Habitat use of a coastal delphinid population investigated using passive acoustic monitoring
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1. The population of bottlenose dolphins in eastern Scotland has undergone significant range expansion since the 1990s, when a Special Area of Conservation was established for the population. 2. Distribution of this population is well described within areas of its range where intensive work has been carried out, such as the inner Moray Firth, St Andrews Bay and the Tay estuary area. However, elsewhere in their range, habitat use is less well understood. 3. In this study, a large‐scale and long‐term passive acoustic array was used to gain a better understanding of bottlenose dolphin habitat use in eastern Scottish waters, complementing and augmenting existing visual surveys. 4. Data from the array were analysed using a three‐stage approach. First, acoustic occupancy results were reported; second, temporal trends were modelled; and third, a spatial–temporal‐habitat model of acoustic occupancy was created. 5. Results from the acoustic occupancy are in agreement with visual studies that found that areas near known foraging locations were consistently occupied. Results from the temporal trend analysis were inconclusive. Habitat modelling showed that, throughout their range, bottlenose dolphins are most likely to be detected closer to shore, and at a constant distance from shore, in deeper water.
Palmer , K , Brookes , K L , Davies , I M , Edwards , E & Rendell , L E 2019 , ' Habitat use of a coastal delphinid population investigated using passive acoustic monitoring ' , Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems , vol. 29 , no. S1 , pp. 254-270 . https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3166
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Copyright © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3166
DescriptionFunding: Marine Scotland Science and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) pooling initiative, and their support is gratefully acknowledged. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions.
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