Cetacean occurrence and spatial distribution in the central Mediterranean Sea using ferries as platform of observation

Cetacean occurrence and spatial distribution in the central Mediterranean Sea using ferries as... While cetacean distribution and habitat is well investigated in some areas in the Mediterranean, only a few studies have been conducted so far in the central part of the Mediterranean basin. In order to fill this gap, a dedicated research program has been developed using ferries operating between Tunis and Genoa as platforms of opportunity to collect data on cetacean presence and distribution. The area was subdivided in three sub-regions: the Sardo-Tunisian channel, the eastern Sardinian margin and the international sanctuary for marine mammals Pelagos. During fall 2013, marine mammal observers surveyed 1900 nautical miles and recorded 39 encounters of 5 identified species including balaenopteridae, delphinidae, ziphiidae and physeteridae families. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) were the most common species followed in decreasing occurrence by fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) and sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). The distribution of bottlenose dolphin was restricted to the shallow waters of the Tunisian plateau over the continental shelf. Striped dolphins were sighted in the open sea waters and the eastern Sardinia margin. Large cetaceans as sperm whale and fin whale were mainly recorded over the canyon of Bizerte in the Sardo-Tunisian channel. Highest diversity index was reported in the Pelagos sanctuary even during autumn, confirming the area as a preferred habitat for several cetacean species. Our results also highlight the importance of the Sardo-Tunisian channel, where a relatively important diversity index has been computed, especially over the canyon of Bizerte. This study is the first to investigate cetacean diversity in pelagic central Mediterranean waters and highlights the insistent need to develop regular monitoring in this area. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Russian Journal of Marine Biology Springer Journals

Cetacean occurrence and spatial distribution in the central Mediterranean Sea using ferries as platform of observation

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/cetacean-occurrence-and-spatial-distribution-in-the-central-uaTQMTgxm0
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.
Subject
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology
ISSN
1063-0740
eISSN
1608-3377
D.O.I.
10.1134/S1063074015050028
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

While cetacean distribution and habitat is well investigated in some areas in the Mediterranean, only a few studies have been conducted so far in the central part of the Mediterranean basin. In order to fill this gap, a dedicated research program has been developed using ferries operating between Tunis and Genoa as platforms of opportunity to collect data on cetacean presence and distribution. The area was subdivided in three sub-regions: the Sardo-Tunisian channel, the eastern Sardinian margin and the international sanctuary for marine mammals Pelagos. During fall 2013, marine mammal observers surveyed 1900 nautical miles and recorded 39 encounters of 5 identified species including balaenopteridae, delphinidae, ziphiidae and physeteridae families. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) were the most common species followed in decreasing occurrence by fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) and sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). The distribution of bottlenose dolphin was restricted to the shallow waters of the Tunisian plateau over the continental shelf. Striped dolphins were sighted in the open sea waters and the eastern Sardinia margin. Large cetaceans as sperm whale and fin whale were mainly recorded over the canyon of Bizerte in the Sardo-Tunisian channel. Highest diversity index was reported in the Pelagos sanctuary even during autumn, confirming the area as a preferred habitat for several cetacean species. Our results also highlight the importance of the Sardo-Tunisian channel, where a relatively important diversity index has been computed, especially over the canyon of Bizerte. This study is the first to investigate cetacean diversity in pelagic central Mediterranean waters and highlights the insistent need to develop regular monitoring in this area.

Journal

Russian Journal of Marine BiologySpringer Journals

Published: Nov 4, 2015

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off