[MARMAM] New publication on management units of killer whales in Spain

Ruth Esteban ruthesteban at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 02:03:16 PST 2016

Dear MARMAM subscribers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper
 in "Ecological Indicators":

Ruth Esteban, Phililppe Verborgh, Pauline Gauffier, Joan Giménez, Vidal
Martin, Mónica Pérez, Marisa Tejedor, Javier Almunia, Paul D. Jepson,
Susana García-Tíscar, Lance G. Barret-Lennard, Christophe Guinet, Andrew D.
Foote, Renaud de Stephanis. *Using a multi-disciplinary approach to
identify a critically endangered killer whale management unit.*


A key goal for wildlife managers is identifying discrete, demographically
independent conservation units.Previous genetic work assigned killer whales
that occur seasonally in the Strait of Gibraltar (SoG) andkiller whales
sampled off the Canary Islands (CI) to the same population. Here we present
new analy-ses of photo-identification and individual genotypes to assess
the level of contemporary gene flow andmigration between study areas, and
analyses of biomarkers to assess ecological differences. We identi-fied 47
different individuals from 5 pods in the SoG and 16 individuals in the CI,
with no matches foundbetween the areas. Mitochondrial DNA control region
haplotype was shared by all individuals sampledwithin each pod, suggesting
that pods have a matrifocal social structure typical of this species,
whilstthe lack of shared mitogenome haplotypes between the CI and SoG
individuals suggests that there waslittle or no female migration between
groups. Kinship analysis detected no close kin between CI and
SoGindividuals, and low to zero contemporary gene flow. Isotopic values and
organochlorine pollutant loadsalso suggest ecological differences between
study areas. We further found that one individual from a podwithin the SoG
not seen in association with the other four pods and identified as
belonging to a poten-tial migrant lineage by genetic analyses, had
intermediate isotopic values and contaminant between thetwo study areas.
Overall our results suggest a complex pattern of social and genetic
structuring corre-lated with ecological variation. Consequently at least CI
and SoG should be considered as two differentmanagement units.
Understanding this complexity appears to be an important consideration when
mon-itoring and understanding the viability of these management units.
Understand the viability will helpthe conservation of these threatened
management units.

You can downloaded at this link:

Kind Regards,

Ruth Esteban

Ruth Esteban, PhD.
Conservation Information and Research on Cetaceans)
C/Cabeza de Manzaneda 3
C.P. Pelayo-Algeciras (Cádiz) Spain
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