[MARMAM] New publication: Marine megafauna of the tropical SW Indian Ocean

Sophie Laran slaran at univ-lr.fr
Thu May 18 23:45:14 PDT 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper in 
Frontiers in Marine Science, section Marine Megafauna:

A comprehensive survey of pelagic megafauna: their distribution, densities and taxonomic richness in the tropical Southwest Indian Ocean, by Sophie Laran, Matthieu Authier, Olivier Van Canneyt, Ghislain Dorémus, Pierre Watremez, Vincent Ridoux,

/Abstact: The distribution and density of pelagic megafauna (marine 
mammals, seabirds,
elasmobranches, and sea turtles) are important indicators of marine 
reflecting the condition of the underlying ecosystems. A dedicated 
aerial survey was
conducted in the tropical Southwest Indian Ocean to map their 
distribution, the
taxonomic diversity, and to estimate their densities to serve as a 
baseline for the
area. This large survey across three ecological sub-regions revealed 
contrasting spatial
distributions: maps of taxonomic richness of marine mammals and seabirds 
different “hotspots” in the area. Densities were estimated for eight 
cetacean taxa with
small and large Delphininae, or small Globicephalinae dominating, and 
for seven seabird
taxa, with terns and noddies dominating. At the community level, the 
Southwest Indian
Ocean megafauna was structured by the marine environment with strong 
between the Mozambique Channel and the Mascarene Islands, or between 
shelf and
slope/oceanic habitats. Our results illustrate how multi-taxa aerial 
surveys are relevant
and cost-effective monitoring tools for marine megafauna, allowing a 

To view the online publication, please click here:


Best regards

Sophie Laran

Sophie Laran (PhD)
Observatoire PELAGIS - UMS 3462
Université de La Rochelle - CNRS
Pôle Analytique - 5 allées de l'Océan
TEL : +33 (0)5 16 49 67 15 (LD)
TEL : +33 (0)5 46 44 99 10 (STD)

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