[MARMAM] New publication: Effects of nature-based tourism and environmental drivers on the demography of a small dolphin population

Sergi Pérez Jorge sergiperezjorge at gmail.com
Thu Mar 31 13:57:01 PDT 2016

Dear MARMAM colleagues, 

We are happy to announce the publication of the following paper in
Biological Conservation:


Pérez-Jorge, S., Gomes, I., Hayes, K., Corti, G., Louzao, M., Genovart, M.,
Oro, D. (2016). Effects of nature-based tourism and environmental drivers on
the demography of a small dolphin population. Biological Conservation. doi:




Many marine top predators are experiencing significant declines due to
anthropogenic impacts, and therefore reliable monitoring is essential to
understand their population dynamics. We used Pollock's robust design
capture–recapture modelling to assess the influence of oceanographic
variables, artisanal fisheries and human disturbance on several demographic
parameters (abundance, temporary emigration and survival) of the
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), using long-term data on
marked individuals from East Africa. Photo-identification data was collected
over 551 boat-based surveys between 2006 and 2009, with 137 individuals
identified. Our best fitting model indicated that exposure to tourism
(represented by the number of tourist boats) increased the probability of
dolphins seasonally emigrating from the study area. The return rate of
temporary emigrants was negatively linked to the seasonal sea surface
temperature, probably associated with food availability. That model
supported the existence of heterogeneity in annual local survival estimates,
with transient dolphins showing a lower value than resident individuals
(0.78 and 0.98, respectively). Furthermore, abundance estimates showed a
small population size ranging from 19 individuals (95% CI: 11–33) to a
maximum of 104 dolphins (95% CI: 78–139). This small population, together
with their high site fidelity and coastal distribution, might be
particularly vulnerable to human disturbances. This study highlights the
influence of environmental and anthropogenic factors on dolphin demography
and population dynamics and the need to integrate these drivers to provide
robust evidences for conservation stakeholders in an adaptive management


This paper is freely available at:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320716300854  or
please contact me directly for a pdf (sergiperezjorge at gmail.com)


Many thanks and Best regards,


Sergi Pérez-Jorge




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