Forgotten Mediterranean calving grounds of grey and North Atlantic right whales: evidence from Roman archaeological records

Forgotten Mediterranean calving grounds of gray and North Atlantic right whales: evidence from Roman archaeological records (2018) Ana S. L. Rodrigues, Anne Charpentier, Darío Bernal-Casasola, Armelle Gardeisen, Carlos Nores, José Antonio Pis Millán, Krista McGrath, Camilla F. Speller. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 2018. DOI : 10.1098/rspb.2018.0961. Download the PDF and the Supplement. Abstract Right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) were extirpated from the eastern North Atlantic by commercial whaling. Grey whales (Eschrichtius robustus) disappeared from the entire North Atlantic in still-mysterious circumstances. Here, we test the hypotheses that both species previously occurred in the Mediterranean Sea, an area not …

Multifaceted biodiversity hotspots of marine mammals for conservation priorities

Albouy, C., Delattre, V.L., Mérigot, B., Meynard, C.N. & Leprieur, F. (2017). Multifaceted biodiversity hotspots of marine mammals for conservation priorities. Diversity and Distributions, 23, 615–626. https://doi-org.inee.bib.cnrs.fr/10.1111/ddi.12556   Abstract Aim Identifying the multifaceted biodiversity hotspots for marine mammals and their spatial overlap with human threats at the global scale. Location World-wide. Methods We compiled a functional trait database for 121 species of marine mammals characterized by 14 functional traits grouped into five categories. We estimated marine mammal species richness (SR) as well as functional (FD) and phylogenetic diversity (PD) per grid cell (1° × 1°) using the FRic index (a …

Challenges and molecular solutions for the taxonomic identification of ancient cetaceans

Speller, C., Hurk, Y. van den, Charpentier, A., Rodrigues, A., Gardeisen, A., Wilkens, B., McGrath, K., Rowsell, K., Spindler, L., Collins, M. & Hofreiter, M. (2016). Barcoding the largest animals on Earth: ongoing challenges and molecular solutions in the taxonomic identification of ancient cetaceans. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 371, 20150332.Download the PDF. AbstractOver the last few centuries, many cetacean species have witnessed dramatic global declines due to industrial overharvesting and other anthropogenic influences, and thus are a key target for conservation. Whale bones recovered from archaeological and paleontological contexts can provide essential baseline information on the past geographic distribution …

Ancient whale exploitation in the Mediterranean: species matters

Rodrigues, A.S.L., Horwitz, L.K., Monsarrat, S. & Charpentier, A. (2016). Ancient whale exploitation in the Mediterranean: species matters. Antiquity, 90, 928–938. Download PDF and supplement. AbstractThe identity of whale species in ancient records matters to archaeologists and historians too, since these marine mammals vary enormously in their ecology, behaviour and morphology, factors which have influenced the way in which they interacted with, and were exploited by, people in the past . In particular, while most whale species inhabit the high seas, and were only sporadically accessible to past peoples, some species concentrate regularly and predictably close to the coastline, where …

Pre-whaling abundance of the endangered North Atlantic right whale

Monsarrat, S., Pennino, M.G., Smith, T.D., Reeves, R.R., Meynard, C.N., Kaplan, D.M. & Rodrigues, A.S.L. (2016). A spatially explicit estimate of the prewhaling abundance of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Conservation Biology, 30, 783–791. Download PDF and supplement. AbstractThe North Atlantic right whale (NARW) (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the world’s most threatened whales. It came close to extinction after nearly a millennium of exploitation and currently persists as a population of only approximately 500 individuals. Setting appropriate conservation targets for this species requires an understanding of its historical population size, as a baseline for measuring levels of depletion …

Historical summer distribution of the endangered North Atlantic right whale

Monsarrat S., Smith T., Reeves R., Pennino M.G., Meynard C., Kaplan D., Rodrigues A.S.L. (2015) Historical summer distribution of the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis): a hypothesis based on environmental preferences of a congeneric species. Diversity and Distributions 21: 925–937. Download PDF and Supplement AbstractAim. To obtain a plausible hypothesis for the historical distribution of North Atlantic right whales (NARWs) (Eubalaena glacialis) in their summer feeding grounds. Previously widespread in the North Atlantic, after centuries of hunting, these whales survive as a small population off eastern North America. Because their exploitation began before formal records started, information about …

Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates

Rodrigues A.S.L., Brooks T.M., Butchart S.H.M., Chanson J., Cox N., Hoffmann M., & Stuart S.N. (2014) Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates. Plos ONE 9(11): e113934. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113934 Download PDF and Supplement AbstractThe world’s governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red …

Using virtual species to study species distributions and model performance

Meynard, C. N. & D. M. Kaplan (2013) Using virtual species to study species distributions and model performance. Journal of Biogeography 40: 1-8. Download PDF AbstractSimulations of virtual species (i.e. species for which the environment–occupancy relationships are known) are increasingly being used to test the effects of different aspects of modelling and sampling strategy on performance of species distribution models (SDMs). Here we discuss an important step of the simulation process: the translation of simulated probabilities of occurrence into patterns of presence and absence. Often a threshold strategy is used to generate virtual occurrences, where presence always occurs above a …