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Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in Samadai Reef (Egypt, Red Sea) protected through tourism management

  • Giuseppe Notarbartolo-di-Sciara (a1), Mahmoud H. Hanafy (a2), Moustafa M. Fouda (a3), Ayman Afifi (a3) and Marina Costa (a1)...


The daily presence of spinner dolphins, Stenella longirostris, inside a small reef offshore the Red Sea coast of southern Egypt was monitored from January 2004 to January 2006. Observations indicated marked seasonal and daily variations in the use of the reef as a resting and socializing area by the dolphins, consistent during the two years of monitoring. Overall, the mean number of dolphins present in the reef at any day was 39.2 (SD = 39.34, range 0–210), with the lowest presence in February to April and the highest in June. Similar to other populations of this species in other oceans, dolphins entered the reef between daybreak and mid-morning, and started exiting during the afternoon hours. Although calves were seen in all seasons, a sharp peak was observed in June. Monitoring data provided indications relevant to governmental management efforts, which were implemented in 2004 to ensure that the dolphins could continue using the reef for their resting needs while a sustainable, respectful tourist activity is allowed in a designated zone of the reef adjacent to the dolphins' core habitat.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Giuseppe Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, Tethys Research Institute, Viale G.B. Gadio 2, 20121 Milano, Italy email:


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Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in Samadai Reef (Egypt, Red Sea) protected through tourism management

  • Giuseppe Notarbartolo-di-Sciara (a1), Mahmoud H. Hanafy (a2), Moustafa M. Fouda (a3), Ayman Afifi (a3) and Marina Costa (a1)...


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