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Temporally and spatially partitioned behaviours of spinner dolphins: implications for resilience to human disturbance

Tyne, J.A., Johnston, D.W., Christiansen, F. and Bejder, L. (2017) Temporally and spatially partitioned behaviours of spinner dolphins: implications for resilience to human disturbance. Royal Society Open Science, 4 (1). Article160626.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160626
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Abstract

Selective forces shape the evolution of wildlife behavioural strategies and influence the spatial and temporal partitioning of behavioural activities to maximize individual fitness. Globally, wildlife is increasingly exposed to human activities which may affect their behavioural activities. The ability of wildlife to compensate for the effects of human activities may have implications for their resilience to disturbance. Resilience theory suggests that behavioural systems which are constrained in their repertoires are less resilient to disturbance than flexible systems. Using behavioural timeseries data, we show that spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) spatially and temporally partition their behavioural activities on a daily basis. Specifically, spinner dolphins were never observed foraging during daytime, where resting was the predominant activity. Travelling and socializing probabilities were higher in early mornings and late afternoons when dolphins were returning from or preparing for nocturnal feeding trips, respectively. The constrained nature of spinner dolphin behaviours suggests they are less resilient to human disturbance than other cetaceans. These dolphins experience the highest exposure rates to human activities ever reported for any cetaceans. Over the last 30 years human activities have increased significantly in Hawaii, but the spinner dolphins still inhabit these bays. Recent abundance estimates (2011 and 2012) however, are lower than all previous estimates (1979-1981, 1989-1992 and 2003), indicating a possible long-term impact. Quantification of the spatial and temporal partitioning.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Royal Society
Copyright: © 2017 The Authors
UNSD Goals: Goal 14: Conserve Marine Resources
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/35295
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