[MARMAM] New publication - Distribution of foraging behaviour in Hector's Dolphins reveals drivers of fine-scale hotspots

Tom Brough tom.broughnz at gmail.com
Fri Feb 7 18:09:31 PST 2020

Greetings MARMAM,

My colleagues and I are pleased to announce the publication of an article
in Marine Ecology Progress Series on the spatiotemporal distribution of
foraging in Hector's Dolphin. Please see abstract below.

The full article can be accessed (subscription only) at
https://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v635/p187-202/. Or feel free to
email me (tom.broughnz at gmail.com) for a pdf.
Tom Brough

*Spatiotemporal distribution of foraging in a marine predator: behavioural
drivers of hotspot formation*

Tom Brough, William Rayment, Elisabeth Slooten, Stephen Dawson,

Many species of marine predators display defined hotspots in their
although the reasons why this happens are not well understood in some
species. Understanding whether hotspots are used for certain behaviours
provides insights into the importance of these areas for the predators’
ecology and population viability. In this study, we investigated the
spatio-temporal distribution of foraging behaviour in Hector’s dolphin
Cephalorhynchus hectori, a small, endangered species from New Zealand.
Passive acoustic monitoring of foraging ‘buzzes’ was carried out at 4
hotspots and 6 lower-use, ‘reference areas’, chosen randomly based on a
previous density analysis of visual sightings. The distribution of buzzes
was modelled among spatial locations and on 3 temporal scales (season, time
of day, tidal state) with generalised additive mixed models using 82 000 h
of monitoring data. Foraging rates were significantly influenced by all 3
temporal effects, with substantial variation in the importance and nature
of each effect among locations. The complexity of the temporal effects on
foraging is likely due to the patchy nature of prey distributions and shows
how foraging is highly variable at fine scales. Foraging rates were highest
at the hotspots, suggesting that feeding opportunities shape fine-scale
distribution in Hector’s dolphin. Foraging can be disrupted by
anthropogenic influences. Thus, information from this study can be used to
manage threats to this vital behaviour in the locations and at the times
it is most prevalent.
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