Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) in central-northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil: stranding patterns and insights into feeding habits

Jailson Moura, Davi Castro Tavares, Helio K.C. Secco, Salvatore Siciliano

Abstract


The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) may be one of the best known dolphin species worldwide, principally due to its coastal distribution in many regions. However, few studies about ecology, biology and threats have been conducted on the Brazilian coast. The aim of the present work is to analyze the stranding pattern and stomach contents of bottlenose dolphins in the central-north coast of the Rio de Janeiro State, from Saquarema to São Francisco de Itabapoana (~300km of coast line). Forty nine stranding events were recorded through regular beach surveys from 1999 to 2012 and also through access to previous published studies conducted since 1984. The strandings were distributed throughout the study area, but there was a trend of occurrence in the extreme southern and northern regions. Nine specimens showed evidence of accidental mortality in fishing nets. The strandings were more frequently recorded during autumn and winter (χ2; p < 0.05). Male bottlenose dolphins stranded more often than females, showing significant differences in this relationship (χ2; p < 0.05). Most stranded dolphins were classified as adults (> 230cm of body length) (χ2; p < 0.05). The body length varied from 106 to 335cm. Four prey species were found in the stomach contents from the three specimens of bottlenose dolphin analyzed. The most representative prey species was the cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus). This study showed that bottlenose dolphins are frequently found dead along the Rio de Janeiro State where they feed mainly on coastal fish. Future studies need to be conducted to improve the knowledge on this poorly known cetacean in Brazil.

Keywords


Strandings; Feeding Ecology; By-catch; Fisheries Interactions

Full Text:

PDF

References


Barreto, A.S. (2000) Variação craniana e genética de Tursiops truncatus (Delphinidae, Cetacea) na costa Atlântica da América do Sul. Ph.D. Thesis. Universidade Federal de Rio Grande. Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. 112 pp.

Barros, N.B. (1993) Feeding ecology and foraging strategies of bottlenose dolphins on the central east coast of Florida. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Miami. Florida, USA. 328 pp.

Barros, N.B. and Clarke, M.R. (2009) Diet. Pages 311-316 in Perrin, W.F., Würsig, B. and Thewissen, J.G.M. (Eds) Encyclopedia of marine mammals, 2.ed. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.

Barros, N.B. and Odell, D.K. (1990) Food habits of bottlenose dolphins in the southeastern United States. Pages 309-326 in Leatherwood, S. and Reeves, R.R. (Eds) The bottlenose dolphin. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.

Barros, N.B. and Wells, R.S. (1998) Prey and feeding patterns of resident bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida. Journal of Mammalogy 79: 1045-1059. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1383114

Bastida, B. and Rodríguez, D. (2003) Mamíferos marinos de Patagonia y Antártida. Vázquez Manzini, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bastos G.C. (1990) Morfologia de otólitos de algumas espécies de Perciformes (Teleostei) da costa sudeste-sul do Brasil. M.Sc. Thesis. Universidade de São Paulo. São Paulo, Brazil. 180 pp.

Campos, E.J.D., Piola, A.R. and Miller, J.L. (1999) Water mass distribution on the shelf and shelf-break upwelling in the Southeast Brazil Bight. American Meteorological Society 1: 446-449.

Castro, B.M., Lorenzetti, J.A., Silveira, I.C. and Miranda, L.B. (2006) Estrutura termohalina e circulação na região entre o Cabo de São Tomé (RJ) e o Chuí (RS). Pages 11–120 in Wongtschowski, C.L.D. and Madureira, L.S.L. (Eds) O ambiente oceanográfico da plataforma continental e do talude na região sudeste-sul do Brasil. Editora Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Di Beneditto, A.P.M. (2003) Interactions between gillnet fisheries and small cetaceans in northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 2001-2002. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 2(2): 79-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.5597/lajam00035

Di Beneditto, A.P., Ramos, R. and Lima, N. (2001) Os golfinhos: origem, classificação, captura acidental, hábito alimentar. Editora Cinco Continentes, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Fernandez, S.P. (1992) Composicion de edad y sexo y parametros del

ciclo de vida de toninas (Tursiops truncatus)varadas en el noroeste del Golfo de Mexico. M.Sc. Thesis. Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. Guaymas, Mexico. 109 pp.

Fruet, P.F. (2008) Abundância, mortalidade em atividades pesqueiras

e viabilidade da população de botos, Tursiops truncatus, do estuário

da Lagoa dos Patos, RS, Brasil. M.Sc. Thesis. Universidade Federal

do Rio Grande. Rio Grande, RS, Brazil. 179 pp.

Garcia, C.A.E. (1997) Physical oceanography. Pages 94–96 in Seeliger, U., Odebrecht, C. and Castello, J.P. (Eds) Subtropical convergence environments: the coast and sea in the southwestern Atlantic. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.

Geise, L. and Borobia, M. (1988) Sobre a ocorrência de cetáceos no litoral do Estado do Rio de Janeiro entre 1968 e 1984. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 4(4): 341-346.

Gurjão, L.M., Neto, M.A.A.F, Santos, R.A. and Cascon, P. (2004) Stomach contents analysis of four dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae) stranded on beaches in Ceará state, Brazil. Revista Biociências 10(1-2): 39-45.

Jefferson, T.A., Webber, M.A. and Pitman, R.L. (2008) Common bottlenose dolphin – Tursiops truncatus. Pages 216-220 in Marine Mammals of the World: a comprehensive guide to their identification. Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Lodi, L., Wedekin, L.L., Rossi-Santos, M.R. and Marcondes,

M.C. (2008) Movements of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Rio de Janeiro State, southeastern Brazil. Biota Neotropica 8(4): 205-209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032008000400020

Mattson, M.C., Mullin, K.D., Ingram, G.W. and Hoggard, W. (2006) Age structure and growth of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from strandings in the Mississippi Sound region of the north-central Gulf of Mexico from 1986 to 2003. Marine Mammal Science 22(3):654-666. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2006.00057.x

Meirelles, A.C.O., Monteiro-Neto, C., Martins, M.A.M., Costa, A.F. (2009) Cetacean strandings in Ceará coast, northeastern Brazil (1992-2005). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 89(5):1083-1090. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315409002215

Melo, C.L.C., Santos, R.A., Bassoi, M., Araújo, A.C., Lailson-Brito, J., Dorneles, P.R. and Azevedo, A.F. (2010) Feeding habits of delphinids (Mammalia: Cetacea) from Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 90(8): 1509–1515.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315409991639

Moreno, I.B., Ott, P.H., Tavares, M., Oliveira, L.R., Danilewicz, D., Siciliano, S. and Bonnato, S.L. (2009) Os cetáceos com ênfase no golfinho-nariz-de-garrafa, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821). Pages 287–294 in Viana, D.L., Hazin, F.H.V. and Souza, M.A.C. (Eds) O Arquipélago de São Pedro e São Paulo: 10 anos de Estação Científica. SECIRM, Brasília, Brazil.

Moura, J.F., Sholl, T.G.C., Rodrigues, E.S., Hacon, S. and Siciliano, S. (2009a) Marine tucuxi dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) and its interaction with passive gill-net fisheries along the northern coast of the Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Marine Biodiversity Records 2(e82).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755267209000864

Moura, J.F., Rodrigues, E.S., Sholl, T.G.C. and Siciliano, S. (2009b) Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) on the north-east coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, recorded during a long term monitoring programme. Marine Biodiversity Records 2(e66). http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755267209000803

Moura, J.F., Di Dario, B.P.S., Lima, L.M. and Siciliano, S. (2010) A stranded pygmy killer whale on the coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Marine Biodiversity Records 3(e11). http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755267209991060

Muehe, D. and Valentini, E. (1998) O litoral do Estado do Rio de Janeiro: uma caracterização físico-ambiental. Editora FEMAR, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Norris, K.S. (1961) Standardized methods for measuring and recording data on the smaller cetaceans. Journal of Mammalogy 42(4): 471-476. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1377364

Pinedo, M.C. (1982) Análise dos conteúdos estomacais de Pontoporia blainvillei(Gervais; D’Orbigny, 1844) e Tursiops gephyreus (Lahille, 1908) (Cetacea, Platanistidae e Delphinidae) na zona estuarial e costeira de Rio Grande, RS, Brasil. M.Sc. Thesis. Universidade Federal do Rio Grande. Rio Grande, RS, Brazil. 95 pp.

Siciliano, S. and Franco, S.M.S. (2005) Catálogo da coleção de mamíferos aquáticos do Museu Nacional. Editora ENSP/FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Siciliano, S., Moreno, I.B., Silva, E.D. and Alves, V.C. (2006) Baleias, botos e golfinhos na Bacia de Campos. Série guias de campo: Fauna Marinha da Bacia de Campos. Editora ENSP/FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Siciliano, S., Emin-Lima, N.R., Costa, A., Rodrigues, A.L.F., Magalhães, A.F., Tosi, C.H., Garri, R.G., Silva, C.R., and Silva Júnior, J.S. (2008) Revisão do conhecimento sobre os mamíferos aquáticos da costa norte do Brasil. Arquivos do Museu Nacional 66: 381-401.

Valentin, J.L. (2001) The Cabo Frio upwelling system, Brazil. Pages 97-105 inSeeliger, U. and Kjerfve, B. (Eds) Ecological Studies: Coastal Marine Ecosystems of Latin America, Vol. 144. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, Germany.

Wells, R.S. and Scott, M.D. (2009) Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Pages 249-255 in Perrin, W.F., Würsig, B. and Thewissen, J.G.M (Eds). Encyclopedia of marine mammals, 2.ed. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5597/00228

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




footer_lajam_eb_540_540