Nicks ‘n’ Notches

Nicks ‘n’ Notches is the annual report of the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. Each issue contains an annual summary of the research, conservation, education and outreach activities conducted by the Program, as well as recognition of those who have made financial or in-kind donations of support.

The Program welcomes financial donations, as well as donations of equipment, such as boats, computers, cameras and vehicles. To find out how you can support the Program, please contact Cindy Zeigler, CZS Chief Advancement Officer, at 708.688.8263.

Individuals Make a Difference

The striking montage on the front cover of our 2022 Annual Report, Nicks’n’Notches, provided by long-time collaborator Laela Sayigh and showing signature whistle spectrograms collected over decades from 269 different Sarasota Bay dolphins, makes a compelling argument in support of appreciating these dolphins as individuals. Our Sarasota Dolphin Research Program team identifies each of the individuals visually from distinctive markings on their dorsal fins, while our acoustician colleagues can distinguish them on the basis of repeated whistles that serve as individual identifiers, similar to names. Regardless of the mode, we have come to appreciate the animals as individuals, through their long
(hopefully) lifespans, family connections across generations, residency to core areas (neighborhoods) within the greater community range, individual behaviors, and social association patterns.

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