TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A dozen new dolphin calves have been documented in Sarasota Bay in 2022 by the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.
In a Facebook post, the program said the reports of the calves comes off the heels of a record dolphin birth year in 2021, where 21 calves were seen.
The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program said in the post it isn’t surprised the number isn’t higher, because “dolphin moms in our community typically raise their young for an average of 3 to 6 years. That means most of the female dolphins who are in their reproductive years are already moms taking care of calves and not available to reproduce.”
The 2021 baby boom surpasses the previous record set in 2017. According to the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the dolphins are “the focus of the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population.” The program was studying 170 dolphins in 2021, and have studied them since the 1970s.
Through their studies, researchers know the dolphins in Sarasota Bay are long-term residents who have lived there across decades and generations.