Wednesday, February 17, 2016

our local dolphins

so this afternoon we went to hear a lecture by a local scientist who leads a dolphin research program supported by the Chicago Zoological Society and various other foundations - located at the Mote Marine Labs in our area.

here is a blurb from their website-

Based in Sarasota, FL, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program is the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population, focusing on many aspects of dolphin biology, including health, behavior, genetics, environmental change, and adverse interactions with humans. The program is unique in many respects – nowhere else in the world can researchers work with a group of wild dolphins in their natural habitat where the medical and behavioral history of each individual is so well known. “Discoveries” take place over years and decades, and knowledge about health and behavior of coastal bottlenose dolphins has been greatly enhanced by the Sarasota study. In addition to this pioneering research, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program provides unique education and training opportunities to researchers around the world and helps establish dolphin conservation research programs in other countries.  The program is led by Chicago Zoological Society Senior Conservation Scientist Dr. Randall Wells, whose lifetime dedication to dolphins is featured in the book "Dolphin Man." 

I took some photos (from the back of the room) of the slides to remind me of relevant facts later- because the lecture was heavily fact laden....

here is a totally unknown to us fact- adult male dolphins pair bond for life with another adult male - and they protect each other as well as support each for reproductive success and usually when the female lets males mate with her she will allow only the two who are pair bonded - no others...

needless to say that humans and human activities are the biggest threat to the dolphin community here in Sarasota Bay- boat propellers, fishing gear accidents, pollution, toxins like Red Tide...etc.. poor guys -they really are fighting for their lives in many ways...and ours is a healthy community by comparison to those affected directly by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

there were many other slides and much of interest to learn about these dolphins but nearly two hours was more information than I could hold in my head - LOL.... we found it fascinating and so did the lecturer - he started working with this program in high school as an intern and then went on to study through college and grad school and doctorate and post-doc level on the subject and has been involved with the program for nearly forty years now... interesting guy- interesting subject... time well spent! Tomorrow Doug MacLeod  see prior post from the concert we heard last summer at SPACE in Evanston -

then Friday night- Aztec Two Step-

so as always- there's more to come! stay tuned!

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