[MARMAM] new paper on biopsy sampling of bow-riding dolphins

Kerstin Bilgmann kbilgman at gse.mq.edu.au
Sun Jan 21 15:17:21 PST 2007

Dear Marmam Readers,

We are pleased to announce the release of the following publication in
Marine Mammal Science:

Kerstin Bilgmann, Owen J. Griffiths, Simon J. Allen, Luciana M. Moller
2007. A biopsy pole system for bow-riding dolphins: sampling success,
behavioral responses, and test for sampling bias. Marine Mammal Science.

Biopsy samples from free-ranging cetaceans have proven to be useful for
repeated, multimarker genetic analyses to address questions regarding
population and social structure and evolutionary relationships. Here we
present an alternative technique to the widely used remote biopsy
sampling, biopsying of free-ranging, bow-riding dolphins using a
modified pole. A total of 144 biopsy samples were collected from
bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) and short-beaked common dolphins
(Delphinus delphis) in coastal waters of Australia. Biopsy sampling with
the pole generally resulted in mild behavioral responses, regardless of
whether the animal was hit or missed, and no differences were detected
in species response. There were no sex biases in sampling, and the
strength of the behavioral response was independent of the dolphin's
sex. When using different boat types, sampling success rates were
similar. However, sampling from the smallest boats resulted in stronger
behavioral responses, and when sampling from the largest boat, the
dolphins' responses were weaker or not noticeable. The biopsy pole
technique presented here is an efficient and rapid method for obtaining
skin and blubber samples from bow-riding dolphins, and can be used in
situations where biopsy guns and crossbows are not convenient, or in
conjunction with these remote systems.

The pdf file is now available electronically on the Marine Mammal
Science website, 
or you can receive a copy by sending a request to
kbilgma at gse.mq.edu.au.

All the best,

Kerstin Bilgmann

Marine Mammal Research Group
Graduate School of the Environment
Macquarie University, Sydney
NSW 2109, Australia
Email: kbilgman at gse.mq.edu.au 
Ph: + 61 2 9850 7982
Fax: + 61 2 9850 7972

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