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October 2010 SeaDoc Society Update

Dolphin Population Study Started

dolphins Pacific white-sided dolphins are immediately recognizable to those who spend a lot of time on the water. These charismatic oceanic animals are becoming frequent visitors to inland waters of Washington and British Columbia.

While killer whales have captured the attention and focus of researchers in this region, we know relatively little about the Pacific white-sided dolphins. Is the population healthy? How many animals do we routinely see? A recent SeaDoc-funded projects suggests that accidental bycatch in British Columbia gillnet fisheries could be impacting the health of the population. Now is the time to learn more about these magnificent species.

Thanks to private donations, SeaDoc is funding Erin Ashe, a PhD student at St. Andrews University, to study Salish Sea Pacific white-sided dolphins by using the same photographic-identification techniques used to study killer whales. If you have photographs of Pacific white-sided dolphins (especially good dorsal fin shots) and are willing to share them for this study, find out what Erin needs here

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Track a Seal for Yourself

sealFollowing up on a story in our recent update we now have 10 wild harbor seal pups and 8 rehabilitated seals tagged and are tracking them using satellite and VHF transmitters.

A crackerjack capture team from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and SeaDoc oversaw the capture of the wild seals and the dedicated team at Wolf Hollow invested countless hours rehabilitating the stranded pups and helped SeaDoc outfit them with transmitters.

We have two more seals in rehabilitation to instrument and release and then comes the science of determining if the rehabilitated seals behave and survive like the wild cohort. Interested in what is happening? Track a seal for yourself

Give us a call if you see a seal with a tranmitter glued onto its back.

This project was made possible thanks to Federal funding through NOAA Fisheries John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Grant program and private SeaDoc donors. Thank you!

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Could Disease Stifle Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery?

monk sealIn September, SeaDoc wildlife veterinarians Joe Gaydos and Kirsten Gilardi served on an international expert panel convened to evaluate the impact of disease on the recovery of the critically endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal. With movement of seals between heavily populated and more remote areas in Hawaii, there is concern that infectious diseases could undermine all of the hard work being done to recover this species. Joe and Kirsten have both worked on the health and disease aspects of endangered species recovery and recently co-authored a paper on the subject. Download the pdf

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SeaDoc in Yellowstone?

Moose by Bill HoaglundThere’s no ocean in the Greater Yellowstone Area so SeaDoc won’t be working there, but in 2006 the National Park Service, Montana State University and U.C. Davis’ Wildlife Health Center established a program modeled after SeaDoc. The Yellowstone Wildlife Health Program was designed to use science to better understand and manage wildlife diseases in the Nation’s first and most famous National Park. In September, Joe was invited to Bozeman, Montana to review and provide guidance to the program. If mimicry is the highest form of flattery, SeaDoc was flattered!

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SeaDoc in the News

Ghost Fishing: Monterey Herald article on derelict nets.

Salish Sea News Briefs

Upcoming Events

wild food Mark your calendars for the annual SeaDoc Marine Science Lecture series on Orcas Island. Details are at our Events page. The first lecture -- on harvesting wild food in the Pacific Northwest -- is on October 12.

SeaDoc Society Board of Directors meeting December 2 - Seattle, WA

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