Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research

The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research, established in November 2008, is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization engaged in a long-term photo-identification study of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Our research is a continuation of a photo-identification study conducted for more than 11 years aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch. We seek to learn more about the population ecology, movement patterns, and behavior of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks and to expand public knowledge and concern for these marine mammals.

Our scientists also collaborate with other marine mammal scientists along the western Atlantic coast in order to further understand their long-range movement patterns.


Looking for the perfect gift? Our Adopt a Dolphin Kits make great presents while supporting dolphin conservation in the Outer Banks! Click here to learn how to sponsor an Outer Banks dolphin!

Want to become involved in Outer Banks dolphin research? If you’re local, attend one of our upcoming volunteer trainings this spring and learn how you can contribute to dolphin research and conservation! Click here for details.

Interested in gaining experience in bottlenose dolphin photo-id and research? One internship position is currently available with the OBXCDR for summer 2016. Click here for details.

The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Reseach recently received a grant from the Wells Fargo Community Connection Grant Program! The grant will be used to create a fund for any necessary boat/trailer repairs for our 2016 survey season!


The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research collects opportunistic photo-identification data aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch, while conducting educational programs about local dolphin conservation. Click here to see the 2015 on board photo-identification catalog!


The Annual OBXCDR newsletter for 2015 is now available! Click here to read about updates with the OBXCDR.


The new dolphin conservation signs are finished and on display at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier.  These signs were made possible by a grant from The Outer Banks Community Foundation and matching contribution by the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier. Click here to learn more about the signs and be sure to visit the NC Aquarium in Manteo and Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, NC to view the signs this summer!


The 6th Annual Shrimp Cookoff was held on Sunday November 1st from 12-3 pm at Ocean Boulevard in Kitty Hawk, NC to benefit the OBXCDR. Check out obshrimp.com for updates on the winners! Next year’s event will be held on Sunday November 6th 2016 from 12-3 pm at Ocean Boulevard!


In summer 2013, coastal bottlenose dolphins along the U.S. east coast experienced an unusual mortality event where record numbers of dolphins stranded along the beaches. The event reached the Outer Banks, NC in August 2013. For more information about these strandings, click here. The Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Response Team responds to marine mammals strandings from Currituck County, NC south through Hyde County, NC. For more information on how to report a marine mammal stranding in the Outer Banks, click here.


Looking to learn more about dolphins in the Outer Banks? Join us on FaceBook at Onion, A North Carolina Dolphin for updates on the Outer Banks dolphins this summer!