Field Research Courses in Marine Mammals Science.
FIELD RESEARCH COURSE 1003: Conservation and management of bottlenose dolphin populations
This advanced course provides an in-depth, hands-on immersion into the field and laboratory methods available to study the interactions between human activities and bottlenose dolphins. This course surveys an extensive amount of knowledge and on-going investigations concerning marine mammals’ conservation, achieving an integrated approach to address human-bottlenose dolphin conflicts and advice on mitigation.
This course contains two modules. The first module will introduce students to some of the methods available to assess the impact of human activities (fisheries, aquaculture and tourism) on bottlenose dolphin populations. In the second module, course attendants will apply all methods on case studies, and perform analyses of example data. The first module contains various hands-on boat-based and computer exercises.
As a result of successful completion of this specialization course, attendants will gain a deeper insight into the various factors influencing the incidental capture of bottlenose dolphins, and explain the importance of local, national, and international policies that aim to protect bottlenose dolphin populations. By the end of the course, students will be able to design a simple project to assess the impact of human activities on bottlenose dolphins. In addition, course attendants will get experience in using an ecosystem modelling approach to examine the impact of human activities on bottlenose dolphins and vice versa.
Lecture Topics Include: Biology and Conservation of Bottlenose dolphins, Ecological Modelling, Threats to cetaceans, Overview of methods used to quantify by-catch and damage, Aquaculture industry, Gill-net fisheries & Trawlers, Mark-recapture methods, Foraging behaviour (Predation & Depredation), Incidental captures & By-catch, Boat traffic & Acoustic disturbance, Stranded cetaceans, Anti-predator nets, Acoustic deterrent & harassment devices, BDRI’s Current Research, Statistical analysis (univariate and multivariate), computer orientation (use of Ecopath, sonograms and databases).
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