CFS AT WORK
Changing Seas TV - "Sentinels of the Seas Web Extra"
Ever wonder how you transport a whale, or get a dolphin to a veterinary facility? DCFS Director George Biedenbach gives a brief tour of the marine mammal transport vehicles DCFS uses when transporting animals. Watch it now.
Marine Mammal Stranding
The Georgia Aquarium’s Conservation Field Station (GAI-CFS) is an active member of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Upon entering into a Stranding Agreement in April of 2009, GAI-CFS is currently authorized to respond in the event of dead or live marine mammal strandings (whale and
dolphin) in Flagler County, Florida. As a member of the South East Region, GAI-CFS also plays a supportive role in stranding and rescue events with neighboring network participants.
DCFS research programs will not only help our understanding of marine mammal strandings, but also the health of our oceans. GAI-CFS research programs are now documenting the cause of marine mammal strandings and the identification of emerging diseases in these species. Special emphasis will be placed on the study of the gross and histopathologic characterization of diseases. There is a present concern about the health of our oceans based on emerging diseases that suggest infectious, toxic and human-related etiologies.
The GAI-CFS will nurture conservation outreach programs already established in Mexico, Belize, Guyana, Dubai and at Colombian and Brazilian Amazon sites. This component GAI-CFS program involves providing veterinary care to aquatic mammal species, while at the same time training local caregivers to provide future care on their own. At present, conservation outreach programs involving Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) and Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis) are ongoing in Mexico, Guyana, Colombia and Brazil and with dugongs (Dugong dugon) in Dubai.
Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Photo Identification
Georgia Aquarium’s Conservation Field Station (GAI-CFS) personnel and investigators from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute are conducting a population assessment study in Northeast Florida Intracoastal Waterways and Atlantic Seaboard. This research will focus on collecting baseline information regarding the identification of individual Atlantic bottlenose dolphins using photos of dorsal fins. A catalog of information will be created for animals in the area and will be compared with other known animals from other research areas on the East coast of the U.S. Information such as habitat usage, home ranges and estimated population size will help lay the foundation for continuing research in the area.