From dolphin health and physiology studies to dolphin rescues due to line entanglements; from Florida to Louisiana to Colombia; the 2014 Nicks n Notches annual report of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program provides an interesting glimpse of the activities of the SDRP team. You can download a copy (4 MB pdf) for your reading pleasure.
Seventeen resident mothers have had calves so far in 2013.
Last year, we reported a very active late spring/summer breeding season, observing some of our females with adult male pairs, specifically Aya and F219. Their “dates” proved fruitful – Aya was observed with her third calf in June, and F219 with her fourth calf in July.
Five first-time moms gave birth in 2013 (F179, F209, F223, B053, and WENT). Claire gave birth to her seventh calf, and Saida Beth had her tenth.
By way of yearly comparison, 11 calves were born in 2012 and 9 calves were born to Sarasota Bay resident dolphins in 2011, with 3 more born to mothers seen frequently around the periphery of the Sarasota home range. In 2010, all but one of the 17 calves survived into the fall.
Sadly, two of the 2013 babies are no longer observed with their mothers (F179 and Scooter), and are presumed dead. Calf mortality averages about 50% during the first year of life, so we’ll have to wait and see how well this year’s crop of youngsters do.
Calves typically stay with their mothers 3-6 years. Data on calves are collected as part of our 10 dolphin surveys each month. Over time, the dolphin surveys allow us to document survival rates for calves.
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