Dolphins Galore in San Diego!

What a day! Dolphins, dolphins and more dolphins! SR3’s Dr. Holly Fearnbach and her colleagues from NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center flew another 10 flights over 22 bottlenose dolphins, 9 of them in a mixed group with ~30 Pacific white-sided dolphins, and a large group of long-beaked common dolphins. The bottlenose dolphins were quite social and surface active (see top left small image) and one group was associating with Pacific white-sided dolphins (see top right small image)- the first time we have seen them together so close to shore. The images collected will be used to estimate length and assess body condition and pregnancy rates of these coastal species.

Aerial images of a social group of bottlenose dolphins (top left small image), a mixed group of bottlenose dolphins and Pacific white-sided dolphins (top right small image), long-beaked common dolphins (top right and bottom left), a bottlenose dolphin with an elasmobranch in its mouth (bottom right), a trio of bottlenose dolphins (top left) and a bottlenose dolphin about to catch a small bait fish (bottom left small image). Images were collected in the coastal waters off San Diego County with an unmanned hexacopter at >100ft altitude, with authorization under NMFS permit #19091.

Aerial images of a social group of bottlenose dolphins (top left small image), a mixed group of bottlenose dolphins and Pacific white-sided dolphins (top right small image), long-beaked common dolphins (top right and bottom left), a bottlenose dolphin with an elasmobranch in its mouth (bottom right), a trio of bottlenose dolphins (top left) and a bottlenose dolphin about to catch a small bait fish (bottom left small image). Images were collected in the coastal waters off San Diego County with an unmanned hexacopter at >100ft altitude, with authorization under NMFS permit #19091.