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Photo-identification of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in north-east New Zealand: a photo-catalogue of recognisable individuals
Neumann, D.R.; Leitenberger, A.; Orams, M.B. (2002). Photo-identification of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in north-east New Zealand: a photo-catalogue of recognisable individuals. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 36(3): 593-604. hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00288330.2002.9517115
In: New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. Royal Society of New Zealand: Wellington. ISSN 0028-8330, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Movements; Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Photo-identification; Common dolphin; Re-sighting; Site fidelity; Home range

Authors  Top 
  • Neumann, D.R.
  • Leitenberger, A.
  • Orams, M.B.

Abstract
    Photo-identification has been established as a helpful tool in cetacean research. However, no study to date has attempted to apply this method to short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis L.). We present here the results of two studies that were conducted concurrently in Mercury Bay and the Hauraki Gulf on the north-east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Methods for distinguishing between individual dolphins are discussed. Sighting records of recognisable individuals indicate that some common dolphins move between Mercury Bay and the Hauraki Gulf (100 km distance), as well as between Mercury Bay and Whakatane (200 km distance). Common dolphin abundance and site fidelity appeared to be greater in the Hauraki Gulf than in Mercury Bay. A selection of photographs of distinct individuals is presented to allow future studies to compare their sighting records to ours, which may help establish the extent of home ranges, site fidelity, and possibly even longevity for common dolphins.

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