[MARMAM] New publication on life expectancy of bottlenose dolphins

Kelly Jaakkola kelly at dolphins.org
Wed May 1 06:32:11 PDT 2019

Dear All,

We are pleased to announce our new publication:

Jaakkola, K., & Willis, K. (2019).How long do dolphins live? Survival 
rates and life expectancies for bottlenose dolphins in zoological 
facilities vs. wild populations. /Marine Mammal Science/. DOI: 


Survival rates and life expectancies are commonly agreed upon indicators 
of well-being for animals in zoological facilities, but even the most 
recent survival statistics for bottlenose dolphins (/Tursiops 
truncatus/) in marine mammal parks and aquariums use data that are now 
more than 25 yr old. The current study provides a comprehensive 
assessment of life expectancy and survival rates for bottlenose dolphins 
in U.S. zoological facilities from 1974 to 2012, utilizing three 
different analyses (annual survival rate, age-at-death, and 
Kaplan-Meier), examining historical trends, and comparing to comparable 
data from wild populations. Both survival rate and life expectancy for 
dolphins in zoological facilities increased significantly over the past 
few decades, with a modern ASR of 0.972, and mean and median life 
expectancies calculated via Kaplan-Meier of 28.2 and 29.2 yr, 
respectively. Survival rates and life expectancies for dolphins in U.S. 
zoological facilities today are at least as high as those for the wild 
dolphin populations for which there are comparable data.**

The paper is open access and can be found here:



-- Kelly

Kelly Jaakkola, Ph.D.

Dolphin Research Center

58901 Overseas Hwy.

Grassy Key, FL 33050
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