Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation On-transect Sightings

Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation

Dataset credit

Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation


Primary contact Charlotte Dunn N/A
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation has a long-term study that has been documenting the occurrence, distribution, and abundance of marine mammals around the islands of The Bahamas since 1991. With more than 1,900 marine mammal encounters in the Bahamas, we are providing the only comprehensive documentation of the marine mammal fauna in this part of the world. Our research is based on the use of systematic boat-based surveys for describing the distribution and habitat use of different marine mammal species. We employ photo-identification techniques for the recognition of individual whales and dolphins, and we have developed new statistical approaches for using these data to determine abundance estimates and occupancy patterns. This photographic sampling is complemented by the collection of skin and faecal samples for molecular genetic analysis, which are being used to assess levels of genetic diversity and investigate the structuring of marine mammal populations.

The dataset presented here includes only marine mammal sightings, and other sea turtle sightings and marine mammal strandings and sightings are included in separate datasets in OBIS-SEAMAP. The dataset presented here is a subset of 444 marine mammal sightings between 1988 and 2005, including sightings reported from the public. This dataset also is a subset of 1,934 BMMS vessel encounters with marine mammals between 1991 and 2005, comprising 20 different species, with the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin representing 60% of all encounters. The entire dataset includes 89 stranding records between 1944 and 2005, including 15 species with Cuvier's beaked whale being the most common. In addition, the entire dataset includes 101 sightings of turtles comprising 3 different species between 1991 and 2005.



Supplemental information

A sighting is is when our vessel was unable to close in on the group of animals while an encounter is when closing was successful and photographs / video recording of the animals were obtained. The dataset includes both encounters and sightings on transect as well as reports from the public. Off-transect sightings and encounters (opportunistic) are provided in a different dataset.

Use this dataset along with transect tracklines.


Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation. 2006. Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation On-transect Sightings. unpublished data.



Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downloadable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission.

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
datasetdefinition not provided
linenodefinition not provided
datedefinition not provided
encseqdefinition not provided
sightingsqdefinition not provided
speciesdefinition not provided
sp_codedefinition not provided
tsndefinition not provided
scientificdefinition not provided
groupsizedefinition not provided
timedefinition not provided
endtimedefinition not provided
areadefinition not provided
transectdefinition not provided
transectnodefinition not provided
time_definition not provided
lat_sdefinition not provided
lon_sdefinition not provided
latdefinition not provided
longdefinition not provided
watertempdefinition not provided
waterdepthdefinition not provided
cloudcoverdefinition not provided
beaufortdefinition not provided
vesseldefinition not provided
excludeddefinition not provided
geomdefinition not provided
oiddefinition not provided
Marine mammals185
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1997-08-13
Date, End2005-10-19
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude25.85 - 26.65
Longitude-77.46 - -76.86
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 355)
Traveled (km)4,035
Effort hours316
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics