Delphine Chabanne

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PhD Candidate - Researcher

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the conservation of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) population in the Swan-Canning Estuary and the adjacent waters of Perth (Western Australia). Boat-based surveys are using to collect biological and ecological data in order to improve the assessments of the conservation status of the dolphin population.

Background

From October 2001 to June 2003, 55 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) were photo-identified within the Swan-Canning Estuary in Perth, Western Australia. Analyses of occupancy, ranging, and association patterns of these dolphins has concluded to two main groupings: resident (18 dolphins) and transient dolphins. The current status of dolphins in the estuary is not known. The current status of dolphins in the estuary is not known. Low-level monitoring in 2008-9 re-sighted nine (50%) of the 2001-3 residents, while the carcass of two (11.1%) were recovered in 2006 and 2009, one (5.6%) was presumed dead in 2002, and the status of the other six (33.3%) is not known. The death of six dolphins within the estuary in 2009 raised concerns about the long-term conservation of dolphins in the estuary and emphasised the need for new research.

Aims

Estimate dolphin abundance across the study area using photo-identification and mark-recapture methods.
Determine residency and ranging patterns for individuals in order to better understand site fidelity and population structure
Determine habitat use patterns through habitat modelling
Collect behavioural, environmental, and epidemiological data related to interactions with human activities and dolphin health (e.g. entanglements, epidermal diseases).
Methods

Survey areas: the Swan-Canning Estuary and coastal waters covering from Rockingham (South) to Scarborough (North).
Boat-based surveys following a predetermined transect routes.
Dolphin sightings: photo-identification, composition of group, behaviour, environmental conditions.
Focal follow observations: activity and habitat preferences.

2010: Recipient of Central Institute of Technology’s 2010 Eco Environmental Award

2010: Environmental Science (Management). Central Institute of Technology, East Perth, Australia

2007: Master of Science in Biology, Geosciences, Agroresources and Environment. University of Montpellier 2, France

2005: Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. University of La Rochelle, France.

Conference Proceedings

Chabanne, D., Finn, H., Salgado, C., Hong, N.L., Moiler, K., and Bejder, L. (2011). Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the Swan-Canning Estuary (Perth, WA): ecology, status, and future research. Poster Presentation. Australian Marine Sciences Association, Fremantle, Australia.

Delphine Chabanne
Cetacean Research Unit
Centre for Fish, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems
Murdoch University South Street Murdoch WA 6150 Australia
Tel (61-8) 9360 6520 | Fax (61-8) 9360 6303 | * d.chabanne@murdoch.edu.au
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