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Mammalia

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Volume 79, Issue 1

Issues

Genetic monitoring of pilot whales, Globicephala spp. (Cetacea: Delphinidae), stranded on French coasts

Etienne Sabatier
  • Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés, UMR 7266, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle, France
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Eric Pante
  • Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés, UMR 7266, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle, France
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/ Claire Dussud
  • Observatoire PELAGIS, UMS 3462, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, Pôle analytique, 5 allée de l’océan, 17000 La Rochelle, France
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/ Olivier Van Canneyt
  • Observatoire PELAGIS, UMS 3462, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, Pôle analytique, 5 allée de l’océan, 17000 La Rochelle, France
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/ Benoit Simon-Bouhet
  • Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés, UMR 7266, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle, France
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/ Amélia Viricel
  • Corresponding author
  • Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés, UMR 7266, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle, France
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Published Online: 2014-02-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2013-0155

Abstract

We used mitochondrial DNA control region sequences to genetically identify to the species level 23 pilot whales (genus Globicephala) that stranded on the French coasts between 1996 and 2011. Genetic analysis complemented morphological diagnoses, often hampered by an overlap in morphological characters between the two species or incomplete measurements. Mitochondrial DNA data allowed identification of 21 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) and two unusual stranding events of the more tropical species (Globicephala macrorhynchus). In pilot whales as in most cetaceans, shifts in species range are expected to occur due to global climate change. In this context, our study contributes to the long-term monitoring of pilot whale stranding events, providing indirect information on species occurrence.

Keywords: forensics; genetic monitoring; marine mammal; mitochondrial DNA; stranding

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About the article

Corresponding author: Amélia Viricel, Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés, UMR 7266, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle, France, e-mail:


Received: 2013-10-25

Accepted: 2014-02-04

Published Online: 2014-02-22

Published in Print: 2015-02-01


Citation Information: Mammalia, Volume 79, Issue 1, Pages 111–114, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2013-0155.

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