January 2021 - From the Field...

Posted by Nicole Sears on Jan 15, 2021 12:00:00 AM

Photo Identification studies have been hard to achieve this past month due to high-wind conditions, but the team hopes to get out on the water in the next couple of days for the first Photo - ID survey of the new year! 

Despite not spending time on the water, Nicole has spent a significant amount of time in the lab cataloguing data from previous surveys. 

Until the waters calm, we’d like to showcase SLIC, the 24th dolphin added to our Photo ID catalog. SLIC has been sighted 3 times between Sept 2018 and Sept 2020. All 3 of these sightings occurred within Barnes Sound at the north end of Key Largo.

Photo ID January

This dolphin is a great example to explain how dorsal fins can change over time. At some point between Sept 2018 (left) and Sept 2020 (right), this dolphin gained a few new notches along the trailing edge of its dorsal fin, while the uppermost and lowermost notches remained the same.

Those older notches allow us to match new images with previous sightings, even though the additional new markings are present. These nicks and notches can be caused by a wide variety of things including interactions with other animals like dolphins or sharks, or simply interacting with objects in their environment.

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather in the next few weeks and calm seas. We look forward to an exciting update next month from our upcoming surveys, weather pending of course! 

Topics: Dolphins in Key Largo, Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, Conservation, Newsletter, Photo ID

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