Using integrated multispecies occupancy models to map co-occurrence between bottlenose dolphins and fisheries in the Gulf of Lion, French Mediterranean Sea

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Valentin Lauret, Hélène Labach, Léa David, Matthieu Authier, Olivier Gimenez


In the Mediterranean Sea, interactions between marine species and human activities are prevalent. The coastal distribution of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and the predation pressure they put on fishing stocks lead to regular interactions with fisheries. Multispecies occupancy models are a relevant framework to estimate co-occurrence between two (or more) species while accounting for false negatives and potential interspecific dependance although requiring substantial quantity of data to fit. Here, we extended multispecies occupancy model to integrate multiple datasets to map spatial co-occurrence between trawlers and bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Lion, French Mediterranean Sea combining data from aerial surveys and boat surveys at a large spatial scale. The integrated multispecies occupancy model produced more precise estimate than single-dataset multispecies occupancy models. Our results support that both integrated and multispecies frameworks are relevant to map distribution and understand species interactions in our case study. Besides, our application of multispecies occupancy models to bottlenose dolphins and fishing trawlers enabled to map co-occurrence probability, which open promising avenues in the understanding of interactions between human activities and marine mammals that occur at large spatial scales.



Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Population Biology


cetaceans, human-animal interaction, NIMBLE, odontocetes, trawlers


Published: 2022-09-27 13:24

Last Updated: 2023-07-12 13:13

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