There are polar bears at risk from oil drilling in the Arctic and now dolphins at risk in the UK. The future of Britain’s most famous dolphins is at risk from oil and gas exploration, conservationists say.

The bottlenose dolphins of the Moray Firth in Scotland are the best known and most studied dolphins in the UK. In 2005 they were given their own sanctuary under European law.

But the Government says it is “likely” to grant a licence for sub-seabed oil and gas exploration in the sanctuary, which means the dolphins will be seriously disturbed, according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). It says that if oil and gas production goes ahead they will face the threats of waste discharge and oil spills.”The dolphins of the Moray Firth are magnificent and intelligent animals, but they are also incredibly vulnerable. It is unthinkable that the Government should even consider allowing oil and gas into their sanctuary,” said Sarah Dolman, who manages the WDCS Moray Firth campaign.

The WDCS wants the public to protest, and is organising an online petition to the UK government in an attempt to halt the development. If you want to sign go here.