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

Weeeeeeeee!

Yay for October dolphin trips! I don't get a chance to in search of dolphins very often post-September, but on Friday and Saturday, I was able to join a visiting film crew. Though I knew I would be unlikely to collect any video, acoustic or photographic data, I was still eager to search for the dolphins and share info with the visitors. On Friday, the seas made us work for every step on the boat and we only saw a few passing bottlenose dolphins. Still, the film crew was able to get some productive shots and we said goodnight eager for what tomorrow would bring… Saturday began with a cruise along the shoreline and a break for an interview. Then, the…

Bimini Field Course Recruiting Season!

The off-season means a lot of things: data, writing, resting. But, it also means recruiting for our Bimini field courses! We’re excited to have three courses lined up for Spring/Summer 2019. University of New Brunswick Saint John is already full. Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) and Sacred Heart University (SHU) are now accepting applications. Contact us at info [at] dcpmail [dot] org for more info, or go ahead and contact the Professors/Schools directly! EKU: Field dates 12 – 24 May 2019. In-person class sessions during Spring 2019 semester followed by 12 nights in Bimini, The Bahamas. Click here for more info. SHU: Field dates 31 May – 6 June 2019. On-line component prior to field session means this is a great…
Overcast Skies Welcomed our Last Day on Site
06 Oct 2018

Overcast Skies Welcomed our Last Day on Site

The weather was still overcast with periodic drizzly rain but no lightning meant we could collect data. I was able to get about 28 min of video this morning, even though the underwater visibility was a bit less than earlier in the week. The dolphins were quite playful with each other. Champ and Dory and then Champ and Tilly each decided to play with my fins and circle swim me a few times during my observations. Carmella and Bailey both whistled with bubble streams. We tried for a second session but the visibility was less later in the day and there were encounter and swim groups that were interacting with the dolphins. Still, the week was productive with almost 4…
Thunder and Lightning Started the day!
06 Oct 2018

Thunder and Lightning Started the day!

Our day (Thursday) began with a bang thanks to Mother Nature. Lightning kept us off the dock in the morning and me out of the water. So, no data collection occurred today. We did, however, assist Jennifer with a Coral Tree Cleaning (aka Coral Christmas Trees – in October!). RIMS and AKR have a forest of PVC trees adorned with coral clippings. The coral is grown in situ and when it has grown enough, is transplanted to the reef. In this way, there is an effort to help the reef. The PVC tubes that are the backbone of the trees need to be cleaned regularly to keep algae from growing on them and harming the fledgling coral growth. You can…
Wednesday Brings Rain, Dolphins & Fiesta!
04 Oct 2018

Wednesday Brings Rain, Dolphins & Fiesta!

It was a wet day but a bright day in our activities! Two data collection sessions brought another 45+ minutes of video to our data collection for the week. The dolphins were vocal and social. For a school research project, Nat is looking at infant position among the dolphins and we saw a good bit of that posture and swim position today. The morning session also had lots of floating seaweed and flotsam. Great play toys! The dolphins tried to entice everyone near the pool to play with some amount of seaweed. At one point, Poli was trying to get me to play keep away with a leaf. When I refused to play, she left only to return with a…
Data (x2!), dives, dolphin encounters and swims … and some rain!
02 Oct 2018

Data (x2!), dives, dolphin encounters and swims … and some rain!

October 2nd started like other days when in the field at AKR – with observations of the dolphins around Bailey’s Key! The sun was shining and the underwater visibility was excellent (~5-6 m with minimal suspended silt). The dolphins were into their own thing – very social and playful with each other. Lenca, Champ and Stan or Lenca, Champ and Ronnie were playing with each other. Dory was curious about my fins but also played with Tank and Poli. I even was able to conduct a follow of Carmella and then also of Mrs. Beasley with Gracie. It was a great early morning session. Several (Ron, Bill, Madison, Nat, Don) of our group went on the first morning dive with…
Two observation sessions today – Happy October!
02 Oct 2018

Two observation sessions today – Happy October!

My early morning session was truncated because French was too curious about my fins. Calli and Dory were also but it was French’s tight circles that confirmed my early AM session was complete. I was able to get a second observation session at about 10 AM – before the second encounter group met Maury and Alita. The youngsters – Dory, Stan and Tank were very playful and curious … mostly with each other which was a nice switch from the early morning session. There was some jawing and circle swims and some white water! Chris and Dave helped me with data collection as much of the rest of our team were diving and taking the boat over to Maya Key…
An Early Morning with Dolphins!
01 Oct 2018

An Early Morning with Dolphins!

It’s a great morning that starts with a clear sky, a strong cup of coffee, and a plunge into clear water with social dolphins! Everyone was up early and our trek to Bailey’s was complete by 6:35 AM. I was in the water at 6:50 and greeted by Bailey and Tank, Poli, Tilly and several other dolphins. Champ and Calli decided my fins were REALLY interesting for a few minutes. Even French and Ronnie came by to investigate. The first session is always punctuated by more inquisitiveness around me and the MVA than subsequent sessions. By the end of the 26 min session, the dolphins were back to playing and socializing with each other, which was what I’d hoped for…
Cars, Planes, Trains – Travel Day!
30 Sep 2018

Cars, Planes, Trains – Travel Day!

Saturday was travel day for the DCP RIMS/AKR eco-tour this week. John and I (and the rest of our group) took various car routes to get to the airports from which we departed. Three different airlines (and train rides between terminals in Atlanta – ok, it’s a stretch but it gets another mode in there) and several flights brought us to our destination – ROATAN! The boats will be used daily between islands to observe the dolphins and to snorkel or dive! Bill and Ron had a week head start on the rest of us as they came down a week early for diving. Dave, Chris, Nat, Jill, Don, Madison, John and I all arrived, unpacked and settled in. Of…
Another Field Session for DCP to AKR, RIMS in 2018!!
28 Sep 2018

Another Field Session for DCP to AKR, RIMS in 2018!!

It has been a couple of hectic days as we pack gear and prep for DCP’s Eco-tour to Roatan and Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR)! John is joining me along with 8 other participants – several of whom have joined DCP on previous eco-tours both to Roatan and to Bimini. I’ll be sure to introduce the team once we are settled in at AKR. Not only will I be collecting the daily non-invasive observations with the MVA but I’ll also be field testing two new protocols for collecting data about dolphin behavior from the surface. This will be a first for me because mostly I’m positioned underwater to observe and document dolphin interactions and behavior!Because this is the third visit for…

New partnership: Wanderer Bracelets!

Wanderer Bracelets, based in Florida, creates a reliable source of income for incredibly talented Balinese. Each bracelet serves as reminders to embrace what you value most - the people and the places you encounter on the path of life. Now, Wanderer has teamed up with DCP for their dolphin bracelet: 10% of sales are donated to DCP. Get yours today!

Introducing…..Poppy McVie!

Poppy McVie (DCP ID#112) is a juvenile, female Atlantic spotted dolphin. We've been observing Poppy off Bimini, The Bahamas since 2015 as she swims along with friends like Paul (#99), Tina (#14), and Lil' Jess (#35). She has just received her name from DCP supporter Kimberli A. Bindschatel in honor of her literary character, Poppy McVie. You can be among the first to adopt Poppy - click here! And, check out Kimberli’s upcoming book, Operation Dolphin Spirit: A Poppy McVie Adventure, inspired by the dolphins of Bimini!

Dolphin Gazette 22.3

Download your copy today!This issue is filled - and we mean filled - with updates from the field: Bimini, Roatan and the Amazon! We've got a lot of data processing ahead of us! Also check out news from Wanderer Bracelets and meet our newest Adopt-A-Wild-Dolphin, Poppy McVie! Thanks for reading - and sharing!

A Bottlenose Farewell

Shortly after breakfast on Thursday morning, Kel and the DCP guests met for a discussion on ecotourism. Kel was able to share the voluntary Code of Conduct that Bimini Adventures, Captain Al’s ecotour company, and the other consistent dolphin ecotour group operating out of Bimini agreed upon to define the appropriate way of observing the dolphins around Bimini. (Click here to see the guidelines yourself.) Generally, the document describes when it is appropriate to observe dolphins, it defines resting and foraging behavior (which are the times it is always inappropriate to follow the dolphins) and provides the best practices for driving boats and swimming with the dolphins (e.g. drive slowly, no sharp turns; do not touch, feed, or chase). The…

Lots of Wind and Cruising Dolphins

After breakfast on Wednesday morning, Kel, Nicole, and the DCP guests headed to Radio Beach to collect garbage and recycling. It was a lovely day, but we were fortunate that the clouds gave us a break from the blazing sun while everyone worked hard to pick up as much trash as they could. If it had been a bit cooler, we would have kept working all morning! But as you can see in the photo above, we were very effective in under an hour. Once we had rinsed the sand off and had some water, we re-grouped for Kel’s presentation and discussion about photo-identification and the dolphins of Bimini. The boat departed from the Sea Crest Marina at 1500, just…

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Dolphin Communication Project
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