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1 October 2006 RANGE AND MOVEMENTS OF FEMALE HEAVISIDE'S DOLPHINS (CEPHALORHYNCHUS HEAVISIDII), AS DETERMINED BY SATELLITE-LINKED TELEMETRY
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Abstract

Heaviside's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii) is a coastal delphinid with a limited inshore distribution off the west coast of southern Africa. Knowledge of its habitat usage is an essential precursor to assessing its potential vulnerability to fisheries interactions. Six Heaviside's dolphins (1 male and 5 females) were fitted with satellite-linked transmitters in 2004, and tracked for up to 54 days. The 5 tags fitted to female dolphins transmitted continuously, allowing for analysis of movements at a fine temporal scale. Four dolphins showed an initial avoidance of the capture site by moving over a wider area in the first 2–5 days posttagging than later in the deployment period. All dolphins had used their full home ranges (determined as 100% minimum convex polygons) 5–20 days before tag failure, suggesting measured home ranges were stable at this temporal scale. Home-range estimates using local convex hulls ranged from 301.9 to 1,027.6 km2 (90% isopleths) and 875.9 to 1,989.6 km2 using the 100% isopleths and scaled positively with body size but varied in shape, usage, and number of core-use areas. Although the distance from shore and depth at which individual dolphins moved varied greatly, all dolphins showed a strong onshore–offshore diurnal movement pattern, generally being closest inshore between 0600 h and noon, and farthest offshore between 1500 h and 0500 h. This pattern is assumed to be related to the movements of their principal prey, juvenile shallow-water hake (Merluccius capensis), which migrate into the upper water column at night. Movements inshore may be associated with rest, socializing, and predator avoidance.

Simon Elwen, Michael A. Meÿer, Peter B. Best, P. G H. Kotze, Meredith Thornton, and Stephan Swanson "RANGE AND MOVEMENTS OF FEMALE HEAVISIDE'S DOLPHINS (CEPHALORHYNCHUS HEAVISIDII), AS DETERMINED BY SATELLITE-LINKED TELEMETRY," Journal of Mammalogy 87(5), 866-877, (1 October 2006). https://doi.org/10.1644/05-MAMM-A-307R2.1
Accepted: 1 April 2006; Published: 1 October 2006
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