Male dense-beaked whales (Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon densirostris)
  1. Species Occurrence:
    1. Twelve species of marine mammals were photo-documented in 1997, representing the highest diversity of species recorded in any one year since the study began (see Figures).
    2. New records of occurrence of two species for Abaco: Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), and the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus).
    3. One new record of occurrence for The Bahamas: striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
  1. Photo-identification Results:
    1. Population estimate for resident inshore Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in East Abaco study area (Little Harbour to Whale Cay) is 112 dolphins.
    2. Matches/resightings of eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins photographed at the White Sand Ridge, northwestern Little Bahama Bank and later photographed in South Abaco (140 nm).
    3. Resighting of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) photographed in East and South Abaco during the field season, demonstrating a wide range for this resident species.
    4. Resighting of melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra) photographed in 1995 in East Abaco and again in 1997 in South Abaco, representing the first known matches for this species.
    5. Resighting of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) photographed in South Abaco during the summer months, showing at least short-term residency for this species.
    6. Highest resight rate ever for dense-beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) photographed in East Abaco study area, allowing for determination of preliminary population estimate of approximately 64 whales.

Mother and calf dense-beaked whales (Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon densirostris)


  1. Strandings:
    1. An unknown beaked whale stranded alive on Paradise Island on 15 September 1997. Later analysis of skull and mandibles determined that it was an immature Antillean beaked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus).


  2. Sightings Reported:
    1. West Indian manatees were reported eleven times during 1997. The majority of these sightings were in East Abaco, but manatees were also seen in North Eleuthera.
    2. An unknown seal (Pinnipedia) was reported from South Andros.

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