1st August 2019

Update on the Megafauna project

David Mouillot and his team conduct the survey

The protection of large marine predators is at the heart of environmental concerns and the Megafauna project is one of the main threads of Monaco Explorations. David Mouillot, Director of Research at the MARBEC (MARine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation) Mixed Research Unit of the University of Montpellier, recently appointed ‘senior member’ of the Institut Universitaire de France, has been interested since several years with his team in the distribution of this megafauna, especially around the seamounts in deep areas and insular environments, considered as biodiversity hotspots and privileged refuges for the megafauna.

New sampling in New Caledonia

Using the environmental DNA and baited camera techniques, his team collects data in several areas of the world. They are intended to produce a large inventory of the megafauna in the oceans. After missions in Cabo Verde, in Martinique and then in Colombia in 2017/2018, it is on board the Alis, an oceanographic vessel of the IRD (French Research Institute for Development) and under the direction of Laurent Vigliola (ANR Seamounts programme), that the sampling took place in April and June 2019. The studied areas were located in the Coral Sea, in the New Caledonia Archipelago, one of the largest marine parks in the world. This mission was co-funded by IRD, the University of Montpellier and Monaco Explorations. Other sites will be investigated in 2020.

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