Factors driving patterns and trends in strandings of small cetaceans
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AuthorsSaavedra, C. (Camilo); Pierce, G.J. (Graham John); Gago, J. (Jesús); Jusufovski, D. (Dunja); Cabrero, Á. (Águeda); Cerviño, S. (Santiago); López, A. (Alfredo); Martínez‑Cedeira, J. (José); Santos, M.B. (María Begoña)
The incidence of cetacean strandings is expected to depend on a combination of factors, including the dis- tribution and abundance of the cetaceans, their prey, and causes of mortality (e.g. natural, fishery bycatch), as well as currents and winds which affect whether carcasses reach the shore. We investigated spatiotemporal patterns and trends in the numbers of strandings of three species of small cetacean in Galicia (NW Spain) and their relationships with meteoro- logical, oceanographic, prey abundance and fishing-related variables, aiming to disentangle the relationship that may exist between these factors, cetacean abundance and mor- tality off the coast. Strandings of 1166 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), 118 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and 90 harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) during 2000–2013 were analysed. Generalised additive and generalised additive-mixed model results showed that the variables which best explained the pattern of strandings of the three ...
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