Effects of swim-with-dolphin tourism on the behaviour of spinner dolphins

Behaviour of the spinner dolphins was monitored both on days when tourist boats were present and on days when they were absent using Marcov chain modelling.

Research Highlights

Tourist activities affect the transition probabilities between dolphin activity states from resting to milling, or travelling, from milling to travelling or avoiding, and from travelling to avoiding.

Evidence of the occurrence of a large dugong in the Red Sea, Egypt

Three feeding trails of a large dugong with a width of 30 cm were recorded at 11 m depth at Marsa Hermez off the Egyptian Red Sea coast on the 23rd of January 2019.

Research Highlights

The present results indicate the demonstration of the presence of a large female dugong in the Red Sea and the presence of female dugongs with calves in key habitats.

Photo identification of dugongs in Marsa Alam and Wadi El-Gemal NP

Using underwater photo identification, an ID catalog was prepared for the dugongs with records of their occurrence among sites, Red Sea, Egypt.

Research Highlights

A total of 30 dugongs were recorded at the southern Egyptian Red Sea coast between December 2015 and October 2017, 16 at Marsa Alam and 14 at Wadi El-Gemal National Park.

Status of Red Sea Dugongs

Research on dugongs in the Red Sea began with largely anatomical and physiological work on dugongs that were accidentally killed or purposely netted.

Research Highlights

Currently, largely to observations of live dugongs in the wild and to data that can be collected underwater during SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and stranded carcass.

Stranding of a neonatal dugong calf in  Wadi El-Gemal National Park

A male dugong calf of 120cm long was observed in Wadi El-Gemal National Park on September 29th, 2015. It was released back to the sea but was found dead on October 4th, 2015. Photo ID confirmed the individual. The time budget of behavioural activities was recorded before and after stranding.

Research Highlights

After stranding, the calf surfaced to breathe, rest more, and travel less. It died 12 days after the first observation on September 22nd. All possible measurements were taken.

Estimation of the abundance of the spinner dolphin using photo ID

Dolphins were photographed for individual identification purposes in Samadai Reef, Marsa Alam, Red Sea, between January 2012 and March 2013.

Research Highlights

A total of 255 spinner dolphins were identified with a mean identification rate of 45%. A total of 33 individuals (12.9%) were resighted 4 to 8 times, and 131 individuals (51.4%) were sighted only once. Photo identification analysis provided a population size of 567 to 637 dolphins. 

Human impact on the presence of sharks at diving sites, Red Sea, Egypt

The study was carried out between June and November 2008 at Elphinstone, Daedalus, Big Brothers Island, Small Brother Island, Zabargad Island, Rocky Island, and Habili Ali. 

Research Highlights

Eight species of sharks for a total of 292 specimens were recorded: whale shark (1 specimen), pelagic thresher shark (12), silvertip shark (1), gray reef shark (61), silky shark (2), oceanic whitetip shark (123), whitetip reef shark (5), and scalloped hammerhead (87). The frequency of encounters in Elphinstone is considerably lower than in other study sites.

Behaviour of spinner dolphin at Sha'ab Samadai, Marsa Alam, Red Sea, Egypt

Data on dolphin behaviours were collected from October 2005 until September 2006 using surface observation. 

Research Highlights

Four objectives were studied and reported:

(1) arrival and departure time of dolphins, (2) distribution of dolphin movements within the lagoon, (3) aerial behaviour, and (4) human effects on dolphin behaviour.