Strand-feeding by coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador
Keywords:Feeding Ecology, Behavioral Ecology, Habitat Use
Strand-feeding as a predatory strategy was first observed in bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, inhabiting waters of Spartina marshes of South Carolina and Georgia, United States. While a substantial body of documented observations exists for many regions of the world, current evidences and photo-documentation of these types of foraging behaviors by bottlenose dolphins in the Pacific coast of South America are scarce. To the best of our knowledge, behaviors resembling strand-feeding by bottlenose dolphins have been described very briefly without supporting photos in the inner estuary of the Gulf of Guayaquil. As a part of a long-term field study (2001-2011) on photo-identification, population ecology and monitoring of the bottlenose dolphin in the El Morro Mangrove and Wildlife Refuge, we provide some insights on its conservation, and photo-documented the occurrence of strand-feeding as a recurrent behavioral foraging tactic in this region of South America.
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