Long-distance offshore movements of bottlenose dolphins

  • Published source details Wells R.S., Rhinehart H.L., Cunningham P., Whaley J., Baran M., Koberna C. & Costa D.P. (1999) Long-distance offshore movements of bottlenose dolphins. Marine Mammal Science, 15, 1098-1114


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Rehabilitate and release injured, sick or weak marine and freshwater mammals

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Rehabilitate and release injured, sick or weak marine and freshwater mammals

    A replicated study in 1996–1997 of two pelagic areas in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic Ocean, USA (Wells et al. 1999) found that two stranded common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus that were rehabilitated and released back into the wild survived for at least 1.5 months. The two adult male dolphins were successfully tracked for 43 and 47 days after release back into the wild. The dolphins travelled a total of 2,050 and 4,200 km at average rates of 48 and 89 km/day respectively, along the coast and into deeper offshore waters. The dolphins were found stranded in December 1996 and January 1997 and transported to rehabilitation facilities. They were housed in pools (200,000–800,000 l), given antibiotics and fed fish. After 39–85 days of rehabilitation, the dolphins were satellite-tagged and released at sites 46–70 km offshore. The dolphins were tracked to 10–69 locations in March–April and May–July 1997.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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