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Occurrence, residency patterns and habitat use of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus truncatus, on two Marine Protected Areas in Southeastern Brazil
Rodrigo Tardin; Israel Maciel; Guilherme Maricato; Sheila Simão; Tatiana Maria; Maria Alice Alves. Occurrence, residency patterns and habitat use of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus truncatus, on two Marine Protected Areas in Southeastern Brazil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. 92 (2): e20180843. 2020.

The common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, is widely distributed. However, information about its ecology and behavior in Brazilian waters is scarce especially about the ‘offshore’ ecotype, an Evolutionarily Significant Unit in the Southwest Atlantic. We report for the first time the occurrence, behavior and habitat use of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus truncatus, in two Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Cabo Frio coast, Brazil. There were fifteen sightings of different groups throughout the year. An overall of 429 individuals were photo-identified. 90.7% dolphins did not present a degree of residence, 1.4% dolphins were considered with high residency to the area, 5.8% medium and 2.1% low. Our habitat use map indicated dolphins were more common off ~10km from Cabo Frio municipality and between depths around 20-70m. Bottlenose dolphins on Cabo Frio coast were more frequently observed performing travelling, followed by foraging and socio-sexual behavior. Group sizes varied from three to 120 individuals. Larger groups were observed when travelling and foraging. Despite the existence of two local Marine Protected Areas, the fast human development in Cabo Frio may threaten this important area for bottlenose dolphins in terms of food resources and shelter from predators.


- Enlace: https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765202020180843

- E-mail: rhtardin@gmail.com

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