Eavesdropping on dolphins: Investigating the habits of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) through fixed acoustic stations

Autoři: Jessica Alessi aff001;  Alberta Mandich aff001;  Maurizio Wurtz aff001;  Chiara Paoli aff001;  Carlo Nike Bianchi aff001;  Carla Morri aff001;  Paolo Povero aff001;  Marco Brunoldi aff004;  Giorgio Bozzini aff004;  Alessandra Casale aff004;  Daniele Grosso aff004;  Valentina Cappanera aff005;  Giorgio Fanciulli aff005;  Christian Melchiorre aff006;  Gianni Viano aff006;  Massimiliano Bei aff007;  Nicola Stasi aff007;  Mauro Gino Taiuti aff004;  Paolo Vassallo aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of the Earth, Environment and Life Science, University of Genova, Genova, Italy aff001;  Associazione Me.Ri.S. Mediterraneo Ricerca e Sviluppo, Favara, Agrigento, Italy aff002;  CIRCE - Interuniversity Center for Cetacean Research, Operative Unit of Genoa University, Genova, Italy aff003;  Department of Physics, University of Genova, Genova, Italy aff004;  Area Marina Protetta di Portofino, Ministry for the Environment and for the Protection of Territory and Sea, Santa Margherita Ligure, Genova, Italy aff005;  SOFTECO Sismat S.r.l, Genova, Italy aff006;  Direzione Marittima di Genova, Ministry for the Infrastructures and Transport, Genova, Italy aff007
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226023


This study investigates the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) habitat use in the Portofino marine protected area (NW Italy) and adjacent waters, a core area for the dolphins and a highly touristic area in the Mediterranean Sea. A permanent automated real-time passive acoustic monitoring system, able to detect and track dolphins continuously, was tested in the area within the activities of the Life+ Nature project ARION. The habits of bottlenose dolphins was investigated considering the resident rate inside the area, which quantifies the amount of time dolphins spent in these waters, by means of random forest regression. The dependency of dolphin resident rate was analyzed in relation to four explanatory variables: sea surface temperature, season, time of day, and proximity to the coast. Dolphins spent more time in the area during spring and when sea surface temperature ranged between 15–16°C. Summer resulted the season with lower dolphin residency with significant difference between working day and weekend, in the last the lowest residency was recorded. Main findings provide important information to properly manage the area in order to protect bottlenose dolphins.

Klíčová slova:

Bioacoustics – Boats – Conservation science – Dolphins – Habits – Machine learning – Seasons – Marine conservation


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