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Seasonal variation of striped dolphins, fin- and sperm whales' abundance in the Ligurian Sea (Mediterranean Sea)
Laran, S.; Drouot-Dulau, V. (2007). Seasonal variation of striped dolphins, fin- and sperm whales' abundance in the Ligurian Sea (Mediterranean Sea). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. Spec. Issue 87(1): 345-352.
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Laran, S.
  • Drouot-Dulau, V.

    In order to investigate seasonal changes in cetacean relative abundance, a series of surveys were conducted between the French mainland and Corsica. From February 2001 to February 2004, thirty similar transects were conducted monthly, using the same dedicated boat and a consistent sampling protocol, including visual observation and passive acoustic sampling. A total effort of 5759 km was sampled, conducted at the same speed and in good sighting conditions. Relative abundances of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) were determined using standard line-transect methodology. The relative abundance of striped dolphins peaked in May and September (>1.3×10-2 i, while a consistent minimum value (<0.6×10-2 was obtained from December to April. A maximum relative abundance of fin whales occurred in August with 5.6×-2 and decreased to almost zero from November to January. For sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), a long diver species, frequency and abundance indices were determined using acoustic sampling. The highest acoustic relative abundance was observed from August to October, with more than 2×10-2 -1. Environmental parameters (sea surface temperature and chlorophyll) were computed for the sampling area from remote sensing imagery and pooled on a monthly basis, to correlate with relative abundance indices of the three species.

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