Growth rate and intra-seasonal changes in body condition of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)

Publikation: KonferencebidragPosterForskningpeer review

  • Emilie Nicoline Stepien
  • Morten Tange Olsen, Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Danmark
  • Kirstin Anderson Hansen, Syddansk Universitet, Danmark
  • Jakob Højer-Kristensen, Fjord&Bælt, Kerteminde, Danmark
  • Marie-Anne Blanchet, Danmark
  • Sabrina Brando, World Association of Zoos and Aquarium
  • ,
  • Geneviéve Desportes, NAMMCO, Danmark
  • Christina Lockyer, Age Dynamic, Kongens Lyngby, Danmark
  • Lauro Marcenaro , Dofinarium Harderwijk, Holland
  • Ursula Siebert, University of veterinary medicine Hannover, Foundation, Tyskland
  • Magnus Wahlberg, Biologisk Institut, SDU, Odense, Danmark
In cetaceans, growth curves and season-dependent morphometric measurements are usually obtained from stranded or bycaught individuals and little longitudinal data is available. This may bias data on age- and sex-related growth as well as the health status of the animals. This study investigates long-term growth rate and seasonal variations in body size of individual harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) under human care. This unique, long-term longitudinal data includes regular measurements of girth, blubber thickness, length, and weight for up to 14 years of five harbour porpoises kept in a semi-open facility. In addition, growth rate of five captive-born calves were calculated from birth. Our results show that growth rate is extremely rapid during the first year of life, slows down until age 3-5 years, and reaches a plateau after 6 years of age. Although growth seems to slow down or even stop in individuals older than 6 years, large seasonal variations in body weight, body girth and blubber thickness are evident. Our study demonstrates that it is possible to obtain individual age and body condition using a few measurements of length and girth. This allows for the possibility of non-invasive estimates of age and body condition in the field e.g. using photogrammetry.
Udgivelsesårapr. 2018
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2018
BegivenhedThe 32nd Conference of the European Cetacean Society - La Spezia, Italien
Varighed: 6 apr. 201810 apr. 2018
Konferencens nummer: 32


KonferenceThe 32nd Conference of the European Cetacean Society
ByLa Spezia

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