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Keywords:

  • Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin;
  • Sousa chinensis;
  • mark-recapture analyses;
  • seasonal immigration/emigration;
  • population estimate;
  • Algoa Bay-Eastern Cape-South Africa

Abstract

Mark-recapture analyses were performed on photo-identification data for Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) inhabiting Algoa Bay, on the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa. Boat-based photo-ID surveys were undertaken between May 1991 and May 1994. The rate of discovery of newly identified dolphins, distribution of sightings and frequency of resightings of known individuals indicate a high level of seasonal immigration of humpback dolphins into, and emigration from, the Algoa Bay region in summer. Consequently, humpback dolphins from Algoa Bay appear to be part of a substantially larger population that uses a considerable length of the coastal zone. The minimum population size is estimated to be about 466 dolphins.