Human impact on Bottlenose dolphins in MPAs

Human impact on Bottlenose dolphins in MPAs

Scientists listened to what Bottlenose dolphins have to say about Human Activities in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are considered an endangered species

Did you know that the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is considered an endangered species and that in the last 60 years it has suffered a population reduction of 30% in the Mediterranean Sea? Scientists studied the influence of human activity and human impact in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). In MPAs the dolphins should be effectively protected. But what the Bottlenose Dolphins actions tell us is very concerning for their conversation.

KEYWORDS: dolphins, monitoring, Marine protected areas, noise pollution, Mediterranean Sea

AREA OF STUDY: Mediterranean Sea

To effectively protect bottlenose dolphin, as well as the whole Mediterranean marine and coastal biodiversity Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been established. But even in MPAs the impact of human activities on marine mammals is a cause for concern for both the scientific and environmental community.

Therefore, scientist monitored the presence of bottlenose dolphins in MPAs of the Western Mediterranean Sea, where they described the differences of bottlenose dolphins seasonal occurrence and habitat. They achieved this by listening to the bottlenose dolphins via a passive acoustic monitoring technique, a technique that relies on using the vocalisations of the animals to monitor their movement and behaviour. Anthropogenic activities were analyzed in respect to their influence on bottlenose dolphins and included activities such as  fish farming, presence of commercial trawling, artisanal set nets, and recreational activities.

The results of the study showed that bottlenose dolphins are being affected by human activities in MPAs. They were affected by fish farms or fish trawling activity, net setting and predated on net catches. As the Bottlenose dolphins preferred months with a low intensity of recreational activity that allows to assume that human presence in MPAs does influence strongly the bottlenose dolphins.

MPAs can be considered as habitat of critical importance for the conservation of the Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins. Therefore, the scientists underline the importance of studying further the relationship between recreational activities and bottlenose dolphin displacement and to ensure the effectively protection of bottlenose dolphins.

STORY SOURCE: The above post is written based on materials provided by: Ocean & Costal Management, Elsevier (Castellote et al 2015). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

PICTURE SOURCE: Pixbay user tbsdave

CITE THIS PAGE: “Human impact on Bottlenose dolphins in MPAs”. TheBlueReporters, 09 December 2015.

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