[MARMAM] New publication on bottlenose dolphin behaviour in Argentina

Els Vermeulen elsvermeulen5 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 25 08:48:32 PDT 2015


Dear all,

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of the following article:

Vermeulen, E., Holsbeek, L., Das, K. 2015. Diurnal and Seasonal Variation
in the Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*) in Bahía San
Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. Aquatic Mammals 41(3), 272-283. DOI
10.1578/AM.41.3.2015.272

ABSTRACT:
Diurnal and seasonal patterns in the behaviour of a small population of
bottlenose dolphins were assessed in Bahía San Antonio (BSA), Patagonia,
Argentina, between 2006 and 2011. Results indicated that dolphins used the
study area mainly to rest, travel, and forage, with a marked diurnal and
seasonal pattern in their activity. During the early morning, most dolphin
groups were resting, while towards the afternoon and evening, surface
feeding and social activities peaked. During winter, social activities and
surface feeding increased notably; during summer, diving behaviour reached
its peak, presumably associated with a tail-out/peduncle-dive foraging
strategy. The observed seasonal variation in foraging strategies is
hypothesised to be related to the seasonal behavioural changes of prey
species in the area that are linked to spawning. The variation in group
size further appears to reflect the regulation of feeding competition while
reconfirming the low predation risk within the study area. Results of this
study indicate the behavioural and social flexibility of bottlenose
dolphins in BSA and suggest a link to the seasonal variations in prey
availability. Considering the general bottlenose dolphin population
declines in Argentina presumably related to prey depletion, it could be
argued that the temporal occurrence of spawning shoals and a general low
presence of other top predators directly and indirectly make this a
favourable area for this population. Additional information is required to
more comprehensively address this hypothesis. The information presented
herein serves as vital baseline data for future conservation management
protocols.

This article can be downloaded from www.aquaticmammalsjournal.org or
requested by email: elsvermeulen5 at gmail.com or els at whalefish.org

Kind regards,

Els


----------------------------------------
Els Vermeulen, PhD

Marine Mammal Biologist


SANCOR Post-doctoral fellow - University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Co-director, Sea Search, Cape Town, South Africa - www.seasearch.co.za

Co-director, Whalefish - www.whalefish.org

Cell: +27 (0)60 9714301
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