Detection of the elusive Dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) using environmental DNA at Malpelo island (Eastern Pacific, Colombia)

Type Article
Date 2021-04
Language English
Author(s) Juhel Jean‐baptisteORCID10, Marques Virginie2, 10, Polanco Fernández Andrea3, Borrero‐pérez Giomar H.3, Mutis Martinezguerra Maria3, Valentini Alice4, Dejean Tony4, Manel Stéphanie2, Loiseau NicolasORCID1, 10, Velez Laure10, Hocdé RégisORCID10, Letessier Tom B.5, Richards Eilísh6, Hadjadj Florine10, Bessudo Sandra7, Ladino Felipe7, Albouy CamilleORCID8, Mouillot David10, Pellissier LoïcORCID6, 9
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC University of Montpellier CNRS, Ifremer, IRD Montpellier, France
2 : CEFE University of Montpellier CNRS EPHE‐PSL University IRD Univ Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 Montpellier ,France
3 : Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras‐INVEMAR Museo de Historia Natural Marina de Colombia (MHNMC) Santa Marta ,Colombia
4 : SPYGEN ,Le Bourget‐du‐Lac ,France
5 : Institute of Zoology ,Zoological Society of London London ,UK
6 : Department of Environmental Systems Science Landscape Ecology Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, ETH Universitӓt Zürich Zürich, Switzerland
7 : Fundación Malpelo Bogotá ,Colombia
8 : IFREMER ,Unité Ecologie et Modèles pour l'Halieutique EMH Nantes ,France
9 : Unit of Land Change Science Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL Birmensdorf ,Switzerland
10 : MARBEC University of Montpellier CNRS, Ifremer, IRD Montpellier, France
Source Ecology And Evolution (2045-7758) (Wiley), 2021-04 , Vol. 11 , N. 7 , P. 2956-2962
DOI 10.1002/ece3.7057
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) eDNA, megafauna, mobile species, pelagic

Monitoring large marine mammals is challenging due to their low abundances in general, an ability to move over large distances and wide geographical range sizes.

The distribution of the pygmy (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (Kogia sima) sperm whales is informed by relatively rare sightings, which does not permit accurate estimates of their distribution ranges. Hence, their conservation status has long remained Data Deficient (DD) in the Red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which prevent appropriate conservation measures.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding uses DNA traces left by organisms in their environments to detect the presence of targeted taxon, and is here proved to be useful to increase our knowledge on the distribution of rare but emblematic megafauna.

Retrieving eDNA from filtered surface water provides the first detection of the Dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) around the remote Malpelo island (Colombia).

Environmental DNA collected during oceanic missions can generate better knowledge on rare but emblematic animals even in regions that are generally well sampled for other taxa.

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Juhel Jean‐baptiste, Marques Virginie, Polanco Fernández Andrea, Borrero‐pérez Giomar H., Mutis Martinezguerra Maria, Valentini Alice, Dejean Tony, Manel Stéphanie, Loiseau Nicolas, Velez Laure, Hocdé Régis, Letessier Tom B., Richards Eilísh, Hadjadj Florine, Bessudo Sandra, Ladino Felipe, Albouy Camille, Mouillot David, Pellissier Loïc (2021). Detection of the elusive Dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) using environmental DNA at Malpelo island (Eastern Pacific, Colombia). Ecology And Evolution, 11(7), 2956-2962. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :