Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Review of thirty-two years of toothed whale strandings in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil (Cetacea: Odontoceti)

Vianna, Thaís dos SLoch, CarolinaCastilho, Pedro V. deGaidzinski, Morgana CCremer, Marta JSimões-Lopes, Paulo C

Marine mammal strandings provide valuable insights into local biodiversity. Strandings can be caused by both natural and anthropogenic factors. In the state of Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil, organized marine mammal collections started in the 1980s through opportunistic and non-systematic collection efforts, representing a record of over 30 years of marine biodiversity. This study aimed to perform a preliminary review of 32 years of stranding records within this region. The secondary aim was to elucidate the stranding dynamics of the three most commonly recorded species. A total of 460 records were obtained, representing 17 species of odontocetes. The species registered most frequently were the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais & d' Orbigny, 1844) (n = 173), bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) (n = 100), and Guiana dolphin Sotalia guianensis (Van Bénéden, 1864) (n = 97). Most of the stranding records were observed in the second half of the year during the austral winter and spring. The apparent causes of death could not be determined for most of the specimens due to carcass decomposition. For the specimens in which the apparent cause of death could be determined, 27% of the strandings were compatible with anthropogenic interactions. While the focus of this study was a preliminary assessment of stranding data obtained through opportunistic collection, it is evident that future systematic monitoring efforts and stable networks of collaborators will generate more reliable coastal biodiversity inventories and will allow the knowledge of population dynamics of marine mammal species. In particular, for threatened and vulnerable species, or species with poor natural history data, strandings are a fundamental tool for the understanding of marine biodiversity. Ideally, future more refined analyses of stranding data should be used to inform conservation and management policies and to elucidate the biology and ecology of marine and coastal...(AU)

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