IRL Bottlenose Dolphins, Sentinels of Ecosystem Health

One sentence about overall program/objective


Stranding Response

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Lagoon Ecology

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Photo ID, Population Studies

Log of Animals

Conservation

How we inform change management.

Marine Mammal Stranding Response

When a stranding occurs in Brevard or Volusia counties, HSWRI scientists are the first responders to provide assistance to live animals, and to examine and collect samples from dead animals. HSWRI conducts vital research on samples taken from these animals in order to investigate life-threatening diseases that affect both marine life and humans. This research informs Indian River Lagoon habitat management of potential actions to save bottlenose dolphins and other marine life.

Lagoon Ecology

Located on Melbourne Beach, HSWRI provides 24-hr stranding response for animals in distress along the Indian River Lagoon. We investigate why strandings occur and monitor behavior/success of rehabilitated animals returned to sea. We also work with coastal communities to prevent injuries to free-ranging marine mammals and work diligently to understand the abundance and distribution of estuarine dolphins, providing estimates of dolphin abundance needed by resource managers.Understanding and preventing diminished marine animal health and widespread mortality events among marine mammals, seabirds, fish and sharks are some of our top priorities.

Indian River Lagoon Ecology

 When a stranding occurs in Brevard or Volusia counties, HSWRI scientists are the first responders to provide assistance to live animals, and to examine and collect samples from dead animals.

What We Do
  • Conduct lagoon surveys to estimate dolphin abundance
  • Evaluate movement patterns and habitat use
  • Monitor dolphin health and assess success of rescue efforts
  • Conduct vital research on samples taken from these animals in order to investigate life-threatening diseases that affect both marine life and humans. This research informs Indian River Lagoon habitat management of potential actions to save bottlenose dolphins and other marine life.
Why it Matters
  • Abundance trends provide critical dolphin health information and help resource managers assess impacts of large scale mortality events and human related injuries
  • Dolphin behavior, habitat use and population distribution studies predict responses to large-scale ecosystem changes or disease outbreak
  • Human impacts are determined through evaluation of successful rescue efforts
Additional Info

Additional info

Additional Info

Additional Info

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