Biology Letters (2007)

DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0076


(…) Recently, MacLeod et al. (2007) analysed data from harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranded on Scottish North Sea coasts in March–May of 1993–2003. Comparing 2002–2003 data against baseline data from previous years, they suggest that reductions in sandeel prey have increased the likelihood of starvation, and that future climate change could negatively impact conservation status of North Sea porpoises. We argue that small sample sizes and uncertainty over biases in these data cast doubt on the study’s evidence for any impact of climate change, and the paper serves to confuse, rather than contribute to, current conservation efforts. (…)