24 September 2019

Lateral leap



(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Colourful morning



Looking for dolphins before the sun rises.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

23 September 2019

Infrequent social interactions



Lively social interactions (often including synchronous jumps) are rather uncommon off the region of Veneto, Italy, where bottlenose dolphins are mostly busy looking for food. Here, however, we recorded one of those infrequent occasions.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

22 September 2019

Heading back



Heading back to the port after a day at sea.

(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Just another day



Just another day in the field.

(Photos by G. Bearzi and S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)


21 September 2019

A trawler is here



An oldish individual performs repeated breaches while rushing to approach an otter trawler, as if to signal its presence to other dolphins in the area.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

When at sea



(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

19 September 2019

Levitation



During social interactions, a bottlenose dolphin is being lifted by another individual who lies just below.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Fishing trip



Sport anglers on a fishing expedition in Adriatic offshore waters, near the remains of a dismissed platform (that arguably protect scant sealife from trawling).

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

17 September 2019

Good day at sea



When you spend weeks waiting for a good day at sea... and finally you get one.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Incognito



(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Seagull on sea turtle



We found this seagull standing on a dead sea turtle floating adrift. The bird abandoned its raft when we approached for a close inspection.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

16 September 2019

Supervision



This tiny bottlenose dolphin, probably born in August 2019, is being closely 'supervised' by two adults.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

15 September 2019

Air show



An aerobatics air show: the kind of thing we would rather not watch while doing a dolphin survey.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni and G. Bearzi, Lido di Jesolo, Italy)

Chasing fish after sunset



Bottlenose dolphin chasing fish after sunset, in the shallow coastal waters off Albarella Island, Italy.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Grimaldi Lines



(Photos by G. Bearzi and S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

11 September 2019

Happy Birthday Sigi



Sigrid Lüber with Silvia in Galaxidi, Greece (April 2009).

No to wolves?



These anti-wolf signs populate Val Sarentino, north of Bolzano/Bozen, Italy. They portray wolves as evil monsters and claim that farming has no future as long as they are around. The signs also claim that saying "no to wolves" benefits biodiversity - as if wolves themselves were not part of biodiversity, or did not belong in this ecosystem.

(Photos by B. Würsig)

Unusual location



Silvia with Bernd and Melany Würsig in the Dolomites: an unusual location for marine biologists.

(Photo by G. Bearzi)

10 September 2019

Trawler catch



An otter trawler swallows its catch of fish and other bottom-dwelling organisms. A large part of them will be discarded as bycatch.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Fish ball



Midwater pair trawlers lift a ball of epipelagic fish.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

08 September 2019

Dolphin people



A reunion: Bernd Würsig, Melany Würsig, Nina Luisa Santostasi, Valentina Rossi, Silvia Bonizzoni and Giovanni Bearzi in Cordenons, Italy.

(Photos by V. Rossi and G. Bearzi)

01 September 2019

Morning breach



A bottlenose dolphin breaches in the morning light.

(Top photo by G. Bearzi, bottom by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

31 August 2019

Seagull and anchovy



A seagull catches an anchovy near midwater pair trawlers, as the net is being hauled.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

30 August 2019

24 August 2019

Love messages in the wind



Off the coast near Bibione, Italy, we spot a well-built, sturdy wooden boat sailing on its own. Upon inspection, we find consumed candles and love messages hand-written by two young ladies. One seems to be a sweet message to a lost boyfriend, the other a mournful, heartbreaking note to a departed father. Not messages for us, in any case. We tie the messages back to the mast and let the boat continue her journey.

(Photos by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

23 August 2019

Stercorarius parasiticus



A parasitic jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus), also known as parasitic skua, is a seabird in the family Stercorariidae. In our study area we often see these birds pursuing and harassing other seabirds, such as seagulls and terns, to force them to disgorge the food they have eaten.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

22 August 2019

Socializing near the coast



An adult and a juvenile bottlenose dolphin socialise in the coastal waters of Veneto.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Our research boat (2)



(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

Our research boat (1)



(Photo by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

21 August 2019

Dolphin prey



We were observing a group of bottlenose dolphins engaged in feeding rushes around our boat. As the dolphins moved away, we noticed a fish at the surface. It was still alive but could not move and survived only for a few minutes in a bucket of seawater. The fish (a 27cm-long mullet) had been fatally injured and carried fresh wounds left by a dolphin bite.

This observation offered insight on the relationship between a particular kind of surface behaviour by the dolphins and the prey being targeted.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni and G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

19 August 2019

Dolphins of Veneto



A group of 12 bottlenose dolphins patrols the coastal waters off Lido di Jesolo, Italy.

(Photos by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

18 August 2019

Plastic encounter



One more encounter with a discarded (or lost) plastic item in Adriatic offshore waters: a heavy sun lounger. Sadly, in August we end up encountering more plastic than dolphins.

(Photos by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

17 August 2019

Beach paraphernalia



A wind gust, and beach paraphernalia (all made of plastic that may harm marine life) gets lost at sea. In less than an hour we found and collected these and other large items floating adrift in Adriatic offshore waters. Could we just stop making this sort of unnecessary and ultimately harmful purchases?

(Photos by G. Bearzi, Northern Adriatic Sea)

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)