Alexandra Fernandes Costa 1 , 2 , Salvatore Siciliano 1 , 3 , Renata Emin-Lima 1 , Bruna Maria Lima Martins 4 , Maura Elisabeth Moraes Sousa 1 , 5 , Tommaso Giarrizzo 2 , 6 , José de Sousa e Silva Júnior 1
9 August 2017
Marine mammal stranding events are used as an important tool for understanding cetacean biology worldwide. Nonetheless, there are vast gaps of knowledge to be filled in for a wide range of species. Reputable information is required regarding species from large baleen whales to sperm and beaked whales, as well as pelagic dolphins. This paper describes new cetacean records from north and north-eastern Brazil, which are both the least surveyed areas regarding aquatic mammals. Regular beach surveys were conducted to recover cetacean carcasses along the coast of Pará beginning November 2005. At the coasts of the Maranhão and Piauí states, the surveys were conducted between 2003 and 2013. From 2003 to 2014, 34 strandings of cetaceans were registered. The study provides four additional species records’ in the area based on strandings ( Balaenoptera borealis , Balaenoptera physalus , Peponocephala electra , and Pseudorca crassidens ). A mass stranding of Guiana dolphins ( Sotalia guianensis , N = 12), the most common species for the region, was reported for the first time. The records presented herein are of special concern, since they expand the knowledge on cetaceans from the Brazilian coast. In addition, this study conducted an analysis to verify the similarity between cetacean compositions described for north and north-eastern Brazil and the southern Caribbean region. The results showed a high similarity between these regions, proving the connection with the Caribbean cetacean fauna.