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Development of Flukebook automated photo-ID matching capability for the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin, Sousa plumbea
Gill Braulik, Shanan Atkins, et al.
International Whaling Commission
The four currently recognised species of Sousa are all coastally distributed and listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List. To date they have not yet been included in any of the available software platforms that have been developed for the automated matching of cetaceans from photo-ID data (Blount et al. 2019; Thompson et al. 2019). Unlike some other dolphin species, Sousa spp. are often matched using photos of the marks and scars on both the leading and trailing edges of their dorsal fin, as well as on the upper tail stock. In addition, dorsal fin shape and colour variation are often also used for matching. There is considerable variation in size, shape and colouration of dorsal fins and humps among individuals and sites. Matching algorithms used for other species, such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.), that rely primarily on trailing-edge marks, are unlikely to be as effective for humpback dolphins and new algorithms are