|Hawaiian spinner dolphins and the growing dolphin watching activity in Oahu|Delfour, F. (2007). Hawaiian spinner dolphins and the growing dolphin watching activity in Oahu. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. Spec. Issue 87(1): 109-112. dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315407054148
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) feed offshore at night on mesopelagic prey and move to protected shallow waters in early morning to rest. We hypothesized that this behaviour would make them particularly sensitive to anthropogenic factors in these rest areas and would affect their overall behaviour and their population frequency. To test our hypothesis we collected data in a known rest area along the north-west coast of the island of Oahu during August of 2001, 2002 and 2003. Using land- and water-based surveys, we evaluated dolphin group size, counted boats, kayaks and swimmers in the vicinity of the dolphins (<40 m) and reported any changes in dolphin behaviour. Our results demonstrated a stable dolphin habitat frequency over the three summers, which emphasizes the critical value of this rest area for this spinner dolphin population. The results also showed an increase in dolphin-oriented activities, but we could not draw any definitive conclusion on their real impacts on spinner dolphin ecology and ethology.