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Randall Wells, PhD; Katherine McHugh, PhD; Jason Allen; Aaron Barleycorn
Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, Brookfield Zoo Chicago

Andreas Fahlman, PhD
Fundación Oceanografic de la Comunidad Valenciana

Jay Sweeney, DVM; Rae Stone, DVM; Robyn Faulkner Allen; Austin Allen, PhD
Dolphin Quest

Frants Jensen, PhD; Michael Moore, PhD
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A map of Bermuda.


Dolphin calmly swims away to rejoin the other dolphins after health assessment by scientific team.

The Bermuda Dolphin Conservation Project

Building on data collected during Dolphin Quest’s 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2015 studies, the objective of the 2016 Bermuda wild dolphin health assessment was to investigate a pelagic diving population of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the waters off Bermuda.

Bermuda Wild Dolphin Project and Dolphin Tracking Project

The Bermuda Dolphin Conservation Project

During this study, we analyzed the following:

  • Health
  • Diving and respiratory physiology
  • Resting metabolic rate
  • Diving and ranging behavior
Dolphins swimming in the ocean showing their fins.

The Bermuda Dolphin Conservation Project

Additional objectives included sampling for:

  • Genetics
  • Monitoring reproduction
  • Tracking animals over time with individual identification from natural markings
While the dolphin rests quietly on a mat before being released to rejoin the other dolphins, Dr. Fahlman and team collect a lung gas sample using a flowmeter gently held above dolphin’s blowhole.

The Bermuda Dolphin Conservation Project

Collecting samples for measuring contaminant levels to compare to dolphins that have been studied on the East Coast of the US, Bermuda, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Group photo of a crew on the boat.

The Bermuda Dolphin Conservation Project

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The following data was collected in 2016 from four of Bermuda’s deepwater bottlenose dolphins named, Devonshire, Hamilton, Paget, and Pembroke. The dolphins were fitted with temporary satellite tags as part of an ongoing health assessment by an international team of marine mammal scientists, Dolphin Quest veterinarians, and animal care professionals.

Location Maps (reference for maps pictured in weekly summaries)
The following maps show the locations of each dolphin as determined through the reception by satellites of signals from the dolphin, transmitted upon surfacing.

Large circle – most recent location
Small circle – oldest location
Connecting lines – connect consecutive circles, but do not represent dolphin travel routes

Select a date to view weekly dolphin tracking summary: