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Sample records for indo-pacific humpback dolphins

  1. Population Size of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis at Khanom, Thailand

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    Mullica JAROENSUTASINEE

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis were estimated with the Mark-Recapture Model from a boat-based photo-identification survey at Khanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand from July 2008 - June 2009. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were encountered at a water depth of 1.1 - 7.5 m, a distance off shore of 21 - 1,021 m and water transparency of 67 - 256 cm. Groups and solitary Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were sighted 39 times. They were extensively viewed in the coastal zone between Nang Kham bay to Thong Ching bay. There were 34 sightings of groups and five sightings of solitary individuals. A total of 49 individuals were identified and catalogued. There were 33 identified adults, eight juveniles and eight calves. The group size of humpback dolphins varied from 2 - 20 individuals. The group size of adults ranged between 2 - 12 dolphins. The juveniles group size ranged from 0 - 6 dolphins. There were no groups observed consisting solely of juveniles. Groups without juveniles were seen 8 times. The number of calves per group ranged between 0 - 4 individuals. The percentage and number of calves per group were significantly lower than the percentage and number of juveniles. The mean size of groups containing calves was larger than non-calf groups. The estimated abundance of this population from the Jolly-Seber method was 49 individuals.

  2. The Trophic Significance of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis, in Western Taiwan.

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    Pan, Ching-Wen; Chen, Meng-Hsien; Chou, Lien-Siang; Lin, Hsing-Juh

    2016-01-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) have attracted considerable attention due to their critically endangered status and related conservation issues, but their trophic relationships and ecological significance in coastal ecosystems are poorly understood. For instance, this species is noticeably more abundant in the Xin-Huwei River Estuary (Ex) of Western Taiwan than in the nearby Zhuoshui River Estuary (Ez), though it is unclear why the distribution shows such partitioning. To explore this topic, we conducted field surveys seasonally for two years from 2012 to 2013 and constructed Ecopath models of Ex, Ez, and an offshore site (Dm) to compare energy flow within the food webs. Model comparisons showed that the availability of food resources was the main factor influencing the biomass of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Specifically, its more frequent occurrence in Ex can be attributed to greater phytoplankton production and greater biomasses of macroinvertebrates and prey fish than in the other two areas. An increase in fishing activity might decrease the food availability and, consequently, the biomass of the dolphins. Although the decline in the dolphin population would increase the biomass of some prey fish species, local fishermen might not necessarily benefit from the decline due to the concurrent decrease of highly valued crabs and shrimp. Collectively, our work suggests that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a keystone species in tropical coastal waters of Taiwan, and thereby exhibit a disproportional large ecological impact given their relatively low abundance.

  3. Discriminating between the vocalizations of Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins in Queensland, Australia.

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    Berg Soto, Alvaro; Marsh, Helene; Everingham, Yvette; Smith, Joshua N; Parra, Guido J; Noad, Michael

    2014-08-01

    Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins co-occur throughout most of their range in coastal waters of tropical Australia. Little is known of their ecology or acoustic repertoires. Vocalizations from humpback and snubfin dolphins were recorded in two locations along the Queensland coast during 2008 and 2010 to describe their vocalizations and evaluate the acoustic differences between these two species. Broad vocalization types were categorized qualitatively. Both species produced click trains burst pulses and whistles. Principal component analysis of the nine acoustic variables extracted from the whistles produced nine principal components that were input into discriminant function analyses to classify 96% of humpback dolphin whistles and about 78% of snubfin dolphin calls correctly. Results indicate clear acoustic differences between the vocal whistle repertoires of these two species. A stepwise routine identified two principal components as significantly distinguishable between whistles of each species: frequency parameters and frequency trend ratio. The capacity to identify these species using acoustic monitoring techniques has the potential to provide information on presence/absence, habitat use and relative abundance for each species.

  4. Sightings and behavioral observations of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765 along Chennai coast, Bay of Bengal

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    R. Muralidharan

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Boat-based surveys were used to investigate the presence of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis along the coast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Notes were collected on behavior, group size, coloration patterns and group composition on sighting cetaceans during the surveys. Four groups of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins were sighted near-shore in the month of February 2011, between 10-25 m depth with an average group size of 20 individuals of which 10 individuals were photo-identifiable. Dominant group behavior was aerial display, feeding and traveling. This study gives a basic idea of presence, threats and habitat use of Humpback Dolphin areas along Chennai coast.

  5. Sightings and behavioral observations of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765 along Chennai coast, Bay of Bengal

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    R. Muralidharan

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Boat-based surveys were used to investigate the presence of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis along the coast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Notes were collected on behavior, group size, coloration patterns and group composition on sighting cetaceans during the surveys. Four groups of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins were sighted near-shore in the month of February 2011, between 10-25 m depth with an average group size of 20 individuals of which 10 individuals were photo-identifiable. Dominant group behavior was aerial display, feeding and traveling. This study gives a basic idea of presence, threats and habitat use of Humpback Dolphin areas along Chennai coast.

  6. Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins in Borneo: A Review of Current Knowledge with Emphasis on Sarawak.

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    Minton, Gianna; Zulkifli Poh, Anna Norliza; Peter, Cindy; Porter, Lindsay; Kreb, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) are documented from various locations along Borneo's coast, including three sites in Sarawak, Malaysia, three sites in Sabah, Malaysia, three locations in Kalimantan, Indonesia and the limited coastal waters of the Sultanate of Brunei. Observations in all these areas indicate a similar external morphology, which seems to fall somewhere between that documented for Chinese populations known as S. chinensis, and that of Sousa sahulensis in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Sightings occur in shallow nearshore waters, often near estuaries and river mouths, and associations with Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are frequently documented. Population estimates exist for only two locations and sightings information throughout Borneo indicates that frequency of occurrence is rare and group size is usually small. Threats from fisheries by-catch and coastal development are present in many locations and there are concerns over the ability of these small and fragmented populations to survive. The conservation and taxonomic status of humpback dolphins in Borneo remain unclear, and there are intriguing questions as to where these populations fit in our evolving understanding of the taxonomy of the genus.

  7. In vitro assessment of environmental stress of persistent organic pollutants on the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.

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    Jia, Kuntong; Ding, Liang; Zhang, Lingli; Zhang, Mei; Yi, Meisheng; Wu, Yuping

    2015-12-25

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are detected ubiquitously and are linked to range of adverse health effects. The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin inhabited the Pearl River Estuary (PRE), China, where high concentrations of POPs have been reported. This study evaluated the threats posed by POPs in the environment to the dolphin using an in vitro system. We selected BNF(β-naphthoflavone) and four POPs (DDTs (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes), CHLs(chlorides), HCHs(hexachlorocyclohexanes) and HCB(hexachlorobenzene)) which had been accumulated in the dolphin with high concentrations to treat the cultured skin fibroblast cells (ScSF cells) of the dolphin, and investigated the expression patterns of the ecological stress biomarkers CYP1A1, AHR and HSP70 in the cell line. The results showed that CYP1A1 was up-regulated after being exposed to different concentrations of BNF, DDTs and HCHs. CHLs, HCHs and HCB promoted AHR expression. HSP70 expression was increased by high concentrations of BNF and DDTs. Moreover, comet assay experiments revealed that DDTs produced higher degree of DNA damage to ScSF cells than other POPs, implying that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin in the PRE has been threatened by POPs accumulated in the body, especially by DDTs. Our results provided important information to assess the risk of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin raised by environmental POPs in vivo. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The Behavioural Ecology of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins in Hong Kong.

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    Würsig, Bernd; Parsons, E C M; Piwetz, Sarah; Porter, Lindsay

    2016-01-01

    Fewer than 200 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) occur in Hong Kong waters (though these are part of a much larger population in the Pearl River Estuary), with a decrease in the past about 10 years. They have partially overlapping individual ranges (mean=100km(2)), and two partially overlapping communities. Seasonal occurrence is higher in June-November than December-May, approximate wet and dry monsoon seasons, respectively. Group sizes tend to average three dolphins, a decrease from the past decade. Feeding often occurs in abruptly changing water depths and off rocky natural shores. The area immediately north of Hong Kong International Airport is largely used for travelling between locations to the west, east and further north. The area around Lung Kwu Chau Island in northwest Hong Kong is a "hot spot" for foraging and socializing. The area off Fan Lau, southwest Lantau Island, is largely used for foraging. A former foraging "hot spot" was located around the Brothers Islands east of the airport, now reduced, possibly due to increases in high-speed ferries (HSFs) and other activities. Sound recordings of dolphins from bottom-mounted hydrophones suggest that northwestern Hong Kong waters are used more at night than in daytime. Sexual activity and calving occur throughout the year, with a peak in late spring to autumn (wet monsoon season). Humpback dolphins communicate acoustically with each other and probably passively listen to prey in murky waters, and anthropogenic noises may be masking communication and affecting prey location. Increasing sounds of shipping, HSFs and industrial activities are likely to alter dolphin habitat use patterns and overall behaviours beyond the present already affected status.

  9. Likely Age-Related Hearing Loss (Presbycusis) in a Stranded Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis).

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    Li, Songhai; Wang, Ding; Wang, Kexiong; Hoffmann-Kuhnt, Matthias; Fernando, Nimal; Taylor, Elizabeth A; Lin, Wenzhi; Chen, Jialin; Ng, Timothy

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of a stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in Zhuhai, China, was measured. The age of this animal was estimated to be ~40 years. The animal's hearing was measured using a noninvasive auditory evoked potential (AEP) method. The results showed that the high-frequency hearing cutoff frequency of the studied dolphin was ~30-40 kHz lower than that of a conspecific younger individual ~13 year old. The lower high-frequency hearing range in the older dolphin was explained as a likely result of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis).

  10. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins in North-Western Australia

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    Brown, Alexander M.; Kopps, Anna M.; Allen, Simon J.; Bejder, Lars; Littleford-Colquhoun, Bethan; Parra, Guido J.; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Thiele, Deborah; Palmer, Carol; Frere, Celine H.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins (‘snubfin’ and ‘humpback dolphins’, hereafter) of north-western Australia. While both species are listed as ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN, data deficiencies are impeding rigorous as

  11. Anthropogenic contaminants in Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins from the central and southern Great Barrier Reef.

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    Cagnazzi, Daniele; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Parra, Guido J; Harrison, Peter L; Maltese, Silvia; Coppola, Daniele; Soccodato, Alice; Bent, Michael; Marsili, Letizia

    2013-11-01

    We present the first evidence of accumulation of organochlorine compounds (DDTs, PCBs, HCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins from the central and southern Great Barrier Reef. These dolphins are considered by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority to be high priority species for management. Analyses of biopsy samples, collected from free ranging individuals, showed PAHs levels comparable to those reported from highly industrialized countries. DDTs and HCB were found at low levels, while in some individuals, PCBs were above thresholds over which immunosuppression and reproductive anomalies occur. These results highlight the need for ongoing monitoring of these and other contaminants, and their potential adverse effects on dolphins and other marine fauna. This is particularly important given the current strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area being undertaken by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.

  12. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

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    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-09

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern.

  13. Comparison of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) whistles from two areas of western Peninsular Malaysia.

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    Hoffman, Jordan M; Ponnampalam, Louisa S; Araújo, Claryana C; Wang, John Y; Kuit, Sui Hyang; Hung, Samuel K

    2015-11-01

    Differences in the acoustic variables of whistles emitted by Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from two coastal locations along western Peninsular Malaysia were investigated. Duration, frequency, and frequency modulation variables were extracted from and used to characterize recordings of free-ranging humpback dolphins that were made using a broadband towed hydrophone. A total of 960 whistles from Matang Mangroves and 823 whistles from Langkawi Island were used in analyses. The whistles of Malaysian humpback dolphins covered frequencies from 1231 to 27 120 Hz with durations from 0.010-1.575 s. Significant multivariate differences were found in whistles emitted between locations. Significant differences were also found between dolphins of the two locations in their whistle duration, frequency modulation, and all frequency variables except for minimum frequency, which is likely under morphological constraints. The differences in whistles may be related to adaptations to the local acoustic habitat or unique whistles may have developed due to social interactions within each location, or broader scale differences resulting from geographic separation between the locations.

  14. Prevalence of Epidermal Conditions in Critically Endangered Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis from the Waters of Western Taiwan

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    Wei-Cheng Yang1, Wei-Lung Chang2, Ka-Hei Kwong1, Yi-Ting Yao1 and Lien-Siang Chou2*

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of epidermal conditions in a small critically endangered population (<100 individuals of coastal Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis from the waters of western Taiwan was assessed during a photo-identification study conducted between 2006 and 2010. Of 97 individuals photographically examined, 37% were affected by one or multiple conditions. Besides, mature individuals had significantly higher prevalence than immature ones. Five different skin condition categories were considered, including pox-like lesion, pale lesion, orange film, prolonged ulcer lesion, and nodule on body. This first study to investigate epidermal conditions on S. chinensis in the world offers data for comparison with other studies in the future and new ground for discussion on the health of these animals and the potential impact of anthropogenic activities.

  15. Spatiotemporal Trends of Heavy Metals in Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from the Western Pearl River Estuary, China.

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    Gui, Duan; Yu, Ri-Qing; Karczmarski, Leszek; Ding, Yulong; Zhang, Haifei; Sun, Yong; Zhang, Mei; Wu, Yuping

    2017-02-07

    We assessed the spatiotemporal trends of the concentrations of 11 heavy metals (HMs) in the liver and kidney of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from western Pearl River Estuary (PRE) during 2004-2015. The hepatic levels of Cr, As, and Cu in these dolphins were among the highest reported for cetaceans globally, and the levels of Zn, Cu, and Hg were sufficiently high to cause toxicological effects in some of the animals. Between same age-sex groups, dolphins from Lingdingyang were significantly more contaminated with Hg, Se, and V than those from the West-four region, while the opposite was true for Cd. Generalized additive mixed models showed that most metals had significant but dissimilar temporal trends over a 10-year period. The concentrations of Cu and Zn increased significantly in recent years, corresponding to the high input of these metals in the region. Body-length-adjusted Cd levels peaked in 2012, accompanied by the highest annual number of dolphin stranding events. In contrast to the significant decrease in HM levels in the dolphins in Hong Kong waters (the eastern reaches of the PRE), the elevated metal exposure in the western PRE raises serious concerns.

  16. Conservation Status of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Northern Beibu Gulf, China.

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    Chen, Bingyao; Xu, Xinrong; Jefferson, Thomas A; Olson, Paula A; Qin, Qiurong; Zhang, Hongke; He, Liwen; Yang, Guang

    2016-01-01

    There has been very little previous research on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the Beibu Gulf of southern China. Here, we report on the population size, habitat and ecology, threats, and overall conservation status of this putative population. 'Population size' was estimated based on photo-identification mark/recapture analysis. It was estimated to number a total of 398-444 individuals (95% CI: 393-506), with two apparently distinct groups in the Dafengjiang-Nanliujiang Estuary and at Shatian-Caotan. Movements of dolphins in the Beibu Gulf appear to be limited, with high site fidelity. These dolphins were found to occur mainly in shallow coastal waters near estuaries. The main threats are fisheries interactions (including by-catch), vessel traffic, mariculture operations, dolphin-watching tourism, and habitat degradation (including marine construction activities and large-scale land reclamation). Although the conservation status of this putative population has been considered to be better than that of other populations of the species in more northern areas of China, there is still reason for strong concern about its future, and several management recommendations are made.

  17. Mercury and selenium in stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and implications for their trophic transfer in food chains.

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    Duan Gui

    Full Text Available As top predators in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE of China, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis are bioindicators for examining regional trends of environmental contaminants in the PRE. We examined samples from stranded S. chinensis in the PRE, collected since 2004, to study the distribution and fate of total mercury (THg, methylmercury (MeHg and selenium (Se in the major tissues, in individuals at different ages and their prey fishes from the PRE. This study also investigated the potential protective effects of Se against the toxicities of accumulated THg. Dolphin livers contained the highest concentrations of THg (32.34±58.98 µg g(-1 dw and Se (15.16±3.66 µg g(-1 dw, which were significantly different from those found in kidneys and muscles, whereas the highest residue of MeHg (1.02±1.11 µg g(-1 dw was found in dolphin muscles. Concentrations of both THg and MeHg in the liver, kidney and muscle of dolphins showed a significantly positive correlation with age. The biomagnification factors (BMFs of inorganic mercury (Hginorg in dolphin livers (350× and MeHg in muscles (18.7× through the prey fishes were the highest among all three dolphin tissues, whereas the BMFs of Se were much lower in all dolphin tissues. The lower proportion of MeHg in THg and higher Se/THg ratios in tissues were demonstrated. Our studies suggested that S. chinensis might have the potential to detoxify Hg via the demethylation of MeHg and the formation of tiemannite (HgSe in the liver and kidney. The lower threshold of hepatic THg concentrations for the equimolar accumulation of Se and Hg in S. chinensis suggests that this species has a greater sensitivity to THg concentrations than is found in striped dolphins and Dall's porpoises.

  18. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins in north-western Australia.

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    Brown, Alexander M; Kopps, Anna M; Allen, Simon J; Bejder, Lars; Littleford-Colquhoun, Bethan; Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Thiele, Deborah; Palmer, Carol; Frère, Celine H

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins ('snubfin' and 'humpback dolphins', hereafter) of north-western Australia. While both species are listed as 'near threatened' by the IUCN, data deficiencies are impeding rigorous assessment of their conservation status across Australia. Understanding the genetic structure of populations, including levels of gene flow among populations, is important for the assessment of conservation status and the effective management of a species. Using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, we assessed population genetic diversity and differentiation between snubfin dolphins from Cygnet (n = 32) and Roebuck Bays (n = 25), and humpback dolphins from the Dampier Archipelago (n = 19) and the North West Cape (n = 18). All sampling locations were separated by geographic distances >200 km. For each species, we found significant genetic differentiation between sampling locations based on 12 (for snubfin dolphins) and 13 (for humpback dolphins) microsatellite loci (FST = 0.05-0.09; Pdolphins in Western Australia, providing valuable information towards the assessment of their conservation status in this rapidly developing region. Our results suggest that north-western Australian snubfin and humpback dolphins may exist as metapopulations of small, largely isolated population fragments, and should be managed accordingly. Management plans should seek to maintain effective population size and gene flow. Additionally, while interactions of a socio-sexual nature between these two species have been observed previously, here we provide strong evidence for the first documented case of hybridisation between a female snubfin dolphin and a male humpback dolphin.

  19. De novo assembly of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin leucocyte transcriptome to identify putative genes involved in the aquatic adaptation and immune response.

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    Duan Gui

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis, a marine mammal species inhabited in the waters of Southeast Asia, South Africa and Australia, has attracted much attention because of the dramatic decline in population size in the past decades, which raises the concern of extinction. So far, this species is poorly characterized at molecular level due to little sequence information available in public databases. Recent advances in large-scale RNA sequencing provide an efficient approach to generate abundant sequences for functional genomic analyses in the species with un-sequenced genomes. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a de novo assembly of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin leucocyte transcriptome by Illumina sequencing. 108,751 high quality sequences from 47,840,388 paired-end reads were generated, and 48,868 and 46,587 unigenes were functionally annotated by BLAST search against the NCBI non-redundant and Swiss-Prot protein databases (E-value<10(-5, respectively. In total, 16,467 unigenes were clustered into 25 functional categories by searching against the COG database, and BLAST2GO search assigned 37,976 unigenes to 61 GO terms. In addition, 36,345 unigenes were grouped into 258 KEGG pathways. We also identified 9,906 simple sequence repeats and 3,681 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms as potential molecular markers in our assembled sequences. A large number of unigenes were predicted to be involved in immune response, and many genes were predicted to be relevant to adaptive evolution and cetacean-specific traits. CONCLUSION: This study represented the first transcriptome analysis of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, an endangered species. The de novo transcriptome analysis of the unique transcripts will provide valuable sequence information for discovery of new genes, characterization of gene expression, investigation of various pathways and adaptive evolution, as well as identification of genetic markers.

  20. Re-assessment of the Conservation Status of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis) Using the IUCN Red List Criteria.

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    Jefferson, Thomas A; Smith, Brian D

    2016-01-01

    The IUCN Red List designation of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is re-assessed in light of its newly recognized taxonomic status (it has recently been separated into three species) and findings that humpback dolphins along the coast of Bangladesh, and possibly eastern India, are phylogenetically distinct from other members of the Sousa genus. Sousa chinensis is found in Southeast/South Asia (in both the Indian and Pacific oceans), from at least the southeastern Bay of Bengal east to central China, and then south to the Indo-Malay Archipelago. There are no global population estimates, and the sum of available abundance estimates add up to about 5700 individuals, although only a portion of the range has been covered by surveys. This species occurs in shallow (dolphins, occurs mostly in small groups, and generally has individual movements of about 50-200km(2). Major threats throughout the range include entanglement in fishing nets (primarily gillnets) and habitat destruction/degradation, although in some more industrialized areas, vessel traffic, and environmental contamination from organochlorines are also serious issues. Conservation management is largely lacking in most parts of the species' range, although there has been significant (though still inadequate) attention in some parts of China (e.g. Hong Kong and adjacent areas, and Taiwan). Much greater efforts are needed toward conservation of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins to stop apparent declines, and to lower the species' extinction risk. Sousa chinensis meets the IUCN Red List requirements for Vulnerable (under criteria A4cd), with fisheries bycatch and habitat loss/degradation being the main pervasive threats.

  1. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis dolphins in north-western Australia.

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    Alexander M Brown

    Full Text Available Little is known about the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis dolphins ('snubfin' and 'humpback dolphins', hereafter of north-western Australia. While both species are listed as 'near threatened' by the IUCN, data deficiencies are impeding rigorous assessment of their conservation status across Australia. Understanding the genetic structure of populations, including levels of gene flow among populations, is important for the assessment of conservation status and the effective management of a species. Using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, we assessed population genetic diversity and differentiation between snubfin dolphins from Cygnet (n = 32 and Roebuck Bays (n = 25, and humpback dolphins from the Dampier Archipelago (n = 19 and the North West Cape (n = 18. All sampling locations were separated by geographic distances >200 km. For each species, we found significant genetic differentiation between sampling locations based on 12 (for snubfin dolphins and 13 (for humpback dolphins microsatellite loci (FST = 0.05-0.09; P<0.001 and a 422 bp sequence of the mitochondrial control region (FST = 0.50-0.70; P<0.001. The estimated proportion of migrants in a population ranged from 0.01 (95% CI 0.00-0.06 to 0.13 (0.03-0.24. These are the first estimates of genetic diversity and differentiation for snubfin and humpback dolphins in Western Australia, providing valuable information towards the assessment of their conservation status in this rapidly developing region. Our results suggest that north-western Australian snubfin and humpback dolphins may exist as metapopulations of small, largely isolated population fragments, and should be managed accordingly. Management plans should seek to maintain effective population size and gene flow. Additionally, while interactions of a socio-sexual nature between these two species have been observed previously, here we provide strong evidence for

  2. High-Speed Vessel Noises in West Hong Kong Waters and Their Contributions Relative to Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis

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    Paul Q. Sims

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The waters of West Hong Kong are home to a population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis that use a variety of sounds to communicate. This area is also dominated by intense vessel traffic that is believed to be behaviorally and acoustically disruptive to dolphins. While behavioral changes have been documented, acoustic disturbance has yet to be shown. We compared the relative sound contributions of various high-speed vessels to nearby ambient noise and dolphin social sounds. Ambient noise levels were also compared between areas of high and low traffic. We found large differences in sound pressure levels between high traffic and no traffic areas, suggesting that vessels are the main contributors to these discrepancies. Vessel sounds were well within the audible range of dolphins, with sounds from 315–45,000 Hz. Additionally, vessel sounds at distances ≥100 m exceeded those of dolphin sounds at closer distances. Our results reaffirm earlier studies that vessels have large sound contributions to dolphin habitats, and we suspect that they may be inducing masking effects of dolphin sounds at close distances. Further research on dolphin behavior and acoustics in relation to vessels is needed to clarify impacts.

  3. A preliminary risk assessment of organochlorines accumulated in fish to the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Northwestern waters of Hong Kong

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    Hung, C.L.H. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Xu, Y. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Lam, J.C.W. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Connell, D.W. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); School of Public Health, Griffith University, Logan Campus, University Drive, Meadowbrook, QLD 4131 (Australia); Lam, M.H.W. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Nicholson, S. [Meinhardt Mouchel Limited, 12/F, MLC Tower, 248 Queen' s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong (China); Richardson, B.J. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Lam, P.K.S. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China)]. E-mail: bhpksl@cityu.edu.hk

    2006-11-15

    The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is considered threatened due to several factors including pollution in Hong Kong and the risks due to consumption of fish tainted with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides were assessed. Six species of fish Collichthys lucida, Pseudosciaena crocea, Johnius sp., Thryssa sp., Mugil sp. and Trichiurus sp., which comprise the main prey species of humpback dolphins were collected for analyses. Risks due to total PCBs, total TEQs, PCB 118 and the pesticides were assessed with the use of toxicity reference values as the threshold reference benchmarks. The calculated risk quotients (RQs) showed that the risks associated with organochlorines were generally low. The highest RQ was associated with total TEQs suggesting that dioxin-like PCBs may pose the highest risk to the dolphins. The HCHs, total PCBs and heptachlor had comparatively high RQs and thus they should also be the priority organochlorines that would require further investigation. - Fish tainted with dioxin-like PCBs might pose a risk to Hong Kong dolphins.

  4. Possible age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) and corresponding change in echolocation parameters in a stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Songhai; Wang, Ding; Wang, Kexiong; Hoffmann-Kuhnt, Matthias; Fernando, Nimal; Taylor, Elizabeth A; Lin, Wenzhi; Chen, Jialin; Ng, Timothy

    2013-11-15

    The hearing and echolocation clicks of a stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in Zhuhai, China, were studied. This animal had been repeatedly observed in the wild before it was stranded and its age was estimated to be ~40 years. The animal's hearing was measured using a non-invasive auditory evoked potential (AEP) method. Echolocation clicks produced by the dolphin were recorded when the animal was freely swimming in a 7.5 m (width)×22 m (length)×4.8 m (structural depth) pool with a water depth of ~2.5 m. The hearing and echolocation clicks of the studied dolphin were compared with those of a conspecific younger individual, ~13 years of age. The results suggested that the cut-off frequency of the high-frequency hearing of the studied dolphin was ~30-40 kHz lower than that of the younger individual. The peak and centre frequencies of the clicks produced by the older dolphin were ~16 kHz lower than those of the clicks produced by the younger animal. Considering that the older dolphin was ~40 years old, its lower high-frequency hearing range with lower click peak and centre frequencies could probably be explained by age-related hearing loss (presbycusis).

  5. Low Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Variation in the Endangered Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis): Inferences About the Role of Balancing Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiyang; Lin, Wenzhi; Zhou, Ruilian; Gui, Duan; Yu, Xinjian; Wu, Yuping

    2016-03-01

    It has been widely reported that the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is under balancing selection due to its immune function across terrestrial and aquatic mammals. The comprehensive studies at MHC and other neutral loci could give us a synthetic evaluation about the major force determining genetic diversity of species. Previously, a low level of genetic diversity has been reported among the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) using both mitochondrial marker and microsatellite loci. Here, the expression and sequence polymorphism of 2 MHC class II genes (DQB and DRB) in 32 S. chinensis from PRE collected between 2003 and 2011 were investigated. High ratios of non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rates, codon-based selection analysis, and trans-species polymorphism (TSP) support the hypothesis that balancing selection acted on S. chinensis MHC sequences. However, only 2 haplotypes were detected at either DQB or DRB loci. Moreover, the lack of deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg expectation at DRB locus combined with the relatively low heterozygosity at both DQB locus and microsatellite loci suggested that balancing selection might not be sufficient, which further suggested that genetic drift associated with historical bottlenecks was not mitigated by balancing selection in terms of the loss of MHC and neutral variation in S. chinensis. The combined results highlighted the importance of maintaining the genetic diversity of the endangered S. chinensis.

  6. Threshold of long-term survival of a coastal delphinid in anthropogenically degraded environment: Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Pearl River Delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karczmarski, Leszek; Huang, Shiang-Lin; Chan, Stephen C.Y.

    2017-01-01

    Defining demographic and ecological threshold of population persistence can assist in informing conservation management. We undertook such analyses for the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, southeast China. We use adult survival estimates for assessments of population status and annual rate of change. Our estimates indicate that, given a stationary population structure and minimal risk scenario, ~2000 individuals (minimum viable population in carrying capacity, MVPk) can maintain the population persistence across 40 generations. However, under the current population trend (~2.5% decline/annum), the population is fast approaching its viability threshold and may soon face effects of demographic stochasticity. The population demographic trajectory and the minimum area of critical habitat (MACH) that could prevent stochastic extinction are both highly sensitive to fluctuations in adult survival. For a hypothetical stationary population, MACH should approximate 3000-km2. However, this estimate increases four-fold with a 5% increase of adult mortality and exceeds the size of PRD when calculated for the current population status. On the other hand, cumulatively all current MPAs within PRD fail to secure the minimum habitat requirement to accommodate sufficiently viable population size. Our findings indicate that the PRD population is deemed to become extinct unless effective conservation measures can rapidly reverse the current population trend. PMID:28230056

  7. Assessing the underwater acoustics of the world's largest vibration hammer (OCTA-KONG and its potential effects on the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhitao Wang

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic noise in aquatic environments is a worldwide concern due to its potential adverse effects on the environment and aquatic life. The Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is currently under construction in the Pearl River Estuary, a hot spot for the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis in China. The OCTA-KONG, the world's largest vibration hammer, is being used during this construction project to drive or extract steel shell piles 22 m in diameter. This activity poses a substantial threat to marine mammals, and an environmental assessment is critically needed. The underwater acoustic properties of the OCTA-KONG were analyzed, and the potential impacts of the underwater acoustic energy on Sousa, including auditory masking and physiological impacts, were assessed. The fundamental frequency of the OCTA-KONG vibration ranged from 15 Hz to 16 Hz, and the noise increments were below 20 kHz, with a dominant frequency and energy below 10 kHz. The resulting sounds are most likely detectable by Sousa over distances of up to 3.5 km from the source. Although Sousa clicks do not appear to be adversely affected, Sousa whistles are susceptible to auditory masking, which may negatively impact this species' social life. Therefore, a safety zone with a radius of 500 m is proposed. Although the zero-to-peak source level (SL of the OCTA-KONG was lower than the physiological damage level, the maximum root-mean-square SL exceeded the cetacean safety exposure level on several occasions. Moreover, the majority of the unweighted cumulative source sound exposure levels (SSELs and the cetacean auditory weighted cumulative SSELs exceeded the acoustic threshold levels for the onset of temporary threshold shift, a type of potentially recoverable auditory damage resulting from prolonged sound exposure. These findings may aid in the identification and design of appropriate mitigation methods, such as the use of air bubble curtains, "soft start" and "power down

  8. Assessing the underwater acoustics of the world's largest vibration hammer (OCTA-KONG) and its potential effects on the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhitao; Wu, Yuping; Duan, Guoqin; Cao, Hanjiang; Liu, Jianchang; Wang, Kexiong; Wang, Ding

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic noise in aquatic environments is a worldwide concern due to its potential adverse effects on the environment and aquatic life. The Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is currently under construction in the Pearl River Estuary, a hot spot for the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in China. The OCTA-KONG, the world's largest vibration hammer, is being used during this construction project to drive or extract steel shell piles 22 m in diameter. This activity poses a substantial threat to marine mammals, and an environmental assessment is critically needed. The underwater acoustic properties of the OCTA-KONG were analyzed, and the potential impacts of the underwater acoustic energy on Sousa, including auditory masking and physiological impacts, were assessed. The fundamental frequency of the OCTA-KONG vibration ranged from 15 Hz to 16 Hz, and the noise increments were below 20 kHz, with a dominant frequency and energy below 10 kHz. The resulting sounds are most likely detectable by Sousa over distances of up to 3.5 km from the source. Although Sousa clicks do not appear to be adversely affected, Sousa whistles are susceptible to auditory masking, which may negatively impact this species' social life. Therefore, a safety zone with a radius of 500 m is proposed. Although the zero-to-peak source level (SL) of the OCTA-KONG was lower than the physiological damage level, the maximum root-mean-square SL exceeded the cetacean safety exposure level on several occasions. Moreover, the majority of the unweighted cumulative source sound exposure levels (SSELs) and the cetacean auditory weighted cumulative SSELs exceeded the acoustic threshold levels for the onset of temporary threshold shift, a type of potentially recoverable auditory damage resulting from prolonged sound exposure. These findings may aid in the identification and design of appropriate mitigation methods, such as the use of air bubble curtains, "soft start" and "power down" techniques.

  9. Total fluorine, extractable organic fluorine, perfluorooctane sulfonate and other related fluorochemicals in liver of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) from South China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yeung, L.W.Y. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong (China); National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Onogawa 16-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569 (Japan); Miyake, Y. [National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Onogawa 16-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569 (Japan); Wang, Y. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong (China); National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Onogawa 16-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569 (Japan); Taniyasu, S. [National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Onogawa 16-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569 (Japan); Yamashita, N. [National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Onogawa 16-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569 (Japan)], E-mail: nob.yamashita@aist.go.jp; Lam, P.K.S. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong (China)], E-mail: bhpksl@cityu.edu.hk

    2009-01-15

    The concentrations of 10 PFCs (perfluorinated compounds: PFOS, PFHxS, PFOSA, N-EtFOSA, PFDoDA, PFUnDA, PFDA, PFNA, PFOA, and PFHpA) were measured in liver samples of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) (n = 10) and finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) (n = 10) stranded in Hong Kong between 2003 and 2007. PFOS was the dominant PFC in the tissues at concentrations ranging at 26-693 ng/g ww in dolphins and 51.3-262 ng/g ww in porpoises. A newly developed combustion ion chromatography for fluorine was applied to measure total fluorine (TF) and extractable organic fluorine (EOF) in these liver samples to understand PFC contamination using the concept of mass balance analysis. Comparisons between the amounts of known PFCs and EOF in the livers showed that a large proportion ({approx}70%) of the organic fluorine in both species is of unknown origin. These investigations are critical for a comprehensive assessment of the risks of these compounds to humans and other receptors. - Comparison between the amounts of known PFCs and EOF in the livers of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin and finless porpoise in South China showed that a large proportion ({approx}70%) of the organofluorine is of unknown origin.

  10. A systematic health assessment of indian ocean bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus and indo-pacific humpback (Sousa plumbea dolphins incidentally caught in shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal Coast, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily P Lane

    Full Text Available Coastal dolphins are regarded as indicators of changes in coastal marine ecosystem health that could impact humans utilizing the marine environment for food or recreation. Necropsy and histology examinations were performed on 35 Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus and five Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea incidentally caught in shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa, between 2010 and 2012. Parasitic lesions included pneumonia (85%, abdominal and thoracic serositis (75%, gastroenteritis (70%, hepatitis (62%, and endometritis (42%. Parasitic species identified were Halocercus sp. (lung, Crassicauda sp. (skeletal muscle and Xenobalanus globicipitis (skin. Additional findings included bronchiolar epithelial mineralisation (83%, splenic filamentous tags (45%, non-suppurative meningoencephalitis (39%, and myocardial fibrosis (26%. No immunohistochemically positive reaction was present in lesions suggestive of dolphin morbillivirus, Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella spp. The first confirmed cases of lobomycosis and sarcocystosis in South African dolphins were documented. Most lesions were mild, and all animals were considered to be in good nutritional condition, based on blubber thickness and muscle mass. Apparent temporal changes in parasitic disease prevalence may indicate a change in the host/parasite interface. This study provided valuable baseline information on conditions affecting coastal dolphin populations in South Africa and, to our knowledge, constitutes the first reported systematic health assessment in incidentally caught dolphins in the Southern Hemisphere. Further research on temporal disease trends as well as disease pathophysiology and anthropogenic factors affecting these populations is needed.

  11. Passive Acoustic Monitoring the Diel, Lunar, Seasonal and Tidal Patterns in the Biosonar Activity of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis in the Pearl River Estuary, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Tao Wang

    Full Text Available A growing demand for sustainable energy has led to an increase in construction of offshore windfarms. Guishan windmill farm will be constructed in the Pearl River Estuary, China, which sustains the world's largest known population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis. Dolphin conservation is an urgent issue in this region. By using passive acoustic monitoring, a baseline distribution of data on this species in the Pearl River Estuary during pre-construction period had been collected. Dolphin biosonar detection and its diel, lunar, seasonal and tidal patterns were examined using a Generalized Linear Model. Significant higher echolocation detections at night than during the day, in winter-spring than in summer-autumn, at high tide than at flood tide were recognized. Significant higher echolocation detections during the new moon were recognized at night time. The diel, lunar and seasonal patterns for the echolocation encounter duration also significantly varied. These patterns could be due to the spatial-temporal variability of dolphin prey and illumination conditions. The baseline information will be useful for driving further effective action on the conservation of this species and in facilitating later assessments of the effects of the offshore windfarm on the dolphins by comparing the baseline to post construction and post mitigation efforts.

  12. Passive Acoustic Monitoring the Diel, Lunar, Seasonal and Tidal Patterns in the Biosonar Activity of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the Pearl River Estuary, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhi-Tao; Nachtigall, Paul E; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Wang, Ke-Xiong; Wu, Yu-Ping; Liu, Jian-Chang; Duan, Guo-Qin; Cao, Han-Jiang; Wang, Ding

    2015-01-01

    A growing demand for sustainable energy has led to an increase in construction of offshore windfarms. Guishan windmill farm will be constructed in the Pearl River Estuary, China, which sustains the world's largest known population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis). Dolphin conservation is an urgent issue in this region. By using passive acoustic monitoring, a baseline distribution of data on this species in the Pearl River Estuary during pre-construction period had been collected. Dolphin biosonar detection and its diel, lunar, seasonal and tidal patterns were examined using a Generalized Linear Model. Significant higher echolocation detections at night than during the day, in winter-spring than in summer-autumn, at high tide than at flood tide were recognized. Significant higher echolocation detections during the new moon were recognized at night time. The diel, lunar and seasonal patterns for the echolocation encounter duration also significantly varied. These patterns could be due to the spatial-temporal variability of dolphin prey and illumination conditions. The baseline information will be useful for driving further effective action on the conservation of this species and in facilitating later assessments of the effects of the offshore windfarm on the dolphins by comparing the baseline to post construction and post mitigation efforts.

  13. Determination of Trace Elements in the Melon of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis)with ICP-MS%微波消解ICP-MS法测定中华白海豚额隆中微量元素及其含量特征分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张灵莉; 丁玉龙; 张美; 桂端; 宁曦; 李俊; 吴玉萍

    2016-01-01

    The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousachinensis)with long life-span are top predators in marine ecosystem-and they could accumulate heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in their tissues,while the melon is a unique lipid-rich struc-ture within the cetacean forehead that functions in the transmission of echolocation signals.To explore the baseline levels and the main characteristics of the components,the concentrations of vanadium (V),nickel (Ni),chromium (Cr),manganese (Mn), copper (Cu),arsenic (As),zinc (Zn),mercury (Hg),selenium (Se),cadmium (Cd)and lead (Pb)were determined in the melon of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).The results showed that this method was quite suitable for the determination of trace elements in the melon of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins with highly accuracy and precision,and the trace elements in melon existed individual differences.The average contents were in the order of Zn>As>Cu>Mn>Se>Hg>Cr>Ni>V>Pb>Cd.It is worth noting that the within (1.158μg·g-1 ww),non-es-sential toxic trace element may cause toxic effect on the dolphins.Spearman correlation analysis showed positively significant cor-relations between As,Cd,Hg and body length,indicating that the concentrations of As,Cd,Hg may increase with age.Moreo-ver,Cr and Ni were positively correlated (pAs>Cu>Mn>Se>Hg>Cr>Ni>Pb>V>Cd,其中As作为非必需有毒微量元素,含量水平较高(1.158μg·g-1 ww),可能会对海豚产生生理毒害作用。Spearman相关性分析显示,As(r=0.733),Cd(r=0.615)和 Hg(r=0.645)含量与海豚体长呈显著正相关性(p<0.05),表明As, Cd和Hg三种元素可随海豚年龄增加而在额隆中富集;Cs与Ni呈正相关(p<0.05),Mn与As呈负相关(p<0.01),表明元素间也存在着一定的关联性。此外,主成分分析结果表明,V,Mn,Ni,Se,Cu和 Hg为中华白海豚额隆主要特征微量元素。研究在国内首次使用微波消解 ICP-MS 法对中华白海

  14. Cetacean morbillivirus in coastal Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Nahiid; Duignan, Pádraig J; Wang, Jianning; Bingham, John; Finn, Hugh; Bejder, Lars; Patterson, Anthony P; Holyoake, Carly

    2014-04-01

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) has caused several epizootics in multiple species of cetaceans globally and is an emerging disease among cetaceans in Australia. We detected CeMV in 2 stranded coastal Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Western Australia. Preliminary phylogenetic data suggest that this virus variant is divergent from known strains.

  15. Spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morisaka, Tadamichi; Sakai, Mai; Kogi, Kazunobu; Nakasuji, Akane; Sakakibara, Kasumi; Kasanuki, Yuria; Yoshioka, Motoi

    2013-01-01

    Spontaneous ejaculation, which is defined as the release of seminal fluids without apparent sexual stimulation, has been documented in boreoeutherian mammals. Here we report spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), and present a video of this rare behavior. This is the first report of spontaneous ejaculation by an aquatic mammal, and the first video of this behavior in animals to be published in a scientific journal.

  16. Spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadamichi Morisaka

    Full Text Available Spontaneous ejaculation, which is defined as the release of seminal fluids without apparent sexual stimulation, has been documented in boreoeutherian mammals. Here we report spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus, and present a video of this rare behavior. This is the first report of spontaneous ejaculation by an aquatic mammal, and the first video of this behavior in animals to be published in a scientific journal.

  17. Humpback Dolphins: A Brief Introduction to the Genus Sousa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Thomas A; Curry, Barbara E

    2015-01-01

    The delphinid genus Sousa has recently undergone a major revision, and currently contains four species, the Atlantic humpback (Sousa teuszii), Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea), Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis), and Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis) dolphins. Recent molecular evidence suggests that humpback dolphins in the Bay of Bengal may comprise a fifth species. These moderate-sized dolphin species are found in shallow (dolphins feed mostly on small fishes, and sometimes shrimps; occur for the most part in small groups (mostly 12 or less); have limited nearshore movements; and in most parts of their range exhibit a fission/fusion type of social organization. Major threats that affect all the species are entanglement in fishing gear, and habitat degradation/destruction from various forms of coastal development. Impacts from vessel traffic (including behavioural disturbance and displacement, as well as mortality and morbidity from collisions with vessels) appear to be significant in most areas. Several other threats are apparently significant only in particular parts of the range of some species (e.g. high levels of organochlorine contaminants affecting Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Hong Kong). Direct hunting only occurs in limited areas and primarily on a small scale. Conservation actions so far have been limited, with most populations receiving little study and almost no management attention. Much more work is needed on humpback dolphin population status, threats, and how the major threats can be reduced or eliminated. Extinction risks for the four species and some populations are preliminarily re-assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria in the current volume. The results suggest that all four species in the genus are threatened at some level (suggested Red List status ranges from Vulnerable for S. chinensis and S. sahulensis to Critically Endangered for S. teuszii).

  18. Spatial and social sexual segregation patterns in indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Ann Fury

    Full Text Available Sexual segregation seems to be common in bottlenose dolphins, whereby males and females live in different pods that mix mainly for mating. Male dolphins often use aggressive behaviour to mate with females, while females with calves may have different activity and dietary requirements to males and different susceptibility to predation. We investigated the degree of spatial and social sexual segregation in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus in a subtropical estuary in Australia. Based on surveys completed over three years, dolphin groups were mostly mixed-sex or female. Mixed-sex groups were found in larger groups in mostly deeper water, whereas, female groups were foraging across all water depths in smaller groups. Aggressive coercive behaviour by males towards females was high, occurring mainly in deeper water, at higher tides, and outside the breeding season. Habitat use by female dolphin groups suggests that shallow tributaries may provide a sanctuary from aggressive males, access to suitable prey items and density for mothers and their calves, or a combination of these factors.

  19. Organohalogen compounds in blubber of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) and spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) from Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mwevura, Haji, E-mail: mwevura@yahoo.co [Department of Chemistry, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, United Republic of); Amir, Omar A., E-mail: omar.amir@zoologi.su.s [Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, P O Box 668, Zanzibar (Tanzania, United Republic of); Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Kishimba, Michael, E-mail: kishimba@chem.udsm.ac.t [Department of Chemistry, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, United Republic of); Berggren, Per, E-mail: per.berggren@zoologi.su.s [Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU (United Kingdom); Kylin, Henrik, E-mail: henrik.kylin@vatten.slu.s [Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P O Box 7050, SE-750 07 Uppsala (Sweden); Norwegian Institute of Air Research, Polar Environmental Centre, NO-9296 Tromso (Norway)

    2010-06-15

    Blubber samples of Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and spinner (Stenella longirostris) dolphins from Zanzibar, East Africa, were analyzed for a wide range of organohalogen compounds. Methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-BDEs), presumably biogenic, were found at higher concentrations than anthropogenic organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Only traces of industrial pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, were detected. The OCP levels found off Zanzibar were lower than those reported from other regions while MeO-BDE levels were higher. The relative composition of the OCPs indicated recent use of lindane (gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane) and aged residues of DDT and technical HCH. Placental transfer was estimated to 2.5% and 0.5% of the total burden of OCPs and MeO-BDEs, respectively. Overall transfer from mother to calf in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins was estimated to 72% and 85% for the OCPs and MeO-BDEs burdens, respectively. Health effects of MeO-BDEs are not known, but structural similarities with well-known environmental toxins are cause for concern. - Biogenic brominated organic compounds were found at higher concentrations than anthropogenic organochlorine pesticides in dolphins off Zanzibar.

  20. A wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin adopts a socially and genetically distant neonate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Mai; Kita, Yuki F; Kogi, Kazunobu; Shinohara, Masanori; Morisaka, Tadamichi; Shiina, Takashi; Inoue-Murayama, Miho

    2016-04-06

    Alloparental behaviour and adoption have been reported in many mammals and birds. Such behaviours are energetically costly, and their causes and functions remain unclear. We observed the adoption behaviour of a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) near Mikura Island, Japan. A calf was seen with its mother on six observation days. Following the mother's death, the calf was observed with a sub-adult female on all 18 observation days from May to September 2012. On three days, the calf was observed swimming with this female in the suckling position and milk was seen leaking from the female's mammary slit. A five-year dataset revealed no significant social or kin relationships between the biological mother and allomother, indicating that kinship and social relationships did not play an important role in the observed adoption.

  1. Fine-scale analysis of synchronous breathing in wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Mai; Morisaka, Tadamichi; Kogi, Kazunobu; Hishii, Toru; Kohshima, Shiro

    2010-01-01

    We quantitatively analysed synchronous breathing for dyads in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins at Mikura Island, Tokyo, Japan. For most cases, we observed dyads swimming in the same direction (97%), in close proximity (i.e., less than 1.5m) and with their body axes parallel as they breathed synchronously. Moreover, the pairs engaged in identical behaviour before and after the synchronous breathing episodes. These results suggest that the dolphins synchronize their movements, and that synchronous breathing is a component of "pair-swimming", an affiliative social behaviour. Same sex pairs of the same age class frequently engaged in synchronous breathing for adults and subadults, as well as mother-calf and escort-calf pairs. The distance between individuals during synchronous breathing for mother-calf pairs was less than for other pairs. The distance observed between individuals for female pairs was less than for male pairs. The time differences between each exhale for each of the two dolphins involved in synchronous breathing episodes for female pairs were smaller than for male pairs, and time differences for adult pairs were smaller than subadult pairs. These results suggest that age and sex class influenced the characteristics of this behaviour.

  2. A case of stranded Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) with lobomycosis-like skin lesions in Kinko-wan, Kagoshima, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajima, Yuko; Sasaki, Kyoko; Kashiwagi, Nobuyuki; Yamada, Tadasu K

    2015-08-01

    Lobomycosis is a chronic fungal disease caused by the etiologic agent, Lacazia loboi, in the skin and subcutaneous tissues in humans and dolphins in tropical and transitional tropical climates. An Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) stranded in Kagoshima, Japan, had severe skin lesions characterized by granulomatous reactions and hyperkeratosis that were similar to those of the lobomycosis, but no fungal organism was observed in the skin lesion. In this paper, we report a stranded Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin with lobomycosis-like lesions based on pathological examinations in Japan.

  3. Cultural transmission of tool use by Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) provides access to a novel foraging niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krützen, Michael; Kreicker, Sina; MacLeod, Colin D; Learmonth, Jennifer; Kopps, Anna M; Walsham, Pamela; Allen, Simon J

    2014-06-01

    Culturally transmitted tool use has important ecological and evolutionary consequences and has been proposed as a significant driver of human evolution. Such evidence is still scarce in other animals. In cetaceans, tool use has been inferred using indirect evidence in one population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.), where particular dolphins ('spongers') use marine sponges during foraging. To date, evidence of whether this foraging tactic actually provides access to novel food items is lacking. We used fatty acid (FA) signature analysis to identify dietary differences between spongers and non-spongers, analysing data from 11 spongers and 27 non-spongers from two different study sites. Both univariate and multivariate analyses revealed significant differences in FA profiles between spongers and non-spongers between and within study sites. Moreover, FA profiles differed significantly between spongers and non-spongers foraging within the same deep channel habitat, whereas the profiles of non-spongers from deep channel and shallow habitats at this site could not be distinguished. Our results indicate that sponge use by bottlenose dolphins is linked to significant differences in diet. It appears that cultural transmission of tool use in dolphins, as in humans, allows the exploitation of an otherwise unused niche.

  4. How does Australia's largest dolphin-watching industry affect the behaviour of a small and resident population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckenreuter, Andre; Möller, Luciana; Harcourt, Robert

    2012-04-30

    The small, genetically distinct population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Port Stephens, New South Wales (NSW), is the target of the largest dolphin-watching industry in Australia and is located within the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park that was created in 2005. The effects of this industry have been identified as of significant management importance by the Marine Parks Authority NSW. Accordingly, the impact of commercial dolphin-watching boats was investigated from boat-based surveys from August 2008 to August 2009. Presence of dolphin-watching boats altered both the dolphins' behavioural states and activity budgets. Dolphins spent 66.5% less time feeding and 44.2% less time socialising, spent four times more milling, and were never observed to rest in the presence of dolphin-watching boats. Moreover, dolphin groups were more cohesive during dolphin-watching boat encounters and dolphins tended to avoid tour boats. These effects were exacerbated as the number of boats increased and the distance from boats decreased. The rate of approach was high with boats approaching each dolphin group three times per day in winter and six times in summer. Moreover, groups of dolphins with newborns were approached closer than state regulated minimum approach distances in nine out of ten encounters. Globally, dolphin-watching industries frequent small resident groups of coastal dolphins and effects are likely to be similar. We suggest that existing controls are inadequate and that these together with additional regulations be enforced by a regular presence of authorities. We suggest no more than one dolphin-watching boat within 50 m of a group of dolphins, or 100 m if calves are present. Operating times of dolphin-watching boats should be restricted in numbers after 1 pm, i.e., during preferred foraging times for dolphins. Additionally, exclusion zones should be considered to reduce pressure on dolphins undertaking critical activities such as

  5. Evaluation of two-dimensional and three-dimensional ultrasound in the assessment of thyroid volume of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kot, Brian C W; Ying, Michael T C; Brook, Fiona M; Kinoshita, Reimi E

    2012-03-01

    The assessment of thyroid volume plays an indispensable role in the diagnosis and management of different thyroid diseases. The present study evaluates the accuracy of dolphin thyroid volume measurement as determined by four two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound methods (A-D), with a standard of reference using three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound. The measurement accuracy for different recognized thyroid configuration is also evaluated. Inter- and intraoperator variability of the measurement methods was determined. Thyroid ultrasound examinations were conducted in 16 apparently healthy Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) with 2D and 3D ultrasound under identical scanning conditions. All 2D ultrasound measurement methods yielded high accuracies (79.9-81.3%) when compared with the 3D ultrasound measurement, and had high measurement reproducibility (77.6-86.2%) and repeatability (78.1-99.7%). For 2D ultrasound measurements, Methods A and B were more accurate and reliable than Methods C and D, regardless of thyroid configuration. Ultrasound is useful in the measurement of thyroid volume in bottlenose dolphins. For the first time, a reliable ultrasound scanning protocol for measuring dolphin thyroid volume was developed, which provides a means to establish a normative reference for the diagnosis of thyroid pathologies and to monitor the thyroid volume during the course of treatment in living dolphins. Key words: 3D ultrasound, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, thyroid volume measurement, Tursiops aduncus.

  6. Monitoring dolphins in an urban marine system: total and effective population size estimates of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ina C Ansmann

    Full Text Available Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia is an area of high biodiversity and conservation value and home to two sympatric sub-populations of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus. These dolphins live in close proximity to major urban developments. Successful management requires information regarding their abundance. Here, we estimate total and effective population sizes of bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay using photo-identification and genetic data collected during boat-based surveys in 2008-2010. Abundance (N was estimated using open population mark-recapture models based on sighting histories of distinctive individuals. Effective population size (Ne was estimated using the linkage disequilibrium method based on nuclear genetic data at 20 microsatellite markers in skin samples, and corrected for bias caused by overlapping generations (Ne c. A total of 174 sightings of dolphin groups were recorded and 365 different individuals identified. Over the whole of Moreton Bay, a population size N of 554 ± 22.2 (SE (95% CI: 510-598 was estimated. The southern bay sub-population was small at an estimated N = 193 ± 6.4 (SE (95% CI: 181-207, while the North sub-population was more numerous, with 446 ± 56 (SE (95% CI: 336-556 individuals. The small estimated effective population size of the southern sub-population (Ne c = 56, 95% CI: 33-128 raises conservation concerns. A power analysis suggested that to reliably detect small (5% declines in size of this population would require substantial survey effort (>4 years of annual mark-recapture surveys at the precision levels achieved here. To ensure that ecological as well as genetic diversity within this population of bottlenose dolphins is preserved, we consider that North and South sub-populations should be treated as separate management units. Systematic surveys over smaller areas holding locally-adapted sub-populations are suggested as an alternative method for increasing ability to detect

  7. Humpback Dolphins in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta: Status, Threats and Conservation Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karczmarski, Leszek; Huang, Shiang-Lin; Or, Carmen K M; Gui, Duan; Chan, Stephen C Y; Lin, Wenzhi; Porter, Lindsay; Wong, Wai-Ho; Zheng, Ruiqiang; Ho, Yuen-Wa; Chui, Scott Y S; Tiongson, Angelico Jose C; Mo, Yaqian; Chang, Wei-Lun; Kwok, John H W; Tang, Ricky W K; Lee, Andy T L; Yiu, Sze-Wing; Keith, Mark; Gailey, Glenn; Wu, Yuping

    2016-01-01

    In coastal waters of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is thought to number approximately 2500 individuals. Given these figures, the putative PRD population may appear strong enough to resist demographic stochasticity and environmental pressures. However, living in close proximity to the world's busiest seaport/airport and several densely populated urban centres with major coastal infrastructural developments comes with challenges to the long-term survival of these animals. There are few other small cetacean populations that face the range and intensity of human-induced pressures as those present in the PRD and current protection measures are severely inadequate. Recent mark-recapture analyses of the animals in Hong Kong waters indicate that in the past two decades the population parameters have not been well understood, and spatial analyses show that only a very small proportion of the dolphins' key habitats are given any form of protection. All current marine protected areas within the PRD fail to meet a minimum habitat requirement that could facilitate the population's long-term persistence. Demographic models indicate a continuous decline of 2.5% per annum, a rate at which the population is likely to drop below the demographic threshold within two generations and lose 74% of the current numbers within the lifespan of three generations. In Hong Kong, the case of humpback dolphins represents a particularly explicit example of inadequate management where a complete revision of the fundamental approach to conservation management is urgently needed.

  8. Stereology of the thyroid gland in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus in comparison with human (Homo sapiens: quantitative and functional implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Chin Wing Kot

    Full Text Available The mammalian thyroid gland maintains basal metabolism in tissues for optimal function. Determining thyroid volume is important in assessing growth and involution. Volume estimation is also important in stereological studies. Direct measurements of colloid volume and nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of the follicular cells may provide important information about thyroid gland function such as hormone storage and secretion, which helps understand the changes at morphological and functional levels. The present study determined the colloid volume using simple stereological principle and the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of 4 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and 2 human thyroid glands. In both dolphin and human thyroid glands, the size of the follicles tended to be quite variable. The distribution of large and small follicles within the thyroid gland was also found to be random in both the dolphin and human thyroid gland; however, the size of follicles appeared to decrease as a function of increasing age in the dolphin thyroid gland. The mean colloid volume of the dolphin thyroid gland and human thyroid gland was 1.22×10(5 µm(3 and 7.02×10(5 µm(3 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean colloid volume. The mean N/C ratio of the dolphin thyroid follicular epithelia and human follicular epithelia was 0.50 and 0.64 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean N/C ratio. This information contributes to understanding dolphin thyroid physiology and its structural adaptations to meet the physical demands of the aquatic environment, and aids with ultrasonography and corrective therapy in live subjects.

  9. Stereology of the thyroid gland in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in comparison with human (Homo sapiens): quantitative and functional implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kot, Brian Chin Wing; Lau, Thomas Yue Huen; Cheng, Sammy Chi Him

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian thyroid gland maintains basal metabolism in tissues for optimal function. Determining thyroid volume is important in assessing growth and involution. Volume estimation is also important in stereological studies. Direct measurements of colloid volume and nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of the follicular cells may provide important information about thyroid gland function such as hormone storage and secretion, which helps understand the changes at morphological and functional levels. The present study determined the colloid volume using simple stereological principle and the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of 4 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and 2 human thyroid glands. In both dolphin and human thyroid glands, the size of the follicles tended to be quite variable. The distribution of large and small follicles within the thyroid gland was also found to be random in both the dolphin and human thyroid gland; however, the size of follicles appeared to decrease as a function of increasing age in the dolphin thyroid gland. The mean colloid volume of the dolphin thyroid gland and human thyroid gland was 1.22×10(5) µm(3) and 7.02×10(5) µm(3) respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean colloid volume. The mean N/C ratio of the dolphin thyroid follicular epithelia and human follicular epithelia was 0.50 and 0.64 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean N/C ratio. This information contributes to understanding dolphin thyroid physiology and its structural adaptations to meet the physical demands of the aquatic environment, and aids with ultrasonography and corrective therapy in live subjects.

  10. Sex-specific patterns in abundance, temporary emigration and survival of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus in coastal and estuarine waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate R Sprogis

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Inherent difficulties in determining the sex of free-ranging sexually monomorphic species often prevents a sex-specific focus on estimating abundance, movement patterns and survival rates. This study provides insights into sex-specific population parameters of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus. Systematic, boat-based photo-identification surveys (n = 417 were conducted year-round from 2007-2013 in coastal and estuarine waters off Bunbury, Western Australia. Pollock’s Robust Design was used to quantify population parameters for three datasets: i adults and juveniles combined, ii adult females and iii adult males. For all datasets, abundance estimates varied seasonally, with general highs during summer and/or autumn, and lows during winter. Dolphins had seasonally structured temporary emigration rates with similar trends between sexes. The derived return rate (1-γ’ of temporary emigrants into the study area was highest from winter to spring, indicating that dolphins had a high probability of return into the study area during spring. We suggest that the return of dolphins into the study area and increase in abundance is influenced by the breeding season (summer/autumn. Prey availability is likely a main driver responsible for the movement of dolphins out of the study area during winter. Seasonal apparent survival rates were constant and high (0.98-0.99 for all datasets. High apparent survival rates suggest there is no permanent emigration from the study area. Our sex-specific modeling approach offers a comprehensive interpretation of the population dynamics of a top predator in a coastal and estuarine environment and acts as a model for future sex-based population studies on sexually monomorphic species.

  11. Humpback Dolphin (Genus Sousa) Behavioural Responses to Human Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piwetz, Sarah; Lundquist, David; Würsig, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) use shallow, near-shore waters throughout their range. This coastal distribution makes them vulnerable to recreational and commercial disturbances, especially near heavily populated and industrialized areas. Most research focusing on Sousa and human activities has emphasized direct impacts and threats, involving injury and death, with relatively little focus on indirect effects on dolphins, such as changes in behaviour that may lead to deleterious effects. Understanding behaviour is important in resolving human-wildlife conflict and is an important component of conservation. This chapter gives an overview of animal behavioural responses to human activity with examples from diverse taxa; reviews the scientific literature on behavioural responses of humpback dolphins to human activity throughout their range, including marine vessel traffic, dolphin tourism, cetacean-fishery interactions, noise pollution, and habitat alteration; and highlights information and data gaps for future humpback dolphin research to better inform behaviour-based management decisions that contribute to conservation efforts.

  12. Humpback Dolphins (Genus Sousa) in India: An Overview of Status and Conservation Issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutaria, Dipani; Panicker, Divya; Jog, Ketki; Sule, Mihir; Muralidharan, Rahul; Bopardikar, Isha

    2015-01-01

    This chapter aims to collate recent work done by different research teams along the Indian coast and presents research plans for the conservation and management of the genus Sousa in Indian waters. Humpback dolphins are the most common nearshore cetaceans found along the Indian coast. The taxonomy is confused, but two or more species of humpback dolphins may be present in India. Dedicated research on humpback dolphins and other cetaceans has been initiated only in the past few years and vast gaps in the ecology and conservation of the genus from the region remain. Dedicated and opportunistic research indicates that humpback dolphin presence is continuous along the west coast of India, owing to the contiguous favourable habitat of shallow nearshore waters, while along the east coast humpback dolphins are apparently found in pockets. Humpback dolphins are also the most numerous in incidental catch records from the coast, owing to the large overlap in space use with nearshore fisheries like small gillnets, trawls, shore seines and purse seines. Along many coastal sites, humpback dolphins are known to cause damage and depredation of fish catch of certain fishing gears, making them unpopular. At the same time, many fishers along the west coast have developed local dolphin-watching programmes as an alternate source of livelihood, providing positive impetus for conservation. However, research on the long-term effects of dolphin watching and its management is required. Some recommendations for more effective management of this species are made.

  13. Humpback Dolphins of Western Australia: A Review of Current Knowledge and Recommendations for Future Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanf, Daniella M; Hunt, Tim; Parra, Guido J

    2016-01-01

    Among the many cetacean species that occupy Australian coastal waters, Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, are one of the most vulnerable to extirpation due to human activities. This review summarises the existing knowledge, presently occurring and planned research projects, and current conservation measures for humpback dolphins in Western Australia (WA). Rapid and wide-scale coastal development along the northern WA coastline has occurred despite a lack of baseline data for inshore dolphins and, therefore, without a precautionary approach to their conservation. The distribution, abundance, habitat use, and population structure of humpback dolphins remain poorly understood. Less than 1% of their inferred distribution has so far been studied to understand local population demography. The sparse data available suggest that WA humpback dolphins occur as localised populations in low numbers within a range of inshore habitats, including both clear and turbid coastal waters. Marine protected areas cover a third of their inferred distribution in WA, but the efficacy of these reserves in protecting local cetacean populations is unknown. There is a pressing need for coordination and collaboration among scientists, government agencies, industry bodies, Traditional Owners, and local community groups to fill in the gaps of information on humpback dolphins in WA. The recently developed strategies and sampling guidelines developed by state and federal governments should serve as a best practise standard for collection of data aimed at assessing the conservation status of humpback dolphins in WA and Australia.

  14. A novel mammalian social structure in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.): complex male alliances in an open social network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randić, Srđan; Connor, Richard C; Sherwin, William B; Krützen, Michael

    2012-08-01

    Terrestrial mammals with differentiated social relationships live in 'semi-closed groups' that occasionally accept new members emigrating from other groups. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Western Australia, exhibit a fission-fusion grouping pattern with strongly differentiated relationships, including nested male alliances. Previous studies failed to detect a group membership 'boundary', suggesting that the dolphins live in an open social network. However, two alternative hypotheses have not been excluded. The community defence model posits that the dolphins live in a large semi-closed 'chimpanzee-like' community defended by males and predicts that a dominant alliance(s) will range over the entire community range. The mating season defence model predicts that alliances will defend mating-season territories or sets of females. Here, both models are tested and rejected: no alliances ranged over the entire community range and alliances showed extensive overlap in mating season ranges and consorted females. The Shark Bay dolphins, therefore, present a combination of traits that is unique among mammals: complex male alliances in an open social network. The open social network of dolphins is linked to their relatively low costs of locomotion. This reveals a surprising and previously unrecognized convergence between adaptations reducing travel costs and complex intergroup-alliance relationships in dolphins, elephants and humans.

  15. Observations on Australian Humpback Dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) in Waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beasley, Isabel; Jedensjö, Maria; Wijaya, Gede Mahendra; Anamiato, Jim; Kahn, Benjamin; Kreb, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    The Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis, has recently been described to occur in northern Australian coastal waters. However, its distribution in adjacent waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea remains largely unknown. Although there have been few studies conducted on inshore dolphins in these regions, the available information records humpback dolphins primarily from the Kikori Delta in Papua New Guinea, and Bird's Head Seascape in West Papua. Research in southern Papua New Guinea indicates that humpback dolphins are indeed S. sahulensis, based on cranial and external morphometrics, external colouration and the preliminary genetic analysis presented here. A similar situation exists for the Australian snubfin dolphin, Orcaella heinsohni, where it is assumed that the species also occurs along the Sahul Shelf coastal waters of northern Australia and New Guinea. There are anecdotal reports of direct catch of Australian humpback dolphins for use as shark bait, coastal development is increasing, and anthropogenic impacts will continue to escalate as human populations expand into previously uninhabited regions. Future research and management priorities for the Governments of the Pacific Islands and Indonesia will need to focus on inshore dolphins in known regional hotspots, as current bycatch levels appear unsustainable.

  16. A comparison of portable ultrasound and fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit in the thyroid size measurement of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian C W Kot

    Full Text Available Measurement of thyroid size and volume is a useful clinical parameter in both human and veterinary medicine, particularly for diagnosing thyroid diseases and guiding corrective therapy. Procuring a fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit (FCUS may be difficult in most veterinary settings. The present study evaluated the inter-equipment variability in dolphin thyroid ultrasound measurements between a portable ultrasound unit (PUS and a FCUS; for both units, repeatability was also assessed. Thyroid ultrasound examinations were performed on 15 apparently healthy bottlenose dolphins with both PUS and FCUS under identical scanning conditions. There was a high level of agreement between the two ultrasound units in dolphin thyroid measurements (ICC = 0.859-0.976. A high intra-operator repeatability in thyroid measurements was found (PUS: ICC = 0.854-0.984, FCUS: ICC = 0.709-0.954. As a conclusion, no substantial inter-equipment variability was found between PUS and FCUS in dolphin thyroid size measurements under identical scanning conditions, supporting further application of PUS for quantitative analyses of dolphin thyroid gland in both research and clinical practices at aquarium settings.

  17. A comparison of portable ultrasound and fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit in the thyroid size measurement of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kot, Brian C W; Ying, Michael T C; Brook, Fiona M

    2012-01-01

    Measurement of thyroid size and volume is a useful clinical parameter in both human and veterinary medicine, particularly for diagnosing thyroid diseases and guiding corrective therapy. Procuring a fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit (FCUS) may be difficult in most veterinary settings. The present study evaluated the inter-equipment variability in dolphin thyroid ultrasound measurements between a portable ultrasound unit (PUS) and a FCUS; for both units, repeatability was also assessed. Thyroid ultrasound examinations were performed on 15 apparently healthy bottlenose dolphins with both PUS and FCUS under identical scanning conditions. There was a high level of agreement between the two ultrasound units in dolphin thyroid measurements (ICC = 0.859-0.976). A high intra-operator repeatability in thyroid measurements was found (PUS: ICC = 0.854-0.984, FCUS: ICC = 0.709-0.954). As a conclusion, no substantial inter-equipment variability was found between PUS and FCUS in dolphin thyroid size measurements under identical scanning conditions, supporting further application of PUS for quantitative analyses of dolphin thyroid gland in both research and clinical practices at aquarium settings.

  18. Conservation Status of the Australian Humpback Dolphin (Sousa sahulensis) Using the IUCN Red List Criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) were recently described as a new species endemic to northern Australia and potentially southern New Guinea. We assessed the species conservation status against IUCN Red List Criteria using available information on their biology, ecology and threatening processes. Knowledge of population sizes and trends across the species range is lacking. Recent genetic studies indicate Australian humpback dolphins live in small and relatively isolated populations with limited gene flow among them. The available abundance estimates range from 14 to 207 individuals and no population studied to date is estimated to contain more than 104 mature individuals. The Potential Biological Removal method indicates populations are vulnerable to even low rates of anthropogenic mortality. Habitat degradation and loss is ongoing and expected to increase across the species range in Australia, and a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals is anticipated. Considering the available evidence and following a precautionary approach, we considered this species as Vulnerable under IUCN criterion C2a(i) because the total number of mature individuals is plausibly fewer than 10,000, an inferred continuing decline due to cumulative impacts, and each of the populations studied to date is estimated to contain fewer than 1000 mature individuals. Ongoing research efforts and recently developed research strategies and priorities will provide valuable information towards the future conservation and management of Australian humpback dolphins.

  19. Molecular ecology meets remote sensing: Environmental drivers to population structure of humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Genetic analyses of population structure can be placed in explicit environmental contexts if appropriate environmental data are available. Here, we use high-coverage and high-resolution oceanographic and genetic sequence data to assess population structure patterns and their potential environmental influences for humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA data from 94 dolphins from the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Oman, employing frequency...

  20. Spatial analysis on the critical habitats of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica: Considerations for a marina construction project

    OpenAIRE

    Herra-Miranda, David; Pacheco-Polanco, Juan Diego; Oviedo, Lenin; Iñíguez, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Golfo Dulce harbors an important resident population of inshore bottlenose dolphins (T. truncatus) and migrating humpback whales (M. novaeangliae, Northern and Southern Pacific populations). The present study offers a detailed spatial analysis of the utilization distribution of bottlenose dolphins (2005-2014: n= 407) and humpback whales (2010-2014: n= 167), assessing the potential impacts due to coastal development by a marina project overlapping their critical habitats. Records yielding spat...

  1. Biology and Conservation of the Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis taiwanensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, John Y; Riehl, Kimberly N; Klein, Michelle N; Javdan, Shiva; Hoffman, Jordan M; Dungan, Sarah Z; Dares, Lauren E; Araújo-Wang, Claryana

    2016-01-01

    The humpback dolphins of the eastern Taiwan Strait were first discovered scientifically in 2002 and since then have received much research attention. We reviewed all information published in peer-reviewed scientific journals on these dolphins and where appropriate and available, peer-reviewed scientific workshop reports and graduate theses were also examined. Recent evidence demonstrated that this population warranted recognition as a subspecies, Sousa chinensis taiwanensis. It is found in a highly restricted and linear strip of coastal waters along central western Taiwan. Numbering fewer than 80 individuals and declining, five main threats (fisheries interactions, habitat loss and degradation, loss of freshwater to estuaries within their habitat, air and water pollution, and noise) threaten the future existence of this subspecies. These dolphins have cultural and religious importance and boast the highest level of legal protection for wildlife in Taiwan. However, despite enormous efforts by local and international non-governmental groups urging immediate conservation actions, there have been no real government efforts to mitigate any existing threats; instead, some of these threats have worsened. Based on recent studies, we suggest the IUCN Red List status be revised to Critically Endangered CR 2a(ii); D for the subspecies.

  2. Ecology and Conservation Status of Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Andrianarivelo, Norbert; Andrianantenaina, Boris

    2015-01-01

    The Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea) has been studied in several range states in the Southwest Indian Ocean, however little information exists on populations in Madagascar. Here, we review available literature and describe a study on S. plumbea conducted between 2004 and 2013 on the west coast of Madagascar, involving boat-based field surveys in the southwest and northwest regions, and interview surveys with local fishers from villages along most of the west coast. Field surveys in the southwest region of Anakao/St. Augustine Bay revealed low encounter rates and mean group size, and markedly declining trends in both from 1999 to 2013. Conversely, in the northwest region around Nosy Be and Nosy Iranja, encounter rates were higher, as were mean group sizes, suggesting an apparently more abundant and less impacted population. Interview surveys revealed by-catch of coastal dolphins along the entire west coast, including S. plumbea, as well as other species. Directed hunting, including drive hunts of groups of dolphins, was reported primarily in the southern regions, in the range of the Vezo Malagasy ethnicity; however, there was evidence of hunting starting in one area in the northwest, where hunting dolphins is normally considered taboo for the predominant Sakalava ethnicity. Thus, the conservation status of S. plumbea in Madagascar appears to be spatially heterogeneous, with some areas where the local population is apparently more impacted than others. Conservation measures are recommended to mitigate further decline in the southwest of Madagascar, while protecting habitat and ensuring resilience in the northwest. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  3. A Review of the Status of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa plumbea) in Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiani, Muhammad Shoaib; Van Waerebeek, Koen

    2015-01-01

    Limited historical and new information on Indian Ocean humpback dolphins, Sousa plumbea, in Pakistan are reviewed. Although present along most of the coast, S. plumbea concentrates in the mangrove-lined creek system of the Indus Delta (Sindh), Miani Hor (Sonmiani Bay), Kalmat Lagoon, Gwadar and the Dasht River estuary (Gwater Bay, Jiwani). Other areas of distribution comprise the Karachi coast, Kund Malir, Ormara and Pasni. In the Indus Delta, 46 small-boat surveys conducted monthly (minus July and October) in 2005-2009, documented 112 sightings (439 individuals) in major creeks, smaller channels and nearshore waters. Group sizes ranged from 1-35 animals (mean=3.92±4.60). Groups of 1-10 animals composed 91% of total (27.9% single animals). An encounter rate of 0.07-0.17 dolphins km(-1) lacked a significant trend across survey years. A discovery curve remained steep after 87 dolphins were photo-identified, suggesting the population is vastly larger. In Sonmiani Bay, Balochistan, during 9 survey days in 2011-2012, group sizes ranged from 1-68 animals (mean=11.9±13.59; n=36), totalling 428 dolphins. Incidental entanglements, primarily in gillnets, pollution (especially around Karachi), overfishing and the ship breaking industry in Gaddani, pose major threats. Incidental catches occur along the entire Pakistani coast. Of 106 stranded cetaceans, 24.5% were S. plumbea. Directed takes in Balochistan, driven by demand for bait in shark fisheries, have reportedly declined following dwindling shark stocks. Habitat degradation threats include depletion of prey and increased maritime traffic. Domestic sewage and solid waste pollution are predominant on the Balochistan coast, especially at Miani Hor, Kund Malir, Ormara, Kalmat Lagoon, Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani. An exhaustive habitat assessment combined with appropriate fishery management is the only way to safeguard the future of S. plumbea in Pakistan.

  4. Indo-Pacific: Origin and Multinational Strategic Game-play

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU; Zhaoli

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, the United States, Australia and India have initiated the Indo-Pacific concept,which is not a simple result of the Indian Ocean plus the Pacific Ocean, but a geo-economic and geo-political development of the two regions.Indo-Pacific reflects the shift of the global economic gravity and strategic center,and the China factor is obvious in this process.The extending Chinese strategic interests are beyond the traditional Asia-Pacific region, but China as a typical Indo-Pacific country should be cautious about the "selective exclusion"and "targeted promotion"

  5. Sexual Dimorphism and Geographic Variation in Dorsal Fin Features of Australian Humpback Dolphins, Sousa sahulensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Alexander M; Bejder, Lars; Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Hunt, Tim; Smith, Jennifer L; Allen, Simon J

    2016-01-01

    Determining the sex of free-ranging cetaceans can be challenging. Sexual dimorphism among external features may allow inferences on sex, but such patterns may be difficult to detect and are often confounded by age and geographic variation. Dorsal fin images of 107 female and 54 male Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, from Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (QLD) were used to investigate sex, age and geographic differences in colouration, height/length quotient and number of notches. Adult males exhibited more dorsal fin notches (pdolphins, which could potentially be applied to populations throughout their range. In contrast to adults, presumed immature animals showed little or no loss of pigmentation or spotting; however, the rate of development of these features remains unknown. There were pronounced differences between QLD and WA in the intensity of spotting on dorsal fins and the extent of pigmentation loss around the posterior insertion and trailing edge of the dorsal fin. While based on a limited sample size, these geographic differences may have conservation implications in terms of population subdivision and should be investigated further.

  6. Assessment of the Conservation Status of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa plumbea) Using the IUCN Red List Criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braulik, Gill T; Findlay, Ken; Cerchio, Salvatore; Baldwin, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) are obligate shallow-water dolphins that occur exclusively in the near-shore waters of the Indian Ocean, from South Africa to the Bay of Bengal. They have a narrow habitat preference, restricted distribution and do not appear very abundant across any part of their range. There is no estimate of total species abundance; all populations that have been quantitatively evaluated have been small in size, usually fewer than 200 individuals. Fishing, dredging, land reclamation, construction blasting, port and harbour construction, pollution, boat traffic and other coastal development activities all occur, or are concentrated within, humpback dolphin habitat and threaten their survival. Although data are far from sufficient to make a rigorous quantitative assessment of population trends for this species, the scale of threats is large enough over a significant enough portion of the range to suspect or infer a decline of at least 50% over three generations, which qualifies it for listing on the IUCN Red List as Endangered. The issue primarily responsible is incidental mortality in fisheries, but the loss and degradation of habitat is likely a contributing factor. None of the threats have been adequately addressed in any part of the species' range, even though threat levels are increasing virtually everywhere.

  7. Molecular ecology meets remote sensing: environmental drivers to population structure of humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, M; Subramaniam, A; Collins, T; Minton, G; Baldwin, R; Berggren, P; Särnblad, A; Amir, O A; Peddemors, V M; Karczmarski, L; Guissamulo, A; Rosenbaum, H C

    2011-10-01

    Genetic analyses of population structure can be placed in explicit environmental contexts if appropriate environmental data are available. Here, we use high-coverage and high-resolution oceanographic and genetic sequence data to assess population structure patterns and their potential environmental influences for humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA data from 94 dolphins from the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Oman, employing frequency-based and maximum-likelihood algorithms to assess population structure and migration patterns. The genetic data were combined with 13 years of remote sensing oceanographic data of variables known to influence cetacean dispersal and population structure. Our analyses show strong and highly significant genetic structure between all putative populations, except for those in South Africa and Mozambique. Interestingly, the oceanographic data display marked environmental heterogeneity between all sampling areas and a degree of overlap between South Africa and Mozambique. Our combined analyses therefore suggest the occurrence of genetically isolated populations of humpback dolphins in areas that are environmentally distinct. This study highlights the utility of molecular tools in combination with high-resolution and high-coverage environmental data to address questions not only pertaining to genetic population structure, but also to relevant ecological processes in marine species.

  8. The Natural History and Conservation of Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in South African Waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plön, Stephanie; Cockcroft, Victor G; Froneman, William P

    2015-01-01

    Although most knowledge on the biology of Sousa plumbea has primarily come from South African waters, a number of research gaps remain on the natural history and status of the species in the region. Research on two populations in South African waters for which some historical data exist may aid in highlighting long-term changes in the biology and natural history of this little known coastal delphinid. Recent studies on the age, growth and reproduction of animals incidentally caught in shark nets in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, yielded a lower maximum age estimate of 24 (previously 46) growth-layer-groups (GLGs), sexual maturity of 7.5 and 8 GLGs in males and females (previously 12-13 and 10 GLGs, respectively), an ovulation rate of 0.2 and a 5-year calving interval (previously 0.3 and 3-year calving interval) than previously reported. These differences may be due to a difference in the interpretation of GLGs between observers or a predominance of young males being caught in the shark nets. Stomach content analysis revealed a change in the relative proportions of the main prey items over the past 25 years, but no difference in species richness or diversity was found between the sexes. No change in trophic level was recorded between 1972 and 2009. Field studies in Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, conducted 16 years apart indicated a decline in the mean group size (from 7 to 3 animals), a decline in the maximum group size (from 24 to 13 animals), an increase in solitary individuals (15.4-36%), and a change in behaviour from predominantly foraging (64-18%) to mainly travelling (24-49%). The observed changes are suggestive of a change in food availability, resulting in a range shift or a potential decline in numbers. These studies indicate the importance of long-term studies to monitor population changes and their possible causes. A number of threats, such as shark nets, pollution (noise and chemical), and coastal development and disturbance, to the humpback dolphin populations

  9. Integrating multiple lines of evidence to better understand the evolutionary divergence of humpback dolphins along their entire distribution range: a new dolphin species in Australian waters?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Martin; Jefferson, Thomas A; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Krützen, Michael; Parra, Guido J; Collins, Tim; Minton, Giana; Baldwin, Robert; Berggren, Per; Särnblad, Anna; Amir, Omar A; Peddemors, Vic M; Karczmarski, Leszek; Guissamulo, Almeida; Smith, Brian; Sutaria, Dipani; Amato, George; Rosenbaum, Howard C

    2013-12-01

    The conservation of humpback dolphins, distributed in coastal waters of the Indo-West Pacific and eastern Atlantic Oceans, has been hindered by a lack of understanding about the number of species in the genus (Sousa) and their population structure. To address this issue, we present a combined analysis of genetic and morphologic data collected from beach-cast, remote-biopsied and museum specimens from throughout the known Sousa range. We extracted genetic sequence data from 235 samples from extant populations and explored the mitochondrial control region and four nuclear introns through phylogenetic, population-level and population aggregation frameworks. In addition, 180 cranial specimens from the same geographical regions allowed comparisons of 24 morphological characters through multivariate analyses. The genetic and morphological data showed significant and concordant patterns of geographical segregation, which are typical for the kind of demographic isolation displayed by species units, across the Sousa genus distribution range. Based on our combined genetic and morphological analyses, there is convincing evidence for at least four species within the genus (S. teuszii in the Atlantic off West Africa, S. plumbea in the central and western Indian Ocean, S. chinensis in the eastern Indian and West Pacific Oceans, and a new as-yet-unnamed species off northern Australia).

  10. How well-known is the Cephalaspidean fauna (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia) in the Indo-Pacific region?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cedhagen, Tomas

    1998-01-01

    The gastropod group Cephalaspidea contains about 700 recent species worldwide. The status of the research on the group, indicated as the number of described species, in the tropical Indo-Pacific region is compared with other areas. The number ofspecies are 118 in the Indo-Pacific, 168 in Japan, a...

  11. Population structure and connectivity of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) across the Indo-Pacific Ocean basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmes, Bonnie J.; Williams, Samuel M.; Otway, Nicholas M.

    2017-01-01

    Population genetic structure using nine polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci was assessed for the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) at seven locations across the Indo-Pacific, and one location in the southern Atlantic. Genetic analyses revealed considerable genetic structuring (FST > 0.14, p....001) between all Indo-Pacific locations and Brazil. By contrast, no significant genetic differences were observed between locations from within the Pacific or Indian Oceans, identifying an apparent large, single Indo-Pacific population. A lack of differentiation between tiger sharks sampled in Hawaii and other...... Indo-Pacific locations identified herein is in contrast to an earlier global tiger shark nDNA study. The results of our power analysis provide evidence to suggest that the larger sample sizes used here negated any weak population subdivision observed previously. These results further highlight the need...

  12. Human-caused Indo-Pacific warm pool expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, Evan; Min, Seung-Ki; Cai, Wenju; Zwiers, Francis W; Kim, Yeon-Hee; Lee, Donghyun

    2016-07-01

    The Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) has warmed and grown substantially during the past century. The IPWP is Earth's largest region of warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs), has the highest rainfall, and is fundamental to global atmospheric circulation and hydrological cycle. The region has also experienced the world's highest rates of sea-level rise in recent decades, indicating large increases in ocean heat content and leading to substantial impacts on small island states in the region. Previous studies have considered mechanisms for the basin-scale ocean warming, but not the causes of the observed IPWP expansion, where expansion in the Indian Ocean has far exceeded that in the Pacific Ocean. We identify human and natural contributions to the observed IPWP changes since the 1950s by comparing observations with climate model simulations using an optimal fingerprinting technique. Greenhouse gas forcing is found to be the dominant cause of the observed increases in IPWP intensity and size, whereas natural fluctuations associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation have played a smaller yet significant role. Further, we show that the shape and impact of human-induced IPWP growth could be asymmetric between the Indian and Pacific basins, the causes of which remain uncertain. Human-induced changes in the IPWP have important implications for understanding and projecting related changes in monsoonal rainfall, and frequency or intensity of tropical storms, which have profound socioeconomic consequences.

  13. The world's second largest population of humpback dolphins in the waters of Zhanjiang deserves the highest conservation priority.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xinrong; Song, Jinyuan; Zhang, Zhenhua; Li, Peng; Yang, Guang; Zhou, Kaiya

    2015-01-30

    Chinese white dolphins (Sousa chinensis) inhabiting shallow coastal waters are vulnerable to impacts from human activities in the near shore waters. This study examined the population of Chinese white dolphins occurring off the coast of Zhanjiang in the northern South China Sea. A total of 492 Chinese white dolphins were identified, 176 of which were photographed on more than one occasion. The Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population is isolated from populations of conspecifics along the Guangdong coast. It is composed of approximately 1485 individuals (95% CI = 1371-1629; SE = 63.8), with estimates of mean representative range and core area of 168.51 and 44.26 km(2), respectively. The high site fidelity and long-term residence of Chinese white dolphins in the study area are well established. A review of all available data indicates that based on what is currently known, the Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population is the second largest of the species and genus in the world. However, the recent industrial boom along the Zhanjiang coast has increased concerns regarding the conservation of the Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population. We recommend the designation of a national nature reserve as a most urgent measure for protecting Chinese white dolphins in Zhanjiang waters.

  14. Phylogeography, Genetic Diversity, and Management Units of Hawksbill Turtles in the Indo-Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Sarah M; Jensen, Michael P; Ho, Simon Y W; Mobaraki, Asghar; Broderick, Damien; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Whiting, Scott D; Miller, Jeff; Prince, Robert I T; Bell, Ian P; Hoenner, Xavier; Limpus, Colin J; Santos, Fabrício R; FitzSimmons, Nancy N

    2016-05-01

    Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) populations have experienced global decline because of a history of intense commercial exploitation for shell and stuffed taxidermied whole animals, and harvest for eggs and meat. Improved understanding of genetic diversity and phylogeography is needed to aid conservation. In this study, we analyzed the most geographically comprehensive sample of hawksbill turtles from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, sequencing 766 bp of the mitochondrial control region from 13 locations (plus Aldabra, n = 4) spanning over 13500 km. Our analysis of 492 samples revealed 52 haplotypes distributed in 5 divergent clades. Diversification times differed between the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic lineages and appear to be related to the sea-level changes that occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum. We found signals of demographic expansion only for turtles from the Persian Gulf region, which can be tied to a more recent colonization event. Our analyses revealed evidence of transoceanic migration, including connections between feeding grounds from the Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific rookeries. Hawksbill turtles appear to have a complex pattern of phylogeography, showing a weak isolation by distance and evidence of multiple colonization events. Our novel dataset will allow mixed-stock analyses of hawksbill turtle feeding grounds in the Indo-Pacific by providing baseline data needed for conservation efforts in the region. Eight management units are proposed in our study for the Indo-Pacific region that can be incorporated in conservation plans of this critically endangered species.

  15. Glacial termination hydroclimate in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, S.; Wang, X.; Chiang, H. W.; Bijaksana, S.; Jiang, X.; Imran, A. M.; Wicaksono, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    Hydroclimatic change in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP), the largest center of atmospheric deep convection on Earth, can have a profound influence on the global moisture and energy budgets. Although it has been extensively studied, the history of IPWP hydroclimate remains elusive, partially due to the scarcity of well-resolved hydroclimiate records from the region. Here we report a U/Th dated, high-resolution, calcite d18O record on IPWP hydroclimatic change, spanning the last glacial termination (termination-I or T-I) and the interval of time from the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 12 to MIS11 (termination-V or T-V). The record was obtained using speleothems collected from Southwest Sulawesi (S5o1', E119o44'), Indonesia. During T-I, the Sulawesi speleothem δ18O shows a few millennial-scale events, possibly a drier climate during the Younger Dryas (YD) and Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1), but a relatively wet climate during the last glacial maximum (LGM) and the Bolling-Allerod (B-A). The pattern resembles those registered in the speleothem records from eastern China and Borneo. However, the Sulawesi d18O varies from ~ -5.8‰ to ~ -7.3‰ during the last termination, which is much smaller than the magnitudes shown in China and Borneo cave samples (~ 4‰). On the other hand, the Sulawesi cave record is anti-correlated with the Flores speleothem record in terms of their millennial-scale events. Yet, the two Indonesian records share a similar, small d18O variation (~1.5‰). Such observations therefore suggest that the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) probably became narrower when responding to the northern high-latitude climatic forcing during the T-I, and it centered zonally between the two Indonesian locations. Interestingly, Sulawesi speleothem d18O has a larger magnitude of shift during T-V, from ~ -5.7‰ in MIS12 to ~ -8.7‰ at the peak of MIS11. Given that Sulawesi cave d18O is not sensitive to sea level change and orbital forcing, we suspect that a much lower

  16. Site-specific assessments of the abundance of three inshore dolphin species to inform conservation and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Mark Brown

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Assessing the abundance of wildlife populations is essential to their effective conservation and management. Concerns have been raised over the vulnerability of tropical inshore dolphins in waters off northern Australia to anthropogenic impacts on local populations, yet a lack of abundance data precludes assessment of their conservation status and the management of threats. Using small vessels as cost-effective research platforms, photo-identification surveys and capture-recapture models were applied to provide the first quantitative abundance data for Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni, Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis, and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus at five sites in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia. The abundance of each species was highly variable between different sites, likely reflecting species-specific habitat preferences. Within the c. 130 km2 study sites, the estimated abundance of most species was ≤ 60 individuals (excluding calves, and fewer than 20 humpback dolphins were identified at each site in any one 3-5 week sampling period. However, larger estimates of c. 130 snubfin and c. 160 bottlenose dolphins were obtained at two different sites. Several local populations showed evidence of site fidelity, particularly snubfin dolphins. By implementing a standardized, multi-site approach, data on local populations were provided within a broader, regional context, and indicated that each species is patchily distributed in the region. This highlights the need for site-specific baseline data collection using appropriate survey techniques to quantitatively assess the potential impacts of threatening activities to local populations. These findings further illustrate the need to gain a greater understanding of known and potential threats to inshore dolphin populations, their relative impacts, and to mitigate where necessary. In particular, the level of interactions with inshore gillnet fisheries

  17. Revision of the Indo-Pacific species of the genus Distichopora

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, H.

    1959-01-01

    Twenty-one species of Distichopora have been described after specimens from various localities in the Indo-Pacific region, viz., D. violacea (Pallas, 1766) from “Mare Indicum”, D. cinnabarina Nardo, 1844, from the Red Sea (?), D. gracilis Dana, 1848, from the Tuamotu Islands, D. coccinea Gray, 1860,

  18. Ontogenetic habitat shift, population growth, and burrowing behavior of the Indo-Pacific beach star,

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, A.R.; Gumanao, G.S.; van Katwijk, M.M.; Mueller, B.; Saceda, M.M.; Tejada, R.L.P.

    2011-01-01

    Archaster typicus, a common sea star in Indo-Pacific regions, has been a target for the ornamental trade, even though little is known about its population biology. Spatial and temporal patterns of abundance and size structure of A. typicus were studied in the Davao Gulf, the Philippines (125°42.7'E,

  19. Molecular evidence for long-distance colonization in an Indo-Pacific seahorse lineage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teske, PR; Hamilton, H; Palsboll, PJ; Choo, CK; Gabr, H; Lourie, SA; Santos, M; Sreepada, A; Cherry, MI; Matthee, CA

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondrial control region (mtDNA CR) diversity within and among 6 seahorse populations associated with the Indo-Pacific Hippocampus kuda complex (H. kuda from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, H. fuscus from the Red Sea and H. capensis from South Africa) was compared to determine wh

  20. Molecular evidence for long-distance colonization in an Indo-Pacific seahorse lineage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teske, PR; Hamilton, H; Palsboll, PJ; Choo, CK; Gabr, H; Lourie, SA; Santos, M; Sreepada, A; Cherry, MI; Matthee, CA

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondrial control region (mtDNA CR) diversity within and among 6 seahorse populations associated with the Indo-Pacific Hippocampus kuda complex (H. kuda from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, H. fuscus from the Red Sea and H. capensis from South Africa) was compared to determine

  1. Molecular evidence for long-distance colonization in an Indo-Pacific seahorse lineage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teske, PR; Hamilton, H; Palsboll, PJ; Choo, CK; Gabr, H; Lourie, SA; Santos, M; Sreepada, A; Cherry, MI; Matthee, CA

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondrial control region (mtDNA CR) diversity within and among 6 seahorse populations associated with the Indo-Pacific Hippocampus kuda complex (H. kuda from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, H. fuscus from the Red Sea and H. capensis from South Africa) was compared to determine wh

  2. Synopsis of lichomolgid copepods (Poecilostomatoida) associated with soft corals (Alcyonacea) in the tropical Indo-Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Humes, A.G.

    1990-01-01

    A synopsis of the 97 species of lichomolgid copepods known to be associated with tropical IndoPacific shallow-water alcyonaceans is given (Madagascar, New Caledonia, Moluccas, Philippines, and Enewetak Atoll). One new genus and 29 new species are included, distributed among the lichomolgid genera Ac

  3. Decadal and long-term sea level variability in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nidheesh, A.G.; Lengaigne, M.; Vialard, J.; Unnikrishnan, A.S.; Dayan, H.

    Decadal and long-term steric sea level variations over 1966-2007 period in the Indo-Pacific sector were analysed using an ocean general circulation model forced by reanalysis winds. The simulated steric sea level compares favourably with sea level...

  4. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Occurrence and Foraging Activity of Coastal Dolphins in Menai Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temple, Andrew J; Tregenza, Nick; Amir, Omar A; Jiddawi, Narriman; Berggren, Per

    2016-01-01

    Understanding temporal patterns in distribution, occurrence and behaviour is vital for the effective conservation of cetaceans. This study used cetacean click detectors (C-PODs) to investigate spatial and temporal variation in occurrence and foraging activity of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea) dolphins resident in the Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA), Zanzibar, Tanzania. Occurrence was measured using detection positive minutes. Inter-click intervals were used to identify terminal buzz vocalisations, allowing for analysis of foraging activity. Data were analysed in relation to spatial (location) and temporal (monsoon season, diel phase and tidal phase) variables. Results showed significantly increased occurrence and foraging activity of dolphins in southern areas and during hours of darkness. Higher occurrence at night was not explained by diel variation in echolocation rate and so were considered representative of occurrence patterns. Both tidal phase and monsoon season influenced occurrence but results varied among sites, with no general patterns found. Foraging activity was greatest during hours of darkness, High water and Flood tidal phases. Comparisons of echolocation data among sites suggested differences in the broadband click spectra of MBCA dolphins, possibly indicative of species differences. These dolphin populations are threatened by unsustainable fisheries bycatch and tourism activities. The spatial and temporal patterns identified in this study have implications for future conservation and management actions with regards to these two threats. Further, the results indicate future potential for using passive acoustics to identify and monitor the occurrence of these two species in areas where they co-exist.

  5. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Occurrence and Foraging Activity of Coastal Dolphins in Menai Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Temple

    Full Text Available Understanding temporal patterns in distribution, occurrence and behaviour is vital for the effective conservation of cetaceans. This study used cetacean click detectors (C-PODs to investigate spatial and temporal variation in occurrence and foraging activity of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus and Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea dolphins resident in the Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Occurrence was measured using detection positive minutes. Inter-click intervals were used to identify terminal buzz vocalisations, allowing for analysis of foraging activity. Data were analysed in relation to spatial (location and temporal (monsoon season, diel phase and tidal phase variables. Results showed significantly increased occurrence and foraging activity of dolphins in southern areas and during hours of darkness. Higher occurrence at night was not explained by diel variation in echolocation rate and so were considered representative of occurrence patterns. Both tidal phase and monsoon season influenced occurrence but results varied among sites, with no general patterns found. Foraging activity was greatest during hours of darkness, High water and Flood tidal phases. Comparisons of echolocation data among sites suggested differences in the broadband click spectra of MBCA dolphins, possibly indicative of species differences. These dolphin populations are threatened by unsustainable fisheries bycatch and tourism activities. The spatial and temporal patterns identified in this study have implications for future conservation and management actions with regards to these two threats. Further, the results indicate future potential for using passive acoustics to identify and monitor the occurrence of these two species in areas where they co-exist.

  6. GNSS Tsunami Warning System Augmentation for the Indo-Pacific Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaBrecque, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    The years since the devastating Banda Aceh Earthquake of December, 2004 have repeatedly inflicted the terrible loss of life and economic disruption from large earthquakes and resulting tsunamis upon Indo-Pacific coastal populations. The hardest hit populations are those closest to the earthquake source, a scenario for which most Indo-Pacific nations lack an adequate early warning system. Following the Banda Aceh Earthquake, GNSS based techniques were developed to provide accurate, timely, estimates of ground displacements, the modeling and monitoring of tsunami propagation. Major investments are also being made to deploy and upgrade existing GNSS constellations (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, GZSS, and IRNSS) by the end of this decade. There have also been significant investments in multi-GNSS ground networks and analysis centers that often provide measurements in real time. These multi-national investments now present the possibility for significant improvements to the Indo-Pacific region's tsunami warning. The development of GNSS based tsunami warning integrated with existing seismic based tsunami warning systems will provide a robust, accurate, timely, and cost effective network to provide effective warning for the Indo-Pacific coastal communities. The UN General Assembly has called for the sharing of geodetic data for the mitigation of natural hazards while the IUGG and IGS recommend the implementation of a GNSS based augmentation to the Tsunami Early Warning System. The same GNSS ground networks and constellations that support the Tsunami Early Warning network also provide Positioning, Navigation, and Timing and other benefits to these communities thereby insuring a sustainable and reliable capability.

  7. Synopsis of lichomolgid copepods (Poecilostomatoida) associated with soft corals (Alcyonacea) in the tropical Indo-Pacific

    OpenAIRE

    Humes, A.G.

    1990-01-01

    A synopsis of the 97 species of lichomolgid copepods known to be associated with tropical IndoPacific shallow-water alcyonaceans is given (Madagascar, New Caledonia, Moluccas, Philippines, and Enewetak Atoll). One new genus and 29 new species are included, distributed among the lichomolgid genera Acanthomolgus (2 new species), Alcyonomolgus (1), Colobomolgus (2), Critomolgus (3), Doridicola (5), Paradoridicola (7), Paramolgus (8), and Telestacicola (1). The alcyonacean hosts, numbering more t...

  8. The neocortex of cetartiodactyls: I. A comparative Golgi analysis of neuronal morphology in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butti, Camilla; Janeway, Caroline M; Townshend, Courtney; Wicinski, Bridget A; Reidenberg, Joy S; Ridgway, Sam H; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Jacobs, Bob

    2015-11-01

    The present study documents the morphology of neurons in several regions of the neocortex from the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the North Atlantic minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Golgi-stained neurons (n = 210) were analyzed in the frontal and temporal neocortex as well as in the primary visual and primary motor areas. Qualitatively, all three species exhibited a diversity of neuronal morphologies, with spiny neurons including typical pyramidal types, similar to those observed in primates and rodents, as well as other spiny neuron types that had more variable morphology and/or orientation. Five neuron types, with a vertical apical dendrite, approximated the general pyramidal neuron morphology (i.e., typical pyramidal, extraverted, magnopyramidal, multiapical, and bitufted neurons), with a predominance of typical and extraverted pyramidal neurons. In what may represent a cetacean morphological apomorphy, both typical pyramidal and magnopyramidal neurons frequently exhibited a tri-tufted variant. In the humpback whale, there were also large, star-like neurons with no discernable apical dendrite. Aspiny bipolar and multipolar interneurons were morphologically consistent with those reported previously in other mammals. Quantitative analyses showed that neuronal size and dendritic extent increased in association with body size and brain mass (bottlenose dolphin neocortex of cetaceans as compared to other mammals and that neuronal dendritic extent covaries with brain and body size.

  9. Regional decline of coral cover in the Indo-Pacific: timing, extent, and subregional comparisons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F Bruno

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A number of factors have recently caused mass coral mortality events in all of the world's tropical oceans. However, little is known about the timing, rate or spatial variability of the loss of reef-building corals, especially in the Indo-Pacific, which contains 75% of the world's coral reefs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: We compiled and analyzed a coral cover database of 6001 quantitative surveys of 2667 Indo-Pacific coral reefs performed between 1968 and 2004. Surveys conducted during 2003 indicated that coral cover averaged only 22.1% (95% CI: 20.7, 23.4 and just 7 of 390 reefs surveyed that year had coral cover >60%. Estimated yearly coral cover loss based on annually pooled survey data was approximately 1% over the last twenty years and 2% between 1997 and 2003 (or 3,168 km(2 per year. The annual loss based on repeated measures regression analysis of a subset of reefs that were monitored for multiple years from 1997 to 2004 was 0.72 % (n = 476 reefs, 95% CI: 0.36, 1.08. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The rate and extent of coral loss in the Indo-Pacific are greater than expected. Coral cover was also surprisingly uniform among subregions and declined decades earlier than previously assumed, even on some of the Pacific's most intensely managed reefs. These results have significant implications for policy makers and resource managers as they search for successful models to reverse coral loss.

  10. The vulnerability of Indo-Pacific mangrove forests to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovelock, Catherine E.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Friess, Daniel A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Krauss, Ken W.; Reef, Ruth; Rogers, Kerrylee; Saunders, Megan L.; Sidik, Frida; Swales, Andrew; Saintilan, Neil; Thuyen, Le Xuan; Triet, Tran

    2015-10-01

    Sea-level rise can threaten the long-term sustainability of coastal communities and valuable ecosystems such as coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves. Mangrove forests have the capacity to keep pace with sea-level rise and to avoid inundation through vertical accretion of sediments, which allows them to maintain wetland soil elevations suitable for plant growth. The Indo-Pacific region holds most of the world's mangrove forests, but sediment delivery in this region is declining, owing to anthropogenic activities such as damming of rivers. This decline is of particular concern because the Indo-Pacific region is expected to have variable, but high, rates of future sea-level rise. Here we analyse recent trends in mangrove surface elevation changes across the Indo-Pacific region using data from a network of surface elevation table instruments. We find that sediment availability can enable mangrove forests to maintain rates of soil-surface elevation gain that match or exceed that of sea-level rise, but for 69 per cent of our study sites the current rate of sea-level rise exceeded the soil surface elevation gain. We also present a model based on our field data, which suggests that mangrove forests at sites with low tidal range and low sediment supply could be submerged as early as 2070.

  11. The vulnerability of Indo-Pacific mangrove forests to sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovelock, Catherine E; Cahoon, Donald R; Friess, Daniel A; Guntenspergen, Glenn R; Krauss, Ken W; Reef, Ruth; Rogers, Kerrylee; Saunders, Megan L; Sidik, Frida; Swales, Andrew; Saintilan, Neil; Thuyen, Le Xuan; Triet, Tran

    2015-10-22

    Sea-level rise can threaten the long-term sustainability of coastal communities and valuable ecosystems such as coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves. Mangrove forests have the capacity to keep pace with sea-level rise and to avoid inundation through vertical accretion of sediments, which allows them to maintain wetland soil elevations suitable for plant growth. The Indo-Pacific region holds most of the world's mangrove forests, but sediment delivery in this region is declining, owing to anthropogenic activities such as damming of rivers. This decline is of particular concern because the Indo-Pacific region is expected to have variable, but high, rates of future sea-level rise. Here we analyse recent trends in mangrove surface elevation changes across the Indo-Pacific region using data from a network of surface elevation table instruments. We find that sediment availability can enable mangrove forests to maintain rates of soil-surface elevation gain that match or exceed that of sea-level rise, but for 69 per cent of our study sites the current rate of sea-level rise exceeded the soil surface elevation gain. We also present a model based on our field data, which suggests that mangrove forests at sites with low tidal range and low sediment supply could be submerged as early as 2070.

  12. New polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellites improve scoring accuracy in the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nater, Alexander; Kopps, Anna M.; Kruetzen, Michael

    2009-01-01

    We isolated and characterized 19 novel tetranucleotide microsatellite markers in the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in order to improve genotyping accuracy in applications like large-scale population-wide paternity and relatedness assessments. One hundred T. aduncus from Shark Ba

  13. New polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellites improve scoring accuracy in the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nater, Alexander; Kopps, Anna M.; Kruetzen, Michael

    We isolated and characterized 19 novel tetranucleotide microsatellite markers in the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in order to improve genotyping accuracy in applications like large-scale population-wide paternity and relatedness assessments. One hundred T. aduncus from Shark

  14. Morbillivirus-associated unusual mortality event in South Australian bottlenose dolphins is largest reported for the Southern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomo, I.; Bingham, J.; Bastianello, S. S.; Wang, J.; Gibbs, S. E.; Woolford, L.; Dickason, C.; Kelly, D.

    2016-01-01

    Cases of morbillivirus have been recorded in the Southern Hemisphere but have not been linked to significant marine mammal mortality. Post-mortems were conducted on 58 carcasses (44 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, two common bottlenose dolphins, 12 short-beaked common dolphins) from South Australia during 2005–2013, including an unusual mortality event (UME) in St Vincent Gulf Bioregion (SVG) during 2013. Diagnostic pathology, circumstance of death, body condition, age and stomach contents were documented for Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. At least 50 dolphins died during the UME, 41 were Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and most were young. The UME lasted about seven months and had two peaks, the first being the largest. Effect on the population is unknown. Diagnostic testing for morbillivirus was conducted on 57 carcasses, with evidence for infection in all species during 2011–2013. All tested UME bottlenose dolphins were positive for cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV), and the pathology included interstitial pneumonia, lymphoid depletion and syncytia. Concurrent pathologies, including lung parasite and fungal infections, and severe cutaneous bruising were observed in many dolphins. The event coincided with elevated water temperatures, a diatom bloom and significant fish die-offs. We conclude that the cause for the UME was multifactorial and that CeMV was a major contributor. PMID:28083115

  15. Links between Indo-Pacific climate variability and drought in the Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ummenhofer, Caroline C.; D'Arrigo, Rosanne D.; Anchukaitis, Kevin J.; Buckley, Brendan M.; Cook, Edward R.

    2013-03-01

    Drought patterns across monsoon and temperate Asia over the period 1877-2005 are linked to Indo-Pacific climate variability associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Using the Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas (MADA) composed of a high-resolution network of hydroclimatically sensitive tree-ring records with a focus on the June-August months, spatial drought patterns during El Niño and IOD events are assessed as to their agreement with an instrumental drought index and consistency in the drought response amongst ENSO/IOD events. Spatial characteristics in drought patterns are related to regional climate anomalies over the Indo-Pacific basin, using reanalysis products, including changes in the Asian monsoon systems, zonal Walker circulation, moisture fluxes, and precipitation. A weakening of the monsoon circulation over the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia during El Niño events, along with anomalous subsidence over monsoon Asia and reduced moisture flux, is reflected in anomalous drought conditions over India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia. When an IOD event co-occurs with an El Niño, severe drought conditions identified in the MADA for Southeast Asia, Indonesia, eastern China and central Asia are associated with a weakened South Asian monsoon, reduced moisture flux over China, and anomalous divergent flow and subsidence over Indonesia. Insights into the relative influences of Pacific and Indian Ocean variability for Asian monsoon climate on interannual to decadal and longer timescales, as recorded in the MADA, provide a useful tool for assessing long-term changes in the characteristics of Asian monsoon droughts in the context of Indo-Pacific climate variability.

  16. TIPEX (Tropical Indo-Pacific water transport and ecosystem monitoring EXperiment Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongchull Jeon

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available One of the factors influencing the climate around Korea is the oceanic-atmospheric variability in the tropical region between the eastern Indian and the western Pacific Oceans. Lack of knowledge about the air-sea interaction in the tropical Indo-Pacific region continues to make it problematic forecasting the ocean climate in the East Asia. The ‘Tropical Indo-Pacific water transport and ecosystem monitoring EXperiment (TIPEX’ is a program for monitoring the ocean circulation variability between Pacific and Indian Oceans and for improving the accuracy of future climate forecasting. The main goal of the TIPEX program is to quantify the climate and ocean circulation change between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. The contents of the program are 1 to observe the mixing process of different water masses and water transport in the eastern Indian and the western Pacific, 2 to understand the large-scale oceanic-climatic variation including El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO/Warm Pool/Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO/Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD, and 3 to monitor the biogeochemical processes, material flux, and biological changes due to the climate change. In order to effectively carry out the monitoring program, close international cooperation and the proper co-work sharing of tasks between China, Japan, Indonesia, and India as well as USA is required.

  17. Shallow-water zoantharians (Cnidaria, Hexacorallia from the Central Indo-Pacific

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Reimer

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite the Central Indo-Pacific (CIP and the Indonesian Archipelago being a well-known region of coral reef biodiversity, particularly in the ‘Coral Triangle’, little published information is available on its zoantharians (Cnidaria: Hexacorallia: Zoantharia. In order to provide a basis for future research on the Indo-Pacific zoantharian fauna and facilitate comparisons between more well-studied regions such as Japan and the Great Barrier Reef, this report deals with CIP zoantharian specimens in the Naturalis collection in Leiden, the Netherlands; 106 specimens were placed into 24 morpho-species and were supplemented with 88 in situ photographic records from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. At least nine morpho-species are likely to be undescribed species, indicating that the region needs more research in order to properly understand zoantharian diversity within the CIP. The Naturalis’ zoantharian specimens are listed by species, as well as all relevant collection information, and in situ images are provided to aid in future studies on zoantharians in the CIP.

  18. Expansion and Contraction of the Indo-Pacific Tropical Rain Belt over the Last Three Millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denniston, Rhawn F.; Ummenhofer, Caroline C.; Wanamaker, Alan D.; Lachniet, Matthew S.; Villarini, Gabriele; Asmerom, Yemane; Polyak, Victor J.; Passaro, Kristian J.; Cugley, John; Woods, David; Humphreys, William F.

    2016-01-01

    The seasonal north-south migration of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) defines the tropical rain belt (TRB), a region of enormous terrestrial and marine biodiversity and home to 40% of people on Earth. The TRB is dynamic and has been shown to shift south as a coherent system during periods of Northern Hemisphere cooling. However, recent studies of Indo-Pacific hydroclimate suggest that during the Little Ice Age (LIA; AD 1400–1850), the TRB in this region contracted rather than being displaced uniformly southward. This behaviour is not well understood, particularly during climatic fluctuations less pronounced than those of the LIA, the largest centennial-scale cool period of the last millennium. Here we show that the Indo-Pacific TRB expanded and contracted numerous times over multi-decadal to centennial scales during the last 3,000 yr. By integrating precisely-dated stalagmite records of tropical hydroclimate from southern China with a newly enhanced stalagmite time series from northern Australia, our study reveals a previously unidentified coherence between the austral and boreal summer monsoon. State-of-the-art climate model simulations of the last millennium suggest these are linked to changes in the structure of the regional manifestation of the atmosphere’s meridional circulation. PMID:27682252

  19. Expansion and Contraction of the Indo-Pacific Tropical Rain Belt over the Last Three Millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denniston, Rhawn F.; Ummenhofer, Caroline C.; Wanamaker, Alan D.; Lachniet, Matthew S.; Villarini, Gabriele; Asmerom, Yemane; Polyak, Victor J.; Passaro, Kristian J.; Cugley, John; Woods, David; Humphreys, William F.

    2016-09-01

    The seasonal north-south migration of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) defines the tropical rain belt (TRB), a region of enormous terrestrial and marine biodiversity and home to 40% of people on Earth. The TRB is dynamic and has been shown to shift south as a coherent system during periods of Northern Hemisphere cooling. However, recent studies of Indo-Pacific hydroclimate suggest that during the Little Ice Age (LIA; AD 1400–1850), the TRB in this region contracted rather than being displaced uniformly southward. This behaviour is not well understood, particularly during climatic fluctuations less pronounced than those of the LIA, the largest centennial-scale cool period of the last millennium. Here we show that the Indo-Pacific TRB expanded and contracted numerous times over multi-decadal to centennial scales during the last 3,000 yr. By integrating precisely-dated stalagmite records of tropical hydroclimate from southern China with a newly enhanced stalagmite time series from northern Australia, our study reveals a previously unidentified coherence between the austral and boreal summer monsoon. State-of-the-art climate model simulations of the last millennium suggest these are linked to changes in the structure of the regional manifestation of the atmosphere’s meridional circulation.

  20. Whales and dolphins (Mammalia, Cetacea) of the Cape Verde Islands, with special reference to the Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hazevoet, Cornelis J.; Wenzel, Frederick W.

    2000-01-01

    Observations of whales and dolphins in the Cape Verde Islands obtained in 1995 and 1996 are reported and data on the occurrence of 14 taxa are given, including four not previously reported from the region, viz. Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Killer Whale Orcinus orca, Rough-toothed Dolphin Steno

  1. Whales and dolphins (Mammalia, Cetacea) of the Cape Verde Islands, with special reference to the Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hazevoet, Cornelis J.; Wenzel, Frederick W.

    2000-01-01

    Observations of whales and dolphins in the Cape Verde Islands obtained in 1995 and 1996 are reported and data on the occurrence of 14 taxa are given, including four not previously reported from the region, viz. Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Killer Whale Orcinus orca, Rough-toothed Dolphin Steno

  2. Lock, Stock and Two Different Barrels: Comparing the Genetic Composition of Morphotypes of the Indo-Pacific Sponge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swierts, T.; Peijnenburg, K.T.C.A.; de Leeuw, C.; Cleary, D.F.R.; Hörnlein, C.; Setiawan, E.; Wörheide, G.; Erpenbeck, D.; de Voogd, N.J.

    2013-01-01

    The giant barrel sponge Xestospongia testudinaria is an ecologically important species that is widely distributed across the Indo-Pacific. Little is known, however, about the precise biogeographic distribution and the amount of morphological and genetic variation in this species. Here we provide the

  3. Lock, stock and two different barrels: comparing the genetic composition of morphotypes of the Indo-Pacific sponge Xestospongia testudinaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swierts, T.; Peijnenburg, K.T.C.A.; Leeuw, de C.; Cleary, D.F.R.; Hörnlein, C.; Setiawan, E.; Wörheide, G.; Erpenbeck, D.; Voogd, de N.J.

    2013-01-01

    The giant barrel sponge Xestospongia testudinaria is an ecologically important species that is widely distributed across the Indo-Pacific. Little is known, however, about the precise biogeographic distribution and the amount of morphological and genetic variation in this species. Here we provide the

  4. Epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops spp. from South America and southern Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Bressem, M.F.; Simões-Lopes, P. C.; Félix, F.; Kiszka, J.; Daura-Jorge, F.G.; Avila, I.C.; Secchi, E.R.; Flach, L.; Fruet, P.F.; K. Du Toit; Ott, P.H.; Elwen, S.; Di Giacomo, A.B.; J. Wagner; Banks, A

    2015-01-01

    We report on the epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease (LLD), a cutaneous disorder evoking lobomycosis, in 658 common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from South America and 94 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins T. aduncus from southern Africa. Photographs and stranding records of 387 inshore residents, 60 inshore non-residents and 305 specimens of undetermined origin (inshore and offshore) were examined for the presence of LLD lesions from 2004 to 2015. Seventeen residents, 3 non-resi...

  5. The Towuti Drilling Project: A new, long Pleistocene record of Indo-Pacific Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, James M.; Vogel, Hendrik; Bijaksana, Satria; Melles, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Lake Towuti is the largest tectonic lake in Indonesia, and the longest known terrestrial sediment archive in Southeast Asia. Lake Towuti's location in central Indonesia provides an important opportunity to reconstruct long-term changes in terrestrial climate in the Western Pacific warm pool, heart of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. Lake Towuti has extremely high rates of floral and faunal endemism and is surrounded by one of the most diverse tropical forests on Earth making it a hotspot of Southeast Asian biodiversity. The ultramafic rocks and soils surrounding Lake Towuti provide high concentrations of metals to the lake and its sediments that feed a diverse, exotic microbial community. From May - July, 2015, the Towuti Drilling Project, consisting of more than 30 scientists from eight countries, recovered over 1,000 meters of new sediment core from 3 different drill sites in Lake Towuti, including cores through the entire sediment column to bedrock. These new sediment cores will allow us to investigate the history of rainfall and temperature in central Indonesia, long-term changes in the composition of the region's rainforests and diverse aquatic ecosystems, and the micro-organisms living in Towuti's exotic, metal-rich sediments. The Indo-Pacific region plays a pivotal role in the Earth's climate system, regulating critical atmospheric circulation systems and the global concentration of atmospheric water vapor- the Earth's most important greenhouse gas. Changes in seasonal insolation, greenhouse gas concentrations, ice volume, and local sea level are each hypothesized to exert a dominant control on Indo-Pacific hydroclimate variations through the Pleistocene. Existing records from the region are short and exhibit fundamental differences and complexity in orbital-scale climate patterns that limit our understanding of the regional climate responses to climate boundary conditions. Our sediment cores, which span much of the past 1 million years, allow new tests of

  6. Indo-Pacific variability on seasonal to multidecadal timescales. Part II: Multiscale atmosphere-ocean linkages

    CERN Document Server

    Giannakis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    The coupled atmosphere-ocean variability of the Indo-Pacific on interannual to multidecadal timescales is investigated in a millennial control run of CCSM4 and in observations using a family of modes recovered in Part~I of this work from unprocessed SST data through nonlinear Laplacian spectral analysis (NLSA). It is found that ENSO and combination modes of ENSO with the annual cycle exhibit a seasonally synchronized southward shift of equatorial surface zonal winds and thermocline adjustment consistent with terminating El Nino and La Nina events. The surface wind patterns associated with these modes also generate teleconnections between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, leading to a pattern of SST anomalies characteristic of the Indian Ocean dipole. Fundamental and combination modes representing the tropospheric biennial oscillation (TBO) in CCSM4 are also found to be consistent with mechanisms for seasonally synchronized biennial variability of the Asian-Australian monsoon and Walker circulation. On longer tim...

  7. Ascidian introductions through the Suez Canal: The case study of an Indo-Pacific species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rius, Marc; Shenkar, Noa

    2012-10-01

    Although marine biological invasions via the Suez Canal have been extensively documented, little is known about the introduction of non-indigenous ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea), a group containing particularly aggressive invasive species. Here, we used a multidisciplinary approach to study the introduction of the ascidian Herdmania momus into the Mediterranean Sea. We reviewed its taxonomy and global distribution, and analyzed how genetic variation is partitioned between sides of the Suez Canal. The taxonomic revision showed that H. momus currently has a wide Indo-Pacific distribution. Genetic data indicated two well-differentiated colonization histories across the eastern Mediterranean. Our findings suggest that the range expansion of H. momus has been greatly facilitated by the combined effect of human-mediated transport and the species' ability to adapt to different environments. The integrative approach presented here is critical to attain a holistic understanding of marine biological invasions, especially when studying groups with a poorly resolved taxonomy.

  8. First record of the Central Indo-Pacific reef coral Oulastrea crispata in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. W. HOEKSEMA

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available A live colony of a non-indigenous zooxanthellate scleractinian coral was found in shallow water at the west coast of Corsica, western Mediterranean. Its diameter of 6 cm suggests that it has already survived for some years. It was identified as Oulastrea crispata, a species native on near-shore coral reefs in the central Indo-Pacific with a high tolerance for low water temperatures at high latitudes. Based on its morphology it can be distinguished from other zooxanthellate colonial scleractinians in the Mediterranean. O. crispata has a reputation of being a successful colonizer because it is able to settle on a wide variety of substrata and because it utilizes various reproductive strategies as simultaneous hermaphrodite and producer of asexually derived planulae. Owing to its original distribution range in temperate and subtropical waters, it is likely that it will be able to meet a suitable temperature regime in the Mediterranean for further range expansion.

  9. Indo-Pacific sea surface temperature influences on failed consecutive rainy seasons over eastern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoell, Andrew; Funk, Christopher C.

    2014-01-01

    Rainfall over eastern Africa (10°S–10°N; 35°E–50°E) is bimodal, with seasonal maxima during the "long rains" of March–April–May (MAM) and the "short rains" of October–November–December (OND). Below average precipitation during consecutive long and short rains seasons over eastern Africa can have devastating long-term impacts on water availability and agriculture. Here, we examine the forcing of drought during consecutive long and short rains seasons over eastern Africa by Indo-Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The forcing of eastern Africa precipitation and circulation by SSTs is tested using ten ensemble simulations of a global weather forecast model forced by 1950–2010 observed global SSTs. Since the 1980s, Indo-Pacific SSTs have forced more frequent droughts spanning consecutive long and short rains seasons over eastern Africa. The increased frequency of dry conditions is linked to warming SSTs over the Indo-west Pacific and to a lesser degree to Pacific Decadal Variability. During MAM, long-term warming of tropical west Pacific SSTs from 1950–2010 has forced statistically significant precipitation reductions over eastern Africa. The warming west Pacific SSTs have forced changes in the regional lower tropospheric circulation by weakening the Somali Jet, which has reduced moisture and rainfall over the Horn of Africa. During OND, reductions in precipitation over recent decades are oftentimes overshadowed by strong year-to-year precipitation variability forced by the Indian Ocean Dipole and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation.

  10. Coral pathogens identified for White Syndrome (WS epizootics in the Indo-Pacific.

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    Meir Sussman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: White Syndrome (WS, a general term for scleractinian coral diseases with acute signs of advancing tissue lesions often resulting in total colony mortality, has been reported from numerous locations throughout the Indo-Pacific, constituting a growing threat to coral reef ecosystems. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Bacterial isolates were obtained from corals displaying disease signs at three ws outbreak sites: Nikko Bay in the Republic of Palau, Nelly Bay in the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR and Majuro Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and used in laboratory-based infection trials to satisfy Henle-Koch's postulates, Evan's rules and Hill's criteria for establishing causality. Infected colonies produced similar signs to those observed in the field following exposure to bacterial concentrations of 1x10(6 cells ml(-1. Phylogenetic 16S rRNA gene analysis demonstrated that all six pathogens identified in this study were members of the gamma-Proteobacteria family Vibrionacae, each with greater than 98% sequence identity with the previously characterized coral bleaching pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus. Screening for proteolytic activity of more than 150 coral derived bacterial isolates by a biochemical assay and specific primers for a Vibrio family zinc-metalloprotease demonstrated a significant association between the presence of isolates capable of proteolytic activity and observed disease signs. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study to provide evidence for the involvement of a unique taxonomic group of bacterial pathogens in the aetiology of Indo-Pacific coral diseases affecting multiple coral species at multiple locations. Results from this study strongly suggest the need for further investigation of bacterial proteolytic enzymes as possible virulence factors involved in Vibrio associated acute coral infections.

  11. Indo-Pacific sea surface temperature influences on failed consecutive rainy seasons over eastern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoell, Andrew; Funk, Chris

    2014-09-01

    Rainfall over eastern Africa (10°S-10°N; 35°E-50°E) is bimodal, with seasonal maxima during the "long rains" of March-April-May (MAM) and the "short rains" of October-November-December (OND). Below average precipitation during consecutive long and short rains seasons over eastern Africa can have devastating long-term impacts on water availability and agriculture. Here, we examine the forcing of drought during consecutive long and short rains seasons over eastern Africa by Indo-Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The forcing of eastern Africa precipitation and circulation by SSTs is tested using ten ensemble simulations of a global weather forecast model forced by 1950-2010 observed global SSTs. Since the 1980s, Indo-Pacific SSTs have forced more frequent droughts spanning consecutive long and short rains seasons over eastern Africa. The increased frequency of dry conditions is linked to warming SSTs over the Indo-west Pacific and to a lesser degree to Pacific Decadal Variability. During MAM, long-term warming of tropical west Pacific SSTs from 1950-2010 has forced statistically significant precipitation reductions over eastern Africa. The warming west Pacific SSTs have forced changes in the regional lower tropospheric circulation by weakening the Somali Jet, which has reduced moisture and rainfall over the Horn of Africa. During OND, reductions in precipitation over recent decades are oftentimes overshadowed by strong year-to-year precipitation variability forced by the Indian Ocean Dipole and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

  12. Timescale separation in the Indo-Pacific: Revealing intrinsic modes of SST variability on seasonal to multidecadal timescales

    CERN Document Server

    Slawinska, Joanna

    2016-01-01

    The variability of the Indo-Pacific Ocean on seasonal to multidecadal timescales is investigated in a millennial control run of CCSM4 using a recently introduced technique called Nonlinear Laplacian Spectral Analysis (NLSA). Through this technique, drawbacks associated with ad hoc pre-filtering of the input data are avoided, enabling recovery of low-frequency and intermittent modes not previously accessible via classical approaches. Here, a multiscale hierarchy of modes is identified for Indo-Pacific SST and numerous linkages between these patterns are revealed. On interannual timescales, a mode with spatiotemporal patterns corresponding to the fundamental component of ENSO emerges, along with its modulation by the annual cycle that can be associated with the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Moreover, a pattern resembling the Tropospheric Biennial Oscillation emerges independently of the ENSO and IOD modes. On decadal timescales, the dominant NLSA mode is predominantly active in the western tropical Pacific---we ca...

  13. Marine ecosystem appropriation in the Indo-Pacific: a case study of the live reef fish food trade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, Kimberley; Sadovy, Yvonne; Cesar, Herman

    2003-01-01

    Our ecological footprint analyses of coral reef fish fisheries and, in particular, the live reef fish food trade (FT), indicate many countries' current consumption exceeds estimated sustainable per capita global, regional and local coral reef production levels. Hong Kong appropriates 25% of SE Asia's annual reef fish production of 135 260-286 560 tonnes (t) through its FT demand, exceeding regional biocapacity by 8.3 times; reef fish fisheries demand out-paces sustainable production in the Indo-Pacific and SE Asia by 2.5 and 6 times. In contrast, most Pacific islands live within their own reef fisheries means with local demand at < 20% of total capacity in Oceania. The FT annually requisitions up to 40% of SE Asia's estimated reef fish and virtually all of its estimated grouper yields. Our results underscore the unsustainable nature of the FT and the urgent need for regional management and conservation of coral reef fisheries in the Indo-Pacific.

  14. The mangrove nursery paradigm revisited: otolith stable isotopes support nursery-to-reef movements by Indo-Pacific fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael A Kimirei

    Full Text Available Mangroves and seagrass beds have long been perceived as important nurseries for many fish species. While there is growing evidence from the Western Atlantic that mangrove habitats are intricately connected to coral reefs through ontogenetic fish migrations, there is an ongoing debate of the value of these coastal ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific. The present study used natural tags, viz. otolith stable carbon and oxygen isotopes, to investigate for the first time the degree to which multiple tropical juvenile habitats subsidize coral reef fish populations in the Indo Pacific (Tanzania. Otoliths of three reef fish species (Lethrinus harak, L. lentjan and Lutjanus fulviflamma were collected in mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats and analyzed for stable isotope ratios in the juvenile and adult otolith zones. δ(13C signatures were significantly depleted in the juvenile compared to the adult zones, indicative of different habitat use through ontogeny. Maximum likelihood analysis identified that 82% of adult reef L. harak had resided in either mangrove (29% or seagrass (53% or reef (18% habitats as juveniles. Of adult L. fulviflamma caught from offshore reefs, 99% had passed through mangroves habitats as juveniles. In contrast, L. lentjan adults originated predominantly from coral reefs (65-72% as opposed to inshore vegetated habitats (28-35%. This study presents conclusive evidence for a nursery role of Indo-Pacific mangrove habitats for reef fish populations. It shows that intertidal habitats that are only temporarily available can form an important juvenile habitat for some species, and that reef fish populations are often replenished by multiple coastal habitats. Maintaining connectivity between inshore vegetated habitats and coral reefs, and conserving habitat mosaics rather than single nursery habitats, is a major priority for the sustainability of various Indo Pacific fish populations.

  15. First occurrence of the Indo-Pacific polychaete species Glycinde bonhourei Gravier, 1904 in the Hellenic seas (Northern Evvoikos Gulf

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    N. SIMBOURA

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A specimen of Glycinde bonhourei Gravier, 1904, an Indo-Pacific species, was found at a station near the metalliferous waste disposal in the Northern Evvoikos Gulf (Aegean Sea, eastern Mediterranean. This is the second report of this species in the Mediterranean Sea after its first finding in the Levantine basin (Israel and Egypt. This paper provides new information on its distributional range in the Mediterranean Sea.

  16. Two new Horaiclavus (Horaiclavidae, Conoidea) species from the Indo-Pacific region.

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    Bonfitto, Antonio; Morassi, Mauro

    2014-06-19

    The genus Horaiclavus includes eight Holocene Indo-Pacific species (Appeltans et al. 2012). Herein, we describe two new species that resemble members of this genus in some aspects of shell morphology, but otherwise show features that suggest that they differ from "typical" Horaiclavus species. Descriptions and measurements were based on shells oriented spire up with the aperture facing the viewer and made using a Leica MS 5 Stereomicroscope for incident light and a 10× ocular micrometer. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs were taken using a Hitachi S-2400. The classification adopted here follows Bouchet et al. (2011). The following abbreviations are used in the text: MZB = Museo di Zoologia dell'Università di Bologna; MNHN = Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France; NHMUK = The Natural History Museum of United Kingdom [formerly British Museum (Natural History)], London, United Kingdom; ZMA = Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands; ZRC = Zoological Reference Collection, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore; a = aperture length; b = shell width; l = length; a/l = ratio of aperture length to total shell length; b/l = ratio of shell breadth to total length; dd= dead collected specimen(s); stn. = station.

  17. Periodic Closures as Adaptive Coral Reef Management in the Indo-Pacific

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    Josh Cinner

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available This study explores the social, economic, and ecological context within which communities in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia use adaptive coral reef management. We tested whether periodic closures had positive effects on reef resources, and found that both the biomass and the average size of fishes commonly caught in Indo-Pacific subsistence fisheries were greater inside areas subject to periodic closures compared to sites with year-round open access. Surprisingly, both long-lived and short-lived species benefited from periodic closures. Our study sites were remote communities that shared many socioeconomic characteristics; these may be crucial to the effectiveness of adaptive management of reef resources through periodic closures. Some of these factors include exclusive tenure over marine resources, a body of traditional ecological knowledge that allows for the rapid assessment of resource conditions, social customs that facilitate compliance with closures, relatively small human populations, negligible migration, and a relatively low dependence on fisheries. This dynamic adaptive management system, in which communities manage their resources among multiple social and ecological baselines, contrasts with western fisheries management practices, centered on maintaining exploited populations at stable levels in which net production is maximized.

  18. Survival and growth of invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish at low salinities

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    Schofield, Pamela J.; Huge, Dane H.; Rezek, Troy C.; Slone, Daniel H.; Morris, James A.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish [Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) and P. miles (Bennett, 1828)] are now established throughout the Western North Atlantic. Several studies have documented negative effects of lionfish on marine fauna including significant changes to reef fish community composition. Established populations of lionfish have been documented in several estuaries, and there is concern that the species may invade other low-salinity environments where they could potentially affect native fauna. To gain a better understanding of their low-salinity tolerance, we exposed lionfish to four salinities [5, 10, 20 and 34 (control)]. No lionfish mortality was observed at salinities of 34, 20 or 10, but all fish died at salinity = 5 within 12 days. Lionfish survived for at least a month at a salinity of 10 and an average of about a week at 5. Fish started the experiment at an average mass of 127.9 g, which increased at a rate of 0.55 g per day while they were alive, regardless of salinity treatment. Our research indicated lionfish can survive salinities down to 5 for short periods and thus may penetrate and persist in a variety of estuarine habitats. Further study is needed on effects of salinity levels on early life stages (eggs, larvae).

  19. The Indo-Pacific Warm Pool: critical to world oceanography and world climate

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    De Deckker, Patrick

    2016-12-01

    The Indo-Pacific Warm Pool holds a unique place on the globe. It is a large area [>30 × 106 km2] that is characterised by permanent surface temperature >28 °C and is therefore called the `heat engine' of the globe. High convective clouds which can reach altitudes up to 15 km generate much latent heat in the process of convection and this area is therefore called the `steam engine' of the world. Seasonal and contrasting monsoonal activity over the region is the cause for a broad seasonal change of surface salinities, and since the area lies along the path of the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, it is coined the `dilution' basin due to the high incidence of tropical rain and, away from the equator, tropical cyclones contribute to a significant drop in sea water salinity. Discussion about what may happen in the future of the Warm Pool under global warming is presented together with a description of the Warm Pool during the past, such as the Last Glacial Maximum when sea levels had dropped by ~125 m. A call for urgent monitoring of the IPWP area is justified on the grounds of the significance of this area for global oceanographic and climatological processes, but also because of the concerned threats to human population living there.

  20. Simulating the effect of glacial sea level changes on Indo-Pacific climate

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    Di Nezio, P. N.; Tierney, J. E.; Timmermann, A.; Otto-Bliesner, B. L.; Mapes, B. E.

    2014-12-01

    Lowered sea level during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) altered the geography of the Maritime Continent exposing the Sunda shelf. Multi-proxy evidence indicates that the exposure of the Sunda shelf has a first-order effect on the climate of the Indo-Pacific warm pool. The climate response involves changes in the Walker circulation driven by a massive reduction in atmospheric deep convection over the Sunda shelf. Few climate models participating in the Paleo Model Intercomparison Project (PMIP) are capable of simulating this response. Using the Community Earth System Model Version 1 (CESM1) we show that a models ability of to simulate this response depends on the formulation of the atmospheric deep convection scheme. Using CESM1 we also find that the Indian Ocean amplifies the response via the Bjerknes feedback. This results in a large reorganization of the climate of the Indian Ocean, which during the LGM resembles the Pacific, with a cold tongue and dry conditions in the east, and warmer SSTs and wetter conditions in the west. Ideas for testing these mechanisms using proxy data will be discussed.

  1. Water column productivity and temperature predict coral reef regeneration across the Indo-Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegl, B; Glynn, P W; Wieters, E; Purkis, S; d'Angelo, C; Wiedenmann, J

    2015-02-05

    Predicted increases in seawater temperatures accelerate coral reef decline due to mortality by heat-driven coral bleaching. Alteration of the natural nutrient environment of reef corals reduces tolerance of corals to heat and light stress and thus will exacerbate impacts of global warming on reefs. Still, many reefs demonstrate remarkable regeneration from past stress events. This paper investigates the effects of sea surface temperature (SST) and water column productivity on recovery of coral reefs. In 71 Indo-Pacific sites, coral cover changes over the past 1-3 decades correlated negative-exponentially with mean SST, chlorophyll a, and SST rise. At six monitoring sites (Persian/Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, northern and southern Galápagos, Easter Island, Panama), over half of all corals were reefs in the northwest and central Indian Ocean, as well as the central west Pacific, are at highest risk of degradation, and those at high latitudes the least. The model pinpoints regions where coral reefs presently have the best chances for survival. However, reefs best buffered against temperature and nutrient effects are those that current studies suggest to be most at peril from future ocean acidification.

  2. Toxicity of polyunsaturated aldehydes of diatoms to Indo-Pacific bioindicator organism Echinometra mathaei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartori, Davide; Gaion, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Although it is well known suitability of early developmental stages of sea urchin as recommended model for pollutant toxicity testing, little is known about the sensitivity of Indo-Pacific species Echinometra mathaei to polyunsaturated aldehydes. In this study, the effect of three short chain aldehydes, 2,4-decadienal (DD), 2,4-octadienal (OD) and 2,4-heptadienal (HD), normally found in many diatoms, such as Skeletonema costatum, Skeletonema marinoi and Thalassiosira rotula, was evaluated on larval development of E. mathaei embryos. Aldehydes affected larval development in a dose-dependent manner, in particular HD>OD>DD; the results of this study highlighted the higher sensitivity of this species toward aldehydes compared with data registered for other sea urchin species. In comparison with studies reported in the literature, contrasting results were observed during our tests; therefore, an increasing toxic effect was registered with decreasing the chain length of aldehydes. This work could provide new insights in the development of new toxicological assays toward most sensitive species.

  3. Phylogeography and demographic history of two widespread Indo-Pacific mudskippers (Gobiidae: Periophthalmus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polgar, G; Zane, L; Babbucci, M; Barbisan, F; Patarnello, T; Rüber, L; Papetti, C

    2014-04-01

    This study provides a first description of the phylogeographic patterns and evolutionary history of two species of the mudskipper genus Periophthalmus. These amphibious gobies are distributed throughout the whole Indo-Pacific region and Atlantic coast of Africa, in peritidal habitats of soft-bottom coastal ecosystems. Three sequence datasets of two widely distributed species, Periophthalmus argentilineatus and P. kalolo, were obtained by amplifying and sequencing two mtDNA markers (D-loop and 16S rDNA) and the nDNA rag1 region. The three datasets were then used to perform phylogeographic, demographic and population genetic analyses. Our results indicate that tectonic events and past climatic oscillations strongly contributed to shape present genetic differentiation, phylogeographic and demographic patterns. We found support for the monophyly of P. kalolo, and only shallow genetic differentiation between East-African and Indo-Malayan populations of this species. However, our collections of the morphospecies P. argentilineatus include three molecularly distinct lineages, one of them more closely related to P. kalolo. The presence of Miocenic timings for the most recent common ancestors of some of these morphologically similar clades, suggests the presence of strong stabilising selection in mudskippers' habitats. At population level, demographic analyses and palaeoecological records of mangrove ecosystems suggest that Pleistocene bottlenecks and expansion plus secondary contact events of the studied species were associated with recurrent sea transgressions during interglacials, and sea regressions or stable regimes during glacials, respectively.

  4. Water column productivity and temperature predict coral reef regeneration across the Indo-Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegl, B.; Glynn, P. W.; Wieters, E.; Purkis, S.; D'Angelo, C.; Wiedenmann, J.

    2015-02-01

    Predicted increases in seawater temperatures accelerate coral reef decline due to mortality by heat-driven coral bleaching. Alteration of the natural nutrient environment of reef corals reduces tolerance of corals to heat and light stress and thus will exacerbate impacts of global warming on reefs. Still, many reefs demonstrate remarkable regeneration from past stress events. This paper investigates the effects of sea surface temperature (SST) and water column productivity on recovery of coral reefs. In 71 Indo-Pacific sites, coral cover changes over the past 1-3 decades correlated negative-exponentially with mean SST, chlorophyll a, and SST rise. At six monitoring sites (Persian/Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, northern and southern Galápagos, Easter Island, Panama), over half of all corals were reefs in the northwest and central Indian Ocean, as well as the central west Pacific, are at highest risk of degradation, and those at high latitudes the least. The model pinpoints regions where coral reefs presently have the best chances for survival. However, reefs best buffered against temperature and nutrient effects are those that current studies suggest to be most at peril from future ocean acidification.

  5. High connectivity in the deepwater snapper Pristipomoides filamentosus (Lutjanidae across the Indo-Pacific with isolation of the Hawaiian archipelago.

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    Michelle R Gaither

    Full Text Available In the tropical Indo-Pacific, most phylogeographic studies have focused on the shallow-water taxa that inhabit reefs to approximately 30 m depth. Little is known about the large predatory fishes, primarily snappers (subfamily Etelinae and groupers (subfamily Epinephelinae that occur at 100-400 m. These long-lived, slow-growing species support fisheries across the Indo-Pacific, yet no comprehensive genetic surveys within this group have been conducted. Here we contribute the first range-wide survey of a deepwater Indo-Pacific snapper, Pristipomoides filamentosus, with special focus on Hawai'i. We applied mtDNA cytochrome b and 11 microsatellite loci to 26 samples (N=1,222 collected across 17,000 km from Hawai'i to the western Indian Ocean. Results indicate that P. filamentosus is a highly dispersive species with low but significant population structure (mtDNA Φ(ST=0.029, microsatellite F(ST=0.029 due entirely to the isolation of Hawai'i. No population structure was detected across 14,000 km of the Indo-Pacific from Tonga in the Central Pacific to the Seychelles in the western Indian Ocean, a pattern rarely observed in reef species. Despite a long pelagic phase (60-180 days, interisland dispersal as adults, and extensive gene flow across the Indo-Pacific, P. filamentosus is unable to maintain population connectivity with Hawai'i. Coalescent analyses indicate that P. filamentosus may have colonized Hawai'i 26 K-52 K y ago against prevailing currents, with dispersal away from Hawai'i dominating migration estimates. P. filamentosus harbors low genetic diversity in Hawai'i, a common pattern in marine fishes, and our data indicate a single archipelago-wide stock. However, like the Hawaiian Grouper, Hyporthodus quernus, this snapper had several significant pairwise comparisons (F(ST clustered around the middle of the archipelago (St. Rogatien, Brooks Banks, Gardner indicating that this region may be isolated or (more likely receives input from Johnston

  6. The climate response of the Indo-Pacific warm pool to glacial sea level

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    Di Nezio, Pedro N.; Timmermann, Axel; Tierney, Jessica E.; Jin, Fei-Fei; Otto-Bliesner, Bette; Rosenbloom, Nan; Mapes, Brian; Neale, Rich; Ivanovic, Ruza F.; Montenegro, Alvaro

    2016-06-01

    Growing climate proxy evidence suggests that changes in sea level are important drivers of tropical climate change on glacial-interglacial timescales. These paleodata suggest that rainfall patterns over the Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) are highly sensitive to the landmass configuration of the Maritime Continent and that lowered sea level contributed to large-scale drying during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, approximately 21,000 years B.P.). Using the Community Earth System Model Version 1.2 (CESM1), we investigate the mechanisms by which lowered sea level influenced the climate of the IPWP during the LGM. The CESM1 simulations show that, in agreement with previous hypotheses, changes in atmospheric circulation are initiated by the exposure of the Sunda and Sahul shelves. Ocean dynamical processes amplify the changes in atmospheric circulation by increasing the east-west sea surface temperature (SST) gradient along the equatorial Indian Ocean. The coupled mechanism driving this response is akin to the Bjerknes feedback and results in a large-scale climatic reorganization over the Indian Ocean with impacts extending from east Africa to the western tropical Pacific. Unlike exposure of the Sunda shelf, exposure of Sahul shelf and the associated changes in surface albedo play a key role because of the positive feedback. This mechanism could explain the pattern of dry (wet) eastern (western) Indian Ocean identified in climate proxies and LGM simulations. However, this response also requires a strengthened SST gradient along the equatorial Indian Ocean, a pattern that is not evident in marine paleoreconstructions. Strategies to resolve this issue are discussed.

  7. A biomineralization study of the Indo-Pacific giant clam Tridacna gigas

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    Gannon, M. E.; Pérez-Huerta, A.; Aharon, P.; Street, S. C.

    2017-06-01

    The giant clam, Tridacna gigas, is an important faunal component of reef ecosystems of the Indo-Pacific region. In addition to its ecological role, shells of this bivalve species are useful bioarchives for past climate and environmental reconstructions. However, the biomineralization processes involved in shell aragonite deposition are insufficiently understood. Here, we present a study of the shell microstructure of modern specimens from Palm Island, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, and Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea (PNG), using a combination of petrography, scanning electron microscopy, electron backscatter diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and stable carbon isotope ratios. Daily growth increments were recognizable in all specimens through ontogeny, and counting these growth lines provides a robust specimen age estimate. For the internal layers, paired increments of organized aragonitic needles and compact, oblong crystals were recognized in a specimen from PNG, whereas specimens from GBR were composed of shield-like crystals that were not definable at the microscale. The combination of nutrient availability, rainfall and solar irradiance are likely to be the most significant factors controlling shell growth and may explain the observed differences in microstructure. The external layer, identical in all specimens, was composed of dendritic microstructure that is significantly enriched in 13C compared to the internal layer, suggesting different metabolic controls on layer deposition. We propose that the mineralization of the internal and external layers is independent from each other and associated with the activity of specific mantles. Future studies using T. gigas shells as bioarchives should consider the microstructure as it reflects the environment in which the individual lived and the differences in mineralization pathways of internal and external layers.

  8. Population expansion and genetic structure in Carcharhinus brevipinna in the southern Indo-Pacific.

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    Pascal T Geraghty

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Quantifying genetic diversity and metapopulation structure provides insights into the evolutionary history of a species and helps develop appropriate management strategies. We provide the first assessment of genetic structure in spinner sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna, a large cosmopolitan carcharhinid, sampled from eastern and northern Australia and South Africa. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Sequencing of the mitochondrial DNA NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 gene for 430 individuals revealed 37 haplotypes and moderately high haplotype diversity (h = 0.6770 ±0.025. While two metrics of genetic divergence (ΦST and F ST revealed somewhat different results, subdivision was detected between South Africa and all Australian locations (pairwise ΦST, range 0.02717-0.03508, p values ≤ 0.0013; pairwise F ST South Africa vs New South Wales = 0.04056, p = 0.0008. Evidence for fine-scale genetic structuring was also detected along Australia's east coast (pairwise ΦST = 0.01328, p < 0.015, and between south-eastern and northern locations (pairwise ΦST = 0.00669, p < 0.04. CONCLUSIONS: The Indian Ocean represents a robust barrier to contemporary gene flow in C. brevipinna between Australia and South Africa. Gene flow also appears restricted along a continuous continental margin in this species, with data tentatively suggesting the delineation of two management units within Australian waters. Further sampling, however, is required for a more robust evaluation of the latter finding. Evidence indicates that all sampled populations were shaped by a substantial demographic expansion event, with the resultant high genetic diversity being cause for optimism when considering conservation of this commercially-targeted species in the southern Indo-Pacific.

  9. Spatial variability in secondary metabolites of the indo-pacific sponge Stylissa massa.

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    Rohde, Sven; Gochfeld, Deborah J; Ankisetty, Sridevi; Avula, Bharathi; Schupp, Peter J; Slattery, Marc

    2012-05-01

    Chemical diversity represents a measure of selective pressures acting on genotypic variability. In order to understand patterns of chemical ecology and biodiversity in the environment, it is necessary to enhance our knowledge of chemical diversity within and among species. Many sponges produce variable levels of secondary metabolites in response to diverse biotic and abiotic environmental factors. This study evaluated intra-specific variability in secondary metabolites in the common Indo-Pacific sponge Stylissa massa over various geographic scales, from local to ocean basin. Several major metabolites were quantified in extracts from sponges collected in American Samoa, Pohnpei, Saipan, and at several sites and depths in Guam. Concentrations of several of these metabolites varied geographically across the Pacific basin, with American Samoa and Pohnpei exhibiting the greatest differences, and Guam and Saipan more similar to each other. There were also significant differences in concentrations among different sites and depths within Guam. The crude extract of S. massa exhibited feeding deterrence against the omnivorous pufferfish Canthigaster solandri at natural concentrations, however, none of the isolated compounds was deterrent at the maximum natural concentrations observed, nor were mixtures of these compounds, thus emphasizing the need for bioassay-guided isolation to characterize specific chemical defenses. Antibacterial activity against a panel of ecologically relevant pathogens was minimal. Depth transplants, predator exclusion, and UV protection experiments were performed, but although temporal variability in compound concentrations was observed, there was no evidence that secondary metabolite concentration in S. massa was induced by any of these factors. Although the reasons behind the variability observed in the chemical constituents of S. massa are still in question, all sponges are not created equal from a chemical standpoint, and these studies provide

  10. Extended geographic distribution of several Indo-Pacific coral reef diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, E; Irikawa, A; Casareto, B; Suzuki, Y

    2012-03-20

    Other than coral bleaching, few coral diseases or diseases of other reef organisms have been reported from Japan. This is the first report of lesions similar to Porites ulcerative white spots (PUWS), brown band disease (BrB), pigmentation response (PR), and crustose coralline white syndrome (CCWS) for this region. To assess the health status and disease prevalence, qualitative and quantitative surveys (3 belt transects of 100 m² each on each reef) were performed in March and September 2010 on 2 reefs of the Ginowan-Ooyama reef complex off Okinawa, and 2 protected reefs off Zamani Island, in the Kerama Islands 40 km west of Okinawa. Overall, mean (±SD) disease prevalence was higher in Ginowan-Ooyama (9.7 ± 7.9%) compared to Zamami (3.6 ± 4.6%). Porites lutea was most affected by PUWS at Ooyama (23.1 ± 10.4 vs. 4.5 ± 5.2%). White syndrome (WS) mostly affected Acropora cytherea (12. 5 ± 18.0%) in Zamami and Oxipora lacera (10.2 ± 10%) in Ooyama. Growth anomalies (GA) and BrB were only observed on A. cytherea (8.3 ± 6.2%) and A. nobilis (0.8%) at Zamami. Black band disease affected Pachyseris speciosa (6.0 ± 4.6%) in Ooyama only. Pigmentation responses (PR) were common in massive Porites in both localities (2.6 ± 1.9 and 5.6 ± 2.3% respectively). Crustose coralline white syndrome (CCWS) was observed in both localities. These results significantly expand the geographic distribution of PUWS, BrB, PR and CCWS in the Indo-Pacific, indicating that the northernmost coral reefs in the western Pacific are susceptible to a larger number of coral diseases than previously thought.

  11. Evidence for Shifts in Indo-Pacific Hydrology over the Last Two Millennia from Indonesian Speleothems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, M. L.; Gagan, M. K.; Drysdale, R.; Kimbrough, A. K.; Johnson, K. R.; Cole, J. E.; Zhao, J.; Ayliffe, L. K.; Hellstrom, J.; Hantoro, W. S.

    2012-12-01

    A suite of climate proxy records from the tropical Pacific have provided detailed information on the behaviour of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and associated Pacific Walker Circulation (PWC) over the past millennium. However, there is still disagreement as to the precise evolution of this phenomenon, because some records have indicated that the PWC was stronger during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA; ~950-1250 A.D. as defined in northern midlatitudes) and weaker during the Little Ice Age (LIA; 1450-1750 A.D.), whilst other records have suggested quite the opposite. These conflicting hypotheses are partly due to the lack of well-dated and continuous reconstructions of tropical Pacific climate, with the resolution capable of resolving the interannual ENSO and related decadal variability. Here we address these shortcomings by constructing an annually resolved record of Indonesian monsoon (IM) variability over the past two millennia from 18O/16O in speleothems situated within the ascending branch of the PWC in south-central Indonesia. Our replicated 18O/16O record reveals that the IM was substantially weaker (relative to modern) between ~950 and 1350 A.D., and became stronger immediately thereafter between ~1350 and 1700 A.D. These patterns, which are synchronous with other proxy records from the Indo-Pacific, are anti-phased with records of Indian and East Asian summer monsoon variability, suggesting that the latitudinal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone may have been responsible for the observed phase relationships between the northern- and southern-hemisphere low latitude regions. However, comparison of our IM record with hydrological records from the central/eastern equatorial Pacific shows marked anti-phasing between these regions too. Hence, zonal changes in the PWC may also explain the observed hydrologic shifts in Indonesia. Evidence for a weaker PWC during the MCA is provided by a time-space wavelet transform of our 18O/16O profile which

  12. Weighted West, Focused on the Indian Ocean and Cooperating across the Indo Pacific: The Indian Navy’s New Maritime Strategy, Capabilities, and Diplomacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-25

    and diplomatic compulsions . However, as we discuss in greater detail below in the analysis of India’s Indo-Pacific geographic priorities, India still...indigenous efforts and foreign collaboration; the latter is primarily with Russia, which also seeks to retain India as a significant buyer of its

  13. First record of the Indo-Pacific species Iphione muricata Savigny in Lamarck, 1818 (Polychaeta: Iphionidae from the Mediterranean Sea, Israel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. GOREN

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Indo-Pacific scaleworm Iphione muricata was observed and caught in the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of Israel. Morphological and molecular diagnostic characters of the species are discussed. This is the first record of this alien species in the Mediterranean Sea, and its previous reports in the Suez Canal suggest its introduction via Lessepsian migration.

  14. Asian Monsoon Variability from the Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas (MADA) and Links to Indo-Pacific Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ummenhofer, Caroline; D'Arrigo, Rosanne; Anchukaitis, Kevin; Hernandez, Manuel; Buckley, Brendan; Cook, Edward

    2014-05-01

    Drought patterns across monsoon and temperate Asia over the period 1877-2005 are linked to Indo-Pacific climate variability associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Using the Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas (MADA) composed of a high-resolution network of hydroclimatically sensitive tree-ring records with a focus on the June-August months, spatial drought patterns during El Niño and IOD events are assessed as to their agreement with an instrumental drought index and consistency in the drought response amongst ENSO/IOD events. Spatial characteristics in drought patterns are related to regional climate anomalies over the Indo-Pacific basin, using reanalysis products, including changes in the Asian monsoon systems, zonal Walker circulation, moisture fluxes, and precipitation. A weakening of the monsoon circulation over the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia during El Niño events, along with anomalous subsidence over monsoon Asia and reduced moisture flux, is reflected in anomalous drought conditions over India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia. When an IOD event co-occurs with an El Niño, severe drought conditions identified in the MADA for Southeast Asia, Indonesia, eastern China and central Asia are associated with a weakened South Asian monsoon, reduced moisture flux over China, and anomalous divergent flow and subsidence over Indonesia. Variations in the strength of the South Asian monsoon can also be linked to the Strange Parallels Drought (1756-1768) affecting much of Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent in the mid-18th Century. Large-scale climate anomalies across the wider region during years with an anomalously strengthened/weakened South Asian monsoon are discussed with implications for severe droughts prior to the instrumental period. Insights into the relative influences of Pacific and Indian Ocean variability for Asian monsoon climate on interannual to decadal and longer timescales, as recorded in the

  15. Faunal breaks and species composition of Indo-Pacific corals: the role of plate tectonics, environment and habitat distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, S A; Baird, A H; Hughes, T P; Madin, J S; Connolly, S R

    2013-07-22

    Species richness gradients are ubiquitous in nature, but the mechanisms that generate and maintain these patterns at macroecological scales remain unresolved. We use a new approach that focuses on overlapping geographical ranges of species to reveal that Indo-Pacific corals are assembled within 11 distinct faunal provinces. Province limits are characterized by co-occurrence of multiple species range boundaries. Unexpectedly, these faunal breaks are poorly predicted by contemporary environmental conditions and the present-day distribution of habitat. Instead, faunal breaks show striking concordance with geological features (tectonic plates and mantle plume tracks). The depth range over which a species occurs, its larval development rate and genus age are important determinants of the likelihood that species will straddle faunal breaks. Our findings indicate that historical processes, habitat heterogeneity and species colonization ability account for more of the present-day biogeographical patterns of corals than explanations based on the contemporary distribution of reefs or environmental conditions.

  16. Comparative shell morphology of Lymnaea (Bullastra) cumingiana (Pulmonata: Lymnaeidae) and related taxa in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monzon, R B; Kitikoon, V; Thammapalerd, N; Temcharoen, P; Sornmani, S; Viyanant, V

    1993-09-01

    Comparative shell morphology using both quantitative and qualitative parameters was employed to investigate the taxonomic relationship between the endemic Philippine species, Lymnaea (Bullastra) cumingiana and five other lymnaeid "species" in the Indo-Pacific region, namely: L. (Radix) quadrasi (Philippines). L. (Radix) rubiginosa (Indonesia), L. (Radix) rubiginosa (Thailand), L. (Radix) viridis (Guam) and L. (Radix) viridis (Hong Kong). Fifty randomly chosen adult specimens of each species were studied and compared, although only field-collected specimens were studied for the first four groups and laboratory-raised specimens for the last two group. Results strongly suggested that L. cumingiana is a distinct species among the rest. L. quadrasi, L. rubiginosa (Indonesia) and L. rubiginosa (Thailand) exhibited great affinity towards each other. Likewise, the two geographical isolates of L. viridis were practically identical to each other except for some minor size differences.

  17. CO I barcoding reveals new clades and radiation patterns of Indo-Pacific sponges of the family Irciniidae (Demospongiae: Dictyoceratida.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Pöppe

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: DNA barcoding is a promising tool to facilitate a rapid and unambiguous identification of sponge species. Demosponges of the order Dictyoceratida are particularly challenging to identify, but are of ecological as well as biochemical importance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we apply DNA barcoding with the standard CO1-barcoding marker on selected Indo-Pacific specimens of two genera, Ircinia and Psammocinia of the family Irciniidae. We show that the CO1 marker identifies several species new to science, reveals separate radiation patterns of deep-sea Ircinia sponges and indicates dispersal patterns of Psammocinia species. However, some species cannot be unambiguously barcoded by solely this marker due to low evolutionary rates. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We support previous suggestions for a combination of the standard CO1 fragment with an additional fragment for sponge DNA barcoding.

  18. The effect of lowered sea level on climate in the Indo-Pacific region as simulated by the SPEEDY AGCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middlemas, E.; Cobb, K. M.; Di Lorenzo, E.

    2012-12-01

    Global climate changes during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) have been ascribed to a combination of lower atmospheric CO2, increased albedo, large continental ice sheets, and altered ocean circulation. The effect of lowered sea level on LGM climate is typically considered negligible, despite the fact that the exposure of the Sunda Shelf in the tropical Indo-Pacific created a continent-scale landmass between Southeast Asia and Australia. Paleoclimate records document profound changes in tropical Indo-Pacific climate during the LGM, including weaker ENSO, (Tudhope et. al., 2001), changes in the sea-surface temperature gradient along the equatorial pacific (Lea et al., 2000; Koutavas et al., 2002), and changes in western Pacific hydrology (Martinez et al., 1997; Oppo et al., 2003). A recent investigation of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCMs) simulation of LGM climate suggests that the emergence of the Sunda Shelf alone may have reshaped tropical Indo-Pacific climate, contributing to a significant reduction in the strength of the Walker circulation (DiNezio et al., 2011). If true, this would have profound implications for the attribution of LGM paleoclimate signals in the Indo-Pacific region. For example, regional drying inferred by a Sunda Shelf record during the LGM (e.g. Bird et al., 2005) may be entirely ascribed to sea level change, and counter the regional hydrological response to cooler global temperatures and reduced pCO2 during the LGM. The only modeling experiment that isolated the effects of lowered LGM sea level on climate documented significant atmospheric circulation changes spanning the entire tropical Pacific (Bush & Fairbanks, 2003). Here we present the results of lowered sea level simulations with the AGCM SPEEDY (Molteni, 2003) designed to gauge the sensitivity of tropical Pacific climate to an LGM sea level drop of roughly 130m. Modifying the model's land/sea mask, we replace ocean gridpoints in the East & South China Seas

  19. Indian summer monsoon rainfall variability during 2014 and 2015 and associated Indo-Pacific upper ocean temperature patterns

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    Kakatkar, Rashmi; Gnanaseelan, C.; Chowdary, J. S.; Parekh, Anant; Deepa, J. S.

    2017-01-01

    In this study, factors responsible for the deficit Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) rainfall in 2014 and 2015 and the ability of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology-Global Ocean Data Assimilation System (IITM-GODAS) in representing the oceanic features are examined. IITM-GODAS has been used to provide initial conditions for seasonal forecast in India during 2014 and 2015. The years 2014 and 2015 witnessed deficit ISM rainfall but were evolved from two entirely different preconditions over Pacific. This raises concern over the present understanding of the role of Pacific Ocean on ISM variability. Analysis reveals that the mechanisms associated with the rainfall deficit over the Indian Subcontinent are different in the two years. It is found that remote forcing in summer of 2015 due to El Niño is mostly responsible for the deficit monsoon rainfall through changes in Walker circulation and large-scale subsidence. In the case of the summer of 2014, both local circulation with anomalous anticyclone over central India and intrusion of mid-latitude dry winds from north have contributed for the deficit rainfall. In addition to the above, Tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) sea surface temperature (SST) and remote forcing from Pacific Ocean also modulated the ISM rainfall. It is observed that Pacific SST warming has extended westward in 2014, making it a basin scale warming unlike the strong El Niño year 2015. The eastern equatorial Indian Ocean is anomalously warmer than west in summer of 2014, and vice versa in 2015. These differences in SST in both tropical Pacific and TIO have considerable impact on ISM rainfall in 2014 and 2015. The study reveals that initializing coupled forecast models with proper upper ocean temperature over the Indo-Pacific is therefore essential for improved model forecast. It is important to note that the IITM-GODAS which assimilates only array for real-time geostrophic oceanography (ARGO) temperature and salinity profiles could capture most of the

  20. Comparative cytogenetics of six Indo-Pacific moray eels (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) by chromosomal banding and fluorescence in situ hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coluccia, E; Deidda, F; Cannas, R; Lobina, C; Cuccu, D; Deiana, A M; Salvadori, S

    2015-09-01

    A comparative cytogenetic analysis, using both conventional staining techniques and fluorescence in situ hybridization, of six Indo-Pacific moray eels from three different genera (Gymnothorax fimbriatus, Gymnothorax flavimarginatus, Gymnothorax javanicus, Gymnothorax undulatus, Echidna nebulosa and Gymnomuraena zebra), was carried out to investigate the chromosomal differentiation in the family Muraenidae. Four species displayed a diploid chromosome number 2n = 42, which is common among the Muraenidae. Two other species, G. javanicus and G. flavimarginatus, were characterized by different chromosome numbers (2n = 40 and 2n = 36). For most species, a large amount of constitutive heterochromatin was detected in the chromosomes, with species-specific C-banding patterns that enabled pairing of the homologous chromosomes. In all species, the major ribosomal genes were localized in the guanine-cytosine-rich region of one chromosome pair, but in different chromosomal locations. The (TTAGGG)n telomeric sequences were mapped onto chromosomal ends in all muraenid species studied. The comparison of the results derived from this study with those available in the literature confirms a substantial conservation of the diploid chromosome number in the Muraenidae and supports the hypothesis that rearrangements have occurred that have diversified their karyotypes. Furthermore, the finding of two species with different diploid chromosome numbers suggests that additional chromosomal rearrangements, such as Robertsonian fusions, have occurred in the karyotype evolution of the Muraenidae.

  1. Ontogenetic habitat shift, population growth, and burrowing behavior of the Indo-Pacific beach star, Archaster typicus (Echinodermata; Asteroidea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Arthur R; Gumanao, Girley S; van Katwijk, Marieke M; Mueller, Benjamin; Saceda, Marjho M; Tejada, Rosie Lynn P

    2011-01-01

    Archaster typicus, a common sea star in Indo-Pacific regions, has been a target for the ornamental trade, even though little is known about its population biology. Spatial and temporal patterns of abundance and size structure of A. typicus were studied in the Davao Gulf, the Philippines (125°42.7'E, 7°0.6'N), from February 2008 to December 2009. Specimens of A. typicus were associated with intertidal mangrove prop roots, seagrass meadows, sandy beaches, and shoals. Among prop roots, specimens were significantly smaller and had highest densities (131 ind. m(-2)) between November and March. High organic matter in sediment and a relatively low predation rate seemed to support juvenile life among mangroves. Size and density analyses provided evidence that individuals gradually move to seagrass, sandy habitats, and shoals as they age. Specimens were significantly larger at a shoal (maximum radius R = 81 mm). New recruits were found between August and November in both 2008 and 2009. Timing of recruitment and population size frequencies confirmed a seasonal reproductive cycle. Juveniles had relatively high growth rates (2-7 mm month(-1)) and may reach an R of 20-25 mm after 1 year. Growth rates of larger specimens (R > 30 mm) were generally stars and provides new biological information as a basis for management of harvested A. typicus populations.

  2. Climate variability and predictability associated with the Indo-Pacific Oceanic Channel Dynamics in the CCSM4 Coupled System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Dongliang; Xu, Peng; Xu, Tengfei

    2017-01-01

    An experiment using the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4), a participant of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase-5 (CMIP5), is analyzed to assess the skills of this model in simulating and predicting the climate variabilities associated with the oceanic channel dynamics across the Indo-Pacific Oceans. The results of these analyses suggest that the model is able to reproduce the observed lag correlation between the oceanic anomalies in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean and those in the cold tongue in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean at a time lag of 1 year. This success may be largely attributed to the successful simulation of the interannual variations of the Indonesian Throughflow, which carries the anomalies of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) into the western equatorial Pacific Ocean to produce subsurface temperature anomalies, which in turn propagate to the eastern equatorial Pacific to generate ENSO. This connection is termed the "oceanic channel dynamics" and is shown to be consistent with the observational analyses. However, the model simulates a weaker connection between the IOD and the interannual variability of the Indonesian Throughflow transport than found in the observations. In addition, the model overestimates the westerly wind anomalies in the western-central equatorial Pacific in the year following the IOD, which forces unrealistic upwelling Rossby waves in the western equatorial Pacific and downwelling Kelvin waves in the east. This assessment suggests that the CCSM4 coupled climate system has underestimated the oceanic channel dynamics and overestimated the atmospheric bridge processes.

  3. Revision of the Indo-Pacific genus Nembrotha (Nudibranchia: Dorididae: Polyceridae, with a description of two new species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Pola

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Anatomical examination of new material collected from the Indo-Pacific and the review of several collections from around the world allows for the revision of the genus Nembrotha Bergh, 1877. Two new species, Nembrotha rosannulata n. sp. and Nembrotha aurea n. sp., are described. The oldest available name for the genus is Nembrotha nigerrima Bergh, 1877, which was subsequently designated as the type species by O’Donoghue, 1924. The study of the original type material of N. nigerrima confirmed that it is a senior synonym of another name introduced subsequently, Nembrotha kubaryana Bergh, 1877, the name most commonly used for this species. However, according to the provisions of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (Article 23.9.1, there is no reason to invalidate the senior name Nembrotha nigerrima, since it has been used as valid after 1899. Nembrotha cristata Bergh, 1877, N. lineolata Bergh, 1905, N. purpureolineata O’Donoghue, 1924, N. livingstonei Allan, 1933, N. megalocera Yonow, 1990 and N. guttata Yonow, 1993, which are poorly known, are redescribed. Nembrotha rutilans (Pruvot-Fol, 1931 is synonymised with N. purpureolineata. Nembrotha yonowae Goethel and Debelius, 1992 is synonymised with N. guttata. The radulae of Nembrotha milleri Gosliner and Behrens, 1997 and N. mullineri Gosliner and Behrens, 1997 are redescribed.

  4. Towards a phylogenetic classification of reef corals: The Indo-Pacific genera Merulina, Goniastrea and Scapophyllia (Scleractinia, Merulinidae)

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Danwei

    2014-06-03

    Recent advances in scleractinian systematics and taxonomy have been achieved through the integration of molecular and morphological data, as well as rigorous analysis using phylogenetic methods. In this study, we continue in our pursuit of a phylogenetic classification by examining the evolutionary relationships between the closely related reef coral genera Merulina, Goniastrea, Paraclavarina and Scapophyllia (Merulinidae). In particular, we address the extreme polyphyly of Favites and Goniastrea that was discovered a decade ago. We sampled 145 specimens belonging to 16 species from a wide geographic range in the Indo-Pacific, focusing especially on type localities, including the Red Sea, western Indian Ocean and central Pacific. Tree reconstructions based on both nuclear and mitochondrial markers reveal a novel lineage composed of three species previously placed in Favites and Goniastrea. Morphological analyses indicate that this clade, Paragoniastrea Huang, Benzoni & Budd, gen. n., has a unique combination of corallite and subcorallite features observable with scanning electron microscopy and thin sections. Molecular and morphological evidence furthermore indicates that the monotypic genus Paraclavarina is nested within Merulina, and the former is therefore synonymised. © 2014 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

  5. An Assessment of Indo-Pacific Oceanic Channel Dynamics in the FGOALS-g2 Coupled Climate System Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Tengfei; YUAN Dongliang; YU Yongqiang; ZHAO Xia

    2013-01-01

    Lag correlations of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs),sea surface height anomalies (SSHAs),subsurface temperature anomalies,and surface zonal wind anomalies (SZWAs) produced by the Flexible Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System model:Grid-point Version 2 (FGOALS-g2) are analyzed and compared with observations.The insignificant,albeit positive,lag correlations between the SSTAs in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean (STIO) in fall and the SSTAs in the central-eastern Pacific cold tongue in the following summer through fall are found to be not in agreement with the observational analysis.The model,however,does reproduce the significant lag correlations between the SSHAs in the STIO in fall and those in the cold tongue at the one-year time lag in the observations.These,along with the significant lag correlations between the SSTAs in the STIO in fall and the subsurface temperature anomalies in the equatorial Pacific vertical section in the following year,suggest that the Indonesian Throughflow plays an important role in propagating the Indian Ocean anomalies into the equatorial Pacific Ocean.Analyses of the interannual anomalies of the Indonesian Throughflow transport suggest that the FGOALS-g2 climate system simulates,but underestimates,the oceanic channel dynamics between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.FGOALS-g2 is shown to produce lag correlations between the SZWAs over the western equatorial Pacific in fall and the cold tongue SSTAs at the one-year time lag that are too strong to be realistic in comparison with observations.The analyses suggest that the atmospheric bridge over the Indo-Pacific Ocean is overestimated in the FGOALS-g2 coupled climate model.

  6. Blacktip reef sharks, Carcharhinus melanopterus, have high genetic structure and varying demographic histories in their Indo-Pacific range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vignaud, Thomas M; Mourier, Johann; Maynard, Jeffrey A; Leblois, Raphael; Spaet, Julia; Clua, Eric; Neglia, Valentina; Planes, Serge

    2014-11-01

    For free-swimming marine species like sharks, only population genetics and demographic history analyses can be used to assess population health/status as baseline population numbers are usually unknown. We investigated the population genetics of blacktip reef sharks, Carcharhinus melanopterus; one of the most abundant reef-associated sharks and the apex predator of many shallow water reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Our sampling includes 4 widely separated locations in the Indo-Pacific and 11 islands in French Polynesia with different levels of coastal development. Four-teen microsatellite loci were analysed for samples from all locations and two mitochondrial DNA fragments, the control region and cytochrome b, were examined for 10 locations. For microsatellites, genetic diversity is higher for the locations in the large open systems of the Red Sea and Australia than for the fragmented habitat of the smaller islands of French Polynesia. Strong significant structure was found for distant locations with FST values as high as ~0.3, and a smaller but still significant structure is found within French Polynesia. Both mitochondrial genes show only a few mutations across the sequences with a dominant shared haplotype in French Polynesia and New Caledonia suggesting a common lineage different to that of East Australia. Demographic history analyses indicate population expansions in the Red Sea and Australia that may coincide with sea level changes after climatic events. Expansions and flat signals are indicated for French Polynesia as well as a significant recent bottleneck for Moorea, the most human-impacted lagoon of the locations in French Polynesia.

  7. Blacktip reef sharks, Carcharhinus melanopterus, have high genetic structure and varying demographic histories in their Indo-Pacific range

    KAUST Repository

    Vignaud, Thomas M.

    2014-10-13

    For free-swimming marine species like sharks, only population genetics and demographic history analyses can be used to assess population health/status as baseline population numbers are usually unknown. We investigated the population genetics of blacktip reef sharks, Carcharhinus melanopterus; one of the most abundant reef-associated sharks and the apex predator of many shallow water reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Our sampling includes 4 widely separated locations in the Indo-Pacific and 11 islands in French Polynesia with different levels of coastal development. Four-teen microsatellite loci were analysed for samples from all locations and two mitochondrial DNA fragments, the control region and cytochrome b, were examined for 10 locations. For microsatellites, genetic diversity is higher for the locations in the large open systems of the Red Sea and Australia than for the fragmented habitat of the smaller islands of French Polynesia. Strong significant structure was found for distant locations with FST values as high as ∼0.3, and a smaller but still significant structure is found within French Polynesia. Both mitochondrial genes show only a few mutations across the sequences with a dominant shared haplotype in French Polynesia and New Caledonia suggesting a common lineage different to that of East Australia. Demographic history analyses indicate population expansions in the Red Sea and Australia that may coincide with sea level changes after climatic events. Expansions and flat signals are indicated for French Polynesia as well as a significant recent bottleneck for Moorea, the most human-impacted lagoon of the locations in French Polynesia.

  8. Prolonged monsoon droughts and links to Indo-Pacific warm pool: A Holocene record from Lonar Lake, central India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Sushma; Anoop, A.; Riedel, N.; Sarkar, S.; Menzel, P.; Basavaiah, N.; Krishnan, R.; Fuller, D.; Plessen, B.; Gaye, B.; Röhl, U.; Wilkes, H.; Sachse, D.; Sawant, R.; Wiesner, M. G.; Stebich, M.

    2014-04-01

    Concerns about the regional impact of global climate change in a warming scenario have highlighted the gaps in our understanding of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM, also referred to as the Indian Ocean summer monsoon) and the absence of long term palaeoclimate data from the central Indian core monsoon zone (CMZ). Here we present the first high resolution, well-dated, multiproxy reconstruction of Holocene palaeoclimate from a 10 m long sediment core raised from the Lonar Lake in central India. We show that while the early Holocene onset of intensified monsoon in the CMZ is similar to that reported from other ISM records, the Lonar data shows two prolonged droughts (PD, multidecadal to centennial periods of weaker monsoon) between 4.6-3.9 and 2-0.6 cal ka. A comparison of our record with available data from other ISM influenced sites shows that the impact of these PD was observed in varying degrees throughout the ISM realm and coincides with intervals of higher solar irradiance. We demonstrate that (i) the regional warming in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) plays an important role in causing ISM PD through changes in meridional overturning circulation and position of the anomalous Walker cell; (ii) the long term influence of conditions like El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the ISM began only ca. 2 cal ka BP and is coincident with the warming of the southern IPWP; (iii) the first settlements in central India coincided with the onset of the first PD and agricultural populations flourished between the two PD, highlighting the significance of natural climate variability and PD as major environmental factors affecting human settlements.

  9. Environmental influences on the Indo-Pacific octocoral Isis hippuris Linnaeus 1758 (Alcyonacea: Isididae): genetic fixation or phenotypic plasticity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, Sonia J; Pochon, Xavier; Watling, Les

    2015-01-01

    As conspicuous modular components of benthic marine habitats, gorgonian (sea fan) octocorals have perplexed taxonomists for centuries through their shear diversity, particularly throughout the Indo-Pacific. Phenotypic incongruence within and between seemingly unitary lineages across contrasting environments can provide the raw material to investigate processes of disruptive selection. Two distinct phenotypes of the Isidid Isis hippurisLinnaeus, 1758 partition between differing reef environments: long-branched bushy colonies on degraded reefs, and short-branched multi/planar colonies on healthy reefs within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia. Multivariate analyses reveal phenotypic traits between morphotypes were likely integrated primarily at the colony level with increased polyp density and consistently smaller sclerite dimensions at the degraded site. Sediment load and turbidity, hence light availability, primarily influenced phenotypic differences between the two sites. This distinct morphological dissimilarity between the two sites is a reliable indicator of reef health; selection primarily acting on colony morphology, porosity through branching structure, as well as sclerite diversity and size. ITS2 sequence and predicted RNA secondary structure further revealed intraspecific variation between I. hippuris morphotypes relative to such environments (ΦST = 0.7683, P < 0.001). This evidence suggests-but does not confirm-that I. hippuris morphotypes within the WMNP are two separate species; however, to what extent and taxonomic assignment requires further investigation across its full geographic distribution. Incongruence between colonies present in the WMNP with tenuously described Isis alternatives (Isis reticulataNutting, 1910, Isis minorbrachyblastaZou, Huang & Wang, 1991), questions the validity of such assignments. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses confirm early taxonomic suggestion that the characteristic jointed axis of the Isididae is in

  10. Use of multiple chemical tracers to define habitat use of Indo-Pacific mangrove crab, Scylla serrata (Decapoda: Portunidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, A.W.J.; Cormier, N.; Ewel, K.C.; Fry, B.

    2008-01-01

    The mangrove or mud crab, Scylla serrata, is an important component of mangrove fisheries throughout the Indo-Pacific. Understanding crab diets and habitat use should assist in managing these fisheries and could provide additional justification for conservation of the mangrove ecosystem itself. We used multiple chemical tracers to test whether crab movements were restricted to local mangrove forests, or extended to include adjacent seagrass beds and reef flats. We sampled three mangrove forests on the island of Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia at Lelu Harbor, Okat River, and Utwe tidal channel. Samples of S. serrata and likely food sources were analyzed for stable carbon (??13C), nitrogen (??15N), and sulfur (??34S) isotopes. Scylla serrata tissues also were analyzed for phosphorus (P), cations (K, Ca, Mg, Na), and trace elements (Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, and B). Discriminant analysis indicated that at least 87% of the crabs remain in each site as distinct populations. Crab stable isotope values indicated potential differences in habitat use within estuaries. Values for ??13C and ??34S in crabs from Okat and Utwe were low and similar to values expected from animals feeding within mangrove forests, e.g., feeding on infauna that had average ??13C values near -26.5???. In contrast, crabs from Lelu had higher ?? 13C and ??34S values, with average values of -21.8 and 7.8???, respectively. These higher isotope values are consistent with increased crab foraging on reef flats and seagrasses. Given that S. serrata have been observed feeding on adjacent reef and seagrass environments on Kosrae, it is likely that they move in and out of the mangroves for feeding. Isotope mixing model results support these conclusions, with the greatest mangrove ecosystem contribution to S. serrata diet occurring in the largest mangrove forests. Conserving larger island mangrove forests (> 1 km deep) appears to support crab foraging activities. ?? 2007 Coastal and Estuarine Research

  11. Variability and change of sea level and its components in the Indo-Pacific region during the altimetry era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Quran; Zhang, Xuebin; Church, John A.; Hu, Jianyu

    2017-03-01

    Previous studies have shown that regional sea level exhibits interannual and decadal variations associated with the modes of climate variability. A better understanding of those low-frequency sea level variations benefits the detection and attribution of climate change signals. Nonetheless, the contributions of thermosteric, halosteric, and mass sea level components to sea level variability and trend patterns remain unclear. By focusing on signals associated with dominant climate modes in the Indo-Pacific region, we estimate the interannual and decadal fingerprints and trend of each sea level component utilizing a multivariate linear regression of two adjoint-based ocean reanalyses. Sea level interannual, decadal, and trend patterns primarily come from thermosteric sea level (TSSL). Halosteric sea level (HSSL) is of regional importance in the Pacific Ocean on decadal time scale and dominates sea level trends in the northeast subtropical Pacific. The compensation between TSSL and HSSL is identified in their decadal variability and trends. The interannual and decadal variability of temperature generally peak at subsurface around 100 m but that of salinity tend to be surface-intensified. Decadal temperature and salinity signals extend deeper into the ocean in some regions than their interannual equivalents. Mass sea level (MassSL) is critical for the interannual and decadal variability of sea level over shelf seas. Inconsistencies exist in MassSL trend patterns among various estimates. This study highlights regions where multiple processes work together to control sea level variability and change. Further work is required to better understand the interaction of different processes in those regions.

  12. Establishment of reference intervals for plasma protein electrophoresis in Indo-Pacific green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Mark; Matthews, Beren J; Limpus, Colin J; Mills, Paul C

    2015-01-01

    Biochemical and haematological parameters are increasingly used to diagnose disease in green sea turtles. Specific clinical pathology tools, such as plasma protein electrophoresis analysis, are now being used more frequently to improve our ability to diagnose disease in the live animal. Plasma protein reference intervals were calculated from 55 clinically healthy green sea turtles using pulsed field electrophoresis to determine pre-albumin, albumin, α-, β- and γ-globulin concentrations. The estimated reference intervals were then compared with data profiles from clinically unhealthy turtles admitted to a local wildlife hospital to assess the validity of the derived intervals and identify the clinically useful plasma protein fractions. Eighty-six per cent {19 of 22 [95% confidence interval (CI) 65-97]} of clinically unhealthy turtles had values outside the derived reference intervals, including the following: total protein [six of 22 turtles or 27% (95% CI 11-50%)], pre-albumin [two of five, 40% (95% CI 5-85%)], albumin [13 of 22, 59% (95% CI 36-79%)], total albumin [13 of 22, 59% (95% CI 36-79%)], α- [10 of 22, 45% (95% CI 24-68%)], β- [two of 10, 20% (95% CI 3-56%)], γ- [one of 10, 10% (95% CI 0.3-45%)] and β-γ-globulin [one of 12, 8% (95% CI 0.2-38%)] and total globulin [five of 22, 23% (8-45%)]. Plasma protein electrophoresis shows promise as an accurate adjunct tool to identify a disease state in marine turtles. This study presents the first reference interval for plasma protein electrophoresis in the Indo-Pacific green sea turtle.

  13. Seasonal dependence of the predictable low-level circulation patterns over the tropical Indo-Pacific domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tuantuan; Huang, Bohua; Yang, Song; Laohalertchai, Charoon

    2017-09-01

    The seasonal dependence of the prediction skill of 850-hPa monthly zonal wind over the tropical Indo-Pacific domain is examined using the ensemble reforecasts for 1983-2010 from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System Reanalysis and Reforecast (CFSRR) project. According to a maximum signal-to-noise empirical orthogonal function analysis, the most predictable patterns of atmospheric low-level circulation are associated with the developing and maturing phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The CFSv2 is capable of predicting these ENSO-related patterns up to 9-months in advance for all months, except for May-June when the effect of the spring barrier is strong. The other predictable climate processes associated with the low-level atmospheric circulation are more seasonally dependent. For winter and spring, the second most predictable patterns are associated with the ENSO decaying phase. Within these seasons, the monthly evolution of the predictable patterns is characterized by a southward shift of westerly wind anomalies, generated by the interaction between the annual cycle and the ENSO signals (i.e., the combination-mode). In general, the CFSv2 hindcast well predicts these patterns at least 5 months in advance for spring, while shows much lower skills for winter months. In summer, the second predictable patterns are associated with the western North Pacific (WNP) monsoon (i.e., the WNP anticyclone/cyclone) in short leads while associated with ENSO in longer leads (after 4-month lead). The second predictable patterns in fall are mainly associated with tropical Indian Ocean Dipole, which can be predicted 3 months in advance.

  14. Predictability of CFSv2 in the tropical Indo-Pacific region, at daily and subseasonal time scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, V.

    2017-08-01

    The predictability of a coupled climate model is evaluated at daily and intraseasonal time scales in the tropical Indo-Pacific region during boreal summer and winter. This study has assessed the daily retrospective forecasts of the Climate Forecast System version 2 from the National Centers of Environmental Prediction for the period 1982-2010. The growth of errors in the forecasts of daily precipitation, monsoon intraseasonal oscillation (MISO) and the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) is studied. The seasonal cycle of the daily climatology of precipitation is reasonably well predicted except for the underestimation during the peak of summer. The anomalies follow the typical pattern of error growth in nonlinear systems and show no difference between summer and winter. The initial errors in all the cases are found to be in the nonlinear phase of the error growth. The doubling time of small errors is estimated by applying Lorenz error formula. For summer and winter, the doubling time of the forecast errors is in the range of 4-7 and 5-14 days while the doubling time of the predictability errors is 6-8 and 8-14 days, respectively. The doubling time in MISO during the summer and MJO during the winter is in the range of 12-14 days, indicating higher predictability and providing optimism for long-range prediction. There is no significant difference in the growth of forecasts errors originating from different phases of MISO and MJO, although the prediction of the active phase seems to be slightly better.

  15. Blind to morphology: Genetics identifies several widespread ecologically common species and few endemics among Indo-Pacific cauliflower corals (Pocillopora, Scleractinia)

    KAUST Repository

    Pinzón, Jorge H C

    2013-04-05

    Aim: Using high-resolution genetic markers on samples gathered from across their wide distributional range, we endeavoured to delimit species diversity in reef-building Pocillopora corals. They are common, ecologically important, and widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific, but their phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental conditions and their nearly featureless microskeletal structures confound taxonomic assignments and limit an understanding of their ecology and evolution. Location: Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, Arabian/Persian Gulf. Methods: Sequence analysis of nuclear ribosomal (internal transcribed spacer 2, ITS2) and mitochondrial (open reading frame) loci were combined with population genetic data (seven microsatellite loci) for Pocillopora samples collected throughout the Indo-Pacific, Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, in order to assess the evolutionary divergence, reproductive isolation, frequency of hybridization and geographical distributions of the genus. Results: Between five and eight genetically distinct lineages comparable to species were identified with minimal or no hybridization between them. Colony morphology was generally incongruent with genetics across the full range of sampling, and the total number of species is apparently consistent with lower estimates from competing morphologically based hypotheses (about seven or eight taxa). The most commonly occurring genetic lineages were widely distributed and exhibited high dispersal and gene flow, factors that have probably minimized allopatric speciation. Uniquely among scleractinian genera, this genus contains a monophyletic group of broadcast spawners that evolved recently from an ancestral brooder. Main conclusions: The delineation of species diversity guided by genetics fundamentally advances our understanding of Pocillopora geographical distributions, ecology and evolution. Because traditional diagnostic features of colony and branch morphology are proving to be of limited utility, the

  16. Macrophthalmus graeffei A. Milne Edwards, 1873 (Crustacea: Brachyura: Macrophthalmidae: a new Indo-Pacific guest off Rhodes Island (SE Aegean Sea, Greece

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    M.A. PANCUCCI-PAPADOPOULOU

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A new alien crab, the macrophthalmid Macrophthalmus graeffei, is reported from the eastern coastline of Rhodes Island. The species, of Indo-West Pacific origin, is known from muddy sediments up to about 80 m depth. In the Mediterranean, its presence has been observed along Levantine coasts as well as along the Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea.Macrophthalmus graeffei increases to twelve the number of alien brachyurans present in the Hellenic SE Aegean Sea, ten of them having Indo-Pacific origin.

  17. Habitat selection of two island-associated dolphin species from the south-west Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condet, Manon; Dulau-Drouot, Violaine

    2016-08-01

    Identifying suitable habitats of protected species is an essential question in ecology and conservation planning. Modelling approaches have been widely used to identify environmental features that contribute to a species' ecological requirements and distribution. On Reunion Island, a fast-growing French territory located in the south-western Indian Ocean, anthropogenic impacts are mainly concentrated along the coast, representing a potential threat for Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and spinner (Stenella longirostris) dolphins, two resident coastal species. Beside coastal development, commercial and recreational dolphin-watching are growing, particularly along the west coast. To promote effective local management, habitat modelling was applied using presence-only data collected from 2008 to 2012 on the west coast of the island. Ecological Niche Factor Analyses were used to investigate the effect of physiographic variables on the distribution of these two dolphin species and delineate suitable habitats. It was found that the core habitat of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins was mainly restricted by depth and confined to coastal waters ranging from 4.7 to 75.8 m deep. The species preferentially used soft substrates (sand and mud) and tended to be ubiquitous in terms of substrate type/color used. Foraging activities were significantly related to soft substrates. The diurnal core habitat of spinner dolphins was confined to one discrete area, on the flat portion of the insular shelf, between 45.1 m and 70.7 m of depth. Suitable habitat was mainly related to soft and light-colored substrates, with a clear avoidance of dark-colored substrates. The core habitats of both species were very restrained spatially and therefore vulnerable to human activities. The fine scale habitat mapping achieved in this study represents baseline data to conduct ad hoc impact assessment and support conservation actions.

  18. Preparing the perfect cuttlefish meal: complex prey handling by dolphins.

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    Julian Finn

    Full Text Available Dolphins are well known for their complex social and foraging behaviours. Direct underwater observations of wild dolphin feeding behaviour however are rare. At mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama in the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia, a wild female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus was observed and recorded repeatedly catching, killing and preparing cuttlefish for consumption using a specific and ordered sequence of behaviours. Cuttlefish were herded to a sand substrate, pinned to the seafloor, killed by downward thrust, raised mid-water and beaten by the dolphin with its snout until the ink was released and drained. The deceased cuttlefish was then returned to the seafloor, inverted and forced along the sand substrate in order to strip the thin dorsal layer of skin off the mantle, thus releasing the buoyant calcareous cuttlebone. This stepped behavioural sequence significantly improves prey quality through 1 removal of the ink (with constituent melanin and tyrosine, and 2 the calcareous cuttlebone. Observations of foraging dolphin pods from above-water at this site (including the surfacing of intact clean cuttlebones suggest that some or all of this prey handling sequence may be used widely by dolphins in the region. Aspects of the unique mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish in this region of South Australia may have contributed to the evolution of this behaviour through both high abundances of spawning and weakened post-spawning cuttlefish in a small area (>10,000 animals on several kilometres of narrow rocky reef, as well as potential long-term and regular visitation by dolphin pods to this site.

  19. Surgeons and suture zones: Hybridization among four surgeonfish species in the Indo-Pacific with variable evolutionary outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiBattista, Joseph D; Whitney, Jonathan; Craig, Matthew T; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A; Rocha, Luiz A; Feldheim, Kevin A; Berumen, Michael L; Bowen, Brian W

    2016-08-01

    Closely related species can provide valuable insights into evolutionary processes through comparison of their ecology, geographic distribution and the history recorded in their genomes. In the Indo-Pacific, many reef fishes are divided into sister species that come into secondary contact at biogeographic borders, most prominently where Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean faunas meet. It is unclear whether hybridization in this contact zone represents incomplete speciation, secondary contact, an evolutionary dead-end (for hybrids) or some combination of the above. To address these issues, we conducted comprehensive surveys of two widely-distributed surgeonfish species, Acanthurus leucosternon (N=141) and A. nigricans (N=412), with mtDNA cytochrome b sequences and ten microsatellite loci. These surgeonfishes are found primarily in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, respectively, but overlap at the Christmas and Cocos-Keeling Islands hybrid zone in the eastern Indian Ocean. We also sampled the two other Pacific members of this species complex, A. achilles (N=54) and A. japonicus (N=49), which are known to hybridize with A. nigricans where their ranges overlap. Our results indicate separation between the four species that range from the recent Pleistocene to late Pliocene (235,000-2.25million years ago). The Pacific A. achilles is the most divergent (and possibly ancestral) species with mtDNA dcorr≈0.04, whereas the other two Pacific species (A. japonicus and A. nigricans) are distinguishable only at a population or subspecies level (ΦST=0.6533, P<0.001). Little population structure was observed within species, with evidence of recent population expansion across all four geographic ranges. We detected sharing of mtDNA haplotypes between species and extensive hybridization based on microsatellites, consistent with later generation hybrids but also the effects of allele homoplasy. Despite extensive introgression, 98% of specimens had concordance between mtDNA lineage and

  20. Surgeons and suture zones: Hybridization among four surgeonfish species in the Indo-Pacific with variable evolutionary outcomes

    KAUST Repository

    DiBattista, Joseph

    2016-04-30

    Closely related species can provide valuable insights into evolutionary processes through comparison of their ecology, geographic distribution and the history recorded in their genomes. In the Indo-Pacific, many reef fishes are divided into sister species that come into secondary contact at biogeographic borders, most prominently where Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean faunas meet. It is unclear whether hybridization in this contact zone represents incomplete speciation, secondary contact, an evolutionary dead-end (for hybrids) or some combination of the above. To address these issues, we conducted comprehensive surveys of two widely-distributed surgeonfish species, Acanthurus leucosternon (N = 141) and A. nigricans (N = 412), with mtDNA cytochrome b sequences and ten microsatellite loci. These surgeonfishes are found primarily in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, respectively, but overlap at the Christmas and Cocos-Keeling Islands hybrid zone in the eastern Indian Ocean. We also sampled the two other Pacific members of this species complex, A. achilles (N = 54) and A. japonicus (N = 49), which are known to hybridize with A. nigricans where their ranges overlap. Our results indicate separation between the four species that range from the recent Pleistocene to late Pliocene (235,000 to 2.25 million years ago). The Pacific A. achilles is the most divergent (and possibly ancestral) species with mtDNA dcorr ≈ 0.04, whereas the other two Pacific species (A. japonicus and A. nigricans) are distinguishable only at a population or subspecies level (ΦST = 0.6533, P < 0.001). Little population structure was observed within species, with evidence of recent population expansion across all four geographic ranges. We detected sharing of mtDNA haplotypes between species and extensive hybridization based on microsatellites, consistent with later generation hybrids but also the effects of allele homoplasy. Despite extensive introgression, 98% of specimens had concordance between mt

  1. On the diversity of the SE Indo-Pacific species of Terebellides (Annelida; Trichobranchidae, with the description of a new species

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    Julio Parapar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of material collected during routine monitoring surveys dealing with oil extraction and aquaculture in waters off Myanmar (North Andaman Sea and in the Gulf of Thailand, respectively, allowed us to analyse the taxonomy and diversity of the polychaete genus Terebellides (Annelida. Three species were found, namely Terebellides cf. woolawa, Terebellides hutchingsae spec. nov. (a new species fully described and illustrated, and Terebellides sp. (likely a new species, but with only one available specimen. The new species is characterised by the combination of some branchial (number, fusion and relative length of lobes and papillation of lamellae, and thoracic (lateral lobes and relative length of notopodia characters and is compared with all species described or reported in the SW Indo-Pacific area, as well as with those sharing similar morphological characteristics all around the world. The taxonomic relevance of the relative length of branchial lobes and different types of ciliature in branchial lamellae for species discrimination in the genus is discussed. A key to all Terebellides species described in SE Indo-Pacific waters is presented.

  2. A novel widespread cryptic species and phylogeographic patterns within several giant clam species (Cardiidae: Tridacna from the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

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    Thomas Huelsken

    Full Text Available Giant clams (genus Tridacna are iconic coral reef animals of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, easily recognizable by their massive shells and vibrantly colored mantle tissue. Most Tridacna species are listed by CITES and the IUCN Redlist, as their populations have been extensively harvested and depleted in many regions. Here, we survey Tridacna crocea and Tridacna maxima from the eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans for mitochondrial (COI and 16S and nuclear (ITS sequence variation and consolidate these data with previous published results using phylogenetic analyses. We find deep intraspecific differentiation within both T. crocea and T. maxima. In T. crocea we describe a previously undocumented phylogeographic division to the east of Cenderawasih Bay (northwest New Guinea, whereas for T. maxima the previously described, distinctive lineage of Cenderawasih Bay can be seen to also typify western Pacific populations. Furthermore, we find an undescribed, monophyletic group that is evolutionarily distinct from named Tridacna species at both mitochondrial and nuclear loci. This cryptic taxon is geographically widespread with a range extent that minimally includes much of the central Indo-Pacific region. Our results reinforce the emerging paradigm that cryptic species are common among marine invertebrates, even for conspicuous and culturally significant taxa. Additionally, our results add to identified locations of genetic differentiation across the central Indo-Pacific and highlight how phylogeographic patterns may differ even between closely related and co-distributed species.

  3. Growth anomalies on the coral genera Acropora and Porites are strongly associated with host density and human population size across the Indo-Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeby, G.S.; Williams, G.J.; Franklin, E.C.; Haapkyla, J.; Harvell, C.D.; Neale, S.; Page, C.A.; Raymundo, L.; Vargas-Angel, B.; Willis, B.L.; Work, T.M.; Davy, S.K.

    2011-01-01

    Growth anomalies (GAs) are common, tumor-like diseases that can cause significant morbidity and decreased fecundity in the major Indo-Pacific reef-building coral genera, Acropora and Porites. GAs are unusually tractable for testing hypotheses about drivers of coral disease because of their pan-Pacific distributions, relatively high occurrence, and unambiguous ease of identification. We modeled multiple disease-environment associations that may underlie the prevalence of Acropora growth anomalies (AGA) (n = 304 surveys) and Porites growth anomalies (PGA) (n = 602 surveys) from across the Indo-Pacific. Nine predictor variables were modeled, including coral host abundance, human population size, and sea surface temperature and ultra-violet radiation anomalies. Prevalence of both AGAs and PGAs were strongly host density-dependent. PGAs additionally showed strong positive associations with human population size. Although this association has been widely posited, this is one of the first broad-scale studies unambiguously linking a coral disease with human population size. These results emphasize that individual coral diseases can show relatively distinct patterns of association with environmental predictors, even in similar diseases (growth anomalies) found on different host genera (Acropora vs. Porites). As human densities and environmental degradation increase globally, the prevalence of coral diseases like PGAs could increase accordingly, halted only perhaps by declines in host density below thresholds required for disease establishment.

  4. Phylogenetic relationships of some common Indo-Pacific snappers (Perciformes: Lutjanidae) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences, with comments on the taxonomic position of the Caesioninae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Terrence L; Cribb, Thomas H

    2007-07-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of 27 species of common Indo-Pacific snappers (Lutjanidae) were explored using the 16S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome b mitochondrial genes with minimum evolution, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses. Included were species representing four subfamilies, the Caesioninae, Etelinae, Paradicichthyinae, and Lutjaninae. Members of the closely related families Haemulidae, Lethrinidae, Nemipteridae and Sparidae, were included for outgroup comparisons and to explore the relationships between the Haemuloidea, Lutjanoidea and Sparoidea. Monophyly of the Lutjanidae was resolved. The Caesioninae was nested within the Lutjaninae, supporting the recent view that the Caesionidae should be treated as a synonym of the Lutjanidae. The subfamilies Etelinae and Paradicichthyinae were resolved as sister taxa to the remainder of the Lutjanidae, which corroborates previous cladistic analyses conducted to determine relationships of lutjanid subfamilies. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses suggest that Macolor is the sister taxon to the Caesioninae and may represent a transitional form between the Lutjaninae and Caesioninae. Three species of Western Atlantic lutjanids, Lutjanus campechanus, L. synagris, and Rhomboplites aurorubens, were included in the analyses to examine their relationships to Indo-Pacific species; they formed a well-supported clade nested within Pacific lutjanines suggesting that Atlantic species of Lutjaninae are derived from an Indo-Pacific lineage. Results of our molecular phylogenetic analyses are congruent with the general morphology and external colouration of the resolved groups of species of Lutjanus. The "black spot" complex containing L. fulviflamma, L. monostigma, and L. russelli was resolved with strong support, and had L. carponotatus nested within. The morphology of L. carponotatus suggests a close relationship to this group, and the lack of the black spot near the lateral line

  5. Shared Reproductive State Enhances Female Associations in Dolphins

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    Luciana M. Möller

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Female bottlenose dolphins (genus Tursiops usually associate at moderate level with other females within social clusters called bands or cliques. It has been suggested that reproductive state may play the predominant role in determining associations within female T. truncatus bands. Here, we test the hypothesis that reproductive state correlates with associations of female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (T. aduncus. We found that females in similar reproductive state, which included females from late pregnancy to the first year of their calves' life or females from early pregnancy to their calves' newborn period, had higher-association coefficients with each other than they did with females in different reproductive states (females with older calves or without calves. This was observed both within and across social clusters suggesting that reproductive state, at least for pregnant females and those with young calves, plays an important role in determining who to associate with. However, a female's most frequent associate was not always with another in similar reproductive state. We suggest that several factors, including reproductive state, may be of importance in determining associations of female bottlenose dolphins.

  6. Genetic isolation between coastal and fishery-impacted, offshore bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Simon J; Bryant, Kate A; Kraus, Robert H S; Loneragan, Neil R; Kopps, Anna M; Brown, Alexander M; Gerber, Livia; Krützen, Michael

    2016-06-01

    The identification of species and population boundaries is important in both evolutionary and conservation biology. In recent years, new population genetic and computational methods for estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses in a quantitative manner have emerged. Using a Bayesian framework and a quantitative model-testing approach, we evaluated the species status and genetic connectedness of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) populations off remote northwestern Australia, with a focus on pelagic 'offshore' dolphins subject to incidental capture in a trawl fishery. We analysed 71 dolphin samples from three sites beyond the 50 m depth contour (the inshore boundary of the fishery) and up to 170 km offshore, including incidentally caught and free-ranging individuals associating with trawl vessels, and 273 dolphins sampled at 12 coastal sites inshore of the 50 m depth contour and within 10 km of the coast. Results from 19 nuclear microsatellite markers showed significant population structure between dolphins from within the fishery and coastal sites, but also among dolphins from coastal sites, identifying three coastal populations. Moreover, we found no current or historic gene flow into the offshore population in the region of the fishery, indicating a complete lack of recruitment from coastal sites. Mitochondrial DNA corroborated our findings of genetic isolation between dolphins from the offshore population and coastal sites. Most offshore individuals formed a monophyletic clade with common bottlenose dolphins (T. truncatus), while all 273 individuals sampled coastally formed a well-supported clade of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (T. aduncus). By including a quantitative modelling approach, our study explicitly took evolutionary processes into account for informing the conservation and management of protected species. As such, it may serve as a template for other, similarly inaccessible study populations.

  7. The presence of the Indo-Pacific symbiont-bearing foraminifer Amphistegina lobifera in Greek coastal ecosystems (Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean

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    M.V. TRIANTAPHYLLOU

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available During the last decades, hundreds of species of Indo-Pacific origin from the Red Sea have traversed the Suez Canal and settled in the Eastern Mediterranean. Nowadays, Amphistegina lobifera Larsen, is known to be a successful immigrant that is widely distributed in the coastal ecosystems of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Amphistegina is the most common epiphytic, symbiont- bearing large foraminifer. In this study we provide additional data on the presence of this species in the coastal ecosystems of Aegean Sea, Greece. The high relative abundance of A. lobifera is the result of very successful adaptation of this species to local conditions and suggests that it has become a significant part of the epiphytic foraminiferal fauna.

  8. Role of sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Indo-Pacific region in the northeast Asia severe drought in summer 2014: month-to-month perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhiqing; Fan, Ke; Wang, HuiJun

    2017-09-01

    The severe drought over northeast Asia in summer 2014 and the contribution to it by sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical Indo-Pacific region were investigated from the month-to-month perspective. The severe drought was accompanied by weak lower-level summer monsoon flow and featured an obvious northward movement during summer. The mid-latitude Asian summer (MAS) pattern and East Asia/Pacific teleconnection (EAP) pattern, induced by the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) and western North Pacific summer monsoon (WNPSM) rainfall anomalies respectively, were two main bridges between the SST anomalies in the tropical Indo-Pacific region and the severe drought. Warming in the Arabian Sea induced reduced rainfall over northeast India and then triggered a negative MAS pattern favoring the severe drought in June 2014. In July 2014, warming in the tropical western North Pacific led to a strong WNPSM and increased rainfall over the Philippine Sea, triggering a positive EAP pattern. The equatorial eastern Pacific and local warming resulted in increased rainfall over the off-equatorial western Pacific and triggered an EAP-like pattern. The EAP pattern and EAP-like pattern contributed to the severe drought in July 2014. A negative Indian Ocean dipole induced an anomalous meridional circulation, and warming in the equatorial eastern Pacific induced an anomalous zonal circulation, in August 2014. The two anomalous cells led to a weak ISM and WNPSM, triggering the negative MAS and EAP patterns responsible for the severe drought. Two possible reasons for the northward movement of the drought were also proposed.

  9. Long-term panmixia in a cosmopolitan Indo-Pacific coral reef fish and a nebulous genetic boundary with its broadly sympatric sister species

    KAUST Repository

    Horne, J. B.

    2013-01-11

    Phylogeographical studies have shown that some shallow-water marine organisms, such as certain coral reef fishes, lack spatial population structure at oceanic scales, despite vast distances of pelagic habitat between reefs and other dispersal barriers. However, whether these dispersive widespread taxa constitute long-term panmictic populations across their species ranges remains unknown. Conventional phylogeographical inferences frequently fail to distinguish between long-term panmixia and metapopulations connected by gene flow. Moreover, marine organisms have notoriously large effective population sizes that confound population structure detection. Therefore, at what spatial scale marine populations experience independent evolutionary trajectories and ultimately species divergence is still unclear. Here, we present a phylogeographical study of a cosmopolitan Indo-Pacific coral reef fish Naso hexacanthus and its sister species Naso caesius, using two mtDNA and two nDNA markers. The purpose of this study was two-fold: first, to test for broad-scale panmixia in N. hexacanthus by fitting the data to various phylogeographical models within a Bayesian statistical framework, and second, to explore patterns of genetic divergence between the two broadly sympatric species. We report that N. hexacanthus shows little population structure across the Indo-Pacific and a range-wide, long-term panmictic population model best fit the data. Hence, this species presently comprises a single evolutionary unit across much of the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. Naso hexacanthus and N. caesius were not reciprocally monophyletic in the mtDNA markers but showed varying degrees of population level divergence in the two nuclear introns. Overall, patterns are consistent with secondary introgression following a period of isolation, which may be attributed to oceanographic conditions of the mid to late Pleistocene, when these two species appear to have diverged. © 2013 The Authors. Journal

  10. A community split among dolphins: the effect of social relationships on the membership of new communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishita, Miki; Shirakihara, Miki; Amano, Masao

    2015-11-26

    Little is known about community splitting among dolphins because such events are rare in dolphin populations. A case of a community split was confirmed in a population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Japan, where a group of approximately 30 dolphins moved to a new habitat some 60 km from the original habitat. We examined the associations among the dolphins before the community split to determine whether the new community members were already socially different before the split, using 7-year identification data. Before the split, the males in the same community after the split more often associated with each other than they did with those in different community. In contrast, the association patterns among females and between sexes showed no relationships with their post-split community membership. These results indicate that the males of new community were socially different from the other males for a long time before the split, but the females might not have been different. Our findings suggest that at time of the community split, the factors determining the memberships of the subsequent communities are sex-linked. The long-term social relationships among males could be maintained in the subsequent communities.

  11. A comparison of pectoral fin contact between two different wild dolphin populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudzinski, K.M.; Gregg, J.D.; Ribic, C.A.; Kuczaj, S.A.

    2009-01-01

    Contact behaviour involving the pectoral fin has been documented in a number of dolphin species, and various explanations about its function have been offered. Pectoral fin contact can take a variety of forms, and involves a number of body parts and movements, likely differing depending upon social or ecological context. For this study, we compare the pectoral fin contact behaviour of two species of wild dolphins: Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) from around Mikura Island, Japan, and Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) from The Bahamas. The two study populations exhibit surprising similarity in the ways in which pectoral fin contacts are used, despite differences in species and environmental conditions at the two sites. Differences in contact rates for calves between the two sites suggest that calf-focused aggression from adult dolphins is more prevalent at Mikura than in The Bahamas. Our results suggest that pectoral fin contact behaviour seems to be driven primarily by social pressures, and may be similar in function to allogrooming described in primates. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  12. Joint influence of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool and Northern Arabian Sea Temperatures on the Indian Summer Monsoon in a Global Climate Model Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Befort, Daniel J.; Leckebusch, Gregor C.; Cubasch, Ulrich

    2016-04-01

    Proxy-based studies confirmed that the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) shows large variations during the Holocene. These changes might be explained by changes in orbital conditions and solar insolation but are also thought to be associated to changes in oceanic conditions, e.g. over the Indo-Pacific-Warm-Pool region. However, due to the nature of these (proxy-based) analyses no conclusion about atmospheric circulation changes during dry and wet epochs are possible. Here, a fully-coupled global climate simulation (AOGCM) covering the past 6000 years is analysed regarding ISM variability. Several dry and wet epochs are found, the most striking around 2ka BP (dry) and 1.7ka BP (wet). As only orbital parameters change during integration, we expect these "shorter-term" changes to be associated with changes in oceanic conditions. During 1.7ka BP the sea surface temperatures (SST) over the Northern Arabian Sea (NARAB) are significantly warmer compared to 2ka BP, whereas cooler conditions are found over the western Pacific Ocean. Additionally, significant differences are found over large parts of the North Atlantic. To explain in how far these different ocean basins are responsible for anomalous conditions during 1.7ka BP, several sensitivity experiments with changed SST/SIC conditions are carried out. It is found that neither the SST's in the Pacific nor in the Indian Ocean are able to reproduce the anomalous rainfall and atmospheric circulation patterns during 1.7ka on its own. Instead, anomalous dry conditions during 2ka BP and wet conditions during 1.7ka BP are associated with a shift of the Indo-Pacific-Warm-Pool (IPWP) and simultaneous anomalous sea-surface temperatures over the NARAB region. Eventually, it is tested in how far this hypothesis holds true for other dry and wet events in the AOGCM data during the whole 6000 years. In general, a shift of the IPWP without anomalous SST conditions over the NARAB region (and vice versa) is not sufficient to cause long

  13. Deep genetic divergences among Indo-Pacific populations of the coral reef sponge Leucetta chagosensis (Leucettidae: Founder effects, vicariance, or both?

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    Epp Laura S

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An increasing number of studies demonstrate that genetic differentiation and speciation in the sea occur over much smaller spatial scales than previously appreciated given the wide distribution range of many morphologically defined coral reef invertebrate species and the presumed dispersal-enhancing qualities of ocean currents. However, knowledge about the processes that lead to population divergence and speciation is often lacking despite being essential for the understanding, conservation, and management of marine biodiversity. Sponges, a highly diverse, ecologically and economically important reef-invertebrate taxon, exhibit spatial trends in the Indo-West Pacific that are not universally reflected in other marine phyla. So far, however, processes generating those unexpected patterns are not understood. Results We unraveled the phylogeographic structure of the widespread Indo-Pacific coral reef sponge Leucetta chagosensis across its known geographic range using two nuclear markers: the rDNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS 1&2 and a fragment of the 28S gene, as well as the second intron of the ATP synthetase beta subunit-gene (ATPSb-iII. This enabled the detection of several deeply divergent clades congruent over both loci, one containing specimens from the Indian Ocean (Red Sea and Maldives, another one from the Philippines, and two other large and substructured NW Pacific and SW Pacific clades with an area of overlap in the Great Barrier Reef/Coral Sea. Reciprocally monophyletic populations were observed from the Philippines, Red Sea, Maldives, Japan, Samoa, and Polynesia, demonstrating long-standing isolation. Populations along the South Equatorial Current in the south-western Pacific showed isolation-by-distance effects. Overall, the results pointed towards stepping-stone dispersal with some putative long-distance exchange, consistent with expectations from low dispersal capabilities. Conclusion We argue that both

  14. The Teleconnection of the Tropical Atlantic to Indo-Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures on Inter-Annual to Centennial Time Scales: A Review of Recent Findings

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    Fred Kucharski

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the teleconnections from the tropical Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific region from inter-annual to centennial time scales will be reviewed. Identified teleconnections and hypotheses on mechanisms at work are reviewed and further explored in a century-long pacemaker coupled ocean-atmosphere simulation ensemble. There is a substantial impact of the tropical Atlantic on the Pacific region at inter-annual time scales. An Atlantic Niño (Niña event leads to rising (sinking motion in the Atlantic region, which is compensated by sinking (rising motion in the central-western Pacific. The sinking (rising motion in the central-western Pacific induces easterly (westerly surface wind anomalies just to the west, which alter the thermocline. These perturbations propagate eastward as upwelling (downwelling Kelvin-waves, where they increase the probability for a La Niña (El Niño event. Moreover, tropical North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies are also able to lead La Niña/El Niño development. At multidecadal time scales, a positive (negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation leads to a cooling (warming of the eastern Pacific and a warming (cooling of the western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. The physical mechanism for this impact is similar to that at inter-annual time scales. At centennial time scales, the Atlantic warming induces a substantial reduction of the eastern Pacific warming even under CO2 increase and to a strong subsurface cooling.

  15. Speciation in Indo-Pacific swiftlets (Aves: Apodidae): integrating molecular and phenotypic data for a new provisional taxonomy of the Collocalia esculenta complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rheindt, Frank E; Christidis, Les; Norman, Janette A; Eaton, James A; Sadanandan, Keren R; Schodde, Richard

    2017-04-07

    White-bellied swiftlets of the Collocalia esculenta complex constitute a radiation of colony-breeding swifts distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region. Resolution of their taxonomy is challenging due to their morphological uniformity. To analyze the evolutionary history of this complex, we combine new biometric measurements and results from plumage assessment of museum specimens with novel as well as previously published molecular data. Together, this body of information constitutes the largest systematic dataset for white-bellied swiftlets yet compiled, drawn from 809 individuals belonging to 32 taxa for which new molecular, biometric, and/or plumage data are presented. We propose changing the classification of white-bellied swiftlets, for which two species are currently recognized, to elevate eight regional forms to species level, and we also describe two new subspecies. The ten taxa we recommend recognizing at the species level are: Collocalia linchi (Java to Lombok, Sumatran hills), C. dodgei (montane Borneo), C. natalis (Christmas Island), C. affinis (Greater Sundas, including the Thai-Malay Peninsula and Andaman-Nicobar Islands), C. marginata (Philippines), C. isonota (Philippines), C. sumbawae (west Lesser Sundas), C. neglecta (east Lesser Sundas), C. esculenta (Sulawesi, Moluccas, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands), and C. uropygialis (Vanuatu, New Caledonia). Future molecular and morphological work is needed to resolve questions of speciation and population affinities in the Philippines, Christmas Island, Wallacea and central Melanesia, and to shed light on historic diversification and patterns of gene flow in the complex.

  16. Comparative horizontal starch gel isoenzyme electrophoresis of Lymnaea (Bullastra) cumingiana (Pulmonata: Lymnaeidae) and related taxa in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monzon, R B; Thammapalerd, N; Kitikoon, V; Temcharoen, P; Sornmani, S; Viyanant, V

    1994-03-01

    Foot muscle tissue extracts from six lymnaeid species of the Indo-Pacific region [Lymnaea (Bullastra) cumingiana and L. (Radix) quadrasi from the Philippines, L. (R.) rubiginosa from Indonesia and Thailand, and L. (R.) viridis from Guam and Hong Kong] were subjected to horizontal starch gel isoenzyme electrophoresis and assayed for seven isoenzymes (AcP, AlP, CA, EST, LAP, CAT and GOT) to elucidate their taxonomic relationships. L. cumingiana exhibited banding patterns for EST, LAP and CAT uniquely different from the rest, thus supporting the hypothesis that it is a distinct species. Zymogram patterns for AlP, CA, EST and LAP attest to the close affinity between L. quadrasi and L. rubiginosa (Indonesia and Thailand). Minor differences suggest a closer relationship between the two geographical strains of L. rubiginosa than with L. quadrasi, lending support to the hypothesis that L. quadrasi is inseparable as a race or variety from the typical L. swinhoei Adams, which in turn is but a race of L. auricularia, which also encompasses L. rubiginosa. The two geographical strains of L. viridis from Guam and Hong Kong showed the greatest consistency with regards to similarity and congruence in banding patterns. Non-specific esterases (EST) were the most useful in distinguishing the six species from each other.

  17. Effect of β-naphthoflavone on hepatic cytochrome P4501A activity in the scribbled rabbitfish (Siganus spinus) from tropical Indo-Pacific coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emborski, Carmen; Reyes, Andres; Biggs, Jason S

    2012-11-01

    Several classes of carcinogenic environmental organic pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins, negatively affect aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Pollutant detection is often difficult and expensive, especially when dealing with complex mixtures and matrices. Biological markers are informative tools to identify living sources that may harbor toxic compounds and areas unsuitable for recreation. Currently, no species have established biomarkers for organopollutant monitoring in Indo-Pacific coral reefs. This study evaluated the time- and dose-dependent induction of the cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) system in the scribbled rabbitfish, Siganus spinus (Siganidae), as a biomarker for organic pollutant exposures in these environments. Results indicate that S. spinus hepatic CYP1A enzymatic activity and protein level respond dose-, and time-dependently following a single intraperitoneal injection of the classic aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist, β-naphthoflavone. S. spinus hepatic CYP1A protein and enzymatic activity rose as function of dose during the first two days and slowly returned to levels close to normal after 16 days, as measured using the 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase and the non-competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, respectively. These findings support use of the inducible CYP1A system of S. spinus as a biomarker for reef fish exposure to coastal marine pollution. Baseline CYP1A expression levels among Guam's wild S. spinus populations were also measured and compared.

  18. Effect of β-napthoflavone on hepatic cytochrome P4501A activity in the scribbled rabbitfish (Siganus spinus) from tropical Indo-Pacific coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautz, Carmen; Reyes, Andres; Biggs, Jason S.

    2013-01-01

    Several classes of carcinogenic environmental organic pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins, negatively affect aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Pollutant detection is often difficult and expensive, especially when dealing with complex mixtures and matrices. Biological markers are informative tools to identify living sources that may harbor toxic compounds and areas unsuitable for recreation. Currently, no species have established biomarkers for organopollutant monitoring in Indo-Pacific coral reefs. This study evaluated the time- and dose-dependent induction of the cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) system in the scribbled rabbitfish, Siganus spinus (Siganidae), as a biomarker for organic pollutant exposures in these environments. Results indicate that S. spinus hepatic CYP1A enzymatic activity and protein level respond dose-, and time-dependently following a single intraperitoneal (IP) injection of the classic aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonist, β-napthoflavone (BNF). S. spinus hepatic CYP1A protein and enzymatic activity rose as function of dose during the first two days and slowly returned to levels close to normal after 16 days, as measured using the 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and the non-competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) assays, respectively. These findings support use of the inducible CYP1A system of S. spinus as a biomarker for reef fish exposure to coastal marine pollution. Baseline CYP1A expression levels among Guam’s wild S. spinus populations were also measured and compared. PMID:22760666

  19. Large-scale introduction of the Indo-Pacific damselfish Abudefduf vaigiensis into Hawai'i promotes genetic swamping of the endemic congener A. abdominalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Richard R; Gaither, Michelle R; Kimokeo, Bethany; Stanton, Frank G; Bowen, Brian W; Toonen, Robert J

    2014-11-01

    Hybridization in the ocean was once considered rare, a process prohibited by the rapid evolution of intrinsic reproductive barriers in a high-dispersal medium. However, recent genetic surveys have prompted a reappraisal of marine hybridization as an important demographic and evolutionary process. The Hawaiian Archipelago offers an unusual case history in this arena, due to the recent arrival of the widely distributed Indo-Pacific sergeant (Abudefduf vaigiensis), which is hybridizing with the endemic congener, A. abdominalis. Surveys of mtDNA and three nuclear loci across Hawai'i (N = 396, Abudefduf abdominalis and N = 314, A. vaigiensis) reveal that hybridization is significantly higher in the human-perturbed southeast archipelago (19.8%), tapering off to 5.9% in the pristine northwest archipelago. While densities of the two species varied throughout Hawai'i, hybridization was highest in regions with similar species densities, contradicting the generalization that the rarity of one species promotes interspecific mating. Our finding of later generation hybrids throughout the archipelago invokes the possibility of genetic swamping of the endemic species. Exaptation, an adaptation with unintended consequences, may explain these findings: the endemic species has transient yellow coloration during reproduction, whereas the introduced species has yellow coloration continuously as adults, in effect a permanent signal of reproductive receptivity. Haplotype diversity is higher in Hawaiian A. vaigiensis than in our samples from the native range, indicating large-scale colonization almost certainly facilitated by the historically recent surge of marine debris. In this chain of events, marine debris promotes colonization, exaptation promotes hybridization, and introgression invokes the possible collapse of an endemic species.

  20. Disentangling Seasonality and Mean Annual Precipitation in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool: Insights from Coupled Plant Wax C and H Isotope Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galy, V.; Oppo, D.; Dubois, N.; Arbuszewski, J. A.; Mohtadi, M.; Schefuss, E.; Rosenthal, Y.; Linsley, B. K.

    2016-12-01

    There is ample evidence suggesting that rainfall distribution across the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) - a key component of the global climate system - has substantially varied over the last deglaciation. Yet, the precise nature of these hydroclimate changes remains to be elucidated. In particular, the relative importance of variations in precipitation seasonality versus annual precipitation amount is essentially unknown. Here we use a set of surface sediments from the IPWP covering a wide range of modern hydroclimate conditions to evaluate how plant wax stable isotope composition records rainfall distribution in the area. We focus on long chain fatty acids, which are exclusively produced by vascular plants living on nearby land and delivered to the ocean by rivers. We relate the C (δ13C) and H (δD) isotope composition of long chain fatty acids preserved in surface sediments to modern precipitation distribution and stable isotope composition in their respective source area. We show that: 1) δ13C values reflect vegetation distribution (in particular the relative abundance of C3 and C4 plants) and are primarily recording precipitation seasonality (Dubois et al., 2014) and, 2) once corrected for plant fractionation effects, δD values reflect the amount-weighted average stable isotope composition of precipitation and are primarily recording annual precipitation amounts. We propose that combining the C and H isotope composition of long chain fatty acids thus allows independent reconstructions of precipitation seasonality and annual amounts in the IPWP. The practical implications for reconstructing past hydroclimate in the IPWP will be discussed.

  1. Ocean circulation in the tropical Indo-Pacific during early Pliocene (5.6 - 4.2 Ma): Paleobiogeographic and isotopic evidence

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    M S Srinivasan; D K Sinha

    2000-09-01

    A Comparison of late Neogene planktic foraminferal biogeography and stable isotopic records of shallow dwelling and deep dwelling planktic foraminifera from DSDP sites 214 (Ninetyeast Ridge, northeast Indian Ocean) and 586B (ontong-Java Plateau, western Equatorial Pacific) provides a clue to the nature of the ocean circulation in the tropical Indo-Pacific during early Pliocene. The Present study reveals that the late Neogene planktic foraminiferal data from the eastern and western sides of the Indonesian Seaway are very similar. The only distinct inter-ocean difference however is the absence of Pulleniatina spectablis from the Indian Ocean. This species makes its first evolutionary appearance in the Equatorial Pacific at about 5.6 Ma (Early Gilbert reversed) and ranges up to 4.2 Ma (Top Conhiti subchron). The complete absence of Pulleniatina spectablis from the Indian Ocean is attributed to blocking of westward flow of tropical waters of the Pacific to the Indian Ocean resulting in a major change in the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans during 5.6 to 4.2 ma. In order to understand the nature of this blockage, isotopic depth ranking of selected planktic foraminifera and thus may be interpreted that the shallow sills that mark the Seaway in modern times were present as early as 5.6 Ma. The distribution of Pulleniatina spectablis throughout the Equatorial Pacific reveals that Modern Equatorial Pacific Under Current (Cromwell Current) flowing towards east at a depth of 200-300 m (which is also the depth habitat of Pulleniatina spectablis) was present at the beginning of the Pliocene (5.6 Ma). As a dequel to the blocking of the Indonesian Seaway and the resultant interruption in the flow of central Equatorial Current System of the Pacific to the west there was an increase in the western Pacific Warm Pool Waters and strengthening of the gyral circulation in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This eventually triggered the intensification of the Asian Monsoon System.

  2. Seven new species of Paleanotus (Annelida: Chrysopetalidae) described from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, and coral reefs of northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific: two cryptic species pairs revealed between western Pacific Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Charlotte

    2015-09-18

    Morphological investigation into the paleate genus Paleanotus Schmarda 1861 of the family Chrysopetalidae from northern Australian coral reefs, primarily Lizard Island and outlying reefs, included a complex of very small, slender individuals (length Great Barrier Reef to the Philippines, western Pacific Ocean. Cryptic morphology and potential genetic diversity is discussed in Paleanotus inornatus n. sp. and P. adornatus n. sp. that possess overlapping widespread distribution patterns across northern Australia and Indo-Pacific reefs. The smallest bodied taxon, Paleanotus chrysos n. sp. is the only species with a Coral Sea range encompassing Lizard Island, Heron Island and New Caledonia.

  3. Epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops spp. from South America and southern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Simões-Lopes, Paulo C; Félix, Fernando; Kiszka, Jeremy J; Daura-Jorge, Fabio G; Avila, Isabel C; Secchi, Eduardo R; Flach, Leonardo; Fruet, Pedro F; du Toit, Kate; Ott, Paulo H; Elwen, Simon; Di Giacomo, Amanda B; Wagner, Jeanne; Banks, Aaron; Van Waerebeek, Koen

    2015-11-17

    We report on the epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease (LLD), a cutaneous disorder evoking lobomycosis, in 658 common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from South America and 94 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins T. aduncus from southern Africa. Photographs and stranding records of 387 inshore residents, 60 inshore non-residents and 305 specimens of undetermined origin (inshore and offshore) were examined for the presence of LLD lesions from 2004 to 2015. Seventeen residents, 3 non-residents and 1 inshore dolphin of unknown residence status were positive. LLD lesions appeared as single or multiple, light grey to whitish nodules and plaques that may ulcerate and increase in size over time. Among resident dolphins, prevalence varied significantly among 4 communities, being low in Posorja (2.35%, n = 85), Ecuador, and high in Salinas, Ecuador (16.7%, n = 18), and Laguna, Brazil (14.3%, n = 42). LLD prevalence increased in 36 T. truncatus from Laguna from 5.6% in 2007-2009 to 13.9% in 2013-2014, albeit not significantly. The disease has persisted for years in dolphins from Mayotte, Laguna, Salinas, the Sanquianga National Park and Bahía Málaga (Colombia) but vanished from the Tramandaí Estuary and the Mampituba River (Brazil). The geographical range of LLD has expanded in Brazil, South Africa and Ecuador, in areas that have been regularly surveyed for 10 to 35 yr. Two of the 21 LLD-affected dolphins were found dead with extensive lesions in southern Brazil, and 2 others disappeared, and presumably died, in Ecuador. These observations stress the need for targeted epidemiological, histological and molecular studies of LLD in dolphins, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

  4. Phylogeography of Indo-Pacific reef fishes: sister wrassesCoris gaimardandC. cuvieriin the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean

    KAUST Repository

    Ahti, Pauliina A.

    2016-02-01

    Aim: The aim of this study was to resolve the evolutionary history, biogeographical barriers and population histories for sister species of wrasses, the African Coris (Coris cuvieri) in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea, and the Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard) in the Pacific Ocean. Glacial sea level fluctuations during the Pleistocene have shaped the evolutionary trajectories of Indo-Pacific marine fauna, primarily by creating barriers between the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Here, we evaluate the influence of these episodic glacial barriers on sister species C. cuvieri and C. gaimard. Location: Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean. Methods: Sequences from mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI), and nuclear introns gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and ribosomal S7 protein were analysed in 426 individuals from across the range of both species. Median-joining networks, analysis of molecular variance and Bayesian estimates of the time since most recent common ancestor were used to resolve recent population history and connectivity. Results: Cytochrome oxidase c subunit I haplotypes showed a divergence of 0.97% between species, and nuclear alleles were shared between species. No population structure was detected between the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. The strongest signal of population structure was in C. gaimard between the Hawaiian biogeographical province and other Pacific locations (COI ϕ(symbol)ST = 0.040-0.173, P < 0.006; S7 ϕ(symbol)ST = 0.046, P < 0.001; GnRH ϕ(symbol)ST = 0.022, P < 0.005). Time to most recent common ancestor is c. 2.12 Ma for C. cuvieri and 1.76 Ma for C. gaimard. Main conclusions: We demonstrate an Indian-Pacific divergence of c. 2 Myr and high contemporary gene flow between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, mediated in part by the long pelagic larval stage. The discovery of hybrids at Christmas Island indicates that Indian and Pacific lineages have come into secondary contact after allopatric isolation. Subspecies

  5. An assessment of the effectiveness of high definition cameras as remote monitoring tools for dolphin ecology studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimarães Paiva, Estênio; Salgado-Kent, Chandra; Gagnon, Marthe Monique; Parnum, Iain; McCauley, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Research involving marine mammals often requires costly field programs. This paper assessed whether the benefits of using cameras outweighs the implications of having personnel performing marine mammal detection in the field. The efficacy of video and still cameras to detect Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the Fremantle Harbour (Western Australia) was evaluated, with consideration on how environmental conditions affect detectability. The cameras were set on a tower in the Fremantle Port channel and videos were perused at 1.75 times the normal speed. Images from the cameras were used to estimate position of dolphins at the water's surface. Dolphin detections ranged from 5.6 m to 463.3 m for the video camera, and from 10.8 m to 347.8 m for the still camera. Detection range showed to be satisfactory when compared to distances at which dolphins would be detected by field observers. The relative effect of environmental conditions on detectability was considered by fitting a Generalised Estimation Equations (GEEs) model with Beaufort, level of glare and their interactions as predictors and a temporal auto-correlation structure. The best fit model indicated level of glare had an effect, with more intense periods of glare corresponding to lower occurrences of observed dolphins. However this effect was not large (-0.264) and the parameter estimate was associated with a large standard error (0.113). The limited field of view was the main restraint in that cameras can be only applied to detections of animals observed rather than counts of individuals. However, the use of cameras was effective for long term monitoring of occurrence of dolphins, outweighing the costs and reducing the health and safety risks to field personal. This study showed that cameras could be effectively implemented onshore for research such as studying changes in habitat use in response to development and construction activities.

  6. Bilateral Directional Asymmetry of the Appendicular Skeleton of the White-Beaked Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galatius, Anders

    2006-01-01

    Bilateral directional asymmetry of the lengths and diameters of the scapula, humerus, radius, and ulna were analyzed on a sample of 38 white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) from Danish waters. The levels of asymmetry were consistent between the sexes and between physically mature...... of lateralized use of the flippers in the white-beaked dolphin and possibly other delphinid and cetacean species. Although some evidence exists for flipper preference in the baleen humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) and turning preferences in other species, this needs to be confirmed through further...

  7. Estimating the cumulative effects of the nature-based tourism in a coastal dolphin population from southern Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Jorge, Sergi; Louzao, Maite; Oro, Daniel; Pereira, Thalia; Corne, Chloe; Wijtten, Zeno; Gomes, Inês; Wambua, John; Christiansen, Fredrik

    2017-06-01

    Due to the growth of nature-based tourism worldwide, behavioural studies are needed to assess the impact of this industry on wildlife populations and understand their short-term effect. Tourism impact on dolphin populations remain poorly documented in developing countries. This study investigates the effects of nature-based tourism on the behaviour of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in southern Kenya. We used Markov chain models to estimate transition probabilities between behavioural states in the presence and absence of tourist boats, and assess the overall behavioural budgets. Based on these data and the tourism intensity in the area, we quantified the potential tourist boat disturbance over the period 2006-2013. Our results demonstrated that tourist boat interactions affected dolphins' behavioural budgets, with a significant decrease in the overall amount of time travelling and an increase in diving. The average duration of travelling and resting decreased significantly in the presence of boats. Although the cumulative tourism exposure was not significant for the dolphin population at their current levels, these impacts should be taken into consideration with the potential tourism growth in the area. This is particularly important if tourism reaches periods of high intensity, as we have shown that these periods could have a significant impact for the species, particularly where home-range and core areas are highly overlap by this activity. Understanding the effect of human disturbance variations from previous years may help to predict the consequences on dolphin populations, towards achieving a more ecological and economic sustainability of the activity.

  8. Contrasted accumulation patterns of persistent organic pollutants and mercury in sympatric tropical dolphins from the south-western Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirtu, Alin C; Malarvannan, Govindan; Das, Krishna; Dulau-Drouot, Violaine; Kiszka, Jeremy J; Lepoint, Gilles; Mongin, Philippe; Covaci, Adrian

    2016-04-01

    Due to their high trophic position and long life span, small cetaceans are considered as suitable bioindicators to monitor the presence of contaminants in marine ecosystems. Here, we document the contamination with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and total mercury (T-Hg) of spinner (Stenella longirostris, n =21) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus, n=32) sampled from the coastal waters of La Réunion (south-western Indian Ocean). In addition, seven co-occurring teleost fish species were sampled and analyzed as well. Blubber samples from living dolphins and muscle from teleosts were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and metabolites (DDTs), chlordanes (CHLs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs), reported as having a natural origin, were also analyzed. T-Hg levels were measured in blubber and skin biopsies of the two dolphin species. Stable isotopes δ(13)C and δ(15)N values were determined in skin of the dolphins and in the muscle of teleosts. For PCBs, HCHs and T-Hg, concentrations were significantly higher in T. aduncus than in S. longirostris. For other POP levels, intra-species variability was high. MeO-PBDEs were the dominant compounds (55% of the total POPs) in S. longirostris, while PCBs dominated (50% contribution) in T. aduncus. Other contaminants showed similar profiles between the two species. Given the different patterns of POPs and T-Hg contamination and the δ(15)N values observed among analyzed teleosts, dietary and foraging habitat preferences most likely explain the contrasted contaminant profiles observed in the two dolphin species. Levels of each class of contaminants were significantly higher in males than females. Despite their spatial and temporal overlap in the waters of La Réunion, S. longirostris and T. aduncus are differently exposed to contaminant accumulation.

  9. Spatial and Temporal Variation in the Acoustic Habitat of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus within a Highly Urbanized Estuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A. Marley

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available There is growing awareness of underwater noise in a variety of marine habitats, and how such noise may adversely affect marine species. This is of particular concern for acoustically-specialized species, such as dolphins. In order to ascertain the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on these animals, baseline information is required for defining the soundscape of dolphin habitats. The Swan-Canning River system in Western Australia flows through the city of Perth, and experiences numerous anthropogenic activities. Despite this, the river system is home to a community of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus. To provide a baseline soundscape description of dolphin habitat, over 11,600 h of acoustic data were analyzed from five sites within the Swan River (from Fremantle Inner Harbor to 20 km upstream across an 8-year period. Multiple sound sources were recorded at these sites, including: snapping shrimp; fishes; dolphins; pile-driving; bridge and road traffic; and vessel traffic. The two most prevalent sound sources, vessel traffic and snapping shrimp, likely have very different effects on dolphin communication with the former expected to be more disruptive. Sites were characteristic in their prominent sound sources, showing clear among-site variations, with some sites being “noisier” than others based on broadband noise levels, octave-band noise levels, and power spectrum density percentiles. Perth Waters had the highest broadband noise (10–11 kHz; median 113 dB re 1 μPa rms, whilst Heirisson Island was quietest (median 100 dB re 1 μPa rms. Generalized estimating equations identified variation in broadband noise levels within sites at a fine temporal scale, although sites differed in the significance of temporal variables. At Mosman Bay, a long-term dataset spanning eight years highlighted inter-annual variation in broadband noise levels, but no overall upwards or downwards trend over time. Acoustic habitats of the Swan

  10. New records of Cotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with remarks on the distribution of the Pseudoceros Lang, 1884 and Pseudobiceros Faubel, 1984 species of the Indo-Pacific Marine Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquina, Daniel; Aguado, M Teresa; Noreña, Carolina

    2015-09-18

    In the present work eleven polyclad species of Lizard Island are studied. Seven of them are new records for this locality of the Australian coral reef and one is new to science, Lurymare clavocapitata n. sp. (Family Prosthiostomidae). The remaining recorded species belong to the genera Pseudoceros (P. bimarginatus, P. jebborum, P. stimpsoni, P. zebra, P. paralaticlavus and P. prudhoei) and Pseudobiceros (Pb. hancockanus, Pb. hymanae, Pb. flowersi and Pb. uniarborensis). Regardless of the different distribution patterns, all pseudocerotid species show brilliant colours, but similar internal morphology. Furthermore, differences in the form and size of the stylet are characteristic, because it is a sclerotic structure that is not affected during fixation. In Pseudoceros, the distance between the sucker and the female pore also differs among species. These features do not vary enough to be considered as diagnostic, but they provide information that can help to disentangle similarly coloured species complexes. A key of the genera Pseudoceros and Pseudobiceros of the Indo-Pacific region is provided, in order to facilitate the identification of species from this area.

  11. Humpback whale bioacoustics: From form to function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo, III

    This thesis investigates how humpback whales produce, perceive, and use sounds from a comparative and computational perspective. Biomimetic models are developed within a systems-theoretic framework and then used to analyze the properties of humpback whale sounds. First, sound transmission is considered in terms of possible production mechanisms and the propagation characteristics of shallow water environments frequented by humpback whales. A standard source-filter model (used to describe human sound production) is shown to be well suited for characterizing sound production by humpback whales. Simulations of sound propagation based on normal mode theory reveal that optimal frequencies for long range propagation are higher than the frequencies used most often by humpbacks, and that sounds may contain spectral information indicating how far they have propagated. Next, sound reception is discussed. A model of human auditory processing is modified to emulate humpback whale auditory processing as suggested by cochlear anatomical dimensions. This auditory model is used to generate visual representations of humpback whale sounds that more clearly reveal what features are likely to be salient to listening whales. Additionally, the possibility that an unusual sensory organ (the tubercle) plays a role in acoustic processing is assessed. Spatial distributions of tubercles are described that suggest tubercles may be useful for localizing sound sources. Finally, these models are integrated with self-organizing feature maps to create a biomimetic sound classification system, and a detailed analysis of individual sounds and sound patterns in humpback whale 'songs' is performed. This analysis provides evidence that song sounds and sound patterns vary substantially in terms of detectability and propagation potential, suggesting that they do not all serve the same function. New quantitative techniques are also presented that allow for more objective characterizations of the long term

  12. Douglas RD-2 Dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    1940-01-01

    Douglas RD-2 Dolphin: Originally purchased with the presumed use as a Presidential aircraft, this Douglas RD-2 was turned over to the NACA in December 1939 without ever fulfilling its intended role. The Dolphin was a type familiar to the NACA, who were testing a Army version of the Douglas amphibian, an OA-4V with a nosewheel.

  13. Where's That Dolphin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Carolyn; Curran, Mary Carla; Cox, Tara

    2013-01-01

    In this article , the authors describe an activity in which students in Savannah, Georgia, use handheld GPS devices to record the sightings of bottlenose dolphins, examine spatial data from five pairs of dolphins in the study, and then form hypotheses about the spatial patterns they observe. In the process, they learn not only about the ecology of…

  14. Grand Canyon Humpback Chub Population Improving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Matthew E.

    2007-01-01

    The humpback chub (Gila cypha) is a long-lived, freshwater fish found only in the Colorado River Basin. Physical adaptations-large adult body size, large predorsal hump, and small eyes-appear to have helped humpback chub evolve in the historically turbulent Colorado River. A variety of factors, including habitat alterations and the introduction of nonnative fishes, likely prompted the decline of native Colorado River fishes. Declining numbers propelled the humpback chub onto the Federal list of endangered species in 1967, and the species is today protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Only six populations of humpback chub are currently known to exist, five in the Colorado River Basin above Lees Ferry, Ariz., and one in Grand Canyon, Ariz. The U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center oversees monitoring and research activities for the Grand Canyon population under the auspices of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP). Analysis of data collected through 2006 suggests that the number of adult (age 4+ years) humpback chub in Grand Canyon increased to approximately 6,000 fish in 2006, following an approximate 40-50 percent decline between 1989 and 2001. Increasing numbers of adult fish appear to be the result of steadily increasing numbers of juvenile fish reaching adulthood beginning in the mid- to late-1990s and continuing through at least 2002.

  15. Why do Dolphins Play?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stan A. Kuczaj

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Play is an important aspect of dolphin life, perhaps even an essential one. Play provides opportunities for dolphin calves to practice and perfect locomotor skills, including those involved in foraging and mating strategies and behaviors. Play also allows dolphin calves to learn important social skills and acquire information about the characteristics and predispositions of members of their social group, particularly their peers. In addition to helping dolphin calves learn how to behave, play also provides valuable opportunities for them to learn how to think. The ability to create and control play contexts enables dolphins to create novel experiences for themselves and their playmates under relatively safe conditions. The behavioral variability and individual creativity that characterize dolphin play yield ample opportunities for individual cognitive development as well as social learning, and sometimes result in innovations that are reproduced by other members of the group. Although adults sometimes produce innovative play, calves are the primary source of such innovations. Calves are also more likely to imitate novel play behaviors than are adults, and so calves contribute significantly to both the creation and transmission of novel play behaviors within a group. Not unexpectedly, then, the complexity of dolphin play increases with the involvement of peers. As a result, the opportunity to observe and/or interact with other dolphin calves enhances the effects of play on the acquisition and maintenance of flexible problem solving skills, the emergence and strengthening of social and communicative competencies, and the establishment of social relationships. It seems that play may have evolved to help young dolphins learn to adapt to novel situations in both their physical and social worlds, the beneficial result being a set of abilities that increases the likelihood that an individual survives and reproduces.

  16. Genetic tagging of humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palsbøll, P J; Allen, J; Bérubé, M; Clapham, P J; Feddersen, T P; Hammond, P S; Hudson, R R; Jørgensen, H; Katona, S; Larsen, A H; Larsen, F; Lien, J; Mattila, D K; Sigurjónsson, J; Sears, R; Smith, T; Sponer, R; Stevick, P; Oien, N

    1997-08-21

    The ability to recognize individual animals has substantially increased our knowledge of the biology and behaviour of many taxa. However, not all species lend themselves to this approach, either because of insufficient phenotypic variation or because tag attachment is not feasible. The use of genetic markers ('tags') represents a viable alternative to traditional methods of individual recognition, as they are permanent and exist in all individuals. We tested the use of genetic markers as the primary means of identifying individuals in a study of humpback whales in the North Atlantic Ocean. Analysis of six microsatellite loci among 3,060 skin samples collected throughout this ocean allowed the unequivocal identification of individuals. Analysis of 692 'recaptures', identified by their genotype, revealed individual local and migratory movements of up to 10,000 km, limited exchange among summer feeding grounds, and mixing in winter breeding areas, and also allowed the first estimates of animal abundance based solely on genotypic data. Our study demonstrates that genetic tagging is not only feasible, but generates data (for example, on sex) that can be valuable when interpreting the results of tagging experiments.

  17. Dolphins. LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niskern, Diana, Comp.

    The family Delphinidae is the largest family of toothed whales. It includes not only those mammals commonly referred to as dolphins, such as the bottlenosed dolphin often seen in captivity, but also the killer whale. This literature and resources guide is not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography on dolphins; the guide is designed--as the…

  18. Dolphin swarm algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tian-qi WU; Min YAO; Jian-hua YANG

    2016-01-01

    By adopting the distributed problem-solving strategy, swarm intelligence algorithms have been successfully applied to many optimization problems that are difficult to deal with using traditional methods. At present, there are many well-implemented algorithms, such as particle swarm optimization, genetic algorithm, artificial bee colony algorithm, and ant colony optimization. These algorithms have already shown favorable performances. However, with the objects becoming increasingly complex, it is becoming gradually more difficult for these algorithms to meet human’s demand in terms of accuracy and time. Designing a new algorithm to seek better solutions for optimization problems is becoming increasingly essential. Dolphins have many noteworthy biological characteristics and living habits such as echolocation, information exchanges, cooperation, and division of labor. Combining these biological characteristics and living habits with swarm intelligence and bringing them into optimization prob-lems, we propose a brand new algorithm named the ‘dolphin swarm algorithm’ in this paper. We also provide the definitions of the algorithm and specific descriptions of the four pivotal phases in the algorithm, which are the search phase, call phase, reception phase, and predation phase. Ten benchmark functions with different properties are tested using the dolphin swarm algorithm, particle swarm optimization, genetic algorithm, and artificial bee colony algorithm. The convergence rates and benchmark func-tion results of these four algorithms are compared to testify the effect of the dolphin swarm algorithm. The results show that in most cases, the dolphin swarm algorithm performs better. The dolphin swarm algorithm possesses some great features, such as first-slow-then-fast convergence, periodic convergence, local-optimum-free, and no specific demand on benchmark functions. Moreover, the dolphin swarm algorithm is particularly appropriate to optimization problems, with more

  19. How Dolphins Call

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马加芬

    2007-01-01

    <正>与人类一样,海豚能通过声音相互称呼"名字"。A high-pitched"wee-o-wee-o-wee-o-wee"whistle might not soundlike much to you,but it6s exactly how a dolphin might introduce itself.Because sight is limited in the ocean,dolphins create individual"name"calls to communicate their whereabouts to friends and families.But it6snot as simple as just recognizing a voice,

  20. Mimicking the humpback whale: An aerodynamic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aftab, S. M. A.; Razak, N. A.; Mohd Rafie, A. S.; Ahmad, K. A.

    2016-07-01

    This comprehensive review aims to provide a critical overview of the work on tubercles in the past decade. The humpback whale is of interest to aerodynamic/hydrodynamic researchers, as it performs manoeuvres that baffle the imagination. Researchers have attributed these capabilities to the presence of lumps, known as tubercles, on the leading edge of the flipper. Tubercles generate a unique flow control mechanism, offering the humpback exceptional manoeuverability. Experimental and numerical studies have shown that the flow pattern over the tubercle wing is quite different from conventional wings. Research on the Tubercle Leading Edge (TLE) concept has helped to clarify aerodynamic issues such as flow separation, tonal noise and dynamic stall. TLE shows increased lift by delaying and restricting spanwise separation. A summary of studies on different airfoils and reported improvement in performance is outlined. The major contributions and limitations of previous work are also reported.

  1. Hydrodynamic design of the humpback whale flipper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, F E; Battle, J M

    1995-07-01

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is reported to use its elongate pectoral flippers during swimming maneuvers. The morphology of the flipper from a 9.02-m whale was evaluated with regard to this hydrodynamic function. The flipper had a wing-like, high aspect ratio planform. Rounded tubercles were regularly interspersed along the flipper's leading edge. The flipper was cut into 71 2.5-cm cross-sections and photographed. Except for sections near the distal tip, flipper sections were symmetrical with no camber. Flipper sections had a blunt, rounded leading edge and a highly tapered trailing edge. Placement of the maximum thickness placement for each cross-section varied from 49% of chord at the tip to 19% at mid-span. Section thickness ratio averaged 0.23 with a range of 0.20-0.28. The humpback whale flipper had a cross-sectional design typical of manufactured aerodynamic foils for lift generation. The morphology and placement of leading edge tubercles suggest that they function as enhanced lift devices to control flow over the flipper and maintain lift at high angles of attack. The morphology of the humpback whale flipper suggests that it is adapted for high maneuverability associated with the whale's unique feeding behavior.

  2. The Promise of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Alexis; Dustin, Dan; Wolff, Robert

    2001-01-01

    Describes how people with disabilities can benefit from working and playing in the water with dolphins, focusing on the many positive benefits of dolphin-assisted therapy and discussing several hypotheses about why dolphin-assisted therapy is so effective. The article describes two dolphin-assisted therapy programs and presents contact information…

  3. Can dolphins heal by ultrasound?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brensing, Karsten; Linke, Katrin; Todt, Dietmar

    2003-11-07

    In recent years, dolphin-assisted therapy has become very popular and an increasing number of facilities offer therapy programs with dolphins worldwide. To this date, there are no studies concerning the behavior of dolphins during these therapies. As a result of speculations that the echolocation of dolphins may play an important role for the success of the therapy and the high publicity of this in the media, people pay much more for dolphin-assisted than for other animal-assisted therapy programs. Based on publications in medicine, we will show that ultrasound emitted by dolphins could have an effect on biological tissue under some circumstances; such as sufficient intensity, repeated application over several days or weeks and a certain application duration per session. We recorded 83 sessions at the "Dolphins Plus", a fenced area with ocean water in the Florida Keys. Our observations demonstrate that only one out of five observed dolphins behave significantly differently towards patients compared to other humans and that the duration of the observed close contacts did not meet the requirements for common ultrasound therapies.

  4. Douglas OA-4A Dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    1938-01-01

    Douglas OA-4A Dolphin: This twin-engine Douglas OA-4A Dolphin was unusual in comparison with other OA-4s in that it employed a nose wheel instead of a tail wheel during its NACA testing at Langley. Here is is seen in the NACA hangar in September 1938.

  5. Distribution and abundance of West Greenland humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae )

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Finn; Hammond, P.S.

    2004-01-01

    Photo-identification surveys of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae were conducted at West Greenland during 1988-93, the last 2 years of which were part of the internationally coordinated humpback whale research programme YoNAH, with the primary aim of estimating abundance for the West Greenland...... effort. A total of 670 groups of humpback whales was encountered leading to the identification of 348 individual animals. Three areas of concentration were identified: an area off Nuuk; an area at c. 63degrees30'N; and an area off Frederikshab. Sequential Petersen capture-recapture estimates of abundance...

  6. The enigmatic whale: the North Atlantic humpback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available We know more about the North Atlantic humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae than we do for virtually any other cetacean, yet attempts to use this information to describe the status of the populations in this ocean basin have not proven satisfactory. The North Atlantic humpback has been the subject of extensive research over the past few decades, resulting in a substantial amount of knowledge about what has proven to be a species with a very complex life history and population structure. While several population models have been developed to integrate the available information, the data overall are not well described by any of the models. This has left considerable uncertainty about population status, and has raised questions about the interpretation of some of the data. We describe 7 specific areas where puzzling or ambiguous observations have been made; these require closer attention if population status is to be determined. These areas raise several fundamental questions, including: How many breeding populations are there? How much do the populations mix on the feeding grounds? How has the distribution of animals on both feeding and breeding grounds changed? We identify additional research needed to address the 7 areas and these questions in particular, so that population status might be determined.

  7. Humpback whale song: A new review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankel, Adam S.

    2003-04-01

    The humpback whale song has been described and investigated since the early 1970s. Much has been learned about the humpback whale social structure, but the understanding of the song and its function remains elusive. The hierarchical nature of the song structure was described early on: Songs can be sung for a long period, apparently by males, and primarily during the mating season. However, singers also become physically competitive, suggesting alternative mating strategies. There are a number of unique structural features of song. Its structure evolves over time and combination. The nature of song evolution strongly implies cultural transmission. Song structure appears to be shared within an entire population, even though there appears to be little interchange of individuals between sub populations. Despite over thirty years of inquiry there are still numerous unanswered questions: Why is the song structure so complex? Is song a sexual advertisement, an acoustic space mediation mechanism, or both? How do females choose mates, or do they? What drives song evolution, and why is there so much variation in the rate of change? Are there nonreproductive functions of song? What prompts a male to begin or end singing? Our current understanding and the outstanding questions yet to be answered will be reviewed.

  8. Final Critical Habitat for the Humpback chub (Gila cypha)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for Humpback chub (Gila cypha) occur based on the description provided in the Federal...

  9. CHARACTERIZATION OF ANTERIOR SEGMENT OPHTHALMOLOGIC LESIONS IDENTIFIED IN FREE-RANGING DOLPHINS AND THOSE UNDER HUMAN CARE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colitz, Carmen M H; Walsh, Michael T; McCulloch, Stephen D

    2016-03-01

    Cetaceans in the wild and under human care develop a variety of ocular lesions. Although they have echolocation, cetacean species have good sight, making ocular health an important part of overall health care. The cornea is the primary site of abnormalities in both populations. Typical lesions of cetaceans under human care are characterized in this retrospective review of cases. One hundred eighty animals (n = 360 eyes) were chosen from the author's ophthalmologic examination reports from different geographic areas; they included Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Pacific bottle nose dolphins (Tursiopstruncatus gilli), Indopacific bottlenose dolphins (Steno bredanensis), Indopacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis), and roughtooth dolphins (Steno bredanensis). These animals were examined at least once, although most were examined numerous times over many years; lesions were categorized and are described. Seventy-seven eyes from 47 animals were normal. Medial keratopathy was the most common lesion and identified in 180 eyes from 97 animals, with 83 affected bilaterally. Horizontal keratopathy was identified in 69 eyes from 41 animals, with 28 affected bilaterally. Axial keratopathy and nonspecific axial opacities were identified in 67 eyes from 44 animals, with 21 affected bilaterally. Seventy-eight eyes from 50 animals, with 28 affected bilaterally, had more than one type of corneal lesion. Cataracts were identified in 32 eyes from 19 animals, with 13 affected bilaterally. Traumatic injuries were also common and involved eyelids and cornea. Sixteen eyes from 11 animals were blind; five dolphins were blind bilaterally due to phthisis bulbi secondary to corneal perforation or severe trauma. None of the diseases had a sex predisposition; however, medial keratopathy was significantly more common as a bilateral presentation than as a unilateral presentation. Cetaceans under human care with impaired sight can use echolocation; however, ocular health

  10. 77 FR 27185 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-09

    ... Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS... the following vacant seats on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory.... SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council...

  11. Global diversity and oceanic divergence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jennifer A; Steel, Debbie J; Beerli, P; Congdon, Bradley C; Olavarría, Carlos; Leslie, Matthew S; Pomilla, Cristina; Rosenbaum, Howard; Baker, C Scott

    2014-07-07

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) annually undertake the longest migrations between seasonal feeding and breeding grounds of any mammal. Despite this dispersal potential, discontinuous seasonal distributions and migratory patterns suggest that humpbacks form discrete regional populations within each ocean. To better understand the worldwide population history of humpbacks, and the interplay of this species with the oceanic environment through geological time, we assembled mitochondrial DNA control region sequences representing approximately 2700 individuals (465 bp, 219 haplotypes) and eight nuclear intronic sequences representing approximately 70 individuals (3700 bp, 140 alleles) from the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere. Bayesian divergence time reconstructions date the origin of humpback mtDNA lineages to the Pleistocene (880 ka, 95% posterior intervals 550-1320 ka) and estimate radiation of current Northern Hemisphere lineages between 50 and 200 ka, indicating colonization of the northern oceans prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. Coalescent analyses reveal restricted gene flow between ocean basins, with long-term migration rates (individual migrants per generation) of less than 3.3 for mtDNA and less than 2 for nuclear genomic DNA. Genetic evidence suggests that humpbacks in the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere are on independent evolutionary trajectories, supporting taxonomic revision of M. novaeangliae to three subspecies.

  12. How important are herring to humpback whales? The role of herring in meeting the energetic requirements of humpback whales in a British Columbian feeding ground

    OpenAIRE

    McMillan, Christie Jane

    2014-01-01

    Management of cetacean populations is a global conservation concern. The North Pacific humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Canada is listed as threatened under the Species At Risk Act, and prey reduction has been identified as a threat to this population. I used focal follows of humpback whales and underwater video of herring schools to estimate Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) consumption by humpback whales in eastern Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia. I combined these results ...

  13. Satellite Tracking of Humpback Whales in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, R.; Teilmann, J.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.-P.

    In June 2000, 6 humpback whales (Megaptere novaeangliae) were tagged with satellite transmitters off West Greenland. Contact remained for up to 42 days. The tagging revealed that within the month of June, humpback whales off West Greenland moved between Fiskenæs Banke, Fyllas Banke, Tovqussaq Banke......, Sukkertop Banke and Lille Hellefiske Banke. The whales showed a preference for the continental slopes with depths less than 200 m, however, few dives were recorded down to 500 m. The whales had a preference for dives lasting 7-8 min. (15%) and no dives lasted longer than 15 min....

  14. Satellite Tracking of Humpback Whales in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, R.; Teilmann, J.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.-P.

    In June 2000, 6 humpback whales (Megaptere novaeangliae) were tagged with satellite transmitters off West Greenland. Contact remained for up to 42 days. The tagging revealed that within the month of June, humpback whales off West Greenland moved between Fiskenæs Banke, Fyllas Banke, Tovqussaq Banke......, Sukkertop Banke and Lille Hellefiske Banke. The whales showed a preference for the continental slopes with depths less than 200 m, however, few dives were recorded down to 500 m. The whales had a preference for dives lasting 7-8 min. (15%) and no dives lasted longer than 15 min....

  15. Body and self in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Louis M

    2012-03-01

    In keeping with recent views of consciousness of self as represented in the body in action, empirical studies are reviewed that demonstrate a bottlenose dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) conscious awareness of its own body and body parts, implying a representational "body image" system. Additional work reviewed demonstrates an advanced capability of dolphins for motor imitation of self-produced behaviors and of behaviors of others, including imitation of human actions, supporting hypotheses that dolphins have a sense of agency and ownership of their actions and may implicitly attribute those levels of self-awareness to others. Possibly, a mirror-neuron system, or its functional equivalent to that described in monkeys and humans, may mediate both self-awareness and awareness of others.

  16. Hydrodynamics of a Digitized Adult Humpback Whale Flipper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassmann, Wesley N.; McDonald, Samuel J.; Thomson, Scott L.; Fish, Frank E.

    2013-11-01

    During feeding, humpback whales turn with a turn radius of up to 1 /6th of their length towards schools of fish enclosed by bubble nets. This high maneuverability requirement is facilitated by high aspect ratio flippers with leading edge tubercles that delay stall. Previous experimental and computational studies have used idealized models, such as airfoils with scalloped leading edges, to explore the influence of leading edge tubercles on boundary layer separation, vortex generation, and airfoil lift and drag characteristics. Owing to the substantial size of the flipper, no studies have been performed on a digitized adult humpback flipper with real geometry. In this study the hydrodynamics of a realistic humpback flipper model were explored. The model was developed by digitizing a sequence of 18 images circumscribing the suspended flipper of a beached humpback whale. A physical prototype was constructed based on the resulting 3D model, along with a complementary model with the tubercles removed. Experimentally-obtained measurements of lift and drag were used to study the influence of the tubercles. In the presentation, digitization and flow measurement methods are described, and the flow data and results are presented and discussed.

  17. A model to resolve organochlorine pharmacokinetics in migrating humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropp, Roger; Nash, Susan Bengtson; Hawker, Darryl

    2014-07-01

    Humpback whales are iconic mammals at the top of the Antarctic food chain. Their large reserves of lipid-rich tissues such as blubber predispose them to accumulation of lipophilic contaminants throughout their lifetime. Changes in the volume and distribution of lipids in humpback whales, particularly during migration, could play an important role in the pharmacokinetics of lipophilic contaminants such as the organochlorine pesticide hexachlorobenzene (HCB). Previous models have examined constant feeding and nonmigratory scenarios. In the present study, the authors develop a novel heuristic model to investigate HCB dynamics in a humpback whale and its environment by coupling an ecosystem nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton-detritus (NPZD) model, a dynamic energy budget (DEB) model, and a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. The model takes into account the seasonal feeding pattern of whales, their energy requirements, and fluctuating contaminant burdens in the supporting plankton food chain. It is applied to a male whale from weaning to maturity, spanning 20 migration and feeding cycles. The model is initialized with environmental HCB burdens similar to those measured in the Southern Ocean and predicts blubber HCB concentrations consistent with empirical concentrations observed in a southern hemisphere population of male, migrating humpback whales. Results show for the first time some important details of the relationship between energy budgets and organochlorine pharmacokinetics.

  18. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro, C.; Acevedo, J.; Aguayo-Lobo, A.; Allen, J.; Capella, J.; Rosa, Dalla L.; Flores-González, L.; Kaufman, G.; Forestell, P.; Scheidat, M.; Secchi, E.R.; Stevick, P.; Santos, M.C.O.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on the long-term re-sight histories of fifteen photo-identified humpback whales encountered to date transiting Ecuadorian waters. It also provides information about connections to feeding area destinations. Whale EC1261 has been resighted over a 26 year span and provides insight i

  19. Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Susan E; Cusano, Dana A; Stimpert, Alison K; Weinrich, Mason T; Friedlaender, Ari S; Wiley, David N

    2014-12-16

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), a mysticete with a cosmopolitan distribution, demonstrate marked behavioural plasticity. Recent studies show evidence of social learning in the transmission of specific population level traits ranging from complex singing to stereotyped prey capturing behaviour. Humpback whales have been observed to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate behaviour in these groups is challenging to obtain. This study investigates the role of a novel broadband patterned pulsed sound produced by humpback whales engaged in bottom-feeding behaviours, referred to here as a 'paired burst' sound. Data collected from 56 archival acoustic tag deployments were investigated to determine the functional significance of these signals. Paired burst sound production was associated exclusively with bottom feeding under low-light conditions, predominantly with evidence of associated conspecifics nearby suggesting that the sound likely serves either as a communicative signal to conspecifics, a signal to affect prey behaviour, or possibly both. This study provides additional evidence for individual variation and phenotypic plasticity of foraging behaviours in humpback whales and provides important evidence for the use of acoustic signals among foraging individuals in this species.

  20. The interplay between social networks and culture: theoretically and among whales and dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-01-01

    Culture is increasingly being understood as a driver of mammalian phenotypes. Defined as group-specific behaviour transmitted by social learning, culture is shaped by social structure. However, culture can itself affect social structure if individuals preferentially interact with others whose behaviour is similar, or cultural symbols are used to mark groups. Using network formalism, this interplay can be depicted by the coevolution of nodes and edges together with the coevolution of network topology and transmission patterns. We review attempts to model the links between the spread, persistence and diversity of culture and the network topology of non-human societies. We illustrate these processes using cetaceans. The spread of socially learned begging behaviour within a population of bottlenose dolphins followed the topology of the social network, as did the evolution of the song of the humpback whale between breeding areas. In three bottlenose dolphin populations, individuals preferentially associated with animals using the same socially learned foraging behaviour. Homogeneous behaviour within the tight, nearly permanent social structures of the large matrilineal whales seems to result from transmission bias, with cultural symbols marking social structures. We recommend the integration of studies of culture and society in species for which social learning is an important determinant of behaviour. PMID:23569288

  1. The interplay between social networks and culture: theoretically and among whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-05-19

    Culture is increasingly being understood as a driver of mammalian phenotypes. Defined as group-specific behaviour transmitted by social learning, culture is shaped by social structure. However, culture can itself affect social structure if individuals preferentially interact with others whose behaviour is similar, or cultural symbols are used to mark groups. Using network formalism, this interplay can be depicted by the coevolution of nodes and edges together with the coevolution of network topology and transmission patterns. We review attempts to model the links between the spread, persistence and diversity of culture and the network topology of non-human societies. We illustrate these processes using cetaceans. The spread of socially learned begging behaviour within a population of bottlenose dolphins followed the topology of the social network, as did the evolution of the song of the humpback whale between breeding areas. In three bottlenose dolphin populations, individuals preferentially associated with animals using the same socially learned foraging behaviour. Homogeneous behaviour within the tight, nearly permanent social structures of the large matrilineal whales seems to result from transmission bias, with cultural symbols marking social structures. We recommend the integration of studies of culture and society in species for which social learning is an important determinant of behaviour.

  2. An Interview with a Dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, Kathy; Keilty, Jennifer

    1993-01-01

    A fabricated conversation between two humans and a dolphin at Marineland illustrates man's relationship to nature and the impact that human actions have on living creatures and the environment, and stresses developing a deeper understanding and value for the natural world and consideration of the universality of continued human error and…

  3. The hydrodynamics of dolphin drafting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weihs Daniel

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Drafting in cetaceans is defined as the transfer of forces between individuals without actual physical contact between them. This behavior has long been surmised to explain how young dolphin calves keep up with their rapidly moving mothers. It has recently been observed that a significant number of calves become permanently separated from their mothers during chases by tuna vessels. A study of the hydrodynamics of drafting, initiated in the hope of understanding the mechanisms causing the separation of mothers and calves during fishing-related activities, is reported here. Results Quantitative results are shown for the forces and moments around a pair of unequally sized dolphin-like slender bodies. These include two major effects. First, the so-called Bernoulli suction, which stems from the fact that the local pressure drops in areas of high speed, results in an attractive force between mother and calf. Second is the displacement effect, in which the motion of the mother causes the water in front to move forwards and radially outwards, and water behind the body to move forwards to replace the animal's mass. Thus, the calf can gain a 'free ride' in the forward-moving areas. Utilizing these effects, the neonate can gain up to 90% of the thrust needed to move alongside the mother at speeds of up to 2.4 m/sec. A comparison with observations of eastern spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris is presented, showing savings of up to 60% in the thrust that calves require if they are to keep up with their mothers. Conclusions A theoretical analysis, backed by observations of free-swimming dolphin schools, indicates that hydrodynamic interactions with mothers play an important role in enabling dolphin calves to keep up with rapidly moving adult school members.

  4. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims versus Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Fiksdal, Britta L.; Daniel Houlihan; Barnes, Aaron C.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review and critique studies that have been conducted on dolphin-assisted therapy for children with various disorders. Studies have been released claiming swimming with dolphins is therapeutic and beneficial for children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, physical disabilities, and other psychological disorders. The majority of the studies conducted supporting the effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy have been found to have major methodo...

  5. A Study of a Mechanical Swimming Dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Lilly; Maass, Daniel; Leftwich, Megan; Smits, Alexander

    2007-11-01

    A one-third scale dolphin model was constructed to investigate dolphin swimming hydrodynamics. Design and construction of the model were achieved using body coordinate data from the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) to ensure geometric similarity. The front two-thirds of the model are rigid and stationary, while an external mechanism drives the rear third. This motion mimics the kinematics of dolphin swimming. Planar laser induced florescence (PLIF) and particle image velocimetry (PIV) are used to study the hydrodynamics of the wake and to develop a vortex skeleton model.

  6. Sexually Frustrated Dolphin Sparks Alert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    余采菊

    2002-01-01

    孔夫子的“饮食男女”一说,看来已经超出了人类的范畴。文章涉及的dolphin(海豚)简直令人难以置信!特别是以下一句: When dolphins get sexually excited,they try to isolate a swimmer,normallyfemale.They do this by circling around the individual and gradually move themaway from the beach,boat or crowd of people. 译文:当海豚处于性激动时,它们会孤立一个游泳者,通常是女性。它们围绕个别的游泳者打圈,慢慢地将这些人从海滩上、船上或是人群中引开去。

  7. 50 CFR 216.91 - Dolphin-safe labeling standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Dolphin-safe labeling standards. 216.91... MAMMALS Dolphin Safe Tuna Labeling § 216.91 Dolphin-safe labeling standards. (a) It is a violation of... include on the label of those products the term “dolphin-safe” or any other term or symbol that claims...

  8. Aerodynamic assessment of humpback whale ventral fin shapes

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    The ventral fins of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) include a bulbous leading edge acting as a natural high-lift device. It has been suggested that application of this concept to wing design may yield advantages over traditional shapes (Miklosovic, et al., 2004). During the course of this project, the aerodynamic performance of whale fin models will be compared with conventional wing shapes. Based on the results of the study new wing design paradigms will be developed to improve t...

  9. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    OpenAIRE

    Castro, C.; J. Acevedo; Aguayo-Lobo, A.; Allen, J.; Capella, J.; Rosa, Dalla, L.; Flores-González, L.; Kaufman, G.; Forestell, P.; Scheidat, M.; Secchi, E.R.; Stevick, P.; Santos, M.C.O.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on the long-term re-sight histories of fifteen photo-identified humpback whales encountered to date transiting Ecuadorian waters. It also provides information about connections to feeding area destinations. Whale EC1261 has been resighted over a 26 year span and provides insight into age and potential longevity of this species in the stock G. The resighting of whale EC1261 provides the earliest connection from Ecuador to Antarctica. and supports previous findings that Antar...

  10. Social structure in migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsecchi, Elena; Hale, Peter; Corkeron, Peter; Amos, William

    2002-03-01

    Although largely solitary, humpback whales exhibit a number of behaviours where individuals co-operate with one another, for example during bubble net feeding. Such cases could be due to reciprocal altruism brought on by exceptional circumstances, for example the presence of abundant shoaling fish. An alternative explanation is that these behaviours have evolved through kin selection. With little restriction to either communication or movement, diffuse groups of relatives could maintain some form of social organization without the need to travel in tight-nit units. To try to distinguish between these hypotheses, we took advantage of the fact that migrating humpback whales often swim together in small groups. If kin selection is important in humpback whale biology, these groups should be enriched for relatives. Consequently, we analysed biopsy samples from 57 groups of humpback whales migrating off Eastern Australia in 1992. A total of 142 whales were screened for eight microsatellite markers. Mitochondrial DNA sequences (371 bp) were also used to verify and assist kinship identification. Our data add support to the notion that mothers travel with their offspring for the first year of the calf's life. However, beyond the presence of mother-calf/yearling pairs, no obvious relatedness pattern was found among whales sampled either in the same pod or on the same day. Levels of relatedness did not vary between migratory phases (towards or away from the breeding ground), nor between the two sexes considered either overall or in the north or south migrations separately. These findings suggest that, if any social organization does exist, it is formed transiently when needed rather than being a constant feature of the population, and hence is more likely based on reciprocal altruism than kin selection.

  11. Where's That Dolphin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Carolyn; Curran, Mary Carla; Cox, Tara

    2013-01-01

    In this article , the authors describe an activity in which students in Savannah, Georgia, use handheld GPS devices to record the sightings of bottlenose dolphins, examine spatial data from five pairs of dolphins in the study, and then form hypotheses about the spatial patterns they observe. In the process, they learn not only about the ecology of…

  12. Morphology of the eyeball from the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Fernanda M; Silva, Fernanda M O; Trompieri-Silveira, Ana Carolina; Vergara-Parente, Jociery E; Miglino, Maria Angélica; Guimarães, Juliana P

    2014-05-01

    Aquatic mammals underwent morphological and physiological adaptations due to the transition from terrestrial to aquatic environment. One of the morphological changes regards their vision since cetaceans' eyes are able to withstand mechanical, chemical, osmotic, and optical water conditions. Due to insufficient information about these animals, especially regarding their sense organs, this study aimed to describe the morphology of the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) eyeball. Three newborn females, stranded dead on the coast of Sergipe and Bahia, Brazil, were used. Samples were fixed in a 10% formalin solution, dissected, photographed, collected, and evaluated through light and electron microscopy techniques. The Humpback whale sclera was thick and had an irregular surface with mechanoreceptors in its lamina propria. Lens was dense, transparent, and ellipsoidal, consisting of three layers, and the vascularized choroid contains melanocytes, mechanoreceptors, and a fibrous tapetum lucidum. The Humpback whale eyeball is similar to other cetaceans and suggests an adaptation to diving and migration, contributing to the perception of differences in temperature, pressure, and lighting.

  13. Population characteristics of DNA fingerprints in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Gilbert, D A; Weinrich, M T; Lambertsen, R; Calambokidis, J; McArdle, B; Chambers, G K; O'Brien, S J

    1993-01-01

    Humpback whales exhibit a remarkable social organization that is characterized by seasonal long-distance migration (> 10,000 km/year) between summer feeding grounds in high latitudes and winter calving and breeding grounds in tropical or near-tropical waters. All populations are currently considered endangered as a result of intensive commercial exploitation during the last 200 years. Using three hypervariable minisatellite DNA probes (33.15, 3'HVR, and M13) originally developed for studies of human genetic variation, we examined genetic variation within and among three regional subpopulations of humpback whales from the North Pacific and one from the North Atlantic oceans. Analysis of DNA extracted from skin tissues collected by biopsy darting from free-ranging whales revealed considerable variation in each subpopulation. The extent of this variation argues against a recent history of inbreeding among humpback whales as a result of nineteenth- and twentieth-century hunting. A canonical variate analysis suggested a relationship between scaled genetic distance, based on similarities of DNA fingerprints, and geographic distance (i.e., longitude of regional subpopulation). Significant categorical differences were found between the two oceanic populations using a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) with a modification of the Mantel nonparametric permutation test. The relationship between DNA fingerprint similarities and geographic distance suggests that nuclear gene flow between regional subpopulations within the North Pacific is restricted by relatively low rates of migratory interchange between breeding grounds or assortative mating on common wintering grounds.

  14. Migratory preferences of humpback whales between feeding and breeding grounds in the eastern South Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acevedo, Jorge; Aguayo-lobo, Anelio; Allen, Judith; Botero-acosta, Natalia; Capella, Juan; Castro, Cristina; Rosa, Luciano Dalla; Denkinger, Judith; Félix, Fernando; Flórez-gonzález, Lilian; Garita, Frank; Guzmán, Héctor M.; Haase, Ben; Kaufman, Gregory; Llano, Martha; Olavarría, Carlos; Pacheco, Aldo S.; Plana, Jordi; Rasmussen, Kristin; Scheidat, Meike; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Silva, Sebastian; Stevick, Peter T.

    2017-01-01

    Latitudinal preferences within the breeding range have been suggested for Breeding Stock G humpback whales that summer in different feeding areas of the eastern South Pacific. To address this hypothesis, humpback whales photo-identified from the Antarctic Peninsula and the Fueguian Archipelago

  15. 75 FR 970 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-07

    ... Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS... and alternate members of the following seats on its Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine... other various groups that help to focus efforts and attention on the humpback whale and its...

  16. What do humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae (Cetartiodactyla: Balaenopteridae pairs do after tagging?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The social structure of humpback whales in their tropical wintering grounds is very fluid. To date, no information has been published for cases in which two whales were both satellite-tagged while in association. Here, we report the movements of four humpback whale pairs tagged together off the coast of Brazil. Fieldwork and satellite tagging of humpback whales was conducted between 2003 and 2008 along the eastern coast of Brazil, between 20°S and 8°S. Movement was monitored while whales were still in their breeding ground. A switching state space model was applied to the filtered data of each humpback whale to standardize telemetry data and allow direct comparison of each individual track. GIS was used to plot model-predicted locations and to visually compare animal movements. The results confirm the short-lived nature of associations between breeding humpback whales, and shows that individuals differ widely in their movements.

  17. Coexistence of fisheries with river dolphin conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelkar, Nachiket; Krishnaswamy, Jagdish; Choudhary, Sunil; Sutaria, Dipani

    2010-08-01

    Freshwater biodiversity conservation is generally perceived to conflict with human use and extraction (e.g., fisheries). Overexploited fisheries upset the balance between local economic needs and endangered species' conservation. We investigated resource competition between fisheries and Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica) in a human-dominated river system in India to assess the potential for their coexistence. We surveyed a 65-km stretch of the lower Ganga River to assess habitat use by dolphins (encounter rates) and fishing activity (habitat preferences of fishers, intensity of net and boat use). Dolphin abundance in the main channel increased from 179 (SE 7) (mid dry season) to 270 (SE 8) (peak dry season), probably as a result of immigration from upstream tributaries. Dolphins preferred river channels with muddy, rocky substrates, and deep midchannel waters. These areas overlapped considerably with fishing areas. Sites with 2-6 boats/km (moderately fished) were more preferred by dolphins than sites with 8-55 boats/km (heavily fished). Estimated spatial (85%) and prey-resource overlap (75%) between fisheries and dolphins (chiefly predators of small fish) suggests a high level of competition between the two groups. A decrease in abundance of larger fish, indicated by the fact that small fish comprised 74% of the total caught, may have intensified the present competition. Dolphins seem resilient to changes in fish community structure and may persist in overfished rivers. Regulated fishing in dolphin hotspots and maintenance of adequate dry season flows can sustain dolphins in tributaries and reduce competition in the main river. Fish-stock restoration and management, effective monitoring, curbing destructive fishing practices, secure tenure rights, and provision of alternative livelihoods for fishers may help reconcile conservation and local needs in overexploited river systems.

  18. Covert underwater acoustic communication using dolphin sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Songzuo; Qiao, Gang; Ismail, Asim

    2013-04-01

    In November 2012, an experiment demonstrating biological mimicry method for covert underwater acoustic communication (UAC) was conducted at Lianhua Lake in Heilongjiang China. Dolphin whistles were used for synchronization while dolphin clicks were used as information carrier. The time interval between dolphin clicks conveys the information bits. Channel estimates were obtained with matching pursuit (MP) algorithm, which is useful for sparse channel estimation. Adaptive RAKE Equalization was employed at the receiver. Bit error rates were less than 10(-4) with 37 bits per second data rate in the lake trial.

  19. Increased human occupation and agricultural development accelerates the population contraction of an estuarine delphinid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wenzhi; Karczmarski, Leszek; Xia, Jia; Zhang, Xiyang; Yu, Xinjian; Wu, Yuping

    2016-01-01

    Over the past few thousand years, human development and population expansion in southern China have led to local extirpation and population contraction of many terrestrial animals. At what extent this early human-induced environmental change has also affected coastal marine species remains poorly known. We investigated the demographic history of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Pearl River Delta (PRD); an obligatory inshore species known for its susceptibility to anthropogenic impacts in one of China’s most developed coastal regions. Although the deltaic evolution of PRD has been influenced by climate since the Holocene, ~74% reduction of the dolphin’s effective population size occurred within the last 2000 years, consistent with ~61% habitat contraction during this period. This considerable and recent population contraction may have been due to land use practices and deforestation in the upper/middle Pearl River region, all leading to increasing sedimentation rate in the estuarine area. As anthropogenic impacts within the drainage of Pearl River affected a vast area, coastal dolphins and large terrestrial mammals in southern China may share a similar demographic history, whilst the demographic and biogeographic history of the PRD humpback dolphins may be symptomatic of similar processes that this species may have undergone elsewhere in the region. PMID:27759106

  20. Culture in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rendell, L; Whitehead, H

    2001-04-01

    Studies of animal culture have not normally included a consideration of cetaceans. However, with several long-term field studies now maturing, this situation should change. Animal culture is generally studied by either investigating transmission mechanisms experimentally, or observing patterns of behavioural variation in wild populations that cannot be explained by either genetic or environmental factors. Taking this second, ethnographic, approach, there is good evidence for cultural transmission in several cetacean species. However, only the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops) has been shown experimentally to possess sophisticated social learning abilities, including vocal and motor imitation; other species have not been studied. There is observational evidence for imitation and teaching in killer whales. For cetaceans and other large, wide-ranging animals, excessive reliance on experimental data for evidence of culture is not productive; we favour the ethnographic approach. The complex and stable vocal and behavioural cultures of sympatric groups of killer whales (Orcinus orca) appear to have no parallel outside humans, and represent an independent evolution of cultural faculties. The wide movements of cetaceans, the greater variability of the marine environment over large temporal scales relative to that on land, and the stable matrilineal social groups of some species are potentially important factors in the evolution of cetacean culture. There have been suggestions of gene-culture coevolution in cetaceans, and culture may be implicated in some unusual behavioural and life-history traits of whales and dolphins. We hope to stimulate discussion and research on culture in these animals.

  1. A real-time method for autonomous passive acoustic detection-classification of humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbot, Ted A; Premus, Vincent E; Abbot, Philip A

    2010-05-01

    This paper describes a method for real-time, autonomous, joint detection-classification of humpback whale vocalizations. The approach adapts the spectrogram correlation method used by Mellinger and Clark [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 3518-3529 (2000)] for bowhead whale endnote detection to the humpback whale problem. The objective is the implementation of a system to determine the presence or absence of humpback whales with passive acoustic methods and to perform this classification with low false alarm rate in real time. Multiple correlation kernels are used due to the diversity of humpback song. The approach also takes advantage of the fact that humpbacks tend to vocalize repeatedly for extended periods of time, and identification is declared only when multiple song units are detected within a fixed time interval. Humpback whale vocalizations from Alaska, Hawaii, and Stellwagen Bank were used to train the algorithm. It was then tested on independent data obtained off Kaena Point, Hawaii in February and March of 2009. Results show that the algorithm successfully classified humpback whales autonomously in real time, with a measured probability of correct classification in excess of 74% and a measured probability of false alarm below 1%.

  2. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims versus Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta L. Fiksdal

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to review and critique studies that have been conducted on dolphin-assisted therapy for children with various disorders. Studies have been released claiming swimming with dolphins is therapeutic and beneficial for children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, physical disabilities, and other psychological disorders. The majority of the studies conducted supporting the effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy have been found to have major methodological concerns making it impossible to draw valid conclusions. Readers will be informed of the history of, theory behind, and variations of dolphin-assisted therapy along with a review and critique of studies published which purportedly support its use.

  3. Biscayne Bay Dolphin Photo ID System

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — It has been shown through a variety of photo-identification studies that populations of bottlenose dolphin inhabit the various embayments along the coast of Florida....

  4. Biscayne Bay Florida Bottlenose Dolphin Studies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets include a compilation of small vessel based studies of bottlenose dolphins that reside within Biscayne Bay, Florida, adjacent estuaries and nearshore...

  5. Novel Conopeptides of Largely Unexplored Indo Pacific Conus sp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eline K. M. Lebbe

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Cone snails are predatory creatures using venom as a weapon for prey capture and defense. Since this venom is neurotoxic, the venom gland is considered as an enormous collection of pharmacologically interesting compounds having a broad spectrum of targets. As such, cone snail peptides represent an interesting treasure for drug development. Here, we report five novel peptides isolated from the venom of Conus longurionis, Conus asiaticus and Conus australis. Lo6/7a and Lo6/7b were retrieved from C. longurionis and have a cysteine framework VI/VII. Lo6/7b has an exceptional amino acid sequence because no similar conopeptide has been described to date (similarity percentage <50%. A third peptide, Asi3a from C. asiaticus, has a typical framework III Cys arrangement, classifying the peptide in the M-superfamily. Asi14a, another peptide of C. asiaticus, belongs to framework XIV peptides and has a unique amino acid sequence. Finally, AusB is a novel conopeptide from C. australis. The peptide has only one disulfide bond, but is structurally very different as compared to other disulfide-poor peptides. The peptides were screened on nAChRs, NaV and KV channels depending on their cysteine framework and proposed classification. No targets could be attributed to the peptides, pointing to novel functionalities. Moreover, in the quest of identifying novel pharmacological targets, the peptides were tested for antagonistic activity against a broad panel of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, as well as two yeast strains.

  6. Airlift and Access in the Indo-Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-01

    1 Hans J. Morgenthau , Scientific Man Vs. Power Politics. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1946...Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2009. Morgenthau , Hans J. Scientific Man Vs. Power Politics. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press

  7. Xarifiidae (Copepoda) parasitic in Indo-Pacific scleractinian corals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Humes, G. Arthur; Dojiri, Masahiro

    1982-01-01

    Based upon material collected in Madagascar, Enewetak Atoll, New Caledonia, and the Moluccas, seventeen new species of Xarifia and one new species of a new xarifiid genus (Lipochrus) are described from various species of Acropora, Montipora, Alveopora, Cyphastrea, and Echinopora. Several previously

  8. Xarifiidae (Copepoda) parasitic in Indo-Pacific scleractinian corals

    OpenAIRE

    Humes, G., Arthur; Dojiri, Masahiro

    1982-01-01

    Based upon material collected in Madagascar, Enewetak Atoll, New Caledonia, and the Moluccas, seventeen new species of Xarifia and one new species of a new xarifiid genus (Lipochrus) are described from various species of Acropora, Montipora, Alveopora, Cyphastrea, and Echinopora. Several previously known species of Xarifia are redescribed in part and new hosts and geographical records are listed. A key to the three genera of the Xarifiidae is provided, as well as tabular differentiation of th...

  9. Bubbles in live-stranded dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennison, S; Moore, M J; Fahlman, A; Moore, K; Sharp, S; Harry, C T; Hoppe, J; Niemeyer, M; Lentell, B; Wells, R S

    2012-04-07

    Bubbles in supersaturated tissues and blood occur in beaked whales stranded near sonar exercises, and post-mortem in dolphins bycaught at depth and then hauled to the surface. To evaluate live dolphins for bubbles, liver, kidneys, eyes and blubber-muscle interface of live-stranded and capture-release dolphins were scanned with B-mode ultrasound. Gas was identified in kidneys of 21 of 22 live-stranded dolphins and in the hepatic portal vasculature of 2 of 22. Nine then died or were euthanized and bubble presence corroborated by computer tomography and necropsy, 13 were released of which all but two did not re-strand. Bubbles were not detected in 20 live wild dolphins examined during health assessments in shallow water. Off-gassing of supersaturated blood and tissues was the most probable origin for the gas bubbles. In contrast to marine mammals repeatedly diving in the wild, stranded animals are unable to recompress by diving, and thus may retain bubbles. Since the majority of beached dolphins released did not re-strand it also suggests that minor bubble formation is tolerated and will not lead to clinically significant decompression sickness.

  10. Post-epizootic chronic dolphin morbillivirus infection in Mediterranean striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Sara; Alba, Ana; Ganges, Llilianne; Vidal, Enric; Raga, Juan Antonio; Alegre, Ferrán; González, Beatriz; Medina, Pascual; Zorrilla, Irene; Martínez, Jorge; Marco, Alberto; Pérez, Mónica; Pérez, Blanca; Pérez de Vargas Mesas, Ana; Martínez Valverde, Rosa; Domingo, Mariano

    2011-10-06

    Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) has caused 2 epizootics with high mortality rates on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, in 1990 and 2006-07, mainly affecting striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba. Following the first epizootic unusual DMV infections affecting only the central nervous system of striped dolphins were found, with histological features similar to subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and old dog encephalitis, the chronic latent localised infections caused by defective forms of measles virus and canine distemper virus, respectively. Between 2008 and 2010, monitoring by microscopic and immunohistochemical (IHC) studies of 118 striped dolphins stranded along Catalonia, the Valencia Region and Andalusia showed similar localised DMV nervous system infections in 25.0, 28.6 and 27.4% of cases, respectively, with no significant differences among regions or sex. The body length of DMV-infected dolphins was statistically greater than that of non-infected dolphins (196.5 vs. 160.5 cm; p dolphins with positive IHC-DMV had positive PCR results. All 6 cases were positive with the 78 bp RT-PCR. These findings contraindicate the use of the 429 bp RT-PCR protocol based on the P gene to detect this specific form of DMV. DMV localised nervous infection constitutes the most relevant single cause of stranding and death in Mediterranean striped dolphins in the years following a DMV epizootic, and it might even overwhelm the effects of the epizootic itself, at least in 2007.

  11. Evidence for ship noise impacts on humpback whale foraging behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Hannah B; Merchant, Nathan D; Friedlaender, Ari S; Wiley, David N; Parks, Susan E

    2016-08-01

    Noise from shipping activity in North Atlantic coastal waters has been steadily increasing and is an area of growing conservation concern, as it has the potential to disrupt the behaviour of marine organisms. This study examines the impacts of ship noise on bottom foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the western North Atlantic. Data were collected from 10 foraging whales using non-invasive archival tags that simultaneously recorded underwater movements and the acoustic environment at the whale. Using mixed models, we assess the effects of ship noise on seven parameters of their feeding behaviours. Independent variables included the presence or absence of ship noise and the received level of ship noise at the whale. We found significant effects on foraging, including slower descent rates and fewer side-roll feeding events per dive with increasing ship noise. During 5 of 18 ship passages, dives without side-rolls were observed. These findings indicate that humpback whales on Stellwagen Bank, an area with chronically elevated levels of shipping traffic, significantly change foraging activity when exposed to high levels of ship noise. This measureable reduction in within-dive foraging effort of individual whales could potentially lead to population-level impacts of shipping noise on baleen whale foraging success.

  12. Prenatal cranial ossification of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampe, Oliver; Franke, Helena; Hipsley, Christy A; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Müller, Johannes

    2015-05-01

    Being descendants of small terrestrial ungulate mammals, whales underwent enormous transformations during their evolutionary history, that is, extensive changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior were evolved during secondary adaptations to life in water. However, still only little is known about whale ontogenetic development, which help to identify the timing and sequence of critical evolutionary events, such as modification of the cetacean ear. This is particularly true for baleen whales (Mysticeti), the group including the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae. We use high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to reinvestigate humpback whale fetuses from the Kükenthal collection at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, thus, extending historic descriptions of their skeletogenesis and providing for the first time sequences of cranial ossification for this species. Principally, the ossification sequence of prenatal Megaptera follows a typical mammalian pattern with the anterior dermal bones being the first ossifying elements in the skull, starting with the dentary. In contrast to other mammals, the ectotympanic bone ossifies at an early stage. Alveolar structure can be observed in both the maxillae and dentaries in these early prenatal specimens but evidence for teeth is lacking. Although the possibility of obtaining new embryological material is unlikely due to conservation issues, our study shows that reexamination of existing specimens employing new technologies still holds promise for filling gaps in our knowledge of whale evolution and ontogeny.

  13. Dolphin Morbillivirus: a lethal but valuable infection model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Di Guardo, Giovanni; Mazzariol, Sandro

    2013-01-01

    Dolphin Morbillivirus (DMV), which has caused at least four epidemics in the Western Mediterranean during the last 20-25 years, may dramatically impact the health and conservation of striped dolphins...

  14. Dolphin morbillivirus infection in different parts of the Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.F. van Bressem; I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); R.L. de Swart (Rik); C. Örvell; L. Stanzani; E. Androukaki (Eugenia); K. Siakavara; A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractMorbillivirus were isolated from Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) dying along the coasts of Italy and Greece in 1991. They were antigenically identical to the morbilliviruses isolated from striped dolphins in Spain in 1990.

  15. Dolphin shows and interaction programs: benefits for conservation education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, L J; Zeigler-Hill, V; Mellen, J; Koeppel, J; Greer, T; Kuczaj, S

    2013-01-01

    Dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs are two types of education programs within zoological institutions used to educate visitors about dolphins and the marine environment. The current study examined the short- and long-term effects of these programs on visitors' conservation-related knowledge, attitude, and behavior. Participants of both dolphin shows and interaction programs demonstrated a significant short-term increase in knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Three months following the experience, participants of both dolphin shows and interaction programs retained the knowledge learned during their experience and reported engaging in more conservation-related behaviors. Additionally, the number of dolphin shows attended in the past was a significant predictor of recent conservation-related behavior suggesting that repetition of these types of experiences may be important in inspiring people to conservation action. These results suggest that both dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs can be an important part of a conservation education program for visitors of zoological facilities.

  16. Observations of NC stop nets for bottlenose dolphin takes

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To observe the NC stop net fishery to document the entanglement of bottlenose dolphins and movement of dolphins around the nets.

  17. Mitigation Modelling of the Leeuwin Class Hydrographic Sonars in Jervis Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    population of around 60 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops aduncus) reside within Jervis Bay. A closely related species, Tursiops truncatus has a...reference to hydrographic sonar frequencies, with a resident population of around 60 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops aduncus). Modelling...well sheltered bay with no major fresh water inflows from rivers [Vogelaar et al 2006]. The SCAT-RD modelling used climatological databases for sound

  18. SWFSC/MMTD/AK: Structure of Populations, Level of Abundance, and Status of Humpbacks (SPLASH) 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project was part of a larger international project (SPLASH) designed to estimate the abundance and determine the population structure for humpback whales...

  19. Humpback Whitefish Coregonus pidschian of the Upper Tanana River Drainage: Alaska Fisheries Technical Report Number 90

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Humpback whitefish (Coregonus pidschian) are the primary fishery resource in the upper Tanana River drainage. Subsistence users in the region have reported that...

  20. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program Humpback Whale Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Since 1980, the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory has been collecting photos of humpback whales (Megaptera...

  1. 75 FR 77615 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-13

    ... Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and Extension of Application Deadline AGENCY: Office of... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Honolulu County (primary only), Research (alternate only), Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/ Commerce, Citizen-at-Large...

  2. Neural network modeling of a dolphin's sonar discrimination capabilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars Nonboe; René Rasmussen, A; Au, WWL

    1994-01-01

    and frequency information were used to model the dolphin discrimination capabilities. Echoes from the same cylinders were digitized using a broadband simulated dolphin sonar signal with the transducer mounted on the dolphin's pen. The echoes were filtered by a bank of continuous constant-Q digital filters...

  3. Colorado River fish monitoring in Grand Canyon, Arizona; 2002–14 humpback chub aggregations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, William R.; Van Haverbeke, David R.; Dodrill, Michael J.

    2017-01-31

    The humpback chub (Gila cypha) is an endangered cyprinid species endemic to the Colorado River. The largest remaining population of the species spawns and rears in the Little Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Construction and operation of Glen Canyon Dam has altered the main-stem Colorado River in Glen and Grand Canyons. Cold, clear water releases from the dam result in a river that is generally unsuitable for successful humpback chub reproduction. During the early 1990s, nine locations within the main-stem Colorado River were identified as humpback chub aggregations—areas with a consistent and disjunct group of fish with no significant exchange of individuals with other aggregations. We monitored main-stem Colorado River aggregations of humpback chub in Grand Canyon during 2010 to 2014 and compared our results to previous investigations. Relative abundance, as described by catch per unit effort (fish per hour) of adult humpback chub at most main-stem aggregations, generally increased from the 1990s to 2014. In addition, distribution of humpback chub in the main-stem Colorado River has increased since the 1990s. Movement of humpback chub between the Little Colorado River and other aggregations likely adds fish to those aggregations. There is clear evidence of reproduction near the 30-Mile aggregation, and reproduction at Middle Granite Gorge and downstream seems likely based on catches of gravid fish and captures of very young fish, especially during relatively warm water releases from Glen Canyon Dam, 2004 to 2011. Humpback chub relative abundance at Shinumo and Havasu Creek inflows increased following translocations of young humpback chub starting in 2009. In light of this information, we modify the original nine aggregations, combining two previously separate aggregations and dropping two locations to form six distinct aggregations of humpback chub. Trends in humpback chub abundance at main-stem aggregations, relative to management actions (for example

  4. Humpback and Fin Whaling in the Gulf of Maine from 1800 to 1918

    OpenAIRE

    Reeves, Randall R.; Smith, Ted D.; Webb, Robert L.; Robbins, Jooke; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2002-01-01

    The history of whaling in the Gulf of Maine was reviewed primarily to estimate removals of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, especially during the 19th century. In the decades from 1800 to 1860, whaling effort consisted of a few localized, small-scale, shore-based enterprises on the coast of Maine and Cape Cod, Mass. Provincetown and Nantucket schooners occasionally conducted short cruises for humpback whales in New England waters. With the development of bomb-lance technology at mid c...

  5. Acoustic monitoring on a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding ground shows continual singing into late Spring.

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, Christopher W.; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2004-01-01

    Singing by males is a major feature of the mating system of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski). Although a few songs have been opportunistically recorded on the whales' high-latitude feeding grounds, singing in these regions was thought to be only sporadic. We report results from the first continuous acoustic monitoring of a humpback whale feeding ground (off Cape Cod, MA, USA) in spring. Using autonomous sea-floor recording systems, we found singing on a daily basis over the ...

  6. Applicability of Information Theory to the Quantification of Responses to Anthropogenic Noise by Southeast Alaskan Humpback Whales

    OpenAIRE

    J. Ellen Blue; Taylor Bucci; Christopher Chyba; Sean F. Hanser; Brenda McCowan; Doyle, Laurance R.

    2008-01-01

    We assess the effectiveness of applying information theory to the characterization and quantification of the affects of anthropogenic vessel noise on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) vocal behavior in and around Glacier Bay, Alaska. Vessel noise has the potential to interfere with the complex vocal behavior of these humpback whales which could have direct consequences on their feeding behavior and thus ultimately on their health and reproduction. Humpback whale feeding calls recorded d...

  7. Dolphin changes in whistle structure with watercraft activity depends on their behavioral state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura J; Quiñones-Lebrón, Shakira G

    2014-04-01

    Dolphins rely on whistles to identify each other and to receive and convey information about their environment. Although capable of adjusting these signals with changing environments, there is little information on how dolphins acoustically respond to different watercraft activities and if this response depends on dolphin behavioral state. Bottlenose dolphin whistles were recorded in the presence of research and dolphin-watching boats. Dolphins emitted lower frequency and longer whistles when interacting with dolphin-watching boats, particularly during foraging activities. This study suggests that dolphin-watching boat traffic significantly hinders dolphin communication during important behavioral states.

  8. Structure and Dynamics of Humpback Whales Competitive Groups in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Félix

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the social structure and behavior of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae competitive groups off Ecuador between July and August 2010. During this time we followed 185 whales in 22 competitive groups for 41.45 hr. The average group size was 8.4 animals (SD = 2.85. The average sighting time was 113.05 min/group (SD = 47.1. We used photographs of dorsal fins and video to record interactions and estimate an association index (AI between each pair of whales within the groups. Sightings were divided into periods, which were defined by changes in group membership. On average, group composition changed every 30.2 min, which confirms that the structure of competitive groups is highly dynamic. Interactions between escorts characterized by low level of aggression. At least 60% of escorts joined or left together the group in small subunits between two and five animals, suggesting some type of cooperative association. Although singletons, as well as pairs or trios were able to join competitive groups at any moment, escorts that joined together were able to stay longer with the group and displace dominant escorts. Genetic analysis showed that in three occasions more than one female was present within a competitive group, suggesting either males are herding females or large competitive groups are formed by subunits. Males and females performed similar surface displays. We propose that competition and cooperation are interrelated in humpback whales’ competitive groups and that male cooperation would be an adaptive strategy either to displace dominant escorts or to fend off challengers.

  9. Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Marine Mammals from the South China Sea and Their Temporal Changes 2002-2014: Concern for Alternatives of PFOS?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, James C W; Lyu, Jinling; Kwok, Karen Y; Lam, Paul K S

    2016-07-05

    Perfluorinated sulfonic acids (PFSAs) and perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs), as well as the replacement for the phase-out C8 PFSAs were determined in the liver samples of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) from the South China Sea between 2002 and 2014. Levels of total perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in samples ranged from 136-15,300 and 30.5-2,720 ng/g dw for dolphin and porpoise, respectively. Significant increasing trends of several individual PFCAs and perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) were found in cetacean samples from 2002 to 2014, whereas no significant temporal trends of ∑PFASs appeared over the sampling period. This pattern may be attributed to the increasing usage of PFCAs and C4-based PFSAs following the restriction/voluntary withdrawal of the production and use of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) related products. In addition, significantly increasing temporal shifting trends of PFOS to PFBS were observed in the dolphin liver samples. This pattern may be attributed to the substitution of PFOS by its alternative, PFBS. The highest levels of PFOS were observed in the liver samples of dolphin as compared with other marine mammal studies published since 2006, indicating high contamination of PFAS in the South China region. An assessment of relatively high concentrations of C8-based PFASs in the liver samples of cetaceans predicted that concentrations of PFOS would be expected to affect some proportion of the cetacean populations studied, based on the toxicity thresholds derived.

  10. Is Dolphin Morbillivirus Virulent for White-Beaked Dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    van Elk, C. E; van de Bildt, M. W. G; Jauniaux, T; Hiemstra, S; van Run, P. R. W. A; Foster, G; Meerbeek, J; Osterhaus, A. D. M. E; Kuiken, T

    2014-01-01

    .... Therefore, the admission of 2 white-beaked dolphins with morbillivirus infection into a rehabilitation center provided a unique opportunity to investigate the virulence of morbillivirus in this species...

  11. Is dolphin morbillivirus virulent for white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Elk, C E; van de Bildt, M W G; Jauniaux, T; Hiemstra, S; van Run, P R W A; Foster, G; Meerbeek, J; Osterhaus, A D M E; Kuiken, T

    2014-11-01

    The virulence of morbilliviruses for toothed whales (odontocetes) appears to differ according to host species. In 4 species of odontocetes, morbilliviruses are highly virulent, causing large-scale epizootics with high mortality. In 8 other species of odontocetes, including white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), morbilliviruses have been found as an incidental infection. In these species, the virulence of morbilliviruses is not clear. Therefore, the admission of 2 white-beaked dolphins with morbillivirus infection into a rehabilitation center provided a unique opportunity to investigate the virulence of morbillivirus in this species. By phylogenetic analysis, the morbilliviruses in both animals were identified as a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) most closely related to that detected in a white-beaked dolphin in Germany in 2007. Both animals were examined clinically and pathologically. Case No. 1 had a chronic neural DMV infection, characterized by polioencephalitis in the cerebrum and morbillivirus antigen expression limited to neurons and glial cells. Surprisingly, no nervous signs were observed in this animal during the 6 months before death. Case No. 2 had a subacute systemic DMV infection, characterized by interstitial pneumonia, leucopenia, lymphoid depletion, and DMV antigen expression in mononuclear cells and syncytia in the lung and in mononuclear cells in multiple lymphoid organs. Cause of death was not attributed to DMV infection in either animal. DMV was not detected in 2 contemporaneously stranded white-beaked dolphins. Stranding rate did not increase in the region. These results suggest that DMV is not highly virulent for white-beaked dolphins.

  12. 77 FR 22759 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Bottlenose Dolphin...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-17

    ... Region Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation Outreach Survey AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... bottlenose dolphins, which are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In particular, the surveys... regulations prohibiting feeding and harassment of bottlenose dolphins, and how they gained their knowledge...

  13. 76 FR 51943 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; International Dolphin Conservation Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-19

    ...; International Dolphin Conservation Program AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA... (NOAA) collects information to implement the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (Act). The... ] nations in the International Dolphin Conservation Program that would otherwise be under embargo. The...

  14. 75 FR 40759 - Initiation of Review of Management Plan/Regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-14

    ... regulations that became effective December 29, 1999 (64 FR 63262). NOAA anticipates completion of the revised.../Regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Intent To Prepare Draft...) has initiated a review of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS...

  15. Location of an acoustic window in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, V V; Supin, A Y

    1990-01-15

    Auditory brainstem responses (ABR) to sound clicks from sources in different positions were recorded in dolphins Inia geoffrensis. The position of the acoustic window was determined by measurement of acoustic delays. The acoustic window was found to lie close to the auditory meatus and the bulla rather than on the lower jaw.

  16. Cultural change in the songs of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from Tonga

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksen, N.; Miller, L.A.; Tougaard, J.; Helweg, D.A.

    2005-01-01

    Some humpback whales migrate annually from Antarctic feeding grounds to the seas around the Tongan Islands to give birth and mate. The Tongan humpbacks are considered part of Southern Hemisphere Group V that splits during migration, some swimming to Eastern Australia and others to various Polynesian Islands. During this time long complex songs are produced. The song is thought to be a male breeding display and may serve either as an intra-sexual or an inter-sexual signal or both. It is in a constant state of change that occurs every season. Since these changes are directional they cannot be described by drift, and singers incorporate changes as they occur, thus song must be shared through cultural transmission. This investigation describes the cultural changes that occurred in 158 songs recorded from Tongan humpbacks through the 1990s. The rate of change differed within years, some themes were retained for as much as five years and others were lost after only two years. The farther apart the years the less similar are the songs, as in the humpback songs of the Northern Hemisphere. The largest number of changes seems to have occurred in the early 1990s where all themes seemed to have been lost and new ones originated. What initiates these changes remains speculative, but we assess some hypotheses in relation to humpback whale behaviour and cultural transmission in avian song. ?? Koninklijke Brill NV, 2005.

  17. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findlay, Ken P; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Kirkman, Stephen P; Barendse, Jaco; Cade, David E; Hurwitz, David; Kennedy, Amy S; Kotze, Pieter G H; McCue, Steven A; Thornton, Meredith; Vargas-Fonseca, O Alejandra; Wilke, Christopher G

    2017-01-01

    Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens), hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii), mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015) identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals) of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun) and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding events

  18. Humpback whale “super-groups” – A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seakamela, S. Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A.; Kirkman, Stephen P.; Barendse, Jaco; Cade, David E.; Hurwitz, David; Kennedy, Amy S.; Kotze, Pieter G. H.; McCue, Steven A.; Thornton, Meredith; Vargas-Fonseca, O. Alejandra; Wilke, Christopher G.

    2017-01-01

    Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens), hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii), mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015) identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals) of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent “fishy” smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun) and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding

  19. Cutaneous Granulomas in Dolphins Caused by Novel Uncultivated Paracoccidioides brasiliensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilela, Raquel; Bossart, Gregory D.; St. Leger, Judy A.; Dalton, Leslie M.; Reif, John S.; Schaefer, Adam M.; McCarthy, Peter J.; Fair, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Cutaneous granulomas in dolphins were believed to be caused by Lacazia loboi, which also causes a similar disease in humans. This hypothesis was recently challenged by reports that fungal DNA sequences from dolphins grouped this pathogen with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. We conducted phylogenetic analysis of fungi from 6 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with cutaneous granulomas and chains of yeast cells in infected tissues. Kex gene sequences of P. brasiliensis from dolphins showed 100% homology with sequences from cultivated P. brasiliensis, 73% with those of L. loboi, and 93% with those of P. lutzii. Parsimony analysis placed DNA sequences from dolphins within a cluster with human P. brasiliensis strains. This cluster was the sister taxon to P. lutzii and L. loboi. Our molecular data support previous findings and suggest that a novel uncultivated strain of P. brasiliensis restricted to cutaneous lesions in dolphins is probably the cause of lacaziosis/lobomycosis, herein referred to as paracoccidioidomycosis ceti. PMID:27869614

  20. Influence of seasonal migration on geographic distribution of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Palumbi, S R; Lambertsen, R H; Weinrich, M T; Calambokidis, J; O'Brien, S J

    1990-03-15

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate nearly 10,000 km each year between summer feeding grounds in temperate or near-polar waters and winter breeding grounds in shallow tropical waters. Observations of marked individuals suggest that major oceanic populations of humpback whales are divided into a number of distinct seasonal subpopulations which are not separated by obvious geographic barriers. To test whether these observed patterns of distribution and migration are reflected in the genetic structure of populations, we looked for variation in the mitochondrial DNA of 84 individual humpback whales on different feeding and wintering grounds of the North Pacific and western North Atlantic oceans. On the basis of restriction-fragment analysis, we now report a marked segregation of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes among subpopulations as well as between the two oceans. We interpret this segregation to be the consequence of maternally directed fidelity to migratory destinations.

  1. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morten Tange Olsen

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, ranging from 0 to 26 years of age. The results suggested a significant correlation between telomere length and age in humpback whales. However, telomere length was highly variable among individuals of similar age, suggesting that telomere length measured by quantitative PCR is an imprecise determinant of age in humpback whales. The observed variation in individual telomere length was found to be a function of both experimental and biological variability, with the latter perhaps reflecting patterns of inheritance, resource allocation trade-offs, and stochasticity of the marine environment.

  2. The dolphin cochlear nucleus: topography, histology and functional implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malkemper, E P; Oelschläger, H H A; Huggenberger, S

    2012-02-01

    Despite the outstanding auditory capabilities of dolphins, there is only limited information available on the cytology of the auditory brain stem nuclei in these animals. Here, we investigated the cochlear nuclei (CN) of five brains of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and La Plata dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) using cell and fiber stain microslide series representing the three main anatomical planes. In general, the CN in dolphins comprise the same set of subnuclei as in other mammals. However, the volume ratio of the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) in relation to the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) of dolphins represents a minimum among the mammals examined so far. Because, for example, in cats the DCN is necessary for reflexive orientation of the head and pinnae towards a sound source, the massive restrictions in head movability in dolphins and the absence of outer ears may be correlated with the reduction of the DCN. Moreover, the same set of main neuron types were found in the dolphin CN as in other mammals, including octopus and multipolar cells. Because the latter two types of neurons are thought to be involved in the recognition of complex sounds, including speech, we suggest that, in dolphins, they may be involved in the processing of their communication signals. Comparison of the toothed whale species studied here revealed that large spherical cells were present in the La Plata dolphin but absent in the common dolphin. These neurons are known to be engaged in the processing of low-frequency sounds in terrestrial mammals. Accordingly, in the common dolphin, the absence of large spherical cells seems to be correlated with a shift of its auditory spectrum into the high-frequency range above 20 kHz. The existence of large spherical cells in the VCN of the La Plata dolphin, however, is enigmatic asthis species uses frequencies around 130 kHz.

  3. Effects of turbidity on predation vulnerability of juvenile humpback chub to rainbow and brown trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, David L.; Morton-Starner, Rylan; Vaage, Benjamin M.

    2016-01-01

    Predation on juvenile native fish by introduced rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and brown trout Salmo trutta is considered a significant threat to the persistence of endangered humpback chub Gila cypha in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Diet studies of rainbow and brown trout in Glen and Grand canyons indicate that these species eat native fish, but impacts are difficult to assess because predation vulnerability is highly variable depending on the physical conditions under which the predation interactions take place. We conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate how short-term predation vulnerability of juvenile humpback chub changes in response to changes in turbidity. In overnight laboratory trials, we exposed hatchery-reared juvenile humpback chub and bonytail Gila elegans (a surrogate for humpback chub) to adult rainbow and brown trout at turbidities ranging from 0 to 1,000 formazin nephlometric units. We found that turbidity as low as 25 formazin nephlometric units significantly reduced predation vulnerability of bonytail to rainbow trout and led to a 36% mean increase in survival (24–60%, 95% CI) compared to trials conducted in clear water. Predation vulnerability of bonytail to brown trout at 25 formazin nephlometric units also decreased with increasing turbidity and resulted in a 25% increase in survival on average (17–32%, 95% CI). Understanding the effects of predation by trout on endangered humpback chub is important when evaluating management options aimed at preservation of native fishes in Grand Canyon National Park. This research suggests that relatively small changes in turbidity may be sufficient to alter predation dynamics of trout on humpback chub in the mainstem Colorado River and that turbidity manipulation may warrant further investigation as a fisheries management tool.

  4. Prion search and cellular prion protein expression in stranded dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, G; Cocumelli, C; Meoli, R; Barbaro, K; Terracciano, G; Di Francesco, C E; Mazzariol, S; Eleni, C

    2012-01-01

    The recent description of a prion disease (PD) case in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to carry out an extensive search for the disease-associated isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain and in a range of lymphoid tissues from 23 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), 5 bottlenose dolphins and 2 Risso s dolphins (Grampus griseus) found stranded between 2007 and 2012 along the Italian coastline. Three striped dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin showed microscopic lesions of encephalitis, with no evidence of spongiform brain lesions being detected in any of the 30 free-ranging cetaceans investigated herein. Nevertheless, we could still observe a prominent PrPC immunoreactivity in the brain as well as in lymphoid tissues from these dolphins. Although immunohistochemical and Western blot investigations yielded negative results for PrPSc deposition in all tissues from the dolphins under study, the reported occurrence of a spontaneous PD case in a wild dolphin is an intriguing issue and a matter of concern for both prion biology and intra/inter-species transmissibility, as well as for cetacean conservation medicine.

  5. Intestinal helminth fauna of bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus and common dolphin Delphinus delphis from the western Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiñones, Ruth; Giovannini, Anna; Raga, J Antonio; Fernández, Mercedes

    2013-06-01

    We report on the intestinal helminth fauna of 15 bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus and 6 short-beaked common dolphins Delphinus delphis from the western Mediterranean. Eight helminth species were found in bottlenose dolphin, i.e., the digeneans Synthesium tursionis, Brachycladium atlanticum, and Pholeter gastrophilus, the nematode Anisakis sp., and the cestodes Tetrabothrius forsteri, Diphyllobothrium sp., Strobilocephalus triangularis, and tetraphyllidean plerocercoids. Brachycladium atlanticum, S. triangularis , and tetraphyllidean plerocercoids are new host records. No T. forsteri had previously been reported in Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins. Three species of helminths were recorded in the common dolphin, i.e., the digenean Synthesium delamurei (which was a new host record), and the cestodes T. forsteri and tetraphyllidean plerocercoids. The intestinal helminth communities of bottlenose and common dolphins are depauperate, similar to that of other cetacean species, but those from bottlenose dolphins harbored a higher number of helminth species. This study supports the notion that oceanic cetaceans, such as common dolphins, have a comparatively poorer helminth fauna than that of neritic species, such as bottlenose dolphins, because the likelihood of parasite recruitment is decreased.

  6. An evaluation of marine traffic on the Chinese white dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, C.

    2016-12-01

    The proposed third runway reclamation project of Hong Kong airport will soon impact the surrounding population of Chinese white dolphins. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the size of the reclamation will be 650 hectares of land located to the north of the current airport platform. All of the necessary works will be conducted via the surrounding marine areas. During the construction period the dredging and reclamation activities will increase the risk of dolphins colliding with this extra marine traffic especially since this construction site is less than one kilometre away from the dolphin marine park of Sha Chau & Lung Kwu Chau. Furthermore, after the construction of the third runway, there will be a re-routing of Skypier Ferries and other high speed boats through this area. The dolphins will undoubtedly be disturbed. The increase in vessel traffic during the construction project will also generate sounds that may interfere with echolocation systems that dolphins rely on to navigate and fish. This further impact can be measured using underwater hydrophones that can record the boat noise as well as the dolphin clicks. The latter determines the presence or absence of dolphins. From this the impact of noise on dolphin populations can be determined by simply determining if the dolphins stay around during periods of high levels of underwater noise. The data presented is the result of several years of collection. A clear understanding of the conjunction of noises from the dolphins and marine traffic patterns for different times of the day will help determine the impact and offer the chance to change marine traffic patterns thus minimizing the adverse impact on the iconic Hong Kong white dolphins.

  7. Biochemical and Anatomical Characteristics of Dolphin Muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    Nekooi, J. Durivage, and C. E. Blanco ) of the University of California, Los Angeles, for their excellent quantitative work in anatomical, biochemi...cal, and histochemical analyses of the dolphin’s musculo -tendonous system. J. E. Haun for providing constant support and guidance in areas of project...potential of these animals by examining the anatomical and biochemical characteristics of the musculo - tendonous systems involved with swimming. Strickler

  8. 50 CFR 216.95 - Official mark for “Dolphin-safe” tuna products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Official mark for âDolphin-safeâ tuna... AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Dolphin Safe Tuna Labeling § 216.95 Official mark for “Dolphin-safe... Department of Commerce that may be used to label tuna products that meet the “dolphin-safe” standards...

  9. Lobomycosis: risk of zoonotic transmission from dolphins to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, John S; Schaefer, Adam M; Bossart, Gregory D

    2013-10-01

    Lobomycosis, a fungal disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissues caused by Lacazia loboi, is sometimes referred to as a zoonotic disease because it affects only specific delphinidae and humans; however, the evidence that it can be transferred directly to humans from dolphins is weak. Dolphins have also been postulated to be responsible for an apparent geographic expansion of the disease in humans. Morphological and molecular differences between the human and dolphin organisms, differences in geographic distribution of the diseases between dolphins and humans, the existence of only a single documented case of presumed zoonotic transmission, and anecdotal evidence of lack of transmission to humans following accidental inoculation of tissue from infected dolphins do not support the hypothesis that dolphins infected with L. loboi represent a zoonotic hazard for humans. In addition, the lack of human cases in communities adjacent to coastal estuaries with a high prevalence of lobomycosis in dolphins, such as the Indian River Lagoon in Florida (IRL), suggests that direct or indirect transmission of L. loboi from dolphins to humans occurs rarely, if at all. Nonetheless, attention to personal hygiene and general principals of infection control are always appropriate when handling tissues from an animal with a presumptive diagnosis of a mycotic or fungal disease.

  10. Dolphin QiQi Is Gone, but Research Will Continue

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Haiyan

    2002-01-01

    @@ The world's only captive Yangtze River dolphin, QiQi,died on July 14 at the Wuhan-based Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). At age of about 25, well advanced in years for a freshwater dolphin, his death is considered as a natural one.

  11. Microsatellite genetic distances between oceanic populations of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valsecchi, E; Palsboll, P; Hale, P; GlocknerFerrari, D; Ferrari, M; Clapham, P; Larsen, F; Mattila, D; Sears, R; Sigurjonsson, J; Brown, M; Corkeron, P; Amos, B

    1997-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes of humpback whales show strong segregation between oceanic populations and between feeding grounds within oceans, but this highly structured pattern does not exclude the possibility of extensive nuclear gene flow. Here we present allele frequency data for four microsatel

  12. Isotopic Evidence of a Wide Spectrum of Feeding Strategies in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Baleen Records.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Eisenmann

    Full Text Available Our current understanding of Southern hemisphere humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae ecology assumes high-fidelity feeding on Antarctic krill in Antarctic waters during summer, followed by fasting during their annual migration to and from equatorial breeding grounds. An increase in the number of reported departures from this feeding/fasting model suggests that the current model may be oversimplified or, alternatively, undergoing contemporary change. Information about the feeding and fasting cycles of the two Australian breeding populations of humpback whales were obtained through stable isotope analysis of baleen plates from stranded adult individuals. Comparison of isotope profiles showed that individuals from the West Australian breeding population strongly adhered to the classical feeding model. By contrast, East Australian population individuals demonstrated greater heterogeneity in their feeding. On a spectrum from exclusive Antarctic feeding to exclusive feeding in temperate waters, three different strategies were assigned and discussed: classical feeders, supplemental feeders, and temperate zone feeders. Diversity in the inter-annual feeding strategies of humpback whales demonstrates the feeding plasticity of the species, but could also be indicative of changing dynamics within the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. This study presents the first investigation of trophodynamics in Southern hemisphere humpback whales derived from baleen plates, and further provides the first estimates of baleen plate elongation rates in the species.

  13. Isotopic Evidence of a Wide Spectrum of Feeding Strategies in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Baleen Records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenmann, Pascale; Fry, Brian; Holyoake, Carly; Coughran, Douglas; Nicol, Steve; Bengtson Nash, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Our current understanding of Southern hemisphere humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) ecology assumes high-fidelity feeding on Antarctic krill in Antarctic waters during summer, followed by fasting during their annual migration to and from equatorial breeding grounds. An increase in the number of reported departures from this feeding/fasting model suggests that the current model may be oversimplified or, alternatively, undergoing contemporary change. Information about the feeding and fasting cycles of the two Australian breeding populations of humpback whales were obtained through stable isotope analysis of baleen plates from stranded adult individuals. Comparison of isotope profiles showed that individuals from the West Australian breeding population strongly adhered to the classical feeding model. By contrast, East Australian population individuals demonstrated greater heterogeneity in their feeding. On a spectrum from exclusive Antarctic feeding to exclusive feeding in temperate waters, three different strategies were assigned and discussed: classical feeders, supplemental feeders, and temperate zone feeders. Diversity in the inter-annual feeding strategies of humpback whales demonstrates the feeding plasticity of the species, but could also be indicative of changing dynamics within the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. This study presents the first investigation of trophodynamics in Southern hemisphere humpback whales derived from baleen plates, and further provides the first estimates of baleen plate elongation rates in the species.

  14. Population spatial structuring on the feeding grounds in North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, P. T.; Allen, J.; Clapham, P. J.; Katona, S. K.; Larsen, F.; Lien, J.; Mattila, D. K.; Palsboll, P. J.; Sears, R.; Sigurjonsson, J.; Smith, T. D.; Vikingsson, G.; Oien, N.; Hammond, P. S.

    2006-01-01

    Population spatial structuring among North Atlantic humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae on the summer feeding grounds was investigated using movement patterns of identified individuals. We analysed the results from an intensive 2-year ocean-basin-scale investigation resulting in 1658 individuals

  15. REPRODUCTIVE ASPECTS OF CULTURED HUMPBACK GROUPER (Cromileptes altivelis FOR SUPPORTING SEED PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sari Budi Moria Sembiring

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Humpback grouper (Cromileptes altivelis has been successfully spawned in 2000 by IMRAD (Institute of Mariculture Research and Development and there are already the third generation (F3 currently. The reproductive aspects need to be studied to support the success of seed production. Humpback grouper reared in floating cage (F1 and F3 had matured (gonad stage 4 while F2 fish reared in concrete tanks has spawned. Gonadal maturity stage of 38 fishes from first generation (F1 and 35 fishes from the third generation were observed in June 2013 and compared to gonadal maturity stage of 18 fishes from the second generation observed in June 2009. Samples were measured in total length and body weight and gonads were taken for histology preparation to determine gonadal maturity stage and the sex. From the histological observation of the gonads, it showed that all female humpback grouper were in early maturity stage (stage I and II with gonadal maturity index between 0.12% and 5.45%. Further, it was observed that the same gonad was found in different maturity stage and concluded that humpback groupers were multiple spawners (asynchronous. By determining gonadal maturity level, it was also known the minimum size for grouper ready to spawn.

  16. Segregation of migration by feeding ground origin in North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, PT; Allen, J; Berube, M; Clapham, PJ; Katona, SK; Larsen, F; Lien, J; Mattila, DK; Palsboll, PJ; Robbins, J; Sigurjonsson, J; Smith, TD; Oien, N; Hammond, PS

    2003-01-01

    Results from a large-scale, capture-recapture study of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae in the North Atlantic show that migration timing is influenced by feeding ground origin. No significant differences were observed in the number of individuals from any feeding area that were re-sighted in t

  17. 75 FR 57441 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-21

    ... Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS... the following vacant seats on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/Commerce, Citizen-at-Large...

  18. Abundance and survival of Pacific humpback whales in a proposed critical habitat area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Ashe

    Full Text Available Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae were hunted commercially in Canada's Pacific region until 1966. Depleted to an estimated 1,400 individuals throughout the North Pacific, humpback whales are listed as Threatened under Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA and Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We conducted an 8-year photo-identification study to monitor humpback whale usage of a coastal fjord system in British Columbia (BC, Canada that was recently proposed as candidate critical habitat for the species under SARA. This participatory research program built collaborations among First Nations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academics. The study site, including the territorial waters of Gitga'at First Nation, is an important summertime feeding destination for migratory humpback whales, but is small relative to the population's range. We estimated abundance and survivorship using mark-recapture methods using photographs of naturally marked individuals. Abundance of humpback whales in the region was large, relative to the site's size, and generally increased throughout the study period. The resulting estimate of adult survivorship (0.979, 95% CI: 0.914, 0.995 is at the high end of previously reported estimates. A high rate of resights provides new evidence for inter-annual site fidelity to these local waters. Habitat characteristics of our study area are considered ecologically significant and unique, and this should be considered as regulatory agencies consider proposals for high-volume crude oil and liquefied natural gas tanker traffic through the area. Monitoring population recovery of a highly mobile, migratory species is daunting for low-cost, community-led science. Focusing on a small, important subset of the animals' range can make this challenge more tractable. Given low statistical power and high variability, our community is considering simpler ecological indicators of population health, such as the number

  19. Calling in the cold: pervasive acoustic presence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Antarctic coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Opzeeland, Ilse; Van Parijs, Sofie; Kindermann, Lars; Burkhardt, Elke; Boebel, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    Humpback whales migrate between relatively unproductive tropical or temperate breeding grounds and productive high latitude feeding areas. However, not all individuals of a population undertake the annual migration to the breeding grounds; instead some are thought to remain on the feeding grounds year-round, presumably to avoid the energetic demands of migration. In the Southern Hemisphere, ice and inclement weather conditions restrict investigations of humpback whale presence on feeding grounds as well as the extent of their southern range. Two years of near-continuous recordings from the PerenniAL Acoustic Observatory in the Antarctic Ocean (PALAOA, Ekström Iceshelf, 70°31'S, 8°13'W) are used to explore the acoustic presence of humpback whales in an Antarctic coastal area. Humpback whale calls were present during nine and eleven months of 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2008, calls were present in January through April, June through August, November and December, whereas in 2009, calls were present throughout the year, except in September. Calls occurred in un-patterned sequences, representing non-song sound production. Typically, calls occurred in bouts, ranging from 2 to 42 consecutive days with February, March and April having the highest daily occurrence of calls in 2008. In 2009, February, March, April and May had the highest daily occurrence of calls. Whales were estimated to be within a 100 km radius off PALAOA. Calls were also present during austral winter when ice cover within this radius was >90%. These results demonstrate that coastal areas near the Antarctic continent are likely of greater importance to humpback whales than previously assumed, presumably providing food resources year-round and open water in winter where animals can breathe.

  20. Abundance and survival of Pacific humpback whales in a proposed critical habitat area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Erin; Wray, Janie; Picard, Christopher R; Williams, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were hunted commercially in Canada's Pacific region until 1966. Depleted to an estimated 1,400 individuals throughout the North Pacific, humpback whales are listed as Threatened under Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA) and Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We conducted an 8-year photo-identification study to monitor humpback whale usage of a coastal fjord system in British Columbia (BC), Canada that was recently proposed as candidate critical habitat for the species under SARA. This participatory research program built collaborations among First Nations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academics. The study site, including the territorial waters of Gitga'at First Nation, is an important summertime feeding destination for migratory humpback whales, but is small relative to the population's range. We estimated abundance and survivorship using mark-recapture methods using photographs of naturally marked individuals. Abundance of humpback whales in the region was large, relative to the site's size, and generally increased throughout the study period. The resulting estimate of adult survivorship (0.979, 95% CI: 0.914, 0.995) is at the high end of previously reported estimates. A high rate of resights provides new evidence for inter-annual site fidelity to these local waters. Habitat characteristics of our study area are considered ecologically significant and unique, and this should be considered as regulatory agencies consider proposals for high-volume crude oil and liquefied natural gas tanker traffic through the area. Monitoring population recovery of a highly mobile, migratory species is daunting for low-cost, community-led science. Focusing on a small, important subset of the animals' range can make this challenge more tractable. Given low statistical power and high variability, our community is considering simpler ecological indicators of population health, such as the number of individuals

  1. Calling in the cold: pervasive acoustic presence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in Antarctic coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilse Van Opzeeland

    Full Text Available Humpback whales migrate between relatively unproductive tropical or temperate breeding grounds and productive high latitude feeding areas. However, not all individuals of a population undertake the annual migration to the breeding grounds; instead some are thought to remain on the feeding grounds year-round, presumably to avoid the energetic demands of migration. In the Southern Hemisphere, ice and inclement weather conditions restrict investigations of humpback whale presence on feeding grounds as well as the extent of their southern range. Two years of near-continuous recordings from the PerenniAL Acoustic Observatory in the Antarctic Ocean (PALAOA, Ekström Iceshelf, 70°31'S, 8°13'W are used to explore the acoustic presence of humpback whales in an Antarctic coastal area. Humpback whale calls were present during nine and eleven months of 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2008, calls were present in January through April, June through August, November and December, whereas in 2009, calls were present throughout the year, except in September. Calls occurred in un-patterned sequences, representing non-song sound production. Typically, calls occurred in bouts, ranging from 2 to 42 consecutive days with February, March and April having the highest daily occurrence of calls in 2008. In 2009, February, March, April and May had the highest daily occurrence of calls. Whales were estimated to be within a 100 km radius off PALAOA. Calls were also present during austral winter when ice cover within this radius was >90%. These results demonstrate that coastal areas near the Antarctic continent are likely of greater importance to humpback whales than previously assumed, presumably providing food resources year-round and open water in winter where animals can breathe.

  2. Annotated bibliography for the humpback chub (Gila cypha) with emphasis on the Grand Canyon population.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goulet, C. T.; LaGory, K. E.; Environmental Science Division

    2009-10-05

    Glen Canyon Dam is a hydroelectric facility located on the Colorado River in Arizona that is operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) for multiple purposes including water storage, flood control, power generation, recreation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife. Glen Canyon Dam operations have been managed for the last several years to improve conditions for the humpback chub (Gila cypha) and other ecosystem components. An extensive amount of literature has been produced on the humpback chub. We developed this annotated bibliography to assist managers and researchers in the Grand Canyon as they perform assessments, refine management strategies, and develop new studies to examine the factors affecting humpback chub. The U.S. Geological Survey recently created a multispecies bibliography (including references on the humpback chub) entitled Bibliography of Native Colorado River Big Fishes (available at www.fort.usgs.gov/Products/data/COFishBib). That bibliography, while quite extensive and broader in scope than ours, is not annotated, and, therefore, does not provide any of the information in the original literature. In developing this annotated bibliography, we have attempted to assemble abstracts from relevant published literature. We present here abstracts taken unmodified from individual reports and articles except where noted. The bibliography spans references from 1976 to 2009 and is organized in five broad topical areas, including: (1) biology, (2) ecology, (3) impacts of dam operations, (4) other impacts, and (5) conservation and management, and includes twenty subcategories. Within each subcategory, we present abstracts alphabetically by author and chronologically by year. We present relevant articles not specific to either the humpback chub or Glen Canyon Dam, but cited in other included reports, under the Supporting Articles subcategory. We provide all citations in alphabetical order in Section 7.

  3. Serologic response in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus infected with Brucella sp. using a dolphin-specific indirect ELISA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meegan, Jenny; Dunn, J Lawrence; Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Smith, Cynthia R; Sidor, Inga; Jensen, Eric D; Van Bonn, William G; Pugh, Roberta; Ficht, Thomas; Adams, L Garry; Nielsen, Klaus; Romano, Tracy A

    2012-12-03

    Marine-origin Brucella infections and serologic evidence of exposure have been documented in multiple cetacean species. A dolphin-specific indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to screen bottlenose dolphin sera for anti-Brucella antibodies. A total of 131 serum samples collected over a 2 to 18 yr period from 6 bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus with confirmed Brucella infections were analyzed for the presence and magnitude of antibody titers against marine-origin Brucella to compare individual antibody responses to various disease manifestations. Additionally, an epidemiologic serologic survey of a managed population of 64 bottlenose dolphins was performed to evaluate for the presence of antibodies and to determine whether there were any clinical pathology predictors for exposure or infection. The serologic results revealed that the dolphins with Brucella-associated abortions were seronegative for 7 to 18 yr until after the abortion and maintained positive titers for several years, with 2 of 3 animals returning to seronegative status. In contrast, the dolphins with Brucella-associated pulmonary or bone lesions maintained persistent positive titers for 2 to 18 yr. The population serosurvey revealed no significant differences in antibody levels among males and females, and dolphins between the ages of 17 and 25 yr were 6.8 times more likely to be Brucella antibody positive compared to those that were younger or older. Seropositive dolphins did not have significant inflammation compared to seronegative dolphins but were more likely to have higher levels of aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. Among 16 dolphins that tested seropositive, 13 (81.3%) had previously been seropositive for at least 3 to 5 yr.

  4. Examination of Health Effects and Long-Term Impacts of Deployments of Multiple Tag Types on Blue, Humpback, and Gray Whales in the Eastern North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    deployments of multiple tag types on blue, humpback, and gray whales in the eastern North Pacific John Calambokidis Cascadia Research Collective 218...large whales including blue, humpback, and gray whales by conducting long term follow up of previously tagged individuals in the eastern North Pacific...humpback, and gray whales in the eastern North Pacific and our extensive monitoring of these populations. Despite extensive use of implant tags for more

  5. Immune dysfunction in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with lobomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, John S; Peden-Adams, Margie M; Romano, Tracy A; Rice, Charles D; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Gregory D

    2009-03-01

    Lobomycosis (Lacaziosis) occurs only in humans and dolphins under natural conditions. We evaluated the immune status of eight dolphins with lobomycosis and 40 healthy dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida. Lobomycosis cases had multiple abnormalities in their immunologic parameters when compared to healthy dolphins. The absolute number of circulating lymphocytes and serum albumin concentration were reduced (P<0.05) while the segmented neutrophils, alpha 1, total beta, total gamma and total globulins were increased (P<0.05). Although innate immunity was relatively intact and phagocytosis and natural killer cell activity were not affected, the plasma lysozyme concentrations were elevated in dolphins with lobomycosis (P<0.05). Adaptive immunity was depressed with statistically significant decreases found in the absolute numbers of CD4(+) helper T cells and CD19(+) and CD21(+) B cells. The ratios of CD2(+) T cells to CD4(+) cells and CD2(+) to CD21(+) cells were increased (P=0.05 and P<0.05, respectively) and the numbers of lymphocytes expressing MHC class II molecules was decreased in dolphins with lobomycosis (P<0.05). Lymphocyte proliferation was reduced in response to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide and concanavalin A (P<0.05). Antibody titers to Erysipelas rhusiopathiae, a common marine micro-organism, were decreased (P<0.05). In summary, dolphins with lobomycosis exhibit significant impairment in adaptive immunity.

  6. Pathogen surveillance in wild bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaing, Crystal; Thissen, James B; Gardner, Shea; McLoughlin, Kevin; Slezak, Tom; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A

    2015-10-16

    The number and prevalence of diseases is rapidly increasing in the marine ecosystem. Although there is an increase in the number of marine diseases observed world-wide, current understanding of the pathogens associated with marine mammals is limited. An important need exists to develop and apply platforms for rapid detection and characterization of pathogenic agents to assess, prevent and respond to disease outbreaks. In this study, a broad-spectrum molecular detection technology capable of detecting all sequenced microbial organisms, the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array, was used to assess the microbial agents that could be associated with wild Atlantic dolphins. Blowhole, gastric, and fecal samples from 8 bottlenose dolphins were collected in Charleston, SC, as part of the dolphin assessment effort. The array detected various microbial agents from the dolphin samples. Clostridium perfringens was most prevalent in the samples surveyed using the microarray. This pathogen was also detected using microbiological culture techniques. Additionally, Campylobacter sp., Staphylococcus sp., Erwinia amylovora, Helicobacter pylori, and Frankia sp. were also detected in more than one dolphin using the microarray, but not in culture. This study provides the first survey of pathogens associated with 3 tissue types in dolphins using a broad-spectrum microbial detection microarray and expands insight on the microbial community profile in dolphins.

  7. Consciousness in dolphins? A review of recent evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harley, Heidi E

    2013-06-01

    For millennia, dolphins have intrigued humans. Scientific study has confirmed that bottlenose dolphins are large-brained, highly social mammals with an extended developmental period, flexible cognitive capacities, and powerful acoustic abilities including a sophisticated echolocation system. These findings have led some to ask if dolphins experience aspects of consciousness. Recent investigations targeting self-recognition/self-awareness and metacognition, constructs tied to consciousness on some accounts, have analyzed the dolphin's ability to recognize itself in a mirror or on a video as well as to monitor its own knowledge in a perceptual categorization task. The current article reviews this work with dolphins and grapples with some of the challenges in designing, conducting, and interpreting these studies as well as with general issues related to studying consciousness in animals. The existing evidence does not provide a convincing case for consciousness in dolphins. For productive scientific work on consciousness in dolphins (and other animals including humans), we need clearer characterizations of consciousness, better methods for studying it, and appropriate paradigms for interpreting outcomes. A current focus on metamemory in animals offers promise for future discovery in this area.

  8. Stable isotopes differentiate bottlenose dolphins off west-central Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Nélio B.; Ostrom, P. H.; Stricker, Craig A.; Wells, R.S.

    2010-01-01

    Distinguishing discrete population units among continuously distributed coastal small cetaceans is challenging and crucial to conservation. We evaluated the utility of stable isotopes in assessing group membership in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off west-central Florida by analyzing carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope values (δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S) of tooth collagen from stranded dolphins. Individuals derived from three putative general population units: Sarasota Bay (SB), nearshore Gulf of Mexico (GULF), and offshore waters (OFF). Animals of known history (SB) served to ground truth the approach against animals of unknown history from the Gulf of Mexico (GULF, OFF). Dolphin groups differed significantly for each isotope. Average δ13C values from SB dolphins (−10.6‰) utilizing sea grass ecosystems differed from those of GULF (−11.9‰) and OFF (−11.9‰). Average δ15N values of GULF (12.7‰) and OFF (13.2‰) were higher than those of SB dolphins (11.9‰), consistent with differences in prey trophic levels. δ34S values showed definitive differences among SB (7.1‰), GULF (11.3‰), and OFF (16.5‰) dolphins. This is the first application of isotopes to population assignment of bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico and results suggest that isotopes may provide a powerful tool in the conservation of small cetaceans.

  9. Toward the social and acoustic ecology of social foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanser, Sean Frederick Thurman

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is an endangered species of baleen whale found throughout the world. A subset of the Polynesian population of humpbacks that migrates to Southeast Alaska participates in the group foraging activity known as "bubble-net feeding." We applied social network analysis to eight years of observations of co-occurrence to understand the social organization of bubble-net feeding whales. Results indicate that there are two large communities in Southeast Alaska that inhabit geographically distinct areas. Among social foraging humpbacks, there is a high degree of preference for affiliating with individuals from the same community. There are three types of whales in the communities: (1) "core" members who eat herring consistently, (2) intermittent members that were observed participating irregularly, and (3) one-season participators. One of the specialized roles that some whales assume during bubble-net feeding is that of the whale who vocalizes to manipulate prey. We focused on the vocalizations produced by there task-specialists to see if we could classify distinct types of feeding calls. Classification and regression trees confirmed that most feeding calls were classifiable based on stable acoustic differences among the calls. The acoustic features that played the largest role in classifying calls were the mean and standard deviation of call formants, also known as harmonies. Formants are acoustic features that are stable within individual vocalizers. This indicates that the classification technique may provide a reliable method for identifying individual whales acoustically. Humpback vocal behavior is integral to bubble-net feeding and could be affected by vessel noise during social foraging. We subjected feeding humpbacks to moderate levels of vessel noise from small boats. The humpbacks increased the length of spaces between individual vocalizations but did rot increase the overall length of vocal bouts. Contrary to expectations

  10. The Dolphin in the Mirror - A Familiar Face?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dibble, Dianna Samuelson; Van Alstyne, Kaitlin Katie; Rohr, Jim; Ridgway, Sam

    2017-01-01

    We suggest how a basic physics problem becomes much richer when researchers of various disciplines converse. Our discussion explores Snell's window from the perspective of what a dolphin might see. An aperture, Snell's window, allows light to travel through the air-water interface. Outside this window, there is total reflection from under the water-air interface. Dolphins see through the aperture to follow our movements above the water's surface. When dolphins look outside the window, can they see their own reflections from under the water-air interface?

  11. Bayesian analysis of the Hector’s Dolphin data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    King, R.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years there have been increasing concerns for many wildlife populations, due to decreasing population trends. This has led to the introduction of management schemes to increase the survival rates and hence the population size of many species of animals. We concentrate on a particular dolphin population situated off the coast of New Zealand, and investigate whether the introduction of a fishing gill net ban was effective in decreasing dolphin mortality. We undertake a Bayesian analysis of the data, in which we quantitatively compare the different competing biological hypotheses, determining the effect of the sanctuary upon the dolphin population.

  12. Postmortem evidence of interactions of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with other dolphin species in south-west England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, J; Davison, N; Deaville, R; Monies, R; Loveridge, J; Tregenza, N; Jepson, P D

    2009-10-10

    Reports of violent interactions between bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the coastal waters of the UK are well documented. Examination of stranded cetaceans by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network and the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme has indicated that seven animals, of four other species, found stranded in south-west England, had pathology consistent with bottlenose dolphin interaction, including two juvenile and two adult common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), one juvenile pilot whale (Globicephala melas), one juvenile Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) and one adult striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba). Although recorded traumatic lesions were often not as severe as those found in harbour porpoises, it is probable that the interactions did contribute to stranding and/or death in all four of the juvenile animals examined. Furthermore, analysis of photographs taken before establishment of the Marine Strandings Network revealed rake (teeth) marks consistent with bottlenose dolphin interaction on one stranded common dolphin in 1992. A number of causes have been suggested for these interactions in harbour porpoises stranded in the UK and it is possible that any combination of these factors may also be implicated in the cases described in this report.

  13. Electroreception in the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czech-Damal, Nicole U; Liebschner, Alexander; Miersch, Lars; Klauer, Gertrud; Hanke, Frederike D; Marshall, Christopher; Dehnhardt, Guido; Hanke, Wolf

    2012-02-22

    Passive electroreception is a widespread sense in fishes and amphibians, but in mammals this sensory ability has previously only been shown in monotremes. While the electroreceptors in fish and amphibians evolved from mechanosensory lateral line organs, those of monotremes are based on cutaneous glands innervated by trigeminal nerves. Electroreceptors evolved from other structures or in other taxa were unknown to date. Here we show that the hairless vibrissal crypts on the rostrum of the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), structures originally associated with the mammalian whiskers, serve as electroreceptors. Histological investigations revealed that the vibrissal crypts possess a well-innervated ampullary structure reminiscent of ampullary electroreceptors in other species. Psychophysical experiments with a male Guiana dolphin determined a sensory detection threshold for weak electric fields of 4.6 µV cm(-1), which is comparable to the sensitivity of electroreceptors in platypuses. Our results show that electroreceptors can evolve from a mechanosensory organ that nearly all mammals possess and suggest the discovery of this kind of electroreception in more species, especially those with an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle.

  14. Guyana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) from Costa Rica emit whistles that vary with surface behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura J

    2013-10-01

    Guyana dolphins show remarkable intraspecific whistle variation. This variation has been largely explained in terms of distance among populations; however, other factors such as behavior may also be important. A broadband recording system recorded the whistles of Guyana dolphins under three behavioral states. A discriminant analysis found that during social and travel events, dolphins emit whistles with high delta and minimum frequency, respectively. Whistle duration was also important in discriminating behaviors. This study indicates that behavior is an important factor contributing to whistle variation of Guyana dolphins. Understanding how dolphin whistles vary with behavioral context will advance our understanding of dolphin communication and enable appropriate comparative studies.

  15. Status and Trends of the Grand Canyon Population of Humpback Chub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Matthew E.

    2009-01-01

    The Colorado River Basin supports one of the most distinctive fish communities in North America, including the federally endangered humpback chub (Gila cypha). One of only six remaining populations of this fish is found in Grand Canyon, Arizona. U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their cooperators are responsible for monitoring the Grand Canyon population. Analysis of recently collected data indicates that the number of Grand Canyon adult humpback chub - fish 4 years old and older and capable of reproduction - increased approximately 50 percent between 2001 and 2008. When possible model error is considered, the estimated number of adult chub in the Grand Canyon population is between 6,000 and 10,000. The most likely number is estimated at 7,650 individuals.

  16. Functional Imaging of Dolphin Brain Metabolism and Blood Flow

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keogh, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-01-01

    This report documents the first use of magnetic resonance images (MRls) of living dolphins to register functional brain scans, allowing for the exploration of potential mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep...

  17. Functional imaging of dolphin brain metabolism and blood flow

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam; Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keogh, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-01-01

    This report documents the first use of magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of living dolphins to register functional brain scans, allowing for the exploration of potential mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep...

  18. GoM Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-identification studies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets include a compilation of small vessel based studies of bottlenose dolphins that reside within Mississippi Sound and nearshore coastal waters. The...

  19. The Tubercles on Humpback Whales’ Flippers: Application of Bio-Inspired Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-01

    Reynolds regime that coincides with a large array of engineered applications. Conventional airfoils and hydrofoils with straight leading edges generate...the use of tubercles under condi- tions in which the ends of a hydrofoil are bounded by walls or the hydrofoil is considered to be of an infinite span...Henoch C, Johari H. 2010. The performance of finite-span hydrofoils with humpback whale-like lead- ing edge protuberances. 63rd Ann Mtg APS Div Fluid

  20. Survival, growth, and movement of subadult humpback chub, Gila cypha, in the Little Colorado River, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzul, Maria C.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Stone, Dennis M.; Van Haverbeke, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Ecologists estimate vital rates, such as growth and survival, to better understand population dynamics and identify sensitive life history parameters for species or populations of concern. Here, we assess spatiotemporal variation in growth, movement, density, and survival of subadult humpback chub living in the Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon, AZ from 2001–2002 and 2009–2013. We divided the Little Colorado River into three reaches and used a multistate mark-recapture model to determine rates of movement and differences in survival and density between sites for different cohorts. Additionally, site-specific and year-specific effects on growth were evaluated using a linear model. Results indicate that summer growth was higher for upstream sites compared with downstream sites. In contrast, there was not a consistent spatial pattern across years in winter growth; however, river-wide winter growth was negatively related to the duration of floods from 1 October to 15 May. Apparent survival was estimated to be lower at the most downstream site compared with the upstream sites; however, this could be because in part of increased emigration into the Colorado River at downstream sites. Furthermore, the 2010 cohort (i.e. fish that are age 1 in 2010) exhibited high apparent survival relative to other years. Movement between reaches varied with year, and some years exhibited preferential upstream displacement. Improving understanding of spatiotemporal effects on age 1 humpback chub survival can help inform current management efforts to translocate humpback chub into new locations and give us a better understanding of the factors that may limit this tributary's carrying capacity for humpback chub.

  1. Heavy with child? Pregnancy status and stable isotope ratios as determined from biopsies of humpback whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Casey T.; Fleming, Alyson H.; Calambokidis, John; Kellar, Nicholas M.; Allen, Camryn D.; Catelani, Krista N.; Robbins, Michelle; Beaulieu, Nicole E.; Steel, Debbie; Harvey, James T.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding reproductive rates of wild animal populations is crucially important for management and conservation. Assessing pregnancy status of free-ranging cetaceans has historically been difficult; however, recent advances in analytical techniques have allowed the diagnosis of pregnancy from small samples of blubber tissue. The primary objectives of this study were as follows: (i) to test the efficacy of blubber progesterone assays as a tool for diagnosing pregnancy in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae); (ii) to estimate the pregnancy rate of humpback whales in Monterey Bay, California; and (iii) to investigate the relationship between stable isotopes and reproductive status of these whales. Progesterone concentrations of female whales fell into two distinct groups, allowing for diagnostic separation of pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. Pregnancy rate varied between years of the study (48.4%% in 2011 and 18.5% in 2012), but fell within the range of other estimates of reproductive success for this population. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were examined to investigate the impacts of pregnancy on these values. Neither δ15N nor δ13C varied in a consistent way among animals of different sex or reproductive status. The relationship between δ15N and δ13C was strongly positive for male and non-pregnant female humpbacks; however, no relationship existed for pregnant whales. This difference may be indicative of the effects of pregnancy on δ15N, resulting from tissue synthesis and reduced excretion of nitrogenous waste, as well as on δ13C through increased mobilization of lipid stores to meet the energetic demands of pregnancy. Ultimately, our results support the use of blubber progesterone assays for diagnosing pregnancy in humpback whales and indicate that, when paired with other approaches (e.g. stable isotope analysis), pregnancy status can be an informative tool for addressing questions about animal physiology, ecology and population

  2. Feeding Ecology of Humpback Whales in Continental Shelf Waters near Cordell Bank, California

    OpenAIRE

    1992-01-01

    Daytime feeding behavior of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Gulf of the Farallones, California, and adjacent waters was observed during autumn of 1988 to 1990. Bodega Canyon, Cordell Bank, and the Farallon Islands were the primary sites of feeding activity. Fecal samples of whales and zooplankton tows contained euphausiids exclusively, dominated by Thysanoessa spinifera (79%), with lesser amounts of Euphausia pacifica (14%), Nyctiphanes simplex (4%), and Nematoscelis difficilis (3...

  3. The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomilla, Cristina; Amaral, Ana R; Collins, Tim; Minton, Gianna; Findlay, Ken; Leslie, Matthew S; Ponnampalam, Louisa; Baldwin, Robert; Rosenbaum, Howard

    2014-01-01

    A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

  4. Humpback whale song and foraging behavior on an antarctic feeding ground.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpert, Alison K; Peavey, Lindsey E; Friedlaender, Ari S; Nowacek, Douglas P

    2012-01-01

    Reports of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song chorusing occurring outside the breeding grounds are becoming more common, but song structure and underwater behavior of individual singers on feeding grounds and migration routes remain unknown. Here, ten humpback whales in the Western Antarctic Peninsula were tagged in May 2010 with non-invasive, suction-cup attached tags to study foraging ecology and acoustic behavior. Background song was identified on all ten records, but additionally, acoustic records of two whales showed intense and continuous singing, with a level of organization and structure approaching that of typical breeding ground song. The songs, produced either by the tagged animals or close associates, shared phrase types and theme structure with one another, and some song bouts lasted close to an hour. Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m. One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging. These data show behavioral flexibility as the humpbacks manage competing needs to continue to feed and to prepare for the breeding season during late fall. This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.

  5. Acoustic monitoring on a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding ground shows continual singing into late Spring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher W; Clapham, Phillip J

    2004-05-22

    Singing by males is a major feature of the mating system of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski). Although a few songs have been opportunistically recorded on the whales' high-latitude feeding grounds, singing in these regions was thought to be only sporadic. We report results from the first continuous acoustic monitoring of a humpback whale feeding ground (off Cape Cod, MA, USA) in spring. Using autonomous sea-floor recording systems, we found singing on a daily basis over the entire 25 day monitoring period, from 14 May to 7 June 2000. For much of the period, song was recorded 24 h per day. These results, combined with evidence for aseasonal conceptions in whaling catch data, suggest that the humpback whale breeding season should no longer be considered as confined to lower-latitude regions in winter. Rather, we suggest breeding extends geographically and temporally onto feeding grounds into at least spring and early summer. Singing at these times represents either low-cost opportunistic advertising by (perhaps relatively few) males to court females that failed to conceive during the winter, and/or possibly an intrasexual display.

  6. Sound production patterns from humpback whales in a high latitude foraging area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpert, Alison K.; Wiley, David N.; Barton, Kira L.; Johnson, Mark P.; Lammers, Marc O.; Au, Whitlow W. L.

    2005-09-01

    Numerous studies have been conducted on humpback whale song, but substantially fewer have focused on the acoustic properties of non-song sound production (i.e., feeding and social sounds). Non-invasive digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGS) were attached to humpback whales on the western North Atlantics Great South Channel feeding grounds during July 2004. Acoustic records totaling 48.4 data hours from four of these attachments were aurally analyzed for temporal trends in whale signal production. A custom automatic detection function was also used to identify occurrences of specific signals and evaluate their temporal consistency. Patterns in sound usage varied by stage of foraging dive and by time of day. Amount of time with signals present was greater at the bottom of dives than during surface periods, indicating that sounds are probably related to foraging at depth. For the two tags that recorded at night, signals were present during a greater proportion of daylight hours than night hours. These results will be compared with previously published trends describing diel patterns in male humpback whale song chorusing on the breeding grounds. Data from the continuation of this research during the summer of 2005 will also be included.

  7. Evidence for a sex-segregated migration in the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M R; Corkeron, P J; Hale, P T; Schultz, K W; Bryden, M M

    1995-02-22

    Existing population models for humpback whales assume that all individuals within a population undertake the annual migration from feeding areas in high latitudes to breeding areas in tropical waters. An excess of males was recorded in the commercial whaling catches near breeding areas in the southern hemisphere, but no account of this was taken in developing population models, because it was believed that this bias was a result of whalers selecting against females with young calves. Here we demonstrate that the sex ratio of migrating humpback whales near a breeding area is highly skewed towards males. A biopsy study carried out in 1992 throughout the northward and southward migrations revealed a sex ratio of 2.4 males: 1 female in the population of humpback whales migrating along the east Australian coast (n = 180). A reanalysis of the catches made during commercial whaling in this and other areas of the southern hemisphere gave a sex ratio of the same order. The most plausible explanation, supported by some evidence, is that some females remain in the feeding areas throughout winter. The results reported here show that existing management models require major revision to take account of these findings.

  8. A study of vocal nonlinearities in humpback whale songs: from production mechanisms to acoustic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazau, Dorian; Adam, Olivier; Aubin, Thierry; Laitman, Jeffrey T.; Reidenberg, Joy S.

    2016-01-01

    Although mammalian vocalizations are predominantly harmonically structured, they can exhibit an acoustic complexity with nonlinear vocal sounds, including deterministic chaos and frequency jumps. Such sounds are normative events in mammalian vocalizations, and can be directly traceable to the nonlinear nature of vocal-fold dynamics underlying typical mammalian sound production. In this study, we give qualitative descriptions and quantitative analyses of nonlinearities in the song repertoire of humpback whales from the Ste Marie channel (Madagascar) to provide more insight into the potential communication functions and underlying production mechanisms of these features. A low-dimensional biomechanical modeling of the whale’s U-fold (vocal folds homolog) is used to relate specific vocal mechanisms to nonlinear vocal features. Recordings of living humpback whales were searched for occurrences of vocal nonlinearities (instabilities). Temporal distributions of nonlinearities were assessed within sound units, and between different songs. The anatomical production sources of vocal nonlinearities and the communication context of their occurrences in recordings are discussed. Our results show that vocal nonlinearities may be a communication strategy that conveys information about the whale’s body size and physical fitness, and thus may be an important component of humpback whale songs. PMID:27721476

  9. An individual-based model for population viability analysis of humpback chub in Grand Canyon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pine, William Pine; Healy, Brian; Smith, Emily Omana; Trammell, Melissa; Speas, Dave; Valdez, Rich; Yard, Mike; Walters, Carl; Ahrens, Rob; Vanhaverbeke, Randy; Stone, Dennis; Wilson, Wade

    2013-01-01

    We developed an individual-based population viability analysis model (females only) for evaluating risk to populations from catastrophic events or conservation and research actions. This model tracks attributes (size, weight, viability, etc.) for individual fish through time and then compiles this information to assess the extinction risk of the population across large numbers of simulation trials. Using a case history for the Little Colorado River population of Humpback Chub Gila cypha in Grand Canyon, Arizona, we assessed extinction risk and resiliency to a catastrophic event for this population and then assessed a series of conservation actions related to removing specific numbers of Humpback Chub at different sizes for conservation purposes, such as translocating individuals to establish other spawning populations or hatchery refuge development. Our results suggested that the Little Colorado River population is generally resilient to a single catastrophic event and also to removals of larvae and juveniles for conservation purposes, including translocations to establish new populations. Our results also suggested that translocation success is dependent on similar survival rates in receiving and donor streams and low emigration rates from recipient streams. In addition, translocating either large numbers of larvae or small numbers of large juveniles has generally an equal likelihood of successful population establishment at similar extinction risk levels to the Little Colorado River donor population. Our model created a transparent platform to consider extinction risk to populations from catastrophe or conservation actions and should prove useful to managers assessing these risks for endangered species such as Humpback Chub.

  10. The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Pomilla

    Full Text Available A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

  11. Temporal stability and change in the social call repertoire of migrating humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rekdahl, Melinda L; Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; Goldizen, Anne W

    2013-03-01

    Quantifying the stability of a species vocal repertoire is fundamental for further investigations into repertoire function and geographic variation. Changes to the repertoire of sounds used in the song displays of male humpback whales have been well studied. In contrast, little is known about the stability of this species' non-song vocal calls. The stability of the social call repertoire of east Australian humpback whales was investigated from 1997, 2003-2004, and 2008. Out of 46 qualitatively defined call types, 19 were classified as "song-unit calls" that tended to change with the song, and 15 were "inconsistent" and only found in one or two years. Twelve call types were "stable" and present in all years and were commonly produced (64.2% of calls). Stable calls tended to vary in some of the measured call parameters but there was no clear trend between years. This result could indicate that minor changes to calls are not permanent, but reflect individual differences in call production or the graded nature of calls within different social environments. This research has clearly identified stable calls in the call repertoire of humpback whales and while their function is not well understood, their stability suggests an important role in social interactions.

  12. A study of vocal nonlinearities in humpback whale songs: from production mechanisms to acoustic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazau, Dorian; Adam, Olivier; Aubin, Thierry; Laitman, Jeffrey T.; Reidenberg, Joy S.

    2016-10-01

    Although mammalian vocalizations are predominantly harmonically structured, they can exhibit an acoustic complexity with nonlinear vocal sounds, including deterministic chaos and frequency jumps. Such sounds are normative events in mammalian vocalizations, and can be directly traceable to the nonlinear nature of vocal-fold dynamics underlying typical mammalian sound production. In this study, we give qualitative descriptions and quantitative analyses of nonlinearities in the song repertoire of humpback whales from the Ste Marie channel (Madagascar) to provide more insight into the potential communication functions and underlying production mechanisms of these features. A low-dimensional biomechanical modeling of the whale’s U-fold (vocal folds homolog) is used to relate specific vocal mechanisms to nonlinear vocal features. Recordings of living humpback whales were searched for occurrences of vocal nonlinearities (instabilities). Temporal distributions of nonlinearities were assessed within sound units, and between different songs. The anatomical production sources of vocal nonlinearities and the communication context of their occurrences in recordings are discussed. Our results show that vocal nonlinearities may be a communication strategy that conveys information about the whale’s body size and physical fitness, and thus may be an important component of humpback whale songs.

  13. Humpback whale song and foraging behavior on an antarctic feeding ground.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison K Stimpert

    Full Text Available Reports of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae song chorusing occurring outside the breeding grounds are becoming more common, but song structure and underwater behavior of individual singers on feeding grounds and migration routes remain unknown. Here, ten humpback whales in the Western Antarctic Peninsula were tagged in May 2010 with non-invasive, suction-cup attached tags to study foraging ecology and acoustic behavior. Background song was identified on all ten records, but additionally, acoustic records of two whales showed intense and continuous singing, with a level of organization and structure approaching that of typical breeding ground song. The songs, produced either by the tagged animals or close associates, shared phrase types and theme structure with one another, and some song bouts lasted close to an hour. Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m. One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging. These data show behavioral flexibility as the humpbacks manage competing needs to continue to feed and to prepare for the breeding season during late fall. This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.

  14. A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae in the Atlantic Ocean, Svalbard, Norway, August 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Lydersen

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae was observed on several occasions off Svalbard, Norway, during August 2012. The animal was completely white, except for a few small dark patches on the ventral side of its fluke. The baleen plates were light-coloured, but the animal's eyes had normal (dark colouration. This latter characteristic indicates that the animal was not an albino; it was a leucistic individual. The animal was a full-sized adult and was engaged in “bubble-feeding”, together with 15–20 other humpback whales, each time it was seen. Subsequent to these sightings, polling of the marine mammal science community has resulted in the discovery of two other observations of white humpback whales in the Barents Sea area, one in 2004 and another in 2006; in both cases the observed individuals were adult animals. It is likely that all of these sightings are of the same individual, but there is no genetic or photographic evidence to confirm this suggestion. The rarity of observations of such white individuals suggests that they are born at very low frequencies or that the ontogenetic survival rates of the colour morph are low.

  15. Blind river dolphin: first side-swimming cetacean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herald, E S; Brownell, R L; Frye, F L; Morris, E J; Evans, W E; Scott, A B

    1969-12-12

    The blind river dolphin (Platanista gangetica), first written about by Pliny the Elder in A.D. 72, was found (10 November 1968) to be the first known side-swimming cetacean. The rudimentary eye lacks the lens, but anatomical evidence suggests that the eye may serve as a light sensor. The underwater sound emissions of this species, although similar to those of the Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), appear to be produced constantly.

  16. Sound variation and function in captive Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus commersonii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Yayoi M; Morisaka, Tadamichi; Sakai, Mai; Iwasaki, Mari; Wakabayashi, Ikuo; Seko, Atsushi; Kasamatsu, Masahiko; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Kohshima, Shiro

    2014-10-01

    Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii), one of the smallest dolphin species, has been reported to produce only narrow-band high-frequency (NBHF) clicks and no whistles. To clarify their sound repertoire and examine the function of each type, we analysed the sounds and behaviour of captive Commerson's dolphins in Toba Aquarium, Japan. All recorded sounds were NBHF clicks with peak frequency >110kHz. The recorded click-trains were categorised into four types based on the changing pattern of their Inter-click intervals (ICI): Decreasing type, with continuously decreasing ICI during the last part of the train; Increasing type, with continuously increasing ICI during the last part; Fluctuating type, with fluctuating ICI; and Burst-pulse type, with very short and constant ICI. The frequency of the Decreasing type increased when approaching an object newly introduced to the tank, suggesting that the sound is used for echolocation on approach. The Burst-pulse type suddenly increased in front of the object and was often oriented towards it, suggesting that it was used for echolocation in close proximity to the object. In contrast, the Increasing type was rarely recorded during approach, but increased when a dolphin approached another dolphin. The Increasing and Burst-pulse types also increased when dolphins began social behaviours. These results suggest that some NBHF clicks have functions other than echolocation, such as communication.

  17. Hearing loss in stranded odontocete dolphins and whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mann

    Full Text Available The causes of dolphin and whale stranding can often be difficult to determine. Because toothed whales rely on echolocation for orientation and feeding, hearing deficits could lead to stranding. We report on the results of auditory evoked potential measurements from eight species of odontocete cetaceans that were found stranded or severely entangled in fishing gear during the period 2004 through 2009. Approximately 57% of the bottlenose dolphins and 36% of the rough-toothed dolphins had significant hearing deficits with a reduction in sensitivity equivalent to severe (70-90 dB or profound (>90 dB hearing loss in humans. The only stranded short-finned pilot whale examined had profound hearing loss. No impairments were detected in seven Risso's dolphins from three different stranding events, two pygmy killer whales, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, one spinner dolphin, or a juvenile Gervais' beaked whale. Hearing impairment could play a significant role in some cetacean stranding events, and the hearing of all cetaceans in rehabilitation should be tested.

  18. A preliminary investigation on genetic diversity of Sousa chinensis in the Pearl River Estuary and Xiamen of Chinese waters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    In this study, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) samples from the Pearl River Estuary and Xiamen waters were sequenced and analyzed. The result of mtDNA control region revealed 34 variable sites and four unique haplotypes (named as A, B, C and D) identified among the total samples from these two water areas, and the most common haplotype (A) was shared by 75% of the dolphins sampled from the two water areas. The haplotypic diversity (h) was 0.455 and the nucleotide diversity (π) was 0.0088. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the haplotype A, C, and D were closely related, but the haplotype B (unique for XM01 from Xiamen) was far from the other three. By scanning cytochrome b fragments, two haplotypes (A and B) were identified in these two water areas, and the most common haplotype (A) was shared by 91.67% individuals, while XM01 from Xiamen as the only exception. The date suggest that there is a possibility of gene exchange between the two populations in the Pearl River Estuary and Xiamen waters, and there possibly exists a unique maternal lineage in Xiamen waters.

  19. Photo-identification of Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in the Puerto Lopez part of Machalilla National Park in the Ecuadorian Coast - South America: 1996 - 2007

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro, C.; Forestell, P.; Kaufman, G.; Scheidat, M.; Gibson, Q.; Ferina, D.

    2008-01-01

    Between 1996 and 2007 a photo-identification study of Southeastern Pacific Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) was carried out off the coast of the Ecuadorian mainland (1°’S, 80°’W). During this 11 year period, 1,172 whales were identified. A total of 79 (6.74%) humpback whales were resighted

  20. Photo-identification of Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in the Puerto Lopez part of Machalilla National Park in the Ecuadorian Coast - South America: 1996 - 2007

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro, C.; Forestell, P.; Kaufman, G.; Scheidat, M.; Gibson, Q.; Ferina, D.

    2008-01-01

    Between 1996 and 2007 a photo-identification study of Southeastern Pacific Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) was carried out off the coast of the Ecuadorian mainland (1°’S, 80°’W). During this 11 year period, 1,172 whales were identified. A total of 79 (6.74%) humpback whales were resighted b

  1. Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep in the Amazonian dolphin, Inia geoffrensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhametov, L M

    1987-08-18

    An electroencephalographic study of sleep in Amazonian dolphins, Inia geoffrensis, revealed that unihemispheric slow-wave sleep is the dominant sleep type in this species, as in the other two dolphin species that were studied earlier.

  2. 78 FR 25530 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel BLUE DOLPHIN; Invitation for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-01

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel BLUE DOLPHIN... of the vessel BLUE DOLPHIN is: Intended Commercial Use Of Vessel: ``Skippered daysailing in...

  3. Applicability of Information Theory to the Quantification of Responses to Anthropogenic Noise by Southeast Alaskan Humpback Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Laurance R.; McCowan, Brenda; Hanser, Sean F.; Chyba, Christopher; Bucci, Taylor; Blue, J. E.

    2008-06-01

    We assess the effectiveness of applying information theory to the characterization and quantification of the affects of anthropogenic vessel noise on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) vocal behavior in and around Glacier Bay, Alaska. Vessel noise has the potential to interfere with the complex vocal behavior of these humpback whales which could have direct consequences on their feeding behavior and thus ultimately on their health and reproduction. Humpback whale feeding calls recorded during conditions of high vessel-generated noise and lower levels of background noise are compared for differences in acoustic structure, use, and organization using information theoretic measures. We apply information theory in a self-referential manner (i.e., orders of entropy) to quantify the changes in signaling behavior. We then compare this with the reduction in channel capacity due to noise in Glacier Bay itself treating it as a (Gaussian) noisy channel. We find that high vessel noise is associated with an increase in the rate and repetitiveness of sequential use of feeding call types in our averaged sample of humpback whale vocalizations, indicating that vessel noise may be modifying the patterns of use of feeding calls by the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska. The information theoretic approach suggested herein can make a reliable quantitative measure of such relationships and may also be adapted for wider application to many species where environmental noise is thought to be a problem.

  4. Applicability of Information Theory to the Quantification of Responses to Anthropogenic Noise by Southeast Alaskan Humpback Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ellen Blue

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available We assess the effectiveness of applying information theory to the characterization and quantification of the affects of anthropogenic vessel noise on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae vocal behavior in and around Glacier Bay, Alaska. Vessel noise has the potential to interfere with the complex vocal behavior of these humpback whales which could have direct consequences on their feeding behavior and thus ultimately on their health and reproduction. Humpback whale feeding calls recorded during conditions of high vessel-generated noise and lower levels of background noise are compared for differences in acoustic structure, use, and organization using information theoretic measures. We apply information theory in a self-referential manner (i.e., orders of entropy to quantify the changes in signaling behavior. We then compare this with the reduction in channel capacity due to noise in Glacier Bay itself treating it as a (Gaussian noisy channel. We find that high vessel noise is associated with an increase in the rate and repetitiveness of sequential use of feeding call types in our averaged sample of humpback whale vocalizations, indicating that vessel noise may be modifying the patterns of use of feeding calls by the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska. The information theoretic approach suggested herein can make a reliable quantitative measure of such relationships and may also be adapted for wider application to many species where environmental noise is thought to be a problem.

  5. How Studies of Wild and Captive Dolphins Contribute to our Understanding of Individual Differences and Personality

    OpenAIRE

    Highfill, Lauren E.; Kuczaj II, Stan A.

    2010-01-01

    The study of individual differences in animals and humans has flourished in recent years. This work has revealed personality traits in a wide range of species, including dolphins. However, there are few systematic studies of dolphin personality despite many reasons to assume that personality plays an important role in dolphin behavior. Dolphins live in complex societies and demonstrate a broad and diverse behavioral repertoire, which allows for the possibility of consistent individual differe...

  6. Soundscape Ecology of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin Resting Bays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heenehan, Heather Leigh

    Sound is a key sensory modality for Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Like many other marine animals, these dolphins rely on sound and their acoustic environment for many aspects of their daily lives, making it is essential to understand soundscape in areas that are critical to their survival. Hawaiian spinner dolphins rest during the day in shallow coastal areas and forage offshore at night. In my dissertation I focus on the soundscape of the bays where Hawaiian spinner dolphins rest taking a soundscape ecology approach. I primarily relied on passive acoustic monitoring using four DSG-Ocean acoustic loggers in four Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting bays on the Kona Coast of Hawai'i Island. 30-second recordings were made every four minutes in each of the bays for 20 to 27 months between January 8, 2011 and March 30, 2013. I also utilized concomitant vessel-based visual surveys in the four bays to provide context for these recordings. In my first chapter I used the contributions of the dolphins to the soundscape to monitor presence in the bays and found the degree of presence varied greatly from less than 40% to nearly 90% of days monitored with dolphins present. Having established these bays as important to the animals, in my second chapter I explored the many components of their resting bay soundscape and evaluated the influence of natural and human events on the soundscape. I characterized the overall soundscape in each of the four bays, used the tsunami event of March 2011 to approximate a natural soundscape and identified all loud daytime outliers. Overall, sound levels were consistently louder at night and quieter during the daytime due to the sounds from snapping shrimp. In fact, peak Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting time co-occurs with the quietest part of the day. However, I also found that humans drastically alter this daytime soundscape with sound from offshore aquaculture, vessel sound and military mid-frequency active sonar. During one recorded mid

  7. Biosonar, diving and movements of two tagged white-beaked dolphin in Icelandic waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Teilmann, Jonas;

    2013-01-01

    registered 162 dives. The dolphin dove to a maximum depth of 45 m, which is about the depth of the bay in which the dolphin was swimming. Two basic types of dives were identified; U-shaped and V-shaped dives. The dolphin used more time in U-shaped dives, more clicks and sonar signals with shorter click...

  8. 77 FR 45268 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-31

    ... Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan AGENCY: National Marine... Dolphin Take Reduction Plan (BDTRP) and its implementing regulations by permanently continuing nighttime... November 1 through April 30. Members of the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Team (Team) recommended...

  9. Dolphins can maintain vigilant behavior through echolocation for 15 days without interruption or cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Brian K; Finneran, James J; Fletcher, Elizabeth A; Weisman, Brian C; Ridgway, Sam H

    2012-01-01

    In dolphins, natural selection has developed unihemispheric sleep where alternating hemispheres of their brain stay awake. This allows dolphins to maintain consciousness in response to respiratory demands of the ocean. Unihemispheric sleep may also allow dolphins to maintain vigilant states over long periods of time. Because of the relatively poor visibility in the ocean, dolphins use echolocation to interrogate their environment. During echolocation, dolphin produce clicks and listen to returning echoes to determine the location and identity of objects. The extent to which individual dolphins are able to maintain continuous vigilance through this active sense is unknown. Here we show that dolphins may continuously echolocate and accurately report the presence of targets for at least 15 days without interruption. During a total of three sessions, each lasting five days, two dolphins maintained echolocation behaviors while successfully detecting and reporting targets. Overall performance was between 75 to 86% correct for one dolphin and 97 to 99% correct for a second dolphin. Both animals demonstrated diel patterns in echolocation behavior. A 15-day testing session with one dolphin resulted in near perfect performance with no significant decrement over time. Our results demonstrate that dolphins can continuously monitor their environment and maintain long-term vigilant behavior through echolocation.

  10. Dolphin Therapy: The Playful Way to Work toward the Next Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wermer, Maaike

    2008-01-01

    More than 400 children with a physical and/or mental challenge visit the Curacao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center (CDTC) for dolphin-assisted therapy every year. Dolphin therapy appears to be the right approach for many children. With the help of these special and very social animals, it is easier to make contact with the children. It motivates…

  11. Dolphin Therapy: The Playful Way to Work toward the Next Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wermer, Maaike

    2008-01-01

    More than 400 children with a physical and/or mental challenge visit the Curacao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center (CDTC) for dolphin-assisted therapy every year. Dolphin therapy appears to be the right approach for many children. With the help of these special and very social animals, it is easier to make contact with the children. It motivates…

  12. Dolphins can maintain vigilant behavior through echolocation for 15 days without interruption or cognitive impairment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian K Branstetter

    Full Text Available In dolphins, natural selection has developed unihemispheric sleep where alternating hemispheres of their brain stay awake. This allows dolphins to maintain consciousness in response to respiratory demands of the ocean. Unihemispheric sleep may also allow dolphins to maintain vigilant states over long periods of time. Because of the relatively poor visibility in the ocean, dolphins use echolocation to interrogate their environment. During echolocation, dolphin produce clicks and listen to returning echoes to determine the location and identity of objects. The extent to which individual dolphins are able to maintain continuous vigilance through this active sense is unknown. Here we show that dolphins may continuously echolocate and accurately report the presence of targets for at least 15 days without interruption. During a total of three sessions, each lasting five days, two dolphins maintained echolocation behaviors while successfully detecting and reporting targets. Overall performance was between 75 to 86% correct for one dolphin and 97 to 99% correct for a second dolphin. Both animals demonstrated diel patterns in echolocation behavior. A 15-day testing session with one dolphin resulted in near perfect performance with no significant decrement over time. Our results demonstrate that dolphins can continuously monitor their environment and maintain long-term vigilant behavior through echolocation.

  13. Ecosystem scale acoustic sensing reveals humpback whale behavior synchronous with herring spawning processes and re-evaluation finds no effect of sonar on humpback song occurrence in the Gulf of Maine in fall 2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Zheng; Jain, Ankita D; Tran, Duong; Yi, Dong Hoon; Wu, Fan; Zorn, Alexander; Ratilal, Purnima; Makris, Nicholas C

    2014-01-01

    We show that humpback-whale vocalization behavior is synchronous with peak annual Atlantic herring spawning processes in the Gulf of Maine. With a passive, wide-aperture, densely-sampled, coherent hydrophone array towed north of Georges Bank in a Fall 2006 Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) experiment, vocalizing whales could be instantaneously detected and localized over most of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem in a roughly 400-km diameter area by introducing array gain, of 18 dB, orders of magnitude higher than previously available in acoustic whale sensing. With humpback-whale vocalizations consistently recorded at roughly 2000/day, we show that vocalizing humpbacks (i) were overwhelmingly distributed along the northern flank of Georges Bank, coinciding with the peak spawning time and location of Atlantic herring, and (ii) their overall vocalization behavior was strongly diurnal, synchronous with the formation of large nocturnal herring shoals, with a call rate roughly ten-times higher at night than during the day. Humpback-whale vocalizations were comprised of (1) highly diurnal non-song calls, suited to hunting and feeding behavior, and (2) songs, which had constant occurrence rate over a diurnal cycle, invariant to diurnal herring shoaling. Before and during OAWRS survey transmissions: (a) no vocalizing whales were found at Stellwagen Bank, which had negligible herring populations, and (b) a constant humpback-whale song occurrence rate indicates the transmissions had no effect on humpback song. These measurements contradict the conclusions of Risch et al. Our analysis indicates that (a) the song occurrence variation reported in Risch et al. is consistent with natural causes other than sonar, (b) the reducing change in song reported in Risch et al. occurred days before the sonar survey began, and (c) the Risch et al. method lacks the statistical significance to draw the conclusions of Risch et al. because it has a 98-100% false-positive rate and lacks

  14. Ecosystem scale acoustic sensing reveals humpback whale behavior synchronous with herring spawning processes and re-evaluation finds no effect of sonar on humpback song occurrence in the Gulf of Maine in fall 2006.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng Gong

    Full Text Available We show that humpback-whale vocalization behavior is synchronous with peak annual Atlantic herring spawning processes in the Gulf of Maine. With a passive, wide-aperture, densely-sampled, coherent hydrophone array towed north of Georges Bank in a Fall 2006 Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS experiment, vocalizing whales could be instantaneously detected and localized over most of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem in a roughly 400-km diameter area by introducing array gain, of 18 dB, orders of magnitude higher than previously available in acoustic whale sensing. With humpback-whale vocalizations consistently recorded at roughly 2000/day, we show that vocalizing humpbacks (i were overwhelmingly distributed along the northern flank of Georges Bank, coinciding with the peak spawning time and location of Atlantic herring, and (ii their overall vocalization behavior was strongly diurnal, synchronous with the formation of large nocturnal herring shoals, with a call rate roughly ten-times higher at night than during the day. Humpback-whale vocalizations were comprised of (1 highly diurnal non-song calls, suited to hunting and feeding behavior, and (2 songs, which had constant occurrence rate over a diurnal cycle, invariant to diurnal herring shoaling. Before and during OAWRS survey transmissions: (a no vocalizing whales were found at Stellwagen Bank, which had negligible herring populations, and (b a constant humpback-whale song occurrence rate indicates the transmissions had no effect on humpback song. These measurements contradict the conclusions of Risch et al. Our analysis indicates that (a the song occurrence variation reported in Risch et al. is consistent with natural causes other than sonar, (b the reducing change in song reported in Risch et al. occurred days before the sonar survey began, and (c the Risch et al. method lacks the statistical significance to draw the conclusions of Risch et al. because it has a 98-100% false-positive rate

  15. Ecosystem Scale Acoustic Sensing Reveals Humpback Whale Behavior Synchronous with Herring Spawning Processes and Re-Evaluation Finds No Effect of Sonar on Humpback Song Occurrence in the Gulf of Maine in Fall 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Zheng; Jain, Ankita D.; Tran, Duong; Yi, Dong Hoon; Wu, Fan; Zorn, Alexander; Ratilal, Purnima; Makris, Nicholas C.

    2014-01-01

    We show that humpback-whale vocalization behavior is synchronous with peak annual Atlantic herring spawning processes in the Gulf of Maine. With a passive, wide-aperture, densely-sampled, coherent hydrophone array towed north of Georges Bank in a Fall 2006 Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) experiment, vocalizing whales could be instantaneously detected and localized over most of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem in a roughly 400-km diameter area by introducing array gain, of 18 dB, orders of magnitude higher than previously available in acoustic whale sensing. With humpback-whale vocalizations consistently recorded at roughly 2000/day, we show that vocalizing humpbacks (i) were overwhelmingly distributed along the northern flank of Georges Bank, coinciding with the peak spawning time and location of Atlantic herring, and (ii) their overall vocalization behavior was strongly diurnal, synchronous with the formation of large nocturnal herring shoals, with a call rate roughly ten-times higher at night than during the day. Humpback-whale vocalizations were comprised of (1) highly diurnal non-song calls, suited to hunting and feeding behavior, and (2) songs, which had constant occurrence rate over a diurnal cycle, invariant to diurnal herring shoaling. Before and during OAWRS survey transmissions: (a) no vocalizing whales were found at Stellwagen Bank, which had negligible herring populations, and (b) a constant humpback-whale song occurrence rate indicates the transmissions had no effect on humpback song. These measurements contradict the conclusions of Risch et al. Our analysis indicates that (a) the song occurrence variation reported in Risch et al. is consistent with natural causes other than sonar, (b) the reducing change in song reported in Risch et al. occurred days before the sonar survey began, and (c) the Risch et al. method lacks the statistical significance to draw the conclusions of Risch et al. because it has a 98–100% false-positive rate and

  16. A kinematic study on (unintentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa eSartori

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of observing other’s movements on subsequent performance in bottlenose dolphins. The imitative ability of non-human animals has intrigued a number of researchers. So far, however, studies in dolphins have been confined to intentional imitation concerned with the explicit request to imitate other agents. In the absence of instruction to imitate, do dolphins (unintentionally replicate other’s movement features? To test this, dolphins were filmed while reaching and touching a stimulus before and after observing another dolphin (i.e., model performing the same action. All videos were reviewed and segmented in order to extract the relevant movements. A marker was inserted post-hoc via software on the videos upon the anatomical landmark of interest (i.e. rostrum and was tracked throughout the time course of the movement sequence. The movement was analyzed using an in-house software developed to perform two-dimensional (2D post-hoc kinematic analysis. The results indicate that dolphins’ kinematics is sensitive to other’s movement features. Movements performed for the ‘visuomotor priming’ condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern similar to that performed by the observed dolphin (i.e., model. Addressing the issue of spontaneous imitation in bottlenose dolphins might allow ascertaining whether the potential or impulse to produce an imitative action is generated, not just when they intend to imitate, but whenever they watch another conspecific’s behavior. In closing, this will clarify whether motor representational capacity is a by-product of factors specific to humans or whether more general characteristics such as processes of associative learning prompted by high level of encephalization could help to explain the evolution of this ability.

  17. Cross-sectional anatomy, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the head of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Farré, J M; Gonzalo-Orden, M; Barreiro-Vázquez, J D; Barreiro-Lois, A; André, M; Morell, M; Llarena-Reino, M; Monreal-Pawlowsky, T; Degollada, E

    2015-02-01

    Computed tomography (CT) and low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were used to scan seven by-caught dolphin cadavers, belonging to two species: four common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and three striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). CT and MRI were obtained with the animals in ventral recumbency. After the imaging procedures, six dolphins were frozen at -20°C and sliced in the same position they were examined. Not only CT and MRI scans, but also cross sections of the heads were obtained in three body planes: transverse (slices of 1 cm thickness) in three dolphins, sagittal (5 cm thickness) in two dolphins and dorsal (5 cm thickness) in two dolphins. Relevant anatomical structures were identified and labelled on each cross section, obtaining a comprehensive bi-dimensional topographical anatomy guide of the main features of the common and the striped dolphin head. Furthermore, the anatomical cross sections were compared with their corresponding CT and MRI images, allowing an imaging identification of most of the anatomical features. CT scans produced an excellent definition of the bony and air-filled structures, while MRI allowed us to successfully identify most of the soft tissue structures in the dolphin's head. This paper provides a detailed anatomical description of the head structures of common and striped dolphins and compares anatomical cross sections with CT and MRI scans, becoming a reference guide for the interpretation of imaging studies.

  18. Evaluation of potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome in bottlenose dolphins:feeding and activity patterns of dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Randall S.; McHugh, Katherine A.; Douglas, David C.; Shippee, Steve; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Barros, Nélio B.; Phillips, Goldie T.

    2014-01-01

    Free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) living in Sarasota Bay, Florida appear to have a lower risk of developing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome compared to a group of dolphins managed under human care. Similar to humans, differences in diet and activity cycles between these groups may explain why Sarasota dolphins have lower insulin, glucose, and lipids. To identify potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome, existing and new data were incorporated to describe feeding and activity patterns of the Sarasota Bay wild dolphin community. Sarasota dolphins eat a wide variety of live fish and spend 10–20% of daylight hours foraging and feeding. Feeding occurs throughout the day, with the dolphins eating small proportions of their total daily intake in brief bouts. The natural pattern of wild dolphins is to feed as necessary and possible at any time of the day or night. Wild dolphins rarely eat dead fish or consume large amounts of prey in concentrated time periods. Wild dolphins are active throughout the day and night; they may engage in bouts of each key activity category at any time during daytime. Dive patterns of radio-tagged dolphins varied only slightly with time of day. Travel rates may be slightly lower at night, suggesting a diurnal rhythm, albeit not one involving complete, extended rest. In comparison, the managed dolphins are older; often fed a smaller variety of frozen-thawed fish types; fed fish species not in their natural diet; feedings and engaged activities are often during the day; and they are fed larger but fewer meals. In summary, potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome in dolphins may include young age, activity, and small meals fed throughout the day and night, and specific fish nutrients. These protective factors against insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are similar to those reported in humans. Further studies may benefit humans and dolphins.

  19. Linking pollutant exposure of humpback whales breeding in the Indian Ocean to their feeding habits and feeding areas off Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Krishna; Malarvannan, Govindan; Dirtu, Alin; Dulau, Violaine; Dumont, Magali; Lepoint, Gilles; Mongin, Philippe; Covaci, Adrian

    2017-01-01

    Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, breeding off la Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) undergo large-scale seasonal migrations between summer feeding grounds near Antarctica and their reproductive winter grounds in the Indian Ocean. The main scope of the current study was to investigate chemical exposure of humpback whales breeding in the Indian Ocean by providing the first published data on this breeding stock concerning persistent organic pollutants (POPs), namely polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), chlordane compounds (CHLs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs). Analyses of stable isotopes δ(13)C and δ(15)N in skin resulted in further insight in their feeding ecology, which was in agreement with a diet focused mainly on low trophic level prey species, such as krill from Antarctica. POPs were measured in all humpback whales in the order of HCB > DDTs > CHLs > HCHs > PCBs > PBDEs > MeO-BDEs. HCB (median: 24 ng g(-1) lw) and DDTs (median: 7.7 ng g(-1) lw) were the predominant compounds in all whale biopsies. Among DDT compounds, p,p'-DDE was the major organohalogenated pollutant, reflecting its long-term accumulation in humpback whales. Significantly lower concentrations of HCB and DDTs were found in females than in males (p  0.05). Differences in the HCB and DDTs suggested gender-specific transfer of some compounds to the offspring. POP concentrations were lower than previously reported results for humpback whales sampled near the Antarctic Peninsula, suggesting potential influence of their nutritional status and may indicate different exposures of the whales according to their feeding zones. Further investigations are required to assess exposure of southern humpback whales throughout their feeding zones. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Bottlenose dolphins exchange signature whistles when meeting at sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Nicola J; Janik, Vincent M

    2012-07-01

    The bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, is one of very few animals that, through vocal learning, can invent novel acoustic signals and copy whistles of conspecifics. Furthermore, receivers can extract identity information from the invented part of whistles. In captivity, dolphins use such signature whistles while separated from the rest of their group. However, little is known about how they use them at sea. If signature whistles are the main vehicle to transmit identity information, then dolphins should exchange these whistles in contexts where groups or individuals join. We used passive acoustic localization during focal boat follows to observe signature whistle use in the wild. We found that stereotypic whistle exchanges occurred primarily when groups of dolphins met and joined at sea. A sequence analysis verified that most of the whistles used during joins were signature whistles. Whistle matching or copying was not observed in any of the joins. The data show that signature whistle exchanges are a significant part of a greeting sequence that allows dolphins to identify conspecifics when encountering them in the wild.

  1. Learning from nature: bottlenose dolphin care and husbandry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Randall S

    2009-11-01

    The world's longest-running study of a wild dolphin population, operated by the Chicago Zoological Society since 1989, has focused on the multi-generational resident community of about 160 bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, since 1970. Observational and capture-release research on the biology, behavior, life history, ecology, and health of individually identifiable bay residents of up to 59 years of age and spanning five generations has helped to inform collection managers at the Brookfield Zoo and partner institutions. Age, sex, and genetic compositions of colonies at cooperating institutions have been based on observations of social structure and genetic paternity testing in Sarasota Bay to optimize breeding success. Breeding success, including calf survivorship, is evaluated relative to individual wild dolphin reproductive histories, spanning as many as nine calves and four decades. Individual rearing patterns for wild dolphins provide guidance for determining how long to keep mothers and calves together, and help to define the next steps in the calves' social development. Health assessments provide data on expected ranges of blood, milk and urine values, morphometrics, and body condition relative to age, sex, and reproductive condition. Calf growth can be compared with wild values. Target weights and blubber thicknesses for specific age and sex classes in specified water temperatures are available for wild dolphins, and caloric intakes can be adjusted accordingly to meet the targets. A strength of the program is the ability to monitor individuals throughout their lives, and to be able to define individual ranges of variability through ontogenetic stages.

  2. Lacaziosis in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durden, Wendy Noke; St Leger, Judy; Stolen, Megan; Mazza, Teresa; Londono, Catalina

    2009-07-01

    The objective of this study was to document the presence of the fungal granulomatous skin disease lacaziosis in stranded Indian River Lagoon (IRL) bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). From 1 January 2007 through 31 December 2007, stranded dolphins from the northern part of the IRL were thoroughly examined, and appropriate tissue samples were collected. The intralesional fungal agent (Lacazia loboi) was identified histologically in three bottlenose dolphins. Histologically, lacaziosis has been previously documented in IRL dolphins inhabiting the southern portion of the lagoon. Our findings suggest that the disease occurs throughout the lagoon. Enhanced monitoring of the prevalence of lacaziosis in dolphins throughout the IRL is needed to assess changes in population health.

  3. Patterns of dolphin bycatch in a north-western Australian trawl fishery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Simon J; Tyne, Julian A; Kobryn, Halina T; Bejder, Lars; Pollock, Kenneth H; Loneragan, Neil R

    2014-01-01

    The bycatch of small cetaceans in commercial fisheries is a global wildlife management problem. We used data from skippers' logbooks and independent observers to assess common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) bycatch patterns between 2003 and 2009 in the Pilbara Trawl Fishery, Western Australia. Both datasets indicated that dolphins were caught in all fishery areas, across all depths and throughout the year. Over the entire datasets, observer reported bycatch rates (n = 52 dolphins in 4,124 trawls, or 12.6 dolphins/1,000 trawls) were ca. double those reported by skippers (n = 180 dolphins in 27,904 trawls, or 6.5 dolphins/1,000 trawls). Generalised Linear Models based on observer data, which better explained the variation in dolphin bycatch, indicated that the most significant predictors of dolphin catch were: (1) vessel--one trawl vessel caught significantly more dolphins than three others assessed; (2) time of day--the lowest dolphin bycatch rates were between 00:00 and 05:59; and (3) whether nets included bycatch reduction devices (BRDs)--the rate was reduced by ca. 45%, from 18.8 to 10.3 dolphins/1,000 trawls, after their introduction. These results indicated that differences among vessels (or skippers' trawling techniques) and dolphin behavior (a diurnal pattern) influenced the rates of dolphin capture; and that spatial or seasonal adjustments to trawling effort would be unlikely to significantly reduce dolphin bycatch. Recent skipper's logbook data show that dolphin bycatch rates have not declined since those reported in 2006, when BRDs were introduced across the fishery. Modified BRDs, with top-opening escape hatches from which dolphins might escape to the surface, may be a more effective means of further reducing dolphin bycatch. The vulnerability of this dolphin population to trawling-related mortality cannot be assessed in the absence of an ongoing observer program and without information on trawler-associated dolphin community size

  4. From cyclic steps to humpback dunes: bedforms created by glacial lake-outburst floods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winsemann, Jutta; Lang, Jörg; (Janrik) Van den Berg, Jan H.

    2015-04-01

    The largest known terrestrial floods, with immense geomorphological impacts, are linked to flood events from sub- and proglacial lakes. Flows are commonly unstable, turbulent and may be pulsed. The most commonly reported flood-related sedimentary landforms are large bars and (anti)dune fields deposited at sites of spatial flow deceleration. However, the facies architecture of these flood-related deposits has not yet been described in much detail. Reported field examples include sandy and gravelly bedforms that comprise laterally and vertically stacked deposits of cyclic steps, chutes-and-pools, breaking antidunes, stationary antidunes, plane beds and humpback dunes. The dimension and stacking pattern of described bedforms are often very similar and indicate deposition under highly aggradational flow conditions. Deposits of cyclic steps are characterised by shallow, lenticular scours infilled by gently dipping backsets, indicating erosion and re-deposition on the downstream side of the step, which is Froude-supercritical.The cyclic-step deposits are laterally and vertically truncated and unconformably overlain by deposits of chutes-and-pools and (breaking) antidunes. Deposits of chutes-and-pools and breaking antidunes comprise lenticular scours infilled by steeply dipping backsets, gently dipping sigmoidal foresets and concentric trough-fills. Bedforms of the relatively slow moving subcritical zone on the upstream side of cyclic steps are commonly not preserved. In contrast to the gravelly cross-stratification of cyclic steps, chutes-and-pools and breaking antidunes, the (sub)horizontal lamination of transcritical bedforms (plane beds, stationary waves and antidunes) generally consist almost completely of sand, due to gravel overpassing. Under waning flow conditions deposits of chutes-and-pools and antidunes form laterally more extensive bedsets that are interbedded with deposits of humpback dunes and 3D dunes. The gradual lateral and vertical facies changes between

  5. Hierarchical structure of mitochondrial DNA gene flow among humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae, world-wide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Slade, R W; Bannister, J L; Abernethy, R B; Weinrich, M T; Lien, J; Urban, J; Corkeron, P; Calmabokidis, J; Vasquez, O

    1994-08-01

    The genetic structure of humpback whale populations and subpopulation divisions is described by restriction fragment length analysis of the mitochondrial (mt) DNA from samples of 230 whales collected by biopsy darting in 11 seasonal habitats representing six subpopulations, or 'stocks', world-wide. The hierarchical structure of mtDNA haplotype diversity among population subdivisions is described using the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) procedure, the analysis of gene identity, and the genealogical relationship of haplotypes as constructed by parsimony analysis and distance clustering. These analyses revealed: (i) significant partitioning of world-wide genetic variation among oceanic populations, among subpopulations or 'stocks' within oceanic populations and among seasonal habitats within stocks; (ii) fixed categorical segregation of haplotypes on the south-eastern Alaska and central California feeding grounds of the North Pacific; (iii) support for the division of the North Pacific population into a central stock which feeds in Alaska and winters in Hawaii, and an eastern or 'American' stock which feeds along the coast of California and winters near Mexico; (iv) evidence of genetic heterogeneity within the Gulf of Maine feeding grounds and among the sampled feeding and breeding grounds of the western North Atlantic; and (v) support for the historical division between the Group IV (Western Australia) and Group V (eastern Australia, New Zealand and Tonga) stocks in the Southern Oceans. Overall, our results demonstrate a striking degree of genetic structure both within and between oceanic populations of humpback whales, despite the nearly unlimited migratory potential of this species. We suggest that the humpback whale is a suitable demographic and genetic model for the management of less tractable species of baleen whales and for the general study of gene flow among long-lived, mobile vertebrates in the marine ecosystem.

  6. Foraging behavior of humpback whales: kinematic and respiratory patterns suggest a high cost for a lunge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Calambokidis, John; Croll, Donald A; Harvey, James T; Newton, Kelly M; Oleson, Erin M; Schorr, Greg; Shadwick, Robert E

    2008-12-01

    Lunge feeding in rorqual whales is a drag-based feeding mechanism that is thought to entail a high energetic cost and consequently limit the maximum dive time of these extraordinarily large predators. Although the kinematics of lunge feeding in fin whales supports this hypothesis, it is unclear whether respiratory compensation occurs as a consequence of lunge-feeding activity. We used high-resolution digital tags on foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) to determine the number of lunges executed per dive as well as respiratory frequency between dives. Data from two whales are reported, which together performed 58 foraging dives and 451 lunges. During one study, we tracked one tagged whale for approximately 2 h and examined the spatial distribution of prey using a digital echosounder. These data were integrated with the dive profile to reveal that lunges are directed toward the upper boundary of dense krill aggregations. Foraging dives were characterized by a gliding descent, up to 15 lunges at depth, and an ascent powered by steady swimming. Longer dives were required to perform more lunges at depth and these extended apneas were followed by an increase in the number of breaths taken after a dive. Maximum dive durations during foraging were approximately half of those previously reported for singing (i.e. non-feeding) humpback whales. At the highest lunge frequencies (10 to 15 lunges per dive), respiratory rate was at least threefold higher than that of singing humpback whales that underwent a similar degree of apnea. These data suggest that the high energetic cost associated with lunge feeding in blue and fin whales also occurs in intermediate sized rorquals.

  7. Substitution of fishmeal with soybean meal in humpback Grouper, Cromileptes altivelis juvenile diets supplemented with phytase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachman Syah

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Feeding experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of replacing fishmeal with soybean meal in diet on growth of humpback grouper. Fifteen cages of 1 x 1 x 1.2 m3 each stocked with 16 humpback grouper juveniles (61.3 ± 0.4 g/pc were set up randomly in seawater. Fish were fed to satiation twice daily for 112 days. The control diet contained 61.9% fishmeal (63.34% crude protein. Four isonitrogenous (48% crude protein and isocaloric (4.7 kcal/g feed diets supplemented with commercial phytase “Rhonozyme-P” at 0.075% were formulated to contain different levels (8%, 16%, 24%, and 32% soybean meal (43.65% crude protein as a partial replacement for fishmeal. These diets contained total phosphorus levels between 3.6—4.5 (±0.4 % and 0.7—1.5 (±0.04 % available phosphorus. Replacement of fishmeal with soybean meal (8 to 32% replacement was not significantly different (P>0.05 to the control diet on daily growth rate (DGR, food conversion ratio (FCR, protein efficiency ratio (PER, and daily food consumption (DFC. However, the dietary levels of soybean meal significantly affected (P<0.05 whole body protein and phosphorus retention (Table 1. These data suggest that addition of phytase in diets could improve protein and phosphorus availability and reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading in the environment. Phytase can therefore play an important role in formulating eco-friendly feed for humpback grouper. Based on P loading, supplementation of phytase enable up to 24% fishmeal replacement with soybean meal.

  8. Multivariate analysis of behavioural response experiments in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; Cato, Douglas H; Kniest, Eric; Miller, Patrick J O; Smith, Joshua N; Stokes, M Dale

    2013-03-01

    The behavioural response study (BRS) is an experimental design used by field biologists to determine the function and/or behavioural effects of conspecific, heterospecific or anthropogenic stimuli. When carrying out these studies in marine mammals it is difficult to make basic observations and achieve sufficient samples sizes because of the high cost and logistical difficulties. Rarely are other factors such as social context or the physical environment considered in the analysis because of these difficulties. This paper presents results of a BRS carried out in humpback whales to test the response of groups to one recording of conspecific social sounds and an artificially generated tone stimulus. Experiments were carried out in September/October 2004 and 2008 during the humpback whale southward migration along the east coast of Australia. In total, 13 'tone' experiments, 15 'social sound' experiments (using one recording of social sounds) and three silent controls were carried out over two field seasons. The results (using a mixed model statistical analysis) suggested that humpback whales responded differently to the two stimuli, measured by changes in course travelled and dive behaviour. Although the response to 'tones' was consistent, in that groups moved offshore and surfaced more often (suggesting an aversion to the stimulus), the response to 'social sounds' was highly variable and dependent upon the composition of the social group. The change in course and dive behaviour in response to 'tones' was found to be related to proximity to the source, the received signal level and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This study demonstrates that the behavioural responses of marine mammals to acoustic stimuli are complex. In order to tease out such multifaceted interactions, the number of replicates and factors measured must be sufficient for multivariate analysis.

  9. Establishment of the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines and their application in chemical risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burkard, Michael, E-mail: Michael.burkard@eawag.ch [Griffith University, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program, Brisbane, QLD (Australia); Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Dübendorf (Switzerland); Whitworth, Deanne [The University of Queensland, School of Veterinary Science, Gatton, QLD (Australia); Schirmer, Kristin [Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Dübendorf (Switzerland); ETH Zürich, Institute of Biogechemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, Zürich (Switzerland); EPF Lausanne, School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lausanne (Switzerland); Nash, Susan Bengtson [Griffith University, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program, Brisbane, QLD (Australia)

    2015-10-15

    Highlights: • We established and characterised the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. • Cell lines have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44. • Exposure to p,p′-DDE resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. • p,p′-DDE sensitivity differed considerably from human fibroblasts. • Exposure to a whale blubber extract showed higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone. - Abstract: This paper reports the first successful derivation and characterization of humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. Primary fibroblasts were isolated from the dermal connective tissue of skin biopsies, cultured at 37 °C and 5% CO{sub 2} in the standard mammalian medium DMEM/F12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Of nine initial biopsies, two cell lines were established from two different animals and designated HuWa1 and HuWa2. The cells have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44, which has commonly been observed in other baleen whale species. Cells were verified as being fibroblasts based on their spindle-shaped morphology, adherence to plastic and positive immunoreaction to vimentin. Population doubling time was determined to be ∼41 h and cells were successfully cryopreserved and thawed. To date, HuWa1 cells have been propagated 30 times. Cells proliferate at the tested temperatures, 30, 33.5 and 37 °C, but show the highest rate of proliferation at 37 °C. Short-term exposure to para,para′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE), a priority compound accumulating in southern hemisphere humpback whales, resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. The effective concentration which caused a 50% reduction in HuWa1 cell viability (EC{sub 50} value) was approximately six times greater than the EC{sub 50} value for the same chemical measured with human dermal fibroblasts. HuWa1 exposed to a natural, p,p′-DDE-containing, chemical mixture extracted from whale blubber showed distinctively higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone

  10. Site specific passive acoustic detection and densities of humpback whale calls off the coast of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helble, Tyler Adam

    Passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammal calls is an increasingly important method for assessing population numbers, distribution, and behavior. Automated methods are needed to aid in the analyses of the recorded data. When a mammal vocalizes in the marine environment, the received signal is a filtered version of the original waveform emitted by the marine mammal. The waveform is reduced in amplitude and distorted due to propagation effects that are influenced by the bathymetry and environment. It is important to account for these effects to determine a site-specific probability of detection for marine mammal calls in a given study area. A knowledge of that probability function over a range of environmental and ocean noise conditions allows vocalization statistics from recordings of single, fixed, omnidirectional sensors to be compared across sensors and at the same sensor over time with less bias and uncertainty in the results than direct comparison of the raw statistics. This dissertation focuses on both the development of new tools needed to automatically detect humpback whale vocalizations from single-fixed omnidirectional sensors as well as the determination of the site-specific probability of detection for monitoring sites off the coast of California. Using these tools, detected humpback calls are "calibrated" for environmental properties using the site-specific probability of detection values, and presented as call densities (calls per square kilometer per time). A two-year monitoring effort using these calibrated call densities reveals important biological and ecological information on migrating humpback whales off the coast of California. Call density trends are compared between the monitoring sites and at the same monitoring site over time. Call densities also are compared to several natural and human-influenced variables including season, time of day, lunar illumination, and ocean noise. The results reveal substantial differences in call densities

  11. Feeding grounds of the eastern South Pacific humpback whale population include the South Orkney Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Félix, Fernando; Stevick, Peter T.; Secchi,Eduardo R; Allen, Judith M; Chater, Kim; Martin, Anthony R.; Basso, Manuela

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on two photo-identified humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) that were sighted in different years in the proximity of the South Orkney Islands, at the boundary between the Scotia and Weddell seas (60o54.5’S – 46o40.4’W and 60o42.6’S – 45o33’W). One of the whales had been previously sighted off Ecuador, a breeding ground for the eastern South Pacific population. The other whale was subsequently resighted in Bransfield Strait, off the western Antarctic Peninsula, a well-d...

  12. A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Atlantic Ocean, Svalbard, Norway, August 2012

    OpenAIRE

    Lydersen, Christian; Øien, Nils; Mikkelsen, Bjarni; Bober, Simon; Fisher, Dan; Kovacs, Kit M

    2013-01-01

    A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was observed on several occasions off Svalbard, Norway, during August 2012. The animal was completely white, except for a few small dark patches on the ventral side of its fluke. The baleen plates were light-coloured, but the animal’s eyes had normal (dark) colouration. This latter characteristic indicates that the animal was not an albino; it was a leucistic individual. The animal was a full-sized adult and was engaged in ‘‘bubble-feeding’’, to...

  13. DNA strand breaks (comet assay) in blood lymphocytes from wild bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Richard F; Bulski, Karrie; Adams, Jeffrey D; Peden-Adams, Margie; Bossart, Gregory D; King, Lydia; Fair, Patricia A

    2013-12-15

    The comet assay was carried out on blood lymphocytes from a large number of wild dolphins (71 from Indian River Lagoon, FL, USA; 51 from Charleston Harbor, SC, USA) and provides a baseline study of DNA strand breaks in wild dolphin populations. There were no significant differences in the comet assay (% DNA in tail) results between the different age and sex categories. Significant difference in DNA strand breaks were found between Charleston Harbor dolphins (median--17.4% DNA in tail) and Indian River Lagoon dolphins (median--14.0% DNA in tail). A strong correlation found between T-cell proliferation and DNA strand breaks in dolphin lymphocytes suggests that dolphins with a high numbers of DNA strand breaks have a decreased ability to respond to infection. Higher concentrations of genotoxic agents in Charleston Harbor compared with Indian River lagoon may have been one of the causes of higher DNA strand breaks in these dolphins.

  14. Dolphin natures, human virtues: MacIntyre and ethical naturalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glackin, Shane Nicholas

    2008-09-01

    Can biological facts explain human morality? Aristotelian 'virtue' ethics has traditionally assumed so. In recent years Alasdair MacIntyre has reintroduced a form of Aristotle's 'metaphysical biology' into his ethics. He argues that the ethological study of dependence and rationality in other species--dolphins in particular--sheds light on how those same traits in the typical lives of humans give rise to the moral virtues. However, some goal-oriented dolphin behaviour appears both dependent and rational in the precise manner which impresses MacIntyre, yet anything but ethically 'virtuous'. More damningly, dolphin ethologists consistently refuse to evaluate such behaviour in the manner MacIntyre claims is appropriate to moral judgement. In light of this, I argue that virtues--insofar as they name a biological or ethological category--do not name a morally significant one.

  15. Bacterial infection in an Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jin Hai; Xia, Zhao Fei

    2013-03-01

    One pregnant captive Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), with a body length of 225 cm, was found dead on 8 June 2009. The dolphin was anorexic and circling at the bottom of the pool before death. Laboratory tests revealed an increased leukocyte count and decreased platelet count; increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate; and slightly decreased red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. Alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, and glucose were significantly decreased. Moreover, uric acid and alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were elevated. A 57-cm fetus was recovered. The respiratory system, intestinal mucosa, mesentery and mesenteric lymph nodes, and spleen were congested and hemorrhagic. The heart, liver, and kidney appeared normal. Klebsiella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus were identified in the amniotic fluid. This is the first case report of bacterial infection in an Irrawaddy dolphin.

  16. LIVER ULTRASONOGRAPHY IN DOLPHINS: USE OF ULTRASONOGRAPHY TO ESTABLISH A TECHNIQUE FOR HEPATOBILIARY IMAGING AND TO EVALUATE METABOLIC DISEASE-ASSOCIATED LIVER CHANGES IN BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitz, Kelsey E; Smith, Cynthia R; Marks, Stanley L; Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Ivančić, Marina

    2016-12-01

    The objective of this study was to establish a comprehensive technique for ultrasound examination of the dolphin hepatobiliary system and apply this technique to 30 dolphins to determine what, if any, sonographic changes are associated with blood-based indicators of metabolic syndrome (insulin greater than 14 μIU/ml or glucose greater than 112 mg/dl) and iron overload (transferrin saturation greater than 65%). A prospective study of individuals in a cross-sectional population with and without elevated postprandial insulin levels was performed. Twenty-nine bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) in a managed collection were included in the final data analysis. An in-water ultrasound technique was developed that included detailed analysis of the liver and pancreas. Dolphins with hyperinsulinemia concentrations had larger livers compared with dolphins with nonelevated concentrations. Using stepwise, multivariate regression including blood-based indicators of metabolic syndrome in dolphins, glucose was the best predictor of and had a positive linear association with liver size (P = 0.007, R(2) = 0.24). Bottlenose dolphins are susceptible to metabolic syndrome and associated complications that affect the liver, including fatty liver disease and iron overload. This study facilitated the establishment of a technique for a rapid, diagnostic, and noninvasive ultrasonographic evaluation of the dolphin liver. In addition, the study identified ultrasound-detectable hepatic changes associated primarily with elevated glucose concentration in dolphins. Future investigations will strive to detail the pathophysiological mechanisms for these changes.

  17. Acute Poisoning with Methadone (Dolphin (Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgy A. Livanov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Most publications report on the use of methadone as a medication, however an increase of the illegal use of methadone has been demonstrated worldwide over the recent years, thus increasing the number of hospitalizations due to acute poisoning with this synthetic opioid. The aim of the present review was to summarize current data on the mechanisms of toxicity, selective toxicity, toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of methadone (Dolphin. The involvement of CNS, respiratory, cardiovascular and urinary systems in acute poisoning with methadone was dis- cussed. The practice of use of methadone in many countries as a medicine for the replacement therapy for opiate addicts was analyzed. In addition, it was suggested that the results of the use of naloxone antidote therapy in acute opioid poisoning do not always clearly demonstrate its sufficient efficacy. Ways to improve of the intensive therapy of severe acute poisoning by methadone were substantiated; in addition to general critical care methods, treatment with a complex metabolic antihypoxant cytoflavin should be considered. 

  18. Dolphin Research Makes Breakthrough in Hong Kong

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杜茂束

    2000-01-01

    海豚的人工繁殖是一个世界级的难题。困难在于:Dolphins in generalhave very irregular ovarian (卵巢)cycles,making artificial insemination verydifficult. 攻克此难题的重要意义在于: With AI,it can perhaps lead to the reduction of animals taken from the wildinto captive facilities to increase their genetic variance.So wild populations may not be interfered with. 这里的AI是artificial insemination(人工受孕)的首字母缩略。英语词汇的创新组合何等自由!AI己经是许多词组的缩略表达,且收入了词典,现在有冒出一个新含义!此外,本文反复出现了facilities,不能把它理解为“设备”等。facilities=供特定用处的场所。本文指海豚饲养中心。

  19. Why Dolphins are not Aquatic Apes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Barrett

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The Social Brain (or Social Intelligence hypothesis is a very influential theory that ties brain size and, by extension, cognitive ability to the demands of obligate and intense sociality. Initially developed to explain primate brain size evolution, the Social Brain hypothesis has since been applied to a diverse array of other social taxa, both mammalian and avian; its origins as a primate-based hypothesis (especially as articulated by Humphrey, 1976, however, mean that it retains a heavily anthropocentric tinge. This colors the way in which other species are viewed, and their cognitive abilities tested, despite fundamental differences in many aspects of bodily morphology, brain anatomy and behavior. The delphinids are a case in point and, in this review, we demonstrate how the anthropocentric origins of the Social Brain hypothesis have pushed us toward a view of the delphinids as a species of ‗aquatic ape‘. We suggest that a more ecological, embodied/embedded, view of dolphin behavior and psychology undercuts such a view, and will provide a more satisfactory assessment of the natural intelligence the delphinids display.

  20. Effects of tour boats on dolphin activity examined with sensitivity analysis of Markov chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dans, Silvana Laura; Degrati, Mariana; Pedraza, Susana Noemí; Crespo, Enrique Alberto

    2012-08-01

    In Patagonia, Argentina, watching dolphins, especially dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus), is a new tourist activity. Feeding time decreases and time to return to feeding after feeding is abandoned and time it takes a group of dolphins to feed increase in the presence of boats. Such effects on feeding behavior may exert energetic costs on dolphins and thus reduce an individual's survival and reproductive capacity or maybe associated with shifts in distribution. We sought to predict which behavioral changes modify the activity pattern of dolphins the most. We modeled behavioral sequences of dusky dolphins with Markov chains. We calculated transition probabilities from one activity to another and arranged them in a stochastic matrix model. The proportion of time dolphins dedicated to a given activity (activity budget) and the time it took a dolphin to resume that activity after it had been abandoned (recurrence time) were calculated. We used a sensitivity analysis of Markov chains to calculate the sensitivity of the time budget and the activity-resumption time to changes in behavioral transition probabilities. Feeding-time budget was most sensitive to changes in the probability of dolphins switching from traveling to feeding behavior and of maintaining feeding behavior. Thus, an increase in these probabilities would be associated with the largest reduction in the time dedicated to feeding. A reduction in the probability of changing from traveling to feeding would also be associated with the largest increases in the time it takes dolphins to resume feeding. To approach dolphins when they are traveling would not affect behavior less because presence of the boat may keep dolphins from returning to feeding. Our results may help operators of dolphin-watching vessels minimize negative effects on dolphins.

  1. Computational Modeling of the Dolphin Kick in Competitive Swimming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loebbeck, A.; Mark, R.; Bhanot, G.

    2005-11-01

    Numerical simulations are being used to study the fluid dynamics of the dolphin kick in competitive swimming. This stroke is performed underwater after starts and turns and involves an undulatory motion of the body. Highly detailed laser body scans of elite swimmers are used and the kinematics of the dolphin kick is recreated from videos of Olympic level swimmers. We employ a parallelized immersed boundary method to simulate the flow associated with this stroke in all its complexity. The simulations provide a first of its kind glimpse of the fluid and vortex dynamics associated with this stroke and hydrodynamic force computations allow us to gain a better understanding of the thrust producing mechanisms.

  2. STRATEGI KOMUNIKASI PEMASARAN EKOWISATA PADA DESTINASI WISATA DOLPHIN HUNTING LOVINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni Luh Putu Agustini Karta

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this research is to find the right marketing communications strategy for Ecotourism’s Destinations, (Dolphin Hunting Lovina, to be sustainable. Design methodology used is a marketing communication approach by adopting the concept of basic elements of the theory of marketing communication, the shift towards integrated marketing approach marketing communications, and public organizational challenges in creating brand awareness. Qualitative research and in-depth interviews carried out to some competent resource. The findings generated that image creation and brand awareness of Dolphin Hunting Lovina is determined by the  organization’s marketing communications and internal audiences

  3. Learning in human-dolphin interactions at zoological facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeney, Diane L.

    This research aimed to better understand learning in zoological settings, particularly learning about marine mammals, by investigating the research question, what do people learn through interacting with dolphins in zoological facilities? Sociocultural situated learning theory, specifically a Community of Practice (CoP) model of learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991), was the theoretical framework. The CoP model allowed for diversity of knowledge, interest, motivations, and goals that existed among the community of animal enthusiasts at three commercial zoological facilities, and also for peripheral to more central types of participation. I collected data through interviews of spectators, visitors, and trainers (n=51), observations (n=16), and an online questionnaire of past-visitors (n=933). Data were coded, categorized, and analyzed based on the National Science Foundation's (Friedman, 2008) and the National Research Council's (2009) frameworks for informal science education. Five principal findings answered the research question. First, all participants gained new knowledge within three broad categories: (a) dolphin physiology and natural history, (b) care and training of dolphins, and (c) conservation. Second, all participants constructed personal meanings by connecting the activity to experiences, beliefs, and practices outside the interaction context. Almost all participants made associations with conservation. Third, most participants shifted their attitudes and gained a sense of personal agency about beginning or increasing stewardship actions. Fourth, visitors learned interspecies etiquette skills; trainers learned skills in dolphin training and management, people management, and teaching. Fifth, visitors had long-lasting memories of the experience that occurred eight months to 18 years in the past. Popular cultural ideas about dolphins and the ways the dolphins were represented influenced visitors' expectations and the types of learning. Potential physical

  4. Sequence analysis of dolphin ferritin H and L subunits and possible iron-dependent translational control of dolphin ferritin gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasaki Yukako

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Iron-storage protein, ferritin plays a central role in iron metabolism. Ferritin has dual function to store iron and segregate iron for protection of iron-catalyzed reactive oxygen species. Tissue ferritin is composed of two kinds of subunits (H: heavy chain or heart-type subunit; L: light chain or liver-type subunit. Ferritin gene expression is controlled at translational level in iron-dependent manner or at transcriptional level in iron-independent manner. However, sequencing analysis of marine mammalian ferritin subunits has not yet been performed fully. The purpose of this study is to reveal cDNA-derived amino acid sequences of cetacean ferritin H and L subunits, and demonstrate the possibility of expression of these subunits, especially H subunit, by iron. Methods Sequence analyses of cetacean ferritin H and L subunits were performed by direct sequencing of polymerase chain reaction (PCR fragments from cDNAs generated via reverse transcription-PCR of leukocyte total RNA prepared from blood samples of six different dolphin species (Pseudorca crassidens, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens, Grampus griseus, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Tursiops truncatus, and Delphinapterus leucas. The putative iron-responsive element sequence in the 5'-untranslated region of the six different dolphin species was revealed by direct sequencing of PCR fragments obtained using leukocyte genomic DNA. Results Dolphin H and L subunits consist of 182 and 174 amino acids, respectively, and amino acid sequence identities of ferritin subunits among these dolphins are highly conserved (H: 99–100%, (99→98 ; L: 98–100%. The conserved 28 bp IRE sequence was located -144 bp upstream from the initiation codon in the six different dolphin species. Conclusion These results indicate that six different dolphin species have conserved ferritin sequences, and suggest that these genes are iron-dependently expressed.

  5. A new dolphin species, the Burrunan Dolphin Tursiops australis sp. nov., endemic to southern Australian coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton-Robb, Kate; Gershwin, Lisa-ann; Thompson, Ross; Austin, Jeremy; Owen, Kylie; McKechnie, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named Tursiops maugeanus but was later synonymised with T. truncatus. Morphologically, these coastal dolphins share some characters with both aforementioned recognised Tursiops species, but they also possess unique characters not found in either. Recent mtDNA and microsatellite genetic evidence indicates deep evolutionary divergence between this dolphin and the two currently recognised Tursiops species. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the Workshop on Cetacean Systematics, and the Unified Species Concept the use of molecular evidence alone is inadequate for describing new species. Here we describe the macro-morphological, colouration and cranial characters of these animals, assess the available and new genetic data, and conclude that multiple lines of evidence clearly indicate a new species of dolphin. We demonstrate that the syntype material of T. maugeanus comprises two different species, one of which is the historical 'southern form of Tursiops' most similar to T. truncatus, and the other is representative of the new species and requires formal classification. These dolphins are here described as Tursiops australis sp. nov., with the common name of 'Burrunan Dolphin' following Australian aboriginal narrative. The recognition of T. australis sp. nov. is particularly significant given the endemism of this new species to a small geographic region of southern and south-eastern Australia, where only two small resident populations in close proximity to a major urban and agricultural centre are known, giving them a high conservation value and making them susceptible to numerous anthropogenic threats.

  6. A new dolphin species, the Burrunan Dolphin Tursiops australis sp. nov., endemic to southern Australian coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Charlton-Robb

    Full Text Available Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named Tursiops maugeanus but was later synonymised with T. truncatus. Morphologically, these coastal dolphins share some characters with both aforementioned recognised Tursiops species, but they also possess unique characters not found in either. Recent mtDNA and microsatellite genetic evidence indicates deep evolutionary divergence between this dolphin and the two currently recognised Tursiops species. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the Workshop on Cetacean Systematics, and the Unified Species Concept the use of molecular evidence alone is inadequate for describing new species. Here we describe the macro-morphological, colouration and cranial characters of these animals, assess the available and new genetic data, and conclude that multiple lines of evidence clearly indicate a new species of dolphin. We demonstrate that the syntype material of T. maugeanus comprises two different species, one of which is the historical 'southern form of Tursiops' most similar to T. truncatus, and the other is representative of the new species and requires formal classification. These dolphins are here described as Tursiops australis sp. nov., with the common name of 'Burrunan Dolphin' following Australian aboriginal narrative. The recognition of T. australis sp. nov. is particularly significant given the endemism of this new species to a small geographic region of southern and south-eastern Australia, where only two small resident populations in close proximity to a major urban and agricultural centre are known, giving them a high conservation value and making them susceptible to numerous anthropogenic

  7. Is it possible to go whale watching off the coast of Peru?: A case study of humpback whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo S Pacheco

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Whale watching is the human activity of encountering cetaceans in their natural habitat for recreational and scientific purposes. Despite the high diversity of cetaceans in Peruvian waters, this activity has yet to be developed. Herein we present data regarding the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae off northern Peru, evaluating the possibility of extending whale watching activities in this area. Data were obtained from surveys conducted from an ecotourism boat. Humpbacks were distributed in shallow waters, usually in pairs or trios throughout the study period between late July and late September. The presence of whales off northern Peru is due to winter migration for breeding and calving purposes. A high probability of encountering humpbacks within the study area could encourage the development of a whale watching industry. As this stage in the life cycle of this species is very delicate, we suggest the adoption of the precautionary principie in the management of the activity in order to minimize the risk of negative impacts on humpback populations. Whale watching in northern Peru is feasible and could be considered an alternative to fishing.

  8. An ocean-basin-wide mark-recapture study of the North Atlantic humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, TD; Allen, J; Clapham, PJ; Hammond, PS; Katona, S; Larsen, F; Lien, J; Mattila, D; Palsboll, PJ; Sigurjonsson, J; Stevick, PT; Oien, N

    1999-01-01

    Although much is known about the humpback whale, Mesaptera novaeangliae, regional studies have been unable to answer several questions that are central to the conservation and management of this endangered species. To resolve uncertainties about population size, as well as the spatial and genetic st

  9. Severity of Expert-Identified Behavioural Responses of Humpback Whale, Minke Whale, and Northern Bottlenose Whale to Naval Sonar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Cure, C.; Isojunno, S.; Wensveen, P.J.; Lam, F.P.A.; Visser, F.; Kleivane, L.; Tyack, P.L.; Harris, C.M.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2015-01-01

    Controlled exposure experiments using 1 to2 kHz sonar signals were conducted with 11 humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and one northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) during three field trials from 2011 to 2013. Ship approaches without

  10. Distribution of mtDNA haplotypes in North-Atlantic humpback whales : The influence of behavior on population structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palsboll, PJ; Clapham, PJ; Mattila, DK; Larsen, F; Sears, R; Siegismund, HR; Sigurjonsson, J; Vasquez, O; Arctander, P

    1995-01-01

    Samples from 136 humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae, representing 5 feeding aggregations in the North Atlantic and 1 in the Antarctic, were analyzed with respect to the sequence variation in the mitochondrial (mt) control region. A total of 288 base pairs was sequenced by direct sequencing of as

  11. There and back again : multiple and return exchange of humpback whales between breeding habitats separated by an ocean basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, P. T.; Berrow, Simon D.; Berube, Martine; Bouveret, Laurent; Broms, Fredrik; Jann, Beatrice; Kennedy, Amy; Suarez, Pedro Lopez; Meunier, Marine; Ryan, Conor; Wenzel, Frederick

    2016-01-01

    In species that aggregate for reproduction, the social and fitness costs of movement between groups frequently lead to restricted exchange between breeding areas. We report on four individual humpback whales identified in both the Cape Verde Islands and Guadeloupe; locations separated by an ocean ba

  12. There and back again : Multiple and return exchange of humpback whales between breeding habitats separated by an ocean basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, P. T.; Berrow, Simon D.; Berube, Martine; Bouveret, Laurent; Broms, Fredrik; Jann, Beatrice; Kennedy, Amy; Suarez, Pedro Lopez; Meunier, Marine; Ryan, Conor; Wenzel, Frederick

    In species that aggregate for reproduction, the social and fitness costs of movement between groups frequently lead to restricted exchange between breeding areas. We report on four individual humpback whales identified in both the Cape Verde Islands and Guadeloupe; locations separated by an ocean

  13. 15 CFR Appendix A to Subpart Q of... - Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ..., National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates of the Lateral Boundary Closures and... 922—Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates of... longitude) coordinates. Sanctuary Boundary A. As defined by the specific lateral boundaries in B, and...

  14. Severity of Expert-Identified Behavioural Responses of Humpback Whale, Minke Whale, and Northern Bottlenose Whale to Naval Sonar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Cure, C.; Isojunno, S.; Wensveen, P.J.; Lam, F.P.A.; Visser, F.; Kleivane, L.; Tyack, P.L.; Harris, C.M.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2015-01-01

    Controlled exposure experiments using 1 to2 kHz sonar signals were conducted with 11 humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and one northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) during three field trials from 2011 to 2013. Ship approaches without

  15. The tubercles on humpback whales' flippers: application of bio-inspired technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, Frank E; Weber, Paul W; Murray, Mark M; Howle, Laurens E

    2011-07-01

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is exceptional among the large baleen whales in its ability to undertake aquabatic maneuvers to catch prey. Humpback whales utilize extremely mobile, wing-like flippers for banking and turning. Large rounded tubercles along the leading edge of the flipper are morphological structures that are unique in nature. The tubercles on the leading edge act as passive-flow control devices that improve performance and maneuverability of the flipper. Experimental analysis of finite wing models has demonstrated that the presence of tubercles produces a delay in the angle of attack until stall, thereby increasing maximum lift and decreasing drag. Possible fluid-dynamic mechanisms for improved performance include delay of stall through generation of a vortex and modification of the boundary layer, and increase in effective span by reduction of both spanwise flow and strength of the tip vortex. The tubercles provide a bio-inspired design that has commercial viability for wing-like structures. Control of passive flow has the advantages of eliminating complex, costly, high-maintenance, and heavy control mechanisms, while improving performance for lifting bodies in air and water. The tubercles on the leading edge can be applied to the design of watercraft, aircraft, ventilation fans, and windmills.

  16. Common humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) sound types for passive acoustic monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpert, Alison K; Au, Whitlow W L; Parks, Susan E; Hurst, Thomas; Wiley, David N

    2011-01-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are one of several baleen whale species in the Northwest Atlantic that coexist with vessel traffic and anthropogenic noise. Passive acoustic monitoring strategies can be used in conservation management, but the first step toward understanding the acoustic behavior of a species is a good description of its acoustic repertoire. Digital acoustic tags (DTAGs) were placed on humpback whales in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to record and describe the non-song sounds being produced in conjunction with foraging activities. Peak frequencies of sounds were generally less than 1 kHz, but ranged as high as 6 kHz, and sounds were generally less than 1 s in duration. Cluster analysis distilled the dataset into eight groups of sounds with similar acoustic properties. The two most stereotyped and distinctive types ("wops" and "grunts") were also identified aurally as candidates for use in passive acoustic monitoring. This identification of two of the most common sound types will be useful for moving forward conservation efforts on this Northwest Atlantic feeding ground.

  17. Population structure of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA variation among humpback whales in the North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Medrano-Gonzalez, L; Calambokidis, J; Perry, A; Pichler, F; Rosenbaum, H; Straley, J M; Urban-Ramirez, J; Yamaguchi, M; von Ziegesar, O

    1998-06-01

    The population structure of variation in a nuclear actin intron and the control region of mitochondrial DNA is described for humpback whales from eight regions in the North Pacific Ocean: central California, Baja Peninsula, nearshore Mexico (Bahia Banderas), offshore Mexico (Socorro Island), southeastern Alaska, central Alaska (Prince Williams Sound), Hawaii and Japan (Ogasawara Islands). Primary mtDNA haplotypes and intron alleles were identified using selected restriction fragment length polymorphisms of target sequences amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR-RFLP). There was little evidence of heterogeneity in the frequencies of mtDNA haplotypes or actin intron alleles due to the year or sex composition of the sample. However, frequencies of four mtDNA haplotypes showed marked regional differences in their distributions (phi ST = 0.277; P feeding grounds were selected for additional analyses of nuclear differentiation using allelic variation at four microsatellite loci. All four loci showed significant differences in allele frequencies (overall FST = 0.043; P feeding grounds were not panmictic for nuclear or mitochondrial loci, estimates of long-term migration rates suggested that male-mediated gene flow was several-fold greater than female gene flow. These results include and extend the range and sample size of previously published work, providing additional evidence for the significance of genetic management units within oceanic populations of humpback whales.

  18. Abundance trends and status of the Little Colorado River population of humpback chub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coggins, L.G.; Pine, William E.; Walters, C.J.; Van Haverbeke, D. R.; Ward, D.; Johnstone, H.C.

    2006-01-01

    The abundance of the Little Colorado River population of federally listed humpback chub Gila cypha in Grand Canyon has been monitored since the late 1980s by means of catch rate indices and capture-recapture-based abundance estimators. Analyses of data from all sources using various methods are consistent and indicate that the adult population has declined since monitoring began. Intensive tagging led to a high proportion (>80%) of the adult population being marked by the mid-1990s. Analysis of these data using both closed and open abundance estimation models yields results that agree with catch rate indices about the extent of the decline. Survival rates for age-2 and older fish are age dependent but apparently not time dependent. Back-calculation of recruitment using the apparent 1990s population age structure implies periods of higher recruitment in the late 1970s to early 1980s than is now the case. Our analyses indicate that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recovery criterion of stable abundance is not being met for this population. Also, there is a critical need to develop new abundance indexing and tagging methods so that early, reliable, and rapid estimates of humpback chub recruitment can be obtained to evaluate population responses to management actions designed to facilitate the restoration of Colorado River native fish communities. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006.

  19. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Their Wintering Grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danilewicz, Daniel; Andriolo, Artur; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563–25,495) animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595–24,500) and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958–23,654) whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated. PMID:27736958

  20. Influence of environmental parameters on movements and habitat utilization of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Madagascar breeding ground.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trudelle, Laurène; Cerchio, Salvatore; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Geyer, Ygor; Mayer, François-Xavier; Jung, Jean-Luc; Hervé, Maxime R; Pous, Stephane; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Rosenbaum, Howard C; Adam, Olivier; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2016-12-01

    Assessing the movement patterns and key habitat features of breeding humpback whales is a prerequisite for the conservation management of this philopatric species. To investigate the interactions between humpback whale movements and environmental conditions off Madagascar, we deployed 25 satellite tags in the northeast and southwest coast of Madagascar. For each recorded position, we collated estimates of environmental variables and computed two behavioural metrics: behavioural state of 'transiting' (consistent/directional) versus 'localized' (variable/non-directional), and active swimming speed (i.e. speed relative to the current). On coastal habitats (i.e. bathymetry < 200 m and in adjacent areas), females showed localized behaviour in deep waters (191 ± 20 m) and at large distances (14 ± 0.6 km) from shore, suggesting that their breeding habitat extends beyond the shallowest waters available close to the coastline. Males' active swimming speed decreased in shallow waters, but environmental parameters did not influence their likelihood to exhibit localized movements, which was probably dominated by social factors instead. In oceanic habitats, both males and females showed localized behaviours in shallow waters and favoured high chlorophyll-a concentrations. Active swimming speed accounts for a large proportion of observed movement speed; however, breeding humpback whales probably exploit prevailing ocean currents to maximize displacement. This study provides evidence that coastal areas, generally subject to strong human pressure, remain the core habitat of humpback whales off Madagascar. Our results expand the knowledge of humpback whale habitat use in oceanic habitat and response to variability of environmental factors such as oceanic current and chlorophyll level.

  1. Distribution and relative abundance of humpback whales in relation to environmental variables in coastal British Columbia and adjacent waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Ford, John K. B.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2012-03-01

    Humpback whales are common in feeding areas off British Columbia (BC) from spring to fall, and are widely distributed along the coast. Climate change and the increase in population size of North Pacific humpback whales may lead to increased anthropogenic impact and require a better understanding of species-habitat relationships. We investigated the distribution and relative abundance of humpback whales in relation to environmental variables and processes in BC waters using GIS and generalized additive models (GAMs). Six non-systematic cetacean surveys were conducted between 2004 and 2006. Whale encounter rates and environmental variables (oceanographic and remote sensing data) were recorded along transects divided into 4 km segments. A combined 3-year model and individual year models (two surveys each) were fitted with the mgcv R package. Model selection was based primarily on GCV scores. The explained deviance of our models ranged from 39% for the 3-year model to 76% for the 2004 model. Humpback whales were strongly associated with latitude and bathymetric features, including depth, slope and distance to the 100-m isobath. Distance to sea-surface-temperature fronts and salinity (climatology) were also constantly selected by the models. The shapes of smooth functions estimated for variables based on chlorophyll concentration or net primary productivity with different temporal resolutions and time lags were not consistent, even though higher numbers of whales seemed to be associated with higher primary productivity for some models. These and other selected explanatory variables may reflect areas of higher biological productivity that favor top predators. Our study confirms the presence of at least three important regions for humpback whales along the BC coast: south Dixon Entrance, middle and southwestern Hecate Strait and the area between La Perouse Bank and the southern edge of Juan de Fuca Canyon.

  2. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Their Wintering Grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolotto, Guilherme A; Danilewicz, Daniel; Andriolo, Artur; Secchi, Eduardo R; Zerbini, Alexandre N

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563-25,495) animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595-24,500) and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958-23,654) whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated.

  3. Clinicoimmunopathologic findings in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossart, Gregory D; Romano, Tracy A; Peden-Adams, Margie M; Schaefer, Adam; McCulloch, Stephen; Goldstein, Juli D; Rice, Charles D; Fair, Patricia A; Cray, Carolyn; Reif, John S

    2014-02-04

    Sera from free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and coastal waters of Charleston (CHS), South Carolina, USA, were tested for antibodies to Chlamydiaceae as part of a multidisciplinary study of individual and population health. A suite of clinicoimmunopathologic variables was evaluated in Chlamydiaceae-seropositive dolphins (n = 43) and seronegative healthy dolphins (n = 83). Fibrinogen, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, and absolute numbers of neutrophils, lymphocytes, and basophils were significantly higher, and serum bicarbonate, total alpha globulin, and alpha-2 globulin were significantly lower in dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae titers compared with seronegative healthy dolphins. Several differences in markers of innate and adaptive immunity were also found. Concanavalin A-induced T lymphocyte proliferation, lipopolysaccharide-induced B lymphocyte proliferation, and granulocytic phagocytosis were significantly lower, and absolute numbers of mature CD 21 B lymphocytes, natural killer cell activity and lysozyme concentration were significantly higher in dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers compared to seronegative healthy dolphins. Additionally, dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers had significant increases in ELISA antibody titers to Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. These data suggest that Chlamydiaceae infection may produce subclinical clinicoimmunopathologic perturbations that impact health. Any potential subclinical health impacts are important for the IRL and CHS dolphin populations, as past studies have indicated that both dolphin populations are affected by other complex infectious and neoplastic diseases, often associated with immunologic perturbations and anthropogenic contaminants.

  4. Clinicoimmunopathologic findings in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus with positive cetacean morbillivirus antibody titers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossart, Gregory D; Romano, Tracy A; Peden-Adams, Margie M; Schaefer, Adam; McCulloch, Stephen; Goldstein, Juli D; Rice, Charles D; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Fair, Patricia A; Reif, John S

    2011-12-06

    Sera from free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida were tested for antibodies to cetacean morbilliviruses from 2003 to 2007 as part of a multidisciplinary study of individual and population health. A suite of clinicoimmunopathologic variables were evaluated in morbillivirus-seropositive dolphins (n = 14) and seronegative healthy dolphins (n = 49). Several important differences were found. Serum alkaline phosphatase, creatine phosphokinase, chloride, albumin and albumin/globulin ratios were significantly lower in seropositive dolphins. Innate immunity appeared to be upregulated with significant increases in lysozyme concentration and marginally significant increases in monocytic phagocytosis. Adaptive immunity was also impacted in dolphins with positive morbillivirus antibody titers. Mitogen-induced T lymphocyte proliferation responses were significantly reduced in dolphins with positive morbillivirus antibody titers, and marginally significant decreases were found for absolute numbers of CD4+ lymphocytes. The findings suggest impairment of cell-mediated adaptive immunity, similar to the immunologic pattern reported with acute morbillivirus infection in other species. In contrast, dolphins with positive morbillivirus antibody titers appeared to have at least a partially upregulated humoral immune response with significantly higher levels of gamma globulins than healthy dolphins, which may represent an antibody response to morbillivirus infection or other pathogens. These data suggest that subclinical dolphin morbillivirus infection in IRL dolphins may produce clinicoimmunopathologic perturbations that impact overall health.

  5. Behavior of dusky dolphins foraging on the deep-scattering layer in Kaikoura Canyon, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly; Wursig, Bernd; McFadden, Cynthia

    2003-04-01

    Little is known of foraging habits of sound-scattering layer consumers. A 200-kHz echosounder was used to survey dusky dolphins and the sound-scattering layer in winter 2002, in Kaikoura Canyon, New Zealand. Visual observations of dolphin surfacings occurred 84% of the time that dolphins were acoustically detected, confirming identifications from the acoustic data. Dusky dolphins were within the layer at 2000 h (about 1.5 h after dusk), within 125 m of the surface. As the layer rose to within 30 m of the surface at 0100 h, the observed depth of dolphins decreased presumably as the dolphins followed the vertical migration of their prey. The mean depth of dolphins was within the scattering layer except when the top of the layer was deeper than 125 m. Dusky dolphins often forage within large groups. Acoustically identified subgroups of coordinated animals ranged from 1 to 5 dolphins. Subgroup size varied with time of night, minimum depth of the scattering layer, and the variance of the food resource. The largest subgroups occurred when the scattering layer was closest to the surface, and when the layer was most heterogeneous. Time, depth of layer, and layer variance contributed significantly to predicting foraging dusky dolphin subgroup size.

  6. Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, C.

    2011-01-01

    "Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants" engages a reading between an Oscar winning and now ‘cult’ activist film The Cove (Louise Psihoyos 2009) and classical texts on the human-animal threshold. Giorgio Agamben’s The Open (2002) and Jacques Derrida’s "The Animal t

  7. Assistive Technology and Dolphin Therapy: A Wonderful Combination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Eli; Thomasson, Gretchen

    2008-01-01

    Madison is a four-year-old child who was born with cerebral palsy and cortical vision impairment. As a result, she has limited use of her extremities and is just starting to walk with assistance. She is predominately non-verbal, with the exception of a few words. This article describes how Island Dolphin Care (IDC), a nonprofit agency in Key…

  8. ISOLATION OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. In previous serological surveys > 90% of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, and California had antib...

  9. Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, C.

    2011-01-01

    "Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants" engages a reading between an Oscar winning and now ‘cult’ activist film The Cove (Louise Psihoyos 2009) and classical texts on the human-animal threshold. Giorgio Agamben’s The Open (2002) and Jacques Derrida’s "The Animal

  10. Identification and Expression Profiles of microRNA in Dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segawa, Takao; Kobayashi, Yuki; Inamoto, Satoko; Suzuki, Miwa; Endoh, Tomoko; Itou, Takuya

    2016-02-01

    Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) are focused on the role of biomarker because they are stable in serum and plasma, and some of them express in the specific organs and increase with the organ injury. Thus miRNAs may be very useful as biomarkers for monitoring the health and condition of dolphins and for detecting disorders in aquariums. Here, a small RNA library was made from dolphin lung, liver and spleen, and miRNA expression patterns were then determined for 15 different tissues. We identified 62 conserved miRNA homologs in the dolphin small RNA library and found high expression miRNAs in specific tissues: miR-125b and miR-221 were highly expressed in brain, miR-23b in heart, miR-199a and miR-223 in lung, and miR-122-5p in liver. Some of these tissue-enriched miRNAs may be useful as specific and sensitive diagnostic blood biomarkers for organ injury in dolphins.

  11. Placentation in dolphins from the Amazon River Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Silva, Vera M F; Carter, Anthony M; Ambrosio, Carlos E

    2007-01-01

    A recent reassessment of the phylogenetic affinities of cetaceans makes it timely to compare their placentation with that of the artiodactyls. We studied the placentae of two sympatric species of dolphin from the Amazon River Basin, representing two distinct families. The umbilical cord branched...

  12. Dolphins and African apes: comparisons of sympatric socio-ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bearzi, M.; Stanford, C.B.

    2007-01-01

    Dolphins and African apes are distantly related mammalian taxa that exhibit striking convergences in their socioecology. In both cetaceans and African apes, two or more closely related species sometimes occur in sympatry. However, detailed reviews of the ways in which sympatric associations of dolph

  13. Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, C.

    2011-01-01

    "Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants" engages a reading between an Oscar winning and now ‘cult’ activist film The Cove (Louise Psihoyos 2009) and classical texts on the human-animal threshold. Giorgio Agamben’s The Open (2002) and Jacques Derrida’s "The Animal t

  14. Characterization of morbilliviruses isolated from dolphins and porpoises in Europe.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); M.F. van Bressem; R.L. de Swart (Rik); M.W.G. van de Bildt (Marco); H.W. Vos (Helma); R.W.J. van der Heijden (Roger); J.T. Saliki; C. Örvell; P. Kitching; T. Kuiken (Thijs); T. Barrett (Thomas)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractA previously unidentified morbillivirus was isolated from two harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) that had died in the Dutch Waddensea (North Sea) in 1990. This porpoise morbillivirus (PMV) and a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV), which had recently caused a heavy mortality in Mediterranean

  15. Characterization of morbilliviruses isolated from dolphins and porpoises in Europe.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); M.F. van Bressem; R.L. de Swart (Rik); M.W.G. van de Bildt (Marco); H.W. Vos (Helma); R.W.J. van der Heijden (Roger); J.T. Saliki; C. Örvell; P. Kitching; T. Kuiken (Thijs); T. Barrett (Thomas)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractA previously unidentified morbillivirus was isolated from two harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) that had died in the Dutch Waddensea (North Sea) in 1990. This porpoise morbillivirus (PMV) and a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV), which had recently caused a heavy mortality in Mediterranean

  16. First record of a white rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) off West Africa including notes on rough-toothed dolphin surface behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de M.N.

    2010-01-01

    In June 2009, a white rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) calf was photographed in a group of at least 50 dolphins in the southern Gulf of Guinea, 95 nauticol miles off the Gabon coast (01°45'S 007°29'E), West Africa. Reports of unusually pigmented cetaceans are infrequent and this record

  17. First record of a white rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) off West Africa including notes on rough-toothed dolphin surface behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de M.N.

    2010-01-01

    In June 2009, a white rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) calf was photographed in a group of at least 50 dolphins in the southern Gulf of Guinea, 95 nauticol miles off the Gabon coast (01°45'S 007°29'E), West Africa. Reports of unusually pigmented cetaceans are infrequent and this record repr

  18. Long-term responses of Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis to swim-with dolphin tourism in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia: A population at risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole E. Filby

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated Burrunan dolphin responses to dolphin-swim tour vessels across two time periods: 1998–2000 and 2011–2013. A total of 211 dolphin sightings were documented across 306 surveys. Sighting success rate and mean encounter time with dolphins decreased significantly by 12.8% and 8.2 min, respectively, between periods. Approaches that did not contravene regulations elicited highest approach responses by dolphins towards tour vessels, whereas dolphins’ responded to illegal approaches most frequently with avoidance. Small groups responded to tour vessels with avoidance significantly more than large groups. Initial dolphin behaviour had a strong effect on dolphin’s responses to tour vessels, with resting groups the most likely to exhibit avoidance. Calves were significantly more likely to be present during swims in 2011–2013. Dolphin’s responses to tour vessels changed across time, with effect responses (avoidance and approach increasing significantly as dolphins gained cumulative experience. These dolphins are forced to expend a greater level of time and energy avoiding or approaching boats, shifting from a non-effect response to an effect response. Consequences of this include possible decrease in biological fitness by detracting from core biological activities such as foraging and resting. Combined with a decrease in sighting success between periods, the results imply that this population of dolphins, which is endemic to Australia and listed as threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, may not be well suited to the dolphin-swim industry. The management implications of these results warrant a shift from passive to active management in Port Phillip Bay. The importance of long-term research is highlighted, given behavioural responses detected herein would be undetected in short-term studies.

  19. Comparison of nephrolithiasis prevalence in two bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia Rowe Smith

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In humans, ammonium urate nephrolithiasis is rare in the Western hemisphere and more common in Japan and developing countries. Among a variety of risk factors, insulin resistance has been associated with urate nephrolithiasis in people. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus are susceptible to ammonium urate nephrolithiasis, and it is believed that some populations are more likely to develop nephrolithiasis compared to others. In an effort to better understand population-based risk factors for ammonium urate nephrolithiasis in dolphins and their comparative value to humans, sonographic evaluation was performed on dolphins from a managed collection in San Diego Bay, California (n=40 and dolphins from a free-ranging, nearshore population in Sarasota Bay, Florida (n=39 to look for evidence of nephrolithiasis. While 14 (35% of San Diego Bay dolphins evaluated for the study had sonographic evidence of nephrolithiasis, none of the Sarasota Bay dolphins had evidence of disease. Presence or absence of stones was confirmed by computed tomography in a subset of the San Diego collection (n=10; 4 dolphins with stones, 6 without stones. Age was identified as a risk factor, as dolphins with stones in the San Diego collection were significantly older than dolphins without stones (25.4 vs. 19.1 yrs, respectively; p=0.04. Additionally, San Diego dolphins included in the study were significantly older than Sarasota Bay dolphins (21.3 vs. 13.8 yrs, respectively; p=0.008. In addition to the previously reported risk factors of hypocitraturia and hyperinsulinemia in bottlenose dolphins, other potential factors include geographic location, managed versus free-ranging status, prey species, and feeding schedules.

  20. [Contact with dolphins as a method of rehabilitation of children with enuresis at health resorts].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukina, L N

    2001-01-01

    The system of non-drug correction of the functional status of children with enuresis was studied by using specially trained dolphins. Guidelines and the functional units of a health-promoting complex were elaborated. The use of dolphin therapy caused a positive clinical effect in the examinees, particularly in preschool children, the efficiency of whose rehabilitation was twice higher than that in children from other age groups. The findings strongly favour the specific nature of conditioning procedures involving dolphins.

  1. The Effect of Touching a Dolphin on the EEG Slow Waves hi Children

    OpenAIRE

    HOMMA Ayako:筆頭著者; Hara, Hideki; MATSUZAKI Kumiko; SASAKI Miki; MASAOKA Yuri; Homma, Ikuo

    2011-01-01

    Among animal-facilitated therapies, dolphin-facilitated therapy has been shown to beneficially affect human behavior, emotion and speech ability. We recently showed that touching a dolphin reduced the respiratory rate and state anxiety in healthy children. In this study, we collected electroencephalographic data (EEG), widely used for examining various brain functions, before and after touching dolphins. We examined the relationship between EEG power spectra and individual trait anxiety score...

  2. Decline in relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins exposed to long-term disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejder, Lars; Samuels, Amy; Whitehead, Hal; Gales, Nick; Mann, Janet; Connor, Richard; Heithaus, Mike; Watson-Capps, Jana; Flaherty, Cindy; Krützen, Michael

    2006-12-01

    Studies evaluating effects of human activity on wildlife typically emphasize short-term behavioral responses from which it is difficult to infer biological significance or formulate plans to mitigate harmful impacts. Based on decades of detailed behavioral records, we evaluated long-term impacts of vessel activity on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Australia. We compared dolphin abundance within adjacent 36-km2 tourism and control sites, over three consecutive 4.5-year periods wherein research activity was relatively constant but tourism levels increased from zero, to one, to two dolphin-watching operators. A nonlinear logistic model demonstrated that there was no difference in dolphin abundance between periods with no tourism and periods in which one operator offered tours. As the number of tour operators increased to two, there was a significant average decline in dolphin abundance (14.9%; 95% CI=-20.8 to -8.23), approximating a decline of one per seven individuals. Concurrently, within the control site, the average increase in dolphin abundance was not significant (8.5%; 95% CI=-4.0 to +16.7). Given the substantially greater presence and proximity of tour vessels to dolphins relative to research vessels, tour-vessel activity contributed more to declining dolphin numbers within the tourism site than research vessels. Although this trend may not jeopardize the large, genetically diverse dolphin population of Shark Bay, the decline is unlikely to be sustainable for local dolphin tourism. A similar decline would be devastating for small, closed, resident, or endangered cetacean populations. The substantial effect of tour vessels on dolphin abundance in a region of low-level tourism calls into question the presumption that dolphin-watching tourism is benign.

  3. Pesca associada entre golfinhos e aves marinhas Feeding associations between dolphin and sea birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emygdio L. A. Monteiro-Filho

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Along ten years of study of a common dolphin from the brazilian coast, Sotalia brasiliensis Van Beneden, 1874, I could see some occasions of feeding associations of this dolphin with five species of birds, Sula leucogaster (Boddaert, 1783, Fregata magnificens Mathews, 1914, Sterna hirundinacea Lesson, 1831, Larus dominicanus Lichtenstein, 1823 and Phalacrocorax olivaceus Humboldt, 1895. The commonest association observed was between the dolphin and S. leucogaster, and in all the associations was characterized the commensalism, with advantaged to the birds.

  4. Variation in external morphology of resident bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahia San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina.

    OpenAIRE

    Vermeulen, Els; Cammareri, Alejandro

    2010-01-01

    Two geographic variations of bottlenose dolphins were described in Argentina (Bastida & Rodriguez, 2003); bottlenose dolphins characterized by their triangular dorsal fin shape (coast of the province of Buenos Aires), and bottlenose dolphins characterized by their falcate dorsal fin shape (coast of the province of Chubut). It was stated that `their clear difference would indicate that both geographic forms are isolated¿ (Bastida & Rodriguez, 2003 p.137). A photo-identification study carrie...

  5. Measurement of hydrodynamic force generation by swimming dolphins using bubble DPIV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, Frank E; Legac, Paul; Williams, Terrie M; Wei, Timothy

    2014-01-15

    Attempts to measure the propulsive forces produced by swimming dolphins have been limited. Previous uses of computational hydrodynamic models and gliding experiments have provided estimates of thrust production by dolphins, but these were indirect tests that relied on various assumptions. The thrust produced by two actively swimming bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was directly measured using digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV). For dolphins swimming in a large outdoor pool, the DPIV method used illuminated microbubbles that were generated in a narrow sheet from a finely porous hose and a compressed air source. The movement of the bubbles was tracked with a high-speed video camera. Dolphins swam at speeds of 0.7 to 3.4 m s(-1) within the bubble sheet oriented along the midsagittal plane of the animal. The wake of the dolphin was visualized as the microbubbles were displaced because of the action of the propulsive flukes and jet flow. The oscillations of the dolphin flukes were shown to generate strong vortices in the wake. Thrust production was measured from the vortex strength through the Kutta-Joukowski theorem of aerodynamics. The dolphins generated up to 700 N during small amplitude swimming and up to 1468 N during large amplitude starts. The results of this study demonstrated that bubble DPIV can be used effectively to measure the thrust produced by large-bodied dolphins.

  6. Microarray applications to understand the impact of exposure to environmental contaminants in wild dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancia, Annalaura; Abelli, Luigi; Kucklick, John R; Rowles, Teresa K; Wells, Randall S; Balmer, Brian C; Hohn, Aleta A; Baatz, John E; Ryan, James C

    2015-02-01

    It is increasingly common to monitor the marine environment and establish geographic trends of environmental contamination by measuring contaminant levels in animals from higher trophic levels. The health of an ecosystem is largely reflected in the health of its inhabitants. As an apex predator, the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) can reflect the health of near shore marine ecosystems, and reflect coastal threats that pose risk to human health, such as legacy contaminants or marine toxins, e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and brevetoxins. Major advances in the understanding of dolphin biology and the unique adaptations of these animals in response to the marine environment are being made as a result of the development of cell-lines for use in in vitro experiments, the production of monoclonal antibodies to recognize dolphin proteins, the development of dolphin DNA microarrays to measure global gene expression and the sequencing of the dolphin genome. These advances may play a central role in understanding the complex and specialized biology of the dolphin with regard to how this species responds to an array of environmental insults. This work presents the creation, characterization and application of a new molecular tool to better understand the complex and unique biology of the common bottlenose dolphin and its response to environmental stress and infection. A dolphin oligo microarray representing 24,418 unigene sequences was developed and used to analyze blood samples collected from 69 dolphins during capture-release health assessments at five geographic locations (Beaufort, NC, Sarasota Bay, FL, Saint Joseph Bay, FL, Sapelo Island, GA and Brunswick, GA). The microarray was validated and tested for its ability to: 1) distinguish male from female dolphins; 2) differentiate dolphins inhabiting different geographic locations (Atlantic coasts vs the Gulf of Mexico); and 3) study in detail dolphins resident in one site, the Georgia coast, known to

  7. Can bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) cooperate when solving a novel task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuczaj, Stan A; Winship, Kelley A; Eskelinen, Holli C

    2015-03-01

    Cooperative behavior has been observed in cetacean species in a variety of situations, including foraging, mate acquisition, play, and epimeletic behavior. However, it has proven difficult to demonstrate cooperative behavior among dolphins in more controlled settings. Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in this study were exposed to a task that could most easily be solved if dolphins cooperated. Six dolphins were provided opportunities to solve the task and had to learn to do so without human intervention or training. Two adult males consistently and spontaneously jointly interacted in order to most efficiently open a container that contained fish by pulling on ropes at the ends of the container. Their interaction was viewed as cooperative because each dolphin pulled on their respective ropes in the opposite direction, which resulted in one end of the container opening. The dolphins did not show aggression toward one another while solving the task, and both dolphins consumed the food after the container was opened. They also engaged in synchronous non-aggressive behaviors with the container after the food had been consumed. It is possible that some of the remaining four dolphins would have cooperated, but the two successful dolphins were dominant males and their interest in the apparatus appeared to preclude other animals from participating.

  8. Biosonar adjustments to target range of echolocating bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in the wild

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand; Bejder, Lars; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2009-01-01

    intervals, and source levels of wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) by recording regular (non-buzz) echolocation clicks with a linear hydrophone array. Dolphins clicked faster with decreasing distance to the array, reflecting a decreasing delay between the outgoing echolocation click and the returning...... longer than a few body lengths of the dolphin. Source level estimates drop with reducing range between the echolocating dolphins and the target as a function of 17 log(R). This may indicate either (1) an active form of time-varying gain in the biosonar independent of click intervals or (2) a bias...

  9. A mini review of dolphin carbohydrate metabolism and suggestions for future research using exhaled air

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam eRidgway

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In the 1960s, I explored some aspects of carbohydrate metabolism in healthy bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. Their physiological picture resembled what had been described for hyperthyroid diabetics. Dolphins have elevated thyroid hormone turnover, and fasting dolphins maintain a relatively high level of plasma glucose. After dolphins ingest glucose, plasma levels remain high for many hours. Interestingly, plasma glucose must exceed 300 mg/dL (about twice as high as the human threshold before glucose appears in urine. Due to their diabetes-like states, trainability, and unique natural respiratory anatomy and physiology, dolphins may offer useful clues to metabolites in the breath that may be used to non-invasively monitor diabetes in humans. Dolphins take very rapid and deep breaths that are four or five times as deep as humans and other terrestrial mammals, making them ideal for physiological assessment using non-invasive exhaled air. Avenues for successfully identifying breath-based markers for metabolic disease and physiology in dolphins can be done with both modern technology and the evolutionarily advantageous canine nose. This review summarizes aspects of dolphin metabolism previously learned and offers new directions for diabetes research that may benefit both dolphin and human health.

  10. A Quantitative Analysis of Pulsed Signals Emitted by Wild Bottlenose Dolphins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Luís, Ana Rita; Couchinho, Miguel N; Dos Santos, Manuel E

    2016-01-01

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), produce a wide variety of vocal emissions for communication and echolocation, of which the pulsed repertoire has been the most difficult to categorize...

  11. Feeding grounds of the eastern South Pacific humpback whale population include the South Orkney Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano Dalla Rosa

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on two photo-identified humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae that were sighted in different years in the proximity of the South Orkney Islands, at the boundary between the Scotia and Weddell seas (60°54.5'S—46°40.4'W and 60°42.6'S—45°33'W. One of the whales had been previously sighted off Ecuador, a breeding ground for the eastern South Pacific population. The other whale was subsequently resighted in Bransfield Strait, off the western Antarctic Peninsula, a well-documented feeding ground for the same population. These matches give support to a hypothesis that the area south of the South Orkney Islands is occupied by whales from the eastern South Pacific breeding stock. Consequently, we propose 40°W as a new longitudinal boundary between the feeding grounds associated with the eastern South Pacific and western South Atlantic breeding stocks.

  12. Network-based diffusion analysis reveals cultural transmission of lobtail feeding in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Jenny; Weinrich, Mason; Hoppitt, Will; Rendell, Luke

    2013-04-26

    We used network-based diffusion analysis to reveal the cultural spread of a naturally occurring foraging innovation, lobtail feeding, through a population of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) over a period of 27 years. Support for models with a social transmission component was 6 to 23 orders of magnitude greater than for models without. The spatial and temporal distribution of sand lance, a prey species, was also important in predicting the rate of acquisition. Our results, coupled with existing knowledge about song traditions, show that this species can maintain multiple independently evolving traditions in its populations. These insights strengthen the case that cetaceans represent a peak in the evolution of nonhuman culture, independent of the primate lineage.

  13. Surface-Piercing Activities of the Humpback Whale, Megaptera, Related to Parasites and Mechanics}

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvin, C.

    2006-12-01

    Humpback whales leap out of the water (breach), strike the water surface with their long fins (flipper), strike the water surface with their tail (lobtail), and hold motionless in a vertical position with their heads above water (spyhop). These four surface-piercing activities were known to early whalers, but their explanations remain uncertain. A whale breaches by swimming from depth toward the water surface at an oblique angle, propelling himself into the air at an angle to the water's surface (0 to 70 degrees), rotating about his long axis, and landing on his back, belly up to the sky. Rotation requires applying angular momentum to the whale's trunk, which photographs suggest comes from flinging out the flipper on the side rotating upward, and keeping the downward-rotating flipper closer to the trunk. The humpback has unusually long flippers (long moment arms) up to 30 percent of trunk length. Its generic name, Megaptera, can translate as `long flipper'. Continued use of one flipper as the moment arm raises the possibility of right-handed or left-handed whales, but Whitehead's (1985) data do not support that result. Parasites as a cause of breaching is a hypothesis at least as old as Beale (1839), but in the last half of the 20th century, breaching, flippering, and lobtailing came to be understood as social activities of whales. Whitehead's work in the 1980s provides much data on humpback activities, as well as a prevailing social interpretation of the data. External parasites (loosely defined) include whale lice (fingernail-sized crablike animals) and barnacles (both fixed shell and flexible goosenecked species). Thousands of these animals may inhabit a single whale. Whale lice populate crevices of the jaws and eyes, the pleats in the throat pouch under the jaw, and shelter at fixed barnacles. Fixed barnacles thrive on exposed bumps on the whale's head and flippers. Gooseneck barnacles appear in photos attached to trailing edges of fins and tail. Some parasites

  14. The humpbacked species richness-curve: A contingent rule for community ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, John H.; Duda, Jeffrey J.

    2011-01-01

    Functional relationships involving species richness may be unimodal, monotonically increasing, monotonically decreasing, bimodal, multimodal, U-shaped, or with no discernable pattern. The unimodal relationships are the most interesting because they suggest dynamic, nonequilibrium community processes. For that reason, they are also contentious. In this paper, we provide a wide-ranging review of the literature on unimodal (humpbacked) species richness-relationships. Though not as widespread as previously thought, unimodal patterns of species richness are often associated with disturbance, predation and herbivory, productivity, spatial heterogeneity, environmental gradients, time, and latitude. These unimodal patterns are contingent on organism and environment; we examine unimodal species richness-curves involving plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, plankton, and microbes in marine, lacustrine, and terrestrial habitats. A goal of future research is to understand the contingent patterns and the complex, interacting processes that generate them.

  15. Whales and waves: Humpback whale foraging response and the shoaling of internal waves at Stellwagen Bank

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Jesús; Starczak, Victoria; Silva, José C. B.; Helfrich, Karl; Thompson, Michael; Wiley, David

    2015-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that humpback whales aggregate at the southern flank of Stellwagen Bank (SB) in response to internal waves (IWs) generated semidiurnally at Race Point (RP) channel because of the presence of their preferred prey, planktivorous fish, which in turn respond to zooplankton concentrated by the predictable IWs. Analysis of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images indicates that RP IWs approach the southern flank of SB frequently (˜62% of the images). Published reports of whale sighting data and archived SAR images point to a coarse spatial coincidence between whales and Race Point IWs at SB's southern flank. The responses of whales to IWs were evaluated via sightings and behavior of humpback whales, and IWs were observed in situ by acoustic backscatter and temperature measurements. Modeling of IWs complemented the observations, and results indicate a change of ˜0.4 m/s in current velocity, and ˜1.5 Pa in dynamic pressure near the bottom, which may be sufficient for bottom fish to detect the IWs. However, fish were rare in our acoustic observations, and fish response to the IWs could not be evaluated. RP IWs do not represent the leading edge of the internal tide, and they may have less mass-transport potential than typical coastal IWs. There was large interannual variability in whale sightings at SB's southern flank, with decreases in both numbers of sightings and proportion of sightings where feeding was observed from 2008 to 2013. Coincidence of whales and IWs was inconsistent, and results do not support the hypothesis.

  16. Humpback whale populations share a core skin bacterial community: towards a health index for marine mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apprill, Amy; Robbins, Jooke; Eren, A Murat; Pack, Adam A; Reveillaud, Julie; Mattila, David; Moore, Michael; Niemeyer, Misty; Moore, Kathleen M T; Mincer, Tracy J

    2014-01-01

    Microbes are now well regarded for their important role in mammalian health. The microbiology of skin--a unique interface between the host and environment--is a major research focus in human health and skin disorders, but is less explored in other mammals. Here, we report on a cross-population study of the skin-associated bacterial community of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), and examine the potential for a core bacterial community and its variability with host (endogenous) or geographic/environmental (exogenous) specific factors. Skin biopsies or freshly sloughed skin from 56 individuals were sampled from populations in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and South Pacific oceans and bacteria were characterized using 454 pyrosequencing of SSU rRNA genes. Phylogenetic and statistical analyses revealed the ubiquity and abundance of bacteria belonging to the Flavobacteria genus Tenacibaculum and the Gammaproteobacteria genus Psychrobacter across the whale populations. Scanning electron microscopy of skin indicated that microbial cells colonize the skin surface. Despite the ubiquity of Tenacibaculum and Psychrobater spp., the relative composition of the skin-bacterial community differed significantly by geographic area as well as metabolic state of the animals (feeding versus starving during migration and breeding), suggesting that both exogenous and endogenous factors may play a role in influencing the skin-bacteria. Further, characteristics of the skin bacterial community from these free-swimming individuals were assembled and compared to two entangled and three dead individuals, revealing a decrease in the central or core bacterial community members (Tenacibaculum and Psychrobater spp.), as well as the emergence of potential pathogens in the latter cases. This is the first discovery of a cross-population, shared skin bacterial community. This research suggests that the skin bacteria may be connected to humpback health and immunity and could possibly serve

  17. Passive acoustic tracking of singing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on a northwest Atlantic feeding ground.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanistreet, Joy E; Risch, Denise; Van Parijs, Sofie M

    2013-01-01

    Passive acoustic tracking provides an unobtrusive method of studying the movement of sound-producing animals in the marine environment where traditional tracking methods may be costly or infeasible. We used passive acoustic tracking to characterize the fine-scale movements of singing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on a northwest Atlantic feeding ground. Male humpback whales produce complex songs, a phenomenon that is well documented in tropical regions during the winter breeding season, but also occurs at higher latitudes during other times of year. Acoustic recordings were made throughout 2009 using an array of autonomous recording units deployed in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Song was recorded during spring and fall, and individual singing whales were localized and tracked throughout the array using a correlation sum estimation method on the time-synchronized recordings. Tracks were constructed for forty-three song sessions, revealing a high level of variation in movement patterns in both the spring and fall seasons, ranging from slow meandering to faster directional movement. Tracks were 30 min to 8 h in duration, and singers traveled distances ranging from 0.9 to 20.1 km. Mean swimming speed was 2.06 km/h (SD 0.95). Patterns and rates of movement indicated that most singers were actively swimming. In one case, two singers were tracked simultaneously, revealing a potential acoustic interaction. Our results provide a first description of the movements of singers on a northwest Atlantic feeding ground, and demonstrate the utility of passive acoustic tracking for studying the fine-scale movements of cetaceans within the behavioral context of their calls. These methods have further applications for conservation and management purposes, particularly by enhancing our ability to estimate cetacean densities using passive acoustic monitoring.

  18. Keeping momentum with a mouthful of water: behavior and kinematics of humpback whale lunge feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Malene; Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T

    2012-11-01

    Rorqual baleen whales lunge feed by engulfment of tons of prey-laden water in a large and expandable buccal pouch. According to prior interpretations, feeding rorquals are brought to a near-halt at the end of each lunge by drag forces primarily generated by the open mouth. Accelerating the body from a standstill is energetically costly and is purported to be the key factor determining oxygen consumption in lunge-feeding rorquals, explaining the shorter dive times than expected given their sizes. Here, we use multi-sensor archival tags (DTAGs) sampling at high rates in a fine-scale kinematic study of lunge feeding to examine the sequence of events within lunges and how energy may be expended and conserved in the process of prey capture. Analysis of 479 lunges from five humpback whales reveals that the whales accelerate as they acquire prey, opening their gape in synchrony with strong fluke strokes. The high forward speed (mean depth rate: 2.0±0.32 m s(-1)) during engulfment serves both to corral active prey and to expand the ventral margin of the buccal pouch and so maximize the engulfed water volume. Deceleration begins after mouth opening when the pouch nears full expansion and momentum starts to be transferred to the engulfed water. Lunge-feeding humpback whales time fluke strokes throughout the lunge to impart momentum to the engulfed water mass and so avoid a near or complete stop, but instead continue to glide at ~1-1.5 m s(-1) after the lunge has ended. Subsequent filtration and prey handling appear to take an average of 46 s and are performed in parallel with re-positioning for the next lunge.

  19. Seismic surveys negatively affect humpback whale singing activity off northern Angola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Strindberg, Samantha; Collins, Tim; Bennett, Chanda; Rosenbaum, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Passive acoustic monitoring was used to document the presence of singing humpback whales off the coast of Northern Angola, and opportunistically test for the effect of seismic survey activity in the vicinity on the number of singing whales. Two Marine Autonomous Recording Units (MARUs) were deployed between March and December 2008 in the offshore environment. Song was first heard in mid June and continued through the remaining duration of the study. Seismic survey activity was heard regularly during two separate periods, consistently throughout July and intermittently in mid-October/November. Numbers of singers were counted during the first ten minutes of every hour for the period from 24 May to 1 December, and Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) were used to assess the effect of survey day (seasonality), hour (diel variation), moon phase and received levels of seismic survey pulses (measured from a single pulse during each ten-minute sampled period) on singer number. Application of GAMMs indicated significant seasonal variation, which was the most pronounced effect when assessing the full dataset across the entire season (p<0.001); however seasonality almost entirely dropped out of top-ranked models when applied to a reduced dataset during the July period of seismic survey activity. Diel variation was significant in both the full and reduced datasets (from p<0.01 to p<0.05) and often included in the top-ranked models. The number of singers significantly decreased with increasing received level of seismic survey pulses (from p<0.01 to p<0.05); this explanatory variable was included among the top ranked models for one MARU in the full dataset and both MARUs in the reduced dataset. This suggests that the breeding display of humpback whales is disrupted by seismic survey activity, and thus merits further attention and study, and potentially conservation action in the case of sensitive breeding populations.

  20. Humpback Whale Populations Share a Core Skin Bacterial Community: Towards a Health Index for Marine Mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apprill, Amy; Robbins, Jooke; Eren, A. Murat; Pack, Adam A.; Reveillaud, Julie; Mattila, David; Moore, Michael; Niemeyer, Misty; Moore, Kathleen M. T.; Mincer, Tracy J.

    2014-01-01

    Microbes are now well regarded for their important role in mammalian health. The microbiology of skin – a unique interface between the host and environment - is a major research focus in human health and skin disorders, but is less explored in other mammals. Here, we report on a cross-population study of the skin-associated bacterial community of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), and examine the potential for a core bacterial community and its variability with host (endogenous) or geographic/environmental (exogenous) specific factors. Skin biopsies or freshly sloughed skin from 56 individuals were sampled from populations in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and South Pacific oceans and bacteria were characterized using 454 pyrosequencing of SSU rRNA genes. Phylogenetic and statistical analyses revealed the ubiquity and abundance of bacteria belonging to the Flavobacteria genus Tenacibaculum and the Gammaproteobacteria genus Psychrobacter across the whale populations. Scanning electron microscopy of skin indicated that microbial cells colonize the skin surface. Despite the ubiquity of Tenacibaculum and Psychrobater spp., the relative composition of the skin-bacterial community differed significantly by geographic area as well as metabolic state of the animals (feeding versus starving during migration and breeding), suggesting that both exogenous and endogenous factors may play a role in influencing the skin-bacteria. Further, characteristics of the skin bacterial community from these free-swimming individuals were assembled and compared to two entangled and three dead individuals, revealing a decrease in the central or core bacterial community members (Tenacibaculum and Psychrobater spp.), as well as the emergence of potential pathogens in the latter cases. This is the first discovery of a cross-population, shared skin bacterial community. This research suggests that the skin bacteria may be connected to humpback health and immunity and could possibly

  1. Humpback whale populations share a core skin bacterial community: towards a health index for marine mammals?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Apprill

    Full Text Available Microbes are now well regarded for their important role in mammalian health. The microbiology of skin--a unique interface between the host and environment--is a major research focus in human health and skin disorders, but is less explored in other mammals. Here, we report on a cross-population study of the skin-associated bacterial community of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, and examine the potential for a core bacterial community and its variability with host (endogenous or geographic/environmental (exogenous specific factors. Skin biopsies or freshly sloughed skin from 56 individuals were sampled from populations in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and South Pacific oceans and bacteria were characterized using 454 pyrosequencing of SSU rRNA genes. Phylogenetic and statistical analyses revealed the ubiquity and abundance of bacteria belonging to the Flavobacteria genus Tenacibaculum and the Gammaproteobacteria genus Psychrobacter across the whale populations. Scanning electron microscopy of skin indicated that microbial cells colonize the skin surface. Despite the ubiquity of Tenacibaculum and Psychrobater spp., the relative composition of the skin-bacterial community differed significantly by geographic area as well as metabolic state of the animals (feeding versus starving during migration and breeding, suggesting that both exogenous and endogenous factors may play a role in influencing the skin-bacteria. Further, characteristics of the skin bacterial community from these free-swimming individuals were assembled and compared to two entangled and three dead individuals, revealing a decrease in the central or core bacterial community members (Tenacibaculum and Psychrobater spp., as well as the emergence of potential pathogens in the latter cases. This is the first discovery of a cross-population, shared skin bacterial community. This research suggests that the skin bacteria may be connected to humpback health and immunity and could

  2. Formal Comment to Gong et al.: Ecosystem Scale Acoustic Sensing Reveals Humpback Whale Behavior Synchronous with Herring Spawning Processes and Re-Evaluation Finds No Effect of Sonar on Humpback Song Occurrence in the Gulf of Maine in Fall 2006

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng Gong; Jain, Ankita D.; Duong Tran; Dong Hoon Yi; Fan Wu; Alexander Zorn; Purnima Ratilal; Nicholas C Makris

    2014-01-01

    We show that humpback-whale vocalization behavior is synchronous with peak annual Atlantic herring spawning processes in the Gulf of Maine. With a passive, wide-aperture, densely-sampled, coherent hydrophone array towed north of Georges Bank in a Fall 2006 Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) experiment, vocalizing whales could be instantaneously detected and localized over most of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem in a roughly 400-km diameter area by introducing array gain, of 18 dB, or...

  3. Acoustic property reconstruction of a neonate Yangtze finless porpoise's (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis) head based on CT imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Chong; Wang, Zhitao; Song, Zhongchang; Wang, Kexiong; Wang, Ding; Au, Whitlow W L; Zhang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    The reconstruction of the acoustic properties of a neonate finless porpoise's head was performed using X-ray computed tomography (CT). The head of the deceased neonate porpoise was also segmented across the body axis and cut into slices. The averaged sound velocity and density were measured, and the Hounsfield units (HU) of the corresponding slices were obtained from computed tomography scanning. A regression analysis was employed to show the linear relationships between the Hounsfield unit and both sound velocity and density of samples. Furthermore, the CT imaging data were used to compare the HU value, sound velocity, density and acoustic characteristic impedance of the main tissues in the porpoise's head. The results showed that the linear relationships between HU and both sound velocity and density were qualitatively consistent with previous studies on Indo-pacific humpback dolphins and Cuvier's beaked whales. However, there was no significant increase of the sound velocity and acoustic impedance from the inner core to the outer layer in this neonate finless porpoise's melon.

  4. Simulations of dolphin kick swimming using smoothed particle hydrodynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Raymond C Z; Cleary, Paul W; Mason, Bruce R

    2012-06-01

    In competitive human swimming the submerged dolphin kick stroke (underwater undulatory swimming) is utilized after dives and turns. The optimal dolphin kick has a balance between minimizing drag and maximizing thrust while also minimizing the physical exertion required of the swimmer. In this study laser scans of athletes are used to provide realistic swimmer geometries in a single anatomical pose. These are rigged and animated to closely match side-on video footage. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) fluid simulations are performed to evaluate variants of this swimming stroke technique. This computational approach provides full temporal and spatial information about the flow moving around the deforming swimmer model. The effects of changes in ankle flexibility and stroke frequency are investigated through a parametric study. The results suggest that the net streamwise force on the swimmer is relatively insensitive to ankle flexibility but is strongly dependent on kick frequency.

  5. Propulsive efficiency of the underwater dolphin kick in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Loebbecke, Alfred; Mittal, Rajat; Fish, Frank; Mark, Russell

    2009-05-01

    Three-dimensional fully unsteady computational fluid dynamic simulations of five Olympic-level swimmers performing the underwater dolphin kick are used to estimate the swimmer's propulsive efficiencies. These estimates are compared with those of a cetacean performing the dolphin kick. The geometries of the swimmers and the cetacean are based on laser and CT scans, respectively, and the stroke kinematics is based on underwater video footage. The simulations indicate that the propulsive efficiency for human swimmers varies over a relatively wide range from about 11% to 29%. The efficiency of the cetacean is found to be about 56%, which is significantly higher than the human swimmers. The computed efficiency is found not to correlate with either the slender body theory or with the Strouhal number.

  6. Monitoring underwater explosions in the habitat of resident bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Manuel E; Couchinho, Miguel N; Rita Luís, Ana; Gonçalves, Emanuel J

    2010-12-01

    Maintenance work on the harbor of Setúbal, in Portugal, required the removal of a 14-m deep rocky outcrop at the ship maneuver area, using about 35 kg of Gelamonite, a nitroglycerin-based high-explosive. This important harbor is located in the Sado estuary, a biologically rich environment and an important feeding area for a resident community of bottlenose dolphins. Using different safe range calculation models, a mitigation and monitoring plan was developed that minimized the risks of these underwater explosions for the dolphins. At our monitoring station, at 2 km from the demolition site, acoustic pressure levels in excess of 170 dB re 1 μPa (root-mean-square) were measured. Samples of dead fish collected at the site were indicative of shock trauma from the blasts.

  7. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

    and review for the topics addressed in the subsequent chapters, with discussions of these chapters where appropriate. In this thesis, I have undertaken a series of acoustic studies on two species of toothed whales, the bottlenose dolphin and the short-finned pilot whale. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops sp.......) is one of the best known toothed whales due to studies in captivity over the last 50 years. In contrast, the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a larger, deep-diving toothed whale that has been studied rather little, in part because their deep-diving ecology regularly takes them out...... their vocal behaviour and sound production to their different ecological niches and habitats. Toothed whales find and capture prey using a sophisticated biosonar system. Little is known about how toothed whales use their biosonar during a complex three-dimensional task of locating and capturing prey...

  8. Habitat use by a freshwater dolphin in the low-water season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braulik, Gill T.; Reichert, Albert P.; Ehsan, Tahir; Khan, Samiullah; Northridge, Simon P.; Alexander, Jason S.; Garstang, Richard

    2012-01-01

    1. Many river dolphin populations are most vulnerable during the low-water season when habitat is limited. Indus River dolphin habitat selection in the dry season was investigated using Generalized Linear Models of dolphin distribution and abundance in relation to physical features of river geomorphology and channel geometry in cross-section. 2. Dolphins selected locations in the river with significantly greater mean depth, maximum depth, cross-sectional area, and hydraulic radius, and significantly narrower river width and a lower degree of braiding than areas where dolphins were absent. They were also recorded with higher frequency at river constrictions and at confluences. 3. Channel cross-sectional area was the most important factor affecting dolphin presence and abundance, with the area of water below 1 m in depth exerting the greatest influence. Indus dolphins avoided channels with small cross-sectional area (2), presumably owing to the risk of entrapment and reduced foraging opportunities. 4. Channel geometry had a greater ability to explain dolphin distribution than river geomorphology; however, both analyses indicated similar types of habitat selection. The dolphin–habitat relationships identified in the river geomorphology analysis were scale-dependent, indicating that dolphin distribution is driven by the occurrence of discrete small-scale features, such as confluences and constrictions, as well as by broader-scale habitat complexes. 5. There are numerous plans to impound or extract more water from the Indus River system. If low-water season flows are allowed to decrease further, the amount of deeper habitat will decline, there may be insufficient patches of suitable habitat to support the dolphin population through the low-water season, and dolphins may become isolated within deeper river sections, unable or unwilling to traverse through shallows between favourable patches of habitat.

  9. Severity of Expert-Identified Behavioural Responses of Humpback Whale, Minke Whale, and Northern Bottlenose Whale to Naval Sonar

    OpenAIRE

    Sivle, L D; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Cure, C.; Isojunno, S.; Wensveen, P. J.; Lam, F. P. A.; Visser, F.; Kleivane, L.; Tyack, P. L.; Harris, C M; P. J. O. Miller

    2015-01-01

    Controlled exposure experiments using 1 to2 kHz sonar signals were conducted with 11 humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and one northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) during three field trials from 2011 to 2013. Ship approaches without sonar transmis-sions, playbacks of killer whale vocalizations, and broadband noise were conducted as controls. Behavioural parameters such as horizontal movement, diving, social interactions, and v...

  10. Return movement of a humpback whale between the Antarctic Peninsula and American Samoa: a seasonal migration record

    OpenAIRE

    Robbins, Jooke; Rosa, Luciano Dalla; Allen, Judith; Mattila, David; Secchi, Eduardo Resende; Friedlaender, Ari; Stevick, Peter; Nowacek, Douglas; Steel, Debbie

    2011-01-01

    Humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae are seasonal migrants that mate and calve at low latitudes and feed at mid- to high latitudes. Connections between most Southern Hemisphere breeding and feeding areas are not well understood, but are critical for assessing stock structure and human impacts. Photo-identification was performed to identify the feeding grounds of an Endangered sub-population that breeds in the central South Pacific Ocean (CSP). Identification photographs were obtained from 1...

  11. Long-range movement of humpback whales and their overlap with anthropogenic activity in the South Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Howard C; Maxwell, Sara M; Kershaw, Francine; Mate, Bruce

    2014-04-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are managed by the International Whaling Commission as 7 primary populations that breed in the tropics and migrate to 6 feeding areas around the Antarctic. There is little information on individual movements within breeding areas or migratory connections to feeding grounds. We sought to better understand humpback whale habitat use and movements at breeding areas off West Africa, and during the annual migration to Antarctic feeding areas. We also assessed potential overlap between whale habitat and anthropogenic activities. We used Argos satellite-monitored radio tags to collect data on 13 animals off Gabon, a primary humpback whale breeding area. We quantified habitat use for 3 cohorts of whales and used a state-space model to determine transitions in the movement behavior of individuals. We developed a spatial metric of overlap between whale habitat and models of cumulative human activities, including oil platforms, toxicants, and shipping. We detected strong heterogeneity in movement behavior over time that is consistent with previous genetic evidence of multiple populations in the region. Breeding areas for humpback whales in the eastern Atlantic were extensive and extended north of Gabon late in the breeding season. We also observed, for the first time, direct migration between West Africa and sub-Antarctic feeding areas. Potential overlap of whale habitat with human activities was the highest in exclusive economic zones close to shore, particularly in areas used by both individual whales and the hydrocarbon industry. Whales potentially overlapped with different activities during each stage of their migration, which makes it difficult to implement mitigation measures over their entire range. Our results and existing population-level data may inform delimitation of populations and actions to mitigate potential threats to whales as part of local, regional, and international management of highly migratory marine species.

  12. Stomach Content of a Juvenile Bolivian River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis) from the Upper Madeira Basin, Bolivia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aliaga-Rossel, E.; Beerman, A.S.; Sarmiento, J.

    2010-01-01

    The article presents a study about the stomach content of a juvenile Bolivian river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis), an endemic subspecies of the Amazon River dolphin, found in the upper Madeira River basin in Bolivia. The study finds that the stomach of Bolivian river dolphin contained a mix

  13. Stomach Content of a Juvenile Bolivian River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis) from the Upper Madeira Basin, Bolivia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aliaga-Rossel, E.; Beerman, A.S.; Sarmiento, J.

    2010-01-01

    The article presents a study about the stomach content of a juvenile Bolivian river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis), an endemic subspecies of the Amazon River dolphin, found in the upper Madeira River basin in Bolivia. The study finds that the stomach of Bolivian river dolphin contained a

  14. The Metabolic Cost of Click Production in Bottlenose Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    analysis continued through May 2014 with subsequent post-trial calibration of the instruments and metabolic baseline. APPROACH The metabolic ... metabolism , relative to baseline, for each individual trial. The results of this analysis are depicted in Figs. 3B and 4B. For both dolphins, the...period is the mass-specific metabolic rate during the submerged click production bout in ml O2 min-1 kg-1 and cEFD is the cumulative energy flux

  15. Training Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for Artificial Insemination

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-07-01

    TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) FOR ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) K. V. Keller, Jr. 1a. TYPE OF REPORT 13b. TIME COVERED 14. DATE OF REPORT IlYai. WMt...ATLANTIC BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (Tursiops truncatus) FOR ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION Karl V. Keller Naval Ocean Systems Center, Hawaii Laboratory Kailua, HI 96734...INTRODUCTION The Naval Ocean Systems Center, Hawaii Laboratory, for the past eight years has maintained an artificial insemination (AI) program for

  16. High frequency sonar components of normal and hearing impaired dolphins.

    OpenAIRE

    Dye, David C.

    2000-01-01

    Approved for public release, distribution is unlimited A data acquisition device was constructed and tested to obtain toothed whale (Bottlenose Dolphin and Beluga Whale) sonar signals and digitally store them to a PC hard drive. The device had the capability of capturing sonar signals by means of a two-hydrophone array, and a digital video camera in a submersible housing. Cooperation with marine biologists at SSC San Diego enabled the sampling of three animals performing echolocation tasks...

  17. The evolutionary history of parasitic gastropods and their coral hosts in the Indo-Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gittenberger, Adriaan

    2006-01-01

    This thesis deals with the associations between parasitic snails and their mushroom coral hosts. Gittenberger has spent 800 hours under water and searched about 60,000 coral discs for these parasites. He dived in Egypt, the Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Palau, the Philippines, Indonesia and A

  18. The Centennial and Millennial Variability of the IndoPacific Warm Pool and the Indonesian Throughflow

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-01

    aunts  and   uncles  and  cousins,  who  helped...the  Flores  Sea  creates  a   pressure   gradient.  A  surface  northward  geostrophic  flow  is  established...2004-­‐2006,  Journal  of  Geophysical  Research-­Oceans,  114.   Steinke,   S .,  et  al.  (2010),  Reconstructing

  19. Estimating diversity of Indo-Pacific coral reef stomatopods through DNA barcoding of stomatopod larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Paul; Boyce, Sarah L

    2006-08-22

    There is a push to fully document the biodiversity of the world within 25 years. However, the magnitude of this challenge, particularly in marine environments, is not well known. In this study, we apply DNA barcoding to explore the biodiversity of gonodactylid stomatopods (mantis shrimp) in both the Coral Triangle and the Red Sea. Comparison of sequences from 189 unknown stomatopod larvae to 327 known adults representing 67 taxa in the superfamily Gonodactyloidea revealed 22 distinct larval operational taxonomic units (OTUs). In the Western Pacific, 10 larval OTUs were members of the Gonodactylidae and Protosquillidae where success of positive identification was expected to be 96.5%. However, only five OTUs could be identified to species and at least three OTUs represent new species unknown in their adult form. In the Red Sea where the identification rate was expected to be 75% in the Gonodactylidae, none of four larval OTUs could be identified to species; at least two represent new species unknown in their adult forms. Results indicate that the biodiversity in this well-studied group in the Coral Triangle and Red Sea may be underestimated by a minimum of 50% to more than 150%, suggesting a much greater challenge in lesser-studied groups. Although the DNA barcoding methodology was effective, its overall success was limited due to the newly discovered taxonomic limitations of the reference sequence database, highlighting the importance of synergy between molecular geneticists and taxonomists in understanding and documenting our world's biodiversity, both in marine and terrestrial environments.

  20. Comparative Profiling of coral symbiont communities from the Caribbean, Indo-Pacific, and Arabian Seas

    KAUST Repository

    Arif, Chatchanit

    2014-12-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are in rapid decline due to global and local anthropogenic factors. Being among the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, a loss will decrease species diversity, and remove food source for people along the coast. The coral together with its symbionts (i.e. Symbiodinium, bacteria, and other microorganisms) is called the ‘coral holobiont’. The coral host offers its associated symbionts suitable habitats and nutrients, while Symbiodinium and coral-associated bacteria provide the host with photosynthates and vital nutrients. Association of corals with certain types of Symbiodinium and bacteria confer coral stress tolerance, and lack or loss of these symbionts coincides with diseased or bleached corals. However, a detailed understanding of the coral holobiont diversity and structure in regard to diseases and health states or across global scales is missing. This dissertation addressed coral-associated symbiont diversity, specifically of Symbiodinium and bacteria, in various coral species from different geographic locations and different health states. The main aims were (1) to expand the scope of existing technologies, (2) to establish a standardized framework to facilitate comparison of symbiont assemblages over coral species and sites, (3) to assess Symbiodinium diversity in the Arabian Seas, and (4) to elucidate whether coral health states have conserved bacterial footprints. In summary, a next generation sequencing pipeline for Symbiodinium diversity typing of the ITS2 marker is developed and applied to describe Symbiodinium diversity in corals around the Arabian Peninsula. The data show that corals in the Arabian Seas are dominated by a single Symbiodinium type, but harbor a rich variety of types in low abundant. Further, association with different Symbiodinium types is structured according to geographic locations. In addition, the application of 16S rRNA gene microarrays to investigate how differences in microbiome structure relate to differences in health and disease demonstrate that coral species share common microbial footprints in phenotypically similar diseases that are conserved between regional seas. Moreover, corals harbor bacteria that are species-specific and distinct from the diseased microbial footprints. The existence of conserved coral disease microbiomes allows for cataloging diseases based on bacterial assemblage over coral species boundaries and will greatly facilitate future comparative analyses.

  1. Molecular evidence for long-distance colonization in an Indo-Pacific seahorse lineage

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Teske, P.R.; Hamilton, H.; Palsboll, P.J.; Choo, C.K.; Gabr, H.; Lourie, S.A.; Santos, M.; Sreepada, R.A.; Cherry, M.I.; Matthee, C.A.

    of relative population ages, tests for evidence of population expansion, pair-wise migration rates and divergence times, as well as relationships between genetic and geographic distances. The mtDNA data indicate that all populations have undergone recent...

  2. Negative range size-abundance relationships in Indo-Pacific bird communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hart Reeve, Andrew; Borregaard, Michael Krabbe; Fjeldså, Jon

    2016-01-01

    -Pacific, namely Flores in the Lesser Sundas, Seram in the Moluccas, and the New Caledonian islands of Grande Terre and Lifou. Local abundance data was gathered through extensive and methodologically consistent surveying, and regressed against global range size using linear mixed effect models. The relationship......The positive relationship between range size and abundance is one of the best-documented patterns in macroecology, but a growing number of studies from isolated tropical areas have reported negative or neutral relationships. It has been hypothesized that the combination of geographic isolation...... between range size and abundance was significantly negative across all combined mature and degraded forest communities. As negative relationships were found in degraded forest with little environmental stability, we conclude that the abundance of small-ranged species on the study islands cannot...

  3. Habitat Selectivity and Reliance on Live Corals for Indo-Pacific Hawkfishes (Family: Cirrhitidae)

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James

    2015-11-03

    Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.

  4. Biological associations of color variation in the Indo-Pacific swimming crab Charybdis hellerii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TIMOTEO T. WATANABE

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available A marine biological invasion is a natural process accelerated by human activities, and the crab Charybdis hellerii is an example of a globally widespread invasive species. This study evaluated color variation in C. hellerii and its relationship to the sex, size and sexual maturity of these crabs, and compared the efficiency of a freeware digital image-editing program with a commercially available program. The color of the individuals was analyzed using standardized digital images. The color pattern varied significantly with size; smaller and immature individuals were darker than larger and mature ones. The female abdomen changed in morphology and color with sexual maturity, becoming wider and orange-colored. There was no statistical difference in the color values between males and females and immature males did not show morphological or color differences in their abdomen. This study highlights the possible relationships of the color and physiological state of the reproductive system, which could help in future studies of behavior, avoiding the need to dissect and/or remove individuals from nature for assessment of sexual maturity. The freeware program showed the same efficiency in digital image analysis as a widely known commercial program.

  5. Biological associations of color variation in the Indo-Pacific swimming crab Charybdis hellerii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Timoteo T; Zara, Fernando J; Hattori, Gustavo Y; Turra, Alexander; Sant'anna, Bruno S

    2015-03-01

    A marine biological invasion is a natural process accelerated by human activities, and the crab Charybdis hellerii is an example of a globally widespread invasive species. This study evaluated color variation in C. hellerii and its relationship to the sex, size and sexual maturity of these crabs, and compared the efficiency of a freeware digital image-editing program with a commercially available program. The color of the individuals was analyzed using standardized digital images. The color pattern varied significantly with size; smaller and immature individuals were darker than larger and mature ones. The female abdomen changed in morphology and color with sexual maturity, becoming wider and orange-colored. There was no statistical difference in the color values between males and females and immature males did not show morphological or color differences in their abdomen. This study highlights the possible relationships of the color and physiological state of the reproductive system, which could help in future studies of behavior, avoiding the need to dissect and/or remove individuals from nature for assessment of sexual maturity. The freeware program showed the same efficiency in digital image analysis as a widely known commercial program.

  6. Mixed asexual and sexual reproduction in the Indo-Pacific reef coral Pocillopora damicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combosch, David J; Vollmer, Steven V

    2013-09-01

    Pocillopora damicornis is one of the best studied reef-building corals, yet it's somewhat unique reproductive strategy remains poorly understood. Genetic studies indicate that P. damicornis larvae are produced almost exclusively parthenogenetically, and yet population genetic surveys suggest frequent sexual reproduction. Using microsatellite data from over 580 larvae from 13 colonies, we demonstrate that P. damicornis displays a mixed reproductive strategy where sexual and asexual larvae are produced simultaneously within the same colony. The majority of larvae were parthenogenetic (94%), but most colonies (10 of the 13) produced a subset of their larvae sexually. Logistic regression indicates that the proportion of sexual larvae varied significantly with colony size, cycle day, and calendar day. In particular, the decrease in sexual larvae with colony size suggests that the mixed reproductive strategy changes across the life of the coral. This unique shift in reproductive strategy leads to increasingly asexual replications of successful genotypes, which (in contrast to exclusive parthenogens) have already contributed to the recombinant gene pool.

  7. Are we near the predictability limit of tropical Indo-Pacific sea surface temperatures?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Matthew; Sardeshmukh, Prashant D.

    2017-08-01

    The predictability of seasonal anomalies worldwide rests largely on the predictability of tropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. Tropical forecast skill is also a key metric of climate models. We find, however, that despite extensive model development, the tropical SST forecast skill of the operational North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) of eight coupled atmosphere-ocean models remains close both regionally and temporally to that of a vastly simpler linear inverse model (LIM) derived from observed covariances of SST, sea surface height, and wind fields. The LIM clearly captures the essence of the predictable SST dynamics. The NMME and LIM skills also closely track and are only slightly lower than the potential skill estimated using the LIM's forecast signal-to-noise ratios. This suggests that the scope for further skill improvement is small in most regions, except in the western equatorial Pacific where the NMME skill is currently much lower than the LIM skill.

  8. Origin of extreme summers in Europe: the Indo-Pacific connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behera, Swadhin; Ratnam, Jayanthi V.; Masumoto, Yukio; Yamagata, Toshio

    2013-08-01

    Extreme summers of Europe are usually affected by blocking highs that shift between Western and Eastern Europe to cause regional variations in the surface temperature anomalies. Generally, the blocking high induces a regional temperature dipole with poles of warm and cold anomalies on two sides of Europe. The extreme summers of Western Europe, when the Eastern Europe is colder than normal, are usually associated with the teleconnections arising from positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events. In contrast, analogous warm events in Eastern Europe are usually associated with La Niña. The western Pacific conditions that prevail during the turnaround phase of El Niño to La Niña are found to be responsible for developing the extreme Eastern Europe events. The role of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is not blatant for the Eastern Europe summers though it has a weaker influence on Western Europe summers for which IOD plays a dominant role: The seasonal July-August correlation for Western Europe temperature with IOD index is higher than that with the NAO index. The teleconnections for both types of extremes are associated with a Rossby wavetrain that travel around the globe to reach the Europe. This circumglobal teleconnection is largely determined by the location of the tropospheric heat source. For Western Europe warm events, major contributions come from the atmospheric convections/diabatic heating over northwest India and southern Pakistan. For the Eastern Europe events, the convections over northwest Pacific, south of Japan, are found to project the signals on to the mid-latitude wave-guide. These patterns of teleconnection are so robust that those can be seen on daily to seasonal time-scales of atmospheric anomalies. The wavetrains are found to set-in a couple of weeks prior to the development of blocking highs and extreme hot conditions over Europe.

  9. A new species of Muraenichthys (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) from the Indo-Pacific, with revised generic diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hibino, Yusuke; Kimura, Seishi

    2015-12-24

    A new worm eel (Ophichthidae, Myrophinae), Muraenichthys velinasalis, is described based on five specimens (97.9-281.0 mm of total length) collected from Taiwan, Philippines, northeastern Australia, Vanuatu, and Sri Lanka. Muranichthys velinasalis is most similar to M. philippinensis and M. schultzei in the position of the dorsal-fin origin behind a vertical through mid-anus, but can be easily distinguished from the latter two species by the condition of the posterior nostril, unique character of M. velinasalis within Muraenichthys, and by the shape of the teeth on the innermost row of the upper jaw (relatively robust and slightly pointed vs. slender and pointed), arrangement of upper-jaw teeth (irregularly biserial anteriorly and uniserial posteriorly vs. completely uniserial in M. philippinensis, biserial or triserial in M. schultzei), and its more numerous or fewer preanal and total vertebrae (44-51 vs. 59-60 in M. philippinensis, 42-47 in M. schultzei; 136-139 vs. 128-130 in M. philippinensis, 119-128 in M. schultzei). The genus Muraenichthys is re-defined based on all currently valid species by the following combination of characters: eyes located anterior to mid-jaw; inner hole of posterior nostril above upper lip, and outer hole usually outside of mouth, with a prominent but short projected flap anteriorly; a single pore between anterior and posterior nostrils; three preopercular pores; teeth on jaws, vomer, and intermaxillary area; tooth shape variable, blunt to pointed but not distinctly recurved and tooth length equal or less than a half of eye diameter; teeth on jaws and vomer arranged in one to five rows; gill opening constricted, its height<170% of eye diameter; pectoral fins absent.

  10. Chemical diversity in opisthobranch molluscs from scarcely investigated Indo-Pacific areas

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wahidullah, S.; Guo, Y.-W.; Fakhr, I.M.I.; Mollo, E.

    aspects of the distribution of metabolites (Cimino and Ghiselin 1998, 1999, 2001) and a tool for the appreciation and the preservation of molecular diversity and biodiversity. Sea slug metabolites have been studied as “taxonomic markers” and also from... in Molecular and Subcellular Biology Subseries Marine Molecular Biotechnology Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006 G. Cimino, M. Gavagnin (Eds.): Molluscs S. Wahidullah, Y.-W. Guo, I.M.I. Fakhr, E. Mollo Solimabi Wahidullah 176 S. Wahidullah, Y.W. Guo...

  11. Metabolic concentration of lipid soluble organochlorine burdens in the blubber of southern hemisphere humpback whales through migration and fasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtson Nash, Susan M; Waugh, Courtney A; Schlabach, Martin

    2013-08-20

    Southern hemisphere humpback whales undertake the longest migrations and associated periods of fasting of any mammal. Fluctuations in lipid energy stores are known to profoundly affect the toxicokinetics of lipophilic organochlorine compound (OC) burdens. Results from blubber biopsy sampling of adult, male humpback whales at two time points of the annual migration journey revealed dramatic concentration effects for the majority of OC compounds. The observed concentration effect was, however, not linear with measured average blubber lipid loss indicating significant redistribution of OCs and hence the importance of alternate lipid depots for meeting the energetic demands of the migration journey. Applying lipophilic OC burdens as novel tracers of whole-body lipid dynamics, the observed average concentration index suggests an average individual weight loss of 13% over 4 months of the migration journey. This value is based upon lipid derived energy and is in good agreement with previous weight prediction formulas. Notably, however, these estimates may greatly underestimate individual weight loss if significant protein catabolism occurs. Biomagnification factors between migrating southern hemisphere humpback whales and their principal prey item, Antarctic krill, closely resembled those of baleen whales feeding on herbivorous zooplankton in the Arctic. This study emphasizes the importance of considering prolonged periods of food deprivation when assessing chemical risks posed to wildlife. This is of particular importance for Polar biota adapted to extremes in ecosystem productivity.

  12. Underwater topography determines critical breeding habitat for humpback whales near Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: implications for marine protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oviedo, L; Solís, M

    2008-06-01

    Migrating humpback whales from northern and southern feeding grounds come to the tropical waters near Osa Peninsula, Pacific of Costa Rica, to reproduce and raise their calves. Planning effective marine protected areas that encompass humpback critical habitats require data about which oceanographic features influence distribution during the breeding period. This study examines the relationship between water depth and ocean floor slope with humpback whale distribution, based on sightings during two breeding seasons (2005 and 2006). Data are from the Southern and Northern subpopulations in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). Analysis followed the basic principles of the Ecological Niche Factors Analysis (ENFA), where indices of Marginality and Tolerance provide insights on the restrictiveness of habitat use. At a fine scale, physical factors such as water depth and slope define the critical breeding and nursing habitat for M. novaeangliae. Divergence in the subsamples means of depths and slope distribution, with the global mean of the study area in both eco-geographical variables, determine habitat requirements restricted by topographic features such as depths (< 100 m) and slope (< 10%), and locate the key breeding and nursing habitat of the species within the continental shelf domains. Proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) network plans should consider connectivity of Cafio Island-Drake Bay and the extension of Corcovado National Park maritime borders.

  13. 'Megapclicks': acoustic click trains and buzzes produced during night-time foraging of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpert, Alison K; Wiley, David N; Au, Whitlow W L; Johnson, Mark P; Arsenault, Roland

    2007-10-22

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) exhibit a variety of foraging behaviours, but neither they nor any baleen whale are known to produce broadband clicks in association with feeding, as do many odontocetes. We recorded underwater behaviour of humpback whales in a northwest Atlantic feeding area using suction-cup attached, multi-sensor, acoustic tags (DTAGs). Here we describe the first recordings of click production associated with underwater lunges from baleen whales. Recordings of over 34000 'megapclicks' from two whales indicated relatively low received levels at the tag (between 143 and 154dB re 1 microPa pp), most energy below 2kHz, and interclick intervals often decreasing towards the end of click trains to form a buzz. All clicks were recorded during night-time hours. Sharp body rolls also occurred at the end of click bouts containing buzzes, suggesting feeding events. This acoustic behaviour seems to form part of a night-time feeding tactic for humpbacks and also expands the known acoustic repertoire of baleen whales in general.

  14. Analysis of humpback whale sounds in shallow waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea: An indication of breeding habitat

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madan M Mahanty; Latha G; Thirunavukkarasu A

    2015-06-01

    The primary objective of this work was to present the acoustical identification of humpback whales, detected by using an autonomous ambient noise measurement system, deployed in the shallow waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) during the period January to May 2011. Seven types of sounds were detected. These were characteristically upsweeps and downsweeps along with harmonics. Sounds produced repeatedly in a specific pattern were referred to as phrases (PQRS and ABC). Repeated phrases in a particular pattern were referred to as themes, and from the spectrographic analysis, two themes (I and II) were identified. The variation in the acoustic characteristics such as fundamental frequency, range, duration of the sound unit, and the structure of the phrases and themes are discussed. Sound units were recorded from mid-January to mid-March, with a peak in February, when the mean SST is ∼ 28°C, and no presence was recorded after mid-March. The temporal and thematic structures strongly determine the functions of the humpback whale song form. Given the use of song in the SEAS, this area is possibly used as an active breeding habitat by humpback whales during the winter season.

  15. Cognitive adaptation of sonar gain control in the bottlenose dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloepper, Laura N; Smith, Adam B; Nachtigall, Paul E; Buck, John R; Simmons, James A; Pacini, Aude F

    2014-01-01

    Echolocating animals adjust the transmit intensity and receive sensitivity of their sonar in order to regulate the sensation level of their echoes; this process is often termed automatic gain control. Gain control is considered not to be under the animal's cognitive control, but previous investigations studied animals ensonifying targets or hydrophone arrays at predictable distances. To test whether animals maintain gain control at a fixed level in uncertain conditions, we measured changes in signal intensity for a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) detecting a target at three target distances (2.5, 4 and 7 m) in two types of sessions: predictable and unpredictable. Predictable sessions presented the target at a constant distance; unpredictable sessions moved the target randomly between the three target positions. In the predictable sessions the dolphin demonstrated intensity distance compensation, increasing the emitted click intensity as the target distance increased. Additionally, as trials within sessions progressed, the animal adjusted its click intensity even from the first click in a click train, which is consistent with the animal expecting a target at a certain range. In the unpredictable sessions there was no significant difference of intensity with target distance until after the 7th click in a click train. Together, these results demonstrate that the bottlenose dolphin uses learning and expectation for sonar gain control.

  16. Spontaneous prosocial choice by captive bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakahara, Fumio; Komaba, Masayuki; Sato, Ryoichi; Ikeda, Hisako; Komaba, Kumiko; Kawakubo, Akihiro

    2017-02-01

    Dolphins exhibit prosocial behavior across several different contexts. However, only a few experimental studies have investigated the psychological mechanisms underlying this behavior. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms underlying prosociality in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). In the experiments, water shower devices, developed as environmental enrichment items, were used. Two paradigms were used to measure prosociality. The first was the prosocial choice task, involving the subject typically being offered one choice between two options. The first option provided a reward (take a shower) to both the subject and partner (prosocial choice). The second option provided a reward only to the subject (selfish choice). The second paradigm was the giving assistance task, involving the subject being provided a choice between providing instrumental help to the partner (prosocial choice) or doing nothing. It was observed that the subjects chose the prosocial choices in both paradigms. In these experiments, prosocial choices were spontaneously taken without requests from the partners. These results indicated that the dolphins show preference for other-regarding behavior. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. First record of an anomalously colored franciscana dolphin, Pontoporia blainvillei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARTA J. CREMER

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available On October 2011, a newborn franciscana dolphin with an anomalously coloration was sighted in Babitonga Bay, southern Brazil. The calf was totally white. Besides the potential mother and newborn, the group also had the presence of another adult, who always was swimming behind the pair. Both adults had the typical coloration of the species, with the back in grayish brown. The group, composed by the white franciscana calf, his pontential mother and one more adult, was reported in five occasions. The group was always in the same area where it was first recorded and showed the same position during swimming. Between first and last sighting of the white calf (113 days the color has not changed. This is the first case of a white franciscana dolphin. This coloration has never been reported despite the high number of dead franciscanas recovered each year along the distribution of the species, resulting from accidental capture in fishing nets. This fact leads us to believe that this is a very rare characteristic for this species. We considered the possibility that this franciscana could be an albino dolphin.

  18. A computational model of the bottlenose dolphin sonar: Feature-extracting method

    CERN Document Server

    Zorikov, T

    2009-01-01

    The data describing a process of echo-image formation in bottlenose dolphin sonar perception were accumulated in our experimental explorations. These data were formalized mathematically and used in the computational model, comparative testing of which in echo-discrimination tasks revealed no less capabilities then those of bottlenose dolphins.

  19. Risso's dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, Fleur; Hartman, Karin L.; Rood, Ente J. J.; Hendriks, Arthur J. E.; Zult, Daan B.; Wolff, Wim J.; Huisman, Jef; Pierce, Graham J.

    2011-01-01

    P>Behavioral responses of Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a c

  20. Risso’s dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F. Visser; K.L. Hartman; E.J.J. Rood; A.J.E. Hendriks; D.B. Zult; W.J. Wolff; J. Huisman; G.J. Pierce

    2011-01-01

    Behavioral responses of Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a cle

  1. Examination of Naturally-Exposed Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for Microsporidia, Cryptosporidium, and Giarda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) live-captured in coastal South Carolina and Florida as well as dolphins stranded in coastal South Carolina were examined for the presence of Microsporidia, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia. DNA extracted from feces or rectal swabs was amplified by PCR using para...

  2. The spatial context of free-ranging Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) producing acoustic signals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lammers, MO; Schotten, M; Au, WWL

    2006-01-01

    To improve our understanding of how dolphins use acoustic signals in the wild, a three-hydrophone towed array was used to investigate the spatial occurrence of Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) relative to each other as they produced whistles, burst pulses, and echolocation clicks. G

  3. Dolphin Morbillivirus in a Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in Denmark, 2016

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jo, Wendy K.; Grilo, Miguel L.; Wohlsein, Peter

    2017-01-01

    We studied the etiology of encephalitis in a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) that stranded in 2016 on the coast of Denmark. Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) was detected in the brain and other organs. Phylogenetics showed close relation to DMV isolated from a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba...

  4. First record of Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei for the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, R.H.; Buurt, van G.; Debrot, A.O.; Bermudez-Villapol, L.A.; Simal, F.

    2012-01-01

    A dead dolphin found on Bonaire in August 2011 is identified as adult Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei, a new species for the Dutch Caribbean. A first closer examination showed a collapsed lung, stomach parasite infection and abundant mouth ulceration as indications of its health status. The

  5. First record of Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei for the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, R.H.; Buurt, van G.; Debrot, A.O.; Bermudez-Villapol, L.A.; Simal, F.

    2012-01-01

    A dead dolphin found on Bonaire in August 2011 is identified as adult Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei, a new species for the Dutch Caribbean. A first closer examination showed a collapsed lung, stomach parasite infection and abundant mouth ulceration as indications of its health status. The ani

  6. Mediterranean Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by Dolphin MorbilliVirus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Povinelli, Michele; Terracciano, Giuliana; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Pintore, Antonio; Denurra, Daniele; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    During 2011–2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006–2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales. PMID:26812485

  7. Dolphin underwater bait-balling behaviors in relation to group and prey ball sizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn-Hirshorn, Robin L; Muzi, Elisa; Richardson, Jessica L; Fox, Gabriella J; Hansen, Lauren N; Salley, Alyce M; Dudzinski, Kathleen M; Würsig, Bernd

    2013-09-01

    We characterized dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) feeding behaviors recorded on underwater video, and related behaviors to variation in prey ball sizes, dolphin group sizes, and study site (Argentina versus New Zealand, NZ). Herding behaviors most often involved dolphins swimming around the side or under prey balls, but dolphins in Argentina more often swam under prey balls (48% of passes) than did dolphins in NZ (34% of passes). This result may have been due to differences in group sizes between sites, since groups are larger in Argentina. Additionally, in NZ, group size was positively correlated with proportion of passes that occurred under prey balls (pdolphins in Argentina more often swam through prey balls (8% of attempts) than did dolphins in NZ (4% of attempts). This result may have been due to differences in prey ball sizes between sites, since dolphins fed on larger prey balls in Argentina (>74m(2)) than in NZ (maximum 33m(2)). Additionally, in NZ, dolphins were more likely to swim through prey balls to capture fish when they fed on larger prey balls (p=0.025).

  8. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Lesley H; Johnston, David W; Urban, Dean L; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H; Deakos, Mark H; Mobley, Joseph R; Pack, Adam A; Chapla Hill, Marie

    2012-01-01

    Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood.

  9. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley H Thorne

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood.

  10. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy for Children with Special Needs: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilts, Rachel; Trompisch, Norbert; Bergquist, Timothy M.

    2011-01-01

    Dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT), as a part of animal-assisted therapy and complementary and alternative medicine, yields several positive results. This study intended to add to DAT effectiveness research while using a standardized assessment. In the Ukraine, a DAT program called DolphinSwim agreed to take part in research with 37 voluntary…

  11. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy as a Verbal Operant Condition for Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrasi, Renee Marie

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the effects of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy (DAT) as a reinforcer for verbal operant production in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Three children who attended a dolphin therapy program participated in this single subject research study. Baseline data was collected for each child via a video tape provided by parents and…

  12. Mediterranean Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by Dolphin MorbilliVirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzariol, Sandro; Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Povinelli, Michele; Terracciano, Giuliana; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Pintore, Antonio; Denurra, Daniele; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-02-01

    During 2011-2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006-2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales.

  13. Effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on the abundance and distribution of humpback whales (`megaptera novaeangliae`) in Prince William Sound. Marine mammal study number 1. Exxon Valdez oil spill state/federal natural resource damage assessment final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dahlheim, M.E.; Von Ziegesar, O.

    1993-12-01

    Photo-identification studies of Prince William Sound humpback whales were conducted from May to September in 1989 and 1990 to assess the impact on the spill on humpback whale life history and ecology. In 1989, concurrent studies were conducted in Southeast Alaska on humpback whales to determine if whales avoided contaminated waters of Prince William Sound and moved to other northern feeding areas. In 1989, photographic analysis of Prince William Sound humpbacks resulted in the identification of 59 whales. In 1990, 66 whales were documented. The increase in whale sightings may have been due to the increase in effort during the 1989 and 1990 season. Because of the difference in survey effort before and after the spill, it is impossible to determine if there was a difference in the number of humpback whales using the Sound. Distribution varied among years and may be related to prey distribution.

  14. Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis bycatch in New Zealand commercial trawl fisheries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finlay N Thompson

    Full Text Available Marine mammals are regularly reported as bycatch in commercial and artisanal fisheries, but data are often insufficient to allow assessment of these incidental mortalities. Observer coverage of the mackerel trawl fishery in New Zealand waters between 1995 and 2011 allowed evaluation of common dolphin Delphinus delphis bycatch on the North Island west coast, where this species is the most frequently caught cetacean. Observer data were used to develop a statistical model to estimate total captures and explore covariates related to captures. A two-stage Bayesian hurdle model was used, with a logistic generalised linear model predicting whether any common dolphin captures occurred on a given tow of the net, and a zero-truncated Poisson distribution to estimate the number of dolphin captures, given that there was a capture event. Over the 16-year study period, there were 119 common dolphin captures reported on 4299 observed tows. Capture events frequently involved more than one individual, with a maximum of nine common dolphin observed caught in a single tow. There was a peak of 141 estimated common dolphin captures (95% c.i.: 56 to 276; 6.27 captures per 100 tows in 2002-03, following the marked expansion in annual effort in this fishery to over 2000 tows. Subsequently, the number of captures fluctuated although fishing effort remained relatively high. Of the observed capture events, 60% were during trawls where the top of the net (headline was <40 m below the surface, and the model determined that this covariate best explained common dolphin captures. Increasing headline depth by 21 m would halve the probability of a dolphin capture event on a tow. While lack of abundance data prevents assessment of the impact of these mortalities on the local common dolphin population, a clear recommendation from this study is the increasing of headline depth to reduce common dolphin captures.

  15. Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) bycatch in New Zealand commercial trawl fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Finlay N; Abraham, Edward R; Berkenbusch, Katrin

    2013-01-01

    Marine mammals are regularly reported as bycatch in commercial and artisanal fisheries, but data are often insufficient to allow assessment of these incidental mortalities. Observer coverage of the mackerel trawl fishery in New Zealand waters between 1995 and 2011 allowed evaluation of common dolphin Delphinus delphis bycatch on the North Island west coast, where this species is the most frequently caught cetacean. Observer data were used to develop a statistical model to estimate total captures and explore covariates related to captures. A two-stage Bayesian hurdle model was used, with a logistic generalised linear model predicting whether any common dolphin captures occurred on a given tow of the net, and a zero-truncated Poisson distribution to estimate the number of dolphin captures, given that there was a capture event. Over the 16-year study period, there were 119 common dolphin captures reported on 4299 observed tows. Capture events frequently involved more than one individual, with a maximum of nine common dolphin observed caught in a single tow. There was a peak of 141 estimated common dolphin captures (95% c.i.: 56 to 276; 6.27 captures per 100 tows) in 2002-03, following the marked expansion in annual effort in this fishery to over 2000 tows. Subsequently, the number of captures fluctuated although fishing effort remained relatively high. Of the observed capture events, 60% were during trawls where the top of the net (headline) was dolphin captures. Increasing headline depth by 21 m would halve the probability of a dolphin capture event on a tow. While lack of abundance data prevents assessment of the impact of these mortalities on the local common dolphin population, a clear recommendation from this study is the increasing of headline depth to reduce common dolphin captures.

  16. Spatial distribution of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inferred from stable isotopes and priority organic pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, Rachel Marie, E-mail: ryounge@ocean.fsu.edu [Department of EOAS-Oceanography, Florida State University, 117 North Woodward Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida, 32306 (United States); Kucklick, John R. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hollings Marine Laboratory, Charleston, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29412 (United States); Balmer, Brian C.; Wells, Randall S. [Chicago Zoological Society c/o Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway Sarasota, FL, 34236 (United States); Chanton, Jeffrey P. [Department of EOAS-Oceanography, Florida State University, 117 North Woodward Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida, 32306 (United States); Nowacek, Douglas P. [Nicholas School of the Environment and Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University - Marine Laboratory, 135 Duke Marine Lab Rd., Beaufort, NC 28516 (United States)

    2012-05-15

    Differences in priority organic pollutants (POPs), analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and stable isotope ratios ({delta}{sup 13}C, {delta}{sup 34}S, and {delta}{sup 15}N; analyzed by isotope ratio-mass spectrometry), divide 77 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Florida Gulf Coast into three distinct groups. POP levels reflect human population and historical contamination along the coast. In the least disturbed site, concentrations of {Sigma}POP in male dolphins were 18,000 ng g{sup -1} {+-} 6000 (95% confidence interval here and throughout); in the intermediate bay, males had {Sigma}POP concentrations of 19,000 ng g{sup -1} {+-} 10,000. St Andrews Bay was home to dolphins with the highest {Sigma}POP concentrations: 44,000 ng g{sup -1} {+-} 10,300. {delta}{sup 34}S and {delta}{sup 15}N, differed significantly between St. George Sound dolphins and those frequenting each of the other two bays, but not between St. Andrews and St. Joseph Bays. {Sigma}POP concentrations were statistically higher in dolphins frequenting St. Andrews Bay, but were not significantly different between dolphins occupying St. Joseph Bay and St. George Sound. Thus, using either POP or isotope values alone, we would only be able to identify two dolphin groups, but when POP and isotope data are viewed cumulatively, the results clearly define three distinct communities occupying this region. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We compare isotopes and POP levels in dolphins occupying three embayments. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer POP levels varied significantly among two embayments separated by < 50 km. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Differentiation correlated with historical contamination from a SuperFund site. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cumulatively, isotopes and POP levels indicate 3 distinct dolphin communities. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer This data provides the first assessment of dolphin POP contamination in the region.

  17. Environmental Niche Overlap between Common and Dusky Dolphins in North Patagonia, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svendsen, Guillermo Martín; Romero, María Alejandra; Williams, Gabriela Noemí; Gagliardini, Domingo Antonio; Crespo, Enrique Alberto; Dans, Silvana Laura; González, Raúl Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Research on the ecology of sympatric dolphins has increased worldwide in recent decades. However, many dolphin associations such as that between common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) are poorly understood. The present study was conducted in the San Matías Gulf (SMG) ecosystem (North Patagonia, Argentina) where a high diet overlap among both species was found. The main objective of the present work was to explore the niche overlap of common and dusky dolphins in the habitat and temporal dimensions. The specific aims were (a) to evaluate the habitat use strategies of both species through a comparison of their group attributes (social composition, size and activity), and (b) to evaluate their habitat preferences and habitat overlap through Environmental Niche modeling considering two oceanographic seasons. To accomplish these aims, we used a historic database of opportunistic and systematic records collected from 1983 to 2011. Common and dusky dolphins exhibited similar patterns of group size (from less than 10 to more than 100 individuals), activity (both species use the area to feed, nurse, and copulate), and composition (adults, juveniles, and mothers with calves were observed for both species). Also, both species were observed travelling and feeding in mixed-species groups. Specific overlap indices were higher for common dolphins than for dusky dolphins, but all indices were low, suggesting that they are mainly segregated in the habitat dimension. In the case of common dolphins, the best habitats were located in the northwest of the gulf far from the coast. In the warm season they prefer areas with temperate sea surface and in the cold season they prefer areas with relatively high variability of sea surface temperature. Meanwhile, dusky dolphins prefer areas with steep slopes close to the coast in the southwestern sector of the gulf in both seasons. PMID:26091542

  18. Environmental Niche Overlap between Common and Dusky Dolphins in North Patagonia, Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Martín Svendsen

    Full Text Available Research on the ecology of sympatric dolphins has increased worldwide in recent decades. However, many dolphin associations such as that between common dolphins (Delphinus delphis and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus are poorly understood. The present study was conducted in the San Matías Gulf (SMG ecosystem (North Patagonia, Argentina where a high diet overlap among both species was found. The main objective of the present work was to explore the niche overlap of common and dusky dolphins in the habitat and temporal dimensions. The specific aims were (a to evaluate the habitat use strategies of both species through a comparison of their group attributes (social composition, size and activity, and (b to evaluate their habitat preferences and habitat overlap through Environmental Niche modeling considering two oceanographic seasons. To accomplish these aims, we used a historic database of opportunistic and systematic records collected from 1983 to 2011. Common and dusky dolphins exhibited similar patterns of group size (from less than 10 to more than 100 individuals, activity (both species use the area to feed, nurse, and copulate, and composition (adults, juveniles, and mothers with calves were observed for both species. Also, both species were observed travelling and feeding in mixed-species groups. Specific overlap indices were higher for common dolphins than for dusky dolphins, but all indices were low, suggesting that they are mainly segregated in the habitat dimension. In the case of common dolphins, the best habitats were located in the northwest of the gulf far from the coast. In the warm season they prefer areas with temperate sea surface and in the cold season they prefer areas with relatively high variability of sea surface temperature. Meanwhile, dusky dolphins prefer areas with steep slopes close to the coast in the southwestern sector of the gulf in both seasons.

  19. Definite records of Sperm Whale Physeter catodon (Linnaeus, Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris (Gray and Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Montagu (Mammalia: Cetartiodactyla in the Arabian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Pande

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Definite records of five Sperm Whales Physeter catodon (Liinaeus, 58 Spinner Dolphins Stenella longirostris (Gray and 12 Bottlenose Dolphins Tursiops truncatus (Montagu in the Arabian Sea, encountered during Ela Foundation’s Pelagic Birds Survey and ornithological expedition to Lakshadweep Archipelago from 12 to 16 March 2006, are presented along with notes on behaviour, key identification features, four photographs and the conservation status of each species.

  20. Levels and profiles of chlorinated and brominated contaminants in Southern Hemisphere humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorneles, Paulo R; Lailson-Brito, José; Secchi, Eduardo R; Dirtu, Alin C; Weijs, Liesbeth; Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Bassoi, Manuela; Cunha, Haydée A; Azevedo, Alexandre F; Covaci, Adrian

    2015-04-01

    The study documents the levels and profiles of selected contaminants [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs)] in blubber biopsy samples collected from humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Antarctic Peninsula waters. In addition, we investigated year-to-year and sex-related differences in the bioaccumulation patterns. Except for hexachlorobenzene (HCB), whose concentrations were in the same range as those found in whales from the Northern Hemisphere, levels of all other compounds were lower in Southern Hemisphere whales compared to literature data on animals from the Arctic and subarctic region. The mean contribution to the sum of all anthropogenic organohalogen compounds (ΣOHC) decreased in the following order ΣPCBs (44%)>HCB (31%)>ΣDDXs (13%)>ΣCHLs (4.6%)>ΣHCHs (4.4%)>ΣPBDEs (0.9%). The predominant compounds within each chemical class were: PCBs 153, 149, 101 and 138; p,p'-DDE; γ-HCH; trans-nonachlor; PBDEs 99 and 47. The most dominant MeO-PBDE congener was 6-MeO-BDE 47. As samples were collected during three consecutive summer seasons, year-to-year trends could be assessed indicating a significant decrease from 2000 to 2003 for ΣCHL levels. Higher ΣPBDE concentrations and higher values of the ΣPBDE / ΣMeO-PBDE ratio, as well as higher ratios between the two MeO-BDEs (2'-MeO-BDE 68/6-MeO-BDE 47) were found in females compared to males. Higher ΣMeO-PBDE concentrations and higher values of the ratios between the lower chlorinated and the higher chlorinated PCBs were found in males than in females. In addition, five out of six significant differences found through discriminant function analysis were gender-related. The literature reports both feeding in mid- to low-latitudes and sex-related differences in migration patterns for humpback whales from the Southern Hemisphere, indicating that the hypothesis of dietary differences between males and