Determination of testosterone in saliva and blow of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
RETURN OF RECOVERING MAMMALS
The extreme reduction in population size of many whale species in the past has led to today’s populations having decreased genetic diversity, and this ‘bottleneck effect’ can leave a species highly vulnerable, as demonstrated in the emergence of disease for cheetahs and the Tasmanian devil.
Fifteen large whale species worldwide are listed as endangered or vulnerable and many populations are recovering slowly from past severe exploitation.
A recent increase in reports of infectious disease emergence and mass mortalities in cetaceans underlines the urgent need for viable non-invasive techniques to monitor populations and to assess the health status of free-ranging cetaceans. Monitoring large free-swimming great whale's can be extremely difficult and expensive.
We are developing two different approaches to monitor whale populations. To follow long-term population changes we use passive acoustics, we eavesdrop on the calls of the whales. To look at an individual whale's health we measure different biomarkers in their blow, the exhaled breath condensate (EBC).
As these giant mammals move each year between their summer-time high-latitude Antarctic feeding grounds to over winter in our lower latitude warm-water breeding areas they become an important members of our native wildlife and important to our whale watching industry.
Temporal stability and species specificity in bacteria associated with the bottlenose dolphins respiratory system
Determination of steroid hormones in whale blow: It is possible