[MARMAM] New publication on common bottlenose dolphin abundance

Giancarlo Lauriano giancarlo.lauriano at isprambiente.it
Thu May 8 02:01:04 PDT 2014

Dear Marmam members,

we are  pleased to draw your attention to a paper that just come out in 
Marine Environment Research about abundance of common bottlenose dolphin 
(/Tursiops truncatus/)

Lauriano, G., Pierantonio, N., Donovan, G., Panigada, S.,
Abundance and distribution of Tursiops truncatus in the Western 
Mediterranean Sea: an assessment towards the Marine Strategy Framework 
Directive requirements, Marine Environmental Research (2014), doi: 


The Mediterranean Sea common bottlenose dolphin population has been 
assessed as /Vulnerable/ according to the IUCN Red List Criteria. The 
species is also included in several International Agreements, European 
Union Regulations and Directives. Amongst them, a strict protection and 
identification of special conservation areas are requested by the EU 
Habitats Directive. Despite direct takes, by-catch, chemical and 
acoustic pollution, and prey depletion, general habitat degradation and 
fragmentation have been indicated as detrimental for the species, the 
degree to which these threats pose population risk is still largely 
unknown. At present it is thus not possible to depict the actual status 
of the population and to assess prospective trends. To address this gap 
in the current knowledge, line transect distance sampling aerial surveys 
were conducted in a wide portion of the Western Mediterranean Sea 
between the summer of 2010 and winter 2011. A total of 165 parallel 
transects equally spaced at 15 km were designed providing homogeneous 
coverage probability. Overall, 21,090 km were flown on effort and 16 
bottlenose dolphin sightings were recorded and used for the analysis. 
The surface abundance and density estimates resulted in 1676 animals 
(CV = 38.25; 95% CI = 804--3492) with a density of 0.005 (CV = 38.25%). 
These results represent the first ever estimates for the common 
bottlenose dolphin over a wide portion of the Western Mediterranean Sea 
Subregion, with the potential to be useful baseline data to inform 
conservation. Specifically, they could be used as indicators under the 
Marine Strategy Framework Directive requirements, in conjunction with 
other study methods.

Paper is available on line at: 


Giancarlo Lauriano and coauthors

Giancarlo Lauriano

Istituto Superiore per la
Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale
Via V. Brancati 60, 00144 Roma

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