Sarasota Dolphin Research Program

Health Assessment of Bottlenose Dolphins in Sarasota Bay and the West Florida Shelf

Summary of Project

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.

Website: http://www.sarasotadolphin.org

Annual Reportshttp://www.sarasotadolphin.org/sources-of-information/publications/nicks-n-notches/


Health Assessment, Tagging, and Tracking of Dolphins in Sarasota, FL

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.

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

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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

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

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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 us a better understanding of the species that travel or live in the area, establishing a health and behavior baseline.