Hooo-Hooo Volume 10, Nr 2 - Page 7

The first health survey Coastal Dolphins in KwaZulu-Natal Anti-shark nets set up along the coast of KwaZuluNatal to protect swimmers from sharks unfortunately aIso catch small numbers of other marine animals. It is a tragedy that these dolphins are caught in the anti-shark nets but the PE Museum and KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board have ensured that these deaths are not in vain. The animals are studied to determine as much as possible about them so that we can make informed conservation decisions about the populations of dolphins in our coastal waters. A collaborative project was set up by Dr Stephanie Plön (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover, Germany, the NZG and the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria (UP). Between 2010 and 2012, Dr Morné de Wet, a veterinarian, did a master’s study at UP on the health status of 35 bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and 5 humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea). This was the first study of its kind in South Africa, as no other health assessment of the dolphins has been done. Coastal dolphins are regarded as indicators of changes in coastal marine ecosystem health that could impact humans utilizing the marine environment for food or recreation. The most common conditions diagnosed were mild parasite infestations of the lung, skeletal muscle, skin intestine, liver and reproductive tract, as well as of the inner linings of the chest and abdomen. Most wildlife carry some parasites w X]\H[H]H[XYK[\[\\]H[\][ۜݙ\[YHX^HHYB[\[H[\ۛY[]YXH\\]B MPVB‚