[MARMAM] Philippine marine mammal stranding database website

Lemnuel Aragones lemdva2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 28 23:21:30 PDT 2010

Dear colleagues and fellow marmamers
I would like to announce that the Philippine marine mammal stranding database 
(from 1998 to 2009) is now up and is hosted by the University of the 
Philippines (www.pmmsndatabase.upd.edu.ph). 

The initial paper that came out of this database was recently published in 
Aquatic Mammals (see details below).
The Philippine Marine Mammal Strandings from 1998 to 2009: Animals in the 
Philippines in Peril? 

Aragones, Lemnuel V.; Roque, Mary Anne A.; Flores, Mariel B.; Encomienda, 
Richard P.; Laule, Gail E.; Espinos, Bianca G.; Maniago, Francis E.; Diaz, 
Gloria C.; Alesna, Edwyn B.; Braun, Robert C. 2010. Aquatic Mammals, (36) 
3: 219-233.
Abstract:A well-maintained marine mammal stranding database can be an invaluable 
tool in understanding not only strandings but also changes in the marine 
environment. This study aimed to examine the following aspects of marine mammal 
strandings in the Philippines: species composition, temporal (i.e., frequency of 
stranding per year and seasonality) and spatial (i.e., frequency of stranding 
per region and province) variation, proportions of alive or dead specimens, and 
stranding hotspots. In 2008, a systematic collection of data on strandings, 
including out-of-habitat incidents, resulted in an initial 12-year database—from 
1998 to 2009. A total of 178 stranding events were recorded: 163 single, 10 
mass, and 5 out-of-habitat strandings, with an average of 15 observed stranding 
events annually. Twenty-three of the 28 confirmed species of marine mammals in 
the Philippines were recorded to strand, including first-recorded specimens for 
the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), pygmy sperm whale (Kogia 
breviceps), and Longman's beaked whale (Indopacetus pacificus). The top five 
most frequent species to strand included spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) 
(n = 26), short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) (n = 14), 
melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra) (n = 13), Risso's dolphin (Grampus 
griseus) (n = 11), and common bottlenose dolphin (T. truncatus) (n = 10). 
Dugongs (Dugong dugon) stranded seven times since 2001. Strandings occurred 
throughout the year with frequency significantly peaking during the northeast 
(NE) monsoon (November to March) season. Overall, Regions III (Central Luzon) 
and VII (Central Visayas) had the highest number of strandings (both n = 27) 
followed by Regions I (Ilocos) (n = 22) and V (Bicol) (n = 18). The following 
provinces or local government units were considered hotspots based on high 
number of strandings observed at each area: Zambales, Cagayan, Zamboanga City, 
Negros Oriental, Bohol, Pangasinan, and Bataan. Sixty-five percent of all 
documented stranding events involved live (n = 116) animals. This high 
percentage might be linked to dynamite fishing (causing acoustic trauma), 
fisheries interactions, or biotoxins from harmful algal blooms coupled to their 
foodweb. These strandings in general validate the diverse marine mammal 
assemblage in the Philippines and reveal the various environmental threats with 
which they deal. 

Lemnuel V Aragones, PhD 

Associate Professor 
Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology 
University of the Philippines 
CSRC Bldg, National Science Complex
Diliman, Quezon City 1101

cellphone: +63 9285018226 
email: lemdva2001 at yahoo.com 
other email: lvaragones at up.edu.ph or lemnuel.aragones at up.edu.ph 
URL: www.iesm.upd.edu.ph

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