[MARMAM] New publication

Simon Allen S.Allen at murdoch.edu.au
Thu Nov 20 19:27:35 PST 2008

G'day folks, 

We're pleased to announce another publication from MUCRU:


Finn, H., Donaldson, R. and Calver, M. 2008. Feeding Flipper: A case study of a dolphin-human interaction. Pacific Conservation Biology 14: 215-225.


Abstract: We document a human-dolphin interaction involving the illegal feeding of wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia from 1993-2003. In 1993 only one dolphin was considered conditioned to human interaction through food reinforcement. By 2001, 16% (n = 12) of the resident community of 74 adult dolphins were conditioned, and at least 14 dolphins were conditioned by 2003. Of the 13 conditioned dolphins of known sex, 11 (85%) were males. We observed conditioned dolphins initiating interactions by approaching recreational fishing boats and by residing for several hours at boat ramps and shore-based fishing sites. We only observed recreational fishers feeding dolphins, although anecdotal reports indicated additional feeding sources. We used belt transects to determine the densities of recreational boats and encounter rates for conditioned dolphins across habitats within Cockburn Sound. Encounter rates and boat densities were positively correlated, suggesting an association between recreational boat density and the ranging patterns of conditioned dolphins. This study demonstrates how illegal feeding interactions can intensify over time to affect a potentially biologically significant proportion of a local dolphin population. This emphasizes the need for early and pro-active intervention and demonstrates the value of longitudinal, individual-specific wildlife studies.


Key words: Bottlenose Dolphins, Feeding wildlife, Human-wildlife interaction, Marine mammals, Provisioning, Tursiops, Wildlife management.


PDFs/re-prints are available on request from Dr. Hugh Finn (H.Finn at murdoch.edu.au) and will appear for download on the MUCRU website (www.cffr.murdoch.edu.au/mucru) shortly.


Kind regards, Simon


P.S. For those unfamiliar with Pacific Conservation Biology, it is a quarterly journal that publishes, amongst other things, peer-reviewed scientific research articles including those detailing cetacean conservation and management issues. For example:


Stone & Yoshinaga 2000. Hector's dolphin Cephalorhynchus hectori calf mortalities may indicate new risks from boat traffic and habituation. Pacific Conservation Biology 6: 162-170.


Allen & Bejder 2003. Southern Right Whale Eubalaena australis sightings on the Australian coast and the increasing potential for entanglement. Pacific Conservation Biology 9: 228-233.


We encourage submission of relevant manuscripts and institutional subscription as per the details below. 



Pacific Conservation Biology (http://pcb.murdoch.edu.au/)

Edited by Emeritus Professor Harry F Recher, AM

The Pacific region has profound problems in conservation and management that require urgent attention. The region also has people with world-class skills and training in conservation oriented biological research. One broadly recognized impediment to effective conservation and management is inadequate communication among research biologists and conservation managers and administrators. Pacific Conservation Biology enhances this communication. It provides a forum for discussion about regional conservation problems; debate about priorities and mechanisms for conservation oriented biological research; and dissemination of the results of relevant research. Emphasis is placed on making clear the relevance and management implications of the research. The primary readership is composed of research biologists, wildlife managers and administrators of government and non-government conservation agencies. Each issue includes: a section of news and correspondence; a forum with a key discussion paper and responses; and contributed papers that present high quality original research. Reviews on relevant topics, especially those that focus on the region, are welcome. 


All subscriptions and business matters to:
Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd
PO Box 8159
Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
Ph: +61-2-96023888
E-mail: surreybeatty at iform.com.au 

Simon Allen
Research Fellow, Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit
Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Murdoch University
South St., Murdoch
Western Australia 6150
mob: +61(0) 416 083 653
ph: +61(0)8 9360 2823
fax: +61(0)8 9360 6303
email: s.allen at murdoch.edu.au <mailto:s.allen at murdoch.edu.au>  
web: http://www.cffr.murdoch.edu.au/mucru/simon_allen.html <http://www.cffr.murdoch.edu.au/mucru/simon_allen.html> 
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