Dwarf spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris roseiventris) were spotted for the first time in years at the Tañon Strait, a narrow marine corridor between Cebu and Negros, earlier this month.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Rare, an international conservation group, recently led the survey, wherein they found six species of marine life.

Two dwarf spinner dolphins spotted in Tañon Strait. (Facebook/Teri Aquino)

“The first was in 2006 in the waters surrounding Balabac Island in southern Palawan, which [was] led by Dr. Louella Dolar’s team,” Dr. Teri Aquino, the lead researcher, wrote in a social media post. She added that this is only the second sighting in the Philippines that has been documented.

According to Rare’s Joe Pres Gaudino, the survey team leader, Dolar team’s expeditions in Tañon Strait two decades ago recorded hundreds of dolphins, which were sighted more frequently. These days, sightings of the species were fewer, with the dolphin’s number down to just dozens, according to a report by GMA News Online.

Making a splash! (Facebook/Teri Aquino)

Tañon Strait has been declared a protected scape in 1998, because it provides the perfect habitat for marine animals and it has been recorded as the sea animals’ migratory path. However, it is currently facing threats from pollution and climate change.

As of posting, there are no exact records of how many dwarf spinner dolphins are left across the globe, but from lesser sightings of these marine animals meant population may be decreasing, too.

Whaling in Japan, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, along with chemical and plastic pollution, man-made noise from seismic surveys, over fishing, and entanglement in fishing gears are among the threats to their population.

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