Reports of strandings and sightings of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in northeastern Brazil and Brazilian oceanic islands
Keywords:Strandings, Sightings, Bottlenose dolphin
This study revises and updates information on bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatusstrandings and sightings in northeastern Brazil. A total of 72 strandings were recorded from 1992 to 2010, and 51 sightings were recorded from 1988 to 2010 along the states from Ceará to Bahia, including Fernando de Noronha and São Pedro and São Paulo archipelagos, Rocas Atoll and Abrolhos Bank. Most strandings were recorded in the states of Pernambuco, Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte. The number of reports was higher during summer, but no statistically significant difference was found between summer and other seasons. The majority of the stranded animals were adults (70.6%). Stranded calves were not observed. Total body length ranged from 138 to 321cm: 138 to 310cm for males; and 168 to 288cm for females. The average adult body length was 281cm (SD = 0.22). For stranding events where sex was determined (n = 29), a highly statistically significant difference was found between the number of males (n = 21) and females (n = 8). A total of six animals (8.3%) showed evidence of fisheries interactions such as net marks or removal of meat, blubber and eyes. Twenty-two sightings were recorded in the northeastern region, mostly in small islands and Rocas Atoll. This finding shows that the bottlenose dolphin is mainly an oceanic species in the region. More efforts are needed to improve our understanding of the populations and conservation status of bottlenose dolphins in this region.
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