[MARMAM] New paper: On bottlenose dolphins from the Southeast Gulf of California

Eduardo Morteo eduardo.morteo at gmail.com
Tue Apr 26 09:41:27 PDT 2022

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of my coauthors, I am delighted to share with you our latest paper dealing with sea surface temperature, chlorophyll and their relation to relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins in Mexican waters, published in the Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals (LAJAM):

Zepeda-Borja, K.M., Morteo, E., Guzón-Zatarain, O., Pérez-España, H., Delfín-Alfonso, C.A. and Bello-Pineda, J. (2022) Interannual shifts in sea surface temperature and chlorophyll drive the relative abundance and group size of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus on the Southeast Gulf of California. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 17(1) ISSN: 1676-7497. https://doi.org/10.5597/lajam00278LatinAmericanJournalofAquaticMammals


Despite being one of the most common odontocetes off Sinaloa (Mexican Pacific coast) basic studies on the ecology of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are scarce in the region. This study aimed to describe changes in the relative abundance group size and behavior of this species during 2007 – 2012. We used boat-based surveys and satellite images of sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) to model changes in dolphin relative abundance (RA) over time using correlations in time series analyses. Overall mean RA was 3.6 dolphins h-1 (SD = 8.0) and significantly higher RA (6.4 –16.7 dolphins h-1) occurred in 2008 2011 2012 which was concurrent with hydrographic effects of La Niña oceanographic conditions as well as during the upwelling season (February – April) (SST: 17.3 – 25.0 °C; Chl-a: 3.7 – 21.4 mg m-3). Conversely significantly lower RA values (0.5 – 3.8 dolphins h-1) occurred in 2007 and 2010 that were likely associated with El Niño effects on the biological productivity of the area (Chl-a: 0.3 – 7.6 mg m-3). We found significant correlations between monthly Chl-a and SST average values with mean bottlenose dolphins RA and lags (22 – 29 days) in the trophic response to variations of the hydrographic parameters. Significantly larger dolphin groups were recorded during La Niña years possibly because of the higher availability of their prey. This hypothesis is supported by higher feeding frequencies (35 – 73%) observed during the upwelling seasons especially during La Niña conditions whereas the most frequent behavior throughout all other years was traveling (28 – 69%). Our results show that RA and group size of bottlenose dolphins inhabiting the waters off Sinaloa Mexico are likely influenced by the changes in hydrographic parameters especially during extreme climatic events.

This link provides free access to the publication: https://lajamjournal.org/index.php/lajam/article/view/1433/479 <https://lajamjournal.org/index.php/lajam/article/view/1433/479>

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or questions at: eduardo.morteo at gmail.com <mailto:eduardo.morteo at gmail.com>

Kind regards,

Dr. Eduardo Morteo


Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas
Universidad Veracruzana

Calle Dr. Castelazo Ayala S/N, Col. Industrial Ánimas
CP 91190, Xalapa, Veracruz, México.

Ph/Tel: +52 (228) 841 89 00 
E-mail: emorteo at uv.mx




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