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Christopher Newport University bottlenose dolphin sightings in Virginia estuaries 2000-2006
Foss, K.M. and J.R. Reed. 2006. Utilization of urbanized estuaries by northern migratory coastal stock of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus in Virginia, USA. Poster Presentation

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The Elizabeth River is bounded almost totally by industrial, urban, suburban, commercial shipping and military facilities. Tidal in nature, the river has low flow, resulting in heavy contamination loads. The population studied is the Northern Migratory Stock of the US Atlantic coast, appearing in this area from May through November. Standard small boat, focal group follow, passive observation techniques were used, along with photography of individuals. Data on location, group size estimates, activities observed and relevant environmental observations were recorded every five minutes. more

The dolphins appear as individuals or pairs in April and May, with group size increasing in June to a peak mean of 29 animals sighted per encounter. Group size then decreases in October and November. Probability of encountering dolphins ranges from 0% during the winter and early spring to over 80% in July, tapering off towards fall. Activity patterns show greatest diversity in July and August, with travel constituting the main activity early and late. Despite a peak of births in the area in May-June, there is little mating until July, with the incidence of sexual activity peaking in September.
Purpose: To better understand the seasonality and behavior of bottlenose dolphins in the lower Chesapeake Bay.

Data were originally collected by Mr. Kevin Foss at Christopher Newport University during field seasons from 2000-2006. Data were subsequently acquired by the U.S. Navy in 2013.
[2015-03-24] A few records had a wrong animal count of zero. The value is replaced with a blank representing species presence only. These data are the result of small boat transects with focal group follows, so that sightings were recorded at regular intervals. Therefore, there may be sightings of the same individuals at different times.
Records that originally estimated a range for the number of adults were attributed with the median number to be conservative.
Three records on land were excluded.

Biology > Mammals
Marine, ANW, USA, Virginia, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821)

Geographical coverage
ANW, USA, Virginia [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
10 July 2000 - 25 July 2006

Taxonomic coverage
Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) [WoRMS]

Occurrence of biota

Christopher Newport University, moredata creator U.S. Navy, more

Related datasets
Published in:
OBIS-SEAMAP: Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations, more

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Research: field survey
Metadatarecord created: 2015-04-22
Information last updated: 2015-04-23
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