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Therya

versión On-line ISSN 2007-3364

Resumen

DELGADO-ESTRELLA, Alberto. Residence patterns and long-term movements of dolphins Tursiops truncatus, in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Therya [online]. 2015, vol.6, n.2, pp.297-314. ISSN 2007-3364.  http://dx.doi.org/10.12933/therya-15-265.

INTRODUCTION:

There are scarce information about the movements and patterns of residence of bottlenose dolphins in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico and the objective of this study is to have information on this subject, Terminos lagoon area is the zone with more effort to study in the region and it is possible that the dolphins move along the coast.

METHODS:

During 1994 to 1999 systematic surveys were carried out to study the movements and residence patterns of bottlenose dolphin populations in four different localities along the coast of the southern Gulf of Mexico, Holbox Island, Quintana Roo, Celestun in Yucatan, Terminos lagoon in Campeche and oriental Tabasco.

RESULTS:

In total, 2,889 dolphins were photo-identified in the four areas, the majority in the Terminos lagoon (1,987), in this same area one dolphin was recorded within 10 years and nine months, thus having a multi-annual residency pattern. Other dolphin was photo-identified during 1997 in Holbox and 247 days later in Tabasco, another four animals moved from Terminos lagoon to Tabasco, travelling on average 270 km.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

These are the first long-term residence patterns and migration records for the species along the southern Gulf of Mexico. Bottlenose dolphins use the coastal lagoons as feeding and shelter areas for calving. The long movements recorded along the Yucatán peninsula between Quintana Roo and Tabasco may evidence a continuous coastal population along the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Palabras llave : Bottlenose dolphins; Gulf of Mexico; movements; residence; Tursiops truncatus.

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