Navigation Links
Size matters: Large Marine Protected Areas work for dolphins
Date:3/26/2012

Ecologists in New Zealand have shown for the first time that Marine Protected Areas long advocated as a way of protecting threatened marine mammals actually work. Their study, based on 21 years' monitoring and published today in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, reveals that a marine sanctuary off the coast of Christchurch has significantly improved survival of Hector's dolphins one of the rarest dolphins in the world.

Covering 1170 km2 of sea off New Zealand's South Island, Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary was designated in 1988 to prevent the dolphins being killed by gillnet and trawl fisheries.

Over 21 years between 1986 and 2006, researchers conducted regular photo-identification surveys of Hector's dolphins, photographically capturing 462 reliably-marked individuals, whose survival they studied.

According to one of the team, Dr Liz Slooten of the University of Otago: "We can identify individual dolphins from their battle scars which range from small nicks out of the dorsal fin to major scarring following shark attacks."

The team analysed the photographic re-sightings using a so-called Bayesian mark-recapture technique and then used a population model to assess the impact of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) on Hector's dolphins.

The results showed that since the MPA was designated, the dolphin's survival has increased by 5.4%. According to Dr Slooten: "This study provides the first empirical evidence that Marine Protected Areas are effective in protecting threatened marine mammals."

But she warns that while survival has improved significantly, it is not yet high enough to prevent the population from continuing to decline.

MPAs, in which certain fishing methods are banned or restricted, are often used to help conserve marine mammals. Until now, there has been little if any empirical evidence of their effectiveness, so measuring their impact is crucial to justify setting up MPAs.

As well as providing the first hard evidence that MPAs work, the study illustrates the importance of long-term ecological monitoring, as Dr Slooten explains: "Estimating population changes in marine mammals is challenging, often requiring many years of research to produce data accurate enough to detect these kinds of biological changes."

The study also shows that to be effective, MPAs need to be sufficiently large. "The take home message is that size matters. Marine Protected Areas work, but they have to be large enough in order to be effective," she concludes.


'/>"/>
Contact: Becky Allen
beckyallen@ntlworld.com
44-012-235-70016
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Size matters: Eavesdropping on sexual signals
2. Distribution is what matters: How body fat influences the risk of diabetes
3. Size matters: Smaller particles could make solar panels more efficient
4. Size matters: Length of songbirds’ playlists linked to brain region proportions
5. Location matters: For invasive aquatic species, its better to start upstream
6. Lack of large-scale experiments slows progress of environmental restoration
7. Complete Genomics launches, becomes worlds first large-scale human genome sequencing company
8. Yale journal finds nanomaterials may have large environmental footprint
9. Research uncovers new steps on pathway to enlarged heart
10. Paradigm Tactical Products to be Largest Distributor of Metal/Radiation Detection Wands in United States
11. Less than one month to opening of world’s largest global congress on osteoporosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Size matters: Large Marine Protected Areas work for dolphins
(Date:6/9/2016)... in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance control ... right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of doors. ... ... ... Photo - ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) ... million US Dollar project, for the , Supply ... Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical ... premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is ... projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report ... detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted ... change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, protecting ... has closed its Series A funding round, according to ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund that ... meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez . ... complete validation on the current projects in our pipeline, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: