Welcome to the Marine Mammal Conservation Network of India


homePan-tropical spotted dolphins off the east coast of India @ Dipani Sutaria

Conserving Whales, Dolphins, Porpoise, Dugong in India


bottlenoseBottlenose dolphins sighted in the Arabian Sea @ Abhishek Jamalabad

Welcome to www.marinemammals.in, a site devoted to marine mammals of the Indian seas. Marine mammals form a fascinating group of animals. These are mammals that evolved from at least three different terrestrial taxonomic groups, that moved back to sea and adapted to life in the sea (convergent evolution). Classified as, Odontocetes (dolphins, porpoises), Mysticetes ( baleen whales), Pinnipeds ( seals, sea lions and walruses), Sireninans (dugongs and manatees), otters and polar bears.

There are at least 120 species of marine mammal found in the world, and a fourth of these may be found in India and adjacent countries.One species belonging to the order Sirenia, namely the dugong, and 30-34 species of cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises) including the Ganges river dolphin, are found in the waters of the Indian subcontinent. In size they range from the relatively small Finless Porpoise to the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth, the Blue Whale. You can find information about each of these species in the Species Accounts page.

The Indian Database lists records of marine mammals from the region dating from the 19th century onwards and is being updated regularly. Some of the older accounts have been entered as published, but over the years have been proven as mis-identifications. If you find any such account, please do inform us.

How many instances are there of Bottlenose dolphins being found at Tuticorin? Where has the Killer Whale been seen in India? The answers to these and other questions can be found from the database.

humpbacks bottomHumpback dolphins sighted off the coast of Chennai. @  Abdus Saeef, Chennai for Rahul Muralidharan

Marine mammal research in India is still at its nascent stage. A few dedicated and systematic research activities have been intiated, listed under our 'About Us' section. Information and data regarding marine mammal life history, population status and trends, behavioral ecology, taxonomy, and the threats faced by this groups of mammals is all under-studied in India.

You can help strengthen the available information. Have you ever come across a dolphin, dead or alive? Have you come to know about a whale along the coast? You may have just seen an item in a local newspaper, but your knowledge is potentially valuable. You can report sighting/strandings to the online database. You can even send in photographs. This website aims to be an online source of information, and a virtual networking platform for people from all walks of life, independent or with organisations, interested in marine mammal research and conservation.

brydeswhaleBryde's whale sighted off the coast of Sindhudurg, Maharashtra @ Konkan Cetacean Research Team


 Join a community interested in the study and conservation of the marine mammals of India.