[MARMAM] New article on French Guiana cetaceans and seabirds

Ludivine Martinez ludivine.martinez at univ-lr.fr
Fri Nov 15 00:01:18 PST 2019

Dear Marmam colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to share our paper on marine mammals and 
seabirds off French Guiana.

Martinez, L., Geraldes, D., Suardi, A., Wyss, V., Dutrieux, E., & 
Chaineau, C. (2019). New sightings records of marine mammals and 
seabirds off French Guiana. /Latin American Journal of Aquatic 
Research/, 47(5), 753-763. 

French Guiana region is one of the most productive in the world and 
hosts a wide variety of marine vertebrates. In the same time, 
anthropogenic activities are a growing concern in French Guiana, both in 
coastal and offshore areas. However, few studies are published on marine 
marine mammals, seabirds and potential interactions. Twenty-three marine 
mammal species are known to occur in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 
and important seabird breeding sites are located in the area. Most of 
the existing literature relates to breeding birds and coastal cetaceans, 
but the continental slope appears to be an essential habitat for marine 
mammals and seabirds. Between October 22 and November 23, 2017, an 
oceanographic survey was conducted on the Guiana slope to study the 
quality of sediments and water. Three marine fauna observers (MFOs) were 
onboard to record sightings of marine mammals and seabirds 
opportunistically. During 462 h of visual effort in good sighting 
conditions, 313 sightings (824 individuals) were recorded: 61 marine 
mammals (501 individuals) and 252 seabirds (323 individuals). Seven 
seabird families were observed: Laridae (42%), Fregatidae (26%), 
Procellariidae (12%), Stercorariidae (10%), Hydrobatidae (4%), Sulidae 
(2%) and Phaethontidae (1%). 3% concerned wader species. The most 
frequently observed seabird species was the magnificent frigatebird 
(/Fregata magnificens/), as well as the common tern (/Sterna hirundo/), 
Cory’s shearwater (/Calonectris diomedea/) and the pomarine jaeger 
(/Stercorarius pomarinus/). Many Delphinidae species were observed 
(/Stenella longirostris/,/Stenella attenuata/,/Stenella 
frontalis/,/Delphinus delphis/,/Tursiops truncatus/) in addition to 
sperm whales (/Physeter macrocephalus/) and humpback whales (/Megaptera 
novaeangliae/). Only a few sightings of humpback whales have been 
previously recorded in this area. Sighted individuals were mainly 
mother-calf pairs suggesting that the area may be an extended part of a 
calving ground for humpback whales.

The open access paper can be downloaded here: 

Kind regards,


Ludivine Martinez
Responsable Cohabys
05 46 50 76 71 (LD)
06 32 84 65 74 (M)
ludivine.martinez at univ-lr.fr


La Rochelle Université
Institut du Littoral et de l'Environnement
2 rue Olympe de Gouges
Bureau 145 - 17000 La Rochelle

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