Status and scope of marine mammal stranding research in Mexico

Guadalupe Gómez-Hernández, Georges Seingier, Fernando Elorriaga-Verplancken, Gisela Heckel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2019, Springer Nature B.V. Marine mammals are considered ecosystem sentinels. However, research on marine mammals can be complicated and costly. Stranding records are an invaluable source of information, as they are an indicator of marine ecosystem health and have economic and social relevancy related to interactions with anthropogenic activities and public health problems (e.g., zoonosis). The available literature related to strandings in Mexico was reviewed to identify topics that have been studied, as well as temporal and spatial trends. We searched for keywords in web search engines and specific sources and then constructed a database of 95 documents. Eighty-eight percent of all studies were gray literature, mainly congress abstracts. Only 12% were peer-reviewed papers, of which 55% were reported in English. The studies comprised a period of 24 years (1992–2016), with the highest frequency from 1998 to 2006. Most studies focused on the “record” topic (47%), followed by “network/group” (19%) and “distribution” (8%). The North Pacific, Gulf of California and Gulf of Mexico were the marine regions where most studies were reported. Only 5% of the studies reported the important topic of coordination between response groups and Mexican environmental authorities. Mexico is well positioned in stranding research compared to other countries, but this study shows the need, especially in Mexico, to publish stranding research in peer-reviewed journals to share experiences at the international level and foster cross-border networking. This study also highlights the need to focus stranding research on the other topics proposed in this study, such as human-marine mammal interactions, public health, and environmental education. Finally, we emphasize the importance of a systematic record of stranding data and coordination among stakeholders in order to provide additional sets of data to include in coastal zone natural resource conservation and management strategies in the increasingly vulnerable (Mexican) coastal zone.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Coastal Conservation
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

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