Our own TDP Photo Identification Catalog contains over 800 identifiable individuals. Dolphin dorsal fins are as unique as human fingerprints. New dorsal images are issued an identifying number and digitally scanned. Digital images are labeled with an ID number, date of sighting, latitude, longitude and TDP copyright.
We have learned a great deal about the movement and residency patterns of Bottlenose dolphins along the east coast. By identifying individual animals using photo-identification methods, we are able to track dolphins over time and document their movement patterns. We have learned that the population structure of dolphins in the southeastern United States is much more complicated than we thought twenty years ago. Our improved understanding is the result of information from long-term datasets collaboration among different research efforts. In many areas such as the estuarine waters of Georgia, Bottlenose dolphins are resident and have small home ranges. It is still not clear how much mixing occurs between the resident dolphins that spend most of their time in estuarine waters and with dolphins that spend most of their time in intracoastal waters.
TDP contributes to the NMFS Unified Coastal ID Catalog entitled the
Mid-Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Catalog (MABDC).
Our data is also included in the OBIS/SEAMAP (Ocean Biogeographic Information System/ Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations) [http://seamap.env.duke.edu/ datasets/ detail/304] which is based at Duke University.
TDP's collaboration with many dolphin research projects along the Atlantic coast and the NMFS is a vital link to better understanding the nature of Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin population on a much larger scale. The degree of cooperation among the diverse public and private research groups us relatively unique. The photo catalog is one of our major projects along with abundance and behavior data.
The Dolphin Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization. The Dolphin Project, Inc does not advocate, support or practice unlawful discrimination based on race, religion, age, national origin, language, gender, sexual preference or physical handicap. ©2010 The Dolphin Project Inc. All rights reserved.This includes but is not limited to artwork, photographs and data. Material cannot be reproduced, published or used in any manner without the expressed written consent of The Dolphin Project, Inc.
P.O. Box 60753
Savannah, Georgia 31420
THE DOLPHIN PROJECT appreciates the assistance of its volunteers and Dr. Lori Muskat at Argosy University for processing our research into the MABDC and SEAMAP databases.
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