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Conservation: Citizen Science Programs

Dolphin Photo ID

Using dorsal fin photos, our citizen science dolphin ID program identifies coastal bottlenose dolphins spotted during whale watches.

We partner with local researchers to help in their project to identify coastal bottlenose dolphins. These are bottlenose that do not venture more than 1-2 miles offshore and are considered a subpopulation from offshore bottlenose dolphins. Utilizing the sighting photos taken during whale watches with Harbor Breeze Cruises our citizen science volunteers crop the photos down to only see their dorsal fin and then must work through the extensive ID catalog provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service to find a match.

The matches made by our citizen science volunteers can be used to monitor the movements and sightings of the coastal bottlenose up and down the coastline and give researchers insight into population counts and dynamics, as well as feeding and migratory ranges.