Bottlenose dolphin - migration

From: Dagmar Fertl (
Date: Thu Apr 06 2000 - 10:07:18 EDT

Hi Dagmar,
I am Anna Valle. I am a student in fifth grade. In SCience, we are doing a
research project on cetaceans. I am researching the Bottlenose dolphin. One
of the project's requirements is tracing the migration routes or patterns on
a world map. I cannot find this information anywhere. My project is due on
April 25 and I am getting nervous. All I have found is that those living in
temperate climates may migrateto warmer waters during seasonal changes. But
since the bottlenose dolphin can be found almost anywhere in the world
(except the arctic) how do I know where they migrate to?

Please, email your answer to my mom's email:mamivalle@rcn.comThanks, Dagmar!
Your friend,Anna Valle, Cetacean Lover

Don't panic! There's a very good reason why you're having a problem finding
that information. As a species, bottlenose dolphins do not migrate like many
baleen whales do. When we talk about movement patterns of dolphins, we do
not say that they migrate, but that they 'move'. Migration implies that its
something done every year by the whole species, which is not what happens
with bottlenose dophins. But, this is usually a matter of preference, and
depends on the scientist.

At the northern limit of the bottlenose dolphin's range in the western North
Atlantic, bottlenose dolphins are seasonally migratory, with a more
southerly distribution in the winter. Along the California coastline,
bottlenose dolphins respond to changes in distribution of prey and move
along the coastline.

We know that bottlenose dolphins are capable of making very long trips. For
example, a botlenose dolphin in Argentina made a 600-km rountrip. Recently,
two bottlenose dolphins that stranded in Florida were satellite-tagged and
tracked. One dolphin covered 2,050 km in 43 days, whereas the other dolphin
covered 4,200 km in 47 days.

Honestly, we really don't understand bottlenose dolphin movements all that
way, but we're getting a better handle on it. But, again, bottlenose
dolphins are not like a baleen whale, moving from one big geographic
location to another.

If you have more questions, just write back, and I'll try to help. It sounds
like you should talk with your teacher and find out what he/she wants you to
do with this information. I think it's interesting and a good contrast to
the larger whales.


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