Long-term trends in the use of a protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in population status.

Barbara Cheney, Ross Corkrey, John W. Durban, Kate Grellier, Philip S. Hammond, Valentina Islas-Villanueva, Vincent M. Janik, Susan M. Lusseau, Kim M. Parsons, Nicola J. Quick, Ben Wilson, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The requirement to monitor listed species in European designated sites is challenging for long-lived mobile species that only temporarily occupy protected areas. We use a 21 year time series of bottlenose dolphin photo-identification data to assess trends in abundance and conservation status within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in Scotland. Mark–recapture methods were used to estimate annual abundance within the SAC from 1990 to 2010. A Bayesian mark–recapture model with a state-space approach was used to estimate overall population trends using data collected across the populations’ range. Despite inter-annual variability in the number of dolphins within the SAC, there was a >99% probability that the wider population was stable or increasing. Results indicate that use of the SAC by the wider population has declined. This is the first evidence of long-term trends in the use of an EU protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in overall population status. Our results highlight the importance of adapting the survey protocols used in long-term photo-identification studies to maintain high capture probabilities and minimise sampling heterogeneity. Crucially, these data demonstrate the value of collecting data from the wider population to assess the success of protected areas designated for mobile predators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-128
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Volume2
Early online date19 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Fingerprint

cetacean
protected area
conservation areas
dolphin
conservation status
predator
time series
Tursiops truncatus
dolphins
long-term trend
sampling
Scotland
time series analysis
predators
monitoring

Keywords

  • Abundance
  • Bayesian
  • Bottlenose dolphin
  • Mark-recapture
  • Photo-identification
  • Special area of conservation

Cite this

Long-term trends in the use of a protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in population status. / Cheney, Barbara; Corkrey, Ross; Durban, John W.; Grellier, Kate; Hammond, Philip S.; Islas-Villanueva, Valentina; Janik, Vincent M.; Lusseau, Susan M.; Parsons, Kim M.; Quick, Nicola J.; Wilson, Ben; Thompson, Paul M.

In: Global Ecology and Conservation, Vol. 2, 12.2014, p. 118-128.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cheney, B, Corkrey, R, Durban, JW, Grellier, K, Hammond, PS, Islas-Villanueva, V, Janik, VM, Lusseau, SM, Parsons, KM, Quick, NJ, Wilson, B & Thompson, PM 2014, 'Long-term trends in the use of a protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in population status.', Global Ecology and Conservation, vol. 2, pp. 118-128. https://doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2014.08.010
Cheney, Barbara ; Corkrey, Ross ; Durban, John W. ; Grellier, Kate ; Hammond, Philip S. ; Islas-Villanueva, Valentina ; Janik, Vincent M. ; Lusseau, Susan M. ; Parsons, Kim M. ; Quick, Nicola J. ; Wilson, Ben ; Thompson, Paul M. / Long-term trends in the use of a protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in population status. In: Global Ecology and Conservation. 2014 ; Vol. 2. pp. 118-128.
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title = "Long-term trends in the use of a protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in population status.",
abstract = "The requirement to monitor listed species in European designated sites is challenging for long-lived mobile species that only temporarily occupy protected areas. We use a 21 year time series of bottlenose dolphin photo-identification data to assess trends in abundance and conservation status within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in Scotland. Mark–recapture methods were used to estimate annual abundance within the SAC from 1990 to 2010. A Bayesian mark–recapture model with a state-space approach was used to estimate overall population trends using data collected across the populations’ range. Despite inter-annual variability in the number of dolphins within the SAC, there was a >99{\%} probability that the wider population was stable or increasing. Results indicate that use of the SAC by the wider population has declined. This is the first evidence of long-term trends in the use of an EU protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in overall population status. Our results highlight the importance of adapting the survey protocols used in long-term photo-identification studies to maintain high capture probabilities and minimise sampling heterogeneity. Crucially, these data demonstrate the value of collecting data from the wider population to assess the success of protected areas designated for mobile predators.",
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note = "We thank all the colleagues who have helped to collect and analyse data, and two anonymous referees for their helpful comments. The BES, ASAB, Greenpeace Environmental Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Government, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Talisman Energy (UK) Ltd., Department of Energy and Climate Change, Chevron, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the University of Aberdeen all provided funding for annual surveys in the Moray Firth. St. Andrews Bay surveys were funded by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to V.M.J., studentships from NERC and the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), and the University of St. Andrews. Survey work was conducted under Scottish Natural Heritage Animal Scientific Licences.",
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AU - Hammond, Philip S.

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AU - Quick, Nicola J.

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AU - Thompson, Paul M.

N1 - We thank all the colleagues who have helped to collect and analyse data, and two anonymous referees for their helpful comments. The BES, ASAB, Greenpeace Environmental Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Government, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Talisman Energy (UK) Ltd., Department of Energy and Climate Change, Chevron, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the University of Aberdeen all provided funding for annual surveys in the Moray Firth. St. Andrews Bay surveys were funded by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to V.M.J., studentships from NERC and the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), and the University of St. Andrews. Survey work was conducted under Scottish Natural Heritage Animal Scientific Licences.

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N2 - The requirement to monitor listed species in European designated sites is challenging for long-lived mobile species that only temporarily occupy protected areas. We use a 21 year time series of bottlenose dolphin photo-identification data to assess trends in abundance and conservation status within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in Scotland. Mark–recapture methods were used to estimate annual abundance within the SAC from 1990 to 2010. A Bayesian mark–recapture model with a state-space approach was used to estimate overall population trends using data collected across the populations’ range. Despite inter-annual variability in the number of dolphins within the SAC, there was a >99% probability that the wider population was stable or increasing. Results indicate that use of the SAC by the wider population has declined. This is the first evidence of long-term trends in the use of an EU protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in overall population status. Our results highlight the importance of adapting the survey protocols used in long-term photo-identification studies to maintain high capture probabilities and minimise sampling heterogeneity. Crucially, these data demonstrate the value of collecting data from the wider population to assess the success of protected areas designated for mobile predators.

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