[MARMAM] New paper: Current global risks to marine mammals: taking stock of the threats

Isabel Cristina Ávila Jiménez isabelc.avila at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 09:52:29 PST 2018

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to share our new publication about
threats to marine mammals worldwide in Biological Conservation.

Avila, I.C., K. Kaschner & C.F. Dormann. 2018. Current global risks to
marine mammals: taking stock of the threats. Biological Conservation 221:
44-58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.02.021


Marine mammals are impacted by many anthropogenic activities and mitigating
these impacts requires knowledge about the geographic occurrence of
threats. Here, we systematically reviewed, categorized and geo-referenced
information from >1780 publications about threats affecting 121 marine
mammal species worldwide between 1991-2016. We created risk maps by
assigning threat to countries where they had been reported, further
refining spatial allocation to specific ocean basins and Longhurst
biogeographical provinces and subsequent intersection with mapped species’
distributions. We superimposed risk maps for different taxa and threats to
visualize geographic patterns of risks and quantify risk severity with
respect to number of species affected. Almost all marine mammal species
have been reported to face at least one threat. Incidental catch affected
the most species (112 species), followed by pollution (99 species), direct
harvesting (89 species) and traffic-related impacts (86 species). Direct
human activities, mainly fisheries, urban development, whaling/hunting and
tourism were the major source of threats affecting most species (>60
species). Risk areas were identified for 51% of marine mammal core habitat.
Besides, the majority of local marine mammal communities are at high-risk
in 47% of world coastal-waters. Hotspots were located mainly in temperate
and polar coastal waters and in enclosed seas such as the Mediterranean or
Baltic Sea. However, risk areas differed by threat types and taxa. Our maps
show that human activities in coastal waters worldwide impose previously
unrecognized levels of cumulative risk for most of marine mammal species,
and provide a spatially explicit frame of reference for the assessment of
mammals’ species conservation status.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you request a pdf copy.

Best wishes,

Isabel Avila

Isabel Cristina Avila
Biologist M.Sc., PhD(c)

de virus. www.avast.com
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