[MARMAM] New Publication Cetaceans Guatemala - Ortíz et al., 2021

andrea cabrera andrea_ca_gt at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 20 12:59:11 PDT 2021

Dear MARMAM subscribers, 

We are pleased to announce a new paper on stranding cetaceans along the Pacific coastline of Guatemala over the last 15 years. 

Ortiz-Wolford J, Corona-Figueroa MF, Dávila V, Cabrera AA. 2021. Cetacean stranding records along the Pacific coastline of Guatemala, 2007–2021: Implications for management, conservation and research. Marine Policy 134:104827


Cetacean strandings constitute one of the most important sources of information for studying cetacean diversity and obtaining basic biological data. The Guatemalan Pacific Ocean supports a high diversity of cetaceans, with at least 19 confirmed species records. However, little is known about cetacean strandings in Guatemala and their association with anthropogenic activities. We reviewed the occurrence of cetacean strandings on the Pacific coastline of Guatemala between 2007 and 2021. Stranding records were obtained from publications and citizen science such as sporadic reports from third parties, local and social media. In total, 39 stranding events from 12 species were recorded over the 15-year period examined. Stranded species belong to five families: Delphinidae, Kogiidae, Ziphiidae, Balaenopteridae and Eschrichtiidae. The striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba, n = 6), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, n = 6), spinner dolphin (S. longirostris, n = 5), spotted dolphin (S. attenuata, n = 4), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, n = 4) were the most frequently stranded species. For three of the stranded species, the melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra), Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), and gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), these stranding records represent the first confirmed report of the species in Guatemalan waters. Although we could not determine the cause of stranding in most cases, at least 15% of stranded individuals presented marks or injuries that could be associated with anthropogenic activities, such as fisheries or vessel strikes. This study highlights the importance of stranding data and the need to create a national network to allow timely response to stranding events and to enable improved data collection protocols. A well-curated cetacean stranding database is crucial for scientific research as well as to implement management and conservation measures to protect these species in the region.

The paper is open-access and freely available here:

Best regards,Andrea Cabrera

------------------------------ Andrea Cabrera, PhD 
Section for Evogenomics, Globe Institute, University of CopenhagenØster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 København K, 7, Building: 7.203
Marine Evolution and Conservation, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences , University of GroningenNijenborgh 7 9747 AG, Groningen The Netherlands 

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