(Kim Hairston / … That effort grew into the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, which today surveys the social and super-smart mammals from May through October in about 14 square miles of the Potomac. Figure 4. UMCES is also looking for money to maintain the new database and $2,000 to buy a device to listen for dolphin sounds. Mann, vice provost for research and a professor in the biology and psychology departments, and Eric Patterson, an assistant research professor of biology, are co-directing the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, designed to better understand and protect the bottlenose dolphins of the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay. One way to help determine which population the PC dolphins belong to is through what is called Photo ID. View my sightings. Figure 3. As defined by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), there are at least two, maybe three populations (stocks) of dolphins that might visit the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries: the Northern Migratory Stock, the Southern Migratory Stock, and possibly the South Carolina-Georgia Coastal Stock. One possible way is through what is called synchronous breathing (Fig. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. We found dolphins in most of Chesapeake Bay In 2017 and 2018 dolphin sightings were seasonally stratified in Chesapeake Bay, meaning that dolphins were seen in different portions of the bay in different months. Scientists say dolphins used to visit the bay more frequently. This is an extremely high sighting rate, indicating a high density of dolphins the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Another major aim of the PCDP is to understand the population structure of the Potomac-Chesapeake bottlenose dolphins. Harbor Seal. The DolphinWatchappwas launched by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciencein 2017 to provide a way to report sightings — and gather data — of dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay. Dolphins might be more common and wide-ranging in the Chesapeake Bay than once thought, if recent reports from citizen spotters are any indication. PHOTO BY JEFF VARNON Dolphins will come in … (Courtesy UMCES) Dr. Helen Bailey and her team at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science think dolphin numbers are up in the bay… Circles represent individual dolphins with the colored circles representing the two individuals (blue, red) for which networks were constructed. Welcome to the US Navy's Marine Species Monitoring Program website. “We know very little about them,” says UMCES DolphinWatch. With the dolphins identified, scientists can determine where the dolphins are coming from and going to. People can learn more about dolphins in the Potomac-Chesapeake area by visiting the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project’s website or by contacting us at pcdolphinproject@gmail.com. Figure 2. Chillin' Out. Procyon lotor White-tail Deer. Ongoing research by the Potomac-Cheseapeake Dolphin Project—the first of … Ann-Marie Jacoby is the Associate Director of the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, a PhD student at Duke University, and a National Geographic Young Explorer.She is interested in better understanding which bottlenose dolphin populations use the Potomac-Chesapeake area, as well as their temporal and geographic distribution in the Potomac to develop more effective management. Scientists are focused on determining how many dolphins are in the Bay, when they appear, why those sightings have increased, and in which rivers and tributaries these benevolent mammals are most active. Map; Updates; My Sightings; My Account; Info; Donate; Viewing Tips Visits the Chesapeake Bay in summer, and is most often seen in the lower Chesapeake Bay near Cape Charles and the James and Elizabeth rivers. By 2018, we have nearly 1000 individuals documented in the Potomac River. Two bottlenose dolphins in the Potomac River, surfacing in almost perfect synchrony. Never Heard of J.O.. Toggle navigation. A website version of our dolphin tracker is available at: chesapeakedolphinwatch.org. For comparison, in Shark Bay, Australia, which is thought to have one of the highest densities of bottlenose dolphins in the world, with similar research effort one would expect to see less than half as many dolphins (~80). The White House has a new occupant, but there are still dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Following a dolphin die-off in the Bay caused by a virus outbreak, Mann and her research team launched the first-ever formal study of the local population in 2015. Map of dolphin sightings from 2015 (left, blue dolphin symbols represent a dolphin sightings) and shipping traffic from 2013–2014 (right, colors reflect a heat map, from green to red, of shipping traffic). Copyright © 2019-2020 www.chesapeakeliving.com. on bottlenose dolphins in the Potomac-Chesapeake region. Our interest in this work stems from the recent 2013–2015 Unusual Mortality Event, in which there was a near 4-fold increase in dolphin strandings up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, with the largest increase (>400 animals) occurring in the Chesapeake Bay region. They swing through the bay during the summer, and there have been reports of dolphins leaping in the air or bow-riding boats. “Lots of dolphin sighting by the Bay Bridge,” according to UMCES. Published reports of sightings date back into the 1800s. Now researchers in Maryland and Virginia are undertaking the first comprehensive studies of bottlenose dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay. It quickly became so popular that the existing staff couldn’t validate the sightings being reported. Two of the most basic pieces of information needed about any wild animal population is: how many of them are there and where are they? Here’s a presentation with Dr. Bailey about their efforts to track dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay. The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project contributes and compares data and images of dorsal fins with other scientists up and down the Atlantic Seaboard through a central database of dorsal fin images (OBIS-SEAMAP). “When, where and why do they visit the Bay? Related News Follow shark catchers (and their prey) online Shipping map taken from www.marinetraffic.com. DOLPHIN RESEARCH CENTER Who Polluted the Bay? Dolphin sightings are becoming more frequent in the Bay and its major tributaries. Raccoon. Besides the surveys, the only major source of information about Bay dolphins in the Chesapeake comes from the handful of reports each year to the marine mammal stranding programs in Maryland and Virginia, which rescue beached animals and research those that are recovered dead. As of July 15, people on the Bay have reported 500 sightings using the DolphinWatch smartphone app, compared to 400 at the same time last year. Published reports of sightings date back into the 1800s. In 2015 (July – October) the PCDP began collecting initial data on the location and number of dolphins in an ~37 square km area near the mouth of the Potomac River. STATUS Protection under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 identifies humans as their greatest threat and prevents any resulting future depletion. The information collected through Chesapeake Dolphin Watch will help scientists decide where to place more microphones. It is illegal to approach or harass wild dolphins, though they are curious creatures that will approach boats and humans, often The Chesapeake Bay has dolphins swimming through even during years when times were tough for crabs and oysters. Amber Fandel, Research Analyst with the Chesapeake Biological Lab has been investigating dolphin behavior as part of conservation efforts across the U.S. since 2012. Some are returning year after year. In just 14 days on the water and ~73 hours of observation we identified 193 unique individuals, including 27 mother-calf pairs, 2 additional suspected adult females, 53 suspected adult males, and several juvenile dolphins of unknown sex. They feed on a variety of prey, including fish and squid. The information will be gathered in a database that scientists can use to further their research. A Vampire Movie Made in Annapolis. But this year, there seems to be more dolphins than anyone can remember, and over a greater expanse of the bay. Fun. Dr. Helen Bailey and her team at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science  think dolphin numbers are up in the bay, but they want to be scientific about it. Doing so will help us better understand what population(s) of dolphins are visiting the Chesapeake Bay region, where they go during the winter (bottlenose dolphins are usually only found in the Chesapeake Bay area during warmer months), and how they fit into the greater Atlantic bottlenose dolphins population structures. Their early findings suggest more dolphins … Pollution reduction goals are in place to better the Bay's water quality, which aids the growth of underwater grasses and decreases the Bay's dead zones. Some dolphins may venture as far north as Baltimore Harbor, the Chester River and Washington, D.C. This tracker includes the ability to view the locations of recent and past dolphin sightings on a map and provides information about dolphins and the Chesapeake Bay. It researches the dolphin’s … West Indian Manatee. Indeed, dolphin sights have been abundant this summer, according to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Chesapeake Biological Lab’s Chesapeake DolphinWatch program. Virginia’s Hidden (Chesapeake Bay) Beaches, Rock Hall -> Eastern Neck Island: Overview, St. Michaels -> Neavitt Landing Bike Route: Overview. While the PCDP research is broadly concerned with better understanding all aspects of these animal's biology, we are focusing our initial efforts on a few key areas. Tursiops truncatus. A little fixer-upper opportunity. See where they've been spotted & report your own sightings with @DolphinWatch_CB https://t.co/eQFqoaFDOl pic.twitter.com/8O2ADfgr3T. In fact, humans are affected by a type of morbillivirus, better known as the measles. © 2017 Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project. The suspected cause of this mortality event is a type of morbillivirus, a genus of viruses that affects a variety of animals worldwide. Amber Fandel, Research Analyst with the Chesapeake Biological Lab has been investigating dolphin behavior as part of conservation efforts across the U.S. since 2012. They’ve created an app for people to report sightings. Marine Species Monitoring. The Chesapeake Bay’s Spice: Old Bay or J.O.? What we found was quite surprising! This website serves as an online portal for information on the background, history, and progress of the program, as well as provides access to reports, documentation, data, and updates on current monitoring projects. Thus, if a dolphin is particularly synchronous, it may be at greater risk of both spreading and contracting a morbillivirus-like disease (e.g., the dolphin in Fig. Report and view sightings on our iPhone and Android Chesapeake DolphinWatch app. Chesapeake Bay Foundation Islands Field Senior Manager Jeff Varnon captured this close-up of dolphins swimming close to a boat on the Bay. Join us as she shares where and when dolphins are being sighted and … The correlation between a healthy dolphin population and a healthy Bay can be attributed to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. But as pollution degraded the … Association (A & C) and synchrony (B & D) networks for two bottlenose dolphins (data taken from the Shark Bay Dolphin Research Project for illustrative purposes). Our understanding of this recent morbillivirus outbreak is somewhat hindered by our understanding of how the disease spreads in wild animals. Bottlenose Dolphin. The Inside Scoop on the Chesapeake Bay — Adventure. DolphinWatch was launched the beginning of July and they’re looking for reports on DolphinWatch.org and photos for their Instagram and Facebook accounts. We need your help to find out!”. DOLPHIN R ESEARCH C ENTER, 58901 Overseas Hwy, Grassy Key, FL 33050 (305) 289 -1121 www.dolphins.org Grade Level: 6th-8 th Objectives: Students will be able to identify human causes of environmental degradation in Since a Chesapeake Dolphin Watch website launched at the end of June, 1,200 people have signed up and reported more than 500 dolphin sightings, often of 10 or more of the mammals at once. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! That’s where Jamie Testacame in. We are also interested in understanding whether the dolphins are experiencing a rapid change in their preferred habitat due to sea-level rise, which in the Chesapeake Bay is twice the global average. 4A & 4C). What Bay Crabs Used to Look Like — A Huge 9-inch Blue Crab. The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project (PCDP) is seeking two dedicated research assistants for the upcoming fall field season (September 3rd to October 23rd, 2019) in Heathsville, Virginia, USA. Odocoileus virginianus Using network modeling techniques, we plan to investigate both transmission mechanism and compare simulated outbreaks to actual stranding data in order to elucidate the most likely mechanism of transmission. Using high quality photographs of individual dolphin dorsal fins (see a sample of our catalog here) we can match our PC dolphins to photographs in the Mid-Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Catalog. Dolphins have spotted in more than 170 locations, in big and small pods (groups). It’s usually be bottlenose dolphins, which can be 300-1,200 pounds  and 9 to 12 feet in length when they’re adults. Specify “DolphinWatch” with your donation. Trichechus manatus. The web-based app allows users to report dolphin sightings in the Chesapeake Bay. A third major aim of our initial work with the PCDP is to better understand how variation in social behavior affects an individual's likelihood of spreading and contracting disease. Very little is known about the common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops trunctaus) that inhabit the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River. He counted almost 50 in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Bay map of dolphins reported, maintainly in the central and lower bay. Donate to the project today! Dolphins were reported in the Lower Bay nearly year-round. Dr. Helen Bailey, a research associate professor with the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, displays an underwater microphone used to detect dolphin calls in the bay. Phoca vitulina. “We see quite a few more dolphins than we do in Shark Bay, let’s say, for an hour’s worth of research,” said Patterson at NOAA. Scientists say dolphins used to visit the bay more frequently. Bottlenose dolphins are frequently spotted in the Chesapeake Bay during the summer with reports of them leaping in the air or bow riding boats. Coastal bottlenose dolphins populations (stocks) according to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). To report a dolphin sighting, go to the Dolphin Watch website. Horrors! Rare opportunity to buy a Chesapeake Bay lighthouse. The PCDP was established in 2015 by Professor Janet Mann of Georgetown University. commonly hunt in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. While bottlenose dolphins are a well-studied species, there is much to learn about their presence in the Chesapeake Bay. 3), when two or more dolphins surface and breathe at the same time in close proximity to each other. It is thought that during such events dolphins may exchange infectious respiratory droplets. While these seems like fairly straightforward questions, for migratory animals, coming up with the answers is quite difficult. ... a research professor with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Dolphins are loving #ChesBay. However, it is also possible that dolphins contract the virus through direct contact with an infected individual, which is likely to occur simply by being in close proximity, regardless of breathing synchrony (Fig. To help us better understand morbillivirus transmission, the PCDP is collecting detailed data on social behavior (associations, synchronous breathing, direct contact, etc.) But as pollution degraded the Chesapeake’s water quality through the 20th century, they became more rare. Figure 1. Conservation Through Research and Education The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project's (PCDP) mission is to better understand and protect the bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. 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