Mediterranean Grampus Project 2.0 - Improving knowledge and conservation of the Mediterranean population of Risso's dolphins through effective partnerships


The Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus, G. Cuvier, 1812) is a cetacean species relatively widespread in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. The population inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea is genetically different from the one living in the contiguous Atlantic area, but it is considered “Data Deficient” in the IUCN Red List since its ranging patterns, abundance and ecology are still poorly known. In some areas of the north-western Mediterranean data on this species have been collected for over 20 years, but very limited information have been published for the rest of the basin. The only abundance estimates available so far have been obtained through a joint effort of four Institutes operating in the Ligurian-Provençal basin (NW Mediterranean Sea) and have shown a dramatic decrease in population size and encounter rates between the 1990s and the 2010s. In the last 3 years (2015-2017), only one sighting of this species has been reported in this area. The causes of such decline remain unclear. Recent matchings between animals photographed in the Ligurian Provençal basin and in waters off the Catalan coast (Spain) found that individuals moved almost 500 km, showing how animals of this species utilise larger areas and travel further than previously thought. Recently, several Risso’s dolphin Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) and
Areas of Interest (AoI) have been identified in the Mediterranean Sea, suggesting that the research effort on this species is increasing. Aim of this workshop is to take stock of the available information for different areas of the Mediterranean and invite everyone with data on Risso's dolphins to share them and combine efforts in order to improve our understanding of this wide ranging species, monitor it, determine the causes of the observed dramatic decline in the Ligurian-Provençal basin and its ecological relevance and inform effective conservation initiatives.


Aims

  • Consolidate the network created within the Mediterranean Grampus Project 1.0
  • Take stock of the available information for different areas of the Mediterranean and invite everyone with data on Risso's dolphins to share them and combine efforts
  • Create a framework for carrying out integrated analysis with the shared data to investigate:
    • The causes of the observed dramatic decline in the Ligurian-Provençal basin
    • Spatio-temporal distribution, ranging patterns and movements of this species at Mediterranean level
    • Trend of abundance in areas outside the Pelagos Sanctuary’s boundaries
    • Structure and dynamic of the population

Anticipated Outcome

Consolidate and expand the network of researchers studying Risso's dolphins in Mediterranean Sea in order to share and integrate data and knowledge


Contact

Sabina Airoldi

Caterina Lanfredi

Elisa Remonato,

Arianna Azzellino


Location and Time

NH Hotel, via XX Settembre 2, 19124 La Spezia

SALA RIOMAGGIORE

Workshop will start 9AM and end 5PM