[MARMAM] New publication: Occurrence, group size and habitat use of humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in Algoa Bay, South Africa

Plon, Stephanie (Dr) (Summerstrand Campus South) Stephanie.Plon at nmmu.ac.za
Wed Jan 6 08:20:38 PST 2016


Dear MARMAM subscribers,



My co-authors and I are pleased to announce a new publication on humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in South Africa:

R. P. Koper, L. Karczmarski, D. Du Preez, and S. Plön (2015)
Sixteen years later: Occurrence, group size, and habitat use of humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in Algoa Bay, South Africa
Marine Mammal Science. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12279.

Abstract:
Coastal dolphins are more prone to cumulative impacts of environmental and
anthropogenic changes than pelagic species. However, few studies use historical
comparisons to evaluate those impacts across a temporal scale. The study presented
here describes the pattern of occurrence, group size, behavior, and habitat use of
humpback dolphins in Algoa Bay and compares these to a similar study conducted
in the early 1990s. Results indicate a considerable change in the frequency of occurrence.
Furthermore, the mean group size has decreased from six to three individuals,
mainly due to an increase in occurrence of solitary individuals (36.3% vs. 15.4%).
Foraging, which was previously the predominant activity (64%), has now been
replaced by traveling (49%). Moreover, dolphins showed a negative reaction towards
a variety of watercrafts and swimmers. These observed differences could be due to a
change in prey abundance, direct anthropogenic disturbance, and/or population
decline. We emphasize the need for long-term environmental and biological data
series and long-term monitoring of the demographics of this population to accurately
assess any changes observed in future.

For any further info please contact stephanie.plon at nmmu.ac.za<mailto:stephanie.plon at nmmu.ac.za>.

Dr. Stephanie Plön
Coastal and Marine Research Institute
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
PO Box 77000
Port Elizabeth, 6031

Tel: 041-5042877
Cell: 076-3791067
Fax: 041-5832317




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