Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara

Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara
Tethys Research Institute

Ph. D.

About

246
Publications
82,939
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8,062
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January 1986 - present
Tethys Research Institute
Tethys Research Institute
Position
  • CEO

Publications

Publications (246)
Article
Full-text available
Area-based conservation is essential to safeguard declining biodiversity. Several approaches have been developed for identifying networks of globally important areas based on the delineation of sites or seascapes of importance for various elements of biodiversity (e.g., birds, marine mammals). Sharks, rays, and chimaeras are facing a biodiversity c...
Article
Full-text available
Historical abundance estimates are important for establishing baselines from which trends can be determined using more recent data. Long‐term studies based on photo‐identification were merged and used to estimate population size, survival rate and sex ratio (biopsy sampling) of fin whales in the North‐western Mediterranean. Merging four existing ph...
Chapter
Full-text available
Confronted with the ruinous consequences of human presence for Earth and its biodiversityBiodiversity, human societyHuman society starts to feel the imperative for acting to stem such consequences, and the accompanying loss of species. Here, we address the case of conservingConservingmarine mammalsMarine mammals, a group of species that have a spec...
Article
Full-text available
The Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) initiative was launched by the Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 2016, as a response to a conservation crisis in the protection of marine mammals and wider global ocean biodiversity. IMMAs identify discrete portions of habitat that are impo...
Article
Full-text available
• The protection of evolutionary processes and maintenance of genetic diversity is necessary for the persistence of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. The importance of genetic diversity has been reflected in a range of marine policy mechanisms, and the genetic ‘toolbox’ has great potential to support marine protection and marine spatial planni...
Article
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The Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and World Commission on Protected Areas announces the completion of entries for 159 Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs), available at marinemammalhabitat.org. This tool highlights areas that are important for one or more marine mammal species and that have the po...
Article
Full-text available
A key goal of conservation is to protect biodiversity by supporting the long-term persistence of viable, natural populations of wild species. Conservation practice has long been guided by genetic, ecological and demographic indicators of risk. Emerging evidence of animal culture across diverse taxa and its role as a driver of evolutionary diversifi...
Chapter
The marine mammal fauna found in the waters surrounding the Arabian Peninsula includes 24 species belonging to two Orders: Cetartiodactyla (Bryde’s whale, blue whale, Omura’s whale, humpback whale, sperm whale, dwarf and possibly pygmy sperm whale, Cuvier’s beaked whale, Indo-Pacific common dolphin, pygmy killer whale, short-finned pilot whale, Ris...
Chapter
A total of 138 chondrichthyan species—11% of the world’s known species—are currently known to occur in the waters surrounding the Arabian Peninsula, including 68 sharks from 22 families and 41 genera, 68 rays from 14 families and 33 genera, and two chimaeras from one family and one genus. Of these, 29 species are endemic to the region. The chondric...
Article
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Abstract Mobula mobular, a mobulid species once considered a Mediterranean Sea endemic, has received its common name “giant devil ray” based on repeated misidentifications of oceanic manta rays, Mobula birostris, that had strayed into the Mediterranean, where they had never been reported from before. Based on the maximum known size (350 cm disc wid...
Article
Important marine mammal areas (IMMAs)—‘discrete habitat areas, important for one or more marine mammal species, that have the potential to be delineated and managed for conservation’ (IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force 2018, p. 3)—were introduced in 2014 by the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force to support marine mammal and wi...
Article
Full-text available
The Mediterranean Large Elasmobranchs Monitoring (MEDLEM) database contains over 3000 records (more than 4000 individuals) of large elasmobranch species from 20 different countries around the Mediterranean and Black seas, observed from 1666 to 2017. The main species included in the archive are the devil fish (1 813 individuals), the basking shark (...
Book
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There has been progress since 2012. The 1 215 MPAs and OECMs now cover 6.81 % of the Mediterranean through a large variety of conservation designations, with national designations accounting for only 1.27% and no-go, no-take or no-fishing zones for 0.04%. Over 72.77% of the surface covered is located in the Western Mediterranean. Designations cover...
Article
The longhorned pygmy devil ray Mobula eregoodoo (Cantor, 1849), formerly known as Mobula eregoodootenkee (Bleeker, 1859), is a small mobulid with a disc reaching a maximum width of 1.3 m, widely ranging in tropical and subtropical latitudes across the Indian Ocean, the Indo‐Pacific region, and the western Pacific Ocean. A recently emerged opportuni...
Article
Important marine mammal areas (IMMAs) are discrete portions of habitat, important to marine mammal species, that have the potential to be delineated and managed for conservation. Although IMMAs are not a blueprint for marine protected areas or other conservation designations, they are useful for providing a foundation for marine spatial planning an...
Article
Addressing the challenge of protecting biodiversity in the global ocean requires a sound knowledge and understanding of the complex marine environment. Since 2008 the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) has been established as a voluntary dedicated group of marine institutions and scientists working to support conservation and protection of...
Article
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The distributions of migratory species in the ocean span local, national and international jurisdictions. Across these ecologically interconnected regions, migratory marine species interact with anthropogenic stressors throughout their lives. Migratory connectivity, the geographical linking of individuals and populations throughout their migratory...
Article
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Whale watching is a popular commercial activity, producing socio‐ecological benefits but also potential long‐term effects on the targeted cetacean population. This industry is currently developing in data‐deficient contexts in a largely unregulated fashion. Management schemes should adopt precaution and be informed by the relevant literature, but w...
Article
There have been efforts around the globe to track individuals of many marine species and assess their movements and distribution, with the putative goal of supporting their conservation and management. Determining whether, and how, tracking data have been successfully applied to address real-world conservation issues is, however, difficult. Here, w...
Article
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Understanding the rich social lives of animals benefits international conservation efforts
Article
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Manta and devil rays are filter-feeding elasmobranchs that are found circumglobally in tropical and subtropical waters. Although relatively understudied for most of the Twentieth century, public awareness and scientific research on these species has increased dramatically in recent years. Much of this attention has been in response to targeted fish...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing evidence that whale and dolphin watching activities have detrimental effects on targeted cetacean populations. In Egypt, spinner dolphins regularly occur in the resting areas of Samadai, Satayah and Qubbat’Isa reefs. In-water human interactions with dolphins are regulated with a time-area closure system at Samadai, unregulated a...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the giant devil ray (Mobula mobular), an endangered species endemic to the Mediterranean. Gaza is the only region where this species is targeted, hence, this fishery was studied to address the knowledge gap on fishery interactions, species behavior, and life-history traits. Devil rays have been frequenting this maritime area f...
Article
Full-text available
Heterogeneous data collection in the marine environment has led to large gaps in our knowledge of marine species distributions. To fill these gaps, models calibrated on existing data may be used to predict species distributions in unsampled areas, given that available data are sufficiently representative. Our objective was to evaluate the feasibili...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Based on a review of the literature, complemented by original observations at sea made by the authors during the past 34 years, the cetacean fauna in the Red Sea appears to be composed of a total of 16 species: three Mysticetes (Bryde’s whale, Balaenoptera edeni; Omura’s whale, B. omurai; and humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae) and 13 Odontocet...
Conference Paper
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UNEP/CMS/Concerted Action 12.3. Convention on Migratory Species. Adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its 12th Meeting (Manila, October 2017)
Article
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Mediterranean fin whales comprise a genetically distinct population, listed as Vulnerable (VU) in the IUCN Red List. Collisions with vessels are believed to represent the main cause of human-induced mortality. The identification of critical habitats (including migration routes) incorporating satellite telemetry data is therefore crucial to develop...
Article
Full-text available
Background International trade for luxury products, medicines, and tonics poses a threat to both terrestrial and marine wildlife. The demand for and consumption of gill plates (known as Peng Yu Sai , “Fish Gill of Mobulid Ray”) from devil and manta rays (subfamily Mobulinae, collectively referred to as mobulids) poses a significant threat to these...
Chapter
Despite being a small part of the world's oceans, the Mediterranean Sea hosts a diverse marine mammal fauna, with a total of 28 different species known to occur, or to have occurred, in the region. Species currently recognised as regular in the Mediterranean—the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) and 11 cetaceans (fin whale, Balaenoptera p...
Chapter
. 1.The relationship of Mediterranean fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) to their Atlantic conspecifics has puzzled zoologists for centuries. Recent data indicate the occurrence of two distinct populations, one resident in the Mediterranean Sea and the other a seasonal visitor to the western Mediterranean from the northeastern North Atlantic Ocean....
Chapter
Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus), amongst the most endangered marine mammals, are showing localised signs of recovery warranting their recent down-listing, from Critically Endangered to Endangered, on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This, however, cannot be taken as a reason for complacency, as th...
Article
Full-text available
Place-based conservation can be an effective tool for addressing threats to marine mammals, but this approach presents many challenges, such as the dilemma of whether to aim for protection at appropriately large scales or through networks of smaller protected areas, and how to address the socio-economic conditions of human societies whose welfare m...
Article
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1. Manta and devil rays of the subfamily Mobulinae (mobulids) are rarely studied, large, pelagic elasmobranchs, with all eight of well-evaluated species listed on the IUCN Red List as threatened or near threatened. 2. Mobulids have life history characteristics (matrotrophic reproduction, extremely low fecundity, and delayed age of first reproductio...
Article
Full-text available
1. Devil rays (genus Mobula) are pelagic elasmobranchs widely distributed throughout tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate waters. Their occurrence and distribution remains poorly documented in the Arabian Seas region. A review is provided of species occurrence in these water bodies along with a synthesis of regional information on their biology...
Article
Full-text available
The generally accepted model of Mysticete whale migration is that most individuals undertake seasonal migrations between high and low latitudes. Although numerous exceptions have been described in the literature, the traditional model remains unexamined. This paper represents the first ‘official’ challenge to the traditional model of Mysticete migr...
Article
Full-text available
International shipping, although considered a safe and environment-friendly form of transportation, has many direct and indirect impacts on cetaceans in many ways, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the world's busiest waterways. An AIS receiver located at 44.30 °N and 8.45 °E, operating between 3 May 2013 and 31 October 2014, provided a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Increased interest in luxury products and Traditional Chinese Medicine, associated with economic growth in China, has been linked to depletion of both terrestrial and marine wildlife. Among the most rapidly emerging concerns with respect to these markets is the relatively new demand for gill plates, or Peng Yu Sai (?Fish Gills?), from d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Increased interest in luxury products and Traditional Chinese Medicine, associated with economic growth in China, has been linked to depletion of both terrestrial and marine wildlife. Among the most rapidly emerging concerns with respect to these markets is the relatively new demand for gill plates, or Peng Yu Sai (?Fish Gills?), from d...
Conference Paper
Mediterranean fin whales are thought to constitute an isolated sub-population, genetically separated from the eastern North Atlantic one. It is listed as 'Vulnerable (VU)' under the IUCN red list of endangered species, with ships strikes representing the main cause of human-induced mortality across the region. Therefore, the identification of criti...
Article
The giant devil ray Mobula mobular, the only Mediterranean mobulid, is subject to mortality caused by directed and accidental captures in fisheries throughout the region. Whilst the combination of human impacts, limited range and a low reproductive potential is not inconsistent with its endangered listing, there are insufficient data to enable a qu...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about elasmobranchs along the northern coast of South America. During five boat surveys in Suriname offshore waters we visually documented the presence and behaviour of the free-ranging whale shark Rhincodon typus and two mobulid rays: the giant manta ray Manta birostris and the Chilean devil ray Mobula tarapacana. Three sightings w...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory marine species (MMS) include many of the world's most charismatic organisms such as marine mammals, seabirds, turtles, sharks, and tuna. Many are now among the most threatened due to the diverse range of pressures they encounter during their extensive movements. This paper shows that 21% of MMS are classified as threatened (i.e. categoriz...
Article
Full-text available
1. This paper explores how criteria to identify important marine mammal areas (IMMAs) could be developed, and nested in existing global criteria. This process would consider 134 species of marine mammals. 2. Particular attention is given to two suites of global criteria to identify areas important for the persistence of marine biodiversity: Ecologi...
Data
Full-text available
This world map shows habitat that has been identified in multiple conservation efforts for about 130 species of marine mammals. The starting point for this map consists of layers for proposed and existing MPAs and national EEZ sanctuaries from Marine Protected for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises (Hoyt, 2011). To these layers were added areas for oth...
Article
Sperm whales in the Mediterranean are a genetically distinct population classified as Endangered on the basis of the IUCN Red List criteria.Threats that result in sperm whale direct mortality, such as bycatch in illegal driftnets and collisions with ships, together with the noxious effects of noise, pollution, ingestion of solid debris, disturbance...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It is presented the analyses on the MEDLEM (Mediterranean Large Elasmobranchs Monitoring) database that, up to now, contains more than 2000 records and over 2700 individuals of large elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean coming from 20 different countries. The main species represented in the archive are devil rays (736 individuals), basking sharks (ab...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Nineteen people met for a one-day workshop to discuss the various existing sets of area-based marine conservation criteria that might be relevant to identifying sites important for marine mammals, to be called Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs). Workshop participants were sent a background paper setting out these sets of criteria as well as reco...
Conference Paper
In recent decades, several studies have been carried out to describe summer habitat use, behaviour, distribution and abundance of fin whales in the northwestern Mediterranean. However, knowledge of their distribution and movements during other seasons remains scarce. The present project was funded by the Italian Ministry of the Environment to inves...