[MARMAM] New publication on the Sperm Whale in the Mediterranean Sea

Daniela Silvia Pace danielasilvia.pace at uniroma1.it
Mon Mar 26 08:05:58 PDT 2018

Dear colleagues
on behalf of all co-authors, I am very pleased to inform you on the
publication of the following paper in The Journal of Wildlife Management:

Pace DS, Arcangeli A, Mussi B, Vivaldi C, Ledon C, Lagorio S, Giacomini G,
Pavan G, Ardizzone G. 2018. Habitat suitability modeling in different sperm
whale social groups.  DOI:10.1002/jwmg.21453

The identification of significant habitats for highly mobile marine
vertebrates is essential for their conservation. Evidence is often
difficult to obtain for deep‐diving species such as sperm whales (Physeter
macrocephalus), where standard visual survey methods are not sufficient to
detect the species. Sperm whales rely on sound for most of their
activities, so acoustics is a crucial tool to locate them in the
environment and collect information about their daily life. We used a
maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modeling approach to predict potential habitats
for sperm whales during 2007–2015 in an area of the Mediterranean Sea
(characterized by submarine canyon systems) where sperm whale singletons,
social units of females and calves, and clusters with immature males, were
regularly encountered in sympatry. Models to test species’ distribution and
the potential differences between groups of varying composition and life
stages were based on 3 independent variables (depth, slope, and Euclidean
distance from the nearest coast) and a combination of presence‐only visual
and acoustic data from boat‐based surveys. One variable (depth) was the
strongest predictor in all encounters (pooled data) and clusters, whereas
distance from coast and slope best predicted encounters with singletons and
social units, respectively. The model predicted suitable locations in areas
that were well‐known sperm whale habitat and in new regions of previously
overlooked habitat, which possibly represent key areas for this endangered
species in the Mediterranean. This study highlights that consideration
should be taken regarding type of social aggregation when using modeling
techniques for generating suitable habitat maps for conservation purposes.
© 2018 The Wildlife Society.

This is the link where you can download the paper


Thank you and very best wishes,

Daniela Silvia Pace, PhD
Department of Environmental Biology
Sapienza University of Rome
Viale dell’Università 32
00185 Rome, Italy
mobile: +39 346 1039652
office: +39 06 4991 4763
skype: lagenorinco

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