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The effects of aquaculture on bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops sp.) ranging in Shark Bay, Western Australia - Essay Example

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A recent study conducted in Shark Bay in Western Australia on the effects of aquaculture, or the farming of shellfish in coastal waters, on the ranging patterns of bottlenose dolphins found dolphins would decrease their use of the area in use for the farm suggesting that such…
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The effects of aquaculture on bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops sp.) ranging in Shark Bay, Western Australia
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Download file to see previous pages of such a large number of single species, the interruption of the food chain, the activity of humans and the interference with migration patterns and appropriate safe places in which dolphins have traditionally hidden from predators, there have not been many studies conducted regarding the exact effect these types of farms have on local dolphin populations.
The study looked at the activities of 11 female dolphins that have been subjects of studies since 1988. Because the areas of the oyster farm moved periodically throughout the study, researchers were able to compare dolphin activities at each stage of operation. The study was conducted by approaching dolphins as they were seen from a small boat and determining individuals by their dorsal fins. At the same time, the location of the boat was recorded by taking bearings on GPS devices or landmarks. These location points were then charted and compared to the oyster farm areas. The dolphins studied did show a significant decrease in usage of the areas used by the oyster farm, preferring to operate around the farm rather than in it or through it. The impact of this is decreased foraging sites for female dolphins, resulting in decreased eating, reproductive success and disruption in established social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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