[MARMAM] New publication

Valeria Senigaglia valeria.senigaglia at gmail.com
Tue Jul 21 02:23:26 PDT 2020

Dear MARMAN community,

My co-author and I are pleased to announce the publication of our latest
paper in Tourism in the Marine Environment:

Senigaglia V. & Bejder L. 2020. Pregnancy cravings: visitation at a
food-provisioning site is driven by the reproductive status of the
Bottlenose dolphins. Tourism in Marine Environment.


Marine wildlife tourism attractions often use food rewards to ensure
close-up encounters with free-ranging animals. In Bunbury, Western
Australia, the Dolphin Discovery Centre (DDC) conducts a food-provision
program where bottlenose dolphins (N= 22; between 2000-2018) are offered
food rewards to encourage their visitation at a beach in front of the DDC.
We used historical records on individual beach visits by adult female
dolphins collected by the DDC from 2000 to 2018 to develop generalized
mixed effects models (GLMM) to test whether the frequency of beach
visitation was influenced by their reproductive status (pregnant,
lactating, non-reproductive) or climatic events (El Niño-Southern
Oscillation phases) that could affect prey availability. We also quantified
the behavioural budget of dolphins during food-provisioning sessions and
documented intra and interspecific aggressive behaviours using individual
focal follows collected in 2017-2018. Provisioned females spend most of the
time resting within the interaction area (66.3%) and aggressive
interactions arise as a consequence of dominance behaviour over food
access. Visitation rates were most influenced by reproductive status with
pregnant and lactating females visiting more frequently the provisioning
area (z = 2.085; p = 0.037 and z = 2.437; p = 0.014, respectively). Females
that frequently visit the provisioning area expose their dependent calves
to regular human interactions at an early age when they are more
susceptible to behavioural conditioning. Such experiences could cause the
loss of awareness towards humans and promote maladaptive behaviours such as
begging, that increase risk of entanglement in fishing gear, boat strikes
and propeller injuries.

The publication can be found at this link:

PDF requests can be sent to v <dicalvar at ucsc.edu>aleria.senigaglia at gmail.com

Stay safe!

All the best,
Valeria Senigaglia


*Valeria Senigaglia*

*PhD Candidate*

Aquatic Megafauna Research Unit <https://amru.org.au/>

School of Veterinary and Life Sciences

Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia

Mobile: +61474837914

E-mail: v.senigaglia at murdoch.edu.au
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