Bahamas 2000

Dolphin Science Quiz: Laura vs. Laura | Episode 18

Dolphin Pod co-host Laura Teasdale thinks that she used to know more about dolphins when she was a kid. In this episode, she gets a chance to prove it! Our AI assistant DOLPH creates an 8-year-old clone of Laura for (old) Laura to go up against in a (rather challenging) dolphin science quiz! Who will win? Stay tuned to find out!

Get in touch with The Dolphin Pod via social media at https://twitter.com/dolphincommu or https://facebook.com/dolphincommunicationproject/

Bimini, here I am!

Introducing, DCP’s spring intern, Manon! Manon is a Master’s student from France who has spent about 5 weeks working at DCP’s Florida office and is now continuing her research project at our Bimini, The Bahamas field site. We hope you enjoy reading Manon’s perspective over the coming weeks! ~Kel

…….

I got the first stunning sight of Bimini Islands from the plane, and it was only the beginning…

After one month of data processing in Florida, it was time for me to go into the field, hoping to see some of our well-known dolphins. On Friday, I had time to unpack my suitcase, get a personalized island tour (thanks to Kel) and I was ready for my next two months here. On the schedule: data entry, data processing and (hopefully) boat trips and dolphins.

Saturday was my first morning and my first surprise! I was expecting to see some nice sea creatures during my time in Bimini, but not on my first day and even less ten meters away from the shore. Coming from open sea and heading North, I got to join a manta ray that morning. And then in the afternoon, it was a group of dolphins that I could see, jumping behind a boat in front of the beach!

Speaking of dolphins, I got my first boat tour on Sunday. Nice weather, nice sea, nice people, but … no dolphins! Well, I still have two months to see them.

Stay tuned,

Manon

Well, came up with some bottlenose

On Saturday, things finally lined up: boats were in order, captain was free and the seas were calm. We headed out in search of “Lamda” (DCP ID#104). Lamda grew up around Bimini, but stranded far from home in late Aug 2018; he was rescued, rehabilitated and released with a satellite tag (read all about it here and here). But, the satellite data was weak for the last several days; the few points that were coming in were really bad quality, which means they didn’t provide reliable information about Lamda’s location. Still, with email access sorted on my phone, we headed out.

Turns out the weather was fantastic. But, no satellite data came in. So, we searched as we normally do (Lamda is the first dolphin in this area to be tagged). We came up empty….at least for spotteds, anyway. We did see a group of about five bottlenose dolphins, but neither Lamda nor any spotted dolphins were nearby.

Turns out, Lamda’s tag is probably done transmitting. It lasted 108 days! That isn’t breaking any records for battery life, but it did pretty good and gave us information on this dolphin’s movement that we never had access to before. So, while we wait for the regular Bimini field season to resume in April, when we can look for Lamda as we look for all the dolphins, I extend a huge thank you and congratulations to the team: Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation, Wild Dolphin Project, Atlantis Bahamas, Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, Al Sweeting Jr and the Bahamas Department of Marine Resources. Cheers!

Until next time,

Kel

Finding Lamda

While we wait to see "Lamda" (DCPID#104) again, we thought you'd like to see how he was doing during our January observation. The video isn't edited - just the real recording of how he was swimming (great, by the way). The rescue, rehab, release and monitoring of this guy has been a serious team effort involving: Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization, The Wild Dolphin Project, Atlantis Bahamas and the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.

We're hoping to see more of #104 soon. And certainly during our 2019 Bimini field season, which begins in April. If you want to come search for Lamda with us, snag one of the remaining spaces on our 30 Jun - 5 July 2019 eco-tour! Click here for all the details and get your deposit in now.

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin - Lamda - 7 Jan 2019 from Dolphin Communication Project on Vimeo.

 

Read more in our previous blog post

Want to be a DCP Intern?

We're now accepting applications!

There isn't much time - the deadline is 1 March. Click here to read all about our summer internship program. Office and field portions are required. Office portion is completed in Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA and field portion is completed in Bimini, The Bahamas. Interns must be proficient with Microsoft Word and Excel, have a strong attention to detail, be able to work well both independently and in small teams, be flexible and be comfortable in hot weather, on a boat and swimming in open water. Proficiency in English is a requirement.

We understand that letters of recommendation often take time to acquire. If you need more time for your letter(s) of recommendation, please request an extension along with your otherwise complete application packet. An extension until 8 March may be given to qualified applicants.

Questions? Email us at info {at} dcpmail {dot} org.

Click here for position and application details.

Can’t commit to the whole summer? Sign up for our Bimini eco-tour! It’s an awesome way to get an intro to DCP and see what field work is like. Plus, you’ll have a great time. Here’s the link for those details.

Back in the classrooms!

On Tuesday, I had a chance to get back into a few Bimini classrooms. This time, I was joined by my friend, Jillian Morris, Founder and President of Sharks4Kids. We visited students in Grades 2, 3 and 4. We chatted about the importance of the ocean, compared (& contrasted!) dolphins and sharks, and we all agreed that Jillian and I can in fact be friends, even though she studies sharks and I study dolphins. In fact, the students even decided that one person can like both! After all, sharks aren’t the bad guys of the sea and dolphins are pretty tough and cool too.

Thank you to the teachers and principal of Bimini Primary - and of course, the students! I am already looking forward to my next visit – and future collaborations with Ms. Jillian and Sharks4Kids!

Until next time,

Kel

PS: Interested in joining us at our Bimini, The Bahamas field site? We still have spaces available for our 30 June – 5 July eco-tour! Click here for more info and get your deposit in now!

Data Collection at DE - Day 1, 2019
07 Feb 2019

Data Collection at DE - Day 1, 2019

Our team arrived late yesterday to Nassau for 3 packed days of research. Our team includes Heather, Jill, and Donna who joined Kathleen for this field session at Blue Lagoon Island, home of Dolphin Encounters.
We are here to collaborate with Te-Shalla and Destaney in collecting data on whether dolphins express a choice in receiving a single fish versus a jackpot of fish in advance of studying whether they will choose the larger amount after a delay or the single fish immediately.
We did lots of standing and observing and watching dolphins. It was the best way to spend our day! Among friends and with dolphins! We also toured a bit of the island and enjoyed a delicious lunch. (the reader might notice a theme to our field reports - when in the field, meals become very important as well as a time for chatting about results and protocols!)
We have another early morning tomorrow and another day of data collection.
Stay tuned!
Kathleen, Donna, Jill, and Heather
P.s. in the blog photo, you can see a young male selecting one of the targets for this study.

The Lost Dolphins of Tenacatita | Episode 16

When Hurricane Jova hit the west coast of Mexico in 2011, a group of dolphins living near Tenacatita Bay disappeared! Where did they go and what happened to them? And did they ever return? Find out in this week’s episode.

The primary article being discussed in this episode is:

Ortega-Ortiz, Christian & Wonneberger, Elena & Martínez-Serrano, Ibiza & Kono-Martínez, Tadashi & Villegas Zurita, Francisco & M. Enríquez Paredes, Luis & Llamas González, Myriam & Olivos, Aramis & Liñán-Cabello, Marco & Gerardo Verduzco-Zapata, Manuel. (2019). Consequences Potentially Related to a Meteorological Event on a Resident Group of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Mexican Pacific. Aquatic Mammals. 45. 99-105. 10.1578/AM.45.1.2019.99

The research articles mentioned in the podcast involving how hurricanes affect dolphins are as follows:

Fearnbach, Holly & W. Durban, J & Parsons, K & Claridge, Diane. (2012). Photographic mark-recapture analysis of local dynamics within an open population of dolphins. Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America. 22. 1689-700. 10.2307/41722883

Miller, Lance & Mackey, Angela & Hoffland, Tim & Solangi, Moby & Kuczaj, Stan. (2010). Potential effects of a major hurricane on Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) reproduction in the Mississippi Sound. Marine Mammal Science. 26. 707 - 715. 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00371.x

More research from Christian Ortega-Ortiz at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christian_Ortega-Ortiz

This research originated from the University of Colima in Mexico: https://www.ucol.mx/

Get in touch with The Dolphin Pod via social media at https://twitter.com/dolphincommu or https://facebook.com/dolphincommunicationproject/

DCP’s RIMS Summary - January 2019
22 Jan 2019

DCP’s RIMS Summary - January 2019

I spent a VERY productive three weeks on Roatan at Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR) collecting data on the dolphins at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS). I was joined by two student groups – one (14 students) from Colorado State University (CSU) and one (11 students) from the University of Rhode Island (URI). Thank you to Dr. K (CSU) and Dr. R (URI) for continuing to collaborate with me and DCP and co-teaching students on topics focused on animal behavior and physiology. (Thank you also to Ron B. and his family for participating in some of DCP’s first week programs on this field session!) During my third week in the field this month, I was joined by Heather, Dee and John. We crammed as much research and data collection into 7 days as seemed humanly possible!
Here are the numbers:
I had 22 data collection and observation sessions that yielded 22 hrs of video data (11 hrs each on my GoPro3 and the MVA2 system). Logging the videos (for dolphin IDs and duration on screen) will keep me (and student interns and volunteers) busy for several months!
With CSU and URI student assistance, we began collecting data on how the dolphins at RIMS use the area of their habitat. We collected instantaneous scan samples of where dolphins were (visible at the surface) in their enclosure and also what their activity level was during each scan. Comments and suggestions from students in both groups allowed Heather, Dee and me to revise the data sheets and collect more than two dozen scans to form a pilot data set.
With Teri, Dee, and Heather, we continued collecting data to better understand how creative dolphins are; Dee collected video data adjacent to Teri when she queried dolphins. Heather documented the session trials and details and I was the in-water person effectively treading water and filming both underwater and surface views from the dolphin perspective during each session. We were able to conduct four sessions each with 11 dolphins. Again, we will be analyzing data for a few months to get an idea of just how creative bottlenose dolphins at RIMS are …
We could not have had such a productive field session without assistance from the RIMS training staff and AKR team members who variously shuttled us back and forth between Bailey’s Key and Anthony’s Key – THANK YOU! And, thank you for all folks from AKR, RIMS, DCP, CSU and URI for facilitating a really great data collection session. I could think of no better way to launch 2019 than with a productive field session punctuated by great weather, awesome underwater visibility, eager students, and playful dolphins!
Happy 2019!!
Cheers
Kathleen

Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!
18 Jan 2019

Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!

Another early day was greeted by overcast skies and some choppy sea conditions. The underwater visibility was still good and I was able to collect another 30 minutes of underwater video of the dolphins at Bailey’s Key. They were much more subdued as compared with yesterday! And, because there was still a bit of a current, though crossing differently from yesterday, the dolphins seemed to stay close to the shore area. The males were chasing one another while there was much infant swimming by the females and their calves and the younger females, too.
We stayed at Bailey’s after my underwater data collection to welcome Teri and continue with our innovative data collection. And, Heather and Dee worked diligently to collect baseline spatial data as well as area use by dolphins before, during and after my observations and that of the encounter and swim programs. John did some drone shots and got a really good one of Bailey’s Key (see cover photo for this blog report).
Our data collection sessions have been very, very productive. We’ll be kept busy for quite a while analyzing these data.
Tomorrow is our last day of data collection! We look forward to seeing the “small weather system” push through tonight so we have a bright sunny and clear day with much to document!
Cheers,
Kathleen, Heather, Dee, & John

P.S. DCP's dolphin science podcast - The Dolphin Pod - has just returned! And we need your help to produce new episodes. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/the-dolphin-pod to make a tax-deductible donation! All proceeds will fund the production of new episodes. And of course, check out all the existing episodes here: https://www.dolphincommunicationproject.org/index.php/the-latest-buzz/the-dolphin-pod

Contact Us

Write to us via snail-mail at:

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

Email us:

info {at} dcpmail {dot} org

THE DOLPHIN COMMUNICATION PROJECT CHARITABLE SOLICITATION NUMBER CH42894, MEETS ALL REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED BY THE FLORIDA SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS ACT.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, OR 850-410-3800 WHEN CALLING OUTSIDE THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Join us on Facebook