The acclimation process of Yangtze finless porpoises to a limited holding pool after their introduction to this new captive environment is presented. One male (#1) and two female (#2, #3) finless porpoises, newly captured from two different sections of China's Yangtze River, were observed in an indoor holding pool with an area of 155 m(2) from January 1997 to January 1998 (animal #3 was removed from the pool in mid-February 1997). Three separate areas in the pool were predefined. Time spent in each of the areas was individually monitored two or three sessions a week using the focal sampling method. In total, 71.3 h of observations (316 sessions) were recorded, with an average observation time each month of about 2.4 h (10 sessions) for each porpoise. The percentage of time spent in each area per month was calculated for each porpoise, and the variations in the percentage of time spent in each area was compared. Results indicated that independent areas of activity existed among porpoises during the early stages of captivity. However, over time, the frequent approaches of the female to the male caused these areas to fade away, resulting in almost equal use of the entire pool area by the newly formed group. The existence of the independent areas of activity during the early months of captivity indicates that newly introduced individuals from different wild subgroups may need separate areas for activities. However, further studies with more animals are needed to draw more general conclusions about the individual areas of activity of this subspecies when in captivity.
Wang, Kexiong; Wang, Ding.Variations in independent areas of activity of captive Yangtze finless porpoises, Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis, during the acclimation period after wild capture,JOURNAL OF ETHOLOGY,2011,29(2):343-349