Thursday, November 17, 2011

End of project update. We finished up on the water two days ago.Lots of spotted and bottlenose dolphins. Just mailed our final set of equipment back today.  Overall, a successful project. As is often typically, the majority of our data came in several closely packed days. This is often becuase we're dependent on both the weather and the animals' movements. Both have to be favorable. But 8 DTAGs and mulitple satellite tags during the trip make this a huge success. In addition, we collected samples for our collaborators including skin biopsies of various species (for genetic and health analyses), we sighted 12 species in all, Cascadia collected many dorsal fin identification photos, squid and other prey animals were collected when found at the surface, and Russ Andrews was able to Flir (IR image) odontocetes and ECG tag a pilot whale. It was a diverse and broadly collaborative project. The short term goal is now to get our data analyses moving and prepare for a presentation at the upcoming Society for Marine Mammalogy meeting in Tampa in 2 weeks.

Below are a few summary photos from the project and last few days. The include: a pic of a squid sample (note the deep red color of the animal), spotted dolphins riding in our wake, Aliza (the blog's co-author) working up the tags on the boat, and a final group Flir.

Thanks to all of you for following us!    In a few days we'll update you on the upcoming adventures and when to tune in next!
Soon-to-be identified squid.

Aliza finishing up a DTAG at the end of a day.

Spotted dolphins (including a calf) riding our boat wake.

Group photo: Russ, Jess (holding Dexter the dog), Daniel, Robin, Aran, Greg, Aliza (holding a cat).

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