17 August 2019

Dead loggerhead sea turtle



Returning from a late-afternoon survey we found this large loggerhead sea turtle. She was floating adrift, dead.

(Photos by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

14 August 2019

Odontocete adaptations to human impact and vice-versa



We just published a book chapter on "Odontocete adaptations to human impact and vice-versa".

Bearzi G., Piwetz S., Reeves R.R. 2019. Odontocete adaptations to human impact and vice-versa. In Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Odontocetes. Springer, Heidelberg.

ABSTRACT: Some mammalian species that have not succumbed to pervasive human impacts and encroachments have managed to adapt to certain types of human activities. Several odontocetes have modified their behavior to persist, and in some cases even prosper, in human-altered riverine, coastal, and oceanic habitat. Examples include cooperation with fishers to catch fish, depredation on fishing gear, scavenging, and other kinds of opportunistic foraging (e.g., behind trawlers, around fish farms, or near built structures such as dams and offshore platforms). Some populations have adapted to life in human-made channels and waterways. We review information on the variety of odontocete adaptations to human encroachment, highlight some of the risks and benefits, and try to single out factors that may trigger or contribute to adaptation. Adaptation often brings wildlife into close contact with humans, which leads to conflict. We discuss the challenges of coexistence and contend that we humans, too, need to adjust our behavior and change how we perceive and value wildlife for coexistence to be possible. In addition to good management and conservation action, tolerance on our part will be key for allowing wildlife—odontocetes included—to persist. We advocate cultural and even spiritual shifts that can foster tolerance, nurture the social change that leads to appreciation for wildlife, and create more opportunities to preserve nature.

http://link.springer.com/chapt…/10.1007/978-3-030-16663-2_10

Seagulls



Silvia enjoys photographing birds flying above our boat as we follow the dolphins. These are young seagulls.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

10 August 2019

Crazy heat



In these summer days of crazy heat, we try to leave the port as early as possible and be with the dolphins before the sun gets us cooked. Sometimes it works...

(Photos by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

05 August 2019

Dolphin skin growth



This bottlenose dolphin has a peculiar skin growth on his dorsum. It was there last year as well, and it hasn't grown bigger. This individual is one of about 400 in our photo-identification catalogue for the waters off Veneto, Italy (see: http://www.dolphinbiology.org/dolphinsofveneto.htm).

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

01 August 2019

Large dolphin group in the wake of a trawler



An unusually large group of 70 bottlenose dolphins, including three juveniles, three calves and one newborn, forages in the wake of an otter trawler. Here, the trawler is hauling its net and some dolphins get closer.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

31 July 2019

Sandwich tern



A Sandwich tern Thalasseus sandvicensis flying above our boat as we search for dolphins off the region of Veneto, Italy.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Dolphin and seagulls



Bottlenose dolphin and seagulls in the wake of a trawler.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

27 July 2019

Adriatic breakfast



Bottlenose dolphins foraging around midwater pair trawlers at dawn.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Leaving at dawn



Leaving the port before dawn, we were lucky to spot dolphins at sunrise, foraging around trawlers.

(Photos by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

26 July 2019

Sun shade



Our bimini top provides some glorious shade as we follow dolphins in these days of unbearable heat.

(Photos by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

24 July 2019

Juvenile loggerhead sea turtle



(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Cute threat



One more short-lived plastic item that ended up floating adrift. Some child's cute toy for an hour, a threat to marine life for decades.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

23 July 2019

Drifting balloon



The plastic balloon reads "von Louis für Mami" (from Louis for mum)... but it ended up floating adrift in the Adriatic. As many of these short-lived air-filled balloons unfortunately do.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Trashed



Some of the stuff we find floating adrift during our dolphin surveys. Not meant to be trashed into the sea.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

22 July 2019

Juvenile curiosity



Juveniles are typically more active than the accompanying adults, and more likely to peek at our boat.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

21 July 2019

Best time of the day



Early morning, flat sea.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

20 July 2019

Opportunistic foraging



Bottlenose dolphin foraging near a midwater pair trawler while the net is being hauled.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

19 July 2019

Dolphins near Adriatic LNG terminal



Bottlenose dolphins surface near the 'Adriatic LNG' terminal, a massive offshore structure for regasification of liquid natural gas.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea) 

17 July 2019

From one trawler to the next



After having foraged in the wake of midwater pair trawlers, these bottlenose dolphins (part of a much larger group) rush to position themselves in the wake of an approaching otter trawler, that is already being followed by another group of dolphins.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)