[MARMAM] New Publication: Concepts, knowledge gaps and concerns relating to stranded cetacean welfare and survival

Rebecca Boys rebeccaboys at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 26 15:16:33 PDT 2022

Dear MARMAMers,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce our recent publication in a special issue on Wildlife Welfare in the journal Diversity which has explored the fundamental concepts, knowledge gaps and key concerns relating to stranded cetacean welfare and survival.

Boys, R.M.; Beausoleil, N.J.; Pawley, M.D.M.; Littlewood, K.E.; Betty, E.L.; Stockin, K.A. Fundamental Concepts, Knowledge Gaps and Key Concerns Relating to Welfare and Survival of Stranded Cetaceans. Diversity 2022, 14, 338. doi.org/10.3390/d14050338

Wildlife management can influence animal welfare and survival, although both are often not explicitly integrated into decision making. This study explores fundamental concepts and key concerns relating to the welfare and survival of stranded cetaceans. Using the Delphi method, the opinions of an international, interdisciplinary expert panel were gathered, regarding the characterisation of stranded cetacean welfare and survival likelihood, knowledge gaps and key concerns. Experts suggest that stranded cetacean welfare should be characterised based on interrelated aspects of animals’ biological function, behaviour, and mental state and the impacts of human interventions. The characterisation of survival likelihood should reflect aspects of stranded animals’ biological functioning and behaviour as well as a 6-month post-re-floating survival marker. Post-release monitoring was the major knowledge gap for survival. Welfare knowledge gaps related to diagnosing internal injuries, interpreting behavioural and physiological parameters, and euthanasia decision making. Twelve concerns were highlighted for both welfare and survival likelihood, including difficulty breathing and organ compression, skin damage and physical traumas, separation from conspecifics, and suffering and stress due to stranding and human intervention. These findings indicate inextricable links between perceptions of welfare state and the likely survival of stranded cetaceans and demonstrate a need to integrate welfare science alongside conservation biology to achieve effective, ethical management at strandings.

The paper is freely available open access here: https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/14/5/338/htm

Please do contact me if you have any questions or would like a PDF copy.

Thank you very much,

On behalf of all the co-authors


Rebecca M Boys

Marine Biologist

PhD Student

Cetacean Ecology Research Group

School of Natural Sciences

Massey University


New Zealand

[cid:5f768191-92f6-496a-8260-b59d971b8ded]<https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rebecca_Boys> [cid:276bc4d5-3cd9-49f0-be14-815980951d93] <https://scholar.google.co.nz/citations?hl=en&user=7rHpOpMAAAAJ> [cid:501b93fc-7ca5-4059-aefa-c3b5548fd45d] <https://twitter.com/RebeccaMBoys> [cid:97c3298c-27b0-463c-a634-d8d389c393a5] <https://www.facebook.com/CetaceanEcologyOrg/?__xts__[0]=68.ARBKlWSLR-YC7KHNrW51KXYC8RqNWn5mtIpZGlhILsMi73gubXw7i0iNq-bMfLim8n7PnUX74GpGPXJqVJBIxqdfqVAvHxEd2En0qyW6mKYd9Q30p8kEFIBWKPFgrh4uEh6ISXy5ihiNbt8H1yEWprZQN4kZDRW8gPSk6TMiyNoF-uJ0o1uPoosrGMKBKGD8sc4K3SJPD2e-mWqDxZOc_aY670ngZVZm6YlpZzvKj_r_vh_aHHeSQuS7lgktu6h7HwKL_pEGombnfjc6z3ekwEF4Szn9mLA-y643tiUxNSQiFyiDyOzrVFqnT34Ctus2d0A9GXJMVBvnw7lCKoNnEq4kbA> [cid:75874bed-dd2f-45a0-ab91-6e76032ed681] <https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/explore/research/animal-veterinary/animal/marine/marine_home.cfm>

Australia and New Zealand Student Chapter SMM Committee member

European Cetacean Society National Contact Person for New Zealand

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