Global risk maps based on documented threats (1991-2016) for marine mammals: GIS files

Published: 27 February 2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/jwfrz8238k.1
Isabel C. Avila, Carsten Dormann, Kristin Kaschner


In Avila et al. we conducted a systematic, spatially-explicit overview about currently, between 1991 and 2016, reported threats affecting marine mammal species (121 species), in specified locations around the world, by developing a series of risk maps. Risk maps were obtained by assigning threat to countries where they were reported, further refining geo-referencing by allocation to ocean basins and Longhurst biogeographical provinces and by intersection with mapped species’ distributions of AquaMaps using the core habitat (RES≥0.6, Marine mammal species classification in AquaMaps follows the Taxonomy of Catalogue of Life (, and for the threats collection we used the Committee on Taxonomy (2016). As a result of these taxonomic discrepancies we obtained map risks for 114 different marine mammal species (SpID: code of the species; Sp_scName: name of the species). Here we present the GIS files (shapefiles) of the obtained risk maps for marine mammals. We also provide here the GIS file of the Species distribution of AquaMaps using the core habitat (Version 2016.8., that we used to construct the risk maps. Risk maps differed by threat types (categories, attributes and sources), by taxa (odontocetes, mysticetes, pinnipeds and fissipeds, and sirenians) and by species. We identified 7 threat categories, 28 threat attributes and 13 threat sources affecting currently the marine mammals. The seven threat categories were based on the agent inflicting the actual harm and were: incidental catch & fishing gear interactions (BYCA), direct harvesting (DHAR), pollution (POLL), traffic (TRAF), pathogens & introduced species (INFE), resources depletion (HABI) and ocean-physics alteration (OCEA). Each of the threat categories was subdivided into a threat attribute with additional information such as type of pollution or reason for harvesting and others. Threat sources, defined as the ultimate origin of the threat, were defined following the IUCN threat classification scheme. We identified two types of threat sources, those related to direct human activities and those not. Threat sources, related to direct human activities were: aquaculture and agriculture (AQUA); fisheries (FISH), hunting and whaling (HUNT); energy production from oil, gas and mining (OGRE); energy production from nuclear power (NUCE); energy production from renewable resources (REWA); residential and industrial development (URBA); tourism and recreation (TOUR); scientific activities (SCIE); military activities (MILI); and unreported human activities (HUMA). Threat sources not related to direct human activities were climate change and geological events (CHAN). Also we identified threats resulted from sources that were unknown, unclear or unreported, but were not clearly related to direct human activities (UNKN).



Conservation, Marine Mammals, GIS Databases, Threats Management