Dolphins Plus

Key Largo, FL, United States

Dolphins Plus

Key Largo, FL, United States
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Mann D.,University of South Florida | Mann D.,Mote Marine Laboratory | Hill-Cook M.,Portland State University | Manire C.,Mote Marine Laboratory | And 15 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

The causes of dolphin and whale stranding can often be difficult to determine. Because toothed whales rely on echolocation for orientation and feeding, hearing deficits could lead to stranding. We report on the results of auditory evoked potential measurements from eight species of odontocete cetaceans that were found stranded or severely entangled in fishing gear during the period 2004 through 2009. Approximately 57% of the bottlenose dolphins and 36% of the rough-toothed dolphins had significant hearing deficits with a reduction in sensitivity equivalent to severe (70-90 dB) or profound (>90 dB) hearing loss in humans. The only stranded short-finned pilot whale examined had profound hearing loss. No impairments were detected in seven Risso's dolphins from three different stranding events, two pygmy killer whales, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, one spinner dolphin, or a juvenile Gervais' beaked whale. Hearing impairment could play a significant role in some cetacean stranding events, and the hearing of all cetaceans in rehabilitation should be tested. © 2010 Mann et al.


Honarvar S.,Drexel University | Brodsky M.C.,Dolphins Plus | Fitzgerald D.B.,Drexel University | Rosenthal K.L.,University of Pennsylvania | Hearn G.W.,Drexel University
Herpetologica | Year: 2011

Africa's Gulf of Guinea, a major nesting ground for the critically endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), is experiencing rapid economic development. This study reports on the plasma biochemistry and packed cell volume (PCV) of turtles (55 samples collected from 23 individuals) nesting on Playa Moaba, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Because energy reserves and other resources in an individual are finite and turtles may not feed between nesting episodes, decreasing trends are expected in certain plasma biochemical concentrations and PCV values, as well as maternal investment in reproductive output (clutch size and egg mass). Calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, plasma total protein, albumin, and globulin concentrations changed significantly with increasing number of nesting events, but remained within reported intervals in reptiles. Packed cell volume decreased significantly as the number of nesting events per individual increased. Although clutch size did not change, egg mass decreased significantly with increasing number of nesting events. The observed trends may be due to depletion of energy reserves and other resources during reproduction in a possible fasting state, and to the associated physiological stress. © 2011 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.


Clegg I.L.K.,University of Miami | Borger-Turner J.L.,University of Miami | Eskelinen H.C.,Dolphins Plus
Animal Welfare | Year: 2015

The field of welfare science and public concern for animal welfare is growing, with the focus broadening from animals on farms to those in zoos and aquaria. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are the most common captive cetaceans, and relevant regulatory standards are principally resource-based and regarded as minimum requirements. In this study, the farm animal Welfare Quality® assessment was adapted to measure the welfare of bottlenose dolphins, with a similar proportion of animal-based measures (58.3%). The 'C-Well®' assessment included eleven criterion and 36 species-specific measures developed in situ at three marine mammal zoological facilities, tested for feasibility and accuracy, and substantiated by published literature on wild and captive dolphins and veterinary and professional expertise. C-Well® scores can be calculated for each measure or combined to achieve an overall score, which allows for the comparison of welfare among individuals, demographics, and facilities. This work represents a first step in quantifying and systematically measuring welfare among captive cetaceans and can be used as a model for future development in zoos and aquaria, as well as a means to support benchmarking, industry best practices, and certification. © 2015 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare.

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