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Influence of trawling on the behaviour and spatial distribution of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Moreton Bay, Australia

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Sympatric communities of inshore Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) have previously been identified within Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland, Australia. The two communities overlap in distribution, yet are almost completely socially segregated and forage in distinctly different ways. The correlation between this social segregation, the different foraging strategies, and a human activity (trawling) has previously been demonstrated. This paper investigates the possible effects of trawling on the behaviour and spatial distribution of these two communities. A geographical information system is used to determine the spatial use of each community. The behavioural budgets of both communities showed significantly higher levels of foraging behaviours than reported for most other bottlenose dolphin communities. The spatial use of both communities changed seasonally. These results provide further detail on how human activities may indirectly influence the behaviour and spatial use of free-ranging marine wildlife.

On a déjà signalé l'existence de deux communautés côtières sympatriques du grand dauphin de l'océan Indien (Tursiops aduncus) dans la baie de Moreton dans le sud-est du Queenland, Australie. Les deux communautés ont des répartitions qui se chevauchent, mais elles sont presque totalement isolées socialement et elles recherchent leur nourriture de façon différente. Une relation entre cette ségrégation sociale, les différentes stratégies alimentaires et l'activité humaine (chalutage) a déjà pu être démontrée. Notre étude examine les effets possibles du chalutage sur le comportement et la répartition spatiale des deux communautés. Un système d'information géographique a permis de déterminer l'utilisation de l'espace par les deux communautés. Les bilans comportementaux des deux communautés révèlent que les comportements de recherche de nourriture sont significativement plus intenses que ce qui est signalé chez la plupart des autres communautés de dauphins. L'utilisation de l'espace par les deux communautés varie d'une saison à une autre. Nos résultats fournissent des précisions sur l'influence indirecte possible des activités humaines sur le comportement et l'utilisation de l'espace par la faune marine en nature.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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