End of the season!

 Summary of this year’s field season 

The Enoshima workshop went really well – and no earthquakes. The theme of this workshop was “Let’s be dolphin researchers”. We put together some activities that showed the kids what life was like as a dolphin researcher – the highlight being a game where 3 of the team leaders dressed up as crazy never before seen ‘animals’ and ran around the room while the kids tried to keep track of what they were wearing and how they were behaving. Lots of fun, and not altogether that different to what I was doing this summer!

Speaking of this summer, I’ve put together a brief summary of how it all went. Here goes: I had 31 boat trips in total. This equates to 63 hours and 58 minutes of time spent on the boats, with around 9 hours and 36 minutes of video recorded! A record I think… That means a 15% return on effort: number of video minutes recorded divided by the number of minutes spent on the boat looking for dolphins. We had 108 sightings with 216
water entries for data collection. That is a lot of jumping in the ocean I tell ya! We have sighted 10 new calves born this season, with many re-sightings of
our old favorites: #161 (Koshakure), #032 (Atokake), #033 (Maekake),#001
(Kuchizure), #034 (Maekake Jr.), #073 (Sankaku) and many more. Final numbers
of re-sightings are still being processed, but it is expected that the numbers
will be much the same as last year.  I participated in 2 workshops at Enoshima Aquarium, and was on hand to help out with Tanaka-sensei’s English classes quite a few times during my two months on the island. I am now in Kyoto preparing to attend a conference on dolphin and primate social ecology. After that mikura island I am heading back to Tokyo, collecting gear and returning to the US. I’ll still need to finish processing this year’s video logs to get the final number of IDs and re-sightings. The rest of the year will be spent doing data analysis. I expect to be back on Mikura as of May next year.

I would like to thank all of the readers who have been keeping up with these little reports and welcome you to come back again next year to follow along with the 2006 season. If it is anything like this season, I know it will be a lot of fun. So until next year, all the best! Slán abhaile!