Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian

by Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Saving Abaco's Dolphins after Hurricane Dorian
Mother-calf pair of bottlenose dolphins in Abaco
Mother-calf pair of bottlenose dolphins in Abaco

As Covid-19 restrictions come to an end for travel to the Bahamas, so too will the quiet time in the Sea of Abaco that began with the monstrous hurricane Dorian destroying all the boats and ports on 1st September 2019.

However we are still recieving more and more reports of dolphins returning to the Sea of Abaco and using their historical habitats. We recently again retrieved and redeployed our acoustic recorders in the Sea of Abaco that continue to monitor the changes in ambient noise and detect dolphin presence in the area, and now have a University of Bahamas student looking at this data.

Additionally, as part of our funding from the Bahamas Protected Area Fund and the Devereux Ocean Foundation to continue this important project, we have been conducting a survey with stakeholders about Abaco’s dolphins.

Long boat days at this time of year
Long boat days at this time of year
Student working up acoustic data
Student working up acoustic data
The flyer for our survey
The flyer for our survey
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BMMRO with interns Jules & Jalen
BMMRO with interns Jules & Jalen

Although the ongoing COVID-19 situation is still dominating our movements, these limitations have increased the quiet time in the Sea of Abaco that began with the monstrous hurricane Dorian destroying all the boats on 1st September 2019.

We are recieving more reports of dolphins returning to the Sea of Abaco and using their historical habitats. We recently again retrieved and redeployed our acoustic recorders in the Sea of Abaco that continue to monitor the changes in ambient noise and detect dolphin presence in the area.

We have also been given funding from the Bahamas Protected Area Fund and the Devereux Ocean Foundation to continue this important project and conducted a two week survey in the Sea of Abaco in November 2021.

Visual and acoustic dolphin surveys were conducted on all days the weather allowed (n=9). During surveys the vessel covered over 700 km searching for dolphins which resulted in seven dolphin encounters including 25 dolphins. Preliminary analysis of the photographs found that 15 individual dolphins identified, including approximately 60% of individuals known from the Sea of Abaco in previous years as well as 4 mother/calf pairs.

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Although 2021 still has it's challenges,with COVID-19 dominating our movements, these limitations have increased the quiet time in the Sea of Abaco that began with the monstrous hurricane Dorian destroying all the boats on 1st September 2019.

 

We are recieving more reports of dolphins returning to the Sea of Abaco and using their historical habitats. We recently again retrieved and redeployed our acoustic recorders in the Sea of Abaco that continue to monitor the changes in ambient noise and detect dolphin presence in the area. During two of the redeployments we saw dolphins around the acoustic recorder site, a great sign.

We have also been given funding from the Bahamas Protected Area Fund to continue this important project and will be conducting a two week survey in the Sea of Abaco in November.

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We recently again retrieved and redeployed our acoustic recorders in the Sea of Abaco that continue to monitor the changes in ambient noise and detect dolphin presence in the area. We are also making plans to spend some time doing dedicated visual surveys in the area for bottlenose dolphins which will enable us to check on the status of their health, visually, as well as document any new calves.

We are contiuing to receive more sightings of dolphins in the area than before hurricane Dorian, however more boats are now using the area, as much needed tourism returns and there is an increase in boat charters.

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Although 2021 still has it's challenges,with COVID-19 dominating our movements, these limitations have increased the quiet time in the Sea of Abaco that began with the monstrous hurricane Dorian destroying all the boats on 1st September 2019.

We are recieving more reports of dolphins returning to the Sea of Abaco and using their historical habitats. We recently retrieved and redeployed our acoustic recorders in the Sea of Abaco that continue to monitor the changes in ambient noise and detect dolphin presence in the area. During two of the redeployments we saw dolphins around the acoustic recorder site, a great sign!

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Organization Information

Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation

Location: Marsh Harbour, Abaco - Bahamas, The
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BMMRO
Project Leader:
Charlotte Dunn
Marsh Harbour, Abaco Bahamas, The
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