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
AbstractOne 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