Check out the latest news from DCP, including field reports filed by our researchers busy doing science at one of our many research sites.

Out with the dolphins (for now), in with Shark Week

After a busy week of boat trips and dolphin information sessions, the DCP team welcomed the calm weekend. However, we were going to miss the Bimini Adventures group that we spent the past week with! They truly showed an interested in the research that is being conducted as well as the health and well being of the dolphins who call the water around Bimini home. It is encouraging to see individuals outside of the research community share in DCP's goals of education and conservation. As Kel often says, once we are able to get individuals to care about the dolphins themselves, then they will begin to care about their habitat as well!  Friday and Saturday brought half days in the…

Bimini Road Send Off

     Nothing beats waking up in the Bahamas and knowing that you have an awesome day ahead of you, especially if you are a DCP intern! Our excitement only increased as we began our Thursday morning office work, thanks to all of the progress we made yesterday on the video log entry and bottlenose dolphin identification. After another few hours diligently working on these tasks, it was time to get ready for our 2pm boat departure. Today, our first stop was at Bimini Road for almost an hour of fabulous snorkeling, enjoyed by guests and interns alike. In and among the rocks we were able to see multiple angelfish, trumpetfish, parrotfish, squirrelfish, purple sea fans, tube worms, and even…
2017-07-01 Amazon River Dolphin Field Research Update
24 Jul 2017

2017-07-01 Amazon River Dolphin Field Research Update

After a week of collecting field data, Marie was invited to present at the local university, Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana (UNAP), by the non-profit organization Solinia (https://solinia.org/). During this venue, various anthropogenic threats that impact both dolphin species inhabiting the Peruvian Amazon were discussed. Also, Marie presented about how bioacoustics was being used as a tool to ascertain information concerning dolphin populations. One example anthropogenic threat is the use of dolphins as bait in catfish traps. This practice seems to have originated in Brazil, but has now traveled up-river to the Iquitos, Peru region. It was estimated that 200 pink dolphins were killed locally last year to be used as bait in catfish traps. Not only are these…

Today’s Topic: Education

Wednesday started bright and early for Kel and the Trio as we began our day with an 8:30 am inflatable boat pick-up by the Captain of the Coral Reef II, the research vessel for the Shedd Aqaurium, and we were taken back out to sea where the ship was anchored and awaiting us. On this particular morning we were scheduled to do a DCP information session with the High School Marine Biology program students currently on board, and as usual, Kel delivered an enthralling presentation, and these awesome students were absolutely engaged, knowledgeable, and inquisitive. (We love this!) The Trio shared their different educational backgrounds and paths, career plans, and how they came to be interns for DCP, and fielded…

Rainstorms and Rainbows

We began our Tuesday morning with the usual office work of video logs and bottlenose ID. Except, this morning we were joined by Kel! We used the joint work time to get some questions answered and to confirm some new catalogue changes. We were very excited to be making significant progress on the bottlenose pictures and we’re hoping to keep updating the catalogue. Our morning of work passed and we had our lunch, then we got ready for the boat. We settled in with the guests on the boat, and we made our way out of the marina a little after 2 o’clock. After a quick sun-baked ride to Three Sisters, we were excited to hop in the water to…

Solo Success for the Trio

After such an awesome boat trip on Sunday, the DCP crew was very excited to get back on the water on Monday, after a morning of office work, of course. With a successful amount of work done, we, the interns, headed to the boat for their first solo trip, without either Kel or Nicole. However, thanks to their excellent teaching, we felt confident and ready to go. Once everybody was aboard the boat, we pushed off for a prompt 3pm departure. Unlike yesterday, we did not see dolphins as soon as we came out of the channel. Instead, after a long search, we were greeted by a group of spotted dolphins that included three juveniles, a sub-adult, and an adult…

New week, new adventures

If the first trip of the week is any indicator of how the rest of the week’s dolphin trips will go…then we may be headed into a phenomenal week.  Sunday’s trip kicked off the initial tour for this week’s Sea Crest group, and it was quite the experience on the water. Before we could even get out of the channel, exactly ten minutes after leaving the marina, we intercepted four, very large bottlenose dolphins, who to our amazement, decided they were in the mood to bowride our vessel, giving all of us a little unexpected thrill. After that brief, and somewhat unusual sighting, the guests, crew, and DCP researchers were all excited for the rest of the trip, and we…
Marie in the field
19 Jul 2017

2017-06-15 Amazon River Dolphin Field Research Update

  Dr. Marie Trone arrived back to the Amazon Dolphin Acoustics Lab (ADAL) in June 2017, to begin her summer field season.  While in the Peruvian Amazon, Marie plans to explore the high-frequency echolocation produced by the Amazon pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) and the gray dolphins (Sotalia fluviatillis), as well as study their behavior.  During the 2017 spring semester, her students devised an application to be used on 10” Android tablets that documents the locations of dolphins when sighted at the surface of the water.  Thus, the position and direction of travel of each dolphin documented in relation to the location of the hydrophone array, as well as size, color, energy level, swimming activity, and any special behavioral status such…

Landlubbers

Our first week without boat trips was a change of pace. We had more time to relax and explore the island, but it also offered us more time to take a significant chunk out of our video logs and bottlenose photo-ID. After a very productive work week, we capped it off with an eventful Friday and Saturday. On Friday, after a morning of work, we set off for the Bimini Biological Field Station (aka “Shark Lab”) around two. We took the water taxi over to South Bimini and rode our bike to the lab. We were a little early so it gave us the chance to bike around the island and see the houses and scenery. We arrived at the…

Adventures on the Coral Reef II

Sunday started early for the DCP team (Kel, Nicole, Tori, Patrick, and Kaiya) as we were met on the beach at 8:15 am by a small, inflatable boat that delivered us to the Coral Reef II, Shedd Aquarium's research and education vessel, that was anchored offshore. Though we arrived jostled and wet, we received a warm welcome from the students that are currently calling the boat home. Everybody gathered around tables inside while Kel presented about DCP's work in Bimini, The Bahamas. The students were able to learn about our methodology, past research, future goals, the local populations of bottlenose and spotteds, and how we use photo ID to catalog the dolphins. The students were very knowledgeable and engaged and…

Last full day with DCP guests!

We woke up Thursday morning and immediately began working on some of our video logs and bottlenose ID. After knocking a large portion of our work out, we took a break for lunch and to get ready for the boat. Meanwhile, Kel and Nicole led a discussion this morning about ecotourism and the island with this week’s guests. We have had small exchanges about this topic, so it was nice to have a formal talk about this very important matter. We then made our way to the marina and boarded the boat. Unfortunately, today was our last day with this group and Nicole on board. Given the circumstances, we were hoping for a fantastic send-off for everyone’s last day. To…

Bimini Beach Clean-Up and Dolphin Observations!

Wednesday had a different start than our days so far on Bimini. We met DCP's eco tour guests near the Sea Crest for a morning of beach clean-up. We all grabbed our trash bags, put on our gloves, and spread out along the sand in search of debris. As we worked, we discussed with the guests our conflicting feelings about the morning's activity. On one hand we were happy to be helping pick up the garbage in order to maintain a healthy environment, both on and off the shore. But on the other hand, we were disappointed that there was so much trash to be picked up in the first place. We could tell that much of the trash had…

Rain, Research and a Tiger!

The Trio awoke to a stormy Tuesday morning, but that didn’t stop us from getting down to the Sea Crest for Nicole’s presentation of her Master’s project, to the DCP Eco-tour group eagerly awaiting her. After a rainy morning of scientific research discussion, enhanced by all the brilliant minds in the room, we went into lunch motivated and enlightened from such a wonderful educational experience. We were determined to make the best of this 4th of July, regardless of the weather, so we headed home to grab our gear, and then it was back to the dock for our 3pm boat departure. To everyone’s delight, the rain held off for a while, and we were presented with a beautiful afternoon…

Shallow reef creatures and dolphins!

Our Monday began at the Sea Crest with our current ecotour group. Kel led a morning information session about the dolphin population around Bimini and photo-ID techniques to demonstrate how the DCP team identifies each individual. Those who were interested in helping us with the bottlenose ID, that we have been working on for the past few days, stuck around to get a few pointers from Kaiya and Patrick; during this, Tori worked on getting software for her computer to help us all continue to efficiently make progress. Nicole also supplied a birthday pastry to help the DCP team and the group to wish Kel a very happy birthday! After doing some work of our own we headed back home…

A great weekend!

Friday, June 30th, began the weekend for the DCP team. Working half days allowed us (Patrick, Tori, and Kaiya) to begin to explore the island that we are currently calling home. On Friday we took a break from the water to bike north to restock our groceries and hunt down our first round of Bimini Bread. Apart from Patrick's flat tire, it was an enjoyable and productive day. However, by the time Saturday rolled around, we were itching to get back into the water. After diligently working on our office tasks, we took a snorkel trip around the southern tip of North Bimini. To our extreme delight, a squadron of four cuttlefish appeared out of the blue. We watched as…

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Dolphin Communication Project
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