[MARMAM] Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphin sympatric use of nearshore water at Bimini, The Bahamas

Kathleen Dudzinski kdudzinski at dolphincommunicationproject.org
Wed Sep 14 09:32:00 PDT 2022

To our Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of our most recent paper detailing the sympatric distribution of Atlantic spotted and common bottlenose dolphins in the nearshore water around Bimini, The Bahamas. 

Levengood, A, Melillo-Sweeting, K, Ribic, CA, Beck, AJ, Dudzinski, KM (2022) Shoreline distribution of dolphins along North Bimini Island, The Bahamas. Caribbean Journal of Science, 52(2), 162-176. https://doi.org/10.18475/cjos.v52i2.a3 <https://doi.org/10.18475/cjos.v52i2.a3>

Abstract—Within nearshore waters off Bimini, The Bahamas, Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and common bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins are sympatric but separated spatially in different geographic areas and water depth ranges. Afternoon surveys during summer months across a 16-year period showed S. frontalis used the northern part of the nearshore area more, while T. truncatus used the southern area more. Generally, examination of geographic zones and water depth distributions of both species before and after construction of a pier in the study area suggested these dolphins were not impacted, long-term, by this anthropogenic activity. Still some differences in use of the nearshore area were identified. For water depth, S. frontalis varied use between 5–<12 m and 12–<20 m, depending on location along the coast. In contrast, T. truncatus consistently used the 5–<12 m depths. This difference may be related to how each species used the nearshore area, with T. truncatus feeding more and S. frontalis travelling and doing other activities. A small change in the distribution of S. frontalis by water depth off the northern coast of Bimini was found, specifically an increased use of deeper (12–20 m) water post 2014, which is unlikely an effect of pier construction as S. frontalis continued to use the 5–12 m depths as they had before pier construction. How this change might be related to an unprecedented 2013 S. frontalis immigration event, which might have disrupted the social structure, habitat/resource use, and distribution of both species, is discussed.

The publication is available as pdf and html text: https://bioone.org/journals/caribbean-journal-of-science/volume-52/issue-2/cjos.v52i2.a3/Atlantic-Spotted-and-Bottlenose-Dolphin-Sympatric-Distribution-in-Nearshore-Waters/10.18475/cjos.v52i2.a3.full <https://bioone.org/journals/caribbean-journal-of-science/volume-52/issue-2/cjos.v52i2.a3/Atlantic-Spotted-and-Bottlenose-Dolphin-Sympatric-Distribution-in-Nearshore-Waters/10.18475/cjos.v52i2.a3.full>

Please let us know if you have questions.
Thank you.
Kathleen (on behalf of my co-authors: Alexis Levengood, Kel Mellilo-Sweeting, Christine Ribic and AJ Beck)

Kathleen M. Dudzinski, Ph.D.
Director, Dolphin Communication Project

kathleen at dcpmail.org

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