[MARMAM] New paper: 30 years of mamrine mammals stranding data in New Caledonia (spatio-temporal distribution, biometry, stable isotopes, traces elements, genetic diversity, diet)

Claire GARRIGUE claire.garrigue at ird.fr
Mon Jan 22 15:31:51 PST 2024

Dear MARMAM community,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to announce our more recent 
publication “*Marine mamals strandings recorded in New Caledonia, South 
west Pacific Ocean, 1877 to 2022*, published in Pacific Conservation 

/Context. Strandings are an important source of information for 
estimating marine mammal biodiversity, particularly in data-sparse ocean 
basins such as Oceania. Aims. Here, we report on knowledge acquired from 
218 stranding events recorded in the waters of New Caledonia 
(1877–2022). Methods. We investigated spatio-temporal distribution, 
stable isotope signatures, trace element concentrations, biometry 
measurements, genetic diversity, and diet, for the four most commonly 
stranded taxa (dugongs, 35% of events; sperm whales, 19%; Delphinidae, 
18%; pygmy and dwarf sperm whales, 14%). Key results. Beginning in 1991, 
reports of stranding events increased (183 events, 322 individuals, 20 
species from seven families: Dugongidae, Physeteridae, Delphinidae, 
Kogiidae, Ziphiidae, Balaenopteridae, Otariidae), with hotspots 
identified on the west coast (Bourail, Ouano, Nouméa) and in Prony Bay. 
Causes of death were not determined in 84% of stranding events, but were 
identified in the majority of expert-led necropsies (24 of 29 
individuals from 10 species). Yet, valuable information regarding the 
impact of anthropogenic activities was gathered for some species of 
concern, such as the endangered dugong (28% human- caused). Since 2016, 
training and outreach have been provided to rangers, veterinarians, and 
various public safety officers to support their engagement in the 
scientific monitoring of marine mammal strandings. A website 
(www.rescue.ird.nc) was developed to facilitate standardised data 
collection and storage, and to provide public access to stranding 
records. Conclusion. Although the number of individuals reported here 
remains modest, this study provides new information on poorly documented 
species in New Caledonia. Implications. Long-term monitoring of 
strandings can help design effective conservation measures/

*The article is available via open-access at: 

Best regards -- 
Dr Claire Garrigue
UMR ENTROPIE - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
101 Promenade Gabriel Laroque
98848 Nouméa Cedex
Phone: +687 829560
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