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Investigating Behavioral and Habitat-Use Patterns of Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris) in the Maui Nui Region Using Acoustic Data.

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Title:Investigating Behavioral and Habitat-Use Patterns of Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris) in the Maui Nui Region Using Acoustic Data.
Authors:McElligott, Megan M.
Contributors:Marine Biology (department)
Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) rest during the day in nearshore areas where they are susceptible to human disturbance. Due to concerns over the negative impacts of human activity, the Pacific Islands Regional Office of NOAA Fisheries proposed a 50-yard approach and swim-with limit for spinner dolphins with the potential for time-area closures. A combination of passive acoustic monitoring and vessel surveys was employed to establish an understanding of spinner dolphins’ current use of the Maui Nui region (Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, and the ʻAuʻau channel). Ecological acoustic recorders (EARs) were deployed in eight locations in Maui Nui, and one well-established resting bay off west O‘ahu for comparison. The amount of whistles, clicks, and burst pulses in each recording were quantified by an acoustic activity index (AAI) and averaged by the hour of the day.
The deployment, time of day, and interaction between longitude and latitude were significant predictors of variation in dolphin acoustic activity. Acoustic activity was greater at the O‘ahu site than any of the Maui Nui sites, and was greatest between sunrise and noon. Acoustic activity at the Maui Nui sites indicated, and vessel surveys confirmed, that spinner dolphins exhibited resting behaviors in the ʻAuʻau channel between Maui and Lānaʻi, and along west Maui, and southeast Lāna’i. Dolphins resting in the channel is unique to Maui Nui and has not been described along Hawaiʻi Island or O‘ahu. Because spinner dolphins use the coastlines and the channel to rest in Maui Nui the 50-yard approach limit would be a more feasible management option for the region than time-area closures.
Description:M.S. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Marine Biology

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