oring of marine mammal biodiversity. Global climate change, as well as more localized environmental changes (some of which are caused by humans), has impacts on the marine realm. A routine use of DNA barcoding to monitor marine mammal biodiversity will clearly increase our capacity to detect such impacts, which is a necessary first step to take appropriate conservation measures.
In France, the French marine mammal stranding recording program has been created at the beginning of the 70s by the CRMM (Centre de Recherche sur les Mammifres Marins, La Rochelle, presently the Joint Service Unit PELAGIS, UMS 3462, University of La Rochelle- CNRS). The network comprises about 260 field correspondents, members of organizations or volunteers (Peltier et al. 2013, PloS One, e62180).
In Brittany (a region located at the northwest of France), the network is coordinated by Ocanopolis in Brest. In this area, and all species included, an average of 150 animals strand each year, representing, in the last ten years, 14 species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds. These species include for instance, common and bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises, but also larger animals like minke whales and fin whales. Some rare stranding events include deep-diving or exotic species, such as arctic seals.
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