Those who have always wanted to name a dolphin finally have a chance to do so, as nature groups are asking for citizen help in naming two dolphins living in Potomac River. D1 and D2 are just two of the over 1,000 dolphins observed in the Potomac-Chesapeake area.

Dolphin Naming Contest

The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project and the Potomac Conservancy are calling on wildlife lovers out there to help them name two dolphins who are currently just known as D1 and D2. It is the first time that the groups are involving the public in naming the dolphins, as they typically give them names that are relevant to the country, such as “Abraham Lincoln” and “Martha Washington.”

So far, 304 dolphins are already given such relevant names to help the groups in tracking them. Names can be submitted to the Potomac Conservancy website until May 24, after which a public voting contest will be held.

“D1 and D2 have been spotted in the Potomac River over the last several years. Both are suspected to be mature adults and neither has been seen with a calf. Why suspected adults? It takes between five and ten years for a bottlenose dolphin calf to reach puberty and mate,” notes the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project research team. Now, anyone who would like to give them a proper name can help do so.

Dolphins In Potomac River

Typically, these groups of dolphins migrate from the Atlantic ocean and spend the summer in Potomac. Furthermore, the Potomac river is actually an important location for dolphins because it is where they breed and give birth. So far, nature groups have identified over 1,000 unique dolphins the Potomac-Chesapeake area, and they believe that there could be thousands more.

The dolphins spend most of their time in the brackish waters near the mouth of the river, although some citizen scientists have observed them further upstream. This might be because of the cleaner waters and the return of native fish species that the dolphins are encouraged to move further upstream.

Anyone who observed dolphins in the area are encouraged to report it to the Chesapeake Dolphin Watch. With continued efforts for cleaner waters, it is possible that the dolphins may one day be seen near Washington DC.

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