Using acoustics to prioritize management decisions to protect coastal dolphins: A case study using Hawaiian spinner dolphins
For more than a decade, interactions between humans and Hawaiian spinner dolphins in their resting bays have been a concern for members of the general public, managers, scientists, policymakers, and tour operators. Hawaiian spinner dolphins are the target of a large wildlife tourism industry due to their predictable daytime resting behavior and presence in coastal areas. Using results from passive acoustic monitoring between January 2011 and March 2013 on the Kona coast of Hawai‛i Island, USA, the relative importance of four known Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting bays, the contribution of anthropogenic noise including vessel noise to the four bay soundscapes, and the dolphins' response to human activities were assessed. Here the findings are summarized and visualized and recommendations are provided for action to regulate directed dolphin watching and ensuing unauthorized takes under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. These findings and recommendations have implications for the federal government's ongoing efforts to implement rules that protect Hawaiian spinner dolphins in their resting bays.
Heenehan, HL; Van Parijs, SM; Bejder, L; Tyne, JA; Johnston, DW
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