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

Deep Dive: Goliath Grouper

Thursday, 9 September, 7:00 PM ET (NYC, Miami - Zoom details below) Spawning Patterns, Diet, Mercury, and Reasons Why Goliath Grouper Should be Protected In Perpetuity In this Deep Dive, Chris Malinowski, a biologist who is passionate about conservation of marine and aquatic systems will discuss not dolphins, but a fish: the goliath grouper. The Atlantic Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara), a large indigenous tropical reef fish, approached local extinction in U. S. waters by the 1980s as a result of intense fishing pressure. In 1990, federal and state laws intervened to protect this species. The resulting fishery closure, over the intervening years, allowed limited, slow population recovery in Florida waters while populations outside of the United States remained vulnerable (IUCN…

Dolphin Gazette 25.3

Volume 25, Issue 3 is here! Click here to download. Kathleen shares an update on her May & June Roatan programs, Kel shares throwback pics from Bimini, we've got abstracts from recent talks and publications, and much more. Thanks for reading and sharing!
Last Day of Early Morning Observations!
03 Jul 2021

Last Day of Early Morning Observations!

Today, we share the last day observations from each student individually. Victor: The morning was data but also a chance to say goodbye to the dolphins. I’m still not sure who is who but I can recognize 1 or 2 … especially Poli. The other highlight for me today was snorkeling in the afternoon at Bailey’s Key near the dolphin area. This made getting my covid test in Coxen Hole and away from the dolphins ok. Alessandro: Today was a relaxing day. After the last data collection, we had one of the best snorkeling sessions around. We took our time and swam from the shore dive and saw the coral reef trees for the restoration project. It was a new…
A Wet Thursday!
02 Jul 2021

A Wet Thursday!

This morning, surprise! We collected data with Kathleen’s observations. The dolphins were a bit more active this morning compared to yesterday. We saw some breaching. And Bailey did a weird curved posture for Laura (see cover photo) while Stan did a “fluke-stand” for her. (Thank you, Laura). The weather was better with sunshine and a slight breeze. Sometimes the dolphins were chasing each other at the surface. And, several dolphins paid a visit to platform 1 to try to entice us to play … away from our observations. The space use data collection is much more easy to collect than when we began and the scans don’t feel as rushed any more. Here, Sonja, Alessandro, and Victor conduct a space…
Another Packed Day!
01 Jul 2021

Another Packed Day!

We did our morning observations and data collection. No sunrise this morning but a cloudy day and windy. And the dolphins were quiet, sleeping it seemed – maybe like a hangover in humans. After breakfast, we prepared ourselves to get ready for our encounter and snorkel with the dolphins. We had more than Bailey during our encounter – French and Tilly were chasing each other and trying to swim between us. Tilly seemed to be hiding behind our legs watching for French. And Bailey was also keeping an eye on Tank because he seemed to be half-interested in his encounter program. When Bailey and Tank did behaviors together, Tank seemed distracted but came around to Bailey. Not all of us…
Another Early Day, but with some cloud cover
30 Jun 2021

Another Early Day, but with some cloud cover

Each student presents their summary of the day. The cover photo is Bailey playing with water – Thank you, Manon. Laura: we woke up and we went to collect data at 6 AM. We did a great job and are more comfortable with the data collection. I’m focused and faster when I search for dolphins for the space use data collection. I also liked learning how to log the videotapes and how patience and focus are important when doing those analyses. This morning when we finished the first part of data with Kathleen, there was a dolphin that came close to the palapa and then vocalized. A second dolphin pushed the vocalizer away … Shannon: my favorite part of today…
Data, Dolphins, Video, Snorkeling – all in a day!
29 Jun 2021

Data, Dolphins, Video, Snorkeling – all in a day!

We woke up and prepared to collect morning surface observations and space use data from 6 am; actually, we took the water taxi at 6 am to Bailey’s Key. The dolphins were having weird zoomies across the lagoon. They were giving us a private show – there were numerous leaps and breaches and lots of vocal behavior. This was a small group near the palapa socializing (Thank you, Davide). We are still working on our data collection techniques. After breakfast, we had a class to learn about the DCP history and current research projects. We spent a couple of hours in the RIMS classroom and some of us were chilly while others were warm. We also watched this morning’s video…
Meeting the Dolphins and Collecting Data
28 Jun 2021

Meeting the Dolphins and Collecting Data

This morning was the UofB’s group’s first data collection session at Bailey’s Key. We had a long day today and so Manon and I are writing this night’s blog post. The dolphins were VERY social and the visibility was really good. Sandy and Champ spent quite a bit of time circling Kathleen and checking out her fins. And, French joined Kathleen after the session for a rubdown. Ronnie spent some time with Annalisa, Szonya, and Alessandro trying to get them to play with sea grass. The cover photo shows Bailey trying to get Manon to play with sea grass! After the data collection, we had a delicious breakfast and then spent a bit of time with Kathleen on the porch…
Changing Groups – CSU group departs, Univ of Bologna MC group arrives
27 Jun 2021

Changing Groups – CSU group departs, Univ of Bologna MC group arrives

The CSU group had their last data collection/observation session this morning. The “cover” photo shows me collecting data and a student team on platform 3 with Shane observing from the west side of the lagoon. (Thank you for the photo, Marc!) Each of three student teams collected space use data and surface observations while I was collecting data with the MVA. It was a morning full of activity! The panorama shot shows some of the surface activity while Marc watches from a finger dock and Alexa records data on the platform. Ashley is behind the camera, taking the photo! This group did a great job of getting into the grove of data collection. And, the dolphins – several of them…
Our Last Full Day at AKR with DCP!
26 Jun 2021

Our Last Full Day at AKR with DCP!

We got up early again and went to Bailey’s Key to do observations. And, before we could start with our space use data baseline, we saw a giant sting ray and an eagle ray in the dolphin enclosures. They did not seem to want to hang out with the dolphins … Thank you Manon for the great eagle ray photo ... This morning was the smoothest day yet for space use data and surface observation data. They were VERY active. There was one dolphin breaching several times in Grid A3 space. And, then there were pec fin slaps and other surface behaviors. This was one of the most active days we remember … at least since the first day. But,…
Thinking on Thursday!
25 Jun 2021

Thinking on Thursday!

We began our morning as every other day – with observations of dolphins! The dolphins seemed much more calm today, even though there seemed to also be lots of social behavior … but it was more under the surface. And the dolphins seemed also not to pay us much attention. After our dolphin observations, we got our brains tickled … and we are all covid negative! Woohoo! After a light breakfast then we had a double boat snorkel – that is we took the boat trip and did two snorkel sessions. The first one was ~20 min boat ride and allowed us to see lots of fish along the reef. The second session was at Bear’s Den and the visibility…
We Swam with Dolphins!!
24 Jun 2021

We Swam with Dolphins!!

We snorkeled with dolphins! But, of course, first we did observations – and hopefully our smoothest ones yet – for space use data and the surface observations when Kathleen was in the lagoon with the dolphins. There was a lot of aerial activity when Kathleen got in the water. We saw them circle Kathleen a few times … they were close. Calli and a few other dolphins really wanted to play with Ashley and Sean. Maybe this was foreshadowing because Calli was the dolphin we met during the encounter. Overall, the dolphins were very playful this morning. And you can see our group shot with Calli on front! Here's a close-up of Calli. Breakfast was yummy and we also got…
Dolphins, Sea Turtles, Octopuses (et al.)
23 Jun 2021

Dolphins, Sea Turtles, Octopuses (et al.)

We finally did both the surface observations and the space use data collection during Kathleen’s morning session. We felt more comfortable with the whole process. Standing on the finger dock, Marc saw more activity underwater and it was much easier to see into the water and across the lagoon when standing rather than sitting on the docks. The dolphins were active but not doing lots above the water or at the surface. There were some speed swims and pec slaps and tail slaps. There was also quite a lot of pair swims and much rolling over each other. Breakfast was welcome – it’s the most important meal of the day! And it was delicious. Then we went to the classroom…
Crazy Coral and Silly Snorkeling! (and Pseudo-dolphins)
22 Jun 2021

Crazy Coral and Silly Snorkeling! (and Pseudo-dolphins)

Of course, the day began as a typical Monday, even in the field. Manon and Kathleen got locked out of their room – before getting the gear (MVA, data sheets, snorkel gear) for our early morning observation session and data collection. This was at 5:15 AM! The front desk opens at 6 AM … they both did the 52 steps from taxi stand to front desk before meeting with Alexza for the spare key. After the key fiasco, and Manon’s fourth straight day venting to the airline company (to remain unnamed), they finally found her bag! Of course, her bag is still somewhere in Europe and won’t actually be here until Thursday (we hope) but it still exists! And before…
Happy Father’s Day!
21 Jun 2021

Happy Father’s Day!

We have another set of observations from our student group. Brittany: incredibly long day but incredibly interesting day. It was really cool being able to see the dolphins in the morning and how active they were. And it was awesome to go snorkeling and see all the fish and coral. A long day but I learned a lot. Marc: It was amazing to start the day seeing the dolphins and looking across to Bailey’s Key and not seeing lots of movement but then getting in the boat to the key and seeing their activity pick up after we arrived and throughout the session this morning. There was more activity than I thought there would be. Alexa: I loved starting off…

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Dolphin Communication Project
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