Strong site-fidelity increases vulnerability of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in a mass tourism destination in the western Mediterranean Sea

The local population of common bottlenose dolphin in the Balearic Islands coastal waters, a mass tourism destination in the western Mediterranean subject to increasing anthropogenic pressures, was monitored over a three-year period. Photo-identification surveys provided a relatively small population estimate, even though the islands are considered to be a hotspot for the species in the Mediterranean. Dolphins showed strong site-fidelity and relatively limited mobility across the archipelago, which makes them highly dependent on waters which are severely affected by overfishing, habitat degradation and boat disturbance resulting from a continuously-growing tourism and shipping industry. Ecosystem-based management actions are urgently needed to ensure the conservation of this fragile population of bottlenose dolphins. Conservation measures should be developed within the already-existing political and legal marine biodiversity conservation framework and in collaboration with local authorities and stakeholders.

Details

Publication status:
Published
Author(s):
Authors: Gonzalvo, Joan, Forcada, Jaume, Grau, Esteve, Aguilar, Alex

On this site: Jaume Forcada
Date:
1 September, 2014
Journal/Source:
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom / 94
Page(s):
1227-1235
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315413000866