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Social structure and abundance of coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in the Normano-Breton Gulf, English Channel

Louis, Marie, Gally, François, Barbraud, Christophe, Béesau, Julie, Tixier, Paul, Simon-Bouhet, Benoit, Le Rest, Kevin and Guinet, Christophe 2015, Social structure and abundance of coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in the Normano-Breton Gulf, English Channel, Journal of mammalogy, vol. 96, no. 3, pp. 481-493, doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyv053.

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Title Social structure and abundance of coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in the Normano-Breton Gulf, English Channel
Author(s) Louis, Marie
Gally, François
Barbraud, Christophe
Béesau, Julie
Tixier, PaulORCID iD for Tixier, Paul
Simon-Bouhet, Benoit
Le Rest, Kevin
Guinet, Christophe
Journal name Journal of mammalogy
Volume number 96
Issue number 3
Start page 481
End page 493
Total pages 13
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2015-05-22
ISSN 0022-2372
Keyword(s) abundance
bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus
Normano-Breton Gulf
social structure
Summary A large, but poorly studied, bottlenose dolphin community, Tursiops truncatus, inhabits coastal waters of Normandy (Normano-Breton Gulf, English Channel, France). In this study, the social structure and abundance of this community were assessed using photo-identification techniques. Like other bottlenose dolphin communities worldwide, this resident community has a fission–fusion social structure with fluid associations among individuals (half-weight index = 0.10). Association patterns were highly variable as indicated by a high social differentiation (S = 0.95±0.03). The majority of associations were casual, lasting days to months. However, individuals exhibited also a smaller proportion of long-term relationships. A mean group size of 26 was large compared with other resident coastal communities, and variable, ranging from 1 to 100, which could be the results of ecological conditions, in particular resource predictability and availability. Analyses also showed that the community was organized in 3 social clusters that were not completely isolated from each other. Abundance was estimated at 420 dolphins (95% confidence interval: 331–521), making this coastal community one of the largest identified along European coastlines. Because human activities in the Gulf are expected to increase in the upcoming years, long-term demographic monitoring of this dolphin community will be critical for its management.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/jmammal/gyv053
Field of Research 070203 Animal Management
050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, American Society of Mammalogists
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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