01.07.2017 – Fluent associating and disassociating
Our start in the new month was a great one. On all three trips we saw Atlantic spotted dolphins, preying, surfing waves and many of them approaching our boats. The guests on the morning trip had furthermore two other species to observe. Many of our participants were greedy for knowledge and asked questions about the distribution of the dolphins in general. Do they also migrate, as their big relatives does, the baleen whales? Are dolphins present only in certain periods of the year? Well, the answers vary, depending on the species. For example the Bottlenose dolphins: they can be observed the whole year around in Madeira. The atlantic spotted dolphins are abundant mostly from April-May until the end of the summer. It seems that they prefer warmer waters in winter time and probably stay more southern.
In general we have to imagine the distribution of the different dolphin species like this: the animals, which we see here, seems to be part of bigger pelagic populations, circulationg in the eastern atlantic. So size and composition of dolphing schools changes all the time. Individuals associate, dissociate and join again the same group over time. Fix unities are mostly between mothers and their calf and sometimes also within animals of the same sex, like young males.
by Astrid Haas
Sightings of the day:
09.00: Bottlenose dolphins, Common dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins
15.30: Atlantic spotted dolphins
15.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins