Beach Released Mass Stranded Dolphins - On the Move!

Hi all,

With all the interest in the oil spill I haven't provided you with an update on the two satellite tagged dolphins from the March 11, 2010 mass stranding. For details of the stranding click here.

At last report, one animal #62, had made it's way southeast and was staying off the coast of Delaware out on the edge of the shelf. The second animal, #63 has displayed site fidelity to the Gulf of Maine by staying in and around Cape Cod Bay, Stellwagen Bank and the Great South Channel.

After spending weeks near the shelf, #62 is heading back toward the Great South Channel (Yes, back this way!). For a short time it looked like the two animals, stranded together and released at the same time with others from the stranding site, would soon come together. Unfortunately #63 headed back inside Cape Cod Bay as #62 approached the Great South Channel. Check out the incredible map below by Brook and Kerry, our GIS experts.

The track in green is animal #62 while #63 is shown in pink. Look for the green and pink stars for the last location of each animal.

Of course when you're a talented GIS expert you can also make animated maps (thanks Brook and Kerry)! This animation highlights the travels of each dolphin on each day their tags sent data to the satellite system. Hunker down, make some popcorn and enjoy this beautiful animation!

As a biologist with a high stake in the survival of these animals, it brings me great encouragement to see the data presented like this. These animals are displaying significant energy output in their travels. We have begun analyzing some of the dive depth data and swim speed data, which also demonstrate that these animals appear to have reentered their normal habitat after the stranding event.

Stay tuned for more updates as these two animals begin to move closer together. This is data that exists no where else in the world folks so you are on the front line of science!

Thanks for your attention,

- Connie

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