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Krista Hupman

Doctor of Philosophy, (Marine Ecology)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Photo-identification and its application to gregarious delphinids: Common dolphin (Delphinus sp.) in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Effective conservation and management of a species requires baseline information on abundance, site fidelity, movement patterns, and social structure.  As these baseline parameters were lacking for common dolphins in New Zealand, Mrs Hupman''sresearch goal was ti fill that knowledge gap to better manage this poorly studied dolphin.  Boat based surveys were conducted between 2010 and 2013 to identify dolphins using photo-identification techniques.  For the first time, Mrs Hupman examined pigmentation patterns on the dorsal fin through the use of novel computer vision techniques to create pigmentation ''fingerprints'' for each individual dolphin.  From this, over 240,000 images were collected, forming the worlds'' largest catalogue of 2,500 individual common dolphins.  Her findings indicated that the approximately 10,500 common dolphins that visited the Hauraki Gulf over this three year period formed part of an open population, ranging along the north-eastern coastline of the North Island.

Professor Karen Stockin
Dr Mat Pawley