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Dolphin Explorer Crew
Naples, Florida
Wild Dolphin Field Survey Work
Recent Activity
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Each day at 9:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. the Dolphin Explorer departs from the Marco River Marina to conduct a three-hour survey of the local population of bottlenose dolphins. The public is invited to join our survey team of naturalists and biologists, learn about and participate in the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2013 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
Dolphin Explorer Crew added a favorite at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
Mar 10, 2012
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Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project Seymour getting some Oxygen photo: Kent Morse On Friday, March 9 the saga that began nearly four months ago when our naturalist James Liviccari first photographed Seymour's entanglement injury came to a successful conclusion. At 11:45 a.m. , as a rescue teams scoured a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2012 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project The last three months of intensive effort have produced a clearer picture of Seymour's range and daily movements, information that will be useful when the Marine Mammal Stranding Network goes into action on his behalf. Crucial to that success has been the help of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2012 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project Since my last update we have intensified our efforts to determine Seymour's movement patterns in preparation for his (or her) eventual rescue. That a rescue attempt organized by The National Marine Fisheries Service will occur some time in the next month is all but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2012 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Study Despite extra effort to discover his location we had not sighted Seymour in over a month and we were beginning to despair of finding him again, an obvious prerequisite to scheduling the rescue that had been authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Then,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2012 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project On December 28, as the Dolphin Explorer was returning to the dock from its morning trip we paused for one more sighting. This time something didn't appear right about one of the dolphins. Rangle, a dolphin we first identified in 2006 was milling around... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2012 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project Here is the front and back sides of a 'wanted' poster we have created for Seymour. While an intervention has been authorized, nothing can happen until we nail down Seymour's current location. This poster has been distributed to some local fisherman and the dockmaster... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
Kent Morse 10,000 Island Project Seymour has some very good friends in far away places. The students of Susan Kosko's 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade reading classes at Crafton Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA are the first in the nation to come to Seymour's aid in his time of need.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
Well that didn't take long. I e-mailed Blair Mase of the National Marine Fisheries Service to tell her about recent sighting of Seymour by individuals who had contacted us and she wrote back right away to tell me that she too had now received reports about Seymour from others and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project The effort to assess whether Seymour's entanglement and associated injuries are life threatening and require human intervention has begun. Since my last post, I e-mailed Kim-Bassos Hull, a Research Associate at the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, and described Seymour's injuries and recent sighting history.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project We recently observed Seymour, a sub-adult member of the dolphin population centered around Big Marco Pass, with monofilament fishing line wrapped tightly around the base of its peduncle near the flukes. The line itself is barely visible but the entire area has a large... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse Two of the five births in Area 1 surprised us in that they did not from dolphins that had yet been identified as adult females. On October 1st Batman and Button, two dolphins that had previously been categorized as sub-adults, showed up with recently born calves in tow.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse Birthing season started with a bang this year with five new calves appearing in Area 1 in the span of one week between September 25th and October 1st. An additional 3 calves were born to Area 3 dolphins. We didn't actually witness the births so we don't know... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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In early April 2011, we began to sight several Area I dolphins with an object(s) hanging off the top back edge of their dorsal fins...it looked like an "hanging earring". We had never sighted it before, while we believe that one of our dolphins, Bangle, may have appeared in the... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse On March 13 The Marco Eagle reported a that 500-600 pound dolphin jumped into a boat in the Marco River. Fortunately the only injuries were a superficial wound to the dolphin's pectoral fin and a sprained ankle for one of the boat's passengers. As the Marco River is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse Writing about the recent births of Keegan, Kaya and Sunshine to Sparky, Halfway and Captain Hook got me thinking about the many other births we have documented in Area One. Given our coverage of this area (well over a thousand surveys in the past five years) it is... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse This season we have had the pleasure to greet three new calves into the community of dolphins that inhabit Area One which is centered around the Marco River and the intercoastal waterway north to marker #44. Sparky Captain Hook Halfway The New Moms The most recent mother to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse A cursory glance at the two main survey areas within the 10,000 Island Dolphin Study will reveal an obvious difference: Area One is almost entirely comprised of bays and intercoastal waterways behind barrier islands while Area Two is almost entirely coastal nearshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project In December 2010 we began regular surveys in Area Three, one of which was featured in the previous entry. Area Three covers the Gordon River in Naples, Florida with all of its various canals and ‘tributaries’ and extends south along the intercoastal waterway to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse While Captain Chris and James conducted a survey in Area One today and documented 19 dolphins, Dave Strickland and I surveyed the Gordon River in Area Three. Seven new dolphins were added to the catalogue during this trip and eight existing Area Three dolphins were re-sighted. That would... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse As the Ten Thousand Island Dolphin Project concludes its fifth year, we are looking for ways to expand the range of our surveys. With this in mind, I rented a kayak from the Naples Kayak Company and paddled from the Little Bar in Goodland out Coon Key Pass,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2011 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
The surface water temperature was 54 degrees on our 1:00pm trip today. Very cold! But the dolphins appear to be uneffected. Our sightings suggest that the dolphins are in larger groups in colder water...and very active and social. This cold water is slowing down the fish making feeding easier for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2010 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
Kent Morse 10,000 Island Dolphin Project The 240 dolphins in this database are organized both alphabetically, according to the names we have given to them and numerically, based on where the most distinguishing feature appears on their dorsal fin. This approach is helpful to us as we try to keep... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2010 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles
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Kent Morse, 10,000 Island Dolphin Project Randall Wells, program director for the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, has described the distribution of bottlenose dolphins along the gulf coast of Florida as “a mosaic of slightly overlapping home ranges of different dolphin communities.” Let’s see how this model applies to the dolphins... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2010 at Dolphin Explorer Chronicles