[MARMAM] New Paper Australian humpback dolphin Social Structure

Liz Hawkins liz at dolphinresearchaustralia.org
Sun Dec 8 19:08:48 PST 2019

Dear Colleagues, 

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our new article published in the Journal of Marine Mammal Science.


Elizabeth R. Hawkins, Lara Pogson-Manning, Christian Jaehnichen, Justin J. Meager (2019) ‘Social dynamics and sexual segregation of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa  sahulensis) in Moreton Bay, Queensland’, Marine Mammal Science, DOI: 10.1111/mms.12657


Abstract: “Understanding the social organization of coastal dolphins, particularly those that reside adjacent to major cities and urbanized regions, is important for understanding the vulnerability of populations to human impacts. We investigated the sexual segregation and social dynamics in a population of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) inhabiting the near-urban embayment of Moreton Bay, Queensland. Over 160 vessel-based surveys, 148 adults were photographically identified. This included 116 assumed females and 32 assumed males. The population was sexually segregated (SSAS = 0.52, P < 0.001) and individuals preferred to associate with others of the same sex occupying the same spatial area (P < 0.025). Association indices between paired males were almost double those of females (x ̅ HWI = 0.09; SD = 0.04 and x ̅ HWI = 0.05; SD = 0.02 respectively). However, females were more gregarious than males and maintained a larger network of associates based on preferred companionships. The social network was also modular with five clusters identified, and a limited number of individuals had a disproportionate influence on connectivity between clusters. This highly fragmented social network implies that the population may be vulnerable to social disruptions from human impacts”.


The article is available from the journal website. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding this article.


Best Wishes



Elizabeth Hawkins, PhD

Executive Officer

Founding Director

Dolphin Research Australia, Inc.

PO Box 1960

Byron Bay, NSW, 2481

E-mail:  <mailto:liz at dolphinresearchaustralia.org> liz at dolphinresearchaustralia.org

Ph: (02) 6676 1473

Mobile: 0407 646 069

Website:  <http://www.dolphinresearchaustralia.org/> www.dolphinresearchaustralia.org

ABN: 42095866467


** Dolphin Research Australia Inc. is a marine conservation, education & research charity –find out more about us & how you can help at  <http://www.dolphinresearchaustralia.org/> www.dolphinresearchaustralia.org **



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