A review on the distribution, abundance, residency, survival and population structure of coastal bottlenose dolphins in Argentina

Els Vermeulen, Ricardo Bastida, Leonardo G. Berninsone, Pablo Bordino, Mauricio Failla, Pedro Fruet, Guillermo Harris, Miguel Iñíguez, Maria C. Marchesi, Pablo Petracci, Laura Reyes, Mariano Sironi, Stefan Bräger

Abstract


Although bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus are among the most common delphinid species, global population trends remain poorly understood. To improve the knowledge of the species in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean, this
paper reviews all available data related to the distribution and occurrence, abundance, residency and ranging patterns, group size and composition, survival and reproduction and population structure of the coastal bottlenose dolphin in Argentina. Most information proved to be scattered in time and space. Based on the available data, total abundance of coastal bottlenose dolphins in Argentina appears to be low. Data show sightings decreased notably since the 1990s in the northern province of Buenos Aires and the province of Chubut, with the species having disappeared completely from the former region. Data also indicated that two genetically and morphologically distinct coastal populations occur in Argentinean coastal waters, with a sympatric distribution in the provinces of Río Negro and Chubut. One is an isolated ‘Evolutionary Signifcant Unit’ within the larger Southwest Atlantic, whereas the other population appears to be genetically related to the Southwest Atlantic offshore ecotype. In the absence of more substantial data, the present information is pertinent to our scientifc knowledge of the species in the country, collating all published information as well as information from grey literature and previously unpublished data. However, the available information appears to remain insufcient to explain the apparent decline in sightings and to assess the remaining abundance nationwide accurately. Therefore, we strongly recommend increased research efforts for an in-depth assessment of the species’ population status in Argentina.


Keywords


Abundance, Argentina, bottlenose dolphin, distribution, population structure, population decline.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Anonymous (2011) Un vecino de Comodoro encontró dos delfnes varados en la Bajada de los Palitos. Diario Crónica 15 February 2011. Available online at http://www.diariocronica. com.ar/index.php?r=noticias/verNoticiaandq=35828

Balbiano, A. and Suárez, H. (2000) Informe especial Cetáceos: Las joyas del océano. Revista Aire y Sol 274:68-77.

Bastida, R. (2003) El espíritu del surf y los delfines. Revista Surfista 15:12.

Bastida, R. (2015) El adiós de los delfines. Revista Surfista 27:19-23.

Bastida, R. and Lichtschein, V. (1986) Capturas incidentales de pequeños cetáceos en el área de Mar del Plata (Provincia de Buenos Aires-Argentina). Pages 14-22 in Actas, I Reunión de Trabajo de Expertos en Mamíferos Acuáticos de América del Sud, 24-29 June, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bastida, R. and Rodríguez, D. (2003) Mamíferos marinos de Patagonia y Antártida. 1.ed. Vázquez Mazzini, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bastida, R. and Rodríguez, D. (2006) Orden Cetacea. Pages 122-144 in Barquez, R.M. (Ed.) Mamíferos de Argentina. Sistemática y Distribución. Sociedad Argentina para el Estudio de los Mamíferos – SAREM, Mendoza, Argentina.

Bastida, R. and Rodríguez, D. (2009) Marine mammals of Patagonia and Antarctica. 2.ed. Vázquez Mazzini. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bastida, R., Rodríguez, D., Moreno, V., Pérez, A., Marcovecchio, J. and Gerpe, M. (1992) Varamientos de pequeños cetáceos durante el período 1984-1988 en el área de Mar del Plata (Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina). Pages 1-19 in Anales, Tercera Reunión de Especialistas en Mamíferos Acuáticos de América del Sur, 25-30 July, Montevideo,

Uruguay.

Bastida, R., Rodríguez, D., Secchi, E.R. and Da Silva, V. (2007) Mamíferos acuáticos de Sudamérica y Antártida. 1.ed. Editora Vázquez Mazzini, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bearzi, G., Holcer, D. and Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. (2004) The role of historical dolphin takes and habitat degradation in shaping the present status of northern Adriatic cetaceans. Aquatic Conservation 14: 363-379.

https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.626

Boltovskoy, D. (2009) Atlas de Sensibilidad Ambiental de la Costa y Mar Argentino. http://atlas.ambiente.gov.ar Consulted on 23 May 2016.

Cabrera, A. and Yepes, J. (1940) Mamíferos Sud-Americanos (vida, costumbres y descripción). Historia Natural Ediar, Compañía Argentina de Editores. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Cabrera, A. and Yepes, J. (1960) Mamíferos Sud Americanos. Historia Natural Ediar, Tomo II, 2.ed. Ediar S.A., Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Castello, H., Bastida, R., Montes, G. and Palermo, G. (1983) La tonina. Fauna Argentina 18: 1-32. Centro Editor de América Latina. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Coscarella, M.A. and Crespo, E.A. (2009) Feeding aggregation and aggressive interaction between bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and Commerson’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) in Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Ethology 28: 183-187. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164-009-0171-y

Coscarella, M., Dans, S.L., Degrati, M., Garaffo, G. and Crespo, E.A. (2012) Bottlenose dolphins at the southern extreme of the south-western Atlantic: local population decline? Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 92: 1843-1849. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315411001901

Crespo, E.A., Corcuera, J. and López Cazorla, A. (1994) Interactions between marine mammals and fisheries in some coastal fishing areas of Argentina. Pages 269-281 in Perrin, W. F., Donovan, G. P., Barlow, J. (Eds) Gillnets and Cetaceans. Reports of the International Whaling Commission (Special Issue 15), International Whaling Commission, Cambridge

UK.

Crespo, E.A., Pedraza, S.N., Dans, S.L., Alonso, M.K., Reyes, L.M., García, N.A., Coscarella, M. and Schiavini, A.C.M. (1997) Direct and indirect effects of the highseas fisheries on the marine mammal populations in the northern and central Patagonian coast. Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science 22: 189-207. https://doi.org/10.2960/J.v22.a15

Crespo, E.A., García, N.A., Dans, S.L. and Pedraza, S.N. (2008) Mamíferos marinos. Tursiops truncatus. Pages 1-6 in Boltovskoy, D. (Ed.) Atlas de Sensibilidad Ambiental del Mar y la costa Patagónica. Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable de la Nación (Proyecto ARG 02/018 “Conservación de la Diversidad Biológica y Prevención de la Contaminación Marina en Patagonia”).

Currey, R.J., Dawson, S.M. and Slooten, E. (2007) New abundance estimates suggest Doubtful Sound bottlenose dolphins are declining. Pacific Conservation Biology 13: 274-282. https://doi.org/10.1071/PC070274

Failla, M., Seijas, V.A. and Vermeulen, E. (2016) Occurrence of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of the Río Negro Estuary, Patagonia, Argentina and their mid-distance movements along the Northeast Patagonian coast. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 11(1-2): 170-177. https://doi.org/10.5597/lajam00226

Fidalgo. G.L. (2004) Mamíferos marinos. Pages 221-227 in Piccolo, M.C. and Hoffmeyer, M.S. (Eds) Ecosistema del Estuario de Bahía Blanca. IADO, Bahía Blanca, Argentina.

Fruet, P.F., Kinas, P.G., Da Silva, K.G., Di Tullio, J.C., Monteiro, D.S., Dalla Rosa, L., Estima, S.C. and Secchi, E.R. (2012) Temporal trends in mortality and effects of bycatch on common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus, in southern Brazil. Journal of the Marine Biological Association

of the United Kingdom 92: 1865-1876. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315410001888

Fruet, P.F., Secchi, E.R., Daura-Jorge, F., Vermeulen, E., Flores, P.A.C., Simões-Lopes, P.C., Genoves, R.C., Laporta, P., Di Tullio, J.C., Freitas, T.R.O., Dalla Rosa, L., Valiati, V.H., Beheregaray, L.B. and Möller, L.M. (2014) Remarkably low genetic diversity and strong population structure in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from coastal waters of the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. Conservation Genetics 15: 879.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-014-0586-z

Fruet, P.F., Daura-Jorge, F.G., Möller, L.M., Genoves, R.C. and Secchi, E.R. (2015) Abundance and demography of bottlenose dolphins inhabiting a subtropical estuary in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Mammalogy 96: 332-343. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv035

Fruet, P.F., Zappes, C.A., Bisi, T.L., Simões-Lopes, P.C., Laporta, P., Loureiro, J.D. and Flores, P.A.C. (2016) Report of the Working Group on Interactions between Humans and Tursiops truncatus in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 11 (1-2): 79-98. https://doi.org/10.5597/lajam00218

Fruet, P.F., Secchi, E.R., Di Tullio, J.C., Simões-Lopes, P.C., Daura-Jorge, F., Costa, A.P.B, Vermeulen, E., Flores, P.A.C., Genoves, R.C., Laporta, P., Beheregaray, L., Möller, L.M. and Beheregaray, L.B. (2017) Genetic divergence between two phenotypically distinct bottlenose dolphin ecotypes suggests separate evolutionary trajectories. Ecology and Evolution 7: 9131–9143. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3335

González, G. and Benseny, G. (2013) Consecuencias ambientales del crecimiento demográfico y turístico en Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Pages 169-196 in Benseny, G. (Ed.) Gestores costeros. De la teoría a la práctica: una aplicación en áreas litorales. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina. ISBN 978-987-543-755-5.

Goodall, R.N.P. (1989) The lost whales of Tierra del Fuego. Oceanus 32:89-95.

Goodall, R.N.P., Marchesi, M.C., Pimper, L.E., Dellabianca, N., Benegas, L.G., Torres, M.A. and Riccialdelli, L. (2011) Southernmost records of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. Polar Biology 34: 1085-1090.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-010-0954-1

Hershkovitz, P. (1963) Notes on South American dolphins of the genera Inia, Sotalia and Tursiops. Journal of Mammalogy 44: 98-103. https://doi.org/10.2307/1377172

Jackson, J.B.C., Kirby, M.X., Berger, W.H., Bjorndal, K.A., Botsford, L.W., Bourque, B.J., Bradbury, R.H. Cooke, R., Erlandson, J., Estes, J.A., Hughes, T.P., Kidwell, S., Lange, C.B., Lenihan, H.S., Pandolf, J.M., Peterson, C.H., Steneck, R.S., Tegner, M.J. and Warner, R.R. (2001) Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems.

Science 293: 629-38. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1059199

Lahille, F. (1908) Nota sobre un Delfín (Tursiops gephyreus). Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires XVI: 347-365.

Lázaro, M. and Praderi, R. (2000) Problems and status of species in Uruguay. Pages 8-9 in Hucke-Gaete, R. (Ed.) Review of the conservation status of small cetaceans in southern South America. UNEP/CMS Secretariat, Bonn, Germany.

Lodi, L., Domit, C., Laporta, P., Di Tullio, J.C., Martins, C.C.A. and Vermeulen, E. (2016) Report of the Working Group on the Distribution of Tursiops truncatus in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 11(1-2): 29-46. https://doi.org/10.5597/lajam00214

Manlik, O., McDonald, J.A., Mann, J., Raudino, H.C., Bejder, L., Krutzen, M., Connor, R.C., Heithaus, M.R., Lacy, R.C. and Sherwin, W.B. (2016) The relative importance of reproduction and survival for the conservation of two dolphin populations. Ecology Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2130

Marcovecchio, J.E., Moreno, V.J., Bastida, R., Gerpe, M.S. and Rodríguez, D.H. (1990) Tissue distribution of heavy metals in small cetaceans from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Marine Pollution Bulletin 21: 299-304.

https://doi.org/10.1016/0025-326X(90)90595-Y

Marcovecchio, J.E., Gerpe, M.S., Bastida, R., Rodríguez, D.H. and Morón. S.G. (1994) Environmental contamination and marine mammals in coastal waters from Argentina: an overview. Science of the Total Environment 154: 141-151. https://doi.org/10.1016/0048-9697(94)90084-1

Marelli, C.A. (1953) Documentos iconográfcos sobre cetáceos argentinos. Anales Museo Nahuel Huapi “P.F. Moreno” 3: 133-143.

Mermoz, J.F. (1977) Sobre el varamiento de un delfín nariz de botella, Tursiops truncatus, en la desembocadura del Río de la Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Physis, Sección C 93: 227-235.

Moreno, V.J., Pérez, A., Bastida, R., de Moreno, J.E.A. and Malaspina, A.M. (1984) Distribución de mercurio total en los tejidos de un Delfn nariz de botella (Tursiops gephyreus Lahille, 1908) de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Argentina). Revista del Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo

Pesquero (INIDEP) 4: 93-102.

Ojeda, R.A., Chillo, V. and Díaz Isenrath, G.B. (2012) Libro rojo de mamíferos amenazados de la Argentina. Sociedad Argentina para el Estudio de los Mamíferos - SAREM, Mendoza, Argentina.

Otley, H. (2012) The composition of the cetacean community in the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands, southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía 47:537-551. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-19572012000300015

QGIS Development Team (2016) QGIS Geographic Information System. Open Source Geospatial Foundation Project. http://qgis.osgeo.org

Reeves, R.R. and Leatherwood, S. (1994) 1998 Action plan

for the conservation of cetaceans: dolphins, porpoises, and whales.

IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Reeves, R.R, Smith, B.D., Crespo, E.A. and Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. (2003) Dolphins, whales and porpoises: 2002-2010 conservation plan for the world’s cetaceans. IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2003.SSC-AP.2.en

Reyes, L.M. (2006) Cetaceans of central Patagonia, Argentina. Aquatic Mammals 32: 20-30. https://doi.org/10.1578/AM.32.1.2006.20

Romero, M.A., Fernández, M., Dans, S.L., García, N.A., González, R. and Crespo, E.A. (2014) Gastrointestinal parasites of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the extreme southwestern Atlantic, with notes on diet composition. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 108: 61-70. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02700

Sánchez, J., Kuba, L., Berón-Vera, B., Dans, S.L., Crespo, E.A., Van Bressem, M.F., Coscarella, M.A., García, N.A., Koen Alonso, M., Pedraza, S. and Mariotti, P.A. (2002) Uterine adenocarcinoma with generalised metastasis in a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus from northern

Patagonia, Argentina. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 48: 155-159. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao048155

Schwacke, L.H., Voit, E.O., Hansen, L.J., Wells, R.S., Mitchum, G.B., Hohn, A.A. and Fair, P.A. (2002) Probabilistic risk assessment of reproductive effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the southeast United States coast. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 21: 752-2764. https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.5620211232

Strange, I.J. (1992) A field guide to the wildlife of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Harper Collins Publishers, London, UK.

Sutherland, W.J. (2008) The conservation handbook: Research, management and policy. John Wiley & Sons, London, UK.

Svendsen, G. (2013) Distribución y uso de hábitat de mamíferos marinos en el Golfo San Matías. Ph.D. Dissertation, Universidad Nacional de Comahue and Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Argentina. 160 pp.

Tezanos-Pinto, G., Constantine, R., Brooks, L., Jackson, J.A., Mourão, F., Wells, S. and Baker, S.C. (2013) Decline in local abundance of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Marine Mammal Science 29: 390-410. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12008

Thompson, P.M., Wilson, B., Grellier, K. and Hammond, P.S. (2000) Combining power analysis and population viability analysis to compare traditional and precautionary approaches to conservation of coastal cetaceans. Biological Conservation 14: 1253-1263.

https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.00099-410.x

Vermeulen, E. and Bräger, S. (2015) Demographics of the disappearing bottlenose dolphin in Argentina: a common species on its way out? PLoS ONE 10(3): e0119182. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0119182

Vermeulen, E. and Cammareri, A. (2009a) Variation in external morphology of resident bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahía San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology 2: 1-6.

Vermeulen, E. and Cammareri, A. (2009b) Residency, abundance and social composition of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahía San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. Aquatic Mammals 35: 379-386.

https://doi.org/10.1578/AM.35.3.2009.378

Vermeulen, E., Holsbeek, L. and Das, K. (2015) Diurnal and seasonal variation in the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahía San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. Aquatic Mammals 41: 272-283.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1578/AM.41.3.2015.272

Vermeulen, E., Balbiano, A., Beleguer, F., Colombil, D., Failla, M., Intrieri, E. and Bräger, S. (2016) Site-fdelity and movement patterns of bottlenose dolphins in central Argentina: essential information for effective conservation. Aquatic Conservation. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2618

Wells, R.S., Tornero, V., Borrell, A., Aguilar, A., Rowels, T.K., Rhinehart, H.L., Hofmann, S., Jarman, W.M., Hohn, A.A. and Sweeney, J.C. (2005) Integrating life-history and reproductive success data to examine potential relationship with organochlorine compounds for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida. Science of the

Total Environment 249: 106-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.01.010

Wickert, J.C., von Eye, S.M., Oliveira, L.R., Moreno, I.B. (2016) Revalidation of Tursiops gephyreus Lahille, 1908 (Cetartiodactyla: Delphinidae) from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Mammalogy 97:1728-1737. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyw139

Würsig, B. (1978) Occurrence and group organization of Atlantic bottlenose porpoise (Tursiops truncatus) in an Argentine bay. Biology Bulletin 154: 348-359. https://doi.org/10.2307/1541132

Würsig, B. and Harris, G.G. (1990) Site and association fidelity in bottlenose dolphins off Argentina. Pages 361-365 in Leatherwood, S. and Reeves, R.R. (Eds) The bottlenose dolphin. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.

Würsig, B. and Würsig. M. (1977) The photographic determination of group size, composition and stability of coastal porpoises (Tursiops truncatus). Science 198: 755-756. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.198.4318.755

Würsig, B. and Würsig, M. (1979) Behaviour and ecology of bottlenose porpoises, Tursiops truncatus, in the South Atlantic. Fishery Bulletin 77: 399-442.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5597/00233

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments




footer_lajam_eb_540_540