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SOLAMAC - Society Latin American of Specialists in Aquatic Mammals

Virtual library  -  Publications from SOLAMAC members

Identifying priority areas for humpback whale conservation at Eastern Brazilian Coast
C.C.A. Martins, A. Andriolo, M.H. Engel, P.G. Kinas, C.H. Saito. Identifying priority areas for humpback whale conservation at Eastern Brazilian Coast. Oceans & Coastal Management. 75 (): 63-71. 2013.

One of the humpback whales’ stocks uses the Brazilian Coast as breeding and calving ground during the austral winter. The species is recovering from commercial hunting and re-occupying previous breeding areas. Aerial surveys conducted to estimate the species density and abundance along the continental shelf of the Eastern Brazilian Coast revealed important core areas at the southern portion of the Abrolhos Bank. The rapid growth of human activities in these coastal areas motivated the use of Geographic Information Systems as a tool to guide the identification of priority areas for the species conservation. The species distribution was modelled using a kernel density estimator. The corresponding layer was used to identify areas of overlay with components of maritime traffic and with hydrocarbon exploitation areas. The resulting risk map was overlaid with existent Marine Protected Areas, allowing the cartography of areas where management measures still need to be undertaken to ensure habitat protection. These areas were identified as priorities for the species conservation as they encompass important breeding concentrations that were completely overlain by areas used to hydrocarbon exploitation and/or as navigation corridors. The present work gives support to an ecosystem-based management and ocean zoning of this portion of the Brazilian coast.

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