Assessing disease and mortality among small cetaceans stranded at a World Heritage site in southern Brazil

Domicano, Isabela G., Domit, Camila, Broadhurst, Matt K., Koch, Mariana S. and Bracarense, Ana Paula F. R. L. (2016) Assessing disease and mortality among small cetaceans stranded at a World Heritage site in southern Brazil. PLoS One, 11 2: e0149295.1-e0149295.17. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149295

Author Domicano, Isabela G.
Domit, Camila
Broadhurst, Matt K.
Koch, Mariana S.
Bracarense, Ana Paula F. R. L.
Title Assessing disease and mortality among small cetaceans stranded at a World Heritage site in southern Brazil
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2016-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0149295
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 2
Start page e0149295.1
End page e0149295.17
Total pages 17
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Cetaceans are considered environmental sentinels and their health often reflects either anthropogenic or natural spatiooral disturbances. This study investigated the pathological findings and mortality of small cetaceans with the aim of detecting hazards and monitoring health trends in a high-biodiversity area. Between 2007 and 2012, 218 stranded cetaceans were recorded on the Paraná coast, southern Brazil. Fifty-seven (26.1%) of these animals, including 50 Sotalia guianensis, 2 Pontoporia blainvillei, 2 Stenella frontalis, 1 Stenella longirostris, 1 Tursiops truncatus and 1 Globicephala melas were necropsied and samples were collected for histopathology. Causes of death were determined in 46 of the 57 (80.7%) animals and most (30 or 65.2%) were ascribed to anthropogenic activities, including fisheries bycatch (28/30) and trauma (2/30). The remaining 16 fatalities were considered natural, and attributed to pneumonia (10/16), emaciation (3/16), septicemia (1/16), neonatal pathology (1/16) and choking via food obstruction (1/16). Irrespective of the cause, bronchointerstitial pneumonia, associated with parasitism, lymphadenitis and membranous glomerulonephritis were common findings among all fatalities. These results suggest, that while anthropogenic activities are a leading cause of cetacean strandings in Paraná, underlying pre-existing diseases may contribute towards deaths. Although the studied area is considered a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, complex anthropogenic and natural interactions might be occurring, increasing cetacean susceptibility to hazards. This study may help facilitate developing an effective conservation plan for coastal cetaceans focusing on reducing fisheries interactions, habitat degradation and pollution as mechanisms for ultimately increasing species resilience.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 24 Mar 2016, 23:33:51 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences