[MARMAM] NEW PAPER: Age composition of the Pearl River Delta Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin

menjilam at 163.com menjilam at 163.com
Tue Mar 3 20:23:45 PST 2020

Dear all, 
My colleagues and I are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper in the coming issue of Marine Biology:

Guo L, Lin W*, Zeng C, Luo D, Wu Y*: Investigating the age composition of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in the Pearl River Estuary based on their pigmentation pattern. Marine Biology 2020, 167(4):50.

ABSTRACT: Age composition is an important population parameter for understanding and managing endangered species. There are very few studies involving cetaceans in estimating the age of individuals in the wild. In this study, we rigorously quantified the body color pattern of 37 stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) of the Pearl River Estuary (PRE), which showed a significant, albeit with variability between individuals, correlation with age for both the males (between age 1 and 35, r2 = 0.84) and females (between age 1 and 25, r2 = 0.85). The population-averaged correlation (r2 = 0.85) was then applied to a large volume of photo-identification data (2011–2015) to estimate the age composition of the population occurring in the greater deltaic region, which further suggested a spatial difference in age composition and, therefore, a complex demographic process of the humpback dolphin across the region. In particular, the age composition of humpback dolphins in the east PRE (Lingding Bay) is severely aged. Finally, a population viability analysis with the consideration of observed age structure and the simulated age-specific fecundity suggested that 95.75% of the Lingding Bay humpback dolphins are projected to be lost after three generations. Given the sophisticated anthropogenic landscape in the PRE, we suggest that management units of the humpback dolphins should be clearly defined and the regional-specific conservation measures are much needed.

You can access the paper through the shared link as: https://rdcu.be/b2uvL or on request through https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339664955_Investigating_the_age_composition_of_Indo-Pacific_humpback_dolphins_in_the_Pearl_River_Estuary_based_on_their_pigmentation_pattern/stats .

Wenzhi Lin (Joe)
Research Associate
Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering, CAS

menjilam at 163.com
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