Where Can You See Wildlife Right Now: Spinner Dolphins At National Park of American Samoa

Spinner dolphins are common to the waters around the National Park of American Samoa. NPS photo.

For those fortunate enough to make the trek to the far side of the world to visit the National Park of American Samoa, one animal you can look for is the Spinner dolphin, also known locally as mumua.

These mammals are the most common dolphin spotted around Tutuila Island year-round, according to park officials. "They may come close to shore, even resting within coves and bays. They are most often found on the east and west ends of Tutuila, near Aunu’u and
Sliding Rock respectively. Fagasa Bay is also well-known for its mumua," the Park Service says.

Recent studies through photo-identification suggests that the groups found around the island are largely resident here, the agency adds.

"However, their genetic diversity is high, indicating that there may be some interchange with spinner dolphins from surrounding islands," a park release says. "This pattern of strong residency to an island but with high genetic diversity has been documented in French Polynesia as well. It suggests that, while most of the local spinner dolphin communities are faithful to their islands, some individuals probably visit and breed with other island
communities."