Black Sea dolphins and those in the Mediterranean, although limited gene flow between the two seas is probable. A possible vagrant from the Black Sea population was identified genetically in the western Mediterranean (Natoli et al. 2005).

The range of the Black Sea subspecies includes the territorial waters and exclusive economic zones of Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine in the Black Sea; internal waters of Ukraine in the Black Sea (including the Dnieper-and-Boug Liman, Karkinitsky Bay and Donuzlav Lake); internal waters of Russia and Ukraine in the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea; and internal waters of Turkey, represented by the Turkish Straits System including the Bosphorus Strait, Marmara Sea and Dardanelles. There are a few records of Bottlenose Dolphins entering rivers, e.g. the Danube in Romania (Police 1930, cited in Tomilin 1957) and the Dnieper in Ukraine (Birkun 2006).

Population structure within the Black Sea is likely (Belkovich 1996), with several subpopulations or semi-resident communities, including those that spend most of the year in geographically and ecologically different areas, e.g. northwestern Black Sea; coastal waters off the southern Crimea; Kerch Strait and adjoining portions of the Black Sea and Azov Sea; shelf waters off the Caucasian coast; Turkish Black Sea; and TSS.

[Note: It has been agreed that territorial waters of all six Black Sea countries constitute the 12-mile-wide aquatic strip along the coasts of the sea; marine boundaries of the countries coincide with the external (offshore) border of this strip. However, there are some areas where the sea runs deep inland (gulfs, bays, etc.), and in these places the 12-mile rule does not work. These water bodies are situated quite far from the state boundaries and constitute the so-called internal [marine] waters of the Black Sea countries.]

The map shows where the species may occur. The species has not been recorded for all the states within the hypothetical range as shown on the map. States for which confirmed records of the species exist are included in the list of native range states.


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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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