Presentation Title

Population viability analysis of coastal bottlenose dolphins targeted by dolphin-watching boats in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama

Presenter's Name(s)

Amanda JonesFollow

Project Collaborators

Laura May-Collado, Jose David Palacios Alfaro, Monica Gamboa, Betzi Perez, Dalia C. Barragan-Barrera, Easton White

Abstract

The resident bottlenose dolphins of the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro are targeted by the largest dolphin watching industry in Panama. The combination of a high number of boats interacting with the dolphins and a lack of compliance to national regulations have resulted in the deaths of 12 dolphins due to boat collisions and a significant decrease in foraging time, raising concerns about their future. Using photo identification capture-recapture data, we model changes in population size over time and in response to dolphin-watching boat traffic. The government of Panama has declared this bottlenose dolphin population as vulnerable and is currently evaluating the establishment of a marine protected area to preserve their habitat. Understanding how dolphin-watching activities affects this dolphin population can help the Panamanian government to implement management strategies directed at enforcing regulations and controlling for boat numbers within critical dolphin habitat.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Laura May-Collado

Secondary Mentor NetID

ewhite3

Secondary Mentor Name

Easton White

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Biological Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Population viability analysis of coastal bottlenose dolphins targeted by dolphin-watching boats in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama

The resident bottlenose dolphins of the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro are targeted by the largest dolphin watching industry in Panama. The combination of a high number of boats interacting with the dolphins and a lack of compliance to national regulations have resulted in the deaths of 12 dolphins due to boat collisions and a significant decrease in foraging time, raising concerns about their future. Using photo identification capture-recapture data, we model changes in population size over time and in response to dolphin-watching boat traffic. The government of Panama has declared this bottlenose dolphin population as vulnerable and is currently evaluating the establishment of a marine protected area to preserve their habitat. Understanding how dolphin-watching activities affects this dolphin population can help the Panamanian government to implement management strategies directed at enforcing regulations and controlling for boat numbers within critical dolphin habitat.