Presenter's Name(s)

Amanda JonesFollow

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Laura May-Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Biological Sciences, Integrated

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Presentation Title

Analysis of the population size of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Dolphin Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Time

9:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Biological Sciences

Abstract

Due to habitat overlap, human activities can pose a threat to coastal bottlenose dolphin populations, which is like the case in Dolphin Bay in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. This population is genetically isolated, with both males and females showing high site fidelity. They are under pressure from intense interactions with dolphin-watching boats. Therefore, having an estimation of the population size and variation over time is important for establishing their conservation status. In this study, photo identification data and four capture-recapture models are used to estimate the population size. The mortality model, which best fits the data, indicates that the population in Dolphin Bay is between 39-48 dolphins. There is evidence for fluctuations in population size over the years. These differences could be due to variation in sampling efforts between the years, but may also indicate times of high mortality. This study shows that the dolphins in Dolphin Bay are at risk. They are especially vulnerable to activities that directly target them, such as dolphin watching, due to their small population size, isolation, and high dependence of the bay. Future research will address differences in survey efforts and increase sample size.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Analysis of the population size of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Dolphin Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Due to habitat overlap, human activities can pose a threat to coastal bottlenose dolphin populations, which is like the case in Dolphin Bay in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. This population is genetically isolated, with both males and females showing high site fidelity. They are under pressure from intense interactions with dolphin-watching boats. Therefore, having an estimation of the population size and variation over time is important for establishing their conservation status. In this study, photo identification data and four capture-recapture models are used to estimate the population size. The mortality model, which best fits the data, indicates that the population in Dolphin Bay is between 39-48 dolphins. There is evidence for fluctuations in population size over the years. These differences could be due to variation in sampling efforts between the years, but may also indicate times of high mortality. This study shows that the dolphins in Dolphin Bay are at risk. They are especially vulnerable to activities that directly target them, such as dolphin watching, due to their small population size, isolation, and high dependence of the bay. Future research will address differences in survey efforts and increase sample size.