[MARMAM] Publication: Social structure, habitat use and injuries of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) reveal isolated, coastal and threatened communities in the South Pacific

claire.bonneville at ird.fr claire.bonneville at ird.fr
Sun Feb 7 19:36:43 PST 2021

Dear MARMAM community, 

My co-authors and I are pleased to share our new publication: "Social structure, habitat use and injuries of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) reveal isolated, coastal and threatened communities in the South Pacific" 
This publication is available in the open access journal Frontiers in Marine Science at the following link: [ https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.606975/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Marine_Science&id=606975 | https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.606975/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Marine_Science&id=606975 ] 

Bonneville CD, Derville S, Luksenburg JA, Oremus M and Garrigue C (2021) Social Structure, Habitat Use and Injuries of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) Reveal Isolated, Coastal, and Threatened Communities in the South Pacific.Front. Mar. Sci. 8:606975. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.606975 

Understanding population structure and habitat use of poorly known cetacean species 
is a first step toward scientifically informed management decisions. In the southern 
range of New Caledonia (South Pacific), a long-term dataset of Indo-Pacific bottlenose 
dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) encounters primarily during winter seasons 1997 to 2019 
(473 group observations) was used to assess social structure, habitat use and potential 
threats. A total of 338 individuals were photographically identified, forming three 
distinct communities in the south-west lagoon, the south lagoon and the Isle of Pines. 
Mark-recapture histories revealed that the three communities were weakly connected 
and might be considered as independent management units. Suitable habitats were 
estimated with presence-only distribution models relative to topographic and seabed 
substrate predictors. Habitat suitability increased with proximity to coasts or reefs, at 
shallow depth, and over muddy bottom. These habitats had various levels of protection 
and were used by humans, mostly in the south-west lagoon. External injuries were 
interpreted to determine natural interactions and potential anthropogenic threats. The 
prevalence in injuries did not vary among the three areas. A substantial proportion of 
injuries related to propeller hits was reported, representing a total of 16.7% (34 of 204) 
of all injuries observed on dolphins. The three communities of Indo-Pacific bottlenose 
dolphins revealed in the southern part of New Caledonia are particularly vulnerable due 
to their insularity, their coastal habitat use and the low levels of connectivity found among 
them. In a context of increasing maritime traffic, fishing and recreational activities, this 
study provides a useful baseline to the urgent assessment of the conservation status of 
dolphins in New Caledonia. 

Please, feel free to contact us if you have any question. 

Claire Daisy Bonneville 
Ingénieure d’études en biologie moléculaire 
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement – UMR ENTROPIE 
IRD – BPA5 Nouméa, New Caledonia 
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