Spatial and temporal analysis of bottlenose dolphin strandings in South Carolina, 1992-2005
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AbstractThis CD contains summary data of bottlenose dolphins stranded in South Carolina using a Geographical Information System (GIS) and contains two published manuscripts in .pdf files. The intent of this CD is to provide data on bottlenose dolphin strandings in South Carolina to marine mammal researchers and managers.This CD is an accumulation of 14 years of stranding data collected through the collaborations of the National Ocean Service, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR), the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and numerous volunteers and veterinarians that comprised the South Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network.Spatial and temporal information can be visually represented on maps using GIS. For this CD, maps were created to show relationships of stranding densities with land use, human population density, human interaction with dolphins, high geographical regions of live strandings, and seasonal changes. Point maps were also created to show individual strandings within South Carolina.In summary, spatial analysis revealed higher densities of bottlenose dolphin strandings in Charleston and Beaufort Counties, which consist of urban land with agricultural input. This trend was positively correlated with higher human population levels in these coastal counties as compared with other coastal counties. However, spatial analysis revealed that certain areas within a county may have low human population levels but high stranding density, suggesting that the level of effort to respond to strandings is not necessarily positively correlated with the density of strandings in South Carolina.Temporal analysis revealed a significantly higher density of bottlenose dolphin strandings in the northern portion of the State in the fall, mostly due to an increase of neonate strandings. On a finer geographic scale, seasonal stranding densities may fluctuate depending on the region of interest.Charleston Harbor had the highest density of live bottlenose dolphin strandings compared to the rest of the State. This was due in large part to the number of live dolphin entanglements in the crab pot fishery, the largest source of fishery-related mortality for bottlenose dolphins in South Carolina (Burdett and McFee 2004). Spatial density calculations also revealed that Charleston and Beaufort accounted for the majority of dolphins that were involved with human activities.1
Publisher or UniversityNOAA/National Ocean Service
Series : NrNOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS