Relatively scant information is available on the Risso’s dolphin in comparison to the other species regularly present in the Mediterranean Sea. Recently, its conservation status has been updated to Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in this Sea. Therefore, the need to increase information on its biology and ecology is even more urgent. This study reports the first preliminary information on the behavioral traits of the species occurring in the Gulf of Taranto (Northern Ionian Sea). Data on predominant behavioral activity states and on a set of group composition variables (group formation, cruising speed, dive duration and interaction between individuals) were collected from April 2019 to September 2021, applying the focal-group protocol with instantaneous scan sampling. Group size, depth and group composition variables were compared between activity states. Results highlight that both the group size and the several variables considered varied significantly depending on activity state. The group size was significantly smaller during feeding than resting and traveling and a characterization in terms of group formation, cruise speed, dive duration and interaction between animals is provided for the different activity states. Moreover, a list of behavioral events which occurred, as well as their relative frequency of distribution among activity states, is reported. Finally, details on the sympatric occurrences between Risso’s and striped dolphins, as well as the repetitive interaction observed between adult individuals and plastic bags floating on the sea surface, are reported and discussed.

Behavioral Pattern of Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus) in the Gulf of Taranto (Northern Ionian Sea, Central-Eastern Mediterranean Sea)

Giulia Cipriano;Roberto Carlucci
;
Pasquale Ricci;
2022

Abstract

Relatively scant information is available on the Risso’s dolphin in comparison to the other species regularly present in the Mediterranean Sea. Recently, its conservation status has been updated to Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in this Sea. Therefore, the need to increase information on its biology and ecology is even more urgent. This study reports the first preliminary information on the behavioral traits of the species occurring in the Gulf of Taranto (Northern Ionian Sea). Data on predominant behavioral activity states and on a set of group composition variables (group formation, cruising speed, dive duration and interaction between individuals) were collected from April 2019 to September 2021, applying the focal-group protocol with instantaneous scan sampling. Group size, depth and group composition variables were compared between activity states. Results highlight that both the group size and the several variables considered varied significantly depending on activity state. The group size was significantly smaller during feeding than resting and traveling and a characterization in terms of group formation, cruise speed, dive duration and interaction between animals is provided for the different activity states. Moreover, a list of behavioral events which occurred, as well as their relative frequency of distribution among activity states, is reported. Finally, details on the sympatric occurrences between Risso’s and striped dolphins, as well as the repetitive interaction observed between adult individuals and plastic bags floating on the sea surface, are reported and discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/382249
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