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Opportunistic sightings of small cetaceans off the leeward shore of the Commonwealth of Dominica
Gero, S.; Whitehead, H. (2006). Opportunistic sightings of small cetaceans off the leeward shore of the Commonwealth of Dominica. SC/58/SM1. International Whaling Commission: [s.l.]. 7 pp.

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    VLIZ: Non-open access 288255


Authors  Top 
  • Gero, S.
  • Whitehead, H.

    While large scale surveys would provide more accurate data on distribution and abundance, the pooling of opportunistic sightings data from a multitude of projects provides a relatively economical way of achieving a large data set over a multinational area such as the Caribbean Sea. Here, we provide details of the opportunistic small cetacean sightings made in the national waters of the Commonwealth of Dominica during two field seasons of research focused on sperm whale social behaviour, in the hopes that it can be used as a small part of a growing body of data from around the Caribbean. A total of 84 small cetacean sightings over the 74 days of effort off the coast of Dominica included the following species: Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis), pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuate), Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra), pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuate), and Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris). It is important that all research activity in the Caribbean report their opportunistic sightings of small cetaceans; so that a better overall picture can be produced through a synthesis of these sparse data sets. The establishment of a collaborative searchable database for the Caribbean region is recommended.

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