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Status of cetaceans in Tunisia through analysis of stranding data from 1937 to 2009

1, 2 / Mohamed Nejmeddine Bradai2 / Imed Jribi1 / Hedia Attia El Hili2 / Abderrahmen Bouain1

1Faculty of Sciences, Biology Department, Sfax University, Sfax, Tunisia

2National Institute of Sea Sciences and Technologies, P.O. Box 1035, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia

Corresponding author

Citation Information: mammalia. Volume 76, Issue 1, Pages 21–29, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: 10.1515/mamm.2011.100, January 2012

Publication History

Published Online:


A survey of cetaceans stranded along the Tunisian coastline (2004–2009) and a review of the literature allowed us to record a total number of 132 stranding events from 1937 to 2009. They included two species of balaenopteridae, one species of physeteridae and five species of delphinidae. The common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) and the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus, 1758) were the main stranded species in 83 and 21 stranding cases, respectively, representing 78.78% of all records. Stranding events occurred all the year round, with the highest frequency in spring (21.68%) and summer (50.60%) for the common bottlenose dolphin and in winter for the fin whale (50%). The common bottlenose dolphin was more vulnerable to human and fisheries interaction while the fin whale was more prone to be trapped in shallow waters.

Keywords: Balaenoptera physalus; stranding; Tunisian coastline; Tursiops truncatus

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