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Emmanuelle Martinez-Smagghe

Doctor of Philosophy, (Zoology)
Study Completed: 2011
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Responses of South Island Hector's dolphins (Celhalorhynchus hectori hectori) to vessel activity (including tourism operations) in Akaroa Harbour, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

Ms Martinez investigated the behavioural responses of the endemic and endangered Hector’s dolphin to vessel traffic, in particular tourism operations, in Akaroa Harbour. Her study revealed that the dolphins are susceptible to intense tourism activities and that vessel presence affects their activity budget. Ms Martinez also found that methods of approach and swimmer placement have an effect on their behaviour. Furthermore, her results suggest that although these dolphins become more tolerant over time, some level of sensitisation to seasonally high levels of vessel interactions is also evident. Ms Martinez’ research has implications for the long-term management of the local tourism industry.

Professor Karen Stockin
Dr Deanna Clement
Professor Mark Orams
Professor Dianne Brunton