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Elwen, S.H., Reeb, D., Thornton, M. and Best, P.B. 2009. A population estimate of Heaviside’s dolphins, Cephalorhynchus heavisidii, at the southern end of their range. Marine Mammal Science 25(1): 107-124


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A population estimate of Heaviside’s dolphins, Cephalorhynchus heavisidii, at the southern end of their range.

Summary / Notes:

Heaviside's dolphins, Cephalorhynchus heavisidii, are endemic to southwestern Africa, where they are exposed to unknown levels of anthropogenic threats, including inshore set netting. Using photo-ID data collected over 3 yr on the west coast of South Africa, we calculated Chapman's-modified Petersen estimates of the number of distinctive individuals at three spatial scales. Sample sizes were small and recapture rates low resulting in high variance. Total population abundance was extrapolated from the proportion of well-marked animals in the population (14%–17%) with between-year estimates adjusted for mortality using data from Commerson's dolphin. The total population size was calculated as 527 animals (CV = 0.35, CI 272–1,020) in the 1999 study area (20 km of coastline, within season), 3,429 animals (CV = 0.36, CI 1,721–6,828) in the central study area (150 km of coastline, 3 yr), and 6,345 animals (CV = 0.26, CI 3,573–11,267) in the full study area (390 km of coastline, 2 yr). Dolphins fitted with satellite transmitters varied in their use of the inshore photographic study area from 39.5% to 94.7% of transmission days (38–51 total). Given the known or suspected biases in the data, these abundance estimates are likely to be biased downward.

Year: 2009

Type: Journal Article

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Elwen, S.H., Reeb, D., Thornton, M. and Best, P.B. 2009. A population estimate of Heaviside’s dolphins, Cephalorhynchus heavisidii, at the southern end of their range. Marine Mammal Science 25(1): 107-124
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