Sep 4, 2014

Updated population viability analysis, population trends and PBRs for Hector's and Maui dolphin

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jessica McGillenVictor M Perez-Garcia


Updated population viability analyses, incorporating the latest abundance and bycatch data indicate that: The estimated population decline for Maui dolphin is 2% per year. There is a 68% probability that the population is continuing to decline. After 30 years (6 more surveys) statistical power of detecting this rate of decline would be < 15%/ Only very large declines (37%) and recovery (45%) would be detectable with 80% statistical power after 30 years (6 more surveys). The level of conservation threat for Hectors dolphin remains high despite a recent, larger population estimate off the east coast of the South Island. Increased overlap between dolphins and fisheries, due to more extensive offshore distribution of dolphins off the South Island east coast, more than offsets the apparently higher population size. The Hectors dolphin population has declined 70% over the last 3 generations, exceeding the 50% threshold for Endangered Population declines are predicted to continue under current protection levels. The results of this research are consistent with: NOAA proposal to list Hectors and Maui dolphins under the US Endangered Species Act IWC recommendation to ban gillnets and trawling throughout Maui dolphin habitat IUCN recomme...Continue Reading

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