[MARMAM] New Paper: Spatial and Social Sexual Segregation of bottlenose dolphins in an estuary
cfury10 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 21:07:47 PST 2013
We are pleased to announce the new publication on sexual segregation
of dolphins in estuaries using GIS data. The paper can be freely
accessed on PLoS ONE using the follow link
Citation: Fury CA, Ruckstuhl KE, Harrison PL (2013) Spatial and
Social Sexual Segregation Patterns in Indo-Pacific Bottlenose
Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). PLoS ONE 8(1): e52987.
Sexual segregation seems to be common in bottlenose dolphins, whereby
males and females live in different pods that mix mainly for mating.
Male dolphins often use aggressive behaviour to mate with females,
while females with calves may have different activity and dietary
requirements to males and different susceptibility to predation. We
investigated the degree of spatial and social sexual segregation in
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in a subtropical
estuary in Australia. Based on surveys completed over three years,
dolphin groups were mostly mixed-sex or female. Mixed-sex groups were
found in larger groups in mostly deeper water, whereas, female groups
were foraging across all water depths in smaller groups. Aggressive
coercive behaviour by males towards females was high, occurring
mainly in deeper water, at higher tides, and outside the breeding
season. Habitat use by female dolphin groups suggests that shallow
tributaries may provide a sanctuary from aggressive males, access to
suitable prey items and density for mothers and their calves, or a
combination of these factors.
Christine Fury PhD
Kingston, Hobart, TASMANIA 7050
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