[MARMAM] New Publication - Dolphins restructure social system after reduction of commercial fisheries

Guido Parra guido.parra at flinders.edu.au
Sun Jul 15 17:52:31 PDT 2012

Dear MARMAM readers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new paper in Animal Behaviour:

Ansmann, I. C., G. J. Parra, B. L. Chilvers and J. M. Lanyon. Dolphins restructure social system after reduction of commercial fisheries. Animal Behaviour. DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.06.009

Although human activities are known to affect the social behaviour of group-living animals, the resilience of animals' social structure to disturbance is poorly understood. In the 1990s, bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops aduncus, in Moreton Bay, Australia, formed two distinct social communities (‘trawler’ and ‘nontrawler dolphins’) based on foraging interactions (or lack thereof) with commercial prawn trawlers. Members of the two communities almost never associated, despite overlapping home ranges. Since then, changes to fisheries legislation have substantially reduced trawling in Moreton Bay. We used association analyses and social network metrics to compare patterns of sociality among bottlenose dolphins across two periods: 1997–1999 (during trawling) and 2008–2010 (post trawling). Over this decade, their social network became less differentiated and more compact (average geodesic distance between individuals decreased), with significantly more and stronger associations between individuals (mean and maximum half-weight indices increased). The previously described partitioning into two communities has disappeared, with former ‘trawler’ and ‘nontrawler dolphins’ now dispersed over the entire social network and associating with each other. This restructuring suggests that although fisheries can influence the social behaviour of bottlenose dolphins, their social structure represents a complex adaptive system that is resilient to disturbance.

A PDF copy of the paper in press can be accessed via : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347212002709

or via email requests to: Ina Ansmann (i.ansmann at uq.edu.au<mailto:i.ansmann at uq.edu.au>)

All the best,

Ina and Guido (on behalf of all the authors)

Guido J. Parra, PhD

Research Leader, Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL)
School of Biological Sciences
Flinders University
Sturt Road, Bedford Park|South Australia|5042
GPO Box 2100|Adelaide| South Australia|5001
Lab website: www.cebel.org.au<http://www.cebel.org.au/>
My Flinders Staff Page<http://www.flinders.edu.au/people/guido.parra>

Cetacean Ecologist
Threatened, Endangered & Protected Species (TEPS)
Marine Environment & Ecology Science Program Area
South Australian Research & Development Institute (SARDI) – Aquatic Sciences

Phone: (+61 8) 8201-3565|Mobile: 0437630843|FAX: (+61 8) 8201-3015
CRICOS Registered Provider. The Flinders University of South Australia|CRICOS provider Number: 00114A

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