[MARMAM] New paper on hotspots for Hector's dolphin
tom.broughnz at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 14:27:18 PDT 2018
Kia ora MARMAM,
On behalf of my co-authors I'm pleased to announce the following
publication in Marine Mammal Science.
Tom Brough, William Rayment, Elisabeth Slooten and Steve Dawson. 2018. Fine
scale distribution for a population of New Zealand's only endemic
hectori*) shows long-term stability of coastal hotspots. Marine Mammal
Science. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12528
Marine mammal populations often have “hotspots” of distribution.
Understanding what drives these is important for understanding
relationships with habitat and evaluating exposure to threats. Few studies
investigate the stability of hotspots, yet this information is vital in
assessing their importance. In this study, over 9,000 sightings made during
systematic surveys over 29 yr are used to establish the existence,
locations, and temporal dynamics of hotspots for Hector’s dolphins at Banks
Peninsula, New Zealand. Sightings were divided into four seasons and three
time periods to assess temporal trends in habitat use. Kernel density
analysis was performed on sightings, weighted by survey effort. Density
values at hotspots and reference areas were modeled according to season and
time period using linear mixed models. Fifty percent of weighted sightings
(n = 4,513) occurred within 21% of the study area. Hotspots had
significantly higher densities during summer and these high-density areas
have remained consistent over time. Such consistency implies importance of
these areas to the dolphins’ ecology. This information adds to our
knowledge of how this endangered species uses its habitat, suggests
candidate areas for protection from threats, and provides a baseline for
assessing habitat related impacts on Hector’s dolphins at Banks Peninsula.
Feel free to get in touch with me at tom.brough at otago.ac.nz if you'd like a
PDF copy of the full text.
*Marine Mammal Research Group*
*Department of Marine Science*
*University of Otago, Dunedin*
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