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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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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,
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  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. Developed countries
  14. Dolphins
  15. Human-animal relationships
  16. Mammals
  17. Marine animals
  18. Marine mammals
  19. Oceania
  20. OECD countries
  21. peer-reviewed
  22. Relationships
  23. Social psychology and social anthropology
  24. survival
  25. vertebrates
  26. Whales
  27. Wild animals
  28. wildlife conservation
  29. wildlife management
  30. young animals
  1. peer-reviewed