- What is a Cetacean?
- Common Species
- Rare Species
- Other Species
The Hebrides is an area of outstanding natural beauty which features diverse land and seascapes and a rich variety of life. Complex tidal movements, strong ocean currents, and varied underwater geography help make the Hebrides the most biologically productive coastal area in the UK. During the summer months, warmer water temperatures cause plankton blooms that provide an abundant food supply for many seasonal visitors including basking sharks, the second largest species of shark in the world. Seabird diversity in the Hebrides is greater than anywhere else in the UK, whilst grey and common seal populations are among the largest in the world.
Hebridean waters represent some of the most important habitats for whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) in Europe. Twenty-four species, nearly a third of the world total, have been reported in this region. Some, like bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises, are year-round residents; others visit in the summer months to take advantage of concentrations of prey.
Follow these links to find out more about the marine life of the Hebrides: