Subject: Caribbean cetacean strandings (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 08:40:27 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 11:48:58 -0400
From: "Dr. Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni" <mignucci@caribe.net>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
     <MARMAM@UVVM.UVIC.CA>
To: MARMAM@UVVM.UVIC.CA
Subject: Caribbean cetacean strandings

The following paper was recently published regarding Caribbean cetaceans:

Mignucci-Giannoni AA, Pinto-Rodriguez B, Velasco-Escudero M, Montoya-Ospina
RA, Jimenez-Marrero NM, Rodriguez-Lopez MA, Williams E, Odell DK. 1999.
Cetacean strandings in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Journal of
Cetacean Research and Management 1(2): 191-198.

ABSTRACT
An assessment of cetacean strandings was conducted in Puerto Rico and the
United States and British Virgin Islands to identify, document and analyze
factors associated to reported mortality events. Nineteen species of
cetaceans were reported stranded. The total number of events recorded
between 1867 and 1995 was 129 consisting of over 159 individuals. The
bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was the species most commonly found
stranded, followed by the Cuvier=B9s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), sper=
m
whale (Physeter macrocephalus), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella
frontalis) and short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus). An
increase in the number of strandings was evident during the past 20 years,
averaging 63.1% per year. Between 1990 and 1995, the average number of case=
s
per year increased from 2.1 to 8.2. The seasonal pattern of strandings was
found not to be uniform, with a high number of strandings occurring in the
winter and spring. The monthly temporal distribution showed an overall
bimodal pattern, with the highest number of cases reported for February, Ma=
y
and September. The spatial distribution was not even and differed between
countries, within countries, and between taxonomic groups and species. Asid=
e
from undetermined causes, the ratio of natural causes vis a vis human
related causes was of 1.2 : 1. Between 1990 and 1995, a reduction of the
percentage of undetermined cause of deaths resulted from the establishment
of a cooperative effort in studying mortality in an organized and systemati=
c
manner. The most common natural cause of death category was dependent calf.
The most common human-related cause categories observed were entanglement
and accidental captures, followed by animals being shot or speared.
Evaluation and recommendations to improve on the research conducted are
formulated, including guidelines for the development of an strategic plan t=
o
obtain baseline data on the biology and life history of cetaceans to be
applied to their conservation and management.

Reprints are at present not available, but please email mignucci@caribe.net
to reserve a copy.

Thanks

Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni
Caribbean Marine Mammal Laboratory

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Caribbean cetacean strandings The following paper was recently published regarding Caribbean cetaceans:
Mignucci-Giannoni AA, Pinto-Rodriguez B, Velasco-Escudero M, Montoya-Ospina= RA, Jimenez-Marrero NM, Rodriguez-Lopez MA, Williams E, Odell DK. 1999. Cet= acean strandings in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Journal of Cetacean = Research and Management 1(2): 191-198.

ABSTRACT
An assessment of cetacean strandings was conducted in Puerto Rico and the U= nited States and British Virgin Islands to identify, document and analyze fa= ctors associated to reported mortality events. Nineteen species of cetaceans= were reported stranded. The total number of events recorded between 1867 an= d 1995 was 129 consisting of over 159 individuals. The bottlenose dolphin (<= I>Tursiops truncatus) was the species most commonly found stranded, foll= owed by the Cuvier=B9s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), sperm whale = (Physeter macrocephalus), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella <= I>frontalis) and short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus= ). An increase in the number of strandings was evident during the past 2= 0 years, averaging 63.1% per year. Between 1990 and 1995, the average number= of cases per year increased from 2.1 to 8.2. The seasonal pattern of strand= ings was found not to be uniform, with a high number of strandings occurring= in the winter and spring. The monthly temporal distribution showed an overa= ll bimodal pattern, with the highest number of cases reported for February, = May and September. The spatial distribution was not even and differed betwee= n countries, within countries, and between taxonomic groups and species. Asi= de from undetermined causes, the ratio of natural causes vis a vis hu= man related causes was of 1.2 : 1. Between 1990 and 1995, a reduction of the= percentage of undetermined cause of deaths resulted from the establishment = of a cooperative effort in studying mortality in an organized and systematic= manner. The most common natural cause of death category was dependent calf.= The most common human-related cause categories observed were entanglement a= nd accidental captures, followed by animals being shot or speared. Evaluatio= n and recommendations to improve on the research conducted are formulated, i= ncluding guidelines for the development of an strategic plan to obtain basel= ine data on the biology and life history of cetaceans to be applied to their= conservation and management.

Reprints are at present not available, but please email mignucci@caribe.net= to reserve a copy.

Thanks

Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni
Caribbean Marine Mammal Laboratory

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