National Dolphin Day Date in the current year: April 14, 2024

National Dolphin Day National Dolphin Day is observed annually on April 14. The holiday was created to celebrate one of the most intelligent aquatic mammals and raise awareness of the threats that dolphins face and the importance of dolphin conservation.

Dolphins are aquatic mammals in the infraorder Cetacea, which also includes whales and porpoises. There are 40 extant dolphin species that belong to four families: oceanic dolphins (Delphinidae), Ganges and Indus river dolphins (Platanistidae), New World river dolphins (Iniidae), and brackish dolphins (Pontoporiidae). The most abundant dolphin species is the common dolphin; it has a global population of about six million and is widely distributed in tropical and warm-temperature waters around the globe.

Dolphins are highly social and intelligent animals. Studies have shown that dolphins can learn, teach, scheme, cooperate, and grieve. They can communicate with each other using a variety of vocalizations and nonverbal means of communication, establish strong social bonds with one another, and are known to express altruism. Some dolphins have been observed using tools and teaching their young to do the same.

Dolphins have very few natural enemies and heal from wounds very quickly, so most threats that they face in the wild are man-made. Some dolphin species are threatened as a result of dolphin drive hunting, by-catch during commercial fishing or shark culling, agricultural and industrial pollutants (pesticides, plastics, heavy metals), collisions with boats, and climate change. Concerns have also been expressed about the welfare of dolphins in captivity. This is why it is not surprising that someone has created a holiday to celebrate dolphins and raise awareness of their plight.

The origins of National Dolphin Day are somewhat murky, but it is one of the pet health and veterinary awareness days endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The holiday celebrates the beauty and intelligence of dolphins, highlights their importance for ecosystems, raises awareness of the man-made threats that dolphins face, and promotes the conservation of dolphin species that are classified as threatened.

There are many ways to get involved in National Dolphin Day. You can learn more about the different species of dolphins and share the facts you’ve learned with anyone who is willing to listen, read a book or watch a documentary about dolphins, donate to a dolphin conservation organization, symbolically adopt a dolphin, and spread the word about the holiday with the hashtags #NationalDolphinDay and #DolphinDay.

National Dolphin Day is not the only holiday celebrating dolphins. For example, World Dolphin Day has been observed every September 12 since 2022. It was created by the international, nonprofit marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd to remind the general public that dolphins around the world need more protection. October 5 has been designated as National Dolphin Day in India to raise awareness of the endangered status of the Ganges river dolphin.

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National Dolphin Day, environmental observances, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, dolphin conservation