Check out the latest news from DCP, including field reports filed by our researchers busy doing science at one of our many research sites.

The Dolphin Gazette: Issue 21.3

This quarter's issue is full of updates from the field, particularly reports from our Bimini field site. Hear from Kel and the summer "Trio", check out which adopt-a-dolphins we saw and meet Sulfur and Name-A-Dolphin ID#101. You'll see Kathleen has been busy preparing publications and Justin is making an awesome book donation. Thanks for reading - and sharing! Download your copy now.

A Trio of a Different Kind

After spending so much of this summer referring to “The Trio” (Patrick, Kaiya and Tori, our summer interns), it was hard not think of them as I spent a nice portion of the afternoon observing three Atlantic spotted dolphins! I was able to complete trip #43 of the season with Bimini Adventures, once again joining a visiting research team. Since this team was focused on bow riding dolphins, I knew the day would only bring surface observations. Still, it was worth it! We followed this trio of as-yet unidentified dolphins through the waves as the winds and seas picked up slightly throughout the day. At times they seemed to be traveling, but as I looked toward shore, we never really…

Introducing....Sulfur!

DCP ID#102 has her name!! We are pleased to introduce, Sulfur, who was named by by Rahul K. Sai as a gift for Snigda Sindhuri Sagabala as part of DCP's Name-A-Dolphin program. Sulfur, a juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin observed off Bimini, The Bahamas is now available for adoption! Check out her adoption page here. Thank you, Rahul, for your generous support. Snigda, we hope you enjoy your awesome gift!

Just a glimpse…

On Thursday, I was able to join the team of visiting researchers who have chartered Bimini Adventures to explore their 360-degree camera and hydrophone system designed to record bow riding dolphins. It was great to catch up with these folks, whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for years now. Though there was a light chop to the sea, it actually made the search for dolphins more comfortable – at least there was a little breeze to take the edge off the August heat! As we diligently searched for dolphins, we came upon a scattered group of at least three bottlenose dolphins. I was able to grab a few dorsal fin photographs for future photo-ID matching, but the team decided…

Where have all the interns gone?

So much of my spring and summer revolves around advertising for interns, interviewing potential interns, preparing for interns, meeting interns, working with interns…and then they are gone! Poof! This year’s team, which included first-year interns Tori, Patrick and Kaiya, was absolutely phenomenal. But, as August rolled around, I knew that one-by-one, I’d be saying, “See you later” to each of them. And, now, as planned, they have all said goodbye to Bimini and returned to their other lives… So, on Thursday I prepped for my first intern-less dolphin trip in quite a while. And, then it rained. And rained. And looked as though it might rain some more. So, with the dolphin trip canceled, I did some other DCP tasks.…

And then there was one…

Tuesday was a bittersweet day for the Bimini DCP crew. It began on somewhat of a sad note for the DCP team with the anticipation of Kaiya’s departure from Bimini, but also came with a hint of excitement at one last minute dolphin boat trip for Tori aboard the Dakota.  The “Trio,” having downsized to a “Duo” after Patrick’s departure, would now briefly become a solo stay for Tori.  Having spent the past ten weeks together, (four in Florida at the DCP office, and six here in Bimini) it’s definitely hard for the team to go their separate ways, but we all know it’s not the last we’ll be seeing of each other.  If anything, the bonds of friendship that…

Wrap-Up on the Renegade for the Duo

After almost six weeks on this island, it was difficult to accept that Saturday’s boat trip would be the last for Tori and Kaiya. The Renegade has been where we’ve spent almost every afternoon and evening this summer; it’s been our “office,” our vehicle of exploration, our means of collecting important data for the Dolphin Communication Project, and the very hub of our research efforts and relationship building. Aboard the Renegade, we’ve weathered rough seas and endured rain and squalls, thunder and lightning, days without dolphins, scorching heat and sun, and have genuinely loved every minute of it. We’ve witnessed joy and elation on dozens of eco-tour guest faces, after experiencing what it’s like to swim with dolphins in the…

The Interns Get Educational

Friday morning offered a new and exciting opportunity for Tori and Kaiya to step into the education side of DCP's mission. After watching Kel lead information sessions for eco-tours and school groups throughout the summer, it was our turn to step up and take the lead. We did some preparation, then biked over to the Sea Crest where we met up with this week's eco-tour group. On top of it being our first DCP presentation, we had the added element of utilizing a translator as we were presenting to a group of native French speakers. It was so interesting to hear our own words and DCP's research in a different language! The guests were curious and animated about the information…

And Then There Were Two…

Thursday started off on a somber note, as it came with the realization that one of our Trio members was leaving us later that morning. The time had come for Patrick to say goodbye and head home to Kentucky, and after spending the last nine consecutive weeks together, it was heartbreaking to think that the time of the “Trio” had come to an end…at least for now.  Having spent the night before celebrating his birthday, we were determined to give Patrick a proper send off, so when the time came for him to catch the ferry to South Bimini (and the airport), we walked him there, genuinely sad about his departure, and made sure to embarrass him with excessive good-bye…
2017-07-15 Amazon River Dolphin Field Research Update
08 Aug 2017

2017-07-15 Amazon River Dolphin Field Research Update

The two species of dolphins found in the Peruvian Amazon are the pink dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) (front photo with this report) and the gray dolphins (Sotlaia fluviatillis) below. However, similar to beluga whales, pink dolphins are born gray, almost black, and loose pigmentation as they age. As can be seen in the photo, a large juvenile which is still gray in color, is swimming with its presumed mother displaying pink coloration with a touch of gray on the head. However, we are not certain of the family ties, which is part of the motivation to device a method to individually identify these dolphins acoustically…a voice recognition system! These pictures were taken during the first couple of weeks in July. We…

Happy Birthday Patrick!

After a rough, short, dolphin-less day yesterday, we were very excited to get back out on the boat on Wednesday. We were even more excited because it was Patrick's birthday! Although, unfortunately, it was also his last day. After a celebratory lunch at the Bimini Big Game Club and a quick swim, we gathered our gear and headed to the boat for our 2pm departure. The sun was shining brightly and the ecotour guests were all excited that the clear weather also brought smaller swells, offering both a smoother ride and better visibility of dorsal fins. Our boat trip began with a snorkel stop at Three Sisters, where we were able to see a plethora of life including parrot fish,…

Rough seas won’t stop the Trio!

So after a few days of poor weather conditions thanks to Tropical Storm Emily, and a few  cancelled boat trips, The Trio was excited to get back aboard the Renegade on Tuesday for some field work! Unfortunately, there were still some squalls in the area, and some rough seas once outside the channel, but the Renegade was determined to give it a try for the sake of Bimini Adventures’ new eco-tour group and see if we could find some dolphins. Captain Al and Captain Audley found the group a nice, calm spot to jump in the water for an equipment check, after putting some distance between us and the rain. Once back onboard, and steady on course, it was becoming…

Another Day of Adventure

Saturday morning came and went in a similar fashion to most work day for DCP interns. We made progress on our usual tasks and also spent some time reviewing the underwater footage that Patrick took yesterday. This allowed us to identify more of the dolphins that were seen while simultaneously practicing our ID skills with the new spots that the dolphins may have developed over the past year, since they were last photographed. After lunch (leftover Bimini pizza!) Patrick and Tori got back to work while Kaiya prepped for her afternoon on the boat. Tori and Patrick: Our afternoon of bottlenose photo identification and video logging progressed smoothly. Partway through, we each made sure to take a break to get…

Pizza and Progress

On Friday we woke up and worked on our usual ID’s and video logs, but then we decided to shake things up. We soon got ready and headed up the island to Edith’s Pizza for lunch. We arrived on our bikes, as they were opening and ordered our highly anticipated chicken wings and pizza. It was a much needed meal and change of pace for the day. We headed back home after eating our delicious lunch and enjoyed getting back to air conditioning after the long ride of blistering heat. While Patrick was gone on the boat, Tori and Kaiya spent their day at home making significant progress with their office work. Patrick: I met Al and his guests at…

Gratitude

When your office is next to a beach in The Bahamas, sometimes your lunch break includes a snorkel. (For which we are VERY grateful.) That was the case for us (Patrick and Kaiya), while Tori was on her boat trip. We grabbed our gear, jumped off the rocks, and cruised through the refreshing water towards the Gallant Lady, a sunken ship right along the rocks. It was fun to watch the fish (mainly sergeant majors of all sizes) drift back and forth with the incoming tide as they went about their business. As we came around the ship Patrick was shocked to find a very large stingray nestled into the sand! It was the first of three big stingrays that…

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Write to us via snail-mail at:

Dolphin Communication Project
P.O. Box 7485
Port St. Lucie, FL, 34985
USA

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info {at} dcpmail {dot} org

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