chesapeake bay dolphin research

Scientists say dolphins used to visit the bay more frequently. (Kim Hairston / … Dolphins are loving #ChesBay. Doing so will help us better understand what population(s) of dolphins are visiting the Chesapeake Bay region, where they go during the winter (bottlenose dolphins are usually only found in the Chesapeake Bay area during warmer months), and how they fit into the greater Atlantic bottlenose dolphins population structures. While the PCDP research is broadly concerned with better understanding all aspects of these animal's biology, we are focusing our initial efforts on a few key areas. This website serves as an online portal for information on the background, history, and progress of the program, as well as provides access to reports, documentation, data, and updates on current monitoring projects. Odocoileus virginianus Bottlenose dolphins are frequently spotted in the Chesapeake Bay during the summer with reports of them leaping in the air or bow riding boats. With the dolphins identified, scientists can determine where the dolphins are coming from and going to. See where they've been spotted & report your own sightings with @DolphinWatch_CB https://t.co/eQFqoaFDOl pic.twitter.com/8O2ADfgr3T. We found dolphins in most of Chesapeake Bay In 2017 and 2018 dolphin sightings were seasonally stratified in Chesapeake Bay, meaning that dolphins were seen in different portions of the bay in different months. 4D shows much greater synchrony than the one represented in 4B). Our understanding of this recent morbillivirus outbreak is somewhat hindered by our understanding of how the disease spreads in wild animals. This is an extremely high sighting rate, indicating a high density of dolphins the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. They feed on a variety of prey, including fish and squid. Here’s a presentation with Dr. Bailey about their efforts to track dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Bay map of dolphins reported, maintainly in the central and lower bay. A website version of our dolphin tracker is available at: chesapeakedolphinwatch.org. Some dolphins may venture as far north as Baltimore Harbor, the Chester River and Washington, D.C. Copyright © 2019-2020 www.chesapeakeliving.com. For comparison, in Shark Bay, Australia, which is thought to have one of the highest densities of bottlenose dolphins in the world, with similar research effort one would expect to see less than half as many dolphins (~80). Some are returning year after year. The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project (PCDP) is seeking two dedicated research assistants for the upcoming fall field season (September 3rd to October 23rd, 2019) in Heathsville, Virginia, USA. PHOTO BY JEFF VARNON Dolphins will come in … Procyon lotor White-tail Deer. 3), when two or more dolphins surface and breathe at the same time in close proximity to each other. What we found was quite surprising! on bottlenose dolphins in the Potomac-Chesapeake region. Besides the surveys, the only major source of information about Bay dolphins in the Chesapeake comes from the handful of reports each year to the marine mammal stranding programs in Maryland and Virginia, which rescue beached animals and research those that are recovered dead. Scientists are focused on determining how many dolphins are in the Bay, when they appear, why those sightings have increased, and in which rivers and tributaries these benevolent mammals are most active. Marine Species Monitoring. Chesapeake Bay Foundation Islands Field Senior Manager Jeff Varnon captured this close-up of dolphins swimming close to a boat on the Bay. STATUS Protection under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 identifies humans as their greatest threat and prevents any resulting future depletion. West Indian Manatee. To help us better understand morbillivirus transmission, the PCDP is collecting detailed data on social behavior (associations, synchronous breathing, direct contact, etc.) In fact, humans are affected by a type of morbillivirus, better known as the measles. Two bottlenose dolphins in the Potomac River, surfacing in almost perfect synchrony. The PCDP aims to better understand and protect the bottlenose dolphins of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. One way to help determine which population the PC dolphins belong to is through what is called Photo ID. As defined by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), there are at least two, maybe three populations (stocks) of dolphins that might visit the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries: the Northern Migratory Stock, the Southern Migratory Stock, and possibly the South Carolina-Georgia Coastal Stock. Amber Fandel, Research Analyst with the Chesapeake Biological Lab has been investigating dolphin behavior as part of conservation efforts across the U.S. since 2012. Fun. “We know very little about them,” says UMCES DolphinWatch. The web-based app allows users to report dolphin sightings in the Chesapeake Bay. Association (A & C) and synchrony (B & D) networks for two bottlenose dolphins (data taken from the Shark Bay Dolphin Research Project for illustrative purposes). In 2015 (July – October) the PCDP began collecting initial data on the location and number of dolphins in an ~37 square km area near the mouth of the Potomac River. Dr. Helen Bailey and her team at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science  think dolphin numbers are up in the bay, but they want to be scientific about it. DolphinWatch was launched the beginning of July and they’re looking for reports on DolphinWatch.org and photos for their Instagram and Facebook accounts. Two of the most basic pieces of information needed about any wild animal population is: how many of them are there and where are they? UMCES is also looking for money to maintain the new database and $2,000 to buy a device to listen for dolphin sounds. We are also interested in understanding whether the dolphins are experiencing a rapid change in their preferred habitat due to sea-level rise, which in the Chesapeake Bay is twice the global average. All rights reserved. Dolphins have spotted in more than 170 locations, in big and small pods (groups). Figure 1. But this year, there seems to be more dolphins than anyone can remember, and over a greater expanse of the bay. Using network modeling techniques, we plan to investigate both transmission mechanism and compare simulated outbreaks to actual stranding data in order to elucidate the most likely mechanism of transmission. People can learn more about dolphins in the Potomac-Chesapeake area by visiting the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project’s website or by contacting us at pcdolphinproject@gmail.com. They’ve created an app for people to report sightings. It researches the dolphin’s … Figure 4. Visits the Chesapeake Bay in summer, and is most often seen in the lower Chesapeake Bay near Cape Charles and the James and Elizabeth rivers. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Join us as she shares where and when dolphins are being sighted and … Figure 2. Amber Fandel, Research Analyst with the Chesapeake Biological Lab has been investigating dolphin behavior as part of conservation efforts across the U.S. since 2012. Raccoon. Bottlenose Dolphin. The correlation between a healthy dolphin population and a healthy Bay can be attributed to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. A little fixer-upper opportunity. 4A & 4C). The White House has a new occupant, but there are still dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Scientists say dolphins used to visit the bay more frequently. The information collected through Chesapeake Dolphin Watch will help scientists decide where to place more microphones. Dolphin sightings are becoming more frequent in the Bay and its major tributaries. Coastal bottlenose dolphins populations (stocks) according to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). In just 14 days on the water and ~73 hours of observation we identified 193 unique individuals, including 27 mother-calf pairs, 2 additional suspected adult females, 53 suspected adult males, and several juvenile dolphins of unknown sex. That’s where Jamie Testacame in. commonly hunt in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. 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