Social dynamics and activity patterns of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in Jervis bay, Southeastern Australia

L. M. Möller, R. G. Harcourt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Group characteristics, activity patterns, and the occurrence of recognisable bottlenose dolphins were documented from boat surveys conducted in Jervis Bay between May 1997 and April 1998. Bottlenose dolphins were found to occur in the bay year-round, with group size ranging from a single animal up to 64 individuals (x = 15.3, SD = 14.2; median = 9, interquartile range = 18). Calves were observed during all seasons, and group size was positively correlated to the number of calves in the group. Newborns were observed only in summer and autumn. Group size was significantly different according to activities, being smaller during feeding, and larger during socialising. The most frequently recorded group activity was travelling, followed by feeding, milling and socialising. The frequency of activities changed according to season, with an increase in travelling from winter to summer and autumn, and an increase in feeding in winter and spring. A total of 103 individual dolphins were identified, with most seen in the bay either year-round or only within one season.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-189
    Number of pages9
    JournalProceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales
    Volume1998
    Issue number120
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Keywords

    • activity patterns
    • behaviour
    • bottlenose dolphins
    • Jervis bay
    • photo-identification
    • population structure
    • site fidelity
    • social dynamics
    • southeastern Australia
    • tursiops truncatus

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