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News Event and Announcement Detail

October 01, 2014

Dolphins Need Stats Too!

Dolphins

The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research is a non-profit organization (501 c(3)) located in North Carolina's northern Outer Banks, which for six years has been engaged in a long-term photo-identification study of bottlenose dolphins.

 
Our research is a continuation of a photo-identification study conducted for more than 11 years aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch. We seek to learn more about the population ecology, movement patterns, and behavior of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks and to expand public knowledge and concern for these marine mammals.
Per Jessica Taylor, President and Principal Investigator at the center, the mission of the center is to "promote the conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks through research and education." Ms. Taylor explained that, "Bottlenose dolphins are a protected species and important components of the marine environment. A greater understanding of their population trends, movements, behaviors, and ecology in the Outer Banks will provide insight into the health of the population and the local environment. For example, we are interested in examining the site fidelity of dolphins to this area and their movements to other areas along the east coast to learn about how the different populations are mixing and the extent of their ranges. We are also studying the skin lesions observed on dolphins in the Outer Banks across seasons and years to learn more about potential diseases or interactions with the local environment that may affect their health."
Importantly, in 2013 coastal bottlenose dolphins along the East Coast of the United States experienced a higher than normal mortality event where record numbers of dolphins were stranded along the beaches. In August of 2013, this event also reached the Outer Banks. For all us that live or travel to the Outer Banks please know that the Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Response team responds to all strandings from Currituck County, NC south through Hyde County, NC. 
EmpiriStat's Dr. Nicole C. Close and President and PI Jessica Taylor recently met at a local OBX Boat Club Breakfast. With common interests and a passion for “Finding the Truth to the Extent Possible” a collaboration developed. Nicole will be assisting the center by recommending analysis techniques for this important research to further understand and develop strategies and patterns of the data, and to ultimately communicate the results to the public and the scientific community.  
Dr. Close has always believed in giving back to the community, and has often found creative and innovative ways to do so. When she learned of the Center’s efforts to help these precious mammals that have given so much to humanity, she quickly offered up her voluntary services with her, top-notch biostatistical expertise.
To learn more about this great organization and their dolphin conservation efforts, please visit www.obxdolphins.org.
To report a live or dead dolphin, whale, porpoise, or seal, please call The Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 252-455-9654 and provide the following information:
1) Your name and phone number
 
2) Location of the animal (exact address or cross street and/or Lat/Long if available)
 
3) Alive or Dead
 
4) Body Condition (fresh or really decomposed)
 
5) Approximate size/how many people would it take to lift it?
 
Do NOT attempt to push a marine mammal back out to sea. Most strandings occur when a marine mammal is sick or injured. Pushing the animal back can put both you and the animal at risk.
 



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