Hello to all,
In January, I had informed my readers that I had been able to identify 19 dolphins thanks to the photo identification on the Tiputa pass.
Today, I arrived at 28 identified, so 9 more! I am helped by a second guide, a hammerhead shark specialist, who is interested in this census to know them better.
Together, we recognize at least one dolphin on each outing; moreover the second guide has witnessed 5 young dolphins accompanied by adults during one outing. This is the first time that we are able to observe so many small dolphins. The group seems to be doing well.
In addition, we find that some dolphins are often together and form distinct sub-groups. I am not yet able to know these small groups, but thanks to the identification of the dolphins, we can know their behaviors. Also, the frequency of observation is now possible thanks to this photo-identification.
I have not yet been able to identify all the photographs given by the divers, but it will be done little by little. My analysis is going on slowly but I am sorely lacking of time and I would need a person to advance in my study. But I would not be able to pay her and my employer would not want an extra person in low season. I also lack a lot of means, like an acoustic recording device, an underwater video camera and a powerful digital camera.
Finally, I will have my second knee operation next week and will not go to sea for at least 3 months. I have to do it while the tourists are not yet numerous and before the arrival of the humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in June. It is a pity to interrupt the study but I am the only one able to do it well.
French Polynesia, February 2009.