November: From the Field...

Posted by Nicole Sears on Nov 17, 2020 6:00:00 AM

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DPMMR researchers conducted one photo-ID survey between Key Largo and Islamorada at the end of October. The survey was conducted in both Atlantic and Florida Bay regions, but unfortunately no dolphins were sighted. The unpredictability of field work is one of the major challenges we face in this line of research. We know that dolphins are out there, but we never know how many (if any) we’ll see when we go out. All surveys are conducted under NMFS GA No. 21556.

Despite not seeing any dolphins on our most recent survey, the DPMMR Photo ID team would like to highlight one dolphin each month from our sitings of the wild population in Monroe County. It’s only fitting that our first ‘Dolphin of the Month’ spotlight goes to the first dolphin we added to our Photo-ID catalog. This young dolphin, who we’ve named SOLO, was sighted three times between September 2018 and June 2019, always alone (hence the name). All three sightings occurred within Tarpon Basin in Key Largo, showing strong site fidelity, or tendency to return to the area, during this time. SOLO’s only regularly visible distinguishing mark is a small notch on the peduncle behind the dorsal fin. However, SOLO is also missing the tip of his/her right pectoral flipper, thought to be from the bite of a small shark that may be using the local mangroves as a nursery.

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Topics: Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, Conservation, Photo ID

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