Stage 2 of the SWMRP had two components:
Data collection during Stage 2 of the SWMRP built upon that of Stage 1, with a continuation of dolphin population monitoring resulting in seven years of year-round boat-based photo-identification surveys. This large dataset, which included the accumulation of sex data on a large number of individuals, facilitated the PhD research of Kate Sprogis, which focussed on sex-specific patterns in abundance, home range and habitat use.
The above Research Bulletins provide plain-english summaries of two of Kate’s chapters and resulting publications. Left: a sex-specific analysis of the population data collected during Stages 1 and 2 of the SWMRP (pdf here). Right: an investigation of how the home ranges of bottlenose dolphins vary between the sexes and different habitats (pdf here).
Stage 2 also saw the introduction of the Marine Mammal Health Project, which focuses on collecting data on cetacean health and causes of mortality, primarily from examinations of deceased, stranded animals.
The combined dataset from Stages 1-2 were also utilised by MUCRU students Carissa King and Lisa-Marie Harrison towards the successful completion of their Honours degrees. Carissa used photo-identification images to investigate the prevalence of shark bites on dolphins in Bunbury waters in order to better understand the shark predation risk faced by dolphins. Lisa-Marie Harrison also used photo-identification images, this time to develop a standardised method for the comparing skin lesions observed on bottlenose dolphins in coastal areas.
Publications associated with Stage 2
- Smith, H.C. and Sprogis, K.R. (2016). Seasonal feeding on giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) by Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology. doi: 10.1071/ZO15075.
- Sprogis, K.R., Pollock, K.H., Raudino, H.R., Allen, S.J., Kopps, A.M., Manlik, O., Tyne, J.A. and Bejder, L. (2016). Sex-specific patterns in abundance, temporary emigration and survival of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in coastal and estuarine waters. Frontiers in Marine Science 3:12. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00012
- Sprogis, K.R., Raudino, H.C., Rankin, R., MacLeod, C.D. and Bejder, L. (2016). Home range size of adult Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in a coastal and estuarine system is habitat and sex-specific. Marine Mammal Science 32: 287-308. doi: 10.1111/mms.12260.
- Sprogis, K.R. (2015). Sex-specific patterns in abundance, home ranges and habitat use of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in south-western Australia. PhD thesis, Murdoch University. (Supervisors: Lars Bejder, Kenneth Pollock, Halina Kobryn, Randall Wells).
- King, C. (2014). Investigating the movement patterns of sharks and the significance of potential shark predation attempts on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the waters of south-western Australia. Honours thesis, Murdoch University. (Supervisors: Neil Loneragan, Lars Bejder, Kate Sprogis).
- Harrison, L-M.K. (2012). A standardised method for the comparison of skin lesions among bottlenose dolphin populations in coastal areas. Honours thesis, Murdoch University. (Supervisors: Lars Bejder, Hugh Finn, Nahiid Stephens, Carly Holyoake).
Blogs associated with Stage 2
- New publication: Complex prey handling of dolphins on giant cuttlefish
- New publication: Sex-specific patterns in abundance, temporary emigration and survival of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in coastal and estuarine waters
- New publication: Sex-specific home ranges in bottlenose dolphins
- Congratulations to Dr. Kate Sprogis on her PhD completion on sex-specific behavioural ecology of bottlenose dolphins
- Winter at Duke University, USA and Summer in Bunbury, Western Australia
- Whales, flying fish, sea lions and dolphins galore
- “Fish tales” from the SWMRP
- WA winter wanderers
- Update from Bunbury: male dolphins, lots of calves and hammerhead sharks
- Post-mortem results of the Gray’s beaked whale stranding
- Bunbury summer dolphin transects complete
- Bunbury spring surveys complete
- Investigating marine mammal health
- Bunbury dolphin winter surveys complete – including observation of recent shark bite
- Six cycles within one season
- Update from Bunbury
Stage 2 partners