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“So long and thanks for all the fish”: Human interactions with a begging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and eff...


Material Information

“So long and thanks for all the fish”: Human interactions with a begging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and effects of educational efforts
Physical Description:
Verbeek, Madelaine
New College of Florida
Place of Publication:
Sarasota, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Bachelor's ( B.A.)
Degree Grantor:
New College of Florida
Degree Divisions:
Natural Sciences
Area of Concentration:
Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity
Faculty Sponsor:
Beulig, Alfred


bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, territorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Human-animal interaction (HI) is defined as any interaction humans and animals have with each other, ranging from cooperation to direct conflict. Although HI is a frequent occurrence, the categories these interactions are divided into range within the scientific community, making comparisons between studies difficult due to inconsistent definitions and approaches among researchers. The “interactor” category, the individual who engages in the interaction, is readily missed during the evaluation process, however knowing the perspective from which the interaction took place is critical to understanding the interaction as a whole. For potentially harmful HI situations, understanding the interactor’s perspective along with the roles played by humans and animals in initiating the interaction can be significantly important when creating successful mitigation efforts. This study had two main parts; the first was a case study conducted on an abnormal dolphin that was well known for begging from boaters within Sarasota Bay since 1990. After baseline observations were conducted, educational materials were distributed to mitigate potentially harmful exchanges and the boaters, who engaged in HI after the educational materials circulated were assessed for new educational material production in the future. The eight hypotheses created for the first part of the experiment were used to explore differences between types of interactors and the effect of an educational campaign on HI. Interactions were then compared between different categories of boaters as well as between baseline and conclusion (after educational materials had been distributed) observation time periods. Categories of boaters were examined on three different scales: 1) private recreational boaters compared to rental boaters, 2) traditional rental boaters compared to boat club participants, and 3) on a fine scale by individual rental or boat club companies. Just under half of all boaters observed interacted with the dolphin in some way (40%). Out of all of the boaters who did interact, Begging interaction was the most prevalent at 65%, the second most being attempting to attract “Beggar” at 54%. When total frequencies of interactions were compared, no significant difference was found between the interactions or boater categories in general. However some significance was determined for very specific interactions within select boater categories; out of the eleven boater categories two were found to have statistically increased their interaction amounts after education with another five boater categories approaching statistical significance. Though little significance was determined, this study did expose the necessity for better education on human interaction in order to stop harmful exchanges from occurring once again.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Madelaine Verbeek
Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2014
General Note:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
General Note:
Faculty Sponsor: Beulig, Alfred

Record Information

Source Institution:
New College of Florida
Holding Location:
New College of Florida
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
S.T. 2014 V4
System ID:

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