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Survival of bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops sp.) calves at a wild dolphin provisioning program, Tangalooma, Australia

By D. T. Neil, B. J. Holmes

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Abstract

Mortality of calves born to provisioned mothers is identified in the literature as an issue of concern in dolphin provisioning programs. Wild dolphin provisioning at Tangalooma, Moreton Island, Australia has been occurring since 1992. Each evening, up to eight dolphins are provided with fish in a regulated provisioning program. In this paper, calf survival at the Tangalooma provisioning program is reported and contrasted with that from wild populations and from a similar provisioning program at Monkey Mia, Western Australia. At Tangalooma, the calf survival rate is 100%, including both orphaned and first-born calves, both of which are expected to have relatively low survival rates. Possible explanations for the high calf survival rate are explored. These include site attributes such as isolated location and high water quality, aspects of foraging ecology likely to benefit calves of provisioned mothers, and the management regime used in the provisioning program (e.g., duration and timing of provisioning; quality of provisioned fish).

Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages 57-69
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
Publisher Bloomsbury Journals (formerly Berg Journals)
DOI 10.2752/089279308X274065
Language English
Author Address School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia.d.neil@uq.edu.au
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Anthrozoology
  6. Aquacultural and fisheries
  7. Aquatic organisms
  8. Australasia
  9. Australia
  10. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  11. Biological resources
  12. Commonwealth of Nations
  13. Conservation
  14. Developed countries
  15. Dolphins
  16. Human-animal relationships
  17. Mammals
  18. Marine animals
  19. Marine mammals
  20. Oceania
  21. OECD countries
  22. peer-reviewed
  23. Relationships
  24. Social psychology and social anthropology
  25. survival
  26. vertebrates
  27. Whales
  28. Wild animals
  29. wildlife management
  30. young animals
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  1. peer-reviewed