Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) were observed to frequent a tropical reef complex off the coast of Fiji on a regular basis. Boats from surrounding tourist destinations visit this reef on a nearly daily basis to observe the dolphins and partake in various tourist activities, such as snorkelling. The aim of the study was to determine whether this reef is a resting habitat for this population. Specifically, we objectively and quantitatively investigated whether spinner dolphins were primarily resting whilst present within the reef and also assessed whether the same individuals revisited the reef over time. Photo-identification techniques and boat based observations were conducted over two study periods (September 2009 and May 2010). Fifty-six recognizable individuals were identified during this period, with 70% resighted on 2 or more occasions. Resting was identified as the most consistent behaviour dolphins engaged in whilst present inside the reef. These preliminary results provide vital information which can be used as a tool in the development and implementation of conservation initiatives as well as providing a basis for future studies investigating the habitat characteristics of this reef.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of The Marine Biological Association of The United Kingdom|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2012|
- Fiji Islands
- site fidelity
- spinner dolphin