Your Support on Giving Tuesday Makes This Possible

As people who regularly follow our research and progress know, since 1970, we’ve been working to better understand dolphins and their ecosystem, and sharing the knowledge we’ve gained locally, statewide, nationally and internationally to help reduce the threats that dolphins worldwide face in the wild.

Thanks to support from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation and from people like you, one of the things we are able to do is monitor the Sarasota Bay dolphin community year ‘round. We know the life histories of each locally resident dolphin and are able to gain meaningful insights about connections within their community.

For instance, thanks to our monthly photo-identification surveys, we were able to identify a dolphin recovered by our partners at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Stranding Investigations Program in August as Vespa, a 43-year-old dolphin that we had observed more than 1,100 times throughout her life. Through our long-term study, we know that Vespa gave birth to at least 11 calves and that two of her daughters have given birth to seven calves of their own.

Vespa with her last calf, C79A, in April 2021.

Our long-term studies tell us that other orphaned calves of similar ages have survived and even thrived. It will be particularly illuminating to see if this orphan picked up its mother’s bad habits of interacting with humans, or whether the calf will develop less risky feeding patterns — information important to wildlife managers. Because we’re on the water regularly monitoring Sarasota Bay dolphins, you can be sure we’ll be keeping an eye on this calf as it learns to navigate life without mom.

Today is Giving Tuesday, a global movement that gives people around the world an opportunity to come together through generosity. You can be a part of this movement — and help to support our work to study the lives of dolphins like Vespa and her family — simply by making a donation today.

Your generous gift will support science-based dolphin conservation and help us continue helping dolphins around the world. Please click the button below to join the movement today!

Randy Wells