Impact of climate change and loss of habitat on sirenians

Marsh, Helene, Arraut, Eduardo Moraes, Diagne, Lucy Keith, Edwards, Holly, and Marmontel, Miriam (2017) Impact of climate change and loss of habitat on sirenians. In: Butterworth, Andy, (ed.) Marine Mammal Welfare: human induced change in the marine environment and its impacts on marine mammal welfare. Animal Welfare . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 333-357.

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DOI: 10.1007%2F978-3-319-46994-2_19
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Although the impacts of climate change on the welfare of individual manatees and dugongs are still uncertain, the effects are likely to be through indirect interactions between meteorological and biotic factors and the human responses to climate change. We divided the potential impacts into (1) those that will potentially affect sirenians directly including temperature increases, sea-level rise, increased intensity of extreme weather events and changes in rainfall patterns and (2) indirect impacts that are likely to cause harm through habitat loss and change and the increase in the likelihood of harmful algal blooms and disease outbreaks. The habitat modification accompanying sea-level rise is likely to decrease the welfare of sirenians including increased mortality. Many species of tropical seagrasses live close to their thermal limits and will have to up-regulate their stress-response systems to tolerate the sublethal temperature increases caused by climate change. The capacity of seagrass species to evoke such responses is uncertain, as are the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on such acclimation responses. The increase in the intensity of extreme weather events associated with climate change is likely to decrease the welfare of sirenians through increased mortality from strandings, as well as habitat loss and change. These effects are likely to increase the exposure of sirenians to disease and their vulnerability to predators, including human hunters. Climate-related hazards will also exacerbate other stressors, especially for people living in poverty. Thus the risks to sirenians from climate change are likely to be greatest for small populations of dugongs and manatees occurring in low-income countries. The African manatee will be particularly vulnerable because of the high levels of human poverty throughout most of its range resulting in competition for resources, including protein from manatee meat.

Item ID: 53287
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-319-46993-5
Keywords: cetacean, pinniped, ursid, sirenia, otarinnae, lutrinae welfare; conservation; environmental change marine pollution; marine noise; hunting captive marine mammals climate change welfare assessment
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2018 02:04
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410199 Climate change impacts and adaptation not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8399 Other Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 839901 Animal Welfare @ 100%
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