[MARMAM] New publication -- Dolphins in a bottle (...)

bearzi at tiscali.it bearzi at tiscali.it
Sun Mar 2 22:28:16 PST 2008

Dear colleagues

the following article was recently published:

Bearzi G, Agazzi S., Bonizzoni S., Costa M., Azzellino A. 2008. Dolphins in a bottle: abundance, residency patterns and conservation of 
bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the semi-closed eutrophic Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater 
Ecosystems 18(2):130-146. 

1. Boat surveys were conducted between 2002-2005 to study bottlenose dolphins living in the 400 km2 Amvrakikos Gulf, western Greece. 
During 116 survey days, 4705 km of total effort resulted in the individual photo-identification of 106 animals, through long-term natural 
markings on their dorsal fins.
2. Mark-recapture analyses based on the Mth model provided estimates of 82 marked individuals in 2003 (95%CI=80-91), 92 in 2004 (95%CI=86-
108) and 98 in 2005 (95%CI=94-110). To include the unmarked portion of the population, the proportion of unmarked individuals was computed 
based on the number of photographs of marked and unmarked dorsal fins. The mean proportion of unmarked animals in the population was 0.338 
(95%CI=0.288-0.389). By adding this to the estimate for marked animals in 2005, considered as the most robust, a total population estimate 
of 148 individuals (95%CI=132-180) was obtained.
3. Dolphin encounter rates in 2003-2005 did not show significant variations, and averaged 7.2 groups/100 km or 72.5 individuals/100 km. 
Encounter rates within the Gulf were about one order of magnitude greater than those found for bottlenose dolphins in nearby eastern Ionian 
Sea coastal waters. 
4. Mean dolphin density in the Gulf was 0.37 animals/km2. This relatively high density, together with high levels of site fidelity shown 
by most individuals, was thought to be related primarily to prey availability, particularly of epipelagic schooling fish. 
5. The importance of the semi-closed Amvrakikos Gulf for bottlenose dolphins and other threatened species encourages the adoption of 
measures aimed to conserve its valuable ecosystems and raise the naturalistic profile of the area, while promoting environment-conscious 
development. Meaningful action includes restoring natural hydrology (e.g. freshwater input from rivers), curtailing pollution from various 
sources, responsible fisheries and aquaculture management, and control of illegal fishing. Interactions between dolphins and fisheries also 
deserve careful quantitative investigation. 

The pdf file can be downloaded from web page below (Publications section):



Giovanni Bearzi

Giovanni Bearzi, Ph.D.

President, Tethys Research Institute
Viale G.B Gadio 2, 20121 Milano, Italy

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