[MARMAM] New publication about humpback dolphins abundance, distribution and group dynamics in the Middle East.

Bruno Diaz Lopez bruno at thebdri.com
Wed Jul 12 07:06:37 PDT 2017

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce that our latest article about humpback dolphins has been published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (JMBA).

Díaz López, B., Grandcourt, E., Methion, S., Das, H., Bugla, I., Al Hameli, M., Al Hameri, H., Abdulla, M; Al Blooshi, A; Al Dhaheri, S. (2017). The distribution, abundance and group dynamics of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (UAE). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 1-9. doi:10.1017/S0025315417001205

Abstract: The Arabian Gulf is one of the most heavily impacted water bodies raising serious concerns about the conservation status of
many marine species. A limited coastal range and near-shore distribution make Indian Ocean humpback dolphins particularly
vulnerable to mortality and traumatic injuries from heavy maritime traffic and gill-netting practices. Prior to the present
study, no research had focused on the ecology of this species in the Arabian Gulf, despite the potential for human impacts. The
mark–recapture method of photo-identification, undertaken during 55 boat-based surveys conducted between 2014 and
2015, was used to assess the occurrence, abundance and use of habitat of this endangered species along the coast of the
Emirate of Abu Dhabi (UAE). In all, 368 h and 6703 km of observation were carried out over a period of 5 months, and
54 encounters were made with humpback dolphins. The group size ranged from 1 to 24 individuals and group composition
showed that 79% of the observed dolphins were adults. Abundance estimates were calculated and fitted with open population
models. A review of all available data indicates that the studied population is the largest reported in the world with 701 (95%
CI ¼ 473–845) individuals. While their occurrence within Abu Dhabi near-shore waters is frequent, the survey area appears
to be only a part of a much larger home range for this humpback dolphin population. The observation of multiple threats
derived from anthropogenic activities increases our concerns regarding the conservation of this important dolphin population.

You can access the article at: DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315417001205

If you cannot download the publication, you can request a pdf by emailing to: bruno at thebdri.com

Best wishes,

Bruno Díaz López

Chief biologist and Director

The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Avenida Beiramar 192, O Grove 36980, Pontevedra, Spain
0034 605 52 1441

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