Saturday, 5 July 2014

Lack of diversity a weak link for dolphins

22 hours ago by Kerry Faulkner

Limited gene flow between groups of Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in WA's north may make them more vulnerable to the environmental impacts of coastal industrial developments.

Researchers tested 110 skin tissue samples from dolphin populations at Cygnet Bay, Roebuck Bay, Dampier Archipelago and North West Cape in the Kimberley and Pilbara between 2008 and 2013.

They used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data and nuclear microsatellite markers from small tissue samples taken from snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins by a dart targeted near the dorsal fin.

The investigation was led by Murdoch PhD student Alex Brown and University of Groningen's Dr Anna Kopps.

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