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Sarasota Dolphin Research Program celebrates 45th anniversary

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Photo credit: Mote Marine Laboratory

In October 2015, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP) is celebrating its 45th anniversary as the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population.

SDRP is operated by the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) and based at Mote Marine Lab, where it started in 1970. SDRP leads pioneering research efforts focused on the community of resident bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, which currently includes about 165 dolphins, with up to five concurrent generations, including individuals up to 65 years of age.

SDRP also provides unique education and training opportunities to colleagues from around the world and provides guidance and hands-on assistance to help establish dolphin conservation research programs in other countries. Dedicated scientists and students working with SDRP also help rescue dolphins suffering from human interactions such as entanglement in fishing gear, and they perform follow-up monitoring with dolphins released after veterinary care.