[MARMAM] New publication: Risk areas for marine mammals in Colombia, South America

Isabel Cristina Avila isabelc.avila at gmail.com
Fri Feb 18 04:48:34 PST 2022

Dear colleagues

We are pleased to share with you our new publication which visually
quantified threats to marine mammals in Colombia (South America), and
identified mitigation actions:

Avila, I.C. & A. Giraldo (2022) Áreas en riesgo para los mamíferos marinos
en Colombia [Risk areas for marine mammals in Colombia]. Revista de
Biología Tropical, 70: 96-113. https://doi.org/10.15517/rev. biol.

Marine mammals are affected by diverse threats that must be identified for
mitigation efforts. Objective: To visually quantify threats to marine
mammals in Colombia, and to identify mitigation actions. Methods: We
georeferenced threats based on the literature, covering 35 species in the
period 1991-2020, and superimposed them on species range maps. Results: 22
species had at least one threat. Bycatch and interactions with fishing gear
affected 16 species, followed by direct capture (8 species), vessel
traffic/transit (6 species) and alteration of ocean physics (6 species).
The most affected species, in terms of the greatest diversity of threats,
are: humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), Caribbean West Indian manatee
(Trichechus manatus), marine tucuxi (Sotalia guianensis) and bottlenose
dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Nearly all of Colombia's marine territory
presents some degree of risk for marine mammals. High-risk areas are
Buenaventura, Guapi, Cupica Gulf and Tumaco in the Pacific; and Urabá Gulf,
Darién Gulf, Morrosquillo Gulf, off Barranquilla, Ciénaga Grande de Santa
Marta and Coquivacoa Gulf in the Caribbean. Conclusion: Marine mammals in
Colombia are currently at risk due to several threats, especially related
to fishing , hunting/capture and shipping activities, mainly in coastal
areas. Urgent evaluation and management actions are needed in the ten
high-risk areas identified in this study.

The article is Open Access and is available here:


Best regards,
Isabel C. Avila

Dr. Isabel Cristina Avila Jiménez
Marine Biologist PhD in Environmental Sciences
Research Associate of the Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife
Research (ITAW), University of Hannover, Germany
Research member of the Animal Ecology group, Universidad del Valle, Colombia
E-mails: isabel_c_avila at yahoo.com /  isabelc.avila at gmail.com
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