There is increasing concern over anthropogenically driven changes in our oceans and seas, from a variety of stressors. Such stressors include the increased risk of storms and precipitation, offshore industries and increased coastal development which can affect the marine environment. For some coastal cetacean species, there is an increased exposure to low salinity waters which have been linked with a range of adverse health effects in bottlenose dolphins. Knowledge gaps persist regarding how different time–salinity exposures affect the health and survival of animals. In such data-poor instances, expert elicitation can be used to convert an expert’s qualitative knowledge into subjective probability distributions. The management implications of this stressor and the subjective nature of expert elicitation requires transparency; we have addressed this here, utilizing the Sheffield Elicitation Framework. The results are a series of time response scenarios to estimate time to death in bottlenose dolphins, for use when data are insufficient to estimate probabilistic summaries. This study improves our understanding of how low salinity exposure effects dolphins, guiding priorities for future research, while its outputs can be used to support coastal management on a global scale.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited