center for synthesis
and analysis of biodiversity

A centre created and developed by the FRB
Prioritizing ecologically significant and globally important areas for marine mammal conservation: synthesizing the best available knowledge to inform management and policy


Principal Investigator: David Kaplan, IRD, France (; Co-porteur : Ana Rodrigues, CNRS‐CEFE, Montpellier, France (

Post doctor: Kristin Kaschner

12 participants: Trevor Branch, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; Carsten Dormann, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany; Ben Halpern, NCEAS, Santa Barbara, CA, USA; Pat Halpin, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; Jana McPherson, Calgary Zoological Society, Alberta, Canada; Bob Pressey, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia; Randall R. Reeves, Okapi Okapi Wildlife Associates, Quebec, Canada; Yann Tremblay, IRD, France; Rob Williams, Sea Mammal Research Unit, St. Andrews, United Kingdom; Louisa Wood, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom; Vincent Ridoux, LIENSs (LIttoral, ENvironnement et Sociétés), Université de La Rochelle, France; Kristin Kaschner, Evolutionary Biology & Ecology Lab Institute of Biology I (Zoology), Germany  




Marine mammals are charismatic and often viewed as highly valued components of ecosystems, yet a large proportion of species remain poorly known and face a high risk of extinction. With many species completing their life cycles across international boundaries, marine mammal conservation clearly requires a global vision. Global targets for the expansion of existing marine protected areas offer a policy opportunity for the implementation of such a vision, but this requires the accurate identification of priority areas for conservation.

To identify such areas, PELAGIC will compile and standardize the best available data and synthesize these to propose a globally coherent strategy for marine mammal conservation. By bringing together a network of leading experts in spatial conservation planning and in marine mammal monitoring, the project will develop methodologies for the complex integration of data on marine mammal distributions, abundances, migrations, ecology threats and conservation efforts collected using a variety of scientific techniques in different geographic regions. Combined into a coherent framework, these data will be used as a basis for conducting subsequent analyses that will allow the identification of priority sites needing protection to ensure the long-term persistence of global marine mammal diversity.


 fondation total



About the project