First Record and Trace Element Concentration in Humpback Whale (Megaptera Novaeangliae) Stranding on the Coast of Algeria (Southwestern Mediterranean Sea)

Yahia bouslah, Kamal LARBI doukara, Mohamed bouderbala, Dounia merzoug, Zitouni boutiba

Abstract


This data suggests that the whale had been in good health with a good nutrition. Additionally, traces elements concentrations of zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) Nickel (Ni), Chromium (Cr) and Manganese (Mn), were measured in the blubber and muscle of this humpback and found generally lower than those reported in other marine mammals in difference area. In conclusion, the most likely cause of mortality for this juvenile whale is attributed to the lost of the mother.

Humpback whale distribution is widespread over all the oceans, and this species embarks on extensive seasonal migrations, there are a few reported occurrences of humpback whales in the Mediterranean. Cetacean species are indeed present in Algerian waters, ten species of cetaceans have been listed in these waters, nine of them are in a regular way, and one is considered as accidental species. The present paper provides information on the stranding of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the coast of Algeria, these stranding were considered 'rare' in this area. On October 31, 2012, a humpback whale, measured 9.30m long, is found dead on the Algerian coast (AinTemouchent). The present study constitutes the first confirmed record of whale stranding on the coast of Algeria. The animal was identified as a juvenile male with no external fractures of the body. Internal dissection revealed a normal blubber thickness of 8cm.


Keywords


Cetacean; Stranding; Megaptera novaeangliae; Coast of Algeria; Traces Elements.

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