Co-Principal Investigator Joan Gonzalvo Villegas, writing in his blog on 22 May, described how the scientists were happy to come across a female bottlenose dolphin well known to them. The dolphin, who had been observed by the scientists in July 2007 mourning a dead newborn, probably her own, had last been encountered in December 2008. But on May 22 the scientists saw her with another newborn, and there were three other newborns and calves in the group.
Joan says, "Next sightings will confirm whether or not she is the actual mother of the newborn she was swimming with. We will keep you updated!"
Scientists on the Earthwatch expedition Dolphins of Greece are carrying out research into the population dynamics, habitat use, movement patterns and behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) living in the Amvrakikos Gulf. By combining this information with data on pollution levels and fishery landings, they are developing detailed knowledge of how key threats impact upon the ecosystem and its dolphins.
Read more blog updates from the team, and find out how you can contribute to marine research through the Earthwatch Oceans Appeal.
The bottlenose dolphin with her newborn.
Volunteers on the expedition play an important part in daily surveys.