Mortality trends of stranded marine mammals on Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts, USA, 2000 to 2006
Bogomolni, Andrea L.
Pugliares, Katie R.
Sharp, Sarah M.
Harry, Charles T.
LaRocque, Jane M.
Touhey, Kathleen M.
Moore, Michael J.
MetadataShow full item record
To understand the cause of death of 405 marine mammals stranded on Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts between 2000 and 2006, a system for coding final diagnosis was developed and categorized as (1) disease, (2) human interaction, (3) mass-stranded with no significant findings, (4) single-stranded with no significant findings, (5) rock and/or sand ingestion, (6) predatory attack, (7) failure to thrive or dependent calf or pup, or (8) other. The cause of death for 91 animals could not be determined. For the 314 animals that could be assigned a cause of death, gross and histological pathology results and ancillary testing indicated that disease was the leading cause of mortality in the region, affecting 116/314 (37%) of cases. Human interaction, including harassment, entanglement, and vessel collision, fatally affected 31/314 (10%) of all animals. Human interaction accounted for 13/29 (45%) of all determined gray seal Halichoerus grypus mortalities. Mass strandings were most likely to occur in northeastern Cape Cod Bay; 97/106 (92%) of mass stranded animals necropsied presented with no significant pathological findings. Mass strandings were the leading cause of death in 3 of the 4 small cetacean species: 46/67 (69%) of Atlantic white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus, 15/21 (71%) of long-finned pilot whale Globicephala melas, and 33/54 (61%) of short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis. These baseline data are critical for understanding marine mammal population health and mortality trends, which in turn have significant conservation and management implications. They not only afford a better retrospective analysis of strandings, but ultimately have application for improving current and future response to live animal stranding.
Author Posting. © Inter-Research, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of Inter-Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 88 (2010): 143-155, doi:10.3354/dao02146.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Ketten, Darlene R.; Montie, Eric W. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2008-01)This section provides an introduction to biomedical imaging techniques and guidelines for diagnostic imaging of marine mammals to assist with both live examination and necropsy procedures. The procedures described are ...
Pugliares, Katie R.; Bogomolni, Andrea L.; Touhey, Kathleen M.; Herzig, Sarah M.; Harry, Charles T.; Moore, Michael J. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2007-09)This necropsy manual is designed to establish a base level of profiency in marine mammal necropsy techniques. It is written for stranding network members who do not have a formal pathobiological training and have limited ...
Dennison, Sophie; Moore, Michael J.; Fahlman, Andreas; Moore, Kathleen M. T.; Sharp, Sarah M.; Harry, Charles T.; Hoppe, Jane M.; Niemeyer, Misty E.; Lentell, Betty J.; Wells, Randall S. (The Royal Society, 2011-10-12)Bubbles in supersaturated tissues and blood occur in beaked whales stranded near sonar exercises, and post-mortem in dolphins bycaught at depth and then hauled to the surface. To evaluate live dolphins for bubbles, liver, ...