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Title: Evaluation of body mass index as a prognostic indicator from two rough‐toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) mass strandings in Florida
Publication Date: 2019-08-23

Rough‐toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis) are a common mass stranding species in Florida. These large stranding events typically include a small number of sick or injured individuals and a much larger number of healthy individuals, making rapid triage essential. Little data exist on rehabilitation outcomes, and historically, successful outcomes are limited. Furthermore, very little data exist on the feeding habits and dietary needs of this species. This study compared morphology and body mass index (BMI) in two rough‐toothed dolphin mass stranding events in Florida: August 2004 (n = 36) and March 2005 (n = 32). The two groups were significantly different in morphologic measurements, with age and gender‐adjusted intake BMI significantly (p < .01) different (2004 = 0.34 ± 0.02; 2005 = 0.41 ± 0.02) between groups. Ten animals from 2005 had weights tracked throughout the rehabilitation process and demonstrated an initial drop in BMI followed by an increase and a plateau prior to release. When comparing initial BMI by stranding outcome, individuals that were rehabilitated and released had a significantly (p = .03) higher BMI than individuals who were euthanized. However, there was no difference between dolphins that died of natural causes (p = .56) and animals successfully rehabilitated. Analysis of BMI can be a useful marker in triage during a stranding, when resources are limited to identify individuals most likely to survive, as well as in determining the appropriate body condition for release. The data reported here can provide guidance on evaluating the nutritive status on this uncommon species that would otherwise be difficult to obtain among wild populations.

Other Citation Details:

Cites as Karns, BL, Ewing, RY, Schaefer, AM. Evaluation of body mass index as a prognostic indicator from two rough‐toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) mass strandings in Florida. Ecol Evol. 2019; 00: 1– 9.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1002/ece3.5574

Document Information

Document Type: Journal article
Format: Acrobat Portable Document Format
Status Code: Published

Support Roles


CC ID: 880227
Date Effective From: 2018
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Ewing, Ruth
Address: 75 Virginia Beach Drive
Miami, FL 33149
Email Address:
Phone: 305-361-4233
Fax: 305-361-4221



CC ID: 880228
Name: Journal Article Abstract Home Page
URL Type:
Online Resource

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Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 57806
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:57806
Metadata Record Created By: Lee M Weinberger
Metadata Record Created: 2019-09-27 15:19+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2022-08-09 17:11+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2021-04-29
Owner Org: SEFSC
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2021-04-29
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2022-04-29