Cetacean diurnal behavior in the Guanacaste Conservation Area, Costa Rica
|Description:||Introduction: Three species of cetaceans, the pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata attenuata), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), are important components of the marine fauna of the Guanacaste Conservation Area (ACG). However, basic biological information on the behavior and occurrence of these species remains scarce. Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the diurnal behavior of the three-mentioned species in the ACG. Methods: The north Pacific of Costa Rica, from Bahía Salinas to the Marine Sector of ACG was sampled between May 2005 and May 2006. The behavior scanning method was used to identify the general behavior of the cetacean groups. Results: Encounters were recorded for the three species, in a total of 36 sightings, but only for S. attenuata and M. novaeangliae for considerable periods of time. Stenella attenuata exhibited a wide variety of behaviors, being foraging (X2 = 29.42; d.f. = 1; P < 0.001) and travelling (X2 = 38.33; d.f. = 1; P < 0.001) significantly higher during the rainy season. Predominant behaviors for the humpback whale were mother-calf association, social and travelling; being the latter higher during the rainy season (X2 = 78.16; d.f. = 1; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Behaviors such as foraging and mother-calf were the most representative among species and the most frequent. This suggests that the area can be considered as a critical habitat for these species of cetaceans, with particular importance for highly migratory species such as humpback whales.|
|Country:||Portal de Revistas UCR|
|Institution:||Universidad de Costa Rica|
|Repositorio:||Portal de Revistas UCR|
|Access Level:||acceso abierto|
|Keyword:||dolphins; humpback whales; Stenella attenuata; Megaptera novaeangliae; cetacean behavior; mother-calf association; marine conservation.|
delfines; ballenas jorobadas; Stenella attenuata; Megaptera novaeangliae; comportamiento de cetáceos; conservación marina.