Coastal Dolphin Survey Project

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  • Topic: Dolphin, Cetacean intelligence, Dorsal fin
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  • Published : February 6, 2013
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Coastal Dolphin Survey Project of Orange Coast College focus on the population dynamics and behavior of the coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) along Crystal Cove, CA and use of Newport Harbor, CA.

Lindsay S. King (Student Director CDSP) and Dennis L. Kelly, Professor & Project Director. Marine Science Department, Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92628

INTRODUCTION

Photo by Dennis Kelly

Photo by Sgt. Hollenbeck

Photo by Lindsay King

Photo by Google Maps

A land based study of the behavior and ongoing use of Newport Harbor and Crystal Cove, CA by Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was conducted between the months of March to December 2011. During this time a behavior budget was developed for activity observed in Crystal Cove while sightings of dolphins by the public in Newport Harbor were catalogued. Data was collected through onsite observations by 2 or more observers at a time. A Dorsal fin ID method was also used to determine individual dolphins that may be using the area more frequently than others. A total of 38 dolphins were observed from the Research cottage at Crystal Cove where the majority of activity consisted of unidirectional travel. Only 1 sighting in Newport Harbor was received and was logged in the data that has been collected since 2007. All of the findings suggest that both Crystal Cove and Newport Harbor are greatly used by coastal bottlenose dolphin and suggests more research be done to determine the importance of these areas.

Photo by Sgt. Hollenbeck

ABSTRACT

DATA
Chart #1

The following is a summary report on the results of a population dynamics study that was carried out between March and December 2011 in Crystal Cove, Orange County, California. The focal animal of these studies was the California coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Also, this report documents our efforts and success at student education about coastal bottlenose dolphin through our internship project.

The 2011 CDSP Internship program had four separate goals.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the project achieved only one of the three goals that were set at the beginning of March 2011 but we are now planning for 2012. What we did was very worthwhile, despite some setbacks.

COASTAL DOLPHIN SURVEY PROJECT
2011 Internship Sightings
POSITIVE BOTTLENOSE SIGHTINGS @ CRYSTAL COVE COTTAGE #22

Our first goal was to photo identify all of the individual dolphins observed and photographed by our student interns, utilizing a photo-identification method that the student interns practiced at the beginning of summer 2011.

DATE

#

OBSERVATIONS

1:10-1:25
pm

Just past surf

Down Coast

4 Adults

Medium speed traveling

11:00 am- In front of surf, Generally
1:30 pm
very close
Down Coast

4 Adults

Milling, tail slapping and traveling up and
down beach very closely.

04/30/11

9:3510:05 am

Around buoy

Up Coast

2 Adults

Medium speed traveling/ Feeding

06/18/11

9:3510:15 am

Just past surf

Down Coast

6 Adults

Slow Travel

07/23/11

3:10 pm

Just past surf

Up Coast

2 Adults

Fast travel, submerged most of the time.

07/30/11

2:45 pm

Just past surf

Down Coast

3 Adults?

Medium speed Traveling

08/06/11

12:3912:55 pm

Just past surf

Up Coast

4 Adults
1 Juv.

Slow Travel

08/06/11 1:33- 1:42
pm

Just past surf

Up Coast

3 Adults

Medium speed Traveling

08/20/11

10:4511:30 am

Just past surf
and around
buoy

Down Coast

6 Adults

Medium speed traveling with one
breaking away and staying around buoy
for 20 min poss. Feeding

10/02/11

10:1810:27 am

Just past surf

Up Coast

2 Adults

Medium speed Traveling

12/04/11

METHODS

DIRECTION

03/27/11

The third goal was to involve undergraduate marine science majors in all aspects of a field-based scientific study as research assistance and allow them to participate...
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