The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program conducted a health assessment project during May 4-11 in Sarasota Bay. The program fielded an international team of 140 scientists, veterinarians, and trained dolphin handlers (about 90 per day) to conduct 40 research projects with each dolphin handled. Projects included studies of field metabolic rates, communication studies involving whistle playback experiments and releases of pairs of dolphins with onboard digital acoustic archiving tags, and testing of new health assessment techniques to be used in Deepwater Horizon oil spill follow-up studies of dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana later in the year. While unusually bad weather limited field efforts, all of the PIs were able to obtain needed data and/or samples. Overall, 13 dolphins were sampled (including four within-session re-samplings), with four handled for the first time.
This article appeared on page 13 of the 2017 SDRP Annual Report, Nicks n Notches.