Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 August 2015
Understanding animal movement patterns is not only important for providing insight into their biology, but is also relevant to conservation planning. However, in aquatic and wide-ranging species such as cetaceans, this is often difficult. The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is the most common cetacean in the northern and central Adriatic Sea and has been the focus of long-term studies in some areas. All of the studied local populations show a relatively high degree of site fidelity, but their movements, ranging patterns or connectivity are not well understood. On 24 and 26 April 2014 a single adult bottlenose dolphin was observed and photographed alive off the Slovenian coast. The same individual was found dead on the shores of Goro, Italy, on 5 May 2014, about 130 km from the two sighting locations. The well-marked dorsal fin made the identification straightforward. The dolphin was found freshly dead, suggesting it had died very recently prior to being found. This indicates that the reported movement was a real one, rather than an artefact of currents. Although single cases cannot provide the basis for making population-level inferences, our observation shows that northern Adriatic bottlenose dolphins can make substantial movements in short periods of time and suggests that such movements could be more common than currently documented. Comparisons among photo-ID catalogues and stranding events can be highly informative, as they can provide useful information with implications for the cross-border conservation of mobile marine predators.