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Article Dans Une Revue Animal Welfare Année : 2010

Individual and group behavioural reactions of small delphinids to remote biopsy sampling


Biopsy sampling is an effective technique to collect cetacean skin and blubber samples for various biological studies. However, determining the impact of this research practice is important, as impact may vary among sites, species and gear used. We examined the short-term behavioural reactions of four small (160-278 cm in length) delphinid species (Stenella longirostris, Stenella attenuata, Tursiops aduncus and Peponocephala electra) to remote biopsy sampling around the island of Mayotte (12o50'S, 45o10'E, SW Indian Ocean). Two scales of behavioural reactions were considered: 1- the behavioural reaction of the individual, and 2- the reaction of the focal group to which the targeted individual belonged. Three main categories of behavioural responses were defined on the basis of the character and duration of behavioural response: low, moderate and strong. This study underlines that biopsy sampling induces moderate reactions of individuals. No inter-specific variations of responses, at the scale of individuals or focal groups, were observed. In other words, smaller delphinids were not more reactive than larger ones. No effect of group size was observed on the strength of behavioural reactions. However, it was clear that biopsy success during sampling sessions was higher in species with large group size. Finally, in the spinner dolphin (S. longirostris), we investigated whether initial behavioural state affected the level of reaction. Resting and socialising groups showed a stronger response than milling and travelling groups. This study confirms the limited impact of remote biopsy sampling in small delphinids, especially in the spinner dolphin. However, as a precautionary approach, in situations where it is possible, biopsy sampling of milling and travelling dolphins may be preferred.


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hal-00606247 , version 1 (05-07-2011)


  • HAL Id : hal-00606247 , version 1


Jeremy Kiszka, B. Simon-Bouhet, Franck Charlier, C. Pusineri, Vincent Ridoux. Individual and group behavioural reactions of small delphinids to remote biopsy sampling. Animal Welfare, 2010, pp.411-417. ⟨hal-00606247⟩


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