Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Assessing sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) movements within the western Mediterranean Sea through photo-identification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Author(s)

Eva Carpinelli, Pauline Gauffier, Philippe Verborgh, Sabina Airoldi, Léa David, Nathalie Di-Méglio, Ana Cañadas, Alexandros Frantzis, Luke Rendell, Tim Lewis, Barbara Mussi, Daniela Silvia Pace, Renaud De Stephanis

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The Mediterranean sperm whale sub-population is considered ‘Endangered’ by both ACCOBAMS and the IUCN. Conservation policies require protected species populations to be monitored, but the distribution and movements of sperm whales across the Mediterranean Sea are still poorly understood.To provide insight into sperm whale movements, the photo-identification catalogue from the Strait of Gibraltar was compared with seven other collections: (a) the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sperm Whale Catalogue (NAMSC), and with photo-identification catalogues from (b) the Alboran Sea, Spain, (c) the Balearic Islands, Spain, (d) the Corso-Provençal Basin, France, (e) the Western Ligurian Sea, Italy, (f) the Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy, and (g) the Hellenic Trench, Greece.Of 47 sperm whales identified in the Strait of Gibraltar between 1999 and 2011 a total of 15 animals (32%) were photographically recaptured in other sectors of the western Mediterranean Sea in different years. None of the Strait of Gibraltar sperm whales were resighted in Atlantic waters or
in the eastern Mediterranean basin.These results indicate long-range movements of the species throughout the whole western Mediterranean Sea, with a maximum straight-line distance of about 1600 km. The absence of any photographic recaptures between the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean supports the genetic evidence of an isolated sub-population within the Mediterranean Sea.Long-term photo-identification efforts and data sharing between institutions should be further encouraged to provide basic information necessary for the implementation of effective sperm whale conservation measures in the whole basin.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume24
Issue numberS1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

    Research areas

  • Strait of Gibraltar, photo-ID catalogues, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean sub-population, conservation, data sharing

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Animal cultures matter for conservation

    Brakes, P., Dall, S. R. X., Aplin, L. M., Bearhop, S., Carroll, E. L., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J. K. B., Garland, E. C., Keith, S. A., McGregor, P. K., Mesnick, S. L., Noad, M. J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Robbins, M. M., Simmonds, M. P., Spina, F., Thornton, A., Wade, P. R., Whiting, M. J. & 5 othersWilliams, J., Rendell, L., Whitehead, H., Whiten, A. & Rutz, C., 8 Mar 2019, In : Science. 363, 6431, p. 1032-1034 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Habitat use of culturally distinct Galápagos sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus clans

    Eguiguren, A., Pirotta, E., Cantor, M., Rendell, L. & Whitehead, H., 17 Jan 2019, In : Marine Ecology Progress Series. 609, p. 257-270

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Kinship and association do not explain vocal repertoire variation among individual sperm whales or social units

    Konrad, C. M., Frasier, T. R., Rendell, L., Whitehead, H. & Gero, S., Nov 2018, In : Animal Behaviour. 145, p. 131-140 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Tail walking in a bottlenose dolphin community: the rise and fall of an arbitrary cultural 'fad'

    Bossley, M., Steiner, A., Brakes, P., Shrimpton, J., Foster, C. & Rendell, L., Sep 2018, In : Biology Letters. 14, 9, 5 p., 20180314.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Social learning strategies: bridge-building between fields

    Kendal, R., Boogert, N., Rendell, L., Laland, K. N., Webster, M. & Jones, P., Jul 2018, In : Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 22, 7, p. 651-665 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Related by journal

  1. Cetacean rapid assessment: an approach to fill knowledge gaps and target conservation across large data deficient areas

    Braulik, G. T., Kasuga, M., Wittich, A., Kiszka, J. J., MacAulay, J., Gillespie, D., Gordon, J., Said, S. S. & Hammond, P. S., Feb 2018, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 28, 1, p. 216-230

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Evaluating the potential of photo-identification as a monitoring tool for flapper skate (Dipturus intermedius)

    Benjamins, S., Dodd, J., Thorburn, J., Milway, V. A., Campbell, R. & Bailey, D. M., 27 Jul 2018, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Early View, 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Spatial versus temporal structure: implications of inter-haul variation and relatedness in the North East Atlantic Spurdog Squalus acanthias

    Thorburn, J., Jones, R., Neat, F., Pinto, C., Bendall, V., Hetherington, S., Bailey, D. M., Noble, L. & Jones, C., 2 Aug 2018, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems (Journal)

    Monica Arso Civil (Reviewer)
    Jul 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

ID: 129577390