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Vessel traffic influences distribution of Aotearoa New Zealand's endemic dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori)
Marine Mammal Science ; 39(2):626-647, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2292939
ABSTRACT
Cetacean tourism and vessel traffic have grown considerably around the world in recent decades. At Akaroa Harbor, Aotearoa New Zealand, recreational vessel traffic, dolphin tourism, and cruise ship presence increased substantially between 2008 and 2020. We examined the relationship between vessel traffic parameters and the presence of Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) during the austral summer 2019–2020, using automated vessel tracking and autonomous passive acoustic monitoring. Data were collected between December 2019 and May 2020, including the entirety of the first COVID‐19 nationwide lockdown. Generalized additive models revealed that increasing levels of motor vessel traffic, the presence of cruise ships, and high levels of dolphin tour vessel traffic resulted in decreases in acoustic detections of dolphins. Our findings suggest that Hector's dolphins at Akaroa Harbor were displaced from core habitat in response to each of these vessel traffic parameters. We recommend that managers use immediately actionable tools to reduce the impacts of vessels on these dolphins.
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Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: ProQuest Central Language: English Journal: Marine Mammal Science Year: 2023 Document Type: Article

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Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: ProQuest Central Language: English Journal: Marine Mammal Science Year: 2023 Document Type: Article