Occurrence, distribution and abundance of cetaceans off the western Eyre Peninsula in the Great Australian Bight

Kerstin Bilgmann, Guido J. Parra, Luciana M. Möller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study provides the first assessment of the occurrence, distribution and abundance of cetaceans in shelf and coastal waters off the western Eyre Peninsula, eastern Great Australian Bight, South Australia. We undertook aerial line transect surveys to estimate the abundance of common dolphins, and to assess the occurrence and distribution of other small and large cetaceans. Two along shore surveys were also flown to assess occurrence of endangered southern right whales in coastal waters. Five cetacean species were detected: seven southern right whales, three humpback whales, one minke whale (unknown species), 71 schools of common dolphins, and 14 schools of bottlenose dolphins. Abundance of common dolphins was estimated to be 20,000–22,000 using distance sampling methods with densities of 0.67–0.73 dolphin/km2. Comparisons of common dolphin densities off the Eyre Peninsula in the eastern GAB with other regions around the world show that shelf waters off the Eyre Peninsula represent an important habitat for common dolphins.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)134-145
    Number of pages12
    JournalDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
    Volume157–158
    Early online date10 Nov 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

    Keywords

    • marine ecology
    • conservation
    • coastal waters
    • continental shelves
    • biodiversity
    • aerial survey
    • distance sampling
    • dolphin
    • whale

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