Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.

Illegal feeding increases risk of boat-strike and entanglement in Bottlenose Dolphins in Perth, Western Australia

R. Donaldson, H. Finn and M. Calver

Pacific Conservation Biology 16(3) 157 - 161
Published: 2010


One reason for the legislative restrictions on feeding dolphins in many parts of the world is the putative increased risk of injury to dolphins conditioned to human interaction through food reinforcement. However, there are few empirical data to support this. Here, we present data for a population of Bottlenose Dolphins Tursiops sp. in Cockburn Sound, in the city of Perth, Western Australia, indicating higher incidence of boat strike injury and fishing line entanglement for dolphins conditioned to taking food from humans, compared to others in the population that were not conditioned. The data support prohibitions on feeding dolphins and rigorous enforcement of existing regulations.

© CSIRO 2010

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