Male dense-beaked whales (Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon
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).
New records of occurrence of two species for Abaco: Frasers dolphin
(Lagenodelphis hosei), and the West Indian manatee (Trichechus
One new record of occurrence for The Bahamas: striped dolphin (Stenella
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
Population estimate for resident inshore Atlantic bottlenose dolphins
(Tursiops truncatus) in East Abaco study area (Little Harbour to
Whale Cay) is 112 dolphins.
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).
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.
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.
Resighting of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) photographed
in South Abaco during the summer months, showing at least short-term residency
for this species.
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,
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).
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
An unknown seal (Pinnipedia) was reported from South Andros.