ResearchPublicationsTechnical reports

Technical reports

(1.1 Mb)

Agardy, T., Aguilar, N., Cañadas, A., Engel, M., Frantzis, A., Hatch, L., Hoyt, E., Kaschner, K., LaBrecque, E., Martin, V., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Pavan, G., Servidio, A., Smith, B., Wang, J., Weilgart, L., Wintle, B. and Wright, A.. 2007. A Global Scientific Workshop on Spatio-Temporal Management of Noise. Report of the Scientific Workshop.

Summary: Marine fauna, especially cetaceans, rely on sound for a range of biological functions and are susceptible to the effects of marine noise pollution (e.g. Richardson et al., 1995). However noise, despite its implicit classification as a pollutant by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is not subject to the same level of regulation as other pollutants.
Spatio-temporal restrictions (STRs), including marine protected areas (MPAs), offer one of the most effective means to protect cetaceans and their habitats from the cumulative and synergistic effects of noise as well as from other anthropogenic stressors (Weilgart, 2006), as the various threats confronting cetaceans do not occur in isolation. For example, there is evidence that anthropogenic noise could interact with cetacean by-catch or ship collisions, preventing animals from sensing fishing gear or oncoming vessels and making them more vulnerable to injury or death (Todd et al., 1996; Andre et al., 1997). However, despite great potential, at present very few MPAs are large enough to reduce ensonification (i.e. exposure) of cetaceans to noise from human activities in the ocean (Hoyt, this report). This consensus report creates a conceptual foundation for utilising marine protected areas and other STRs to help improve this situation.

Up

 


(2.4 Mb)

Reeves R., Notarbartolo di Sciara G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The status and distribution of cetaceans in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Malaga, Spain. 137 pp.

Summary: The conservation status of cetaceans in the Black and Mediterranean Seas has been a source of concern for many years. This was reflected in the 1991 Action Plan of the Barcelona Convention and in the global action plans for cetacean conservation published by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group (CSG) in 1988, 1989, 1994 and 2003. Two populations from the region have already been listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species – the Black Sea subspecies of the Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena relicta) as Vulnerable (1996) and the Mediterranean subpopulation of Shortbeaked Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis) as Endangered (2003). Scientists working in the region have long recognised the need for additional detailed assessments, expecting that other species and populations would also qualify for threatened status.

An important development in the history of cetacean conservation in the region was the establishment in 2001 of the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) within the framework of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) (http://www.accobams.org/). At the ACCOBAMS Meeting of Parties in 2004 the decision was taken to seek a closer working relationship with IUCN. As a first step towards implementing that decision, ACCOBAMS welcomed an opportunity to collaborate with the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation in Malaga by co-organising and co-sponsoring a Mediterranean/Black Sea Cetacean Red List Workshop. The workshop was held at the Ministry of State in Monaco on 5-7 March 2006. Its stated purpose was to assess all populations of Mediterranean and Black Sea cetaceans against the 2001 IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (Version 3.1). The IUCN Red List Authority for cetacean species and populations resides within the Cetacean Specialist Group, and therefore the CSG played a central role in the workshop’s organization and conduct. Randall Reeves, CSG chairman, and Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, CSG deputy chairman, co-organised the workshop in consultation with the sponsoring bodies. Draft assessments commissioned from individual species experts were circulated to all participants prior to the workshop. These draft assessments served as the basis for workshop discussions, and the final versions reflect the consensus of participants (see Annex 3). Randall Reeves chaired the workshop. Rapporteurs were assigned on an ad hoc basis. For each assessment, the rapporteur worked with the assessor(s) to revise the draft to reflect the workshop discussions and decisions. The draft assessments were subject to further editing by Reeves and Notarbartolo di Sciara after the workshop, and the entire report, including the final draft assessments, was reviewed by participants before being declared final. It was anticipated that, following publication of the workshop report, most or all of the assessments would be submitted formally for review and endorsement by the Cetacean Red List Authority (a subcommittee within the CSG) and then forwarded to the IUCN Red List Programme and the Global Mammal Assessment.

Of the 12 assessed units in the region, one was proposed to qualify for Critically Endangered, five for Endangered and two for Vulnerable. The other four were considered Data Deficient, meaning that there was inadequate information to assess their extinction risk. A brief summary of the assessment results is given in the following table.

Up

 


(4.5 Mb)

Cañadas, A. and Sagarminaga, R. 2006. Conservation Plan for the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Spanish Meditárreneo. Spanish Cetacean Society. LIFE02NAT/E/8610. 136pp.

Summary: The particular spatial requirements of marine pelagic species as the bottlenose dolphin or the loggerhead turtle pose a series of important challenges for biodiversity conservation frameworks. The first of these challenges is certainly our lack of basic knowledge on the bottlenose dolphin populations we are dealing with in Europe and the Mediterranean. In 2006, the Mediterranean “subpopulation” of bottlenose dolphins was assessed by an IUCN / ACCOBAMS Red List Workshop and considered to qualify as “Vulnerable” according to the IUCN Red List criteria. The species is also included in the Annex II of the European Union’s Habitat Directive and listed as “vulnerable” in the Spanish National Endangered Species Catalogue.

 

Law 4/1989, of March the 27th, for the “Conservation of the Natural Areas and the Wild Flora and Fauna”, demands the writing of Conservation Plans, and in its case, the protection of the habitat, for species catalogued as "vulnerable".

 

The development and approval of these plans corresponds to the Ministry of Environment and the Autonomous Communities in their respective competences (administrative frameworks). However, given the characteristics of the species, it is important that regional conservation efforts are carried out under the umbrella of more global frameworks, as the Habitat Directive or ACCOBAMS. The main role of this Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation Plan is therefore to provide a guide to coordinate actions to achieve a series of common conservation goals.

 

This coordination is not only intended to link and coordinate regional, national and international biodiversity conservation frameworks, but also to provide a bridge between the diverse relevant authorities that need to intervene in the actions of the conservation plan. It is with this purpose, that the BDCP aims also to contribute to the development of a “National Plan or Strategy for the Conservation of the Bottlenose Dolphin in the Mediterranean”.

 

The present document outlines the process followed for the development of a Conservation Plan proposal within the context of the LIFE Nature project “Conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles in Murcia and Andalucía”. The process focuses primarily on the establishment of management measures based on a scientific foundation, highlighting the importance of baseline data for the establishment of adequate conservation objectives and monitoring as an essential tool for adjusting actions to achieve these objectives. The result of the process is the establishment of a series of general guidelines as well as concrete actions to be carried out by each of the involved relevant authorities and actors involved. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this process is the result of regular meetings held with relevant authorities and other stakeholders, discussing the concrete aspects of possible management actions to be included in the BDCP. Direct involvement and implication of stakeholders in the process becomes a strong support to the feasibility and effectivity of the BDCP actions.

Up

 


(2.5 Mb)

Cañadas, A. and Sagarminaga, R. 2006. Conservation Plan for the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Spanish Meditárreneo. Spanish Cetacean Society. LIFE02NAT/E/8610. 53pp.

Summary: The particular spatial requirements of marine pelagic species as the loggerhead turtle or the bottlenose dolphin pose a series of important challenges for biodiversity conservation frameworks. The first of these challenges is certainly our lack of basic knowledge on the loggerhead turtle populations we are dealing with in Europe and the Mediterranean. In the recent history of wildlife conservation, it is precisely with respect to sea turtles that we can observe some of the best examples of why we need to base our management actions on science. However, obtaining data of these great pelagics at sea is both extremely expensive and logistically difficult, and our biodiversity conservation frameworks require tools that are cost efficient.

 

Law 4/1989, of March the 27th, for the “Conservation of the Natural Spaces and the Wild Flora and Fauna”, demands the writing of Conservation Plans, and in its case, the protection of the habitat, for species catalogued as "vulnerable".

 

The development and approval of these plans corresponds to the Autonomous Communities. However, given the characteristics of the species, it is important that regional conservation efforts are carried out under the umbrella of more global frameworks, as the Habitat Directive. The main role of this Loggerhead turtle Conservation Plan is therefore to provide a guide to coordinate actions to achieve a series of common conservation goals.

 

This coordination is not only intended to link and coordinate regional, national and international biodiversity conservation frameworks, but also to provide a bridge between the diverse relevant authorities that need to intervene in the actions of the conservation plan at each of these levels. It is with this purpose, that the LTCP aims also to contribute to the development of a “National Strategy for the Conservation of the Loggerhead turtle in the Mediterranean”.

 

The present document outlines the process followed for the development of a Conservation Plan proposal within the context of the LIFE Nature project “Conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles in Murcia and Andalucía”. The process focuses primarily on the establishment of management measures based on a scientific foundation, highlighting the importance of baseline data for the establishment of adequate conservation objectives and monitoring as an essential tool for adjusting actions to achieve these objectives. The result of the process is the establishment of a series of general guidelines as well as concrete actions to be carried out by each of the involved relevant authorities and actors involved. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this process is the result of regular meetings held with relevant authorities and other stakeholders, discussing the concrete aspects of possible management actions to be included in the LTCP. Direct involvement and implication of stakeholders in the process has provided a strong support to the feasibility and efficiency of the LTCP actions. .

Up

 


(1.3 Mb)

Cañadas, A. and Sagarminaga, R. 2006. Monitoring Plan for the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Andalucía and Murcia. Sociedad Española de Cetáceos. LIFE02NAT/E/8610. 35pp.

Summary: The need for the Monitoring Plan to be an integral part of the Conservation Plan is emphasised above. The requirement for baseline/monitoring information is at two levels:
(1) monitoring the population [and habitat] characteristics (the Attributes defined in the BDCP (Bottlenose dolphin COnservation Plan)); and
(2) monitoring human activities (those identified also in the BDCP).
In all cases it is necessary to prioritize the monitoring actions according to their usefulness and feasibility. The Monitoring Plan must take into account the specific conservation objectives established for the various attributes, the practicality of the available monitoring tools (including data collection and analysis) to detect changes with sufficient reliability and the nature of the feedback to the Conservation Plan. Table 1 shows the Monitoring Plan for the population in a schematic way, together with the baseline information required. For both the collection of baseline and monitoring information, it is important to consider the synergies between the data collection (and/or analysis) methods. Certain of these are the same or very similar for a variety of indicators. This is an important aspect to consider when prioritizing monitoring actions.

Up

 


(2 Mb zip file)
Bearzi G., Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Reeves R.R., Cañadas A., Frantzis A. 2004.
Conservation Plan for short beaked common dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea. ACCOBAMS, Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area. 90 pp.

Summary: Since its first Meeting of the Parties in 2002, ACCOBAMS proposed that the status of common dolphins in the Mediterranean be evaluated in a comprehensive manner, with the goals of estimating distribution and abundance throughout the basin, identifying critical habitat and characterising threats.
As a first result of this call, an article was published which reviewed the ecology, status and conservation of Mediterranean common dolphins (Bearzi et al., 2003). The article discussed the decline of common dolphins in Mediterranean waters that occurred over the past 30-50 years, and was instrumental for their inclusion in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals, where the Mediterranean common dolphin population was classified as Endangered. This Conservation Plan, the preparation of which was recommended by the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee during its first meeting (Tunis, 2002), was commissioned by the Agreement Secretariat. It aims to address the conservation problems of Mediterranean common dolphins by defining priority action to stop their decline and facilitate their recovery in the region.
The Plan acknowledges that: 1) the formulation and recommendation of management measures is made difficult by the present lack of understanding of the cause(s) for common dolphin decline in the region; 2) nevertheless, it can be assumed that most of the factors that are responsible for the decline of common dolphins in the Mediterranean derive from human activities in this marine region that are unsustainable and/or illegal (e.g., overfishing, use of driftnets, pollution); 3) the fate of Mediterranean common dolphins depends on range States having the political will to take responsible and precautionary action to mitigate the known anthropogenic threats; 4) the principal management measures that will benefit common dolphins are already embedded in existing legislation and treaties; 5) if all such measures, invoked by existing international, regional and national legal instruments for the management of the Mediterranean, were to be fully implemented and enforced, the decline of common dolphins would likely cease.
The Plan concludes that honouring existing obligations with regard to the management of fisheries, pollution and other forms of habitat degradation represents the single most important action to stop the decline of Mediterranean common dolphins and facilitate their recovery. Therefore, the Plan strongly advocates that such obligations be respected and implemented without any further delay.
In addition to recommending compliance with existing obligations, the Plan envisages and outlines a series of actions that specifically address the problem of common dolphin conservation in the Mediterranean, with special attention to areas that report common dolphins in sizeable numbers and appear to contain important habitat for the species.
Actions are divided into five broad categories: Management, Legislation, Research, Capacity building, Awareness & Education. The Plan stresses that all categories are equally important and the corresponding actions will have to be implemented simultaneously. In particular, it is recognized that while research plays a fundamental role in supporting the design and development of science-based management measures, the risks of simply perpetuating calls for more research must also be considered. In the case of the Mediterranean common dolphin population, which appears to be declining rapidly, unwillingness to act based on what is known could allow the population’s conservation status to deteriorate further. Therefore, the Plan recommends that research actions be taken to obtain information in a timely manner, while ensuring that the management process is implemented without delay in view of the precautionary principle. Conservation Plan for short-beaked common dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Plan identifies eight Areas of Conservation Importance (ACIs) where management actions should be taken without delay and knowledge gaps preventing the identification of effective conservation strategies should be immediately filled by research. The Plan recommends that other ACIs should be identified as soon as possible in addition to those proposed here, and outlines research actions that will help define and locate important habitat for common dolphins.
Actions outlined in this Plan should be implemented in view of obtaining measurable results within five years, with a priority for management actions in ACIs. Within this five year timeframe, the Plan proposes an initial strategy as an alternative to the formal establishment of new Marine Protected Areas. The rationales behind this interim strategy include: 1) the currently incomplete state of knowledge about common dolphin distribution and long-term movements, 2) the inherently dynamic nature and likely large spatial extent of the habitat used by these animals year-round, and 3) the cumbersome institutional and governance issues affecting the design, enforcement and implementation of “traditional” MPAs, which are likely to be improved in the future.
The management approach proposed by this Plan is intended to pave the way for the future establishment of networks of MPAs or large MPAs to protect Mediterranean common dolphins, which should be designed on the basis of appropriate information on their ecology, distribution, long-range movements and spatial needs.
The Plan entirely shares the view expressed by the Parties that "diffusing research and monitoring abilities throughout the region is a timely challenge and one of the highest priorities as far as cetacean conservation is concerned" (ACCOBAMS, 2002), and outlines actions aimed to address both individual and institutional capacity building. Public awareness and education represent essential parts of this Conservation Plan, as they create a favourable ground for conservation-oriented management. The Plan highlights the need to conduct public campaigns based on welldefined, science-based public awareness strategies, and identifies a series of awareness and education actions targeting managers, teachers, school children and the general public.
To accomplish the various actions in an expeditious manner this Plan recommends the establishment of a position of Coordinator, responsible for the implementation of all aspects of the Conservation Plan in close coordination with the ACCOBAMS Secretariat. The Plan also recommends that Institutes and organizations, whether governmental or nongovernmental, and individuals capable of providing qualified professional service be regarded as relevant actors in the common dolphin conservation process.

Up

 


Cañadas, A. 2003. Propuesta de conservación de zifios (orden Cetacea, familia Ziphiidae) en el Mar de Alborán. Informe para el Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina. Sociedad Española de Cetáceos. 23pp.

Up

 


(2.9 Mb zip file)
Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. 2002. Identificación de las áreas de especial interés para la conservación de los cetáceos en el Mediterráneo español. Volumen I. Resumen. Diciembre 2002. 119 pp.

El proyecto contó con dos fases, una primera fase encaminada a establecer el estado de conservación de las distintas especies y poblaciones de cetáceos en el Mediterráneo español y una segunda fase de identificación de áreas de especial interés para la conservación de los cetáceos del Mediterráneo español. La primera fase consta de cuatro grandes objetivos que han consistido en:

    1. Revisión de toda la información previa
    2. Estudio de la distribución y densidad relativa de las poblaciones de cetáceos y su uso del hábitat.
    3. Estudio de la identidad de las poblaciones de cetáceos
    4. Análisis socioeconómico de las áreas de estudio

Up

 


Cañadas, A. and Sagarminaga, R. 2002. Identificación de las áreas de especial interés para la conservación de los cetáceos en el Mediterráneo español. Volumen IV. Sector Sur. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid – Alnitak. Diciembre 2002. 604 pp.

 

 

 

Share
Free business joomla templates