Author Archive

Assessing the effects of the Florida gillnet ban on bottlenose dolphins

Jun 07, 2014 No comments

Florida imposed a state-wide ban on the use of large gillnets in inshore waters in 1995. This set the stage for a natural experiment to examine the indirect effects of fisheries on two well-studied bottlenose dolphin populations, one in Sarasota Bay on the west coast of Florida and the other in the Indian River Lagoon [...]

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Differences in foraging habits of male and female bottlenose dolphins

Jun 01, 2014 1 Comment

 The bottlenose dolphins of Sarasota Bay live in a socially and ecologically complex environment. For example, female bottlenose dolphins tend to use a relatively small geographic area compared to males who possess a widespread pattern of habitat use. Differences in the social structure of dolphin societies are likely to influence where and what dolphins consume. [...]

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Stable isotopes reveal bottlenose dolphin dietary diversity

Mar 04, 2013 1 Comment

The continued success of predator populations, such as the bottlenose dolphins of Sarasota Bay is dependent on prey availability. Because bottlenose dolphins frequently capture and consume prey underwater, assessing their diet by observation is difficult. When a dolphin dies and strands ashore its stomach contents contain the prey it most recently consumed. However, stomach contents [...]

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Historical ecosystem disturbance and recovery of Sarasota Bay recorded in bottlenose dolphin stable isotopes

Jan 17, 2012 2 Comments

Coastal estuaries such as Sarasota Bay are reservoirs of biological diversity; however, out of the thousands of species that inhabit Sarasota Bay, bottlenose dolphins are of special ecological importance for at least two reasons. They are large predators near the top of their food web and they are long-lived. Top predators are useful indicators of [...]

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: 2010-2011 Biopsy sampling of estuarine dolphins in the western Florida Panhandle potentially exposed to contaminants from the spill

Jan 17, 2012 No Comments

The 2010 MC-252 disaster (Deepwater Horizon spill) caused weathered oil to wash ashore along the north central Gulf coast and impacted estuarine communities of plants and animals. We assembled a collaborative team from three Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) institutions (faculty and graduate students from the University of Central Florida, researchers from the Sarasota Dolphin [...]

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Historical trends in Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphin foraging habits revealed through carbon isotopes

Dec 21, 2010 No Comments

My contribution to dolphin conservation comes not from observing bottlenose dolphins directly in the warm Sarasota sun but rather by exploiting new mass spectrometric techniques that allow me to uncover various attributes of foraging habits by measuring tiny amounts of animal tissue. These techniques involve analysis of the stable isotopes of carbon. Different types of [...]

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Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill: Impacts on estuarine bottlenose dolphins in the West Florida Panhandle

Dec 21, 2010 No Comments

By Graham A.J. Worthy, PhD (UCF), Steve Shippee (UCF), Randall S. Wells, PhD (CZS/Mote Marine Laboratory), Martin Shannon (FFWRI), and Peggy Ostrom, PhD (MSU) We have assembled a collaborative team of researchers from the University of Central Florida, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to study the potential [...]

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Stable isotope values as indicators of bottlenose dolphin foraging habits

Jan 26, 2010 No Comments

This will be the first time that stable isotope analysis will be applied to individual annuli of bottlenose dolphin teeth.

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Stable isotopes in bottlenose dolphin teeth as tools in population differentiation

Jan 11, 2009 No Comments

Bottlenose dolphins are the most frequently-sighted cetaceans in coastal waters of the southeastern U.S. Records also indicate that they are the most common species to strand in this area. As such, they are widely represented in marine mammal museum collections throughout the region. In the most extensive of these collections, a wealth of associated biological [...]

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