Preliminary Observations of Bottlenose Dolphins around Bonaire, Netherland Antilles

Coastal bottlenose dolphins have never been studied around the Island of Bonaire. This project collected preliminary information on historical sightings, current abundance and distribution patterns, and habitat use. It also collated the first photo-identification catalogue for this population. Between February and May 2008, bottlenose dolphins around Bonaire generally traveled in a counter-clockwise pattern around the island with a 24-hr circumnavigation time. There was an absence of sightings between May and December suggesting dolphin presence around the island may be seasonal. The same individuals are present suggesting a local population at least seasonally. The main behavioral mode on the west side is consistent and sustained travel at 5-7 knots.


bottlenose dolphin, abundance, distribution, photo-identification, habitat use, Bonaire, Netherland Antilles, Caribbean

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