Since 2006, the 10,000 Island Dolphin Survey program has been tracking the coastal bottlenose dolphins that inhabit the waterways around Marco Island and Rookery Bay Reserve.
Florida Master Naturalist Bob McConville released the organization’s 2019 annual report with positive results. Local counts indicate the survey area population has increased by 20% in recent years. Because of our warm waters, the dolphins don’t migrate, and researchers can study their social patterns, genealogy and movement year-round.
This research is funded in part by public ecotours, where guests learn about water quality, the unique personalities of the dolphin pods and other marine life.