Where are they in 2011? A SDRP past intern’s perspective

Jan 17, 2012 No Comments

In May, 2011, I found myself smiling as I packed my bags for a week of field research with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. I was reflecting on the fact that in 1991, I had boarded my very first flight, enroute to Sarasota for the first time. Now, 20 years and a couple hundred thousand [...]

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Dolphin Photo Identification Explained

Oct 20, 2011 No Comments

Individual bottlenose dolphins can be identified by their dorsal fins. But how exactly is that done? And why bother? A new report published by NOAA, with SDRP staff members Brian Balmer and Randy Wells as co-authors, explores the use of photo identification as a tool for making abundance estimates of inshore populations of bottlenose dolphins. [...]

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Dolphins show high levels of PCB pollution

May 15, 2011 No Comments

Dolphins accumulate pollutants in their blubber. Bottlenose dolphins are thus a sensitive indicator for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in coastal ecosystems. Brian C. Balmer, a long time member of the SDRP team, just completed his doctoral work. His research examined the effect of pollution from a Superfund site in Georgia on bottlenose dolphins. Congratulations to [...]

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Monitoring site-fidelity of bottlenose dolphins in the St. Joseph Bay region of the Florida Panhandle following multiple Unusual Mortality Events

Jan 14, 2009 No Comments

Intensive photo-identification and radio tracking studies during 2004-2007 have provided insight into the potential effects of multiple Unusual Mortality Events in and around St. Joseph Bay. However, the recovery rate of bottlenose dolphin populations along the Florida Panhandle cannot be determined without long-term photo-identification surveys in this region. In collaboration with the Florida Department of [...]

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Sarasota Bay dolphin monitoring program 2007-2008

Jan 09, 2009 No Comments

We have been able to continue our year-round monthly monitoring of the Sarasota dolphin community thanks to support from NOAA Fisheries Service. The Sarasota bottlenose dolphin community is the most thoroughly-studied, free-ranging dolphin population in the world. We continue to address increasingly refined questions about the lives of these animals with the benefit of information [...]

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Bottlenose dolphins in the Big Bend region of Florida

Jan 04, 2009 No Comments

The waters stretching from St. Vincent Sound to Alligator Harbor in the Big Bend of Florida represent one of the least understood areas of the state in regards to bottlenose dolphins. Recent large scale mortality events, together with an increasing potential for human impacts in this area, led to studies of abundance and stock structure [...]

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Population structure of bottlenose dolphins in and around St. Joseph Bay, Florida

Jan 07, 2008 No Comments

During three Unusual Mortality Events (UMEs), (1999-2000, 2004, and 2005-2006), more than 300 bottlenose dolphins died along the Florida Panhandle. St. Joseph Bay was the geographic focus of the 2004 mortality event. The most recent (1994) NOAA’s Fisheries Service abundance estimate for bottlenose dolphins in St. Joseph Bay is zero, but dolphins are currently observed [...]

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Sarasota Bay dolphin monitoring program

Jan 05, 2008 4 Comments

We have been able to continue our year-round monthly monitoring of the Sarasota dolphin community thanks to support from 15 Earthwatch Institute volunteers and NOAA’s Fisheries Service (NMFS). The Sarasota bottlenose dolphin community is one of the most thoroughly studied free-ranging dolphin populations in the world. We continue to address increasingly refined questions about the [...]

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Investigating impacts of Hurricane Charley and red tide on dolphin abundance, reproductive rates, distribution, and residency in Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound.

Jan 04, 2008 No Comments

Do major ecological disturbances impact resident dolphin populations? The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program was in a unique position to evaluate this question as both Hurricane Charley in August 2004 and a severe red tide in 2005 impacted Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound. These combined events may have affected habitat health, including prey fish availability, [...]

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