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Alves M.D.D.O.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Schwamborn R.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Borges J.C.G.,Fundacao Mamiferos Aquaticos FMA | Borges J.C.G.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | And 4 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

The objective of the present study was to analyze the distribution of manatees, dolphins and sea turtles off northeastern Brazil through aerial surveys, relating them to specific habitats and human activities, with emphasis on marine protected areas (MPAs). Surveys were conducted between January and April 2010 at 150m altitude and 140kmh-1, using two independent observers. Strip transects were flown in a zigzag pattern. Transects covered 4026km in more than 27 flight hours. A total of 36 sightings of manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus, 41 individuals), 28 of dolphins (Delphinidae, 78 individuals, including 10 Sotalia guianensis) and 256 of sea turtles (Cheloniidae, 286 individuals) were recorded. Manatees and sea turtles displayed solitary habits, while dolphins were commonly seen in groups. Manatees were positively correlated with sea turtles, probably due to their preference for sheltered shallow habitats with favorable conditions for foraging and resting. Furthermore, manatees showed a positive relationship with mangrove estuaries, and medium-sized coastal cities probably due to the intense urban development in many estuarine areas. Manatees and sea turtles were also positively correlated with boats, showing a severe threat for these species. Density of manatees was significantly higher within MPAs with preserved mangrove estuaries than in non-protected areas, while dolphins and sea turtles were observed in high densities MPAs with coral reefs. The elevated density of these organisms shows the vital importance of protecting and adequately managing unique ecosystems to ensure a sustainable future for the populations of severely threatened species. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Borges J.C.G.,University of Pernambuco | Jung L.M.,Fundacao Mamiferos Aquaticos FMA | Carvalho V.L.,Associacao de Pesquisa e Preservacao de Ecossistemas Aquaticos AQUASIS | De Oliveira Moreira A.L.,Fundacao Mamiferos Aquaticos FMA | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2016

Currently, little is known about the helminth fauna in sirenian species. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the frequency of infection by Pulmonicola cochleotrema in Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus), in the North-eastern region of Brazil. Between the years of 1989 and 2014, 88 manatees found on the North-eastern Brazilian coast were clinically examined. They included animals that were found dead, animals maintained in captivity and specimens reintroduced into conservation areas. During their physical examination, helminths present in necropsied carcasses and in reintroduced animals were collected, as well as faecal samples. Parasites were detected in 7.95% (7/88) of the animals; all specimens collected being identified as P. cochleotrema. Only adult manatees were infected, and in two cases clinical signs were observed. This is the first report on the occurrence of P. cochleotrema in Antillean manatees in the states of Paraíba and Sergipe, in the North-eastern coast of Brazil. Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2016

Anzolin D.G.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Sarkis J.E.S.,Brazilian Nuclear Energy Research Institute (IPEN) | Diaz E.,Brazilian Nuclear Energy Research Institute (IPEN) | Soares D.G.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | And 6 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2012

The West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus is threatened with extinction in Brazil, and this study focused on nondestructive blood samples analyzed for metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), as well as biochemical and hematological biomarkers. Studied manatees were kept at Projeto Peixe-Boi headquarters in Pernambuco State, and at two natural areas in estuaries where they are released to the wild. Manatees kept at the natural estuary in Paraiba State have blood concentrations of Al, Pb, Cd, Sn that are 11, 7, 8 and 23 times greater, respectively, than the concentrations found in blood of animals from the same species in Florida, USA. An inhibition of butyrylcholinesterase in manatees kept at the two reintroduction sites in Alagoas and Paraiba States indicated possible exposure of the animals to cholinesterase inhibitor insecticides. PCBs and OCPs were not detected. Results from this study will help delineate conservation efforts in the region. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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