Cetacean stranding events are an important source of information and biological samples, providing data on species occurrence, distribution and population dynamics as well as on mortality rate induced by human activities or natural causes. This is even truer for species such as Z. cavirostris, whose elusive behavior has made its field observation difficult in many Mediterranean areas. Although the occurrence of single or serial strandings of this species and the rise in survey effort have increased the knowledge on its presence, there are still gaps in some Mediterranean areas, especially in the Gulf of Taranto (North-western Ionian Sea, Italy), where a critical habitat suitable for different cetacean species has been identified. Despite no sightings of Z. cavirostris having been recorded so far, ACCOBAMS designates the Gulf of Taranto as an Area of Special Concern for Beaked Whales (ASC-BW) on the basis of atypical mass strandings of 12 individuals which occurred in the Ionian Sea in 2011. Moreover, the conservation status of the Z. cavirostris has recently passed from Data Deficient to Vulnerable, according the IUCN criteria adopted for the Mediterranean Sea, thus showing the urgent need for basic information on its bio-ecological features, suitable habitat and threats at local or wider scale. This study is the first attempt at application in the Mediterranean Sea of a Lagrangian prediction model simulating the carcass drift trajectories to investigate the at-site sea origin of an individual of Z. cavirostris stranded in the Gulf of Taranto. Moreover, a necropsy was carried out to detect the possible cause of death and the results of bacteriological, biomolecular and toxicological analysis are provided. Finally, a collection of osteological data as well as the process of turning and displaying the skeleton in a museum are detailed, highlighting the importance of these exhibits from a scientific and educational point of view.

Exploring data from an individual stranding of a Cuvier's beaked whale in the Gulf of Taranto (Northern Ionian Sea, Central-eastern Mediterranean Sea)

Carlucci, Roberto
;
Cipriano, Giulia;Santacesaria, Francesca Cornelia;Ricci, Pasquale;Bellomo, Stefano;
2020

Abstract

Cetacean stranding events are an important source of information and biological samples, providing data on species occurrence, distribution and population dynamics as well as on mortality rate induced by human activities or natural causes. This is even truer for species such as Z. cavirostris, whose elusive behavior has made its field observation difficult in many Mediterranean areas. Although the occurrence of single or serial strandings of this species and the rise in survey effort have increased the knowledge on its presence, there are still gaps in some Mediterranean areas, especially in the Gulf of Taranto (North-western Ionian Sea, Italy), where a critical habitat suitable for different cetacean species has been identified. Despite no sightings of Z. cavirostris having been recorded so far, ACCOBAMS designates the Gulf of Taranto as an Area of Special Concern for Beaked Whales (ASC-BW) on the basis of atypical mass strandings of 12 individuals which occurred in the Ionian Sea in 2011. Moreover, the conservation status of the Z. cavirostris has recently passed from Data Deficient to Vulnerable, according the IUCN criteria adopted for the Mediterranean Sea, thus showing the urgent need for basic information on its bio-ecological features, suitable habitat and threats at local or wider scale. This study is the first attempt at application in the Mediterranean Sea of a Lagrangian prediction model simulating the carcass drift trajectories to investigate the at-site sea origin of an individual of Z. cavirostris stranded in the Gulf of Taranto. Moreover, a necropsy was carried out to detect the possible cause of death and the results of bacteriological, biomolecular and toxicological analysis are provided. Finally, a collection of osteological data as well as the process of turning and displaying the skeleton in a museum are detailed, highlighting the importance of these exhibits from a scientific and educational point of view.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/314903
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 11
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 9
social impact