WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Just this past week in Louisiana, a rare pink dolphin was seen. But did you know that the Chesapeake Bay has its own special group of dolphins?
We caught up with researcher Leila Fouda, who works for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, under biologist Helen Bailey. Since February, Fouda has been actively involved in tracking the dolphins on the Chesapeake Bay.
In July, the team started an app called the Chesapeake Dolphin Watch, which is helping the team spot dolphins around the bay.
They are able to track the dolphins through a "sea pod, which is a listening device that picks up the echo location clicks that dolphins make when they are exploring their environment." Since launching the app, they have more than 1,300 active users and have seen more than 500 dolphins around the bay.
One of the reasons for their research is to try and figure out why there are so many dolphins in the Chesapeake. Although the answer is still somewhat unclear, they believe the dolphins are searching for prey.
"We think they probably following prey up and down the Chesapeake Bay. So they are feeding when they are here and they are socializing," Fouda said.
They also warned the impact global warming could have on dolphins.
"Global climate change will affect the distribution of their prey species. Human interaction with their environment, whether it's through pollution, noise, or over-fishing, affects how they can travel through their environment, how they can find prey, and how they can breathe," Fouda added.
For those simply wanting to enjoy the sights of dolphins playing in the bay, she gave these tips.
“Stay 50 yards away from the dolphins. Don’t spend more than 30 minutes with a pod, and do not feed the dolphins,” Fouda said.
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