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Salinas, Ecuador

Van Bressem M.-F.,Cetacean Conservation Medicine Group CMED | Simoes-Lopes P.C.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Felix F.,Museo de Ballenas | Kiszka J.J.,Florida International University | And 12 more authors.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2015

We report on the epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease (LLD), a cutaneous disorder evoking lobomycosis, in 658 common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from South America and 94 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins T. aduncus from southern Africa. Photographs and stranding records of 387 inshore residents, 60 inshore non-residents and 305 specimens of undetermined origin (inshore and offshore) were examined for the presence of LLD lesions from 2004 to 2015. Seventeen residents, 3 non-residents and 1 inshore dolphin of unknown residence status were positive. LLD lesions appeared as single or multiple, light grey to whitish nodules and plaques that may ulcerate and increase in size over time. Among resident dolphins, prevalence varied significantly among 4 communities, being low in Posorja (2.35%, n = 85), Ecuador, and high in Salinas, Ecuador (16.7%, n = 18), and Laguna, Brazil (14.3%, n = 42). LLD prevalence increased in 36 T. truncatus from Laguna from 5.6% in 2007-2009 to 13.9% in 2013-2014, albeit not significantly. The disease has persisted for years in dolphins from Mayotte, Laguna, Salinas, the Sanquianga National Park and Bahía Málaga (Colombia) but vanished from the Tramandaí Estuary and the Mampituba River (Brazil). The geographical range of LLD has expanded in Brazil, South Africa and Ecuador, in areas that have been regularly surveyed for 10 to 35 yr. Two of the 21 LLD-affected dolphins were found dead with extensive lesions in southern Brazil, and 2 others disappeared, and presumably died, in Ecuador. These observations stress the need for targeted epidemiological, histological and molecular studies of LLD in dolphins, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. © Inter-Research 2015. Source

Haase B.,Museo de Ballenas | Alava J.J.,Fundacion Ecuatoriana Para el Estudio de Mamiferos Marinos FEMM
Revista brasileira de parasitologia veterinária = Brazilian journal of veterinary parasitology : Órgão Oficial do Colégio Brasileiro de Parasitologia Veterinária | Year: 2014

Chewing lice were collected from small shorebirds (Charadriformes: Scolopacidae) overwintering in foraging grounds of coastal Ecuador. On 27 occasions at least one louse (3.7%) was collected from six host species. Based on external morphological characters, at least two species of chewing lice could be preliminary identified (family: Menoponidae), including Actornithophilus umbrinus (Burmeister, 1842) and Austromenopon sp. A. umbrinus was found in the Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri), Least Sandpiper (C. minutilla), Stilt Sandpiper (C. himantopus), Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) and Wilson's phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor), while Austromenopon sp. is presumably the first record collected from the Surfbird (Aphriza virgata). These findings indicate that the distribution of these chewing lice species covers at least the regions around the equator (latitude 0°) until the Arctic in the north, but probably also includes the entire winter distribution area of the host species. This is the first study of chewing lice from Ecuador's mainland coast and more research is required to understand the host-parasite ecology and ectoparasitic infection in shorebirds stopping over the region. Source

Fernando F.,Museo de Ballenas | Fernando F.,University of the Pacific of Ecuador | Susana C.,PO Box 09 06 2370 | Susana C.,University of Los Andes, Colombia
Journal of Cetacean Research and Management | Year: 2012

Information on the genetic characterisation of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) wintering off Ecuador (Breeding Stock G) is presented. Mitochondrial DNA was extracted and sequenced from 230 skin samples collected between 2002 and 2008 to establish the genetic diversity of this population. From 182 usable samples, 41 different haplotypes were found, eight of which were new and unique. Haplotype diversity (h ± SD) was estimated to be 0.922 ±0.012 and the nucleotide diversity (π ± SD) 0.019 ± 0.009. A comparison with other areas within the Southeast Pacific (Colombia and Magellan Strait) and the Antarctic Peninsula suggested panmixia within Breeding Stock G, even though significant differentiation was found with Magellan Strait (p < 0.0001 in both FSTand ΦST). An additional analysis with the exact test of population differentiation showed significant differences in haplotype frequencies between breeding areas in Ecuador and southern Colombia (p <0.01), suggesting some level of stratification at breeding grounds as supported by photo-identification studies. The Ecuadorian dataset included haplotypes reported in all three Southern Hemisphere ocean basins indicating recent gene flow within the Southern Hemisphere. The population showed a male-biased sex ratio in adult animals of 2.16:1. Further research and a larger number of samples from breeding areas in the north (Panama and Costa Rica) are required to appropriately assess the extent of structure in this population. Source

Rosa L.D.,Grande Rio University | Felix F.,Museo de Ballenas | Stevick P.T.,College of the Atlantic | Secchi E.R.,Grande Rio University | And 5 more authors.
Polar Research | Year: 2012

This paper reports on two photo-identified humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) that were sighted in different years in the proximity of the South Orkney Islands, at the boundary between the Scotia and Weddell seas (60°54.5′S-46°40.4′W and 60°42.6′S-45°33′W). One of the whales had been previously sighted off Ecuador, a breeding ground for the eastern South Pacific population. The other whale was subsequently resighted in Bransfield Strait, off the western Antarctic Peninsula, a well-documented feeding ground for the same population. These matches give support to a hypothesis that the area south of the South Orkney Islands is occupied by whales from the eastern South Pacific breeding stock. Consequently, we propose 40°W as a new longitudinal boundary between the feeding grounds associated with the eastern South Pacific and western South Atlantic breeding stocks. © 2012 L. Dalla Rosa et al. Source

Felix F.,Museo de Ballenas | Botero-Acosta N.,Fundacion Macuaticos Colombia
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2011

Data on distribution and behaviour of mother-calf pairs of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae obtained during the breeding season (June to October) off Ecuador were analysed. The study was carried out between 2001 and 2009 aboard whale-watching boats. A total of 187 groups containing mother-calf pairs were recorded: 124 pairs alone (MC), 44 with an escort whale (MCE) and 18 with 2 or more whales (MC + n). Five environmental variables were used to assess mother-calf distribution with a principal component analysis (PCA). Two variables, depth and time of day, were sufficient to explain heterogeneity. Average depths increased significantly with group size from MC to MC + n groups (p < 0.001), showing that mother-calf social condition would be a function of the depth at which they moved. MC groups were distributed in shallower waters during afternoon hours (p = 0.035), indicating a preference for shelter areas when sea conditions worsened. The proportion of the 3 female-calf group classes remained fairly constant during the season. In 2 MCE groups, the same escort accompanied the pair after 1 and 4 d, indicating some level of stability and/or guarding behaviour. Twenty resightings of 14 different mother-calf groups were recorded, 90% of resightings occurred within 10 d, showing low site fidelity. In coastal waters, a lower proportion of mother-calf pairs was associated with competitive groups than in other breeding areas located in oceanic archipelagos. This is probably because whales breeding in continental shores do not have to enter oceanic waters when moving between sites within the breeding area. Coastal distribution exposes mother-calf pairs to a greater extent than other age classes to anthropogenic activities in coastal waters, which must be taken into account when considering coastal management. © 2011 Inter-Research. Source

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