Presentation Title

Spatial analysis of mother-calf home ranges for bottlenose dolphins in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Project Collaborators

Laura May-Collado (Research Mentor), Erin Powell, Natalia Swack, Kahlia Gonzales, Amanda Jones (collaborators)

Abstract

Coastal bottlenose dolphins live in isolated populations that overlap with human activities, and often make them a focal point for tourism. Because these activities are often boat-based, dolphins are regularly disrupted from performing key behaviors such as foraging, social bonding and, traveling. This sometimes leads to the separation of mothers and calves. This study observes the spatial habitat use of mother-calf dolphin pairs from the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro in Panama in the context of tour boat activity. The focus is on the home ranges commonly used by mother dolphins when they have a young calf. Using GIS programming, a density analysis will be used identify core home ranges. The results of this study so far have been the identification of dolphin sighting in Bocas del Toro from June 2004 up until March 2016.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Laura May-Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Biological Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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Spatial analysis of mother-calf home ranges for bottlenose dolphins in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Coastal bottlenose dolphins live in isolated populations that overlap with human activities, and often make them a focal point for tourism. Because these activities are often boat-based, dolphins are regularly disrupted from performing key behaviors such as foraging, social bonding and, traveling. This sometimes leads to the separation of mothers and calves. This study observes the spatial habitat use of mother-calf dolphin pairs from the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro in Panama in the context of tour boat activity. The focus is on the home ranges commonly used by mother dolphins when they have a young calf. Using GIS programming, a density analysis will be used identify core home ranges. The results of this study so far have been the identification of dolphin sighting in Bocas del Toro from June 2004 up until March 2016.