[MARMAM] New Publication - Australian Snubfin and humpback dolphins

Guido Parra Vergara guido.parravergara at jcu.edu.au
Wed Jan 11 18:42:04 PST 2006

Dear colleagues,

the article below is currently available online in the Articles in 
Press section of Biological Conservation: 
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00063207 or 
. Alternatively, a pdf reprint is available from me.

Parra, G., J., Corkeron Peter, J., Marsh, H., in press. Population 
sizes, site fidelity and residence patterns of Australian snubfin and 
Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins: Implications for conservation. 
Biological Conservation.

Very little is known about the ecology of snubfin Orcaella heinsohni 
and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis in Australian 
waters. We used photo-identification data collected between 1999 and 
2002 in Cleveland Bay, northeast Queensland, to estimate abundance, 
site fidelity and residence patterns of these species in order to 
make recommendations for their effective conservation and management. 
Our abundance estimates indicate that less than a hundred individuals 
of each species inhabit this coastal area. Even with relatively 
unbiased and precise abundance estimates population trends will be 
extremely difficult to detect in less than three years unless changes 
in population size are very high (>20% p.a.). Though both species are 
not permanent residents in Cleveland Bay, they both used the area 
regularly from year to year following a model of emigration and 
reimmigration. Individuals of both species spend periods of days to a 
month or more in coastal waters of Cleveland Bay before leaving, and 
periods of over a month outside the study area before entering the 
bay again. Because of their small population sizes and movement 
patterns, snubfin and humpback dolphins are particularly vulnerable 
to local extinction. Our results illustrate that: (1) detection of 
population trends should not be a necessary criterion for enacting 
conservation measures of both species in this region, and (2) efforts 
to maintain viable populations of both species in Cleveland Bay must 
include management strategies that integrate anthropogenic activities 
in surrounding areas.

Best regards,



Guido J. Parra, Ph.D
School of Tropical Environment Studies and Geography
James Cook University
Queensland 4811

Office TG-239
Phone: 61 7 47815560
Fax: 61 7 47814020
Mobile: 0437630843
e-mail:guido.parravergara at jcu.edu.au 
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