A biological assessment of the Cetacean Fauna of the Texas Coast.




Schmidly, D.J.; Shane, S.H.

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A cetacean salvage and recovery network was established along the Texas Coast and operated from 1 January 1974 until 31 December 1975. A total of 28 individuals were obtained during this period, and the species composition was as follows: 21 Tursiops truncatus, 3 Kogia breviceps, 2 Stenella longirostris, 1 Physeter catadon, and 1 Balaenoptera edeni. The majority of strandings occured in the colder months of the year. The records of Stenella longirostris are the first recorded from the Texas coast. In addition to the salvage program, over 80 observations of cetaceans from the Texas coast and its adjacent waters were documented. These encompass 19 species of whales and dolphins; 17 of these can be verified by preserved skeletal parts, photographs, or observations made by trained cetologists. The results of this study suggest that at present no serious problems of man related mortality exist relative to cetaceans along the Texas coast. However, it is also evident that a complete data base is not available to use in making future decisions about their status in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.


45 p.


marine mammals; mammalogy; cetology; Tursiops truncatus; Kogia breviceps; Stenella longirostris; Physeter catadon