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Both hurricanes, Irma and Maria, brought devastation, destruction, and absolute chaos. But one thing we wouldn’t expect it to bring? More dolphins!
Biologist Lance Miller researched the effects of huge hurricanes on sea life after Hurricane Katrina, in 2005 and made some startling discoveries about what happens to dolphins! Milled conducted a series of dolphin population surveys in the Gulf of Mexico in 2007 and his evidence seemed to suggest that dolphin reproduction may boom about two years after a severe storm.
Scientists believe the baby boom occurs after a large percentage of calves are killed off during the actual storm. Dolphins typically reproduce once every few years, and spend their time time in-between pregnancies nursing. But when a calf dies, the mother is free to breed again the next season.
This means, that next season we can possibly see more female dolphins breeding in the same year than usual; a baby boom!
According to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Mississippi, the other major factor is the hurricane's destruction of fishing boats. These boats usually compete with dolphins for fish, which makes it harder for dolphins to find food.
Thankfully, conservationists are not that concerned by bottlenose dolphin populations. Scientists believe the animal’s widespread habitats all over the globe will help keep the species alive.