Fine-scale habitat selection by coastal bottlenose dolphins: application of a new land-based video-montage technique

G. D. Hastie, B. Wilson, Paul Michael Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cetacean distribution and underwater topography are frequently correlated. These patterns are commonly studied on large spatial scales, over tens of kilometres, but very rarely on a fine scale. Sightings of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, within the Moray Firth, Scotland, were previously found to be concentrated within deep, narrow channels. To understand why such areas were selected, more-detailed information on the distribution of dolphins was required. This study describes the development of a video technique to study the spatial distribution and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins. We then used the methodology to investigate whether water depth and seabed gradient influence the dolphins' distribution patterns. Furthermore, temporal patterns of use were examined with respect to seasonal, tidal, and diurnal cycles. The distribution of dolphins was significantly related to topography: dolphins were sighted most frequently in the deepest regions with the steepest seabed gradients. There was a clear temporal pattern in the use of the area, with sightings peaking during July. However, the presence of dolphins was not significantly related to tidal or diurnal cycles. The topography of the area appears to be a significant influence on its intensive use by dolphins, and patterns of use indicate that topography may facilitate foraging during seasonal migrations of fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal Of Zoology/Revue Canadien De Zoologie
Volume81
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • GULF-OF-MEXICO
  • MEGAPTERA-NOVAEANGLIAE
  • HUMPBACK WHALES
  • NOSED DOLPHINS
  • TIDAL CYCLE
  • RED DEER
  • CETACEANS
  • PATTERNS
  • BIRDS
  • SHELF

Cite this

@article{b4d8cac343fe48d6a081272ddd45d1d1,
title = "Fine-scale habitat selection by coastal bottlenose dolphins: application of a new land-based video-montage technique",
abstract = "Cetacean distribution and underwater topography are frequently correlated. These patterns are commonly studied on large spatial scales, over tens of kilometres, but very rarely on a fine scale. Sightings of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, within the Moray Firth, Scotland, were previously found to be concentrated within deep, narrow channels. To understand why such areas were selected, more-detailed information on the distribution of dolphins was required. This study describes the development of a video technique to study the spatial distribution and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins. We then used the methodology to investigate whether water depth and seabed gradient influence the dolphins' distribution patterns. Furthermore, temporal patterns of use were examined with respect to seasonal, tidal, and diurnal cycles. The distribution of dolphins was significantly related to topography: dolphins were sighted most frequently in the deepest regions with the steepest seabed gradients. There was a clear temporal pattern in the use of the area, with sightings peaking during July. However, the presence of dolphins was not significantly related to tidal or diurnal cycles. The topography of the area appears to be a significant influence on its intensive use by dolphins, and patterns of use indicate that topography may facilitate foraging during seasonal migrations of fish.",
keywords = "GULF-OF-MEXICO, MEGAPTERA-NOVAEANGLIAE, HUMPBACK WHALES, NOSED DOLPHINS, TIDAL CYCLE, RED DEER, CETACEANS, PATTERNS, BIRDS, SHELF",
author = "Hastie, {G. D.} and B. Wilson and Thompson, {Paul Michael}",
year = "2003",
doi = "10.1139/z03-028",
language = "English",
volume = "81",
pages = "469--478",
journal = "Canadian Journal Of Zoology/Revue Canadien De Zoologie",
issn = "0008-4301",
publisher = "National Research Council of Canada",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fine-scale habitat selection by coastal bottlenose dolphins: application of a new land-based video-montage technique

AU - Hastie, G. D.

AU - Wilson, B.

AU - Thompson, Paul Michael

PY - 2003

Y1 - 2003

N2 - Cetacean distribution and underwater topography are frequently correlated. These patterns are commonly studied on large spatial scales, over tens of kilometres, but very rarely on a fine scale. Sightings of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, within the Moray Firth, Scotland, were previously found to be concentrated within deep, narrow channels. To understand why such areas were selected, more-detailed information on the distribution of dolphins was required. This study describes the development of a video technique to study the spatial distribution and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins. We then used the methodology to investigate whether water depth and seabed gradient influence the dolphins' distribution patterns. Furthermore, temporal patterns of use were examined with respect to seasonal, tidal, and diurnal cycles. The distribution of dolphins was significantly related to topography: dolphins were sighted most frequently in the deepest regions with the steepest seabed gradients. There was a clear temporal pattern in the use of the area, with sightings peaking during July. However, the presence of dolphins was not significantly related to tidal or diurnal cycles. The topography of the area appears to be a significant influence on its intensive use by dolphins, and patterns of use indicate that topography may facilitate foraging during seasonal migrations of fish.

AB - Cetacean distribution and underwater topography are frequently correlated. These patterns are commonly studied on large spatial scales, over tens of kilometres, but very rarely on a fine scale. Sightings of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, within the Moray Firth, Scotland, were previously found to be concentrated within deep, narrow channels. To understand why such areas were selected, more-detailed information on the distribution of dolphins was required. This study describes the development of a video technique to study the spatial distribution and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins. We then used the methodology to investigate whether water depth and seabed gradient influence the dolphins' distribution patterns. Furthermore, temporal patterns of use were examined with respect to seasonal, tidal, and diurnal cycles. The distribution of dolphins was significantly related to topography: dolphins were sighted most frequently in the deepest regions with the steepest seabed gradients. There was a clear temporal pattern in the use of the area, with sightings peaking during July. However, the presence of dolphins was not significantly related to tidal or diurnal cycles. The topography of the area appears to be a significant influence on its intensive use by dolphins, and patterns of use indicate that topography may facilitate foraging during seasonal migrations of fish.

KW - GULF-OF-MEXICO

KW - MEGAPTERA-NOVAEANGLIAE

KW - HUMPBACK WHALES

KW - NOSED DOLPHINS

KW - TIDAL CYCLE

KW - RED DEER

KW - CETACEANS

KW - PATTERNS

KW - BIRDS

KW - SHELF

U2 - 10.1139/z03-028

DO - 10.1139/z03-028

M3 - Article

VL - 81

SP - 469

EP - 478

JO - Canadian Journal Of Zoology/Revue Canadien De Zoologie

JF - Canadian Journal Of Zoology/Revue Canadien De Zoologie

SN - 0008-4301

ER -