Thankfully, the global bottlenose dolphin population is not believed to be in any danger. They are classified as least concern on the IUCN eed list, although their current population trend is unknown. However, certain isolated bottlenose dolphin populations are threatened due to habitat degradation. More specifically, certain ocean ecosystems that the bottlenose dolphin inhabits are negatively affected by climate change.
Dolphins have traditionally been seen as a nuisance and they were hunted by fishermen who viewed them as an impediment to their trade. Today, dolphins are not hunted as widely as they once were and there are many protections in place, but there is still pressure on their populations from marine debris, pollution, and from those few countries who still consume them. While bottlenose dolphins are not considered currently at risk, other dolphins are not so fortunate. Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins, found near New Zealand, are seriously endangered and the Chinese river dolphin (lipotes vexillifer), also known as the baiji was declared functionally extinct when none were found during a survey of their territory in 2006.