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Sarasota Dolphin Research Program

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Sarasota Dolphin Research Program

Since 1984, Dolphin Quest has provided veterinary expertise in the field and, since 1997, financial support to the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. The program began in 1970 and it conducts the world’s longest running study of a wild dolphin population. This important study provides a better understanding of the dolphins residing in the Sarasota Bay area and can be used in comparisons to other populations around the world.

Websitehttp://www.sarasotadolphin.org
Annual Reports: http://www.sarasotadolphin.org/sources-of-information/publications/nicks-n-notches/


Health Assessment of Bottlenose Dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida

Project InvestigatorsRandall Wells
Affiliate Organizations: 
Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program
Project Started:
1970 
Dolphin Quest Supported:
1997 – 2018 
Project Description

  • This program is an ongoing, long-term research assessment of health and life history of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida

Marine Mammal/Conservation Benefit 

  • The primary contributions to science have been to gain a better understanding of the biology, behavior, ecology, health, and population dynamics of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
  • In addition to compiling dolphin population life history and health data, this assessment is helping to evaluate the impact of oil spills and other environmental contaminants and biotoxins on dolphins

Images by the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program NMFS Permit No. 15543-06


Health Assessment, Tagging, and Tracking of Dolphins over the West Florida Shelf

Species: Bottlenose dolphins

Project Investigators: Randall Wells, Andreas Fahlman, Michael Moore

Affiliate Organizations: Chicago Zoological Society, Oceanografic, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Project Started: 2018

Dolphin Quest Supported: 2018

Project Description

  • We propose to test and refine our program’s developing capabilities to conduct deep-water capture-release for health assessment

Images by the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, taken under NMFS Scientific Research Permit No. 20455


Marine Mammal/Conservation Benefit

  • The proposed research will be the first-ever systematic tagging, tracking, and health assessments of dolphins in West Florida Shelf waters
  • Monitoring and tracking dolphins in West Florida Shelf waters gives a better understanding of the species that travel or live in the area, establishing a health and behavior baseline

Image by the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program NMFS Permit No. 15543-06