Decreasing population trend in coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador

Fernando Félix, Andrea Calderón, Michelle Vintimilla, Rosa A. Bayas-Rea

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17 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

The population status of the coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the inner estuary of the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador (3°S, 81°W) was assessed. Evaluated aspects included social organization, abundance and spatial distribution. Surveys focused on the western part of the estuary (Posorja and Estero Salado) but other areas in the central and eastern inner estuary were also surveyed. Effort included 68 trips, 5001 km of survey and 288.8 h at sea. Between 735 and 793 dolphins in 92 groups were recorded during the study. Dolphins are not evenly distributed but concentrated their activities in the mouths of large channels. A cluster analyses indicated that dolphins organize in partially discrete subunits referred to as communities. Abundance estimations were obtained using mark–recapture modelling for two communities: Posorja and Estero Salado (43 dolphins, 95% CI 37–49 and 65 dolphins, 95% CI 52–82 respectively). Four demographic parameters: average size of communities, average group size, average encounter rate and average density were compared with information obtained during the 1990s. In all cases the current values were between 39 and 54% lower; in the last three cases the difference was statistically significant. Possible causes of this apparent decline include bycatch, ship strikes, pollution and habitat degradation; however, none of these have been assessed in depth. Most probably, different stressors are affecting dolphin communities to different extents. A comprehensive assessment of the whole population inside the gulf is needed. Identifying major threats is a priority to define concrete actions to prevent further population decline.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)856-866
Número de páginas11
PublicaciónAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volumen27
N.º4
DOI
EstadoPublicada - ago. 2017

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Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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