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Cetacean occurrence off the west central Portugal coast from boat-based surveys 2007-2008
Contact: Brito, Cristina
Availability: This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
This dataset contains only the boat-based sightings of cetaceans off Mainland Portugal. more
Throughout the years some researchers have dedicated their efforts to the study of cetaceans' occurrence off Mainland Portugal. However, it is still missing a systemic scientific methodology for studying the presence of coastal dolphins and whales. This work intends to be a first approach on the occurrence of cetaceans off the west central coast of Portugal. Our objective was to contribute towards the compilation of relevant “forgotten science” such as whaling data and observations of opportunity, together with two years of boat-based surveys. We found 1,313 occurrences of great whales captured off Setúbal and Sesimbra (1925-1927 and 1944-1951) and a total of 45 cetaceans in non-directed captures between 1976 and 1978. We accounted 45 dolphins and whales in sea-sightings as a result of observations of opportunity, from 2002 to 2008. In 2007 and 2008 a total of 63 boat-based visual surveys were conducted from three different geographic locations, Nazaré, Peniche and Sesimbra, and as a result 45 independent sightings of cetaceans were recorded. The most frequent small dolphin off the Portuguese mainland coast is the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) as shown by the three distinct approaches used in this study. Regarding whales the most common species is the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) as shown by whaling records. Overall, the small delphinid community along the central coast of Portugal is similar to the one that can be found along the Iberia shore. This work intends to be a preliminary approach on the occurrence of cetaceans off the west central coast of Portugal. Our objective was to contribute towards the compilation of relevant "forgotten science", namely 20th century whaling and dolphin capture data and opportunistic observers’ reports on whales and dolphins, in order to reduce the lack of knowledge in central mainland Portugal. This information together with boat-based surveys for obtaining new biological data is a starting point for a new methodological approach. Records did not have time recorded and were filled with 00:00:00. Records that did not have group size recorded were filled with 1. When an estimated range of animals was sighted, the median value (rounded down) was used as the observed count. Time and group size details are recorded in the [Notes] column. Three opportunistic sightings of Delphinus delphis recorded for August 2007 were excluded because the day information was not available. One erroneous record of Delphinus delphis sightings on land was also excluded.
Biology > Mammals
Marine, ANE, Portugal, Cetacea
ANE, Portugal [Marine Regions]
2007 - 2008
Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Research: field survey
Metadatarecord created: 2011-04-06
Information last updated: 2011-04-07