Feeding ecology of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) incidentally caught in the gillnet fisheriesoff Zanzibar, Tanzania
2005 (English)In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714, E-ISSN 1096-0015, Vol. 63, no 3, 429-437 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The stomach contents of 26 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) incidentally caught in gillnet fisheries aroundUnguja Island (Zanzibar) between February 2000 and August 2002 were examined. The relative importance of each prey species wasassessed through indices of relative importance. In total, 1403 prey items comprising 50 species of bony fish and three species ofsquid were identified from food remains. Five species of fish, Uroconger lepturus, Synaphobranchus kaupii, Apogon apogonides,Lethrinus crocineus, Lutjanus fulvus, and three species of squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana, Sepia latimanus and Loligo duvauceli, werethe most important prey species. Based on an index that included frequency of occurrence, percentage by number and by weight,Uroconger lepturus proved to be the most important prey species of mature dolphins whereas Apogon apogonides was the preferredprey of immature dolphins. These results indicate that Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Zanzibar forage ona relatively large number of prey species, but that only a few small- and medium-sized neritic fish and cephalopods contributesubstantially to the diet. Further, the ecology and behavior of the preferred fish prey species indicate that the dolphins forage overreef or soft bottom substrata and near the shore.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 63, no 3, 429-437 p.
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin; Tursiops aduncus; stomach contents; feeding ecology; diet; Zanzibar
Research subject Animal Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34448DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2004.12.006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-34448DiVA: diva2:284811
ProjectsSustainable dolphin tourism in east Africa