Subject: Caribbean: Four new publications from the Caribbean (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Wed, 16 Dec 1998 12:18:08 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 08:55:05 -0800
From: MARMAM Editors <marmamed@UVic.CA>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: Four new publications from the Caribbean (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Dear colleages:

Four new publications are available from the Caribbean regarding marine
mammals. Following please find the references and abstracts. Reprints from
articles in the Caribbean Journal of Science will be available via the
journal's web page ( Copies
of the article in Environmental Pollution may be obtained by contacting
the author via email at

Mignucci-Giannoni AA. 1998. Zoogeography of cetaceans off Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands. Caribbean Journal of Science 34(3-4): 173-190.
Abstract: A zoogeographical analysis of cetaceans in the waters of Puerto
Rico, US Virgin Islands, and British Virgin Islands was conducted to
document the different species found, and to relate their occurrences to
patterns of ocean floor topography. A total of 2,016 sighting records was
entered into a specially formatted database system, and analyzed for
distributional and temporal patterns. Species included 13 odontocetes and
four mysticetes. The hypothesis that the spatial distribution of cetaceans
is highly correlated to the area's bathymetric relief, whether high or
low, was generally supported. Through the use of a relative slope index
measure, each sighting was characterized by depth classes (shelf, shelf
edge, or offshore), and by sea floor relief.

Mignucci-Giannoni AA. 1998. Marine mammal captivity in the northeastern
Caribbean, with notes on the rehabilitation of stranded whales, dolphins
and manatees. Caribbean Journal of Science 34(3-4):191-203. Abstract:
Marine mammals have been of interest to zoos and aquaria since the middle
of the eighteenth century. With increasingly successful captive
maintenance since the 1960s, a greater demand for captive whales,
dolphins, manatees and sea lions has developed, at times threatening local
populations. This study documents captivity records in Puerto Rico and the
Virgin Islands. Eight species have been kept captive for research,
rehabilitation, or public display, including 16 Tursiops truncatus, 2
Stenella frontalis, 1 Steno bredanensis, 1 Stenella longirostris, 1
Grampus griseus, 1 Physeter macrocephalus, 9 Trichechus manatus, and 12
Zalophus californianus. Five manatees as well as five cetaceans have been
rescued and kept for rehabilitation, of which three manatees have been
successfully returned to sea.

Jimenez-Marrero NM, I M=E9ndez-Matos, RA Montoya-Ospina, EH Williams, L
Bunkley & AA Mignucci-Giannoni. Rangos de referencia de inmunoglobulina G
en individuos de tres poblaciones del manati (Trichechus manatus). 1998.
Caribbean Journal of Science 34(3-4):313-315. Abstract: Un aspecto clinico
muy util para establecer el estado de salud de un animal, y como su medio
ambiente lo afecta es la concentracion de inmunoglobulinas. Para detectar
estas fluctuaciones en el sistema inmunologico, es necesario conocer los
niveles normales de inmunoglobulinas en individuos de poblaciones
naturales. En este estudio determinamos las concentraciones de
inmunoglobulina G (IgG) en individuos de tres poblaciones de manaties
(Trichechus manatus) de Puerto Rico, Colombia y Florida. Se utilizo una
placa de 12 fosas de inmunodifusion radial (RID) para IgG humana. Los aros
de precipitacion del suero de manati fueron m=E1s tenues que los de humanos=
=2E =20
La curva de la concentracion de IgG pura de manati tomada con sus
respectivos diametros de precipitacion en el RID, esta definida por la
siguiente ecuacion: y=3D9.21-43.68x+13.95x2.  Todas las concentraciones de
IgG se calcularon usando la ecuacion antes descrita y la tabla de
referencia de RID para IgG humana. Los valores de concentracion de IgG
obtenidos para las poblaciones estudiadas pueden servir como base para
estudios inmunologicos futuros y para el diagnostico de animales
inmuno-deprimidos.  Estos valores tambien pueden ser utiles para aquellos
que se dedican a la rehabilitacion de manaties enfermos.  En algunos
casos, los niveles de inmunoglobulinas pueden utilizarse para corroborar
el diagnostico de enfermedades y observar su progreso.  El establecimiento
de un sistema sencillo, practico y poco costoso para medir la
concentracion de IgG en suero de manaties es particularmente importante
para los investigadores que a menudo confrontan deficiencias
presupuestarias.  Nuestros resultados permiten validar el uso del sistema
de RID dise=F1ado para humanos para ser utilizado con suero sanguineo de

Mignucci-Giannoni, AA. 1998. Assessment and rehabilitation of wildlife
affected by an oil spill in Puerto Rico. Environmental Pollution
104(2):323-333. Abstract: On 7 January 1994, the barge Morris J. Berman
spilled approximately 3.6 million liters of oil off Punta Escambr=F3n in Sa=
Juan, Puerto Rico. This resulted in the contamination of extensive areas,
impacting on natural resources along more than 48 km of Puerto Rico's
north shore. Thousands of dead and live oiled organisms washed ashore.
Dead wildlife were collected opportunistically, and examined for the
presence of oil and identified. Live wildlife was cleaned and treated at a
temporary triage facility. A total of 5,687 organisms of over 152 species
were collected, including cnidarians, annelids, crustaceans, mollusks,
echinoderms, fishes, birds and sea turtles. Mollusks and echinoderms were
noticeably more affected than other species. Four species classified as
endangered or threatened were also affected. A significant impact was
observed on the live specimens presented for medical treatment, including
shore crabs, birds and sea turtles. Only 63% of these were successfully

Dr. Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni
Scientific Coordinator-Caribbean Stranding Network
Associate Professor-Universidad Metropolitana
PO Box 361715 San Juan PR 00936 USA
Tel 766-1717 x6479, Tel 787-767-8009, Fax 787-751-5386
Emergencies 787-399-8432, 787-402-2337 (unit 990-0440)
Email  Webpage

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