Marine Mammals

Marine mammals are a polyphyletic group that comprises 129 species grouped in three orders, Cetacea, Sirenia, and Carnivora. Marine mammals play important ecological roles as both predators (many hunt for fish) and as preys, both for sharks and other larger marine mammals.

Credits: Dave van Beunin

The coastal waters of the southwest Indian Ocean are characterized by high marine biodiversity. The Mozambique Channel is an important migratory route for several species of marine mammals and a habitat for others. Of the 26 cetacean species known for Mozambique, at least 8 species have been conclusively identified, either by visual observations or Passive Acoustic Monitoring, and it is thought that at least 7 other species probably occur in national waters, although this needs verification.

While many species of marine mammals are recovering from exploitation, they face new threats from ship strikes, ocean noise, and bycatch. WCS works to reduce these threats, contributing to the identification and protection of priority sites for migration, feeding and reproduction for these iconic threatened marine species.

 

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