Bottlenose Dolphin Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) Update

Bottlenose Dolphin Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) Update

Since 2003, Georgia Aquarium’s involvement with HERA, the bottlenose dolphin Health and Environmental Risk Assessment Project, and its conservation efforts with bottlenose dolphins have been nothing but a success. In May 2017, Dr. Gregory Bossart, Georgia Aquarium’s Chief Veterinary Officer and Senior Vice President of Animal Health, Research and Conservation, co-authored and published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, the first study to compare the health assessments of wild dolphins and those in human care. This study found that dolphins in natural habitats are more susceptible to infectious diseases, tumors, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and high levels of contaminants than dolphins in human care. Individuals in zoological facilities are exposed to fewer pathogens as their water and food quality is higher. Dolphins are a sentinel species and understanding them helps researchers understand the health of our oceans.

Aerial Shot IRL-HERA