Health and Physiology

Kidney ultrasound and bubbles

Jan 17, 2012 No Comments

For the second consecutive year, the 2011  dolphin health assessment project in Sarasota proved to be pivotal in our study of bubbles that can surround the kidney of dolphins. With support from the Office of Naval Research we have been examining stranded dolphins on the beaches of Cape Cod for the presence of bubbles. The [...]

Read more

Field and laboratory methods available on-line

Jan 17, 2012 No Comments

The 2006 SDRP “Manual for Field Research and Laboratory Activities,”  is available as a downloadable pdf file. This 62-page document provides detailed documentation of our protocols used for field operations and data processing. It includes chapters on: 1) Field survey protocols, 2) Post-survey lab protocols, 3) Photo-identification protocols, 4) Database entry, verification, and management, and [...]

Read more

Bottlenose dolphin visual health index

Jan 17, 2012 No Comments

Bottlenose dolphin health assessments offer valuable insights into the condition and status of wild individuals and populations. However, the capture-release efforts of such health assessments require a restrictive set of conditions to be conducted safely, and they are expensive and logistically complex. A quicker and easier means of obtaining preliminary information on the health of [...]

Read more

2011 Bottlenose dolphin health assessment in Sarasota Bay

Jan 17, 2012 No Comments

We conducted a 5-day capture-release dolphin health assessment project in Sarasota Bay in May 2011. The primary impetus behind the project was to obtain data and samples to serve as controls for comparison to samples to be collected by NOAA in oil-impacted Barataria Bay, Louisiana in August. An additional goal included training foreign scientists for [...]

Read more

Bubbles in Live-stranded Dolphins

Dec 30, 2011 No Comments

Researchers are still learning about how marine mammals can return from a long deep dive without suffering the “bends.” Nitrogen, which is a gas at the surface, will dissolve in the blood with increasing pressure. So, as a dolphin or whale makes a deep dive, more and more nitrogen will dissolve in the blood as [...]

Read more

Skin Disease in Dolphins

Nov 14, 2011 No Comments

Lacaziosis (Lacazia loboi) is a fungal skin disease that occurs naturally only in humans and dolphins. It was first reported in a dolphin in 1970 in Sarasota Bay by Blair Irvine, who co-authored the first scientific article on the disease in dolphins. Recent analyses of longitudinal photographs of diseased dolphins in Sarasota Bay indicate that [...]

Read more

Record Contamination Near Superfund Site

Oct 14, 2011 No Comments

The highest concentrations of PCBs ever reported in a marine mammal were found in the blubber of bottlenose dolphins near a Brunswick, GA Superfund site. New research compared contaminant concentrations of dolphins in three areas, including one with a Superfund site on the shoreline. Dolphins near the Superfund site had record contaminant levels, while dolphins [...]

Read more

Virus infection: Sarasota Bay Dolphins at Risk

Sep 09, 2011 No Comments

Dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Fl and elsewhere are vulnerable to cetacean morbilliviruses. These are viruses that can cause large scale mortalities, referred to as Unusual Mortality Events. New research has looked at dolphin “herd” immunity levels along the southeastern coast of the US to identify viral disease risk factors. Blood and tissue samples were analyzed [...]

Read more

Neurotoxic algae impact dolphins

Jul 27, 2011 2 Comments

Algae blooms contain neurotoxins that may have chronic effects on the health of bottlenose dolphins. The dinoflagellate Karenia brevis produces neurotoxic brevetoxins, which are known to be harmful to aquatic organisms and humans (as well as local economies). Known as “Florida red tide,” wave action may cause K. brevis cells to burst, releasing the toxins [...]

Read more

Previous Reports