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Hematological, serum, and plasma chemical constituents in pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) following chase, encirclement, and tagging

Authors

  • David J. St. Aubin,

    1. Mystic Aquarium, a division of Sea Research Foundation, 55 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic, Connecticut 06355, U.S.A.
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    • Posthumous contribution.

  • Karin A. Forney,

    1. Protected Resources Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 110 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, California 95060, U.S.A. E-mail: karin.forney@noaa.gov
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    • Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

  • Susan J. Chivers,

    1. Protected Resources Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 3333 North Torrey Pines Court, La Jolla, California 92037, U.S.A.
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  • Michael D. Scott,

    1. Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California 92037, U.S.A.
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  • Kerri Danil,

    1. Protected Resources Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 3333 North Torrey Pines Court, La Jolla, California 92037, U.S.A.
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  • Tracy A. Romano,

    1. Mystic Aquarium, a division of Sea Research Foundation, 55 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic, Connecticut 06355, U.S.A.
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  • Randall S. Wells,

    1. Chicago Zoological Society, c/o Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34236, U.S.A.
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  • Frances M. D. Gulland

    1. The Marine Mammal Center, 2000 Bunker Road, Sausalito, California 94965, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Hematology, serum chemistry, and plasma hormones were evaluated in 72 pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata attenuata) from the eastern tropical Pacific in an attempt to define the degree of stress associated with chase and encirclement by a tuna purse seiner, and are here reported for the first time for this species. Dolphins had high levels of dopamine and moderately elevated levels of enzymes indicative of the expected muscle damage following exertion of the chase. The length of time between the start of the capture operation and blood sampling correlated with increases in platelet and white blood cell counts and mean cell hemoglobin concentration, while the length of time between net tie-down and blood sampling influenced platelet, white blood cell, and eosinophil counts. Ten dolphins recaptured 1–3 d after their first capture had significantly lower serum creatinine kinase, thyroid (T4) and globulin levels compared to values in dolphins sampled at nominal first capture. Although small sample sizes and large individual variation limit interpretation, these data indicate a stress response occurred in all dolphins, but the extent of the response is within the expected range for adaptive responses previously measured in limited numbers of wild mammals.

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