He was rescued in July, 2014 from a shallow brackish lake in the Everglades, separated by mangroves and shallow creeks from the Gulf of Mexico.
Airboats were needed by the team to reach the site, and after a health exam by veterinarians, he was taken by boat to Chokoloskee Bay and released later the same day.
Speedy was tagged with a satellite-linked transmitter, and his subsequent movements were monitored remotely to learn more about bottlenose dolphin movements in that poorly studied region of southwestern Florida.
Transmitter signals ceased on November 14, 2014, and a Speedy Summary Report of the rescue and of his movements has just been released.
Speedy travelled through the Ten Thousand Islands region using a variety of habitats, from the canals near Everglades City, through Chokoloskee Bay, and out into the near shore waters of the Gulf of Mexico (see map).
Locations of Speedy during the tracking period of 31 July-11 November 2014. Only locations within an estimated error radius of <500m are shown.
The movements exhibited by Speedy during the tracking period suggest that he was behaving as might be expected for a normal inshore bottlenose dolphin.
This, however, is the first time that a dolphin from the Ten Thousand Islands region has been tracked, so no baseline exists for comparison.
The 139 day remote monitoring period greatly exceeds the criterion of Wells et al. (2013) for defining post-release success.
Credits: Rescue plans were made, led by the Southwest Office of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and National Marine Fisheries Service, and involved the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), Mote Marine Lab, Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Big Cypress National Preserve, FWC Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab, and FWC Law Enforcement. This intervention was performed by SDRP for NOAA Prescott Grant No. NA12NMF4390152.
Reference (available by request)
Wells, R.S., D.A. Fauquier, F.M.D. Gulland, F.I. Townsend and R. DiGiovanni, Jr. 2013. Evaluating post-intervention survival of free-ranging odontocete cetaceans. Marine Mammal Science 29:E463-E483. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12007.