Environment Experts confirm for the first time that dolphin girl gangs exist

Experts confirm for the first time that dolphin girl gangs exist

Ongoing research of a dolphin population in South Western Australia has revealed for the first time, a unique cycle in social bonds between adult female bottlenose dolphins.

According to study lead, Dr Holly Raudino from the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU), female dolphins have more associates to choose from during peak periods, however, they retain relationships seasonally with the same females over years.

These findings are significant as social relationships between dolphins influence fitness, survival and reproduction – all topics of focus for MUCRU.

MUCRU is currently leading the South West Marine Research Program (SWMRP), an initiative that yields valuable information into the dolphin populations.

Dr Raudino’s findings have helped to inform this initiative, providing critical details for informing the management and implementation of future conservation areas, encouraging actions that have minimal impact on dolphin sociality.

“When protecting long-lived, socially complex species, we suggest that key behavioural processes for conservation be extended to incorporate social dynamics,” explained Dr Raudino.

Dr Raudino hopes that her study will encourage increased protection and management that has minimal impact on dolphins’ sociality.

Read more here: Murdoch University.