[MARMAM] New paper - Vulnerability of a top marine predator in one of the world’s most impacted marine environments (Arabian Gulf)

Bruno Diaz Lopez bruno at thebdri.com
Sun Jun 20 12:03:11 PDT 2021

Dear MARMAM community, 

My coauthors and I are delighted to bring to your attention of our last research article "Vulnerability of a top marine predator in one of the world’s most impacted marine environments (Arabian Gulf)" recently published in Marine Biology: 

Díaz López , B., Methion, S., Das, H. et al. 2021. Vulnerability of a top marine predator in one of the world’s most impacted marine environments (Arabian Gulf). Marine Biology 168, 112 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-021-03921-z

Knowledge of the habitat use of wildlife in highly impacted areas is essential to identify areas of biological importance and to implement appropriate conservation measures. The Arabian Gulf represents one of the most extreme marine environments and is considered one of the regions in the world with the greatest anthropogenic impact. Information on the habitat use and abundance of marine top predator species is, however, lacking, despite being a prerequisite for effective planning of conservation measures. Here, we provide novel information for the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in the Arabian Gulf (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates). Data from 80 daily surveys conducted between June 2014 and November 2019 were used both to assess correlates of bottlenose dolphin habitat use and relative density and to calculate mark-recapture abundance estimates. This study confirms the strong adaptability and tolerance of this top marine predator to extreme environmental conditions within a highly heterogeneous and impacted marine habitat. The observed preferences for areas with less human pressure were likely a result of the interactions of environmental factors with prey availability and human disturbance. This study also provides the first abundance estimates for a bottlenose dolphin population in the Arabian Gulf. Our findings support the call for increased marine-protected areas and the creation of transboundary conservation areas in the region. Regional connectivity should be of value to marine predators whose wide distribution and vulnerability to human activities means that alteration of their habitats can result in population declines and eventual local or regional extinctions.

The full article is available at: 



Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are unable to access the article or have any questions!


Bruno Díaz López Ph.D
Chief biologist and Director
The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Avenida Beiramar 192, O Grove 36980, Pontevedra, Spain
tel. 0034 684248552

@thebdri (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

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