This work documents strandings and sightings of vulnerable marine mammals on the Egyptian Coast of the Mediterranean Sea, with an emphasis on 2013 to 2018 as well as previous non documented strandings observed by other persons. Marine mammal cases were described and identified to six species: the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus Linnaeus, 1758), the sperm whale (Physeter microcephalus), Gervais’ beaked whale Mesoplodon europaeus (Gervais, 1855), the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates), the rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) that which was stranded on the Gamasa coast and was not completely confirmed. The sixth species was California sea lion (Zalophus californianus Lesson, 1828) which was reported for the first time. Moreover, the monk seal (Monachus monachus) was also reported here but has not been observed by the authors; this observation increases the reported species on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt into seven species. The first five species are cetaceans including a baleen whale (Mysticeti) for first whale and toothed species (Odontoceti) for the remaining four species, while the last two ones belong to Pinnipeds (sea lion and monk seal). Most of the observed cases were strandings, while the sea lion was sighted alive. The sea lion is not endemic for Mediterranean sea and its presence may be an accidental or may escape from aquarium. There were also few other records of dead delphinid carcasses that were in a highly decomposed state and could not be identified. In conclusion, this work is important issue in term of documenting marine mammals in the Egyptian Mediterranean water and indicates that the coast has increasingly become a visiting area for many marine mammals, with a concomitant increase in stranding's. These observations reflect their vulnerability due to anthropogenic activities such as fishing operations, shipping, and seismic activities. Moreover, the Egyptian coast has shallower and wider continental shelf in the Nile Delta region which may increase the probability of marine mammals' visitors stranding's, particularly a mong species that inhabit deep water. The repeated sightings of these species may be due to climatic changes that affect their migration and mobility from one place to another. Stakeholders should pay more attention to marine mammals in Egypt through increased awareness and the continuous monitoring, documentation and mapping of recorded strandings to further suggest measures on how to protect these important and vulnerable species.
Mahmoud Mahrous Sayed Farrag,
Hamdy Omar Ahmed,
Mohamed Mohamed Mohamed TouTou,
Mohamed Mahmoud Eissawi,
Marine Mammals on the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast "Records and Vulnerability", International Journal of Ecotoxicology and Ecobiology.
Vol. 4, No. 1,
2019, pp. 8-16.
C. Lejeusne, P. Chevaldonné, C. Pergent-Martini, C. F. Boudouresque, and T. Pérez, "Climate change effects on a miniature ocean: the highly diverse, highly impacted Mediterranean Sea" Trends Ecol. Evol,. 25, 250–260, 2010.
F. Micheli, et al. "Cumulative Human Impacts on Mediterranean and Black Sea Marine Ecosystems: Assessing Current Pressures and Opportunities" PLoS ONE 8, e79889 (2013).
G. Bearzi, and C. M. Fortuna, "Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Mediterranean subpopulation). In: The Status and Distribution of Cetaceans in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea (Ed. by R.R. Reeves & G. Notarbartolo di Sciara, compilers and editors), pp. 64–73, 2006. IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Málaga, Spain.
M. Podestà, A. D’Amico, G. Pavan,, A. Drougas,, A. Komnenou and N. Portunato, "A review ofCuvier’s beaked whale strandings in the Mediterranean Sea" J. Cetacean Res. Manage, 7, 251-261, 2006.
G. Bearzi., S. Agazzi., J. Gonzalvo., M. Costa., S. Bonizzoni., E. Politi., C. Piroddi, and R. R. Reeves "Overfishing and the disappearance of short-beaked common dolphins from western Greece. Endangered Species Research, 5, 1–12, 2008. https://doi.org/10.3354/.
A. A. Öztürk, A. M. Tonay and A. Dede "REVIEW ARTICLE Strandings of the beaked whales, Risso’s dolphins, and a minke whale on the Turkish coast of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea" J. Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment, 17, (3), 269-274, 2011.
N. Maio, F. Pollaro, A. Gasparro, A. Petraccioli, M. Mezzasalma, M. Guariglia, G. Galiero, F. Di Nocera, D. Iaccarino, M. Santoro, G. Insacco and F. Guarino "New record of Dwarf Sperm Whale Kogia sima (Owen, 1866) from the Mediterranean Sea (Cetacea Kogiidae)" Biodiversity Journal, 8 (4), 947–950, 2017.
A. Frantzis, S. Airoldi, G. Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, C. Johnson, and S. Mazzariol, "Inter-basin movements of Mediterranean sperm whales provide insight into their population structure and conservation. Deep Sea Research, (I) 58, 454–459, (2011).
S. Panigada, et al. Estimating cetacean density and abundance in the Central and Western Mediterranean Sea through aerial surveys: Implications for management. Deep Sea Res. Part II 141, 41–58 (2017).
L. David, S. Alleaume, and C. Guinet, "High risk areas of collision between fin whales and ferries in the North-western Mediterranean sea. J. Mar. Anim. Their Environ. 4, 17–28, 2011.
A. Caadas, J. A. Vzquez, Conserving Cuvier’s beaked whales in the Alboran Sea (SW Mediterranean): Identification of high density areas to be avoided by intense man-made sound. Biological Conservation, 178, 155–162, 2014.
M. Castellote, C. W. Clark, and M. O. Lammers, "Acoustic and behavioural changes by fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in response to shipping and airgun noise" Biological Conservation, 147, 115–122, 2012.
G. Notarbartolo di Sciara., G. Bearzi, "Research on cetaceans in Italy. In: Marine Mammals of the Mediterranean Sea: Natural History, Biology, Anatomy, Pathology, Parasitology" (Ed. by B. Cozzi). Massimo Valdina Editore, Milano (interactive book on CD-rom), 2005.
C. G. B. William, "The agreement on the conservation of cetaceans of the black sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS): a regional response to the threats facing cetaceans", Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 1, 113-133, 1998.
IUCN, "Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles of the Mediterranean and Black Seas" Gland, Switzerland and Malaga, Spain: IUCN. 32 p, 2012.
D. Marchessaux, "A Review of the Current Knowledge of the Cetaceans in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea" Vie Marine, 2 (2), 59–66, 1980.
Oz Goffman, Mia Roditi, Tsila Shariv, Ehud Spanier and Dan Kerem. "Cetaceans from the Israeli coast of the Mediterranean Sea." Israel Journal of Zoology, 46, 143-147, 2000.
G. Notarbartolo di Sciara, D. Kerem, C. Smeenk, P. Rudolph, A. Cesario, M. Costa, M. Elasar, D. Feingold, M. Fumagalli., O. Goffman, N. Hadar, Y. T. Mebrathu and A. Scheinin, "Cetaceans of the Red Sea" CMS Technical Series 33, 86 p., 2017.
T. A, Jefferson, S. Leatherwood and M. A. Webber "FAO species identification guide. Marine Mammals of the World. F.A.O., Roma, 1993.
H. A, DABRITZ, M. A. MILLER, E. R. ATWILL, I. A. GARDNER, C. M. LEUTENEGGER, A. C. MELLI, and P. A. CONRAD. "Detection of Toxoplasma gondii–like oocysts in cat feces and estimates of the environmental oocyst burden" Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 231, 1676–1684, 2007.
D. Carlson-Bremer, C. K. Johnson, R. H. Miller, F. M. D. Gulland, P. A. Conrad, J. D. Wasmuth, K. M. Colegrove, and M. E. Grigg "IDENTIFICATION OF TWO NOVEL COCCIDIAN SPECIES SHED BY CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS (ZALOPHUS CALIFORNIANUS)". J. Parasitol., 98(2), 2012, pp. 347–354.
S. Laran, A. Gannier, "Spatial and temporal prediction of fin whale distribution in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea" ICES Journal of Marine Science, 65, 1260–1269, 2008.
O. Goffman, M. Roditi, T. Shariv, E. Spanier, and D. Kerem, "Cetaceans from the Israeli coast of the Mediterranean Sea" Israel Journal of Zoology, 46, 143–147, 2000.
D. Cebrian, C. Papaconstantinou, "Distribution of cetaceans in Greece" Rapp. Comm. Int. Mer Medit., 33:228, 1992.
R. S. Wells, M. D. Scott, "Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Pages 249-255 in Perrin, W.F., Würsig, B. and Thewissen, J. G. M (Eds) (2009). Encyclopedia of marine mammals, 2.ed. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.
R. Reeves, G. Notarbartolo di Sciara, "The Status and Distribution of Cetaceans in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea" IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Málaga, Spain. 137 pp, 2006.
B. Giovanni, M. F. Caterina, and R. R. Randall, "Ecology and conservation of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Mediterranean Sea" Mammal Rev., 39, 2, 92–123, 2008.
A. E. Daugherty, "Marine Mammals of Califomia" The resources Agency. Department of Fish and Garne. Sacramento, CA. 86 pp., 1965.
A. Zavala-González, "La Población del Lobo Marino Común Zalophus californianus (Lesson 1828) en las Islas del Golfo de Caiifomia, México.Tesis de Licenciatura. Facultad de Ciencias". UNAM. México, D. F. 235 pp., 1990.
R. J. P. Gallo, and A. Ortega, The first report of Zulophus californianus in Acapulco, Mexico. Marine Mammal Science, 2, 158., 1986.
R. J. P. Gallo, and J. L. V. Solórzan "Two new sightings of Califomia sea lions on the southem coast of Mexico" Marine Mammal Science, 7 : (l), 96, 1991.
J. V. Carretta, K. A. Forney, M. S. Lowry, J. Barlow, J. Baker, B. Hanson, M. M. Muto, “U. S. Pacifi c Marine Mammal Stock Assessments: 2007" US Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum, NMFS–SWFSC–414., 2007.
O. I. Lisitsyna, O. Kudlai, T. R. Spraker, T. A. Kuzmin, "NEW RECORDS ON ACANTHOCEPHALANS FROM CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS ZALOPHUS CALIFORNIANUS (PINNIPEDIA, OTARIIDAE) FROM CALIFORNIA, USA." Vestnik Zoologii, 52(3), 181–192, 2018.
M. Sara, "Ecological factors and their biogeographic consequences in the Mediterranean ecosystem. In: Moraitous-Apostolopoulou M, Kiortsis V, eds. Mediterranean Marine Ecosystems" New York: Plenum Press. pp 1–17, 1985.
C. N. Bianchi. and C. Morri, "Marine biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: Situation, problems and prospects for future research. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 40, 367–376, 2000.
C. Emig, and P. Geistdoerfer, The Mediterranean deep-sea fauna: Historical evolution, bathymetric variations and geographical changes, 2005. ArXiv preprint qbio/ 0507003v1.esr00103.
N. Pinardi, E. Arneri, A. Crise, M. Ravaioli, and M. Zavatarelli, "The physical, sedimentary and ecological structure and variability of shelf areas in the Mediterranean sea (27)" In: Robinson AR, Brink KA, eds. The Sea Harvard University Press. (2006), pp 1245–1331.
G. Bearzi., D. Holcer, G. N. Notarbartolo di Sciara, "The role of historical dolphin takes and habitat degradation in shaping the present status of northern Adriatic cetaceans". Aquatic Conservation-Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 14, 363–379, 2004.
B. R. MacKenzie, H. Mosegaard, A. A. Rosenberg, "Impending collapse of bluefin tuna in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean" Conservation Letters, 2, 26–35, 2009.
T. S. Hopkins, "Physics of the sea. In: Margalef R, ed. Key environments: Western Mediterranean. New York: Pergamon Press, 1985.
M. Zavatarelli, F. Raicich, D. Bregant, A. Russo, and A. Artegiani, "Climatological biogeochemical characteristics of the Adriatic Sea" Journal of Marine Systems, 18, 227–263, 1998.
E. Bosc, A. Bricaud, and D, Antoine, "Seasonal and interannual variability in algal biomass and primary production in the Mediterranean Sea, as derived from 4 years of SeaWiFS observations" Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 2004 18:\doi:10.1029/2003GB002034.
M. Goren, and B. S. Galil, "Fish biodiversity in the vermetid reef of Shiqmona (Israel)" PSZNI PSZNI Marine Ecology, 22, 369–378, 2001.
E. P. Green, and F. T. Short, "The world atlas of seagrasses" Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, (2003), 310 p.
E. Ballesteros, "Mediterranean coralligenous assemblages: A synthesis of present knowledge" Oceanography and Marine Biology - An Annual Review, 44, 123–195, 2006.
F. Sarda, J. B. Company, G. Rotllant and M. Coll, "Biological patterns and ecological indicators for Mediterranean fish and crustaceans below 1,000 m" A review. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 19: 329–347, 2009.
J. M. Gili, J. Bouillon, F. Pages, A. Palanques, P. Puig, et al., "Origin and biogeography of the deep-water Mediterranean Hydromedusae including the description of two new species collected in submarine canyons of Northwestern Mediterranean" Scientia Marina, 62, 113–134, 1998.
B. L. Taylor, R. Baird, J. Barlow, S. M. Dawson, J. K. B. Ford, J. G. Mead, G. Notarbartolo di Sciara, P. Wade and R. L. Pitman, “Kogia sima". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Version 2012, 2012. e.T11048A17695273.http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/ IUCN.
IUCN-MED, Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation: http://www. uicnmed.org/web2007/en/ and http://www.iucn.org/about/union/secretariat/ offices/iucnmed/. Accessed December, 2009.