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Sample records for beluga whale delphinapterus

  1. Choroid plexus papilloma in a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Christian; Mergl, June; Gehring, Erica; Paulus, Werner; Martineau, Daniel; Hasselblatt, Martin

    2016-07-01

    We report herein a choroid plexus papilloma in a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas). This case was positive for choroid plexus tumor marker Kir7.1 on immunohistochemistry. These results and the high conservation of Kir7.1 across species at the amino acid sequence level strongly suggest that antibodies directed against Kir7.1 not only can be employed for the diagnosis of choroid plexus tumors in cetaceans, but are also likely to be diagnostically useful in other animal species. PMID:27216722

  2. Stimulation of thyroid hormone secretion by thyrotropin in beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas.

    OpenAIRE

    St Aubin, D J

    1987-01-01

    Bovine thyroid stimulating hormone administered to three beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, was effective in producing an increase in circulating levels of triiodothyronine and thyroxine. A single dose of 10 I.U. of thyroid stimulating hormone resulted in a 145% increase in triiodothyronine and a 35% increase in thyroxine after nine hours in a whale tested within two hours after capture. The response was less pronounced in an animal tested with the same does on two occasions after four and...

  3. PCBs are associated with altered gene transcript profiles in arctic Beluga Whales (Delphinapterus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, Marie; Loseto, Lisa L; Helbing, Caren C; Veldhoen, Nik; Dangerfield, Neil J; Ross, Peter S

    2014-01-01

    High trophic level arctic beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) are exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POP) originating primarily from southern latitudes. We collected samples from 43 male beluga harvested by Inuvialuit hunters (2008-2010) in the Beaufort Sea to evaluate the effects of POPs on the levels of 13 health-related gene transcripts using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Consistent with their role in detoxification, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr) (r(2) = 0.18, p = 0.045 for 2008 and 2009) and cytochrome P450 1A1 (Cyp1a1) (r(2) = 0.20, p whales during these two years. While this provides insight into the legacy of PCBs in a remote environment, the possible impacts of a changing ice climate on the health of beluga underscores the need for long-term studies. PMID:24490950

  4. Stimulation of thyroid hormone secretion by thyrotropin in beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Aubin, D J

    1987-07-01

    Bovine thyroid stimulating hormone administered to three beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, was effective in producing an increase in circulating levels of triiodothyronine and thyroxine. A single dose of 10 I.U. of thyroid stimulating hormone resulted in a 145% increase in triiodothyronine and a 35% increase in thyroxine after nine hours in a whale tested within two hours after capture. The response was less pronounced in an animal tested with the same does on two occasions after four and eight weeks in captivity. In the third whale, 10 I.U. of thyroid stimulating hormone given on each of three consecutive days produced a marked increase in triiodothyronine and thyroxine. The elevation of thyroxine concentration persisted for at least two days after the last injection of thyroid stimulating hormone. A subsequent decrease in thyroxine to levels below baseline signalled the suppression of endogenous thyroid stimulating hormone. This preliminary study helps to establish a protocol for testing thyroid function in cetaceans. PMID:3651900

  5. Acoustic development of a neonatal beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) at the John G. Shedd Aquarium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneiro, Brooke Elizabeth

    Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) were one of the first marine mammals to be in captivity and currently, nine zoological institutions in North America house belugas (Robeck et al., 2005). Despite their accessibility within these facilities, very little research has been done on the beluga whale that is related to their acoustic development or communication sounds. A male beluga calf named "Nunavik" was born at the John G. Shedd Aquarium on 14 December 2009, which provided an opportunity to examine the ontogeny of underwater sounds by a neonatal beluga from the birth throughout the first year of life. The objectives of the study were to: 1) collect underwater sound recordings of the beluga pod prior to the birth of the calf, 2) collect underwater sound recordings of the neonate during the first year of life, 3) document when and what types of sounds were produced by the calf, 4) compare sounds produced by the calf during agonistic and non-agonistic interactions, and 5) compare the acoustic features of sounds produced by the calf to sounds from the mother, a male beluga calf born at the Vancouver Aquarium in 2002, and other belugas at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. The first recordings of the beluga calf took place six hours following the birth for a two hour period. Subsequent recordings were made daily for one hour for the first two weeks of the calf's life and then twice per week until the calf was about six months of age. Later recordings were done less frequently; about once every other week, with no recordings during a 2-month period due to equipment failure. In total, sixty hours of underwater recordings of the belugas were collected from 26 September 2009 to 27 December 2010. Sounds were audibly and visually examined using Raven Pro version 1.4, a real-time sound analysis software application (Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology), and categorized into three categories (tones, noise, and noise with tones) based on the characteristics of underwater sounds from

  6. Morbidity and mortality in stranded Cook Inlet beluga whales Delphinapterus leucas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burek-Huntington, Kathleen A; Dushane, Jennifer L; Goertz, Caroline E C; Measures, Lena N; Romero, Carlos H; Raverty, Stephen A

    2015-05-11

    The endangered Cook Inlet (Alaska, USA) stock of beluga whales Delphinapterus leucas declined 47% between 1994 and 1998, from an estimated 653 whales to 347 whales, with a continued decline to approximately 312 in 2012. Between 1998 and 2013, 164 known dead strandings were reported by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Only 38 of these animals, or 23% of the known stranded carcasses, were necropsied. Carcasses were found between April and October. The majority of animals necropsied were adults (n=25), followed by juveniles (n=6), calves (n=3), and aborted fetuses (n=4). Eight of the 11 mature females were pregnant, post-partum, or lactating. Many (82%) of these belugas were in moderate to advanced autolysis, which hampered determination of a cause of death (COD). Each animal had a single primary COD assigned within a broad set of categories. The CODs were unknown (29%), trauma (18%), perinatal mortality (13%), mass stranding (13%), single stranding (11%), malnutrition (8%), or disease (8%). Other disease processes were coded as contributory or incidental to COD. Multiple animals had mild to moderate verminous pneumonia due to Stenurus arctomarinus, renal granulomas due to Crassicauda giliakiana, and ulcerative gastritis due to Anisakis sp. Each stranding affords a unique opportunity to obtain natural history data and evidence of human interactions, and, by long-term monitoring, to characterize pathologies of importance to individual and population health. PMID:25958805

  7. Mercury distribution and speciation in different brain regions of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The toxicokinetics of mercury (Hg) in key species of Arctic ecosystem are poorly understood. We sampled five brain regions (frontal lobe, temporal lobe, cerebellum, brain stem and spinal cord) from beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) harvested in 2006, 2008, and 2010 from the eastern Beaufort Sea, Canada, and measured total Hg (HgT) and total selenium (SeT) by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), mercury analyzer or cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry, and the chemical forms using a high performance liquid chromatography ICP-MS. At least 14% of the beluga whales had HgT concentrations higher than the levels of observable adverse effect (6.0 mg kg−1 wet weight (ww)) in primates. The concentrations of HgT differed between brain regions; median concentrations (mg kg−1 ww) were 2.34 (0.06 to 22.6, 81) (range, n) in temporal lobe, 1.84 (0.12 to 21.9, 77) in frontal lobe, 1.84 (0.05 to 16.9, 83) in cerebellum, 1.25 (0.02 to 11.1, 77) in spinal cord and 1.32 (0.13 to 15.2, 39) in brain stem. Total Hg concentrations in the cerebellum increased with age (p −1 ww) was positively associated with HgT concentration, and the percent MeHg (4 to 109%) decreased exponentially with increasing HgT concentration in the spinal cord, cerebellum, frontal lobe and temporal lobe. There was a positive association between SeT and HgT in all brain regions (p < 0.05) suggesting that Se may play a role in the detoxification of Hg in the brain. The concentration of HgT in the cerebellum was significantly associated with HgT in other organs. Therefore, HgT concentrations in organs that are frequently sampled in bio-monitoring studies could be used to estimate HgT concentrations in the cerebellum, which is the target organ of MeHg toxicity. - Highlights: • Mercury concentrations were highest in the temporal lobe of beluga whales. • Selenium and mercury concentrations were strongly correlated. • Total mercury concentrations in the cerebellum increased with age

  8. The effect of sea-ice loss on beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Laidre, K.L.; Simon, Malene Juul;

    2009-01-01

    An aerial survey was conducted to estimate the abundance of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) on their wintering ground in West Greenland in March-April 2006 and 2008. The survey was conducted as a double platform aerial line transect survey, and sampled approximately 17% of the total survey area o...

  9. Mercury distribution and speciation in different brain regions of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostertag, Sonja K; Stern, Gary A; Wang, Feiyue; Lemes, Marcos; Chan, Hing Man

    2013-07-01

    The toxicokinetics of mercury (Hg) in key species of Arctic ecosystem are poorly understood. We sampled five brain regions (frontal lobe, temporal lobe, cerebellum, brain stem and spinal cord) from beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) harvested in 2006, 2008, and 2010 from the eastern Beaufort Sea, Canada, and measured total Hg (HgT) and total selenium (SeT) by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), mercury analyzer or cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry, and the chemical forms using a high performance liquid chromatography ICP-MS. At least 14% of the beluga whales had HgT concentrations higher than the levels of observable adverse effect (6.0 mg kg(-1) wet weight (ww)) in primates. The concentrations of HgT differed between brain regions; median concentrations (mgkg(-1) ww) were 2.34 (0.06 to 22.6, 81) (range, n) in temporal lobe, 1.84 (0.12 to 21.9, 77) in frontal lobe, 1.84 (0.05 to 16.9, 83) in cerebellum, 1.25 (0.02 to 11.1, 77) in spinal cord and 1.32 (0.13 to 15.2, 39) in brain stem. Total Hg concentrations in the cerebellum increased with age (p<0.05). Between 35 and 45% of HgT was water-soluble, of which, 32 to 41% was methyl mercury (MeHg) and 59 to 68% was labile inorganic Hg. The concentration of MeHg (range: 0.03 to 1.05 mg kg(-1) ww) was positively associated with HgT concentration, and the percent MeHg (4 to 109%) decreased exponentially with increasing HgT concentration in the spinal cord, cerebellum, frontal lobe and temporal lobe. There was a positive association between SeT and HgT in all brain regions (p<0.05) suggesting that Se may play a role in the detoxification of Hg in the brain. The concentration of HgT in the cerebellum was significantly associated with HgT in other organs. Therefore, HgT concentrations in organs that are frequently sampled in bio-monitoring studies could be used to estimate HgT concentrations in the cerebellum, which is the target organ of MeHg toxicity. PMID:23624002

  10. Mercury distribution and speciation in different brain regions of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ostertag, Sonja K., E-mail: ostertag@unbc.ca [Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, V2N 4Z9 (Canada); Stern, Gary A., E-mail: Gary.Stern@dfo-mpo.gc.ca [Freshwater Institute, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N6 (Canada); Centre for Earth Observation Science, Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2 (Canada); Wang, Feiyue, E-mail: feiyue.wang@ad.umanitoba.ca [Centre for Earth Observation Science, Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2 (Canada); Lemes, Marcos, E-mail: Marcos.lemes@ad.umanitoba.ca [Centre for Earth Observation Science, Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2 (Canada); Chan, Hing Man, E-mail: laurie.chan@uottawa.ca [Center for Advanced Research in Environmental Genomics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, 1N 6N5 (Canada)

    2013-07-01

    The toxicokinetics of mercury (Hg) in key species of Arctic ecosystem are poorly understood. We sampled five brain regions (frontal lobe, temporal lobe, cerebellum, brain stem and spinal cord) from beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) harvested in 2006, 2008, and 2010 from the eastern Beaufort Sea, Canada, and measured total Hg (HgT) and total selenium (SeT) by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), mercury analyzer or cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry, and the chemical forms using a high performance liquid chromatography ICP-MS. At least 14% of the beluga whales had HgT concentrations higher than the levels of observable adverse effect (6.0 mg kg{sup −1} wet weight (ww)) in primates. The concentrations of HgT differed between brain regions; median concentrations (mg kg{sup −1} ww) were 2.34 (0.06 to 22.6, 81) (range, n) in temporal lobe, 1.84 (0.12 to 21.9, 77) in frontal lobe, 1.84 (0.05 to 16.9, 83) in cerebellum, 1.25 (0.02 to 11.1, 77) in spinal cord and 1.32 (0.13 to 15.2, 39) in brain stem. Total Hg concentrations in the cerebellum increased with age (p < 0.05). Between 35 and 45% of HgT was water-soluble, of which, 32 to 41% was methyl mercury (MeHg) and 59 to 68% was labile inorganic Hg. The concentration of MeHg (range: 0.03 to 1.05 mg kg{sup −1} ww) was positively associated with HgT concentration, and the percent MeHg (4 to 109%) decreased exponentially with increasing HgT concentration in the spinal cord, cerebellum, frontal lobe and temporal lobe. There was a positive association between SeT and HgT in all brain regions (p < 0.05) suggesting that Se may play a role in the detoxification of Hg in the brain. The concentration of HgT in the cerebellum was significantly associated with HgT in other organs. Therefore, HgT concentrations in organs that are frequently sampled in bio-monitoring studies could be used to estimate HgT concentrations in the cerebellum, which is the target organ of MeHg toxicity. - Highlights:

  11. Selection of reference genes for RT-qPCR studies in blood of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, I-Hua; Wang, Jiann-Hsiung; Chou, Shih-Jen; Wu, Yeong-Huey; Li, Tsung-Hsien; Leu, Ming-Yih; Chang, Wen-Been; Yang, Wei Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is used for research in gene expression, and it is vital to choose appropriate housekeeping genes (HKGs) as reference genes to obtain correct results. The purpose of this study is to determine stably expressed HKGs in blood of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) that can be the appropriate reference genes in relative quantification in gene expression research. Sixty blood samples were taken from four beluga whales. Thirteen candidate HKGs (ACTB, B2M, GAPDH, HPRT1, LDHB, PGK1, RPL4, RPL8, RPL18, RPS9, RPS18, TFRC, YWHAZ) were tested using RT-qPCR. The stability values of the HKGs were determined by four different algorithms. Comprehensive analysis of the results revealed that RPL4, PGK1 and ACTB are strongly recommended for use in future RT-qPCR studies in beluga blood samples. This research provides recommendation of reference gene selection, which may contribute to further mRNA relative quantification research in the peripheral blood leukocytes in captive cetaceans. The gene expression assessment of the immune components in blood have the potential to serve as an important approach to evaluating cetacean health influenced by environmental insults. PMID:26998411

  12. Teeth as biomonitors of selenium concentrations in tissues of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Selenium (Se) is an essential element which has been shown to play an important role in protecting marine mammals against the toxic effects of mercury (Hg) and other metals. It has been suggested that metal concentration in marine mammal teeth can potentially be used as bioindicators for body burden. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between Se concentrations in beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) teeth and those previously measured in soft tissues (liver, kidney, muscle and muktuk). Tooth Hg concentrations are also measured, and the relationships between Se and Hg in teeth and soft tissues are examined. Se in the teeth of beluga was measured using hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG-AFS) and Hg in beluga teeth was measured by cold-vapour atomic absorption. Tooth Se concentrations ranged from 108 ng/g to 245 ng/g dry weight, and tooth Hg concentrations ranged from 10 to 189 ng/g dry weight. In the soft tissues, Se concentrations were highest in the liver, followed by kidney, muktuk, and muscle. There were significant correlations between tooth Se concentrations and animal age, tooth Se and liver and muscle Se, and between liver Se and animal age. The molar ratio of Hg:Se in the liver was found to be 0.70. This study is the first to measure Se in the teeth of a marine mammal species, and HG-AFS is found to be an effective technique for determining Se in beluga teeth. Tooth Se can be used as predictor for liver and muscle Se, although these relationships may be strongly influenced by the association of Se with Hg in marine mammal tissues. This study contributes to an increased understanding of the storage and metabolism of Se in marine mammals

  13. Teeth as biomonitors of selenium concentrations in tissues of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kinghorn, April [Centre for Indigenous Peoples Nutrition and Environment, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, 21-111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, H9X 3V9 (Canada); Humphries, Murray M. [Centre for Indigenous Peoples Nutrition and Environment, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, 21-111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, H9X 3V9 (Canada); Department of Natural Resource Science, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, 21-111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, H9X 3V9 (Canada); Outridge, Peter [Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0E8 (Canada); Chan, Hing Man [Community Health Sciences Program, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, British Columbia, V2N 4Z9 (Canada)], E-mail: lchan@unbc.ca

    2008-08-25

    Selenium (Se) is an essential element which has been shown to play an important role in protecting marine mammals against the toxic effects of mercury (Hg) and other metals. It has been suggested that metal concentration in marine mammal teeth can potentially be used as bioindicators for body burden. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between Se concentrations in beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) teeth and those previously measured in soft tissues (liver, kidney, muscle and muktuk). Tooth Hg concentrations are also measured, and the relationships between Se and Hg in teeth and soft tissues are examined. Se in the teeth of beluga was measured using hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG-AFS) and Hg in beluga teeth was measured by cold-vapour atomic absorption. Tooth Se concentrations ranged from 108 ng/g to 245 ng/g dry weight, and tooth Hg concentrations ranged from 10 to 189 ng/g dry weight. In the soft tissues, Se concentrations were highest in the liver, followed by kidney, muktuk, and muscle. There were significant correlations between tooth Se concentrations and animal age, tooth Se and liver and muscle Se, and between liver Se and animal age. The molar ratio of Hg:Se in the liver was found to be 0.70. This study is the first to measure Se in the teeth of a marine mammal species, and HG-AFS is found to be an effective technique for determining Se in beluga teeth. Tooth Se can be used as predictor for liver and muscle Se, although these relationships may be strongly influenced by the association of Se with Hg in marine mammal tissues. This study contributes to an increased understanding of the storage and metabolism of Se in marine mammals.

  14. Vitamin A and E profiles as biomarkers of PCB exposure in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the western Canadian Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: •We examine the influence of biology, ecology and contaminant exposure on vitamin A and E profiles in Arctic beluga whales. •PCBs altered vitamin profiles after accounting for sex, age, condition and feeding ecology. •We propose a toxicity reference value for the disruption of vitamin A and E profiles in beluga of 1.6 mg/kg PCBs. •The use of vitamins as biomarkers of contaminant effects is contingent upon an understanding of wildlife biology. -- Abstract: We evaluated the utility of vitamin A and E profiles as biomarkers of contaminant exposure in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas; n = 66) harvested by the Inuvialuit in the Beaufort Sea. Blubber was an important repository for these vitamins, accounting for 76.8 ± 2.6% of the total body store of vitamin A, and 98.5 ± 0.4% of total vitamin E. While the free alcohol form of vitamin A (retinol) appeared highly regulated, the vitamin A esters were influenced by several biological factors including age, body condition and length. Vitamin E concentrations in liver and blubber were related to age, condition, length and feeding ecology, as described δ15N and δ13C. Despite the influence of these factors, collective results from univariate statistics, best fit multiple regressions, and principal component analysis (PCA) identified polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as important determinants of vitamin concentrations and profiles in beluga tissues. Blubber PCB concentrations best explained variation of the first principal component in a PCA of hepatic vitamins (r2 = 0.13, p = 0.014), and regression models found that vitamin A concentrations were negatively correlated with PCB levels in liver (esters: r2 = 0.19, p = 0.001), but positively in plasma (retinol: r2 = 0.20, p = 0.06) and blubber (retinol: r2 = 0.22, p = 0.001, esters: r2 = 0.43, p < 0.001). Our analyses provide a basis to propose an integrated toxicity reference value for disruption of vitamin A and E profiles in beluga of 1.6 mg/kg lw PCBs

  15. Vitamin A and E profiles as biomarkers of PCB exposure in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the western Canadian Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Desforges, Jean-Pierre W. [University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC, Canada V8P 5C2 (Canada); Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Road, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, Canada V8L 4B2 (Canada); Ross, Peter S., E-mail: peter.s.ross@dfo-mpo.gc.ca [University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC, Canada V8P 5C2 (Canada); Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Road, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, Canada V8L 4B2 (Canada); Dangerfield, Neil [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Road, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, Canada V8L 4B2 (Canada); Palace, Vince P. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N6 (Canada); Whiticar, Michael [University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC, Canada V8P 5C2 (Canada); Loseto, Lisa L. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N6 (Canada)

    2013-10-15

    Highlights: •We examine the influence of biology, ecology and contaminant exposure on vitamin A and E profiles in Arctic beluga whales. •PCBs altered vitamin profiles after accounting for sex, age, condition and feeding ecology. •We propose a toxicity reference value for the disruption of vitamin A and E profiles in beluga of 1.6 mg/kg PCBs. •The use of vitamins as biomarkers of contaminant effects is contingent upon an understanding of wildlife biology. -- Abstract: We evaluated the utility of vitamin A and E profiles as biomarkers of contaminant exposure in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas; n = 66) harvested by the Inuvialuit in the Beaufort Sea. Blubber was an important repository for these vitamins, accounting for 76.8 ± 2.6% of the total body store of vitamin A, and 98.5 ± 0.4% of total vitamin E. While the free alcohol form of vitamin A (retinol) appeared highly regulated, the vitamin A esters were influenced by several biological factors including age, body condition and length. Vitamin E concentrations in liver and blubber were related to age, condition, length and feeding ecology, as described δ{sup 15}N and δ{sup 13}C. Despite the influence of these factors, collective results from univariate statistics, best fit multiple regressions, and principal component analysis (PCA) identified polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as important determinants of vitamin concentrations and profiles in beluga tissues. Blubber PCB concentrations best explained variation of the first principal component in a PCA of hepatic vitamins (r{sup 2} = 0.13, p = 0.014), and regression models found that vitamin A concentrations were negatively correlated with PCB levels in liver (esters: r{sup 2} = 0.19, p = 0.001), but positively in plasma (retinol: r{sup 2} = 0.20, p = 0.06) and blubber (retinol: r{sup 2} = 0.22, p = 0.001, esters: r{sup 2} = 0.43, p < 0.001). Our analyses provide a basis to propose an integrated toxicity reference value for disruption of vitamin A and

  16. Learning and extinction of conditioned hearing sensation change in the beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachtigall, Paul E; Supin, Alexander Ya; Estaban, Jose-Antonio; Pacini, Aude F

    2016-02-01

    Ice-dwelling beluga whales are increasingly being exposed to anthropogenic loud sounds. Beluga's hearing sensitivity measured during a warning sound just preceding a loud sound was tested using pip-train stimuli and auditory evoked potential recording. When the test/warning stimulus with a frequency of 32 or 45 kHz preceded the loud sound with a frequency of 32 kHz and a sound pressure level of 153 dB re 1 μPa, 2 s, hearing thresholds before the loud sound increased relative to the baseline. The threshold increased up to 15 dB for the test frequency of 45 kHz and up to 13 dB for the test frequency of 32 kHz. These threshold increases were observed during two sessions of 36 trials each. Extinction tests revealed no change during three experimental sessions followed by a jump-like return to baseline thresholds. The low exposure level producing the hearing-dampening effect (156 dB re 1 µPa(2)s in each trial), and the manner of extinction, may be considered as evidence that the observed hearing threshold increases were a demonstration of conditioned dampening of hearing when the whale anticipated the quick appearance of a loud sound in the same way demonstrated in the false killer whale and bottlenose dolphin. PMID:26659822

  17. Investigation into the response of the auditory and acoustic communications systems in the Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) of the St. Lawrence River Estuary to noise, using vocal classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheifele, Peter Martin

    2003-06-01

    Noise pollution has only recently become recognized as a potential danger to marine mammals in general, and to the Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) in particular. These small gregarious Odontocetes make extensive use of sound for social communication and pod cohesion. The St. Lawrence River Estuary is habitat to a small, critically endangered population of about 700 Beluga whales who congregate in four different sites in its upper estuary. The population is believed to be threatened by the stress of high-intensity, low frequency noise. One way to determine whether noise is having an effect on an animal's auditory ability might be to observe a natural and repeatable response of the auditory and vocal systems to varying noise levels. This can be accomplished by observing changes in animal vocalizations in response to auditory feedback. A response such as this observed in humans and some animals is known as the Lombard Vocal Response, which represents a reaction of the auditory system directly manifested by changes in vocalization level. In this research this population of Beluga Whales was tested to determine whether a vocalization-as-a-function-of-noise phenomenon existed by using Hidden Markhov "classified" vocalizations as targets for acoustical analyses. Correlation and regression analyses indicated that the phenomenon does exist and results of a human subjects experiment along with results from other animal species known to exhibit the response strongly implicate the Lombard Vocal Response in the Beluga.

  18. PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in blubber biopsies from free-ranging St. Lawrence River Estuary beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), 1994-1998

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Measuring contaminants only in stranded whales may result in overestimation of organochlorines. - For the first time, organochlorine (OC) contaminants were measured in blubber biopsies from free-ranging St. Lawrence River Estuary beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), to compare contaminant levels to those previously measured in dead stranded belugas. PCBs, DDTs, toxaphene and chlordane-related compounds were the major OC contaminants detected in 44 belugas biopsied in 1994-1998. ΣPCB (the sum of 104 congeners) ranged from 2080 to 128,000 ng/g lipid in males (n=34; minimum estimated ages 8-22 years), and from 148 to 44,100 ng/g lipid in females (n=10; minimum estimated ages 7-22 years). The concentrations of PCBs and OC pesticides in the blubber of these whales overlapped those observed in stranded belugas from an earlier study, and demonstrated comparable age and sex-related trends. However, lower proportions of mirex, HCB, DDTs, and many of the highly chlorinated PCBs occurred in the biopsy samples compared to results for blubber from stranded carcasses. Most major OC compounds were present at lower concentrations in the biopsies, but this does not appear to be solely related to age differences between the two groups, or to emaciation in the stranded whales. Nor does it appear to be associated with the use of superficial biopsies, and the possible stratification of lipids and OCs in the blubber layer. Nevertheless, given these possible confounding factors, and the uncertainty in age estimates for the biopsied whales, the results point to the need for careful interpretation of biopsy results when comparing with data taken from the full depth of the blubber mantle in stranded whales. Taken together, results from both biopsied whales and previously studied stranded belugas indicate that PCB and OC pesticide contamination of St. Lawrence beluga whales may occur across a broader range of levels than previously thought, at least for males which formed the largest

  19. Belugas (Delphinapterus leucas of the Barents, Kara and Laptev seas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei N Boltunov

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews published information on the white whale or beluga (Delphinapterus leucas inhabiting the Barents, Kara and Laptev seas. Some data obtained during multi-year aerial reconnaissance of sea ice in the Russian Arctic are also included. Ice conditions, considered one of the major factors affecting distribution of belugas, are described. The number of belugas inhabiting the Russian Arctic is unknown. Based on analysis of published and unpublished information we believe that the primary summer habitats of belugas in the Western Russian Arctic lie in the area of Frants-Josef Land, in the Kara Sea and in the western Laptev Sea. Apparently most belugas winter in the Barents Sea. Although it has been suggested that a considerable number of animals winter in the Kara Sea, there is no direct evidence for this. Apparent migrations of animals are regularly observed at several sites: the straits of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago, the waters north of the archipelago, and Vilkitskiy Strait between the Kara and Laptev seas. Calving and mating take place in summer, and the beluga mother feeds a calf for at least a year. Females mature earlier than males, and about 30% of mature females in a population are barren. Sex ratio is apparently close to 1:1. The diet of the beluga in the region includes fish and crustaceans and shows considerable spatial and temporal variations. However, polar cod (Boreogadus saida is the main prey most of the year, and whitefish (Coregonidae contribute in coastal waters in summer. Usually belugas form groups of up to 10 related individuals of different ages, while large aggregations are common during seasonal migrations or in areas with abundant and easily available food. Beluga whaling in Russia has a history of several centuries. The highest catches were taken in the 1950s and 1960s, when about 1,500 animals were caught annually in the Western Russian Arctic. In the 1990s, few belugas were

  20. Assessment of neurotoxic effects of mercury in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krey, Anke; Ostertag, Sonja K; Chan, Hing Man

    2015-03-15

    Marine mammals are indicator species of the Arctic ecosystem and an integral component of the traditional Inuit diet. The potential neurotoxic effects of increased mercury (Hg) in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are not clear. We assessed the risk of Hg-associated neurotoxicity to these species by comparing their brain Hg concentrations with threshold concentrations for toxic endpoints detected in laboratory animals and field observations: clinical symptoms (>6.75 mg/kg wet weight (ww)), neuropathological signs (>4 mg/kg ww), neurochemical changes (>0.4 mg/kg ww), and neurobehavioral changes (>0.1mg/kg ww). The total Hg (THg) concentrations in the cerebellum and frontal lobe of ringed seals and polar bears were 3mg/kg ww. Our results suggest that brain THg levels in polar bears are below levels that induce neurobehavioral effects as reported in the literature, while THg concentrations in ringed seals are within the range that elicit neurobehavioral effects and individual ringed seals exceed the threshold for neurochemical changes. The relatively high THg concentration in beluga whales exceeds all of the neurotoxicity thresholds assessed. High brain selenium (Se):Hg molar ratios were observed in all three species, suggesting that Se could protect the animals from Hg-associated neurotoxicity. This assessment was limited by several factors that influence neurotoxic effects in animals, including: animal species; form of Hg in the brain; and interactions with modifiers of Hg-associated toxicity, such as Se. Comparing brain Hg concentrations in wildlife with concentrations of appropriate laboratory studies can be used as a tool for risk characterization of the neurotoxic effects of Hg in Arctic marine mammals. PMID:24958011

  1. Age and sex distributions in the catches of belugas, Delphinapterus leucas , in West Greenland and in western Russia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Lockyer, C.

    2001-01-01

    Age and sex were determined for belugas or white whales, Delphinapterus leucas, harvested in West Greenland in 1985-86 and 1989-1997. There was a clear segregation of whales in the drive fishery conducted during autumn in Qaanaaq and Upernavik. Primarily immature whales of both sexes together wit...

  2. AFSC/NMML: Beluga whale aerial survey in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 1993-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has conducted aerial counts of Cook Inlet beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from 1993 to 2014 (excluding 2013)....

  3. Immune functions in the Fisher rat fed beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) blubber from the contaminated St. Lawrence estuary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lapierre, P.; Guise, S. De [Univ. du Quebec, Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Dept. des Sciences Biologiques; Muir, D.C.G. [Freshwater Inst., Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada); Norstrom, R. [Environment Canada, Hull, Quebec (Canada); Beland, P. [St. Lawrence National Inst. of Ecotoxicology, Montreal, Quebec (Canada); Fournier, M. [Univ. du Quebec, Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Dept. des Sciences Biologiques]|[INRS-Sante, Pointe-Claire, Quebec (Canada)]|[IML, Mont Joli, Quebec (Canada). Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans

    1999-02-01

    In order to assess the immunotoxic potential of food naturally contaminated with PCBs and other organohalogens, Fisher rats were fed a diet in which the lipids originated from the blubber of either a highly polluted St. Lawrence beluga or a relatively uncontaminated Arctic beluga. After a period of 2 months, different immune functions were evaluated, including lymphoblastic transformation, natural killer cell activity, plaque-forming cells, phagocytosis, oxidative burst, and immunophenotyping. For all assays, rats fed at St. Lawrence beluga blubber diet or a mixture of Arctic and St. Lawrence beluga blubber diet were not different from control rats fed a diet containing Arctic beluga blubber. These results are inconsistent with the well-known immunosuppressive effects of organochlorines in numerous species and with the lesions suggestive of organochlorine-related immunosuppression that are observed in St. Lawrence belugas. The lack of observable immunotoxic effects in rats fed contaminated beluga blubber might be explained by antagonistic effects in the organohalogen mixture, by a response specific to the rat, by a strain-related lack of sensitivity to organochlorines, or by insufficient dose due to the shortness of the exposure period or the route of exposure.

  4. Bowhead (Balaena mysticetus) and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) whales in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas: Annual report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Reproductive activity in the bowhead whale was observed in early May near Pt. Barrow Alaska, indicating that this species may calf and breed during the northward...

  5. Social Behaviour of Captive Belugas, Delphinapterus Leucas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recchia, Cheri Anne

    1994-01-01

    Focal-animal sampling techniques developed for investigating social behaviour of terrestrial animals were adapted for studying captive belugas, providing quantitative descriptions of social relationships among individuals. Five groups of captive belugas were observed, allowing a cross -sectional view of sociality in groups of diverse sizes and compositions. Inter-individual distances were used to quantify patterns of spatial association. A set of social behaviours for which actor and recipient could be identified was defined to characterize dyadic interactions. The mother-calf pair spent more time together, and interacted more often than adults. The calf maintained proximity with his mother; larger adults generally maintained proximity with smaller adults. Among adults, larger groups performed more kinds of behaviours and interacted at higher rates than smaller groups. Within dyads, the larger whale performed more aggressive behaviours and the smaller whale more submissive behaviours. Clear dominance relations existed in three groups, with larger whales dominant to smaller whales. Vocalizations of three groups were classified subjectively, based on aural impressions and visual inspection of spectrograms, but most signals appeared graded. Statistical analyses of measured acoustic features confirmed subjective impressions that vocalizations could not be classified into discrete and homogeneous categories. (Copies available exclusively from MIT Libraries, Rm. 14-0551, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307. Ph. 617-553-5668; Fax 617-253-1690.).

  6. Measuring Hearing in Wild Beluga Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, T Aran; Castellote, Manuel; Quakenbush, Lori; Hobbs, Roderick; Goertz, Caroline; Gaglione, Eric

    2016-01-01

    We measured the hearing abilities of seven wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) during a collection-and-release experiment in Bristol Bay, AK. Here we summarize the methods and initial data from one animal and discuss the implications of this experiment. Audiograms were collected from 4 to 150 kHz. The animal with the lowest threshold heard best at 80 kHz and demonstrated overall good hearing from 22 to 110 kHz. The robustness of the methodology and data suggest that the auditory evoked potential audiograms can be incorporated into future collection-and-release health assessments. Such methods may provide high-quality results for multiple animals, facilitating population-level audiograms and hearing measures in new species.

  7. Measuring Hearing in Wild Beluga Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, T Aran; Castellote, Manuel; Quakenbush, Lori; Hobbs, Roderick; Goertz, Caroline; Gaglione, Eric

    2016-01-01

    We measured the hearing abilities of seven wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) during a collection-and-release experiment in Bristol Bay, AK. Here we summarize the methods and initial data from one animal and discuss the implications of this experiment. Audiograms were collected from 4 to 150 kHz. The animal with the lowest threshold heard best at 80 kHz and demonstrated overall good hearing from 22 to 110 kHz. The robustness of the methodology and data suggest that the auditory evoked potential audiograms can be incorporated into future collection-and-release health assessments. Such methods may provide high-quality results for multiple animals, facilitating population-level audiograms and hearing measures in new species. PMID:26611025

  8. Beluga whales aerial survey conducted by Alaska Fisheries Scientific Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1993-06-02 to 2014-06-12 (NCEI Accession 0133936)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has conducted aerial counts of Cook Inlet beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from 1993 to 2014 (excluding 2013)....

  9. The first year of behavioral development and maternal care of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) calves in human care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Heather M; Campbell, Carolyn; Dalton, Les; Osborn, Steven

    2013-01-01

    The current study provides additional information for the behavioral development and maternal care of belugas or white whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in the care of humans. The behaviors and mother-calf interactions of two female beluga calves were recorded from birth to 12 months as part of a longitudinal study of beluga behavioral development. As expected, the primary calf activity for both calves involved swimming with their mothers. The calves initiated the majority of the separations from and reunions with their mothers and exhibited early bouts of independence. Both mothers bonded with their calves and displayed similar maternal care behaviors but exhibited different behavioral patterns. Despite differences in social groupings, housing, and physical health, the two female belugas followed the behavioral development of beluga calves observed previously. PMID:24038426

  10. Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s), Chlorinated Pesticides, and Heavy Metals and Other Elements in Tissues of Belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, from Cook Inlet

    OpenAIRE

    Becker, Paul R.; Krahn, Margaret M.; Mackey, Elizabeth A.; Demiralp, Rabia; Schantz, Michele M.; Epstein, Michael S.; Donais, Mary Kate; Porter, Barbara J.; Muir, Derek C. G.; Wise, Stephen A.

    2000-01-01

    Tissues from Cook Inlet beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, that were collected as part of the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), chlorinated pesticides, and heavy metals and other elements. Concentrations of total PCB’s (ΣPCB’s), total DDT (ΣDDT), chlordane compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), dieldrin, mirex, toxaphene, and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) measured in Cook Inlet beluga blubber were compared with those reported for b...

  11. Concentrations of mercury in tissues of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from several communities in the Canadian Arctic from 1981 to 2002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockhart, W L; Stern, G A; Wagemann, R; Hunt, R V; Metner, D A; DeLaronde, J; Dunn, B; Stewart, R E A; Hyatt, C K; Harwood, L; Mount, K

    2005-12-01

    Beluga whales have been hunted for food by Native People in the Canadian Arctic since prehistoric time. Here we report the results of analyses of total mercury in samples of liver, kidney, muscle and muktuk from collections over the period 1981-2002. We compare these results with human consumption guidelines and examine temporal and geographic variation. Liver has been analyzed more frequently than other organs and it has been used as the indicator organ. Mercury accumulates in the liver of the whales over time so that the whale ages are usually linked statistically to their levels of mercury in liver. Virtually all the samples of 566 animals analyzed contained mercury in liver at concentrations higher than the Canadian consumption guideline of 0.5 microg g-1 (wet weight) for fish. (There is no regulatory guideline for concentrations in marine mammals in Canada.) Samples from locations in the Mackenzie Delta in the western Canadian Arctic and from Pangnirtung in the eastern Canadian Arctic were obtained more often than from other location and these offered the best chances to determine whether levels have changed over time. Statistical outlier points were removed and the regressions of (ln) mercury in liver on age were used to calculate the level of mercury in whales of age 13.1 years in order to compare age-adjusted levels at different locations. These age-adjusted levels and also the slopes of regressions suggested that levels have increased in the Mackenzie Delta over the sampling period although not in a simple linear fashion. Other locations had fewer collections, generally spread over fewer years. Some of them indicated differences between sampling times but we could not establish whether these differences were simply temporal variation or whether they were segments of a consistent trend. For example, the levels in whales from Arviat were considerably higher in 1999 than in 1984 but we have only two samples. Similarly, samples from Iqaluit in 1994 exceeded

  12. Frequency Tuning of Hearing in the Beluga Whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sysueva, Evgeniya V; Nechaev, Dmitry I; Popov, Vladimir V; Supin, Alexander Y

    2016-01-01

    Data on frequency tuning in odontocetes are contradictory: different authors have reported filter qualities from 2 to almost 50. In this study, frequency tuning was measured in a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) using a rippled-noise test stimulus in conjunction with the auditory evoked potential (AEP) technique. The response to ripple reversions was considered to indicate resolvability of the ripple pattern. The limit of ripple-pattern resolution ranged from 20 to 32 ripples per octave (rpo). A model of interaction of the ripple spectrum with frequency-tuned filters suggests that this resolution limit requires a filter quality of 29-46. PMID:26611077

  13. The spiral ganglion and Rosenthal's canal in beluga whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sensor, Jennifer D; Suydam, Robert; George, John C; Liberman, M C; Lovano, Denise; Rhaganti, Mary Ann; Usip, Sharon; Vinyard, Christopher J; Thewissen, J G M

    2015-12-01

    With the increase of human activity and corresponding increase in anthropogenic sounds in marine waters of the Arctic, it is necessary to understand its effect on the hearing of marine wildlife. We have conducted a baseline study on the spiral ganglion and Rosenthal's canal of the cochlea in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) as an initial assessment of auditory anatomy and health. We present morphometric data on the length of the cochlea, number of whorls, neuron densities along its length, Rosenthal's canal length, and cross-sectional area, and show some histological results. In belugas, Rosenthal's canal is not a cylinder of equal cross-sectional area, but its cross-section is greatest near the apex of the basal whorl. We found systematic variation in the numbers of neurons along the length of the spiral ganglion, indicating that neurons are not dispersed evenly in Rosenthal's canal. These results provide data on functionally important structural parameters of the beluga ear. We observed no signs of acoustic trauma in our sample of beluga whales.

  14. What can Captive Whales tell us About their Wild Counterparts? Identification, Usage, and Ontogeny of Contact Calls in Belugas (Delphinapterus leucas)

    OpenAIRE

    Vergara, Valeria; Michaud, Robert; Barrett-Lennard, Lance

    2010-01-01

    Contact calls are ubiquitous in social birds and mammals. Belugas are among the most vocal of cetaceans, but the function of their calls is poorly understood. In a previous study we hypothesized that a broad band pulsed call type labeled “Type A,” serves as a contact call between mothers and their calves. Here we examined context-specific use of call types recorded from a captive beluga social group at the Vancouver Aquarium, and found that the Type A call comprised 24% to 97% of the vocaliza...

  15. Size and trends of the bowhead whale, beluga and narwhal stocks wintering off West Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To assess the size and trends of the abundance of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus, the beluga, or white whale (Delphinapterus leucas, and the narwhal (Monodon monoceros visual aerial surveys were conducted in West Greenland in March 1998 and 1999. An estimated 49 bowhead whales (95% CI: 13 to 188 were present at the surface in 1998. Data from land-based observations enabled correction for bowhead whales that were not available at the surface to be seen during the survey. By applying a rounded average of 80% (SE=3 for submergence an estimate of 246 bowhead whales (95% CI: 62 to 978 in 1998 was obtained. The 76 and 47 sightings of beluga pods in 1998 and 1999, respectively, had distributions similar to those of previous surveys with the highest concentration at the northern edge of the northern part of Store Hellefiskebanke. No belugas were seen in the southernmost area between Maniitsoq and Paamiut. The index estimate of the abundance of belugas comparable with previous surveys was 929 (95% CI: 563 to 1,533 in 1998 and 735 (95% CI: 436 to 1,239 in 1999. When analysing the sightings as a line-transect survey and correcting for whales that were either submerged or at the surface but missed by the observers an estimated 7,941 (95% CI: 3,650 to 17,278 belugas wintered in West Greenland in 1998-1999. The uncorrected estimate of narwhal abundance was 524 (95% CI: 214 to 1,284 and correcting for the same biases as for the belugas gives a total abundance of 2,861 (95% CI: 954 to 8,578 narwhals in 1998-1999.

  16. Validation of dentine deposition rates in beluga whales by interspecies cross dating of temporal δ13C trends in teeth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cory JD Matthews

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Isotopic time series from sequentially sampled growth layer groups (GLGs in marine mammal teeth can be combined to build chronologies allowing assessment of isotopic variation in marine ecosystems. Synchronous recording of baseline isotopic variation across dentinal GLGs of species with temporal and spatial overlap in foraging offers a unique opportunity for validation of marine mammal age estimation procedures through calibration of GLG deposition rates in one species against another whose GLG deposition has been independently determined. In this study, we compare trends in stable carbon isotope ratios (d13C across dentinal GLGs of three eastern Canadian Arctic (ECA beluga (Delphinapterus leucas populations through the 1960s-2000s with a d13C time series measured across dentinal GLGs of ECA/Northwest Atlantic killer whales (Orcinus orca from 1944-1999. We use confirmed annual GLG deposition in killer whales as a means to assess beluga GLG deposition, and show linear d13C declines across chronologies of both species were statistically indistinguishable when based on annual GLG deposition in beluga whales, but differed when based on biannual deposition. We suggest d13C declines reflect the oceanic 13C Suess effect, and provide additional support for annual GLG deposition in beluga whales by comparing rates of d13C declines across beluga GLGs with published annual d13C declines attributed to the oceanic 13C Suess effect in the North Atlantic.

  17. Mercury toxicity in beluga whale lymphocytes: Limited effects of selenium protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Increasing emissions of anthropogenic mercury represents a growing concern to the health of high trophic level marine mammals. In its organic form, this metal bioaccumulates, and can be toxic to several physiological endpoints, including the immune system. In this study, we (1) evaluated the effects of inorganic mercury (mercuric chloride, HgCl2) and organic mercury (methylmercuric chloride, MeHgCl) on the in vitro function of lymphocytes isolated from the peripheral blood of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas); (2) characterized the potential protective effects of sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) on cell proliferation of HgCl2 or MeHgCl-treated beluga whale lymphocytes; and (3) compared these dose-dependent effects to measurements of blood Hg in samples collected from traditionally harvested beluga whales in the western Canadian Arctic. Lymphocyte proliferative responses were reduced following exposure to 1 μM of HgCl2 and 0.33 μM of MeHgCl. Decreased intracellular thiol levels were observed at 10 μM of HgCl2 and 0.33 μM of MeHgCl. Metallothionein induction was noted at 0.33 μM of MeHgCl. Concurrent exposure of Se provided a degree of protection against the highest concentrations of inorganic Hg (3.33 and 10 μM) or organic Hg (10 μM) for T-lymphocytes. This in vitro protection of Se against Hg toxicity to lymphocytes may contribute to the in vivo protection in beluga whales exposed to high Hg concentrations. Current Hg levels in free-ranging beluga whales from the Arctic fall into the range of exposures which elicited effects on lymphocytes in our study, highlighting the potential for effects on host resistance to disease. The implications of a changing Arctic climate on Hg fate in beluga food webs and the consequences for the health of beluga whales remain pressing research needs.

  18. Mercury toxicity in beluga whale lymphocytes: Limited effects of selenium protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frouin, H. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Rd, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2 (Canada); Loseto, L.L.; Stern, G.A. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N6 (Canada); Haulena, M. [Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC, V6G 3E2 (Canada); Ross, P.S., E-mail: peter.s.ross@dfo-mpo.gc.ca [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Rd, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2 (Canada)

    2012-03-15

    Increasing emissions of anthropogenic mercury represents a growing concern to the health of high trophic level marine mammals. In its organic form, this metal bioaccumulates, and can be toxic to several physiological endpoints, including the immune system. In this study, we (1) evaluated the effects of inorganic mercury (mercuric chloride, HgCl{sub 2}) and organic mercury (methylmercuric chloride, MeHgCl) on the in vitro function of lymphocytes isolated from the peripheral blood of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas); (2) characterized the potential protective effects of sodium selenite (Na{sub 2}SeO{sub 3}) on cell proliferation of HgCl{sub 2} or MeHgCl-treated beluga whale lymphocytes; and (3) compared these dose-dependent effects to measurements of blood Hg in samples collected from traditionally harvested beluga whales in the western Canadian Arctic. Lymphocyte proliferative responses were reduced following exposure to 1 {mu}M of HgCl{sub 2} and 0.33 {mu}M of MeHgCl. Decreased intracellular thiol levels were observed at 10 {mu}M of HgCl{sub 2} and 0.33 {mu}M of MeHgCl. Metallothionein induction was noted at 0.33 {mu}M of MeHgCl. Concurrent exposure of Se provided a degree of protection against the highest concentrations of inorganic Hg (3.33 and 10 {mu}M) or organic Hg (10 {mu}M) for T-lymphocytes. This in vitro protection of Se against Hg toxicity to lymphocytes may contribute to the in vivo protection in beluga whales exposed to high Hg concentrations. Current Hg levels in free-ranging beluga whales from the Arctic fall into the range of exposures which elicited effects on lymphocytes in our study, highlighting the potential for effects on host resistance to disease. The implications of a changing Arctic climate on Hg fate in beluga food webs and the consequences for the health of beluga whales remain pressing research needs.

  19. 76 FR 20179 - Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Critical Habitat for Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-11

    ..., 2008, we published a Final Rule to list the Cook Inlet beluga whale as an endangered species (73 FR... beluga whales. This critical habitat was subsequently proposed on December 2, 2009 (74 FR 63080). The... the Cook Inlet beluga whale may be found in the Proposed Listing Rule (72 FR 19854; April 20,...

  20. Blow collection as a non-invasive method for measuring cortisol in the beluga (Delphinapterus leucas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura A Thompson

    Full Text Available Non-invasive sampling techniques are increasingly being used to monitor glucocorticoids, such as cortisol, as indicators of stressor load and fitness in zoo and wildlife conservation, research and medicine. For cetaceans, exhaled breath condensate (blow provides a unique sampling matrix for such purposes. The purpose of this work was to develop an appropriate collection methodology and validate the use of a commercially available EIA for measuring cortisol in blow samples collected from belugas (Delphinapterus leucas. Nitex membrane stretched over a petri dish provided the optimal method for collecting blow. A commercially available cortisol EIA for measuring human cortisol (detection limit 35 pg ml-1 was adapted and validated for beluga cortisol using tests of parallelism, accuracy and recovery. Blow samples were collected from aquarium belugas during monthly health checks and during out of water examination, as well as from wild belugas. Two aquarium belugas showed increased blow cortisol between baseline samples and 30 minutes out of water (Baseline, 0.21 and 0.04 µg dl-1; 30 minutes, 0.95 and 0.14 µg dl-1. Six wild belugas also showed increases in blow cortisol between pre and post 1.5 hour examination (Pre 0.03, 0.23, 0.13, 0.19, 0.13, 0.04 µg dl-1, Post 0.60, 0.31, 0.36, 0.24, 0.14, 0.16 µg dl-1. Though this methodology needs further investigation, this study suggests that blow sampling is a good candidate for non-invasive monitoring of cortisol in belugas. It can be collected from both wild and aquarium animals efficiently for the purposes of health monitoring and research, and may ultimately be useful in obtaining data on wild populations, including endangered species, which are difficult to handle directly.

  1. Spatial trends and factors affecting variation of organochlorine contaminants levels in Canadian Arctic beluga (Delphinapterus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, G A; Macdonald, C R; Armstrong, D; Dunn, B; Fuchs, C; Harwood, L; Muir, D C G; Rosenberg, B

    2005-12-01

    Organochlorine pesticides and PCBs were analysed in blubber from beluga (Delphinapterus leucas), or white whales, collected at 15 sites in the Canadian Arctic between 1993 and 2001. The objective of the study was to define and interpret the spatial trends of major organic contaminants in northern beluga in terms of sources and transport pathways, and the biological factors influencing accumulation. When compared on a lipid weight basis, the concentrations of beta-HCH, cis-CHL and SigmaCHL, cis-nonachlor, heptachlor epoxide and p,p'-DDT were significantly higher in males than females at all five sites in the eastern Arctic where the two sexes were harvested. The differences were attributed to losses from the females during fetal development and lactation as reported in previous studies. Major compounds increased with age in males at most sites, however the lack of a significant increase with age at some sites was in part due to high organochlorine concentrations in young year classes (2-5 years), particularly at eastern sites such as Iqaluit and Pangnirtung. Lower concentrations of SigmaHCH and SigmaDDT compounds in young males in 2001 relative to 1995 at Hendrickson Island could be due to declining levels in the environment, changes in the diet, or differences in organochlorine loads transferred from the female after birth. Age-corrected least square mean concentrations in males showed significantly higher levels of many compounds, such as p,p'-DDE and SigmaCHB, at south Baffin Island sites than those in the west. Two notable exceptions were HCBz and beta-HCH which were higher in the west. Methoxyclor was detected in males at Sanikiluaq (58 ng g-1) and in both sexes at Kimmirut, but at no other sites. Principal component analysis grouped the 16 sites into five major groupings based on the similarity of normalised organochlorine pesticide and PCB levels. Sites from the western Arctic were grouped by higher proportions of HCBz, beta-HCH and gamma-HCH and higher

  2. Is Sound Exposure Level a Convenient Metric to Characterize Fatiguing Sounds? A Study in Beluga Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supin, Alexander; Popov, Vladimir; Nechaev, Dmitry; Sysueva, Evgenia; Rozhnov, Viatcheslav

    2016-01-01

    Both the level and duration of fatiguing sounds influence temporary threshold shifts (TTSs) in odontocetes. These two parameters were combined into a sound exposure level (SEL). In the beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas, TTSs were investigated at various sound pressure level (SPL)-to-duration ratios at a specific SEL. At low SPL-to-duration ratios, the dependence was positive: shorter high-level sounds produced greater TTSs than long low-level sounds of the same SEL. At high SPL-to-duration ratios, the dependence was negative: long low-level sounds produced greater TTSs than short high-level sounds of the same SEL. Thus, the validity of SEL as a metric for fatiguing sound efficiency is limited. PMID:26611076

  3. Neural and muscular control functions of the gut in odontocetes: morphologic evidence in beaked whales and beluga whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeiffer, C J

    1993-01-01

    The present data provide some new and unique, gastrointestinal morphologic findings in two species of toothed whales, the Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) and the beluga or white whale (Delphinapterus leucas), which are discussed relative to their atypical feeding behavior and alimentary tract functions. Specifically, the findings show myenteric neural modifications and muscularis externa structural specializations which may support voluntary and involuntary fore- and hindgut behavior. Histologic evidence of intercalation-like striations in the gastric and colonic musculature was discovered, as well as an unusual massive size of the colonic myenteric plexuses. These observations, which are not evident in terrestrial mammalian gastrointestinal tracts, may help explain the unusual upper gastrointestinal tract motility such as ingestion-by-sucking in the absence of prehensile teeth and processing of ingesta in a multi-compartmentalized pyloric stomach. Further, the hindgut modifications may help explain the animal's acute, rectal discharge escape mechanism, likened to squid inking, which seems to be an evolved function of some cetaceans.

  4. Acoustic Monitoring of Beluga Whale Interactions with Cook Inlet Tidal Energy Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Worthington, Monty [Project Director - AK

    2014-02-05

    Cook Inlet, Alaska is home to some of the greatest tidal energy resources in the U.S., as well as an endangered population of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Successfully permitting and operating a tidal power project in Cook Inlet requires a biological assessment of the potential and realized effects of the physical presence and sound footprint of tidal turbines on the distribution, relative abundance, and behavior of Cook Inlet beluga whales. ORPC Alaska, working with the Project Team—LGL Alaska Research Associates, University of Alaska Anchorage, TerraSond, and Greeneridge Science—undertook the following U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) study to characterize beluga whales in Cook Inlet – Acoustic Monitoring of Beluga Whale Interactions with the Cook Inlet Tidal Energy Project (Project). ORPC Alaska, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ocean Renewable Power Company, LLC, (collectively, ORPC). ORPC is a global leader in the development of hydrokinetic power systems and eco-conscious projects that harness the power of ocean and river currents to create clean, predictable renewable energy. ORPC is developing a tidal energy demonstration project in Cook Inlet at East Foreland where ORPC has a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) preliminary permit (P-13821). The Project collected baseline data to characterize pre-deployment patterns of marine mammal distribution, relative abundance, and behavior in ORPC’s proposed deployment area at East Foreland. ORPC also completed work near Fire Island where ORPC held a FERC preliminary permit (P-12679) until March 6, 2013. Passive hydroacoustic devices (previously utilized with bowhead whales in the Beaufort Sea) were adapted for study of beluga whales to determine the relative abundance of beluga whale vocalizations within the proposed deployment areas. Hydroacoustic data collected during the Project were used to characterize the ambient acoustic environment of the project site pre-deployment to inform the

  5. 77 FR 6065 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-07

    ....) waters. It was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act on October 22, 2008 (73 FR 62919... Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA....Lew@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract The population of Cook Inlet beluga whales...

  6. AFSC/NMML: Beluga whale Counts from Aerial Surveys in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 1993-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratory conducted aerial surveys to monitor the abundance and distribution of beluga whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska. This database...

  7. Diel patterns in underwater sounds produced by beluga whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins at John G. Shedd Aquarium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brickman, Jon; Tanchez, Erin; Thomas, Jeanette

    2005-09-01

    Diel patterns in underwater sounds from five beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) and five Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) housed at John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL were studied. Underwater sounds were sampled systematically over 24-h periods by using a battery-operated cassette recorder and an Ithaco 605C hydrophone controlled by a digital timer, which activated every hour and then shut off after 2.5 min. Belugas had 14 sounds and Pacific white-sided dolphins produced 5 sounds. For each species, the use of some sounds was correlated with other sounds. The diel pattern for both species was similar and mostly affected by the presence of humans. Sounds gradually increased after the staff and visitors arrived, peaked during the midday, gradually decreased as closing of the aquarium approached, and was minimal overnight. These data can help identify the best time of day to make recordings and perhaps could be used to examine social, reproductive, or health changes in these captive cetaceans.

  8. 75 FR 1582 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-12

    ... for the Cook Inlet beluga whale in the Federal Register of December 2, 2009 (74 FR 63080). We received... rule published December 2, 2009 (74 FR 63080) is extended to March 3, 2010. ADDRESSES: Send comments to... Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale AGENCY: National Marine...

  9. Analysis of mitochondrial control region nucleotide sequences from Baffin Bay beluga, (Delphinapterus leucas: detecting pods or sub-populations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Per Jakob Palsbøll

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We report the results of an analysis of the variation in the nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial control region obtained in 218 samples collected from belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, around the Baffin Bay. We detected multiple instances of significant heterogeneity in the distribution of genetic variation among the analyzed mitochondrial control region sequences on a spatial as well as temporal scale indicating a high degree of maternal population structure. The detection of significant levels of heterogeneity between samples collected in different years but within the same area and season was unexpected. Re-examination of earlier results presented by Brown Gladden and coworkers also revealed temporal genetic heterogeneity within the one area where sufficient (n>15 samples were collected in multiple years. These findings suggest that non-random breeding and maternally directed site-fidelity are not the sole causes of genetic heterogeneity among belugas but that a matrilineal pod structure might cause significant levels of genetic heterogeneity as well, even within the same area. We propose that a maternal pod structure, which has been shown to be the cause of significant genetic heterogeneity in other odontocetes, may add to the overall level of heterogeneity in the maternally inherited DNA and hence that much of the spatial heterogeneity observed in this and previous studies might be attributed to pod rather than population structure. Our findings suggest that it is important to estimate the contribution of pod structure to overall heterogeneity before defining populations or management units in order to avoid interpreting heterogeneity due to sampling of different pods as different populations/management units.

  10. AFSC/NMML: Video Analysis for Group Count and Calf Proximity of Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 2005 - 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As a part of NMFS management of the endangered beluga whale population in Cook Inlet, Alaska, aerial surveys have been conducted during summer since 1993 to monitor...

  11. Stable isotope and trace element status of subsistence-hunted bowhead and beluga whales in Alaska and gray whales in Chukotka

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tissues of bowhead, beluga, and gray whales were analyzed for Ag, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, THg and MeHg (belugas only). δ15N and δ13C in muscle were used to estimate trophic position and feeding habitat, respectively. Trace element concentrations in tissues were significantly different among whale species. Hepatic Ag was higher in belugas than bowheads and gray whales. Gray whales had lower Cd concentrations in liver and kidney than bowhead and belugas and a sigmoid correlation of Cd with length was noted for all whales. Renal and hepatic Se and THg were higher in belugas than in baleen whales. The hepatic molar ratio of Se:THg exceeded 1:1 in all species and was negatively correlated to body length. Hepatic and renal Zn in subsistence-harvested gray whales was lower than concentrations for stranded whales. Se:THg molar ratios and tissue concentrations of Zn may show promise as potential indicators of immune status and animal health

  12. Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) granulocytes and monocytes display variable responses to in vitro pressure exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Laura A; Romano, Tracy A

    2015-01-01

    While it is widely known that marine mammals possess adaptations which allow them to make repetitive and extended dives to great depths without suffering ill effects seen in humans, the response of marine mammal immune cells to diving is unknown. Renewed interest in marine mammal dive physiology has arisen due to reports of decompression sickness-like symptoms and embolic damage in stranded and by-caught animals, and there is concern over whether anthropogenic activities can impact marine mammal health by disrupting adaptive dive responses and behavior. This work addresses the need for information concerning marine mammal immune function during diving by evaluating granulocyte and monocyte phagocytosis, and granulocyte activation in belugas (n = 4) in comparison with humans (n = 4), with and without in vitro pressure exposures. In addition, the potential for additional stressors to impact immune function was investigated by comparing the response of beluga cells to pressure between baseline and stressor conditions. Granulocyte and monocyte phagocytosis, as well as granulocyte activation, were compared between pressure exposed and non-exposed cells for each condition, between different pressure profiles and between conditions using mixed generalized linear models (α = 0.05). The effects of pressure varied between species as well by depth, compression/decompression rates, and length of exposures, and condition for belugas. Pressure induced changes in granulocyte and monocyte function in belugas could serve a protective function against dive-related pathologies and differences in the response between humans and belugas could reflect degrees of dive adaptation. The alteration of these responses during physiologically challenging conditions may increase the potential for dive-related in jury and disease in marine mammals.

  13. Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas granulocytes and monocytes display variable responses to in vitro pressure exposures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura A Thompson

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available While it is widely known that marine mammals possess adaptations which allow them to make repetitive and extended dives to great depths without suffering ill effects seen in humans, the response of marine mammal immune cells to diving is unknown. Renewed interest in marine mammal dive physiology has arisen due to reports of decompression sickness-like symptoms and embolic damage in stranded and by-caught animals, and there is concern over whether anthropogenic activities can impact marine mammal health by disrupting adaptive dive responses and behavior. This work addresses the need for information concerning marine mammal immune function during diving by evaluating granulocyte and monocyte phagocytosis, and granulocyte activation in belugas (n=4 in comparison with humans (n=4, with and without in vitro pressure exposures. In addition, the potential for additional stressors to impact immune function was investigated by comparing the response of beluga cells to pressure between baseline and stressor conditions. Granulocyte and monocyte phagocytosis, as well as granulocyte activation, were compared between pressure exposed and non-exposed cells for each condition, between different pressure profiles and between conditions using mixed generalized linear models (α=0.05. The effects of pressure varied between species as well by depth, compression/decompression rates, and length of exposures, and condition for belugas. Pressure induced changes in granulocyte and monocyte function in belugas could serve a protective function against dive-related pathologies and differences in the response between humans and belugas could reflect degrees of dive adaptation. The alteration of these responses during physiologically challenging conditions may increase the potential for dive-related in jury and disease in marine mammals.

  14. The biology behind the counts: tooth development related to age estimation in beluga (Delphinapterus leucas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara E Stewart

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The widely accepted method of determining ages of beluga is to count dentine growth layer groups (GLGs in median, longitudinal sections of a tooth. It is essential to understand how these growth layers form and to consider developmental factors that can confound their enumeration to be able to provide meaningful age estimates. Here we provide information on, and illustrate, the developmental biology of beluga teeth as it relates to interpreting GLGs. Key factors are: evaluating the presence and occlusal wear of fetal dentine; interpreting early-formed diagnostic features such as the neonatal line; assessing the last-formed growth layer adjacent to the pulp cavity; identifying the presence of nodes at the dentine-cementum interface to assist in counting GLGs; and recognizing  pulp stones and accessory lines in the dentine which may hinder the age estimate process.

  15. Sound and human impacts on beluga whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blevins, Rachael E.

    Cook Inlet beluga whales (CIBs) are a geographically and genetically isolated population residing in Cook Inlet, Alaska year round. The population declined by approximately 50% between 1994 and 1998 and was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2008. The original decline was attributed to overharvest; however, the population has failed to rebound despite the virtual absence of harvest since 1998. This suggests that other factors, such as declining prey availability, increased predation, contaminants, disease, climate change, catastrophic events, habitat loss, unauthorized take, and underwater noise pollution, may be limiting the population's recovery. The goal of this dissertation research was to study the potential impacts of underwater noise on the CIB population. The objective of Chapter 1 was to study CIB acoustic behavior to gain a greater understanding of how CIBs utilize sound. The objective of Chapter 2 was to measure underwater sound levels in Cook Inlet to understand the background noise levels with which CIBs must cope. The objective of Chapter 3 was to document reactions of CIBs to noise disturbance utilizing local ecological knowledge to allow insight into the potential impacts of noise on beluga behavior. The results of Chapter 1 showed that belugas exhibit significant seasonal and spatial variation in calling behavior which suggested differences in habitat usage or differences in the surrounding environment, including background noise levels. The results of Chapter 2 showed that root mean square sound pressure levels exhibited high variation with the highest levels recorded in the 100 Hz frequency band. The seasonal differences in sound levels observed in this study were likely due to greater small vessel traffic and oil and gas development activities in the summer than the winter. In Chapter 3, participants reported observations of CIBs exhibiting avoidance reactions to noise sources including boats, planes, explosions, pile

  16. Dtags beluga whale data collected from Bristol Bay by Alaska Fisheries Scientific Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 2011-05-01 to 2014-08-31 (NCEI Accession 0142174)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Suction cup attached multi-sensor tags were placed on beluga whales in Bristol Bay, Alaska, to collect depth, 3D acceleration and sound. Data were coupled with...

  17. Linking mercury exposure to habitat and feeding behaviour in Beaufort Sea beluga whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loseto, L. L.; Stern, G. A.; Deibel, D.; Connelly, T. L.; Prokopowicz, A.; Lean, D. R. S.; Fortier, L.; Ferguson, S. H.

    2008-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) levels in the Beaufort Sea beluga population have been increasing since the 1990's. Ultimately, it is the Hg content of prey that determines beluga Hg levels. However, the Beaufort Sea beluga diet is not understood, and little is known about the diet Hg sources in their summer habitat. During the summer, they segregate into social groups based on habitat use leading to the hypothesis that they may feed in different food webs explaining Hg dietary sources. Methyl mercury (MeHg) and total mercury (THg) levels were measured in the estuarine-shelf, Amundsen Gulf and epibenthic food webs in the western Canadian Arctic collected during the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES) to assess their dietary Hg contribution. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report MeHg levels in estuarine fish and epibenthic invertebrates from the Arctic Ocean. Although the Mackenzie River is a large source of Hg, the estuarine-shelf prey items had the lowest MeHg levels, ranging from 0.1 to 0.27 μg/g dry weight (dw) in arctic cisco ( Coregonus autumnalis) and saffron cod ( Eleginus gracilis) respectively. Highest MeHg levels occurred in fourhorn sculpin ( Myoxocephalus quadricornis) (0.5 μg/g dw) from the epibenthic food web. Beluga hypothesized to feed in the epibenthic and Amundsen Gulf food webs had the highest Hg levels matching with high Hg levels in associated food webs, and estuarine-shelf belugas had the lowest Hg levels (2.6 μg/g dw), corresponding with the low food web Hg levels, supporting the variation in dietary Hg uptake. The trophic level transfer of Hg was similar among the food webs, highlighting the importance of Hg sources at the bottom of the food web as well as food web length. We propose that future biomagnification studies incorporate predator behaviour with food web structure to assist in the evaluation of dietary Hg sources.

  18. Cook Inlet Beluga Opportunistic Sightings, 1975 to 2015 (NCEI Accession 0142326)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As a part of National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) management of the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale population, a database of opportunistic beluga whale...

  19. AFSC/NMML: Cook Inlet Beluga Opportunistic Sightings, 1975 to 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As a part of National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) management of the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale population, a database of opportunistic beluga whale...

  20. Whistle source levels of free-ranging beluga whales in Saguenay-St. Lawrence marine park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bot, Olivier; Simard, Yvan; Roy, Nathalie; Mars, Jérôme I; Gervaise, Cédric

    2016-07-01

    Wild beluga whistle source levels (SLs) are estimated from 52 three-dimensional (3D) localized calls using a 4-hydrophone array. The probability distribution functions of the root-mean-square (rms) SL in the time domain, and the peak, the strongest 3-dB, and 10-dB SLs from the spectrogram, were non-Gaussian. The average rms SL was 143.8 ± 6.7 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m. SL spectral metrics were, respectively, 145.8 ± 8 dB, 143.2 ± 7.1 dB, and 138.5 ± 6.9 dB re 1 μPa(2)·Hz(-1) at 1 m. PMID:27475219

  1. Detection and quantitation of benzo[a]pyrene-DNA adducts in brain and liver tissues of Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the St. Lawrence and Mackenzie Estuaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It should be noted that there are few analytical techniques available for the detection and quantitation of chemical adducts in the DNA of living organisms. The reasons for this are: the analytical technique often has to accommodate the unique chemical and/or physical properties of the individual chemical or its metabolite; the percentage of total chemical that becomes most of the parent compound is usually detoxified and excreted; not all adducts that form between the genotoxic agent and DNA are stable or are involved in the development of subsequent deleterious events in the organism; and the amount of DNA available for analysis is often quite limited. 16 refs., 1 tab

  2. Report on the workshop examining the potential effects of hydroelectric development on Beluga of the Nelson River Estuary, Winnipeg, Manitoba, November 6 and 7, 1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A summary is presented of discussions and conclusions at a workshop held to examine the potential effects of hydroelectric development on beluga whales of the Nelson River estuary in Manitoba. Background information is provided on the estuary, beluga whales and their use of arctic and subarctic estuaries, and hydroelectric development on the Nelson River. Potential impacts of such development on the whales are reviewed in the categories of direct effects of changes in physical-chemical conditions (temperature and discharge), indirect effects of disturbances mediated through the food chain, and effects on socioeconomic conditions that may affect beluga whales. Since the biology of beluga whales and other phenomena of interest in this study are poorly known, recommendations are made for research and monitoring activities in the Nelson River estuary. In general, the workshop participants felt that changes in the estuary due to hydroelectric development would not be large enough to affect beluga whales strongly. 34 refs., 1 fig

  3. AFSC/NMML: Dtag Bristol Bay Beluga Data, May 2011 and August 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Suction cup attached multisensor tags were placed on beluga whales in Bristol Bay, Alaska, to collect depth, 3D acceleration and sound. Data were coupled with...

  4. AFSC/NMML: Bristol Bay Beluga hearing sensitivity, August 2012 and 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hearing sensitivity data was collected on beluga whales in Bristol Bay with auditory evoked potential (AEP) methods for the frequencies 4, 8, 11.2, 16, 22.5, 32,...

  5. What are the toxicological effects of mercury in Arctic biota?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Basu, Niladri;

    2013-01-01

    effects. Species whose concentrations exceed threshold values include the polar bears (Ursus maritimus), beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), pilot whale (Globicephala melas), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata), a few seabird species, and landlocked Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). Toothed whales appear...

  6. Aerial surveys of bowhead and beluga whales along with incidental sighting of other marine mammals in the Bering, Beaufort and Chukchi Seas for the Bowhead Whale Aerial Survey Project (BWASP), 1979 - 2004 (NODC Accession 0001941)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Minerals Management Service (MMS), previously Bureau of Land Management, has funded fall bowhead whale aerial surveys in this area each year since 1978, using a...

  7. Bristol Bay Beluga hearing sensitivity data collected from 2012-09-02 to 2014-09-03 (NCEI Accession 0140481)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hearing sensitivity data was collected on beluga whales in Bristol Bay with auditory evoked potential (AEP) methods for the frequencies 4, 8, 11.2, 16, 22.5, 32,...

  8. Radiocesium in Canadian Arctic Beluga and Caribou Before and After the Fukushima Accident of 2011

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stocki, Trevor J.; Pellerin, Eric; Bergman, Lauren; Mercier, Jean-Francois; Genovesi, Linda; Cooke, Michael; Todd, Bonnie; Sandles, Diane; Whyte, Jeff [Radiation Protection Bureau, Health Canada, AL6302D, 775 Brookfield Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0K9 (Canada); Gamberg, Mary [Gamberg Consulting, Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada); Loseto, Lisa [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada); Wang, X. [Environment Canada, Burlington Ontario (Canada)

    2014-07-01

    Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March 2011, northern Canadians expressed concerns about the levels of radioactive contaminants in important traditional foods. Therefore, a study has been conducted to measure the levels of radionuclides in Arctic caribou and beluga whales. The main radionuclide of concern is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years and is chemically similar to potassium, thereby easily accumulating in plants and animals. Cesium-137 was released into the atmosphere during nuclear weapons tests in the 1950's-60's and during nuclear accidents, such as Chernobyl. Previous studies have been made on the cesium-137 levels in Canadian caribou herds from 1958 to 2000, allowing researchers to determine the amount of cesium-137 in caribou specifically attributable to atmospheric weapons testing and the Chernobyl accident. Samples of lichens, mushrooms, caribou and beluga whales taken before and after the Fukushima accident were freeze dried, homogenized, and measured using gamma ray spectroscopy to identify the radionuclides present and determine the radioactivity concentration in the samples. To determine the efficiency of the detectors for the different sized samples, physical calibration standards were used and virtual simulations were also performed. A comparison of the caribou samples from before and after the accident has indicated no increase in radioactivity as a result of the Fukushima accident. Results are consistent with pre-Fukushima levels for these caribou. No Cs-137 was found in the pre-Fukushima beluga whale samples, even if all the measurements were combined into one spectrum. In the individual post-Fukushima beluga whale samples, Cs-137 was also not found. However, when the post-Fukushima beluga whale measurements were combined, an insignificant amount of radioactive Cs-137 was found. The amount of this Cs-137 was about 200 times smaller than the natural radioactive potassium in the samples. Most likely the

  9. Radiocesium in Canadian Arctic Beluga and Caribou Before and After the Fukushima Accident of 2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March 2011, northern Canadians expressed concerns about the levels of radioactive contaminants in important traditional foods. Therefore, a study has been conducted to measure the levels of radionuclides in Arctic caribou and beluga whales. The main radionuclide of concern is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years and is chemically similar to potassium, thereby easily accumulating in plants and animals. Cesium-137 was released into the atmosphere during nuclear weapons tests in the 1950's-60's and during nuclear accidents, such as Chernobyl. Previous studies have been made on the cesium-137 levels in Canadian caribou herds from 1958 to 2000, allowing researchers to determine the amount of cesium-137 in caribou specifically attributable to atmospheric weapons testing and the Chernobyl accident. Samples of lichens, mushrooms, caribou and beluga whales taken before and after the Fukushima accident were freeze dried, homogenized, and measured using gamma ray spectroscopy to identify the radionuclides present and determine the radioactivity concentration in the samples. To determine the efficiency of the detectors for the different sized samples, physical calibration standards were used and virtual simulations were also performed. A comparison of the caribou samples from before and after the accident has indicated no increase in radioactivity as a result of the Fukushima accident. Results are consistent with pre-Fukushima levels for these caribou. No Cs-137 was found in the pre-Fukushima beluga whale samples, even if all the measurements were combined into one spectrum. In the individual post-Fukushima beluga whale samples, Cs-137 was also not found. However, when the post-Fukushima beluga whale measurements were combined, an insignificant amount of radioactive Cs-137 was found. The amount of this Cs-137 was about 200 times smaller than the natural radioactive potassium in the samples. Most likely the Cs-137

  10. Distant drivers or local signals: where do mercury trends in western Arctic belugas originate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loseto, L L; Stern, G A; Macdonald, R W

    2015-03-15

    Temporal trends of contaminants are monitored in Arctic higher trophic level species to inform us on the fate, transport and risk of contaminants as well as advise on global emissions. However, monitoring mercury (Hg) trends in species such as belugas challenge us, as their tissue concentrations reflect complex interactions among Hg deposition and methylation, whale physiology, dietary exposure and foraging patterns. The Beaufort Sea beluga population showed significant increases in Hg during the 1990 s; since that time an additional 10 years of data have been collected. During this time of data collection, changes in the Arctic have affected many processes that underlie the Hg cycle. Here, we examine Hg in beluga tissues and investigate factors that could contribute to the observed trends after removing the effect of age and size on Hg concentrations and dietary factors. Finally, we examine available indicators of climate variability (Arctic Oscillation (AO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and sea-ice minimum (SIM) concentration) to evaluate their potential to explain beluga Hg trends. Results reveal a decline in Hg concentrations from 2002 to 2012 in the liver of older whales and the muscle of large whales. The temporal increases in Hg in the 1990 s followed by recent declines do not follow trends in Hg emission, and are not easily explained by diet markers highlighting the complexity of feeding, food web dynamics and Hg uptake. Among the regional-scale climate variables the PDO exhibited the most significant relationship with beluga Hg at an eight year lag time. This distant signal points us to consider beluga winter feeding areas. Given that changes in climate will impact ecosystems; it is plausible that these climate variables are important in explaining beluga Hg trends. Such relationships require further investigation of the multiple connections between climate variables and beluga Hg. PMID:25442642

  11. Visual laterality of calf-mother interactions in wild whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Karenina

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Behavioral laterality is known for a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Laterality in social interactions has been described for a wide range of species including humans. Although evidence and theoretical predictions indicate that in social species the degree of population level laterality is greater than in solitary ones, the origin of these unilateral biases is not fully understood. It is especially poorly studied in the wild animals. Little is known about the role, which laterality in social interactions plays in natural populations. A number of brain characteristics make cetaceans most suitable for investigation of lateralization in social contacts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Observations were made on wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas in the greatest breeding aggregation in the White Sea. Here we show that young calves (in 29 individually identified and in over a hundred of individually not recognized mother-calf pairs swim and rest significantly longer on a mother's right side. Further observations along with the data from other cetaceans indicate that found laterality is a result of the calves' preference to observe their mothers with the left eye, i.e., to analyze the information on a socially significant object in the right brain hemisphere. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Data from our and previous work on cetacean laterality suggest that basic brain lateralizations are expressed in the same way in cetaceans and other vertebrates. While the information on social partners and novel objects is analyzed in the right brain hemisphere, the control of feeding behavior is performed by the left brain hemisphere. Continuous unilateral visual contacts of calves to mothers with the left eye may influence social development of the young by activation of the contralateral (right brain hemisphere, indicating a possible mechanism on how behavioral lateralization may influence species life and welfare. This hypothesis is

  12. Citrobacter freundii septicemia in a stranded newborn Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Antonio; Vela, Ana Isabel; Andrada, Marisa; Herraez, Pedro; Díaz-Delgado, Josue; Domínguez, Lucas; Arbelo, Manuel

    2011-10-01

    Citrobacter freundii, a gram-negative enterobacterium, may cause fatal septicemia in humans and animals. Its potential pathogenic role in cetaceans (bottlenose dolphins and beluga whales) has been hypothesized. Here we describe fatal C. freundii septicemia in a stranded newborn Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris).

  13. Status of the belugas of the St Lawrence estuary, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael CS Kingsley

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A population of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas inhabiting the estuary of the St Lawrence river in Quebec, Canada, was depleted by unregulated hunting, not closed until 1979. Surveys in 1977 showed only a few hundred in the population. Surveys since then have produced increasing estimates of population indices. An estimate of the population, fully corrected for diving animals, was 1,238 (SE 119 in September 1997. The population was estimated to have increased from 1988 through 1997 by 31.4 belugas/yr (SE 13.1. Observations of population age structure, as well as data on age at death obtained from beach-cast carcasses, do not indicate serious problems at the population level, although there are indications that mortality of the oldest animals may be elevated. Few animals appear to live much over 30 years. From examination of beach-cast carcasses, it appears that most deaths are due to old age and disease; hunting is illegal, ship strikes and entrapments in fishing gear are rare, ice entrapments and predation are unknown. Among beach-cast carcasses recovered and necropsied, about 23% of the adults have malignant cancers, while most of the juveniles have pneumonia; other pathological conditions are diverse. No factors are known to be limiting numbers of this population. Habitat quality factors, including persistent contaminants, boat traffic and harassment, may affect the population’s rate of increase, but these effects have not been quantitatively evaluated. Comprehensive legislation exists with powers to protect the population and the environment of which it is a component, but application and enforcement of the laws is not without problems.

  14. 75 FR 4528 - Endangered and Threatened Species: Notice of Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for Cook Inlet...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-28

    ... prepare recovery plan; request for information. ] SUMMARY: NMFS is required by the Endangered Species Act... recovery plan for the Cook Inlet beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) and requests information from the...-mail information for recovery planning is CIBRP@noaa.gov . Please include ``Cook Inlet Beluga...

  15. Quota disputes and subsistence whaling in Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tejsner, Pelle

    2014-01-01

    In Qeqertarsuaq (Disco Island), northwest Greenland, local disputes about the allocation of annual whaling quotas for beluga and narwhals feature as a source of conflict between state-imposed categories of occupational and non-occupational hunters. The national authorities’ co-management regime for...... the regulation of whale quotas has triggered the creation of new socio-economic groupings and compartmentalised respective groups of hunters in the process. Although the rigid legal categories have impacted upon the social unity and conduct of whaling in Qeqertarsuaq, and remain difficult to navigate...... families draw on locally varying environmental and ecological circumstances and that their negotiation of current regulations, in turn, suggests a further consideration of the social aspects as these inform local knowledge about whales and wider socio-economic circumstances governing whaling in...

  16. Ballroom Music Spillover into a Beluga Whale Aquarium Exhibit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M. Scheifele

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available It is not uncommon for modern aquaria to be built with special entertainment areas. There are no known measurements of sound spillover from such entertainment areas into underwater animal exhibits. Entertainment organizations typically prefer to play music for events at 95 and 100 dBA in a ballroom at Georgia Aquarium. Concern over the potential effects of the music and noise on animals in adjacent exhibits inspired an initial project to monitor and compare sound levels in the adjacent underwater exhibits against the typical in-air sound levels of the ballroom. Measured underwater noise levels were compared to modeled levels based on finite element analysis and plane wave transmission loss calculations through the acrylic viewing window. Results were compared with the model to determine how, if at all, the ambient noise level in the Cold Water Quest exhibit changed as a result of music played in the ballroom.

  17. Cardiorespiratory Responses to Acoustic Noise in Belugas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyamin, Oleg I; Korneva, Svetlana M; Rozhnov, Viatcheslav V; Mukhametov, Lev M

    2016-01-01

    To date, most research on the adverse effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals has focused on auditory and behavioral responses. Other responses have received little attention and are often ignored. In this study, the effect of acoustic noise on heart rate was examined in captive belugas. The data suggest that (1) heart rate can be used as a measure of physiological response (including stress) to noise in belugas and other cetaceans, (2) cardiac response is influenced by parameters of noise and adaptation to repeated exposure, and (3) cetacean calves are more vulnerable to the adverse effect of noise than adults. PMID:26611017

  18. Killer whales and whaling: the scavenging hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    Whitehead, Hal; Reeves, Randall

    2005-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) frequently scavenged from the carcasses produced by whalers. This practice became especially prominent with large-scale mechanical whaling in the twentieth century, which provided temporally and spatially clustered floating carcasses associated with loud acoustic signals. The carcasses were often of species of large whale preferred by killer whales but that normally sink beyond their diving range. In the middle years of the twentieth century floating whaled carcas...

  19. Problem of whaling

    OpenAIRE

    Davidová, Zuzana

    2013-01-01

    Whales are endangered species which are hunted mainly for meat and fat. This hunting, which caused a sharp decrease in some species of cetaceans, was banned by international convention on whaling, which was signed by members of the International Whaling Commission in 1986. Since then, the whale population has increased, but countries such as Japan, Norway and Iceland do not respect this moratorium and hunts whales under the guise of scientific purposes. The method of whaling is inhumane an...

  20. Estimating the Impact of Whaling on Global Whale Watching

    OpenAIRE

    Kuo, Hsiao-I; Chen, Chi-Chung; McAleer, Michael

    2009-01-01

    After the commercial whaling moratorium was enacted in 1986, whale watching became one of the fastest growing tourism industries worldwide. As whaling was regarded as an activity incompatible with whale watching, the possible resumption of commercial whaling caused an urgent need to investigate the potential negative effects of whaling on the whale-watching industry. We examine the potential impacts of whaling on the global whale-watching tourism industry using unbalanced panel data model. Th...

  1. Estimating the Impact of Whaling on Global Whale Watching

    OpenAIRE

    McAleer, Michael

    2010-01-01

    After a commercial whaling moratorium was enacted in 1986, whale watching became one of the fastest growing tourism industries worldwide. As whaling is regarded as an activity that is incompatible with whale watching, the possible resumption of commercial whaling has caused an urgent need to investigate the potential negative effects of whaling on the whale-watching industry. We examine the potential impacts of whaling on the global whale-watching tourism industry using an unbalanced panel da...

  2. Estimating the impact of whaling on global whale watching

    OpenAIRE

    Kuo, Hsiao-I; Chen, Chi-Chung; McAleer, Michael

    2009-01-01

    After the commercial whaling moratorium was enacted in 1986, whale watching became one of the fastest growing tourism industries worldwide. As whaling was regarded as an activity that is incompatible with whale watching, the possible resumption of commercial whaling caused an urgent need to investigate the potential negative effects of whaling on the whale-watching industry. We examine the potential impacts of whaling on the global whale-watching tourism industry using an unbalanced panel dat...

  3. Whale Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    R:BASE for DOS, a computer program developed under NASA contract, has been adapted by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and the College of the Atlantic to provide and advanced computerized photo matching technique for identification of humpback whales. The program compares photos with stored digitized descriptions, enabling researchers to track and determine distribution and migration patterns. R:BASE is a spinoff of RIM (Relational Information Manager), which was used to store data for analyzing heat shielding tiles on the Space Shuttle Orbiter. It is now the world's second largest selling line of microcomputer database management software.

  4. Whale Teaching Unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peninsula Humane Society, San Mateo, CA.

    Materials in this teaching unit are designed to foster an interest in whale preservation among intermediate grade and junior high school students. Several readings provide background information on various types of whales and the economic value of whales. Student activities include a true and false game, a crossword, and a mobile. A resource list…

  5. Estimating the impact of whaling on global whale watching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H-I. Kuo (Hsiao-I); C-C. Chen (Chi-Chung); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractAfter the commercial whaling moratorium was enacted in 1986, whale watching became one of the fastest growing tourism industries worldwide. As whaling was regarded as an activity incompatible with whale watching, the possible resumption of commercial whaling caused an urgent need to inve

  6. Whales and Whaling--An Interdisciplinary Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Richard D.

    1978-01-01

    Outlines the content of this interdisciplinary course and includes a list of the texts being used. Parts one and two are concerned with the biology of the whale and other marine mammals, while part three covers the whaling industry and related topics. (MA)

  7. 75 FR 10223 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-05

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XN25 Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric... notification of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to the...

  8. 78 FR 13028 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-26

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC460 Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric... the public of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to...

  9. 76 FR 16388 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-23

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA309 Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric... notification of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to the...

  10. 77 FR 21540 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-10

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA967 Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric... the public of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to...

  11. War of the Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2011-01-01

    to map out a ‘‘cosmogram’’ of Japanese pro-whaling enactments of abundant and ‘‘killable’’ whales. Following the political ecology of Bruno Latour, the global-scale situation is conceptualized as one of cosmopolitics, the politics of forging a common world across divergences in nature-cultures....

  12. The International Whaling Commission – Beyond Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew John Wright

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Since its establishment in 1946 as the international body intended to manage whaling, the International Whaling Commission (IWC has expanded its areas of interest to ensure the wider conservation of whales. Several key conservation topics have been taken forward under its auspices including climate change, chemical and noise pollution, marine debris and whale watching. Work on each of these topics at the IWC has grown substantially since the 1990s and remains ongoing. Important developments were the establishment of the Standing Working Group on Environmental Concerns in 1996 and the IWC’s Conservation Committee in 2003. Trying to address this diverse set of issues is obviously a challenge but will be necessary if the long term conservation of cetaceans is to be achieved. Through research, workshops, resolutions and collaboration with other organisations, the IWC has advanced both the understanding of the various issues and the means to manage them with increasing effectiveness. The IWC is likely to remain on the forefront of continuing efforts to address these, and other, conservation concerns and ensure the continued viability of cetacean populations around the globe.

  13. Large whale incident database

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Large whale stranding, death, ship strike and entanglement incidents are all recorded to monitor the health of each population and track anthropogenic factors that...

  14. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.

  15. Beluga Whale at Kitty Hawk: An Arts Education Moment in Rural Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conarro, Ryan

    2011-01-01

    In this article, the author relates his experience working for the Department of Education as an "arts content coach" and visiting in rural Alaska's schools. He shares how he is guiding the youths in analyzing the visual elements of stage pictures so that they can create their own tableaux of important historical inventions. He asks some vital…

  16. Management and recovery options for Ural river beluga sturgeon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doukakis, Phaedra; Babcock, Elizabeth A; Pikitch, Ellen K; Sharov, Alexei R; Baimukhanov, Mirgaly; Erbulekov, Sagiden; Bokova, Yelena; Nimatov, Akhat

    2010-06-01

    Management of declining fisheries of anadromous species sometimes relies heavily on supplementation of populations with captive breeding, despite evidence that captive breeding can have negative consequences and may not address the root cause of decline. The beluga sturgeon (Huso huso), a species threatened by the market for black caviar and reductions in habitat quality, is managed through harvest control and hatchery supplementation, with an emphasis on the latter. We used yield per recruit and elasticity analyses to evaluate the population status and current levels of fishing and to identify the life-history stages that are the best targets for conservation of beluga of the Ural River. Harvest rates in recent years were four to five times higher than rates that would sustain population abundance. Sustainable rates of fishing mortality are similar to those for other long-lived marine species such as sharks and mammals. Yield per recruit, which is maximized if fish are first harvested at age 31 years, would be greatly enhanced by raising minimum size limits or reducing illegal take of subadults. Improving the survival of subadult and adult females would increase population productivity by 10 times that achieved by improving fecundity and survival from egg to age 1 year (i.e., hatchery supplementation). These results suggest that reducing mortality of subadults and adult wild fish is a more effective conservation strategy than hatchery supplementation. Because genetics is not factored into hatchery management practices, supplementation may even reduce the viability of the beluga sturgeon.

  17. Gray Whale Calf Production Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Gray whale calf production is estimated from data collected during the northbound migration as whales return to their feeding grounds in the Arctic. Counts of adult...

  18. A Whale of A Controversy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Despite heavy international criticism,the Japanese refuse to end their national tradition of whale hunting When the Japanese whale-hunting fleet set sail for the Antarctic waters on November 18,the crew members must have known that their voyage would not be smooth sailing. Japan’s annual whaling program rou- tinely sets off a firestorm of protest from anti-whaling countries and organizations. In January 2006,Greenpeace’s icebreaker Arctic Sunrise collided with the Jaoanese

  19. Spatial and Seasonal Distribution of American Whaling and Whales in the Age of Sail

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Tim D.; Reeves, Randall R.; Josephson, Elizabeth A.; Lund, Judith N.

    2012-01-01

    American whalemen sailed out of ports on the east coast of the United States and in California from the 18(th) to early 20(th) centuries, searching for whales throughout the world's oceans. From an initial focus on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and right whales (Eubalaena spp.), the array of targeted whales expanded to include bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Extensive records of American whaling in...

  20. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, R.; Kelly, N.; Boebel, O.; Friedlaender, A.; Herr, H.; Kock, K.H.; Lehnert, L.S.; Maksym, T.; Roberts, J.; Scheidat, M.; Siebert, U.; Brierley, A.

    2014-01-01

    Estimating abundance of Antarctic minke whales is central to the International Whaling Commission's conservation and management work and understanding impacts of climate change on polar marine ecosystems. Detecting abundance trends is problematic, in part because minke whales are frequently sighted

  1. Whale-Watching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lande, Rivian

    1973-01-01

    Describes a program initiated by the Cabrillo Beach Museum (San Pedro, California) and the American Cetacean Society to take students of the fourth grade through high school on half-day cruises to observe gray whales. College students assist in the program with related field projects and presentations in the schools. (JR)

  2. Listening to Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allchin, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Playing the sounds of whales during a class period can initiate the awareness of the role of wonder in education. Students are inspired to avidly collect fascinating facts to pique their interest and open the door to learning science. Indeed, when asked, teachers typically identify their foremost practical challenge as trying to motivate…

  3. Whales: Incredible Ocean Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devona, Henry

    1992-01-01

    Describes an integrated thematic unit for children from kindergarten to third grade. Explains that the unit incorporates reading, speaking, writing, science, mathematics, social studies, and art into the study of whales. Suggests learning activities on echolocation, migration, measurement, scrimshaw, history, and human interaction with the…

  4. Results of a modeling workshop concerning development of the Beluga coal resource in Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes the results of a modeling workshop concerning development of the Beluga coal resource in Alaska. The workshop was facilitated by the AEA...

  5. Whales Are Big With Little People.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dommers, John J.

    1981-01-01

    Presented is a discussion on why people should study whales. Background information, learning activities appropriate for different subject areas, and whale-related teaching materials are included. (DC)

  6. Whales from space: counting southern right whales by satellite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fretwell, Peter T; Staniland, Iain J; Forcada, Jaume

    2014-01-01

    We describe a method of identifying and counting whales using very high resolution satellite imagery through the example of southern right whales breeding in part of the Golfo Nuevo, Península Valdés in Argentina. Southern right whales have been extensively hunted over the last 300 years and although numbers have recovered from near extinction in the early 20(th) century, current populations are fragmented and are estimated at only a small fraction of pre-hunting total. Recent extreme right whale calf mortality events at Península Valdés, which constitutes the largest single population, have raised fresh concern for the future of the species. The WorldView2 satellite has a maximum 50 cm resolution and a water penetrating coastal band in the far-blue part of the spectrum that allows it to see deeper into the water column. Using an image covering 113 km², we identified 55 probable whales and 23 other features that are possibly whales, with a further 13 objects that are only detected by the coastal band. Comparison of a number of classification techniques, to automatically detect whale-like objects, showed that a simple thresholding technique of the panchromatic and coastal band delivered the best results. This is the first successful study using satellite imagery to count whales; a pragmatic, transferable method using this rapidly advancing technology that has major implications for future surveys of cetacean populations.

  7. A whale of an opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laidre, Kristin L.; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Logsdon, Miles L.;

    2010-01-01

    (MOD21, SeaWifs analogue OC3M and SST MOD37). Bowhead whales traversed 1600 km2, providing information on diving, Chl-a structure and temperature profiles to depths below 200 m. Feeding dives frequently passed through surface waters (>50 m) and targeted depths close to the bottom, and whales did...

  8. ECONOMICS AND THE RESUMPTION OF COMMERCIAL WHALING

    OpenAIRE

    Conrad, Jon M.; Bjorndal, Trond

    1991-01-01

    There is now strong scientific evidence that several species of baleen whale and possibly the sperm whale, have recovered to levels that would support commercial harvest. The stock of fin whales (Balaenoptera physatus) off the eastern coast of Iceland and the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in the Northeast Atlantic, off the coast of Japan and in the Southern Ocean are prime candidates for commercial harvest. Should commercial whaling be resumed? If so, what role should economics pla...

  9. Alaska Regional Energy Resources Planning Project. Phase 2: coal, hydroelectric and energy alternatives. Volume I. Beluga Coal District Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutledge, G.; Lane, D.; Edblom, G.

    1980-01-01

    This volume deals with the problems and procedures inherent in the development of the Beluga Coal District. Socio-economic implications of the development and management alternatives are discussed. A review of permits and approvals necessary for the initial development of Beluga Coal Field is presented. Major land tenure issues in the Beluga Coal District as well as existing transportation routes and proposed routes and sites are discussed. The various coal technologies which might be employed at Beluga are described. Transportation options and associated costs of transporting coal from the mine site area to a connecting point with a major, longer distance transportation made and of transporting coal both within and outside (exportation) the state are discussed. Some environmental issues involved in the development of the Beluga Coal Field are presented. (DMC)

  10. From whales to tritium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Only 150 years of human actions and innovations separate whale-oil lamps from atomic fission and fusion. During this period, the human quest for lighting, heating and transportation has drained the stock of fuels, ranging from peat and wood to coal and petroleum. The energy necessary for protecting us from the cold and heat, for transportation, lighting and other comforts is a persistent problem. Since the start of the industrial era and the consumer age, the solutions adopted have jeopardized the oceans, atmosphere and earth. (author)

  11. A whale of a problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    While the Makah Indian tribe recently killed a gray whale off the coast of the U.S. state of Washington, and Japan and Norway have threatened to bolt from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) over disagreements about commercial catches, on May 26, the U.S. commissioner to the IWC told delegates about another, and far more widespread, threat affecting cetaceans.Global environmental changes could jeopardize whale stocks throughout the world, said Commissioner James Baker, who also serves as administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  12. 50 CFR 230.4 - Aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Aboriginal subsistence whaling. 230.4... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WHALING WHALING PROVISIONS § 230.4 Aboriginal subsistence whaling. (a) No person shall engage in aboriginal subsistence whaling, except a whaling captain licensed pursuant...

  13. 50 CFR 230.8 - Reporting by whaling captains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Reporting by whaling captains. 230.8... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WHALING WHALING PROVISIONS § 230.8 Reporting by whaling captains. (a) The relevant Native American whaling organization shall require each whaling captain licensed pursuant to §...

  14. Killer Whale Genetic Data - Southern resident killer whale pedigree analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In this project, we are using genetic variation to infer mating patterns in the southern killer whale community. In Canada, this population was listed as threatened...

  15. Gray Whale Population Count Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Gray whale abundance is estimated from data collected during the southbound migration from feeding grounds in the Arctic to breeding grounds in the lagoons of...

  16. RightWhaleCH_ln

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.

  17. Japanese Small Type Coastal Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Fisher

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW as well as the 30th anniversary of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC moratorium on commercial whaling. It also marks three decades of effort by Japan to overturn this ban. Its strategy to circumvent the moratorium by issuing permits to kill protected whales for scientific research is famous—even the subject of a 2014 lawsuit at the International Court of Justice. Less well known is Japan’s strategy to overturn the ban by persuading the Commission to authorise a category of commercial whaling known as Small Type Coastal Whaling (STCW that is conducted on minke and other small whales in Japanese waters but has never been regulated, or even formally recognised, by the IWC. For three decades Japan has sought STCW catch limits for four communities which it claims are still suffering distress as a result of the moratorium. While the Commission has rejected each proposal, mainly citing concerns that the commercial nature and purpose of STCW violates the moratorium, Japan has persisted, exhibiting great flexibility in its approach. Its tactics changed significantly in 2014; it no longer denied (or defended the commerciality of the hunt, but argued that it is irrelevant since it sought only a small exemption to the moratorium which would remain intact for all other populations. This is a perspective on Japan’s evolving STCW strategy and the risk that lifting, or modifying, the moratorium would pose to the conservation of whales.

  18. Echolocation in wild toothed whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyack, Peter L.; Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter Teglberg; Zimmer, Walter M. X.

    2001-05-01

    Don Griffin showed more than 50 years ago that bats echolocate for orientation and to capture prey. Experiments also demonstrated that captive dolphins can echolocate; more recent work parallels Griffin's work with bats in the wild. Digital acoustic recording tags were attached to sperm and beaked whales, Ziphius cavirostris and Mesoplodon densirostris, to record outgoing clicks and incoming echoes. The sperm whale data show echoes from the sea surface and seafloor, which are probably used for orientation and obstacle avoidance. When diving, sperm whales adjust their interclick interval as they change their pitch angle, consistent with the hypothesis that they are echolocating on a horizontal layer at the depth at which they will feed. This suggests that they may be listening for volume reverberation to select a prey patch. The beam pattern of sperm whales includes a narrow, forward-directed high-frequency beam probably used for prey detection, and a broader, backward-directed lower-frequency beam probably used for orientation. Beaked whales produce directional clicks with peak frequencies in the 25-40-kHz region. Echoes from individual prey items have been detected from clicks of beaked whales. This opens a new window into the study of how animals use echolocation to forage in the wild.

  19. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T; Zimmer, Walter M X; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Tyack, Peter L

    2004-12-01

    Beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidea) of the genera Ziphius and Mesoplodon are so difficult to study that they are mostly known from strandings. How these elusive toothed whales use and react to sound is of concern because they mass strand during naval sonar exercises. A new non-invasive acoustic ording tag was attached to four beaked whales(two Mesoplodon densirostris and two Ziphius cavirostris) and recorded high-frequency clicks during deep dives. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m, down to a maximum depth of 1267 m. Both species produced a large number of short, directional, ultrasonic clicks with significant energy below 20 kHz. The tags recorded echoes from prey items; to our knowledge, a first for any animal echolocating in the wild. As far as we are aware, these echoes provide the first direct evidence on how free-ranging toothed whales use echolocation in foraging. The strength of these echoes suggests that the source level of Mesoplodon clicks is in the range of 200-220 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m. This paper presents conclusive data on the normal vocalizations of these beaked whale species, which may enable acoustic monitoring to mitigate exposure to sounds intense enough to harm them.

  20. Calcium-binding protein-containing neuronal populations in mammalian visual cortex: a comparative study in whales, insectivores, bats, rodents, and primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glezer, I I; Hof, P R; Leranth, C; Morgane, P J

    1993-01-01

    This study is focused on comparative analysis of gamma-aminobutyric acid-positive (GABAergic) neuronal populations in primary visual cortex of totally aquatic toothed whales and select terrestrial mammals with different evolutionary histories and various ecological adaptations. The distribution of neuronal populations containing the calcium-binding proteins calbindin and parvalbumin, which are recognized markers for the GABAergic neurons in cerebral cortex, is compared in five species of toothed whales and in representatives (one species each) of insectivores, bats, rodents, and primates. Computerized image analysis has shown that overall quantitative characteristics of GABAergic cortical neurons in toothed whales are similar to those in other mammalian orders. Thus, GABA-positive neurons represent 26% of the total population of cortical neurons in the visual cortex of whales. Some 97% of GABA-positive cells contain calcium-binding proteins, which is numerically similar to these parameters found in primates and other mammals. On the other hand, the typology and laminar distribution of calcium-binding protein-containing neurons in the primary visual cortex of five whale species (Delphinapterus leucas, Globicephala melaena, Phocoena phocoena, Stenella coeruleoalba, and Tursiops truncatus) differ significantly from those of primates (Macaca mulatta) and rodents (Rattus rattus) and are similar to those found in insectivorous bats (Eptesicus fuscus) and hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus). In whales, bats, and hedgehogs a significant concentration of calbindin-positive, vertically oriented bipolar and bitufted neurons was found in layers I, II, and IIIc/V with their axons arranged in a three-dimensional network. In primates and rodents they are distributed evenly across all cortical layers and are predominantly multipolar or bitufted neurons found in all cortical layers with their axons oriented along the vertical axis of the cortical plate. The parvalbumin-positive neurons

  1. Severity of Expert-Identified Behavioural Responses of Humpback Whale, Minke Whale, and Northern Bottlenose Whale to Naval Sonar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Cure, C.; Isojunno, S.; Wensveen, P.J.; Lam, F.P.A.; Visser, F.; Kleivane, L.; Tyack, P.L.; Harris, C.M.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2015-01-01

    Controlled exposure experiments using 1 to2 kHz sonar signals were conducted with 11 humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and one northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) during three field trials from 2011 to 2013. Ship approaches without

  2. Changes in dive behavior during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and sperm whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Fahlman, A.; Lam, F.P.A.; Tyack, P.L.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales (Phy

  3. Walrus and whale interactions: An eyewitness account

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — An attack by killer whales, (Orcinus orca) on a group of walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) at Cape Peirce, Alaska, is described. The killer whales surrounded, isolated,...

  4. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, R; Kelly, N; Boebel, O; Friedlaender, A S; Herr, H; Kock, K-H; Lehnert, L S; Maksym, T; Roberts, J; Scheidat, M; Siebert, U; Brierley, A S

    2014-01-01

    Estimating abundance of Antarctic minke whales is central to the International Whaling Commission's conservation and management work and understanding impacts of climate change on polar marine ecosystems. Detecting abundance trends is problematic, in part because minke whales are frequently sighted within Antarctic sea ice where navigational safety concerns prevent ships from surveying. Using icebreaker-supported helicopters, we conducted aerial surveys across a gradient of ice conditions to estimate minke whale density in the Weddell Sea. The surveys revealed substantial numbers of whales inside the sea ice. The Antarctic summer sea ice is undergoing rapid regional change in annual extent, distribution, and length of ice-covered season. These trends, along with substantial interannual variability in ice conditions, affect the proportion of whales available to be counted by traditional shipboard surveys. The strong association between whales and the dynamic, changing sea ice requires reexamination of the power to detect trends in whale abundance or predict ecosystem responses to climate change. PMID:24622821

  5. Spatial and seasonal distribution of American whaling and whales in the age of sail.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    Full Text Available American whalemen sailed out of ports on the east coast of the United States and in California from the 18(th to early 20(th centuries, searching for whales throughout the world's oceans. From an initial focus on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus and right whales (Eubalaena spp., the array of targeted whales expanded to include bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus. Extensive records of American whaling in the form of daily entries in whaling voyage logbooks contain a great deal of information about where and when the whalemen found whales. We plotted daily locations where the several species of whales were observed, both those caught and those sighted but not caught, on world maps to illustrate the spatial and temporal distribution of both American whaling activity and the whales. The patterns shown on the maps provide the basis for various inferences concerning the historical distribution of the target whales prior to and during this episode of global whaling.

  6. Building Whales in Sand and Mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Carolyn

    1980-01-01

    Describes two-week summer workshops on evolution, adaptation, and behavior of whales, conducted for children by Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum (New York), and culminating in creation of life-size sand sculptures of whales. Provides selected list of periodicals, teaching materials, identification guides, records, and societies devoted to whales…

  7. Three recent ice entrapments of Arctic cetaceans in West Greenland and the eastern Canadian High Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Three ice entrapments of Monodontids have been reported in the western North Atlantic since 1993. Hunters in Disko Bay, West Greenland, discovered one in March 1994 that included about 150 narwhals (Monodon monoceros. The entrapment occurred during a sudden cold period which caused ice to form rapidly. The trapped whales were subject to hunting, but about 50 of the killed whales could not be retrieved in the ice. The whales were trapped in a small opening in the ice and because of that they would probably have succumbed even if not discovered by hunters. Two entrapments involving white whales or belugas (Delphinapterus leucas occurred in the eastern Canadian Arctic in May 1999; one in Lancaster Sound discovered by polar bear (Ursus maritimus researchers and one in Jones Sound discovered by hunters. The first included one bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus and about 40 belugas that were being preyed upon by polar bears. The second involved at least 170 belugas, of which about 100 were killed by polar bears and 17 were taken by hunters. The entrapments in Disko Bay and Jones Sound both occurred in areas where entrapments have previously been reported, whereas the one in Lancaster Sound was in a new area.

  8. Effects of different photoperiods on the survival and growth of beluga sturgeon (huso huso larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Eshagh zadeh

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Effect of different photoperiodic regimes was evaluated on growth performance and survival rate of the Beluga (Huso huso prelarvae and larvae. Newly hatched prelarvae were stored in 5 round fiberglass 500‑L tank with different photoperiod (24L:00D, 18L:06D, 12L:12D, 06L:18 D, 00L:24D till 50 days post hatch with three replicates. Light intensity was 200 lux during the experiment. Feeding was started from 8 days post hatch using live artemia nauplii. Higher total length, survival rates and lower body area, yolk area for beluga prelarvae obtained in long light photoperiods (24L:00D, 18L:06D. Also, higher growth parameters of the beluga larvae observed in long light photoperiods while different photoperiods had no effect on survival rate. The present study indicated that growth performance and survival rates of larvae are significantly influenced by photoperiod. The photoperiod 18L:06D resulted in the best growth performance and survival rate during early development of the beluga.

  9. Brain ventricle development in H. huso (Beluga sturgeon) larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavighi, S H; Saadatfar, Z; Shojaei, B; Rassouli, M Behnam

    2016-09-01

    The development of ventricles in the brain of H. huso (Beluga sturgeon) from 1 to 54 days old is presented in this study. The components observed in the 1-day-old ventricular system were the telencephalic, tectal, and cerebellar ventricles. These ventricles were not observed to have any recess or sulcus. They were surrounded by copious ependymal and embryonic cells. Two different parts were detected in the 6-day-old telencephalic ventricle: the olfactory and lateral ventricle. The olfactory ventricle was observed as a cranial extension of the telencephalic ventricle from 6 days old, as was the inner cell layer of the olfactory bulb (ic) adjacent to this extension. In the preoptic region, the lateral ventricle was connected to the preoptic recess from 15 days old, and this recess was connected by the interventricular foramen to the third ventricle in the diencephalon. At 6 days old, the third ventricle in the diencephalon was visible at the caudal part of the lateral ventricle, and the third ventricle had a recess near to the inferior lobe of the hypothalamus. At 6 days old, the tectal ventricle was observed to have bilateral extensions which proceeded to grow with age. The cerebellar ventricle, situated between the two lobes of the cerebellum, was observed from 1 day old. The cerebellar ventricle grew with age, extending laterally from 6 days old. The connection of the cerebellar ventricle to the fourth ventricle in the medulla oblongata was visible from 6 days old. Upon dividing the ventricular system into three regions (forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain), stereological studies performed utiizing Cavalieri's principle indicated that the forebrain ventricular region had the smallest volume while the hindbrain ventricular region had the largest. PMID:26530640

  10. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... whaling. 230.5 Section 230.5 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WHALING WHALING PROVISIONS § 230.5 Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling. (a) A license is hereby issued to whaling captains identified by the...

  11. Whaling and international law

    OpenAIRE

    Guðlaugur Hrafn Ólafsson 1984

    2012-01-01

    Hvalveiðar fram á 20. öldina höfðu gengið alvarlega á stofna þess. Með vaxandi vitund í umhverfismálum, voru hvalir skilgreindir sem tæmandi auðlind, sem leiddi til hvalveiðibanns Alþjóðahvalveiðiráðsins 1982. Hvalveiðiþjóðir hafa þó haldið áfram mjög umdeildum hvalveiðum og forsenda þessarar ritgerðar er að útlista skipulag hvalveiða í alþjóðlegu umhverfi, fara nánar út í alþjóðlegar stofnanir og lög sem snerta málefni hvala og hvalveiða. Whales had become severely depleted by pre-20th ...

  12. Sperm whales and killer whales with the largest brains of all toothed whales show extreme differences in cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Sam H; Hanson, Alicia C

    2014-01-01

    Among cetaceans, killer whales and sperm whales have the widest distribution in the world's oceans. Both species use echolocation, are long-lived, and have the longest periods of gestation among whales. Sperm whales dive much deeper and much longer than killer whales. It has long been thought that sperm whales have the largest brains of all living things, but our brain mass evidence, from published sources and our own specimens, shows that big males of these two species share this distinction. Despite this, we also find that cerebellum size is very different between killer whales and sperm whales. The sperm whale cerebellum is only about 7% of the total brain mass, while the killer whale cerebellum is almost 14%. These results are significant because they contradict claims that the cerebellum scales proportionally with the rest of the brain in all mammals. They also correct the generalization that all cetaceans have enlarged cerebella. We suggest possible reasons for the existence of such a large cerebellar size difference between these two species. Cerebellar function is not fully understood, and comparing the abilities of animals with differently sized cerebella can help uncover functional roles of the cerebellum in humans and animals. Here we show that the large cerebellar difference likely relates to evolutionary history, diving, sensory capability, and ecology. PMID:24852603

  13. A Summary Comparison of Active Acoustic Detections and Visual Observations of Marine Mammals in the Canadian Beaufort Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyć, Cynthia D; Geoffroy, Maxime; Knudsen, Frank R

    2016-01-01

    Fisheries sonar was used to determine the applicability of active acoustic monitoring (AAM) for marine mammal detection in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. During 170 h of simultaneous observation by marine mammal observers and active acoustic observation, 119 Balaena mysticetus (bowheads) and 4 Delphinapterus leucas (belugas) were visually sighted, while 59 acoustic signals of bowheads were detected by AAM operators. Observations and detection of seals were also recorded. Comparative results indicate that commercially available active acoustic systems can detect seals at distances up to 500 m and large baleen whales at distances up to 2 km. PMID:26611045

  14. Extreme diving of beaked whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyack, Peter L; Johnson, Mark; Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Sturlese, Albert; Madsen, Peter T

    2006-11-01

    Sound-and-orientation recording tags (DTAGs) were used to study 10 beaked whales of two poorly known species, Ziphius cavirostris (Zc) and Mesoplodon densirostris (Md). Acoustic behaviour in the deep foraging dives performed by both species (Zc: 28 dives by seven individuals; Md: 16 dives by three individuals) shows that they hunt by echolocation in deep water between 222 and 1885 m, attempting to capture about 30 prey/dive. This food source is so deep that the average foraging dives were deeper (Zc: 1070 m; Md: 835 m) and longer (Zc: 58 min; Md: 47 min) than reported for any other air-breathing species. A series of shallower dives, containing no indications of foraging, followed most deep foraging dives. The average interval between deep foraging dives was 63 min for Zc and 92 min for Md. This long an interval may be required for beaked whales to recover from an oxygen debt accrued in the deep foraging dives, which last about twice the estimated aerobic dive limit. Recent reports of gas emboli in beaked whales stranded during naval sonar exercises have led to the hypothesis that their deep-diving may make them especially vulnerable to decompression. Using current models of breath-hold diving, we infer that their natural diving behaviour is inconsistent with known problems of acute nitrogen supersaturation and embolism. If the assumptions of these models are correct for beaked whales, then possible decompression problems are more likely to result from an abnormal behavioural response to sonar.

  15. Keiko, Killer Whale. [Lesson Plan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Discovery Communications, Inc., Bethesda, MD.

    This lesson plan presents activities designed to help students understand that Keiko, the killer whale, lived for a long time in an aquarium and had to be taught to live independently; and that computer users can get updates on how Keiko is doing. The main activity of the lesson involves middle school students working in small groups to produce a…

  16. Lethal entanglement in baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassoff, Rachel M; Moore, Kathleen M; McLellan, William A; Barco, Susan G; Rotsteins, David S; Moore, Michael J

    2011-10-01

    Understanding the scenarios whereby fishing gear entanglement of large whales induces mortality is important for the development of mitigation strategies. Here we present a series of 21 cases involving 4 species of baleen whales in the NW Atlantic, describing the available sighting history, necropsy observations, and subsequent data analyses that enabled the compilation of the manners in which entanglement can be lethal. The single acute cause of entanglement mortality identified was drowning from entanglement involving multiple body parts, with the animal's inability to surface. More protracted causes of death included impaired foraging during entanglement, resulting in starvation after many months; systemic infection arising from open, unresolved entanglement wounds; and hemorrhage or debilitation due to severe gear-related damage to tissues. Serious gear-induced injury can include laceration of large vessels, occlusion of the nares, embedding of line in growing bone, and massive periosteal proliferation of new bone in an attempt to wall off constricting, encircling lines. These data show that baleen whale entanglement is not only a major issue for the conservation of some baleen whale populations, but is also a major concern for the welfare of each affected individual.

  17. History of whaling in and near North Carolina

    OpenAIRE

    Reeves, Randall R.; Mitchell, Edward

    1988-01-01

    This study aims to reconstruct the history of shore whaling in the southeastern United States, emphasizing statistics on the catch of right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, the preferred targets. The earliest record of whaling in North Carolina is of a proposed voyage from New York in 1667. Early settlers on the Outer Banks utilized whale strandings by trying out the blubber of carcasses that came ashore, and some whale oil was exported from the 1660s onward. New England whalemen whaled along the...

  18. Confirmation of right whales near a nineteenth-century whaling ground east of southern Greenland

    OpenAIRE

    Mellinger, David K.; Nieukirk, Sharon L.; Klinck, Karolin; Klinck, Holger; Dziak, Robert P.; Clapham, Phillip J.; Brandsdóttir, Bryndís

    2011-01-01

    North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) were found in an important nineteenth century whaling area east of southern Greenland, from which they were once thought to have been extirpated. In 2007–2008, a 1-year passive acoustic survey was conducted at five sites in and near the ‘Cape Farewell Ground’, the former whaling ground. Over 2000 right whale calls were recorded at these sites, primarily during July–November. Most calls were northwest of the historic ground, suggesting a broade...

  19. Encountering whales: How encounter rates became the basis for managing whaling

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Tim D.

    2013-01-01

    Declining rates of encountering whales, including both sighting and catching, were noted by whalers throughout the 19th century, and these declines became the first indication that whaling was adversely affecting whale abundance. The interpretation of declines in both sighting and catch rates proved to be a difficult scientific task. Satisfactory quantitative methods of interpreting changes in whale encounter rates were not developed until the second half of the 20th century. Rates of encount...

  20. Whither the whale shark wanders: Tools and methods for modelling whale shark movement

    OpenAIRE

    Wickham, Charlotte Victoria

    2011-01-01

    The whale shark is the largest fish living in our oceans but little isknown about its ecology and natural history. Tagging studies allow us to learn more about whale shark movements and habitat use. This knowledge is essential for planning the management and conservation of whale sharks to ensure their continued coexistence with humans.This thesis is concerned with modelling the movements of whale sharks using stochastic models estimated from tracks obtained by tagging studies. In particul...

  1. Changes in dive behavior during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and sperm whales

    OpenAIRE

    Lise Doksæter Sivle; Petter Helgevold Kvadsheim; Andreas eFahlman; Frans-Peter eLam; Peter eTyack; Patrick eMiller

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) was studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar [low frequency active sonar (LFAS): 1–2 kHz and mid frequency active sonar (MFAS): 6–7 kHz] during three field seasons (2...

  2. Changes in dive behavior during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and sperm whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivle, L D; Kvadsheim, P H; Fahlman, A; Lam, F P A; Tyack, P L; Miller, P J O

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) was studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar [low frequency active sonar (LFAS): 1-2 kHz and mid frequency active sonar (MFAS): 6-7 kHz] during three field seasons (2006-2009). Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after sonar exposure using an archival tag placed on the animal with suction cups. The tag recorded the animal's vertical movement, and additional data on horizontal movement and vocalizations were used to determine behavioral modes. Killer whales that were conducting deep dives at sonar onset changed abruptly to shallow diving (ShD) during LFAS, while killer whales conducting deep dives at the onset of MFAS did not alter dive mode. When in ShD mode at sonar onset, killer whales did not change their diving behavior. Pilot and sperm whales performed normal deep dives (NDD) during MFAS exposure. During LFAS exposures, long-finned pilot whales mostly performed fewer deep dives and some sperm whales performed shallower and shorter dives. Acoustic recording data presented previously indicates that deep diving (DD) is associated with feeding. Therefore, the observed changes in dive behavior of the three species could potentially reduce the foraging efficiency of the affected animals.

  3. Beluga coal field development: social effects and management alternatives. [West side of Cook Inlet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsen, M.; Cluett, C.; Trimble, J.; Brody, S.; Howell, C.; Leman, L.; Svendsen, G.

    1979-05-01

    Plans are under way to mine the Beluga coal fields on the west side of Cook Inlet. The coal will be strip-mined for export, or to supply local electric generating plants, or both. Over the next 20 years, this coal development activity is likely to generate social and economic impacts at the local, regional, and state levels. The purpose of this study is to assess the potential social and economic effects of coal development, including employment and population growth, regional impacts, and the facility and service needs of a new settlement in the Beluga area. Of special concern is identifying the role of various governmental agencies in the development process. Potential effects on the natural environment are not examined in detail since they are expected to be controlled to acceptable levels through existing Federal and state laws. This report examines three possible levels of coal-field development and the settlement requirements associated with each. The most probable regional impacts associated with this development will include effects on the regional labor force, the market for coal, and the generation and distribution of revenues. The main regional labor force impacts will be positive in nature. The rate of regional unemployment is likely to decline slightly for the duration of the project, with an increase in wage income available for reinvestment in the region and a reduction in the number of individuals receiving unemployment insurance payments. Coal development is not expected to induce any significant inmigration of workers from outside the region.The development of the Beluga coal resources and the production of electricity from coal would add to the Kenai Peninsula Borough's tax base. The assessed value of coal lands around Beluga would likely increase and, in addition, Cook Inlet Region, Inc. would be the recipient of royalties from coal leases. A number of recommendations for research and governmental activities are presented.

  4. The Negative Impacts of Whale-Watching

    OpenAIRE

    Parsons, E. C. M.

    2012-01-01

    Whale watching is an international industry worth more than US$2 billion globally and is currently the greatest economic activity reliant upon cetaceans. However, there is concern that whale watching is detrimental to the target species. Numerous studies have shown that cetaceans exhibit behavioral changes in response to whale-watching boat traffic. Some of these behavioral changes involve inhibiting biologically important behaviors such as feeding and resting. There is convincing evidence fo...

  5. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, R.; Kelly, N; Boebel, O.; Friedlaender, A.; Herr, H.; Kock, K.H.; Lehnert, L. S.; Maksym, T.; Roberts, J.; Scheidat, M.; Siebert, U; A. Brierley

    2014-01-01

    Funding: Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme (proposal Nu 253407 (call reference: FP7- PEOPLE-2009-IIF). Estimating abundance of Antarctic minke whales is central to the International Whaling Commission's conservation and management work and understanding impacts of climate change on polar marine ecosystems. Detecting abundance trends is problematic, in part because minke whales are frequently sighted within Antarctic sea ice ...

  6. British whaling policy in the 1970s

    OpenAIRE

    Sanada, Yasuhiro

    2009-01-01

    The United Kingdom conducted pelagic whaling in the Antarctic Ocean until the mid-1960s and took a moderate position in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) after its establishment in 1946. The UK’s stance changed in 1972, when the government supported a 10-year moratorium on commercial whaling at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment as well as the IWC. The UK has consistently backed moratorium motions since 1972 and is now a leading anti-whaling nation, insisting that...

  7. Studying Fin Whales with Seafloor Seismic Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcock, W. S.; Soule, D. C.; Weirathmueller, M.; Thomson, R.

    2011-12-01

    Baleen whales are found throughout the world's oceans and their welfare captivates the general public. Depending on the species, baleen whales vocalize at frequencies ranging from ~10 Hz to several kilohertz. Passive acoustic studies of whale calls are used to investigate behavior and habitat usage, monitor the recovery of populations from whaling and assess the impacts of anthropogenic sounds. Since airguns are a significant source of sound in the oceans, the research goals of academic seismologists can lead to conflicts with those who advocate for whale conservation while being unwilling to consider the societal benefits of marine geophysical studies. In contrast, studies that monitor earthquakes with ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) provide an opportunity to enhance studies of baleen whales and improve relationships with environmental advocates. The bandwidth of the typical high-frequency or intermediate-band ocean bottom seismometer overlaps the call frequency of the two largest baleen whale species; blue whales generate sequences of 10- to 20-s-long calls centered at ~16 Hz and fin whales produce long sequences of downswept 1-s-long chirps centered at ~20 Hz. Several studies have demonstrated the potential of OBS networks to monitor calling patterns and determine tracks for fin and blue whales. We will summarize the results from a study to track fin whales near the Endeavour hydrothermal vent fields on the Juan de Fuca Ridge and investigate a potential correlation between the density of whales and enhanced zooplankton found throughout the water column overlying the vent fields. From 2003-2006 an 8-station local seismic network that was designed to monitor hydrothermal earthquakes also recorded ~300,000 fin whale vocalizations, mostly in the fall and winter. Automatic picking and localization techniques that are analogous to those used to analyze earthquakes are employed to determine whale tracks. The tracks are then used to interpret calling patterns in the

  8. The Truth About Soviet Whaling

    OpenAIRE

    Berzin, Alfred A.

    2008-01-01

    I have always condemned (and to do anything more was not within our power or abilities) the illegal and sometimes destructive whaling by the Soviet Union. This opinion was expressed in numerous documents, including reports and records of presentations at scientific and other meetings; these documents are the witnesses to this condemnation. However, none of these documents ever saw the light of day: all of them were marked with the sinister stamp “secret.” When necessary in this memoir, my ...

  9. Bioeconomics and the Bowhead Whale

    OpenAIRE

    Conrad, Jon M.

    1987-01-01

    The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) was once widely distributed across the oceans and polar seas of the northern hemisphere. It was harvested by the Eskimo and Thule Indians in present day Alaska, Canada, Russia and Greenland for many canturies before European exploration and settlement. Up until 1848 it is believes that the stock of bowheads in the western Arctic was in a relatively stationary state with the indigenous Eskimo population. In that year Captain Thomas Roys of Sag Harbor, New...

  10. Can whales mix the ocean?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. J. Lavery

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Ocean mixing influences global climate and enhances primary productivity by transporting nutrient rich water into the euphotic zone. The contribution of the swimming biosphere to diapycnal mixing in the ocean has been hypothesised to occur on scales similar to that of tides or winds, however, the extent to which this contributes to nutrient transport and stimulates primary productivity has not been explored. Here, we introduce a novel method to estimate the diapycnal diffusivity that occurs as a result of a sperm whale swimming through a pycnocline. Nutrient profiles from the Hawaiian Ocean are used to further estimate the amount of nitrogen transported into the euphotic zone and the primary productivity stimulated as a result. We estimate that the 80 sperm whales that travel through an area of 104 km2 surrounding Hawaii increase diapycnal diffusivity by 10–6 m2 s−1 which results in the flux of 105 kg of nitrogen into the euphotic zone each year. This nitrogen input subsequently stimulates 6 × 105 kg of carbon per year. The nutrient input of swimming sperm whales is modest compared to dominant modes of nutrient transport such as nitrogen fixation but occurs more consistently and thus may provide the nutrients necessary to enable phytoplankton growth and survival in the absence of other seasonal and daily nutrient inputs.

  11. Distribution and migrations of cetaceans in the Russian Arctic according to observations from aerial ice reconnaissance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav E Belikov

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is based on 748 observations of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas and 382 observations of baleen whales in the Russian Arctic, the majority of the data provided by aerial reconnaissance of sea ice (ARSI. Although the data are not suitable for the estimation of the number and density of the animals, they represent a multi-year (1958-1995 range of observations to update our knowledge on the seasonal distribution and migrations of the species. Belugas inhabit not only shelf waters but also the zone of the shelf slope and the abyssal zone of the Arctic Ocean, where the animals appear mostly in summer. In winter belugas were observed only in the Barents Sea. In June-August, the frequency of beluga observations was highest in the Laptev Sea, which has previously been believed to have considerably lower numbers of beluga than the Kara and Barents seas. Patterns of seasonal distribution and ice cover suggest the existence of a natural border preventing or reducing population exchange between belugas inhabiting the western and eastern parts of the Russian Arctic. A brief review of available data on distribution of the narwhal (Monodon monoceros in the Russian Arctic is also given. Two species of baleen whales were frequently seen in the Russian Arctic: the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus, and the grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus. The majority of such observations were made in the southeastern part of the East-Siberian Sea and the southern part of the Chukchi Sea. In the Bering Sea baleen whales were usually seen near the Chukotka Peninsula, in Anadyr Bay and southeast of it. Whales were usually seen in ice-free water: observations of whales among rarefied ice and near the ice edge were rare. There were considerable annual and seasonal variations in distribution and migrations of baleen whales in the region, probably caused mainly by the dynamics of ice conditions.

  12. Saving Whales and Dolphins through Petroglyphs and Activist Artworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jaehan

    2013-01-01

    Whaling emerged in ancient times, when whales served as a source of food, fuel, and other everyday resources that were vital for human civilizations. Prehistoric images of whales are found on rocks in a few areas throughout the world, most notably the famous petroglyphs at the Bangudae cliffs in Ulsan, South Korea, which depict whales and other…

  13. Whales in Depth: An Interdisciplinary Unit of Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunal, Cynthia Szymanski; Pritchard, Gail; Sunal, Dennis W.

    2000-01-01

    Provides background information on whales focusing on their biological characteristics, the use and regulation of whaling, and the conservation of marine mammals. Offers ideas for teaching about whales. Includes a resource section of books, audio books, music tapes, and Web sites about whales for students and teachers. (CMK)

  14. Whale Watching in the Gulf of Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carkin, Clayton A.

    1985-01-01

    Describes a variety of teaching strategies to prepare a class for a whale watching field trip. Guidelines for recording a sighting, pictures and statistics for commonly and/or occasionally seen whales, and hints for avoiding sea sickness are included. (DH)

  15. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ...)), or of any regulation issued under the Act (50 CFR part 351) is unlawful. Customs officers and... 19 Customs Duties 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Whaling. 12.30 Section 12.30 Customs Duties U.S... OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  16. Molecular identification of hybrids between the two largest whale species, the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and the fin whale (B. physalus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnason, U; Spilliaert, R; Pálsdóttir, A; Arnason, A

    1991-01-01

    Three anomalous balaenopterid whales, one pregnant female and two sterile males, were investigated by applying molecular approaches in order to establish their identity. The analysis showed that the whales were species hybrids between the blue and the fin whales. The female and one of the males had a blue whale mother and a fin whale father. The other male had a fin whale mother and a blue whale father. The difference between the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of the two species suggests that they separated greater than or equal to 3.5 million years ago. The sequences of the mitochondrial control region of the blue and the fin whales differ by 7%. The difference in the mtDNA control region between three blue whale mtDNA haplotypes was less than or equal to 1%, about one tenth of the difference between the two species. PMID:1687408

  17. Comparison of echolocation clicks from geographically sympatric killer whales and long-finned pilot whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eskesen, Ida; Wahlberg, Magnus; Simon, Malene;

    2010-01-01

    The source characteristics of biosonar signals from sympatric killer whales and long-finned pilot whales in a Norwegian fjord were compared. A total of 137 pilot whale and more than 2000 killer whale echolocation clicks were recorded using a linear four-hydrophone array. Of these, 20 pilot whale...... clicks and 28 killer whale clicks were categorized as being recorded on-axis. The clicks of pilot whales had a mean apparent source level of 196 dB re 1 lPa pp and those of killer whales 203 dB re 1 lPa pp. The duration of pilot whale clicks was significantly shorter (23 ls, S.E.¼1.3) and the centroid...... frequency significantly higher (55 kHz, S.E.¼2.1) than killer whale clicks (duration: 41 ls, S.E.¼2.6; centroid frequency: 32 kHz, S.E.¼1.5). The rate of increase in the accumulated energy as a function of time also differed between clicks from the two species. The differences in duration, frequency...

  18. Detection and Classification of Whale Acoustic Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xian, Yin

    This dissertation focuses on two vital challenges in relation to whale acoustic signals: detection and classification. In detection, we evaluated the influence of the uncertain ocean environment on the spectrogram-based detector, and derived the likelihood ratio of the proposed Short Time Fourier Transform detector. Experimental results showed that the proposed detector outperforms detectors based on the spectrogram. The proposed detector is more sensitive to environmental changes because it includes phase information. In classification, our focus is on finding a robust and sparse representation of whale vocalizations. Because whale vocalizations can be modeled as polynomial phase signals, we can represent the whale calls by their polynomial phase coefficients. In this dissertation, we used the Weyl transform to capture chirp rate information, and used a two dimensional feature set to represent whale vocalizations globally. Experimental results showed that our Weyl feature set outperforms chirplet coefficients and MFCC (Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients) when applied to our collected data. Since whale vocalizations can be represented by polynomial phase coefficients, it is plausible that the signals lie on a manifold parameterized by these coefficients. We also studied the intrinsic structure of high dimensional whale data by exploiting its geometry. Experimental results showed that nonlinear mappings such as Laplacian Eigenmap and ISOMAP outperform linear mappings such as PCA and MDS, suggesting that the whale acoustic data is nonlinear. We also explored deep learning algorithms on whale acoustic data. We built each layer as convolutions with either a PCA filter bank (PCANet) or a DCT filter bank (DCTNet). With the DCT filter bank, each layer has different a time-frequency scale representation, and from this, one can extract different physical information. Experimental results showed that our PCANet and DCTNet achieve high classification rate on the whale

  19. Incentives in Corporations: Evidence from the American Whaling Industry

    OpenAIRE

    Eric Hilt

    2004-01-01

    In the 1830s, when whaling was a prosperous American industry, a number of whaling corporations were chartered. All of them were short-lived. This paper analyzes the failure of corporations in the American whaling industry and argues that the corporate form was unable to create the incentives requisite for success in whaling. Most nineteenth-century whaling ventures were owned by a small number of local investors and were configured to provide powerful incentives for their managers. The effec...

  20. Humpback whale bioacoustics: From form to function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo, III

    This thesis investigates how humpback whales produce, perceive, and use sounds from a comparative and computational perspective. Biomimetic models are developed within a systems-theoretic framework and then used to analyze the properties of humpback whale sounds. First, sound transmission is considered in terms of possible production mechanisms and the propagation characteristics of shallow water environments frequented by humpback whales. A standard source-filter model (used to describe human sound production) is shown to be well suited for characterizing sound production by humpback whales. Simulations of sound propagation based on normal mode theory reveal that optimal frequencies for long range propagation are higher than the frequencies used most often by humpbacks, and that sounds may contain spectral information indicating how far they have propagated. Next, sound reception is discussed. A model of human auditory processing is modified to emulate humpback whale auditory processing as suggested by cochlear anatomical dimensions. This auditory model is used to generate visual representations of humpback whale sounds that more clearly reveal what features are likely to be salient to listening whales. Additionally, the possibility that an unusual sensory organ (the tubercle) plays a role in acoustic processing is assessed. Spatial distributions of tubercles are described that suggest tubercles may be useful for localizing sound sources. Finally, these models are integrated with self-organizing feature maps to create a biomimetic sound classification system, and a detailed analysis of individual sounds and sound patterns in humpback whale 'songs' is performed. This analysis provides evidence that song sounds and sound patterns vary substantially in terms of detectability and propagation potential, suggesting that they do not all serve the same function. New quantitative techniques are also presented that allow for more objective characterizations of the long term

  1. What's the catch? Validity of whaling data for Japanese catches of sperm whales in the North Pacific

    OpenAIRE

    Ivashchenko, Yulia V.; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2015-01-01

    The failure of international efforts to manage commercial whaling was exemplified by revelations of large-scale illegal whale catches by the USSR over a 30 year period following World War II. Falsifications of catch data have also been reported for Japanese coastal whaling, but to date there has been no investigation of the reliability of catch statistics for Japanese pelagic (factory fleet) whaling operations. Here, we use data of known reliability from Soviet whaling industry reports to sho...

  2. Distribution and relative abundance of large whales in a former whaling ground off eastern South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Ship-based sighting surveys for cetaceans were conducted in the former whaling ground off the northeastern coast of Brazil. The cruises took place in winter and spring of 1998-2001 with the objectives of investigating current distribution and abundance of cetaceans, particularly large whale species taken during whaling. In 1998 the survey were conducted between the parallels 5°30'W and 9°S and the 200 m isobath and the meridian 033°W. A total of about 3,100 nm were surveyed between 1998 and 2001 Surveys were conducted using line transect methods from about 5-10°S, and from the coast to 33°W. A total of 151 sightings (203 individuals of large whales were recorded on effort. The Antarctic minke whale - Balaenoptera bonaerensis (Burmeister, 1867 was the most frequently sighted species (97 groups/132 individuals; Sighting Rate [SR] = 0.031 groups/nm, being recorded only in offshore waters. Density gradually increased from August to October. Minke whales were distributed throughout the area, both to the north and the south of former whaling ground. Sighting data indicate this is the most abundant species, particularly in the area beyond the continental shelf break. Breeding behavior was observed for Antarctic minke whales, but few groups containing calves were recorded (4.3% of the groups sighted on effort. Three other large whale species were recorded in low numbers: the Bryde's whale - Balaenoptera edeni (Anderson, 1879¹; the sei whale, B. borealis (Lesson, 1828, and the sperm, Physeter macrocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758. Sei, Bryde and sperm whales were regularly caught during whaling operations, but are rare in the area, suggesting they were depleted by whaling and have yet to recover to their pre-explotation abundance. In contrast, minke whales are abundant in this area, suggesting that either they were not substantially depleted, or that they have recovered rapidly. Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758, and fin whale, B. physalus

  3. Sperm Whales Suffer the Bends

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michael; Hopkin; 席芳

    2005-01-01

    据原先推测,鲸鱼对由声纳系统导致的疾病具有免疫力,但是两位美国科学家发现,抹香鲸(Sperm whales)正遭受着骨坏死疾病的侵扰,这是由于声纳系统扰乱了鲸鱼的生活习性所致,这种疾病有可能导致它们的搁浅。鲸鱼亟需得到保护!

  4. Bowhead whale springtime song off West Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafford, Kathleen M; Moore, Sue E; Laidre, Kristin L; Heide-Jørgensen, M P

    2008-11-01

    Three songs were recorded from bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Disko Bay, West Greenland, during 59 h of recordings via sonobuoys deployed on seven days between 5 and 14 April 2007. Song elements were defined by units following the protocol of previous description of bowhead whale song. The two most prominent songs were loud, complex, and repeated in long bouts on multiple recording days while the third song was much simpler and recorded on only one day. Bowhead whale simple calls and faint song elements were also recorded using digital audio tape recorders and a dipping hydrophone deployed from the sea ice approximately 100-150 km southwest of Disko Bay on three separate days suggesting that song is also produced in the central portion of Baffin Bay in winter. Songs recorded in Disko Bay are from an area where approximately 85% of the whales have been determined to be adult females. Although it is not known which sex was singing, we speculate that, as in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), male bowhead whales may sing to mediate sexual competition or mate selection behaviors. This is the first detailed description of springtime songs for bowhead whales in the eastern Arctic. PMID:19045814

  5. The last whale : rise and demise of shore-based whaling in the Cape Verde Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Cabral, José J.; Hazevoet, Cornelis J.

    2015-01-01

    For two centuries, the seas of the Cape Verde archipelago were a favorite whaling ground – known as the ‘San Antonio Ground’ among whalers – for an international fleet of whaling ships and especially for the "Yankee whalers" from New England, USA. One of their main targets was the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae, of which large numbers were caught (e.g. Clark 1887, Townsend 1935, Reeves et al. 2002, Smith & Reeves 2003, 2010).

  6. Arctic whaling: proceedings of the International Symposium Arctic Whaling February 1983

    OpenAIRE

    H.K. 's Jacob; Snoeijing, K

    1984-01-01

    Contents: D.M. Hopkins and Louie Marincovich Jr. Whale Biogeography and the history of the Arctic Basin P.M. Kellt, J.H.W. Karas and L.D. Williams Arctic Climate: Past, Present and Future Torgny E. Vinje On the present state and the future fate of the Arctic sea ice cover P.J.H. van Bree On the biology of whales Edward Mitchell Ecology of North Atlantic Boreal and Arctic Monodontid and Mysticete Whales Allen P. McCartney History of native whaling in the Arctic and Subarctic Albert A. Dekin Jr...

  7. "I am the whale": Human/Whale Entanglement in Kaikoura, New Zealand

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Sarah Jane

    2013-01-01

    Kaikoura is balanced on the edge of land and sea and it is the creatures of both that make the community. I explore the entanglement of two creatures in particular, whales and humans, in this small New Zealand town where whale watching has become part of everyday life. But ‘watching’ can be planned or unexpected, up close or at a distance; it can mean guardianship or tourism or something in between, and in Kaikoura, watching whale watchers watch whales is as much a shared community practice...

  8. Having a Whale of a Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Feu, Chris

    2009-01-01

    A classroom practical exercise exploring the reliability of a basic capture-mark-recapture method of population estimation is described using great whale conservation as a starting point. Various teaching resources are made available.

  9. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2014-09-01

    Phylogenetic reconstructions are sensitive to the influence of ontogeny on morphology. Here, we use foetal/neonatal specimens of known species of living baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti) to show how juvenile morphology of extant species affects phylogenetic placement of the species. In one clade (sei whale, Balaenopteridae), the juvenile is distant from the usual phylogenetic position of adults, but in the other clade (pygmy right whale, Cetotheriidae), the juvenile is close to the adult. Different heterochronic processes at work in the studied species have different influences on juvenile morphology and on phylogenetic placement. This study helps to understand the relationship between evolutionary processes and phylogenetic patterns in baleen whale evolution and, more in general, between phylogeny and ontogeny; likewise, this study provides a proxy how to interpret the phylogeny when fossils that are immature individuals are included. Juvenile individuals in the peramorphic acceleration clades would produce misleading phylogenies, whereas juvenile individuals in the paedomorphic neoteny clades should still provide reliable phylogenetic signals.

  10. Right Whale Sightings Advisory System (RWSAS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Right Whale Sighting Advisory System (RWSAS) is a NOAA Fisheries program which was designed to reduce collisions between ships and the critically endangered...

  11. The Northwest Passage opens for bowhead whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Laidre, Kristin L; Quakenbush, Lori T; Citta, John J

    2012-04-23

    The loss of Arctic sea ice is predicted to open up the Northwest Passage, shortening shipping routes and facilitating the exchange of marine organisms between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Here, we present the first observations of distribution overlap of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) from the two oceans in the Northwest Passage, demonstrating this route is already connecting whales from two populations that have been assumed to be separated by sea ice. Previous satellite tracking has demonstrated that bowhead whales from West Greenland and Alaska enter the ice-infested channels of the Canadian High Arctic during summer. In August 2010, two bowhead whales from West Greenland and Alaska entered the Northwest Passage from opposite directions and spent approximately 10 days in the same area, documenting overlap between the two populations. PMID:21937490

  12. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2014-09-01

    Phylogenetic reconstructions are sensitive to the influence of ontogeny on morphology. Here, we use foetal/neonatal specimens of known species of living baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti) to show how juvenile morphology of extant species affects phylogenetic placement of the species. In one clade (sei whale, Balaenopteridae), the juvenile is distant from the usual phylogenetic position of adults, but in the other clade (pygmy right whale, Cetotheriidae), the juvenile is close to the adult. Different heterochronic processes at work in the studied species have different influences on juvenile morphology and on phylogenetic placement. This study helps to understand the relationship between evolutionary processes and phylogenetic patterns in baleen whale evolution and, more in general, between phylogeny and ontogeny; likewise, this study provides a proxy how to interpret the phylogeny when fossils that are immature individuals are included. Juvenile individuals in the peramorphic acceleration clades would produce misleading phylogenies, whereas juvenile individuals in the paedomorphic neoteny clades should still provide reliable phylogenetic signals.

  13. On the adrenergic system of ganoid fish: the beluga, Huso huso (chondrostei).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balashov, N V; Fänge, R; Govyrin, V A; Leont'eva, G R; Nilsson, S; Prozorovskaya, M P

    1981-04-01

    The adrenergic system of the beluga, Huso huso, was studied by glyoxylic acid fluorescence histochemistry, analyses of catecholamine content in various organs and studies of the effects of acetylcholine and adrenaline on isolated strip preparations from blood vessels, spleen, atrium and ventricle. Chromaffin cells were found mainly in the walls of the posterior cardinal veins, and to some extent also in the wall of the celiaco-mesenteric artery. The plasma concentration of adrenaline was high enough to affect the contraction force of the isolated atrial and ventricular strips, thus adding an adrenergic component to a possible cholinergic inhibitory vagal control of the heart. Fluorescence histochemistry revealed no direct adrenergic innervation of the heart, but blood vessels in the heart and elsewhere received a rich supply of adrenergic nerve terminals. Adrenaline contracted the celiaco-mesenteric artery and the spleen, and produced positive inotropic effects on the paced atrial and ventricular strip preparations. Acetylcholine contracted the ventral aorta and the celiaco-mesenteric artery, and reduced the contraction force of paced ventricular and, especially, atrial preparations. It is concluded that the beluga has a well developed adrenergic system consisting of both chromaffin cells and adrenergic neurons with varicose nerve terminals of the type found in the higher vertebrates. PMID:7304205

  14. The Northwest Passage opens for bowhead whales

    OpenAIRE

    Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Kristin L Laidre; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Citta, John J.

    2011-01-01

    The loss of Arctic sea ice is predicted to open up the Northwest Passage, shortening shipping routes and facilitating the exchange of marine organisms between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Here, we present the first observations of distribution overlap of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) from the two oceans in the Northwest Passage, demonstrating this route is already connecting whales from two populations that have been assumed to be separated by sea ice. Previous satellite trackin...

  15. Blue Whales Respond to Anthropogenic Noise

    OpenAIRE

    Mariana L Melcón; Amanda J Cummins; Kerosky, Sara M; Lauren K Roche; Wiggins, Sean M.; John A. Hildebrand

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic noise may significantly impact exposed marine mammals. This work studied the vocalization response of endangered blue whales to anthropogenic noise sources in the mid-frequency range using passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern California Bight. Blue whales were less likely to produce calls when mid-frequency active sonar was present. This reduction was more pronounced when the sonar source was closer to the animal, at higher sound levels. The animals were equally likely to...

  16. Transfer of 60Co from midwater squid to sperm whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sperm whales are notable squid-eaters. They feed mainly on medium to large-sized cephalopods at midwater levels and defecate near the surface. This suggests the existence of an upward transport of 60Co by sperm whales from the mesopelagic zone (150-1,200m). To elucidate this squid-whale route for this artificial radionuclide, 60Co content was determined in squid and in predator whales captured by commercial whaling. In the Cephalopoda livers 60Co levels of 30-500 mBq kg-1 wet were found and in the viscera of Odontoceti (toothed whales) 15-40 mBq kg-1 wet. About 0.3% of 60Co ingested was estimated to be retained in a 23-year-old male sperm whale. In the livers of Bryde's whales, 60Co levels of 40-80 mBq kg-1 wet were detected, but not in euphausiids and sardines, their possible prey. The level of Co in sperm whales was nearly the same as in Bryde's whales. Specific radioactivity 60Co/59Co in mBq μg-1 was several times higher in sperm whale (1.1-1.6) than in cephalopods (0.19-0.77). Eating prey with a high content of 60Co in the 1960's may have contributed to the present body burden in sperm whales with a long-life span. However, the origin of 60Co in Bryde's whales is unknown. (author)

  17. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana L Melcón

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic noise may significantly impact exposed marine mammals. This work studied the vocalization response of endangered blue whales to anthropogenic noise sources in the mid-frequency range using passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern California Bight. Blue whales were less likely to produce calls when mid-frequency active sonar was present. This reduction was more pronounced when the sonar source was closer to the animal, at higher sound levels. The animals were equally likely to stop calling at any time of day, showing no diel pattern in their sensitivity to sonar. Conversely, the likelihood of whales emitting calls increased when ship sounds were nearby. Whales did not show a differential response to ship noise as a function of the time of the day either. These results demonstrate that anthropogenic noise, even at frequencies well above the blue whales' sound production range, has a strong probability of eliciting changes in vocal behavior. The long-term implications of disruption in call production to blue whale foraging and other behaviors are currently not well understood.

  18. A Whale of a Panorama

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for A Whale of a Panorama (QTVR) More than 1.5 years into their exploration of Mars, both of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers continue to send a cornucopia of images to Earth. The results are so spectacular that Deputy Project Manager John Callas recently described them as 'an embarrassment of riches.' Spirit produced this image mosaic, nicknamed the 'Whale Panorama,' two-thirds of the way to the summit of 'Husband Hill,' where the rover investigated martian rocks. On the right side of the panorama is a tilted layer of rocks dubbed 'Larry's Outcrop,' one of several tilted outcrops that scientists examined in April, 2005. They used spatial information to create geologic maps showing the compass orientation and degree of tilting of rock formations in the vicinity. Such information is key to geologic fieldwork because it helps establish if rock layers have been warped since they formed. In this case, scientists have also been studying the mineral and chemical differences, which show that some rocks have been more highly altered than others. In the foreground, in the middle of the image mosaic, Spirit is shown with the scientific instruments at the end of its robotic arm positioned on a rock target known as 'Ahab.' The rover was busy collecting elemental chemistry and mineralogy data on the rock at the same time that it was taking 50 individual snapshots with its five panoramic camera filters to create this stunning view of the martian scenery. The twin tracks of the rover's all-terrain wheels are clearly visible on the left. This mosaic of images spans about 220 degrees from left to right and is an approximate true-color rendering of the Mars terrain acquired through the panoramic camera's 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filters. Spirit collected these images from its 497th martian day, or sol, through its 500th sol (May 27 through May 30, 2005).

  19. AWARE Sonar and Sperm Whale Tagging (DE9906, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AWARE sonar and sperm whale tagging cruise primarily focuses on whales in the continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  20. Gulf of Mexico sperm whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photo-identification data on sperm whales occupying the north central Gulf of Mexico have been collected during vessel surveys. Photographs of sperm whales are...

  1. Large Whale Biology Survey (DE9908, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The large whale biology survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  2. Whale Watching as Ecotourism: How Sustainable is it?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Leslie Wearing

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Australia has long tried to portray itself as an environmentally responsible state and has consistently been a strong supporter of Whale Watching as an alternative to the practice of commercial and ‘scientific’ whaling. This paper explores whale watching in an effort to determine the economic and social viability of it as a sustainable marine tourism activity —and whether in the future the whale and the tourist can coexist or will the latter as with previous human activities such as whaling yet again create a ‘tragedy of the commons’ and displace the former. As an ecotourism product, whale watching holds the potential for sustainable practice, one that is both ecological and profitable. Responsible whale watching is seen as a clean, green industry that simultaneously supports local economies and promotes whale education and conservation. The question is can it live up to these expectations?

  3. Northern Right Whale and Cetacean Survey (DE0108, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  4. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0306, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  5. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0107, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  6. AWARE Sonar and Sperm Whale Tagging (DE0007, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AWARE sonar and sperm whale tagging cruise primarily focuses on whales in the continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  7. Report on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Event UMESE0501Sp: Multispecies Mass Stranding of Pilot Whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and Dwarf Sperm Whales (Kogia sima) in North Carolina on 15-16 January 2005

    OpenAIRE

    Hohn, Aleta A.; Rotstein, David S.; Craig A. Harms; Southall, Brandon L.

    2006-01-01

    On 15-16 January 2005, three offshore species of cetaceans (33 short-finned pilot whales, Globicephala macrorhynchus, one minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, and two dwarf sperm whales, Kogia sima) stranded alive on the beaches of North Carolina. The pilot whales stranded near Oregon Inlet, the minke whale in northern North Carolina, and the dwarf sperm whales near Cape Hatteras. Live strandings of three species in one weekend was unique in North Carolina and qualified as an Unusual Mort...

  8. Whaling Songs in Japan as a Reflection of Cultural Attitudes

    OpenAIRE

    Felicity, Greenland

    2012-01-01

    "This paper aims to identify cultural attitudes reflected in the traditional whaling songs of Japan. A corpus of 50 songs from nine prefectures is analyzed. The findings suggest that the songs may provide some insight into social, folkloric and spiritual attitudes accompanying traditional whaling. These attitudes include veneration of whales and symbolic invocation of both whales and deities. Observing broadly distributed common forms and imagery across the corpus, between songs of different ...

  9. Population genetic studies in Northeastern Atlantic minke whales

    OpenAIRE

    Berube, M.; Skaug, Hans Julius; Andersen, Liselotte W.; Haug, Tore; Øien, Nils

    2007-01-01

    Minke whales are the most abundance species of baleen whales in the North Atlantic. As part of current management of minke whales in Norwegian and adjacent waters, a DNA-register have been established. The register ensures that samples are taken of each animal caught under the Norwegian catch quota, and that a DNA-profile is established and stored in a database from each individual whale. Previous studies have indicated that genetic population sub-structure exists within the North Atlantic, b...

  10. Historical and current records of aquarium cetaceans in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peijun; Sun, Ni; Yao, Zhiping; Zhang, Xianfeng

    2012-01-01

    The number of cetaceans housed in aquariums in China is increasing. Detailed information on the historical and current population status has not been reported, despite its importance for successful breeding and population management. Questionnaires were conducted between December 2006 and May 2009, and the information was used to construct studbooks. Our survey showed that 10 species had been introduced to aquariums since 1978, including 26 (with 15 in the current population) finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides), 5 (5) false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), 94 (80) common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), 48 (30) Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), 36 (32) beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), 10 (10) pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), 8 (8) Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus), 2 (2) short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), 2 (2) Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), and 5 (0) baiji dolphins (Lipotes vexillifer). The number of cetaceans has increased markedly in the past 32 years, especially since 1995. Currently, 184 individuals are under human care throughout China, a number larger than any other country with an International Species Information System membership. In addition, the Annual Survival Rates of bottlenose dolphins (0.959) and beluga whales (0.968) were found higher than those reported previously (0.93-0.951 and 0.94-0.954, respectively). PMID:21674602

  11. Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) scavenge offal from minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) whaling operations in Svalbard (Norway)

    OpenAIRE

    Leclerc, Lisa-Marie; Lydersen, Christian; Haug, Tore; Kevin A Glover; Fisk, Aaron T.; Kovacs, Kit M.

    2011-01-01

    Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) tissue (mainly blubber) was found in the gastrointestinal tracks of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) collected in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Norway. In order to determine whether the sharks were actively hunting the whales, finding naturally dead whales or consuming offal from whaling, we checked the genetic identity of the whale tissue found in the sharks against the DNA register for minke whales taken in Norwegian whaling operations. All of th...

  12. The beginning of the end? The International Court of Justice's decision on Japanese Antarctic whaling

    OpenAIRE

    Nurse, Angus

    2014-01-01

    This article assessing the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) decision on Japanese Antarctic whaling. Despite a moratorium on whaling agreed in 1986, Japan has continued to grant permits for 'scientific whaling' allowing its ships to kill whales due to provisions in the International Whaling Convention that would allow such activity. However, environmentalists have long maintained that Japan has continued its commercial whaling program, exploiting a loophole in the whaling convention in...

  13. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Whale water restrictions. 13... Vessel Operating Restrictions § 13.1174 Whale water restrictions. (a) May 15 through September 30, the following waters are designated as whale waters. (1) Waters north of a line drawn from Point Carolus...

  14. 75 FR 7254 - International Whaling Commission; 2010 Intersessional Meetings; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-18

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XU28 International Whaling Commission; 2010... meetings of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The non-federal representative(s) selected as a... United States under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946. The U.S....

  15. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-24

    ... Forest Service Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: The Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee will meet in Craig, Alaska..., Craig Alaska. Send written comments to Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee, c/o District...

  16. Pre-Whaling Genetic Diversity and Population Ecology in Eastern Pacific Gray Whales: Insights from Ancient DNA and Stable Isotopes

    OpenAIRE

    Elizabeth Alter, S; Newsome, Seth D.; Palumbi, Stephen R.

    2012-01-01

    Commercial whaling decimated many whale populations, including the eastern Pacific gray whale, but little is known about how population dynamics or ecology differed prior to these removals. Of particular interest is the possibility of a large population decline prior to whaling, as such a decline could explain the ~5-fold difference between genetic estimates of prior abundance and estimates based on historical records. We analyzed genetic (mitochondrial control region) and isotopic informatio...

  17. Two intense decades of 19th century whaling precipitated rapid decline of right whales around New Zealand and East Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

    Full Text Available Right whales (Eubalaena spp. were the focus of worldwide whaling activities from the 16th to the 20th century. During the first part of the 19th century, the southern right whale (E. australis was heavily exploited on whaling grounds around New Zealand (NZ and east Australia (EA. Here we build upon previous estimates of the total catch of NZ and EA right whales by improving and combining estimates from four different fisheries. Two fisheries have previously been considered: shore-based whaling in bays and ship-based whaling offshore. These were both improved by comparison with primary sources and the American offshore whaling catch record was improved by using a sample of logbooks to produce a more accurate catch record in terms of location and species composition. Two fisheries had not been previously integrated into the NZ and EA catch series: ship-based whaling in bays and whaling in the 20th century. To investigate the previously unaddressed problem of offshore whalers operating in bays, we identified a subset of vessels likely to be operating in bays and read available extant logbooks. This allowed us to estimate the total likely catch from bay-whaling by offshore whalers from the number of vessels seasons and whales killed per season: it ranged from 2,989 to 4,652 whales. The revised total estimate of 53,000 to 58,000 southern right whales killed is a considerable increase on the previous estimate of 26,000, partly because it applies fishery-specific estimates of struck and loss rates. Over 80% of kills were taken between 1830 and 1849, indicating a brief and intensive fishery that resulted in the commercial extinction of southern right whales in NZ and EA in just two decades. This conforms to the global trend of increasingly intense and destructive southern right whale fisheries over time.

  18. The Jan Mayen whaling industry - Its exploitation of the Greenland right whale and its impact on the marine ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hacquebord, L; Skreslet, S

    2004-01-01

    After a relatively late discovery of the island, Dutch whalers used Jan Mayen as a base for their whaling industry. They built stations on the west coast of the island where they rendered whale oil from the blubber of the Greenland right whales. Altogether the whalers stayed for twenty-two years on

  19. Encountering whales: How encounter rates became the basis for managing whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Declining rates of encountering whales, including both sighting and catching, were noted by whalers throughout the 19th century, and these declines became the first indication that whaling was adversely affecting whale abundance. The interpretation of declines in both sighting and catch rates proved to be a difficult scientific task. Satisfactory quantitative methods of interpreting changes in whale encounter rates were not developed until the second half of the 20th century. Rates of encountering whales played a key role in the International Whaling Commission (IWC Scientific Committee from its beginning in the early 1950s, as well as in the US in implementing its Marine Mammal Protection Act beginning in the early 1970s. The development of methods of collecting and interpreting sighting and catch data was intimately interwoven with the development of themanagement of whaling and cetacean by-catches in fisheries throughout the world, but especially within the context of the Scientific Committees of the IWC and the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO. Although overfishing of whales was initially identified through the use of sighting rate data, catch rate data provided the IWC’s Committee its first firm footing for management advice. However, it was sighting rate data that ultimately became the basis for the scientific advice on whaling and for management advice in other settings. This led to the development of large scale cetacean sighting programmes, such as the IWC’s International Decade of Cetacean Researchsurveys in Antarctic aboard Japanese ships, the North Atlantic Sighting Surveys (NASS aboard Norwegian, Icelandic, Spanish, Greenlandic and Faroese vessels and aircraft (coordinated by NAMMCO through its Scientific Committee from 1995, and surveys under the US’s Marine Mammal Protection Act and the European Union’s Small Cetacean Abundance in the North Sea (SCANS programme. Fishery independent cetacean sighting surveys

  20. Assessment of essential elements in the wild Beluga Sturgeon (Huso huso caviar from Caspian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Vali Hosseini

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the concentration of Calcium (Ca, Cobalt (Co, Chromium (Cr, Copper (Cu, Iron (Fe, Potassium (K, Magnesium (Mg, Manganese (Mn, Selenium (Se and Zinc (Zn as essential metals, were determined in caviar of wild beluga sturgeon caught from the Caspian Sea in March 2012. Potassium (4885.51± 17.81 µg g-1 and Magnesium (346.61± 6.6 µg g-1 had the highest concentration and Cobalt and Manganese levels were less than 0.01 mg kg-1 wet weight. The mean concentration of Copper and Zinc in the caviar samples were under the permissible limits proposed by the UK’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods. The caviar maximum allowable daily consumption rate was calculated. However, the health risks from caviar consumption are uncertain because the amount of caviar consumed by heavy users is not known.

  1. Distribution and relative abundance of large whales in a former whaling ground off eastern South America

    OpenAIRE

    Artur Andriolo; Jesuina M. da Rocha; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Paulo C. Simões-Lopes; Moreno, Ignacio B.; Alineide Lucena; Daniel Danilewicz; Manuela Bassoi

    2010-01-01

    Ship-based sighting surveys for cetaceans were conducted in the former whaling ground off the northeastern coast of Brazil. The cruises took place in winter and spring of 1998-2001 with the objectives of investigating current distribution and abundance of cetaceans, particularly large whale species taken during whaling. In 1998 the survey were conducted between the parallels 5°30'W and 9°S and the 200 m isobath and the meridian 033°W. A total of about 3,100 nm were surveyed between 1998 and 2...

  2. Whale Watching as Ecotourism: How Sustainable is it?

    OpenAIRE

    Stephen Leslie Wearing; Cunningham, Paul A.; Stephen Schweinsberg; Chantelle Jobberns

    2014-01-01

    Australia has long tried to portray itself as an environmentally responsible state and has consistently been a strong supporter of Whale Watching as an alternative to the practice of commercial and ‘scientific’ whaling. This paper explores whale watching in an effort to determine the economic and social viability of it as a sustainable marine tourism activity —and whether in the future the whale and the tourist can coexist or will the latter as with previous human activities such as whaling y...

  3. How large should whales be?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Clauset

    Full Text Available The evolution and distribution of species body sizes for terrestrial mammals is well-explained by a macroevolutionary tradeoff between short-term selective advantages and long-term extinction risks from increased species body size, unfolding above the 2 g minimum size induced by thermoregulation in air. Here, we consider whether this same tradeoff, formalized as a constrained convection-reaction-diffusion system, can also explain the sizes of fully aquatic mammals, which have not previously been considered. By replacing the terrestrial minimum with a pelagic one, at roughly 7000 g, the terrestrial mammal tradeoff model accurately predicts, with no tunable parameters, the observed body masses of all extant cetacean species, including the 175,000,000 g Blue Whale. This strong agreement between theory and data suggests that a universal macroevolutionary tradeoff governs body size evolution for all mammals, regardless of their habitat. The dramatic sizes of cetaceans can thus be attributed mainly to the increased convective heat loss is water, which shifts the species size distribution upward and pushes its right tail into ranges inaccessible to terrestrial mammals. Under this macroevolutionary tradeoff, the largest expected species occurs where the rate at which smaller-bodied species move up into large-bodied niches approximately equals the rate at which extinction removes them.

  4. How large should whales be?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clauset, Aaron

    2013-01-01

    The evolution and distribution of species body sizes for terrestrial mammals is well-explained by a macroevolutionary tradeoff between short-term selective advantages and long-term extinction risks from increased species body size, unfolding above the 2 g minimum size induced by thermoregulation in air. Here, we consider whether this same tradeoff, formalized as a constrained convection-reaction-diffusion system, can also explain the sizes of fully aquatic mammals, which have not previously been considered. By replacing the terrestrial minimum with a pelagic one, at roughly 7000 g, the terrestrial mammal tradeoff model accurately predicts, with no tunable parameters, the observed body masses of all extant cetacean species, including the 175,000,000 g Blue Whale. This strong agreement between theory and data suggests that a universal macroevolutionary tradeoff governs body size evolution for all mammals, regardless of their habitat. The dramatic sizes of cetaceans can thus be attributed mainly to the increased convective heat loss is water, which shifts the species size distribution upward and pushes its right tail into ranges inaccessible to terrestrial mammals. Under this macroevolutionary tradeoff, the largest expected species occurs where the rate at which smaller-bodied species move up into large-bodied niches approximately equals the rate at which extinction removes them.

  5. Beaked whales respond to simulated and actual navy sonar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter L Tyack

    Full Text Available Beaked whales have mass stranded during some naval sonar exercises, but the cause is unknown. They are difficult to sight but can reliably be detected by listening for echolocation clicks produced during deep foraging dives. Listening for these clicks, we documented Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, in a naval underwater range where sonars are in regular use near Andros Island, Bahamas. An array of bottom-mounted hydrophones can detect beaked whales when they click anywhere within the range. We used two complementary methods to investigate behavioral responses of beaked whales to sonar: an opportunistic approach that monitored whale responses to multi-day naval exercises involving tactical mid-frequency sonars, and an experimental approach using playbacks of simulated sonar and control sounds to whales tagged with a device that records sound, movement, and orientation. Here we show that in both exposure conditions beaked whales stopped echolocating during deep foraging dives and moved away. During actual sonar exercises, beaked whales were primarily detected near the periphery of the range, on average 16 km away from the sonar transmissions. Once the exercise stopped, beaked whales gradually filled in the center of the range over 2-3 days. A satellite tagged whale moved outside the range during an exercise, returning over 2-3 days post-exercise. The experimental approach used tags to measure acoustic exposure and behavioral reactions of beaked whales to one controlled exposure each of simulated military sonar, killer whale calls, and band-limited noise. The beaked whales reacted to these three sound playbacks at sound pressure levels below 142 dB re 1 µPa by stopping echolocation followed by unusually long and slow ascents from their foraging dives. The combined results indicate similar disruption of foraging behavior and avoidance by beaked whales in the two different contexts, at exposures well below those used by

  6. Effect of dietary free L-Lysine on growth performance and muscle composition of Beluga Huso huso (Linnaeus 1785 juveniles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyyed Morteza Hoseini

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Effect of dietary free L-Lysine on growth, food intake, and muscle composition of beluga juveniles were investigated over 6 weeks. Control diet lysine content was 2.1% of dry matter (4.4% of dietary protein. Three experimental diets were prepared by adding lysine (0.5, 1 and 1.5% to control diet to obtain diets containing 2.6, 3.1 and 3.6% of dry matter lysine (corresponding to 5.5, 6.6 and 7.6 of dietary protein. Fish were fed 2.6% of dry matter lysine showed significantly higher final weight, weight gain and SGR and lower FCR compared to other treatments. There was no significant change in food intake and survival between treatments. Lysine supplementation resulted significantly in increase and decrease in muscle protein and lipid, respectively. Dietary lysine has no effect on muscle ash and moisture content. Results showed that lysine supplementation had no significant effect on food intake in beluga juveniles. It seems that dietary lysine level of 2.6% of dry matter (corresponding to 5.5% of dietary protein is suitable for growth of beluga juveniles.

  7. Relationship between sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) click structure and size derived from videocamera images of a depredating whale (sperm whale prey acquisition)

    OpenAIRE

    Mathias, Delphine; Thode, Aaron; Straley, Jan; Folkert, Kendall

    2009-01-01

    International audience Sperm whales have learned to depredate black cod ﰍAnoplopoma fimbriaﰀ from longline deployments in the Gulf of Alaska. On May 31, 2006, simultaneous acoustic and visual recordings were made of a depredation attempt by a sperm whale at 108 m depth. Because the whale was oriented perpendicularly to the camera as it contacted the longline at a known distance from the camera, the distance from the nose to the hinge of the jaw could be estimated. Allometric relationships ...

  8. Killer whale prey - Determining prey selection by southern resident killer whales (SRKW)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Prey selectivity by southern resident killer whales is being determined by analyses of fish scales and tissue from predation events and feces. Information on killer...

  9. Species hybridization between a female blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and a male fin whale (B. physalus): molecular and morphological documentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spilliaert, R; Vikingsson, G; Arnason, U; Palsdottir, A; Sigurjonsson, J; Arnason, A

    1991-01-01

    In 1986 a large, pregnant, female balaenopterid whale was caught in Icelandic waters. The animal had morphological characteristics of both the blue and the fin whale. Molecular analyses of the whale showed that it was a hybrid between a female blue whale and a male fin whale. The descent of the species hybrid was established without access to either parental specimen. Analysis of the fetus showed that it had a blue whale father. The present report of species hybridization between the two largest cetacean species, the blue and the fin whale, documents the occurrence of cetacean species hybridization in the wild. It is also the first example of any cetacean hybridization giving rise to a fertile offspring. PMID:1679066

  10. Impact of climate change on sustainable management of gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus populations: Whale-watching and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvadeo Christian J.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Some pods of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus breed every winter at three lagoons along the Baja California Peninsula and then migrate to feeding grounds on the Bering and Chukchi Seas. The number of whales arriving to the lagoons fluctuates yearly and is related to climate variability. We analyzed the documented climate effects on the whales over their distribution range and discuss the potential effects of global climate warming in their breeding areas. Our analysis indicates that global warming will be favorable for gray whale populations, but unfavorable for the Mexican whale-watching industry: favorable, because fluctuations in calf production have been positively correlated with the length of time that the primary feeding habitat was free of seasonal ice during the previous year. However, if gray whales change their breeding areas to northern bays, they will be exposed to new challenges, which will have repercussions on the whale-watching industry. We discuss these new challenges.

  11. Distribution and Abundance of Fin whales and other baleen whales in the European Atlantic

    OpenAIRE

    MacLeod, K. (Kelly); Burt, L. (Louise); Cañadas, A.; Lens, S.; Rogan, E.; Santos, M. B.; Uriarte, A.; Van-Canneyt, O.; Vázquez, J. A.; Hammond, P. S.

    2009-01-01

    The abundance of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and other baleen whales was generated from data collected during shipboard sightings surveys as part of the Cetacean Offshore Distribution and Abundance in the European Atlantic project (CODA). The survey area covered offshore waters beyond the continental shelf of the UK, Ireland, France and Spain. The area was stratified into four blocks and was surveyed by five ships during July 2007. Double platform methods employing the trialco...

  12. Molecular studies on two variant repeat types of the common cetacean DNA satellite of the sperm whale, and the relationship between Physeteridae (sperm whales) and Ziphiidae (beaked whales).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grétarsdóttir, S; Arnason, U

    1993-03-01

    In the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) two different repeat types (A and B) of the common cetacean DNA satellite were identified. The evolution of each group of repeats appears to be independent from that of the other. The sequence similarity between the two groups is less than the similarity between group A and repeats of the satellite in related whale species. The systematic relationship within and between the families Physeteridae (sperm whales) and Ziphiidae (beaked whales) was addressed by both sequence analysis of the satellite and comparisons with the families Delphinidae and Phocoenidae. The mysticete blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) was used as an outgroup in the comparisons. The molecular phylogeny, when maximum-parsimony analysis and the neighbor-joining method were used, grouped together species of each family. At the family level the ziphiids grouped closet to the families Phocoenidae and Delphinidae. The similarities between the common cetacean satellite of the blue whale and the sperm whale were greater than those between the blue whale and the other odontocetes included, suggesting that the evolution of the satellite is slower in the sperm whale than in the other odontocetes. PMID:8487633

  13. Pilot whales attracted to killer whale sounds: acoustically-mediated interspecific interactions in cetaceans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Curé

    Full Text Available In cetaceans' communities, interactions between individuals of different species are often observed in the wild. Yet, due to methodological and technical challenges very little is known about the mediation of these interactions and their effect on cetaceans' behavior. Killer whales (Orcinus orca are a highly vocal species and can be both food competitors and potential predators of many other cetaceans. Thus, the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may be particularly important in mediating interspecific interactions. To address this hypothesis, we conducted playbacks of killer whale vocalizations recorded during herring-feeding activity to free-ranging long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas. Using a multi-sensor tag, we were able to track the whales and to monitor changes of their movements and social behavior in response to the playbacks. We demonstrated that the playback of killer whale sounds to pilot whales induced a clear increase in group size and a strong attraction of the animals towards the sound source. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that the interception of heterospecific vocalizations can mediate interactions between different cetacean species in previously unrecognized ways.

  14. 77 FR 27185 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-09

    ... Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS... the following vacant seats on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory.... SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council...

  15. 75 FR 77615 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-13

    ... Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and Extension of Application Deadline AGENCY: Office of... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Honolulu County (primary only), Research (alternate only), Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/ Commerce,...

  16. 75 FR 57441 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-21

    ... Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS... the following vacant seats on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/Commerce,...

  17. 77 FR 12244 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Report of Whaling Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-29

    ... Whaling Operations AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION... current information collection. Native Americans may conduct certain aboriginal subsistence whaling in accordance with the provisions of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). In order to respond...

  18. Will a catch share for whales improve social welfare?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Martin D; Asche, Frank; Bennear, Lori S; Havice, Elizabeth; Read, Andrew J; Squires, Dale

    2014-01-01

    We critique a proposal to use catch shares to manage transboundary wildlife resources with potentially high non-extractive values, and we focus on the case of whales. Because whales are impure public goods, a policy that fails to capture all nonmarket benefits (due to free riding) could lead to a suboptimal outcome. Even if free riding were overcome, whale shares would face four implementation challenges. First, a whale share could legitimize the international trade in whale meat and expand the whale meat market. Second, a legal whale trade creates monitoring and enforcement challenges similar to those of organizations that manage highly migratory species such as tuna. Third, a whale share could create a new political economy of management that changes incentives and increases costs for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to achieve the current level of conservation. Fourth, a whale share program creates new logistical challenges for quota definition and allocation regardless of whether the market for whale products expands or contracts. Each of these issues, if left unaddressed, could result in lower overall welfare for society than under the status quo. PMID:24640530

  19. Positive selection on the killer whale mitogenome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Morin, Phillip A; Durban, John W;

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondria produce up to 95 per cent of the eukaryotic cell's energy. The coding genes of the mitochondrial DNA may therefore evolve under selection owing to metabolic requirements. The killer whale, Orcinus orca, is polymorphic, has a global distribution and occupies a range of ecological niches...

  20. Whale Preservation. Grades Five to Nine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racicot, Darlene

    Dedicated to the conservation and preservation of whales, dolphins, and porpoises through public education, this instructional unit for grades 5-9 provides current (1993) facts, lesson plans, activities, and conservation and preservation techniques. Interdisciplinary activities involve students in debates, critical thinking, research, and…

  1. Expression and Purification of Sperm Whale Myoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Stephen; Indivero, Virginia; Burkhard, Caroline

    2010-01-01

    We present a multiweek laboratory exercise that exposes students to the fundamental techniques of bacterial expression and protein purification through the preparation of sperm whale myoglobin. Myoglobin, a robust oxygen-binding protein, contains a single heme that gives the protein a reddish color, making it an ideal subject for the teaching…

  2. Whales of New England. Secondary Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    New England Aquarium, Boston, MA.

    Instructional materials and suggestions for conducting a whale watching field trip are contained in this curriculum packet for secondary science teachers. It is one unit in a series of curricular programs developed by the New England Aquarium Education Department. Activities and information are organized into three sections: (1) pre-trip…

  3. Successful euthanasia of a juvenile fin whale.

    OpenAIRE

    Daoust, P Y; Ortenburger, A I

    2001-01-01

    A stranded juvenile fin whale was successfully euthanized with an intravenous injection of sedative and cardioplegic drugs. Veterinarians may face a number of serious difficulties if called to perform this task, and advance preparation is required for successful euthanasia of these animals.

  4. Tales of whales: Whalewatching as environmental education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Constance Lorraine

    This dissertation, based on a case study conducted in 1996 in Tadoussac, Quebec, critically examined the educational potential of whalewatching. Data collection consisted of participant observation, interviews with thirty-one whalewatchers, and pre-trip, post-trip, and follow-up questionnaires given to these same whalewatchers. The first three chapters are introductory in nature. The first provides an overview of different approaches to environmental education as well as the role of nature experience and the social construction of nature within critical or transformative approaches to environmental education. The second chapter reviews the ecotourism and whalewatching literature. The third describes the research site and methods. The fourth chapter is a presentation of the results and focuses on three central themes: Learning Outcomes and Desires; The Social Construction of Whales; and Opinions on Whalewatching. Although there was diversity in responses, many whalewatchers were dissatisfied with the learning opportunities available during whalewatching and most desired more emphasis be placed on holistic, critical, and activist-oriented interpretation. As well, many were concerned that whalewatching, despite its educational potential, was harming the whales. Overall, the whalewatchers constructed whales in exceedingly positive and general ways (Superwhales), were moved by the opportunity to get close to whales (Intimates), and were in awe of their size and behaviours (Spectacle). The educational implications of these findings are discussed in the fifth chapter, and the dissertation concludes with a sixth chapter containing recommendations for whalewatching practice in Tadoussac and a call for future research.

  5. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benders, F.P.A.; Beerens, S.P.; Verboom, W.C.

    2004-01-01

    World-wide a concern exists about the influence of man-made noise on marine life, and particularly of high power sonar. Most concern lies with marine mammals that use acoustics for hunting, communication and/or navigation. This concern is fed by recent strandings of whales that could be related to m

  6. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benders, F.P.A.; Beerens, S.P.; Verboom, W.C.

    2002-01-01

    World-wide a concern exists about the influence of man-made noise on marine life, and particularly of high power sonar. Most concern lies with marine mammals that use acoustics for hunting, communication and/or navigation. This concern is fed by recent strandings of whales that could be related to m

  7. Automated detection of Antarctic blue whale calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socheleau, Francois-Xavier; Leroy, Emmanuelle; Pecci, Andres Carvallo; Samaran, Flore; Bonnel, Julien; Royer, Jean-Yves

    2015-11-01

    This paper addresses the problem of automated detection of Z-calls emitted by Antarctic blue whales (B. m. intermedia). The proposed solution is based on a subspace detector of sigmoidal-frequency signals with unknown time-varying amplitude. This detection strategy takes into account frequency variations of blue whale calls as well as the presence of other transient sounds that can interfere with Z-calls (such as airguns or other whale calls). The proposed method has been tested on more than 105 h of acoustic data containing about 2200 Z-calls (as found by an experienced human operator). This method is shown to have a correct-detection rate of up to more than 15% better than the extensible bioacoustic tool package, a spectrogram-based correlation detector commonly used to study blue whales. Because the proposed method relies on subspace detection, it does not suffer from some drawbacks of correlation-based detectors. In particular, it does not require the choice of an a priori fixed and subjective template. The analytic expression of the detection performance is also derived, which provides crucial information for higher level analyses such as animal density estimation from acoustic data. Finally, the detection threshold automatically adapts to the soundscape in order not to violate a user-specified false alarm rate. PMID:26627784

  8. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatesy, John; Geisler, Jonathan H; Chang, Joseph; Buell, Carl; Berta, Annalisa; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S; McGowen, Michael R

    2013-02-01

    The emergence of Cetacea in the Paleogene represents one of the most profound macroevolutionary transitions within Mammalia. The move from a terrestrial habitat to a committed aquatic lifestyle engendered wholesale changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior. The results of this remarkable transformation are extant whales that include the largest, biggest brained, fastest swimming, loudest, deepest diving mammals, some of which can detect prey with a sophisticated echolocation system (Odontoceti - toothed whales), and others that batch feed using racks of baleen (Mysticeti - baleen whales). A broad-scale reconstruction of the evolutionary remodeling that culminated in extant cetaceans has not yet been based on integration of genomic and paleontological information. Here, we first place Cetacea relative to extant mammalian diversity, and assess the distribution of support among molecular datasets for relationships within Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates, including Cetacea). We then merge trees derived from three large concatenations of molecular and fossil data to yield a composite hypothesis that encompasses many critical events in the evolutionary history of Cetacea. By combining diverse evidence, we infer a phylogenetic blueprint that outlines the stepwise evolutionary development of modern whales. This hypothesis represents a starting point for more detailed, comprehensive phylogenetic reconstructions in the future, and also highlights the synergistic interaction between modern (genomic) and traditional (morphological+paleontological) approaches that ultimately must be exploited to provide a rich understanding of evolutionary history across the entire tree of Life.

  9. A Radio Tag for Big Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, William A.

    1978-01-01

    Radio tags to track wildlife have been used for years. However, such tagging of whales has been more complicated and less successful. This article explores the latest technology that is designed to give information over a long period of time. (MA)

  10. Dangerous dining: surface foraging of North Atlantic right whales increases risk of vessel collisions

    OpenAIRE

    Susan E Parks; Warren, Joseph D.; Stamieszkin, Karen; Mayo, Charles A.; Wiley, David

    2011-01-01

    North Atlantic right whales are critically endangered and, despite international protection from whaling, significant numbers die from collisions with ships. Large groups of right whales migrate to the coastal waters of New England during the late winter and early spring to feed in an area with large numbers of vessels. North Atlantic right whales have the largest per capita record of vessel strikes of any large whale population in the world. Right whale feeding behaviour in Cape Cod Bay (CCB...

  11. An integrated approach to historical population assessment of the great whales: case of the New Zealand southern right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jennifer A; Carroll, Emma L; Smith, Tim D; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Patenaude, Nathalie J; Baker, C Scott

    2016-03-01

    Accurate estimation of historical abundance provides an essential baseline for judging the recovery of the great whales. This is particularly challenging for whales hunted prior to twentieth century modern whaling, as population-level catch records are often incomplete. Assessments of whale recovery using pre-modern exploitation indices are therefore rare, despite the intensive, global nature of nineteenth century whaling. Right whales (Eubalaena spp.) were particularly exploited: slow swimmers with strong fidelity to sheltered calving bays, the species made predictable and easy targets. Here, we present the first integrated population-level assessment of the whaling impact and pre-exploitation abundance of a right whale, the New Zealand southern right whale (E. australis). In this assessment, we use a Bayesian population dynamics model integrating multiple data sources: nineteenth century catches, genetic constraints on bottleneck size and individual sightings histories informing abundance and trend. Different catch allocation scenarios are explored to account for uncertainty in the population's offshore distribution. From a pre-exploitation abundance of 28 800-47 100 whales, nineteenth century hunting reduced the population to approximately 30-40 mature females between 1914 and 1926. Today, it stands at less than 12% of pre-exploitation abundance. Despite the challenges of reconstructing historical catches and population boundaries, conservation efforts of historically exploited species benefit from targets for ecological restoration.

  12. An integrated approach to historical population assessment of the great whales: case of the New Zealand southern right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jennifer A; Carroll, Emma L; Smith, Tim D; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Patenaude, Nathalie J; Baker, C Scott

    2016-03-01

    Accurate estimation of historical abundance provides an essential baseline for judging the recovery of the great whales. This is particularly challenging for whales hunted prior to twentieth century modern whaling, as population-level catch records are often incomplete. Assessments of whale recovery using pre-modern exploitation indices are therefore rare, despite the intensive, global nature of nineteenth century whaling. Right whales (Eubalaena spp.) were particularly exploited: slow swimmers with strong fidelity to sheltered calving bays, the species made predictable and easy targets. Here, we present the first integrated population-level assessment of the whaling impact and pre-exploitation abundance of a right whale, the New Zealand southern right whale (E. australis). In this assessment, we use a Bayesian population dynamics model integrating multiple data sources: nineteenth century catches, genetic constraints on bottleneck size and individual sightings histories informing abundance and trend. Different catch allocation scenarios are explored to account for uncertainty in the population's offshore distribution. From a pre-exploitation abundance of 28 800-47 100 whales, nineteenth century hunting reduced the population to approximately 30-40 mature females between 1914 and 1926. Today, it stands at less than 12% of pre-exploitation abundance. Despite the challenges of reconstructing historical catches and population boundaries, conservation efforts of historically exploited species benefit from targets for ecological restoration. PMID:27069657

  13. Whales and waves: Humpback whale foraging response and the shoaling of internal waves at Stellwagen Bank

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Jesús; Starczak, Victoria; Silva, José C. B.; Helfrich, Karl; Thompson, Michael; Wiley, David

    2015-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that humpback whales aggregate at the southern flank of Stellwagen Bank (SB) in response to internal waves (IWs) generated semidiurnally at Race Point (RP) channel because of the presence of their preferred prey, planktivorous fish, which in turn respond to zooplankton concentrated by the predictable IWs. Analysis of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images indicates that RP IWs approach the southern flank of SB frequently (˜62% of the images). Published reports of whale sighting data and archived SAR images point to a coarse spatial coincidence between whales and Race Point IWs at SB's southern flank. The responses of whales to IWs were evaluated via sightings and behavior of humpback whales, and IWs were observed in situ by acoustic backscatter and temperature measurements. Modeling of IWs complemented the observations, and results indicate a change of ˜0.4 m/s in current velocity, and ˜1.5 Pa in dynamic pressure near the bottom, which may be sufficient for bottom fish to detect the IWs. However, fish were rare in our acoustic observations, and fish response to the IWs could not be evaluated. RP IWs do not represent the leading edge of the internal tide, and they may have less mass-transport potential than typical coastal IWs. There was large interannual variability in whale sightings at SB's southern flank, with decreases in both numbers of sightings and proportion of sightings where feeding was observed from 2008 to 2013. Coincidence of whales and IWs was inconsistent, and results do not support the hypothesis.

  14. Whales and dolphins (Mammalia, Cetacea) of the Cape Verde Islands, with special reference to the Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)

    OpenAIRE

    Hazevoet, Cornelis J.; Wenzel, Frederick W.

    2000-01-01

    Observations of whales and dolphins in the Cape Verde Islands obtained in 1995 and 1996 are reported and data on the occurrence of 14 taxa are given, including four not previously reported from the region, viz. Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Killer Whale Orcinus orca, Rough-toothed Dolphin Steno bredanensis, and Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba. An earlier report of Fin Whale B. physalus is reviewed and re-identified as B. cf. borealis. Status and occurrence of the Humpback Whale Mega...

  15. Laser photogrammetry improves size and demographic estimates for whale sharks

    OpenAIRE

    Christoph A. Rohner; Richardson, Anthony J.; Prebble, Clare E. M.; Marshall, Andrea D.; Michael B Bennett; Scarla J Weeks; Geremy Cliff; Wintner, Sabine P.; Simon J Pierce

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432–917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 11...

  16. Blue and fin whale acoustics and ecology off Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Sirovic, Ana

    2006-01-01

    Blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin whales (B. physalus) in the Southern Ocean were subjects of extensive whaling industry during the twentieth century. Their current population numbers remain low, making population monitoring using traditional visual surveys difficult. Both blue and fin whales produce low frequency, regularly repeated calls and are suitable for acoustic monitoring. Eight, continuously recording acoustic recorders were deployed off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) betwe...

  17. Exposure to seismic survey alters blue whale acoustic communication

    OpenAIRE

    Di Iorio, Lucia; Clark, Christopher W.

    2009-01-01

    The ability to perceive biologically important sounds is critical to marine mammals, and acoustic disturbance through human-generated noise can interfere with their natural functions. Sounds from seismic surveys are intense and have peak frequency bands overlapping those used by baleen whales, but evidence of interference with baleen whale acoustic communication is sparse. Here we investigated whether blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) changed their vocal behaviour during a seismic survey th...

  18. High feeding costs limit dive time in the largest whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo-Gutiérrez, A; Croll, D A; Tershy, B R

    2002-06-01

    Large body size usually extends dive duration in air-breathing vertebrates. However, the two largest predators on earth, the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and the fin whale (B. physalus), perform short dives for their size. Here, we test the hypothesis that the foraging behavior of these two species (lunge-feeding) is energetically expensive and limits their dive duration. We estimated the cost of lunge-feeding in both species using an approach that combined attaching time/depth recorders to seven blue whales and eight fin whales and comparing the collected dive information with predictions made by optimality models of dive behavior. We show that the rate at which whales recovered from a foraging dive was twice that of a non-foraging dive and that the cost of foraging relative to the cost of travel to and from the prey patch was 3.15 in blue whales (95 % CI 2.58-3.72) and 3.60 in fin whales (95 % CI 2.35-4.85). Whales foraged in small areas (<1 km(2)) and foraging bouts lasted more than one dive, indicating that prey did not disperse and thus that prey dispersal could not account for the limited dive durations of the whales. Despite the enormous size of blue whales and fin whales, the high energetic costs of lunge-feeding confine them to short durations of submergence and to areas with dense prey aggregations. As a corollary, because of their limited foraging time under water, these whales may be particularly vulnerable to perturbations in prey abundance. PMID:12042333

  19. Blue whales respond to simulated mid-frequency military sonar

    OpenAIRE

    Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Southall, Brandon L.; De Ruiter, Stacy Lynn; Calambokidis, John; Friedlaender, Ari S.; Elliott L Hazen; Falcone, Erin A.; Schorr, Gregory S.; Douglas, Annie; Moretti, David J.; Kyburg, Chris; Megan F. McKenna; Tyack, Peter Lloyd

    2013-01-01

    Mid-frequency military (1–10 kHz) sonars have been associated with lethal mass strandings of deep-diving toothed whales, but the effects on endangered baleen whale species are virtually unknown. Here, we used controlled exposure experiments with simulated military sonar and other mid-frequency sounds to measure behavioural responses of tagged blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in feeding areas within the Southern California Bight. Despite using source levels orders of magnitude below some op...

  20. Revised phylogeny of whales suggested by mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences

    OpenAIRE

    Milinkovitch, M.C.; Orti, G.; Meyer, A.

    1993-01-01

    Living cetaceans are subdivided into two highly distinct suborders, Odontoceti (the echolocating toothed whales) and Mysticeti (the filter-feeding baleen whales), which are believed to have had a long independent history. Here we report the determination of DNA sequences from two mitochondrial ribosomal gene segments (930 base pairs per species) for 16 species of cetaceans, a perissodactyl and a sloth, and construct the first phylogeny for whales and dolphins based on explicit cladistic metho...

  1. Dividing up the pie : whales, fish, and humans as competitors

    OpenAIRE

    Ruzicka, J. J.; Steele, J.H.; Ballerini, Tosca; Gaichas, S. K.; Ainley, D.G.

    2013-01-01

    Similarly structured food web models of four coastal ecosystems (Northern California Current, Central Gulf of Alaska, Georges Bank, southwestern Antarctic Peninsula) were used to investigate competition among whales, fishes, pinnipeds, and humans. Two analysis strategies simulated the effects of historic baleen and odontocete whale abundances across all trophic levels: food web structure scenarios and time-dynamic scenarios. Direct competition between whales and commercial fisheries is small ...

  2. Whaling Songs in Japan as a Reflection of Cultural Practice

    OpenAIRE

    Greenland, Felicity

    2011-01-01

    "This paper sets out to identify the cultural practices reflected in the traditional whaling songs of Japan. Themes are identified in a sample of 50 songs from nine prefectures. The findings show that the songs provide a basic outline of Edo-period whaling in terms of geography, personnel, techniques, and whale types. However, observing broad similarities across the corpus, between genres and between regions, this paper suggests that these songs were not so much documentary as prospective, ba...

  3. The ARGOS system used for tracking gray whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mate, B. R.; Beaty, D.; Hoisington, C.; Kutz, R.; Mate, M. L.

    1983-01-01

    The development of satellite whale tags used to track gray whales in the eastern north Pacific Ocean is summarized. Two gray whales were radio-tagged in San Ignacio Lagoon (Mexico) and tracked on their northbound migration. One of the transmitters was modified to record and relay depth-of-dive information at 15 sec intervals throughout the course of the dive. Technical elements of data acquisition and analysis are outlined. The major biological findings are discussed.

  4. Evidence that ship noise increases stress in right whales

    OpenAIRE

    Rolland, Rosalind M.; Susan E Parks; Hunt, Kathleen E.; Castellote, Manuel; Corkeron, Peter J.; Nowacek, Douglas P.; Wasser, Samuel K.; Scott D Kraus

    2012-01-01

    Baleen whales (Mysticeti) communicate using low-frequency acoustic signals. These long-wavelength sounds can be detected over hundreds of kilometres, potentially allowing contact over large distances. Low-frequency noise from large ships (20–200 Hz) overlaps acoustic signals used by baleen whales, and increased levels of underwater noise have been documented in areas with high shipping traffic. Reported responses of whales to increased noise include: habitat displacement, behavioural changes ...

  5. The function of roll in foraging behaviour of sperm whales

    OpenAIRE

    Hartvig, Eva Christel

    2011-01-01

    Though direct experiments to test echolocation in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) remain impossible, the indirect evidence is overwhelming that one function of their clicks is echolocation used during foraging, as has been shown for other toothed whales. In this thesis, the aim was to test: 1) the hypothesis by Fristrup and Harbison (2002) that the sperm whale might be using downwelling light during the day to spot prey or prey patches as silhouettes against the lighter s...

  6. Soviet Illegal Whaling: The Devil and the Details

    OpenAIRE

    Ivashchenko, Yulia V.; Clapham, Phillip J.; Brownell, Jr. , Robert L.

    2011-01-01

    In 1948, the U.S.S.R. began a global campaign of illegal whaling that lasted for three decades and, together with the poorly managed “legal” whaling of other nations, seriously depleted whale populations. Although the general story of this whaling has been told and the catch record largely corrected for the Southern Hemisphere, major gaps remain in the North Pacific. Furthermore, little attention has been paid to the details of this system or its economic context. Using interviews with for...

  7. Satellite Tracking of Humpback Whales in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, R.; Teilmann, J.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.-P.;

    In June 2000, 6 humpback whales (Megaptere novaeangliae) were tagged with satellite transmitters off West Greenland. Contact remained for up to 42 days. The tagging revealed that within the month of June, humpback whales off West Greenland moved between Fiskenæs Banke, Fyllas Banke, Tovqussaq Banke......, Sukkertop Banke and Lille Hellefiske Banke. The whales showed a preference for the continental slopes with depths less than 200 m, however, few dives were recorded down to 500 m. The whales had a preference for dives lasting 7-8 min. (15%) and no dives lasted longer than 15 min....

  8. Changes in biological parameters of balaenopterid whales in the Antarctic, with special referece to southern minke whale

    OpenAIRE

    Hidehiro, Kato

    1986-01-01

    Historical changes in biological parameters of the southern balaenopterid whales were comparatively examined by reviewing the reports and information as well as on the new analyses for the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in the Antarctic region during the 1920's and the 1982/83 season. Two types of density-dependent changes were identified; changes by catch intensity itself for the blue (B. musculus) and the fin (B. physalus) whales and changes by interspecific competition for the se...

  9. English Dominance in Whaling Debates A Critical Analysis of Dicourse at the International Whaling Commission

    OpenAIRE

    Takahashi, Junichi

    1998-01-01

    The International Whaling Commission (IWC), the inter-governmental bory for manafement of whaling and resources, shifted from the science-based policies for the industry to the ethic-mased policies for animal protection., which led to the moratorium for mst whaling operations undes its jurisdiction. This paper critiaclly analyzes the discourse at the IWC for the most critical decades (1967-1987), and shows how scientific categories and arguments for resource management weere replaced by essen...

  10. Anatomical and histological investigation of the pyloric caeca in beluga (Huso huso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hooman Rahmati-holasoo

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper was to study anatomy and histology of pyloric caeca in 2 years old beluga (Huso huso (Linnaeus, 1758. In this study 12, 2-year old male and female H. huso were included. Anatomical position of pyloric caeca was studied through dissection. Histological specimens were fixed in 10% formalin buffer phosphate for 72 h. The specimens were processed through paraffin embedding and 7 micrometer sections were cut and stained by Hematoxylin and eosin and observed under light microscope. It was shown that pyloric caeca in H. huso were attached and formed a large mass between stomach and duodenum. The capsule was a smooth muscle that had dispatched trabeculae into the organ and formed lobules. There were numerous villi with simple columnar epithelium in different sizes in each lobule. It was demonstrated that pyloric caeca in H. huso like other sturgeon fish were attached to each other and formed an organ called pyloric caeca with a long leaf-shaped villi.

  11. Body shape changes during the early development of the Beluga (Huso huso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Asgari

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Early body shape changes of beluga sturgeon were studied using landmark-based geometric morphometric approach to recognize its allometric growth pattern. Sampling was done from hatching up to 50 days post hatching (DPH. Left side of specimens were photographed using digital camera and nine landmark points were digitized on two-dimensional images. Total length (TI was measured using the software ImageJ. To study of the body shape changes during early development, the mean procrustes distance between all specimens of same age, for all age groups, was calculated. The scores of relative warp analysis (RW were used as descriptors for the variation in shape. RW analysis revealed a sharp body shape change during early ontogeny on 18 DPH. Growth trajectory was computed by plotting RW against TL. The inflection point of body shape corresponds to a TL of 23.3 mm (18 DPH. Results showed that ontogenetic shape changes encompassed a pre-inflection shape changes, which included the elongation of the head and tail regions i.e. positive allometric growth pattern and post-inflection shape changes, with a nearly isometric growth pattern.

  12. Pre-whaling genetic diversity and population ecology in eastern Pacific gray whales: insights from ancient DNA and stable isotopes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Elizabeth Alter

    Full Text Available Commercial whaling decimated many whale populations, including the eastern Pacific gray whale, but little is known about how population dynamics or ecology differed prior to these removals. Of particular interest is the possibility of a large population decline prior to whaling, as such a decline could explain the ~5-fold difference between genetic estimates of prior abundance and estimates based on historical records. We analyzed genetic (mitochondrial control region and isotopic information from modern and prehistoric gray whales using serial coalescent simulations and Bayesian skyline analyses to test for a pre-whaling decline and to examine prehistoric genetic diversity, population dynamics and ecology. Simulations demonstrate that significant genetic differences observed between ancient and modern samples could be caused by a large, recent population bottleneck, roughly concurrent with commercial whaling. Stable isotopes show minimal differences between modern and ancient gray whale foraging ecology. Using rejection-based Approximate Bayesian Computation, we estimate the size of the population bottleneck at its minimum abundance and the pre-bottleneck abundance. Our results agree with previous genetic studies suggesting the historical size of the eastern gray whale population was roughly three to five times its current size.

  13. Humans, Fish, and Whales: How Right Whales Modify Calling Behavior in Response to Shifting Background Noise Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Susan E; Groch, Karina; Flores, Paulo; Sousa-Lima, Renata; Urazghildiiev, Ildar R

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the role of behavioral plasticity in the variation of sound production of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in response to changes in the ambient background noise conditions. Data were collected from southern right whales in Brazilian waters in October and November 2011. The goal of this study was to quantify differences in right whale vocalizations recorded in low background noise as a control, fish chorus noise, and vessel noise. Variation in call parameters were detected among the three background noise conditions and have implications for future studies of noise effects on whale sound production.

  14. History of Whaling and Estimated Kill of Right Whales, Balaena glacialis, in the Northeastern United States, 1620–1924

    OpenAIRE

    Reeves, Randall R.; Breiwick , Jeffrey M.; Mitchell , Edward D.

    1999-01-01

    This study, part of a broader investigation of the history of exploitation of right whales, Balaena glacialis, in the western North Atlantic, emphasizes U.S. shore whaling from Maine to Delaware (from lat. 45°N to 38°30'N) in the period 1620–1924. Our broader study of the entire catch history is intended to provide an empirical basis for assessing past distribution and abundance of this whale population. Shore whaling may have begun at Cape Cod, Mass., in the 1620’s or 1630’s; it was ce...

  15. Humans, Fish, and Whales: How Right Whales Modify Calling Behavior in Response to Shifting Background Noise Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Susan E; Groch, Karina; Flores, Paulo; Sousa-Lima, Renata; Urazghildiiev, Ildar R

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the role of behavioral plasticity in the variation of sound production of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in response to changes in the ambient background noise conditions. Data were collected from southern right whales in Brazilian waters in October and November 2011. The goal of this study was to quantify differences in right whale vocalizations recorded in low background noise as a control, fish chorus noise, and vessel noise. Variation in call parameters were detected among the three background noise conditions and have implications for future studies of noise effects on whale sound production. PMID:26611036

  16. A Stellar Stream Surrounds the Whale Galaxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-10-01

    The -cold dark matter cosmological model predicts that galaxies are assembled through the disruption and absorption of small satellite dwarf galaxies by their larger hosts. A recent study argues that NGC 4631, otherwise known as the Whale galaxy, shows evidence of such a recent merger in the form of an enormous stellar stream extending from it.Stream SignaturesAccording to the -CDM model, stellar tidal streams should be a ubiquitous feature among galaxies. When satellite dwarf galaxies are torn apart, they spread out into such streams before ultimately feeding the host galaxy. Unfortunately, these streams are very faint, so were only recently starting to detect these features.Stellar tidal streams have been discovered around the Milky Way and Andromeda, providing evidence of these galaxies growth via recent (within the last 8 Gyr) mergers. But discovering stellar streams around other Milky Way-like galaxies would help us to determine if the model of hierarchical galaxy assembly applies generally.To this end, the Stellar Tidal Stream Survey, led by PI David Martnez-Delgado (Center for Astronomy of Heidelberg University), is carrying out the first systematic survey of stellar tidal streams. In a recent study, Martnez-Delgado and collaborators present their detection of a giant (85 kpc long!) stellar tidal stream extending into the halo of NGC 4631, the Whale galaxy.Modeling a SatelliteThe top image is a snapshot from an N-body simulation of a single dwarf satellite, 3.5 Gyr after it started interacting with the Whale galaxy. The satellite has been torn apart and spread into a stream that reproduces observations, which are shown in the lower image (scale is not the same). [Martnez-Delgado et al. 2015]The Whale galaxy is a nearby edge-on spiral galaxy interacting with a second spiral, NGC 4656. But the authors dont believe that the Whale galaxys giant tidal stellar stream is caused by its interactions with NGC 4656. Instead, based on their observations, they believe

  17. Effect of dietary free L-Lysine on growth performance and muscle composition of Beluga Huso huso (Linnaeus 1785) juveniles

    OpenAIRE

    Seyyed Morteza Hoseini; Seyed Abbas Hosseini; Mohammad Soudagar

    2013-01-01

    Effect of dietary free L-Lysine on growth, food intake, and muscle composition of beluga juveniles were investigated over 6 weeks. Control diet lysine content was 2.1% of dry matter (4.4% of dietary protein). Three experimental diets were prepared by adding lysine (0.5, 1 and 1.5%) to control diet to obtain diets containing 2.6, 3.1 and 3.6% of dry matter lysine (corresponding to 5.5, 6.6 and 7.6 of dietary protein). Fish were fed 2.6% of dry matter lysine showed significantly higher final we...

  18. Is killer whale dialect evolution random?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filatova, Olga A; Burdin, Alexandr M; Hoyt, Erich

    2013-10-01

    The killer whale is among the few species in which cultural change accumulates over many generations, leading to cumulative cultural evolution. Killer whales have group-specific vocal repertoires which are thought to be learned rather than being genetically coded. It is supposed that divergence between vocal repertoires of sister groups increases gradually over time due to random learning mistakes and innovations. In this case, the similarity of calls across groups must be correlated with pod relatedness and, consequently, with each other. In this study we tested this prediction by comparing the patterns of call similarity between matrilines of resident killer whales from Eastern Kamchatka. We calculated the similarity of seven components from three call types across 14 matrilines. In contrast to the theoretical predictions, matrilines formed different clusters on the dendrograms made by different calls and even by different components of the same call. We suggest three possible explanations for this phenomenon. First, the lack of agreement between similarity patterns of different components may be the result of constraints in the call structure. Second, it is possible that call components change in time with different speed and/or in different directions. Third, horizontal cultural transmission of call features may occur between matrilines.

  19. Molecular genetic identification of southern hemisphere beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalebout, M L; Helden, A V; van Waerebeek, K; Baker, C S

    1998-06-01

    To assist in the species-level identification of stranded and hunted beaked whales, we compiled a database of 'reference' sequences from the mitochondrial DNA control region for 15 of the 20 described ziphiid species. Reference samples for eight species were obtained from stranded animals in New Zealand and South Australia. Sequences for a further seven species were obtained from a previously published report. This database was used to identify 20 'test' samples obtained from incompletely documented strandings around New Zealand. Analyses showed that four of these 'test' specimens (20%) had initially been misidentified. These included two animals of particular interest: (i) a Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), the first record of this species in New Zealand waters; and, (ii) a juvenile Andrews' beaked whale (Mesoplodon bowdoini), a species known from just over 20 strandings worldwide. A published sequence from a beaked whale product purchased in the Republic of Korea was identified as a Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris). Levels of intra- and interspecific variation were compared to determine the potential for misidentification when the database or taxonomy is incomplete. Intraspecific variation was generally 4.7%. Exceptions were within-species variation in Hyperoodon planifrons, southern bottlenosed whale (4.12%), which exceeded the variation between the two species of Berardius (3.78%), and variation between the two specimens assigned to M. hectori, Hector's beaked whale (7.14%). The latter case appears to be an error in species identification, and could represent the discovery of a new species of beaked whale.

  20. 75 FR 2853 - False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-19

    ... under the ESA is warranted (75 FR 316, January 5, 2010). Based on the overlap between the Insular and... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XT76 False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team... (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of establishment of a False Killer Whale Take...

  1. CHARACTERIZATION OF WESTERN NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE SPRING FEEDING HABITAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Great South Channel region of the southwestern Gulf of Maine, between George's Bank and Cape Cod, is the primary spring feeding ground for the western North Atlantic population of the I northern right whale, E. glacialis .Since this whale is so endangered, it is critical to i...

  2. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coosaw River (Whale Branch). 117.927 Section 117.927 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY... (Whale Branch). The draw of the Seaboard System Railroad bridge, mile 5.3 at Seabrook, and the draw...

  3. Field Research Studying Whales in an Undergraduate Animal Behavior Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLaren, R. David; Schulte, Dianna; Kennedy, Jen

    2012-01-01

    This work describes a new field research laboratory in an undergraduate animal behavior course involving the study of whale behavior, ecology and conservation in partnership with a non-profit research organization--the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation (BOS). The project involves two weeks of training and five weekend trips on whale watch…

  4. Life history evolution: what does a menopausal killer whale do?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2015-03-16

    Menopause evolved in humans and whales, presumably because older females can help their kin. But how do they help? New research shows that post-menopausal female killer whales lead foraging groups. This leadership is most significant when food is scarce. PMID:25784039

  5. Current status of the minke whales and conflicts of interest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. V. Singarajah

    1988-07-01

    Full Text Available Minke whales - the rorqual group of the family Balaenopteridae - are widely distributed and constitute an important major harvestable living resource of the sea. Recently, the Antarctic minke whale population has been estimated to be between 150,000 and 300,000. Populations being dynamic entities, the size of the minke whale population has been changing. Currently , the minke whale population in the Antarctic has been claimed to have increased considerably. However, the minke whale stock arriving off Brazil could be regarded as only a small discrete unit of breeding stock and an integral part of the Brazilian natural resource. Data analysis based on the past 21 years shows that this stock is relatively in a steady state, but with only a few annual fluctuations which are around a constant mean value; and these departures are attributable both to environmental conditions and the local operational parameters. Further, the analysis of overall data does not suggest any decline in the Brazilian stock and a MSY at about 58.5% can be taken without depleting the stock, provided no dramatic changes occur in the native Antarctic habitat where the minke whales return to feed. This would allow Brazil a carefully controlled rational utilization of this potentially valuable sea resource since enough exploitable numbers of minke whales have been estimated to be available for Area II. The current arguments of the conflicts between the Pro -and Anti-whaling groups are also briefly discussed.

  6. Characterization of two influenza A viruses from a pilot whale.

    OpenAIRE

    Hinshaw, V S; Bean, W J; Geraci, J.; Fiorelli, P; Early, G.; Webster, R G

    1986-01-01

    Influenza A viruses of the H13N2 and H13N9 subtypes were isolated from the lung and hilar node of a pilot whale. Serological, molecular, and biological analyses indicate that the whale isolates are closely related to the H13 influenza viruses from gulls.

  7. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro, C.; Acevedo, J.; Aguayo-Lobo, A.; Allen, J.; Capella, J.; Rosa, Dalla L.; Flores-González, L.; Kaufman, G.; Forestell, P.; Scheidat, M.; Secchi, E.R.; Stevick, P.; Santos, M.C.O.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on the long-term re-sight histories of fifteen photo-identified humpback whales encountered to date transiting Ecuadorian waters. It also provides information about connections to feeding area destinations. Whale EC1261 has been resighted over a 26 year span and provides insight i

  8. Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Besseling, E.; Foekema, E.M.; Franeker, van J.A.; Leopold, M.F.; Bravo Rebolledo, E.; Kuehn, S.; Mielke, L.; Heberle-Bors, E.; Ijzer, J.; Kamminga, P.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in in

  9. Life history evolution: what does a menopausal killer whale do?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2015-03-16

    Menopause evolved in humans and whales, presumably because older females can help their kin. But how do they help? New research shows that post-menopausal female killer whales lead foraging groups. This leadership is most significant when food is scarce.

  10. Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E., Besseling,; E.M., Foekema,; J.A. van, Franeker; Leopold, Mardik F; Kuhn, S.; Bravo Rebolledo, E.L.; Hese, E.; Mielke, L.; IJzer, J.; Kamminga, P.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in in

  11. On the Prime Whales of a Boolean Algebra

    OpenAIRE

    Holland, Jason

    2013-01-01

    In this note, we introduce objects called prime whales and use them to represent a Boolean algebra as an algebra of sets in a way that is analogous to Stone's Representation Theorem. We also characterize the existence of prime whales in terms of the existence of prime ideals.

  12. Commercial Whaling, Especially for Gray Whales, Eschrichtius robustus, and Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, at California and Baja California Shore Stations in the 19th Century (1854–1899)

    OpenAIRE

    Reeves, Randall R.; Smith, Tim D.

    2010-01-01

    Shore whaling along North America’s California and Baja California coasts during 1854–99 was ancillary to the offshore and alongshore American whale fishery, which had begun in the North Pacific in the early 1800’s and was flourishing by the 1840’s. From its inception at Monterey, Calif., in the mid 1850’s, the shore fishery, involving open boats deployed from land to catch and tow whales for processing, eventually spread from Monterey south to San Diego and Baja California and north...

  13. Miocene whale-fall from California demonstrates that cetacean size did not determine the evolution of modern whale-fall communities

    OpenAIRE

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Haasl, David M

    2007-01-01

    Whale-fall communities support a deep-sea invertebrate assemblage that subsists entirely on the decaying carcasses of large cetaceans. The oldest whale-falls are Late Eocene in age, but these early whale-falls differ in faunal content and host cetacean size from Neogene and Recent whale-falls. Vesicomyid bivalves, for example, are major components of the sulphophilic stage in Miocene and Recent whale-fall communities, but they are absent from Palaeogene fossil whale-falls. The differences bet...

  14. Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus scavenge offal from minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata whaling operations in Svalbard (Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa-Marie Leclerc

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata tissue (mainly blubber was found in the gastrointestinal tracks of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus collected in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Norway. In order to determine whether the sharks were actively hunting the whales, finding naturally dead whales or consuming offal from whaling, we checked the genetic identity of the whale tissue found in the sharks against the DNA register for minke whales taken in Norwegian whaling operations. All of the minke whale samples from the sharks that had DNA of sufficient quality to perform individual identifications were traceable to the whaling DNA register. During whaling operations, the blubber is stripped from the carcass and thrown overboard. The blubber strips float on the surface and are available for surface-feeding predators. This study revealed that Greenland sharks are scavenging this material; additionally, it demonstrates the capacity of this ‘benthic-feeding’ shark to utilize the whole water column for foraging.

  15. Marine reservoir corrections for bowhead whale radiocarbon age determinations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Twenty-two pairs of radiocarbon dates on driftwood and bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) bones from raised beaches, dates on whale bone and terrestrial plant detritus from a stratigraphic section, and 25 additional dates on whale bones from the lowest (≤ 1 ka BP) raised beaches in the eastern Canadian Arctic suggest that a marine reservoir correction of about -200 years is appropriate for normalized age determinations on bone collagen from the bowhead whale in this region. This is less than the correction (-400 years) normally applied to carbonate shells of marine molluscs from this region. The carbon in bowhead collagen appears to be derived from the whales' zooplankton food rather than from marine bicarbonate. (author). 39 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs

  16. Latitudinal variation in ecological opportunity and intraspecific competition indicates differences in niche variability and diet specialization of Arctic marine predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steve; Choy, Emily S; Loseto, Lisa L; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Individual specialization (IS), where individuals within populations irrespective of age, sex, and body size are either specialized or generalized in terms of resource use, has implications on ecological niches and food web structure. Niche size and degree of IS of near-top trophic-level marine predators have been little studied in polar regions or with latitude. We quantified the large-scale latitudinal variation of population- and individual-level niche size and IS in ringed seals (Pusa hispida) and beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis on 379 paired ringed seal liver and muscle samples and 124 paired beluga skin and muscle samples from eight locations ranging from the low to high Arctic. We characterized both within- and between-individual variation in predator niche size at each location as well as accounting for spatial differences in the isotopic ranges of potential prey. Total isotopic niche width (TINW) for populations of ringed seals and beluga decreased with increasing latitude. Higher TINW values were associated with greater ecological opportunity (i.e., prey diversity) in the prey fish community which mainly consists of Capelin (Mallotus villosus) and Sand lance (Ammodytes sp.) at lower latitudes and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) at high latitudes. In beluga, their dietary consistency between tissues also known as the within-individual component (WIC) increased in a near 1:1 ratio with TINW (slope = 0.84), suggesting dietary generalization, whereas the slope (0.18) of WIC relative to TINW in ringed seals indicated a high degree of individual specialization in ringed seal populations with higher TINWs. Our findings highlight the differences in TINW and level of IS for ringed seals and beluga relative to latitude as a likely response to large-scale spatial variation in ecological opportunity, suggesting species-specific variation in dietary plasticity to spatial differences in prey resources and

  17. Hybridization of Southern Hemisphere blue whale subspecies and a sympatric area off Antarctica: impacts of whaling or climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attard, Catherine R M; Beheregaray, Luciano B; Jenner, K Curt S; Gill, Peter C; Jenner, Micheline-Nicole; Morrice, Margaret G; Robertson, Kelly M; Möller, Luciana M

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the degree of genetic exchange between subspecies and populations is vital for the appropriate management of endangered species. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) have two recognized Southern Hemisphere subspecies that show differences in geographic distribution, morphology, vocalizations and genetics. During the austral summer feeding season, the Antarctic blue whale (B. m. intermedia) is found in polar waters and the pygmy blue whale (B. m. brevicauda) in temperate waters. Here, we genetically analyzed samples collected during the feeding season to report on several cases of hybridization between the two recognized blue whale Southern Hemisphere subspecies in a previously unconfirmed sympatric area off Antarctica. This means the pygmy blue whales using waters off Antarctica may migrate and then breed during the austral winter with the Antarctic subspecies. Alternatively, the subspecies may interbreed off Antarctica outside the expected austral winter breeding season. The genetically estimated recent migration rates from the pygmy to Antarctic subspecies were greater than estimates of evolutionary migration rates and previous estimates based on morphology of whaling catches. This discrepancy may be due to differences in the methods or an increase in the proportion of pygmy blue whales off Antarctica within the last four decades. Potential causes for the latter are whaling, anthropogenic climate change or a combination of these and may have led to hybridization between the subspecies. Our findings challenge the current knowledge about the breeding behaviour of the world's largest animal and provide key information that can be incorporated into management and conservation practices for this endangered species. PMID:23137299

  18. Ecotypic variation and predatory behavior among killer whales (Orcinus orca) off the eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    OpenAIRE

    Matkin, Craig O.; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G.; Yurk, Harald; Ellifrit, David; Andrew W Trites

    2007-01-01

    From 2001 to 2004 in the eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska, killer whales (Orcinus orca) were encountered 250 times during 421 days of surveys that covered a total of 22,491 miles. Three killer whale groups (resident, transient, and offshore) were identified acoustically and genetically. Resident killer whales were found 12 times more frequently than transient killer whales, and offshore killer whales were encountered only once. A minimum of 901 photographically identified resident wh...

  19. Arctic whaling : proceedings of the International Symposium Arctic Whaling February 1983

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacob, H.K. s'; Snoeijing, K

    1984-01-01

    Contents: D.M. Hopkins and Louie Marincovich Jr. Whale Biogeography and the history of the Arctic Basin P.M. Kellt, J.H.W. Karas and L.D. Williams Arctic Climate: Past, Present and Future Torgny E. Vinje On the present state and the future fate of the Arctic sea ice cover P.J.H. van Bree On the biol

  20. Pilot Whales Attracted to Killer Whale Sounds: Acoustically-Mediated Interspecific Interactions in Cetaceans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cure, C.; Antunes, R.; Samarra, F.; Alves, A.C.; Visser, F.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2012-01-01

    In cetaceans’ communities, interactions between individuals of different species are often observed in the wild. Yet, due to methodological and technical challenges very little is known about the mediation of these interactions and their effect on cetaceans’ behavior. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) ar

  1. 77 FR 16538 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-21

    ...; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale and the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY... review of North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena... of any such information on these whales that has become available since the last status review...

  2. Environmental Variability, Bowhead Whale Distributions, and Inupiat Subsistence Whaling in the Coastal Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashjian, C. J.; Campbell, R. G.; George, J. C.; Moore, S. E.; Okkonen, S. R.; Sherr, B. F.; Sherr, E. B.

    2006-12-01

    The annual migration of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) past Barrow, Alaska has provided subsistence hunting opportunities to Native whalers for centuries. Bowheads regularly feed along the Arctic coast near Barrow in autumn, presumably to utilize recurrent aggregations of their zooplankton prey (e.g., copepods, euphausiids). Oceanographic field-sampling on the narrow continental shelf near Barrow and in Elson Lagoon was conducted during mid-August to mid-September of 2005 and 2006 to describe the different water mass types and plankton communities, to identify exchange of water and material between the shelf and lagoon and offshore, and to identify biological and physical mechanisms of plankton aggregation. High spatial resolution profiles of temperature, salinity, fluorescence, optical backscatter, and C-DOM were collected using an Acrobat undulating towed vehicle in the lagoon and across the shelf from near-shore to the ~150 m isobath. Discrete sampling for nutrients, chlorophyll a, and phytoplankton, and microzooplankton and mesozooplankton abundance and composition was conducted in distinct water types and across frontal boundaries identified from the high-resolution data. The distributions of bowhead whales were documented using aerial surveys. Inter-annual and shorter-term (days to weeks) variability in the distribution of water masses and intrinsic biological properties was observed. Distinct hydrographic and biological-chemical regions were located across the shelf that may contribute to the formation of bowhead whale prey aggregations. The lagoon system is an important interface between the ocean and land and may be critical to the formation of nearshore bowhead whale prey aggregations. Results from the field sampling will be coupled to biological-physical modeling and retrospective analyses to understand the response of this complex environment-whale-human system to climate variability.

  3. Oceanographic connectivity between right whale critical habitats in Canada and its influence on whale abundance indices during 1987-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Kimberley T. A.; Vanderlaan, Angelia S. M.; Smedbol, R. Kent; Taggart, Christopher T.

    2015-10-01

    The Roseway and Grand Manan basins on the Canadian Atlantic coast are neighboring late-summer critical feeding habitats for endangered North Atlantic right whales. Although in late summer these habitats regularly contain thick aggregations of right whale food - the copepod Calanus spp. - right whales periodically abandon one or both habitats in the same year. The causes of abandonments, their relationship to food supply, and the locations of whales during abandonment periods are unclear. The goals of this study were to explain variation in right whale abundance indices from a habitat perspective, and to determine whether or not oceanographic variation in the habitats influences occupancy. Four indices of whale abundance and habitat occupancy, including sightings per unit effort (SPUE), photographic sightings of known individuals, population size and habitat transition probabilities, were analyzed in relation to unique datasets of Calanus concentration and water mass characteristics in each basin over the period 1987 through 2009. Calanus concentration, water mass sources and various hydrographic properties each varied coherently between basins. Calanus concentration showed an increasing trend over time in each habitat, although a short-lived reduction in Calanus may have caused right whales to abandon Roseway Basin during the mid-1990s. Food supply explained variation in right whale sightings and population size in Roseway Basin, but not in Grand Manan Basin, suggesting that the Grand Manan Basin has important habitat characteristics in addition to food supply. Changes in the distribution of whale abundance indices during years when oceanographic conditions were associated with reduced food supply in the Scotia-Fundy region suggest that other suitable feeding habitats may not have existed during such years and resulted in negative effects on whale health and reproduction.

  4. Helminths parasites of whales in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís C. Muniz-Pereira

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Three species of whale Balaenoptera borealis Lesson, 1828, B. physalus (Linnaeus, 1758 and Physeter catodon Linnaeus, 1758 captured in the Brazilian coast were necropsied for helminths. Balaenoptera borealis and B. physalus were infected by Crassicauda crassicauda (Nematoda, Tetrameridae and Ogmogaster antarcticus (Digenea: Notocotylidae, which are referred for the first time in Brazil. Balaenoptera borealis was also infected by Lecithodesmus goliath (Digenea, Campulidae and Bolbosoma turbinella (Acanthocephala, Polymorphidae. Physeter catodon was infected by Anisakis physeteris (Nematoda, Anisakidae, which is a new record to this host in Brazilian waters.

  5. The Truth About Soviet Whaling: A Memoir

    OpenAIRE

    Berzin, Alfred A.

    2008-01-01

    In November 1993, Professor Alexei Yablokov, who at the time was the Science Advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, stood on a podium in Galveston, Tex., and delivered a speech to the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s biennial conference, the premier international event in the field of marine mammal science. Addressing the 1,500 scientists present, he made what amounted to a national confession: that, beginning in 1948, the U.S.S.R. had begun a huge campaign of illegal whaling. Despite b...

  6. "More Swimming Lessons from the London Whale"

    OpenAIRE

    Jan KREGEL

    2013-01-01

    This policy brief by Senior Scholar and Program Director Jan Kregel builds on an earlier analysis (Policy Note 2012/6) of JPMorgan Chase and the actions of the "London Whale", and what this episode reveals about the larger risks inherent in the financial system. It is clear that the Dodd-Frank Act failed to prevent massive losses by one of the world's largest banks. This is undeniable evidence that work remains to be done to reform the financial system. Toward this end, Kregel reviews the fin...

  7. Summary of Reported Whale-Vessel Collisions in Alaskan Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet L. Neilson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Here we summarize 108 reported whale-vessel collisions in Alaska from 1978–2011, of which 25 are known to have resulted in the whale's death. We found 89 definite and 19 possible/probable strikes based on standard criteria we created for this study. Most strikes involved humpback whales (86% with six other species documented. Small vessel strikes were most common (<15 m, 60%, but medium (15–79 m, 27% and large (≥80 m, 13% vessels also struck whales. Among the 25 mortalities, vessel length was known in seven cases (190–294 m and vessel speed was known in three cases (12–19 kn. In 36 cases, human injury or property damage resulted from the collision, and at least 15 people were thrown into the water. In 15 cases humpback whales struck anchored or drifting vessels, suggesting the whales did not detect the vessels. Documenting collisions in Alaska will remain challenging due to remoteness and resource limitations. For a better understanding of the factors contributing to lethal collisions, we recommend (1 systematic documentation of collisions, including vessel size and speed; (2 greater efforts to necropsy stranded whales; (3 using experienced teams focused on determining cause of death; (4 using standard criteria for validating collision reports, such as those presented in this paper.

  8. Bowhead whale songs sung by females in Disko Bay, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi; Christoffersen, Mads; FØrasier, Timothy;

    2011-01-01

    Song is commonly associated with breeding behaviour with singing primarily occurring during the breeding season and in most species, singers are male. Bowhead whales produce complex song, primarily during the late fall through spring, a period believed to correspond to the mating season for this ......Song is commonly associated with breeding behaviour with singing primarily occurring during the breeding season and in most species, singers are male. Bowhead whales produce complex song, primarily during the late fall through spring, a period believed to correspond to the mating season...... for this species. Bowhead whale song has long been hypothesized to be produced by male whales as a reproductive advertisement; however, no data on the sex of singers has ever been reported. In this study, we determine the sex of singing bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus in Disko Bay, West Greenland, by localizing......% males (n=1)). These data clearly demonstrate that female bowhead whales sing, however more samples are necessary to assess whether male bowhead whales also sing. The suggested functions of female song for other species include territorial defense, mate guarding, coordination of breeding activities...

  9. Evidence for ship noise impacts on humpback whale foraging behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Hannah B; Merchant, Nathan D; Friedlaender, Ari S; Wiley, David N; Parks, Susan E

    2016-08-01

    Noise from shipping activity in North Atlantic coastal waters has been steadily increasing and is an area of growing conservation concern, as it has the potential to disrupt the behaviour of marine organisms. This study examines the impacts of ship noise on bottom foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the western North Atlantic. Data were collected from 10 foraging whales using non-invasive archival tags that simultaneously recorded underwater movements and the acoustic environment at the whale. Using mixed models, we assess the effects of ship noise on seven parameters of their feeding behaviours. Independent variables included the presence or absence of ship noise and the received level of ship noise at the whale. We found significant effects on foraging, including slower descent rates and fewer side-roll feeding events per dive with increasing ship noise. During 5 of 18 ship passages, dives without side-rolls were observed. These findings indicate that humpback whales on Stellwagen Bank, an area with chronically elevated levels of shipping traffic, significantly change foraging activity when exposed to high levels of ship noise. This measureable reduction in within-dive foraging effort of individual whales could potentially lead to population-level impacts of shipping noise on baleen whale foraging success. PMID:27512131

  10. The role of infrasounds in maintaining whale herds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Roger S.

    2001-05-01

    For whales and dolphins a basic social unit is the herd. In several species, herds have been observed to maintain the same speed, direction, and membership overnight, and while swimming in waters of near-zero visibility-evidence that individuals can stay together using nonvisual cues. The most likely such cue is sound. If whale herds are held together with sound, yet we define herds as groups of whales seen moving together, then we are using visual criteria to judge what is an acoustic phenomenon, and our conclusions about a most basic unit of cetacean social structure, the herd, are at least incomplete, and, quite possibly, worthless. By calling herds, heards, we remind ourselves that sound controls herd size. We then consider that some whale infrasound can propagate across deep water at useful intensities (even in today's ship-noise-polluted ocean) for thousands of kilometers. The distance to which blue and fin whale sounds propagate before falling below background noise is given, and the possible advantages these whales obtain from such sounds is explored. The conclusion is that by sharing information on food finds infrasonically, fin and blue whales may have developed a way to divide up the food resources of an entire ocean.

  11. Correction: Two intense decades of 19th century whaling precipitated rapid decline of right whales around New Zealand and east Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

    Full Text Available Right whales (Eubalaena spp. were the focus of worldwide whaling activities from the 16th to the 20th century. During the first part of the 19th century, the southern right whale (E. australis was heavily exploited on whaling grounds around New Zealand (NZ and east Australia (EA. Here we build upon previous estimates of the total catch of NZ and EA right whales by improving and combining estimates from four different fisheries. Two fisheries have previously been considered: shore-based whaling in bays and ship-based whaling offshore. These were both improved by comparison with primary sources and the American offshore whaling catch record was improved by using a sample of logbooks to produce a more accurate catch record in terms of location and species composition. Two fisheries had not been previously integrated into the NZ and EA catch series: ship-based whaling in bays and whaling in the 20th century. To investigate the previously unaddressed problem of offshore whalers operating in bays, we identified a subset of vessels likely to be operating in bays and read available extant logbooks. This allowed us to estimate the total likely catch from bay-whaling by offshore whalers from the number of vessels seasons and whales killed per season: it ranged from 2,989 to 4,652 whales. The revised total estimate of 53,000 to 58,000 southern right whales killed is a considerable increase on the previous estimate of 26,000, partly because it applies fishery-specific estimates of struck and loss rates. Over 80% of kills were taken between 1830 and 1849, indicating a brief and intensive fishery that resulted in the commercial extinction of southern right whales in NZ and EA in just two decades. This conforms to the global trend of increasingly intense and destructive southern right whale fisheries over time.

  12. Distribution and abundance of West Greenland humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae )

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Finn; Hammond, P.S.

    2004-01-01

    Photo-identification surveys of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae were conducted at West Greenland during 1988-93, the last 2 years of which were part of the internationally coordinated humpback whale research programme YoNAH, with the primary aim of estimating abundance for the West Greenland...... effort. A total of 670 groups of humpback whales was encountered leading to the identification of 348 individual animals. Three areas of concentration were identified: an area off Nuuk; an area at c. 63degrees30'N; and an area off Frederikshab. Sequential Petersen capture-recapture estimates of abundance...

  13. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat

    OpenAIRE

    Panagiotopoulou, Olga; Spyridis, Panagiotis; Mehari Abraha, Hyab; Carrier, David R.; Pataky, Todd C.

    2016-01-01

    Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L.) sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the “spermaceti organ” and “junk,” that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the t...

  14. Whales and dolphins (Mammalia, Cetacea) of the Cape Verde Islands, with special reference to the Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hazevoet, Cornelis J.; Wenzel, Frederick W.

    2000-01-01

    Observations of whales and dolphins in the Cape Verde Islands obtained in 1995 and 1996 are reported and data on the occurrence of 14 taxa are given, including four not previously reported from the region, viz. Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Killer Whale Orcinus orca, Rough-toothed Dolphin Steno

  15. Humpback whale song: A new review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankel, Adam S.

    2003-04-01

    The humpback whale song has been described and investigated since the early 1970s. Much has been learned about the humpback whale social structure, but the understanding of the song and its function remains elusive. The hierarchical nature of the song structure was described early on: Songs can be sung for a long period, apparently by males, and primarily during the mating season. However, singers also become physically competitive, suggesting alternative mating strategies. There are a number of unique structural features of song. Its structure evolves over time and combination. The nature of song evolution strongly implies cultural transmission. Song structure appears to be shared within an entire population, even though there appears to be little interchange of individuals between sub populations. Despite over thirty years of inquiry there are still numerous unanswered questions: Why is the song structure so complex? Is song a sexual advertisement, an acoustic space mediation mechanism, or both? How do females choose mates, or do they? What drives song evolution, and why is there so much variation in the rate of change? Are there nonreproductive functions of song? What prompts a male to begin or end singing? Our current understanding and the outstanding questions yet to be answered will be reviewed.

  16. The hunting of the Greenland right whale in Svalbard, its interaction with climate and its impact on the marine ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Hacquebord, Louwrens

    1999-01-01

    During the 17th and 18th centuries, tens of thousands of Greenland right whales were killed as a result of extensive European whaling in the coastal waters of the Svalbard archipelago. The author reconstructed these whaling activities, examined how the changing climate affected whaling productivity, and considered the consequences of climate and whaling on the species and on the North Atlantic ecosystem. Annual catch records made it possible to calculate the original size of the whale populat...

  17. Whaling in Europe is dependent on the continued willingness of governments to fund it at a loss

    OpenAIRE

    Hurd, Ian

    2013-01-01

    Hunting whales for commercial purposes has been prohibited by international treaties since the 1980s. Despite this, several countries, including Norway and Iceland, still participate in whaling. Ian Hurd assesses the continued existence of whaling in Europe, noting that due to falling demand for whale products, the practice generally relies on government subsidies. Tackling the incentives which encourage governments to support whaling may help to further reduce the market for whale products.

  18. Isolation of Brucella ceti from a Long-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas) and a Sowerby's Beaked Whale (Mesoploden bidens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Geoffrey; Whatmore, Adrian M; Dagleish, Mark P; Baily, Johanna L; Deaville, Rob; Davison, Nicholas J; Koylass, Mark S; Perrett, Lorraine L; Stubberfield, Emma J; Reid, Robert J; Brownlow, Andrew C

    2015-10-01

    Brucella ceti is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that has been recovered from several species of cetaceans in the world's oceans over the past 20 yr. We report the recovery of B. ceti from a Sowerby's beaked whale (Mesoploden bidens) and a long-finned pilot whale (Globicehala melas). Recovery from the testis of a long-finned pilot whale provides further evidence of potential for B. ceti infection to impact the reproductive success of cetaceans, many of which are threatened species. The addition of another two cetacean species to the growing number from which B. ceti has been recovered also further emphasizes the concern for human infections with this organism.

  19. Necropsy report of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) stranded in Denmark in 2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrup, Aage K. O.; Hedayat, Abdi; Jensen, Trine Hammer;

    2013-01-01

    There is little detailed information on stranded fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the scientific literature (Notarbartolo di Sciara et al., 2003). In Denmark, at least eight fin whales stranded between the years 1603 and 1958 (Kinze, 1995). On 16 June 2010, a live subadult or adult male fin...... whale stranded in the Bay of Vejle (55º 69' N, 9º 58' E), Denmark. Despite several attempts, it was not possible to rescue the fin whale, which was only partially exposed by the water. The fin whale succumbed after 5 d stranded in shallow water. The dead fin whale was transported to a nearby pier...

  20. Baleen whale acoustic ecology with focus on minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and reference to anthropogenic noise

    OpenAIRE

    Risch, Denise

    2013-01-01

    Passive acoustic approaches for studying marine mammals have developed substantially over the past decade. Advances in technology now allow data collection in remote areas and over extended timescales. The first two chapters of this thesis focused on the application of passive acoustics for monitoring migratory baleen whales in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. The development and application of new localization algorithms showed how small-scale arrays can be used to obtain base...

  1. Arctic wildlife sketches: Whales of the Northwest Territories

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers whales of the Northwest Territories. Topics covered include distribution, behavior, food, reproduction, and economic status and management.

  2. Passive acoustic detection of deep-diving beaked whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zimmer, W.M.X.; Harwood, J.; Tyack, P.L.;

    2008-01-01

    Beaked whales can remain submerged for an hour or more and are difficult to sight when they come to the surface to breathe. Passive acoustic detection (PAD) not only complements traditional visual-based methods for detecting these species but also can be more effective because beaked whales produce...... clicks regularly to echolocate on prey during deep foraging dives. The effectiveness of PAD for beaked whales depends not only on the acoustic behavior and output of the animals but also on environmental conditions and the quality of the passive sonar implemented. A primary constraint on the range....../s, a receiver close to the surface should be able to detect acoustically Cuvier's beaked whales with a high probability at distances up to 0.7  km, provided the listening duration exceeds the deep dive interval, about 2.5  h on average. Detection ranges beyond 4  km are unlikely and would require low ambient...

  3. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

    of acoustic signals including narrow-band frequency modulated whistles and rapid series of clicks and burst pulse calls. Using a GPS linked array of receivers, I measured source levels and energy content of bottlenose dolphin whistles in a tropical, shallow habitat with high noise levels. I find...... cost of producing these whistles is insignificant compared to the high metabolic rate of these marine mammals, indicating that communication for bottlenose dolphins – and likely all toothed whales – is energetically cheap in terms of direct costs. Using acoustic tags (DTAGs), I find that pilot whales...... on the communication of these animals. Toothed whales use a closed loop system of air in the nasal passages for pneumatic sound production. By using DTAGs to quantify the vocalizations of diving animals at a known depth, I demonstrate that when pilot whales descend towards foraging depths, the hydrostatic pressure...

  4. Exposure to seismic survey alters blue whale acoustic communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Iorio, Lucia; Clark, Christopher W

    2010-02-23

    The ability to perceive biologically important sounds is critical to marine mammals, and acoustic disturbance through human-generated noise can interfere with their natural functions. Sounds from seismic surveys are intense and have peak frequency bands overlapping those used by baleen whales, but evidence of interference with baleen whale acoustic communication is sparse. Here we investigated whether blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) changed their vocal behaviour during a seismic survey that deployed a low-medium power technology (sparker). We found that blue whales called consistently more on seismic exploration days than on non-exploration days as well as during periods within a seismic survey day when the sparker was operating. This increase was observed for the discrete, audible calls that are emitted during social encounters and feeding. This response presumably represents a compensatory behaviour to the elevated ambient noise from seismic survey operations. PMID:19776059

  5. Gulf of Mexico killer whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photo-identification data on killer whales occupying the northern Gulf of Mexico have been collected in association with large vessel surveys since 1991....

  6. The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomilla, Cristina; Amaral, Ana R; Collins, Tim; Minton, Gianna; Findlay, Ken; Leslie, Matthew S; Ponnampalam, Louisa; Baldwin, Robert; Rosenbaum, Howard

    2014-01-01

    A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

  7. The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Pomilla

    Full Text Available A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

  8. STUDIES REGARDING THE PRESENCE OF THE PATHOGENS BACTERIA INTO A RECIRCULATING SYSTEM OF BELUGA STURGEON INTENSIVE REARING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANGELICA DOCAN

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Recirculating aquaculture offers good potential for successful fish farming since is often independent of environmental conditions. Maintaining healthy fish in a recirculating system involves establishing adequate dissolved oxygen levels, removal of solid wastes, and sufficient ammonia nitrification to assure optimal rearing conditions. Neglecting these, the fish immune system will depress, the facultative pathogen germs will be able to provoke important disease outbreaks into cultured biomass, as was happened in our recirculating pilot system. In this study are presented the pathological aspects registered to the beluga sturgeon of 1 year, reared into our recirculating pilot system, pathological aspects generated by a haemorrhagic bacterial septicaemia which was manifested in the conditions of low concentrations of DO. The disease was diagnosed to the affected fish through anatomopathological and clinical exam, haematological exam and microbiological exam.

  9. Inter-ocean asynchrony in whale shark occurrence patterns

    OpenAIRE

    Sequieira, A.M.M.; Mellin, C.; Floch, Laurent; Williams, P G; Bradshaw, C. J. A.

    2014-01-01

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus, Smith, 1828) is a migratory species (classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN) with genetic and circumstantial evidence for inter-ocean connectivity. Given this migratory behaviour, populationwide occurrence trends can only be contextualized by examining the synchrony in occurrence patterns among locations where they occur. We present a two-step modelling approach of whale shark spatial and temporal probability of occurrence in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocea...

  10. Japanese Whaling Ships' Sea Surface Temperatures 1946-84.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mierzejewska, Anna W.; Wu, Zhongxiang; Newell, Reginald E.; Miyashita, Tomio

    1997-03-01

    Japanese whaling ship data, a homogeneous dataset mainly covering the southern high-latitude oceans, may be used to fill in gaps in recent sea surface temperature datasets, contributing a fair number of additional observations in this area. The Japanese whaling ship data are treated separately here for the period 1946-84, and they show no significant temperature changes during this period in the main fishing region of 60°-70°S or in the west Pacific warm pool.

  11. Dynamics of Whale Shark Occurrence at Their Fringe Oceanic Habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Pedro Afonso; Niall McGinty; Miguel Machete

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), a vulnerable large filter feeder, seasonally aggregates at highly productive coastal sites and that individuals can perform large, trans-boundary migrations to reach these locations. Yet, the whereabouts of the whale shark when absent from these sites and the potential oceanographic and biological drivers involved in shaping their present and future habitat use, including that located at the fringes of their suitable oceanic habitat, ...

  12. Community initiative projects of the East African Whale Shark Trust.

    OpenAIRE

    Njonjo, N.

    2007-01-01

    The East African Whale Shark Trust (EAWST) in Kenya was established to increase awareness and conservation of the whale shark. This is to be achieved by various research and education campaigns, with the education initiatives being designed specifically to target different stakeholders. Programs aimed at fishermen will focus on alternative fishing techniques, ecotourism and socio-economic aspects, while school children, people recently completing high school and tourists will be exposed to re...

  13. Not whale-fall specialists, Osedax worms also consume fishbones

    OpenAIRE

    Rouse, Greg W.; Goffredi, Shana K.; Johnson, Shannon B.; Vrijenhoek, Robert C.

    2011-01-01

    Marine annelid worms of the genus Osedax exploit sunken vertebrate bones for food. To date, the named species occur on whale or other mammalian bones, and it is argued that Osedax is a whale-fall specialist. To assess whether extant Osedax species could obtain nutrition from non-mammalian resources, we deployed teleost bones and calcified shark cartilage at approximately 1000 m depth for five months. Although the evidence from shark cartilage was inconclusive, the teleost bones hosted three s...

  14. Aerodynamic assessment of humpback whale ventral fin shapes

    OpenAIRE

    Rita Espasa, Damià

    2011-01-01

    The ventral fins of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) include a bulbous leading edge acting as a natural high-lift device. It has been suggested that application of this concept to wing design may yield advantages over traditional shapes (Miklosovic, et al., 2004). During the course of this project, the aerodynamic performance of whale fin models will be compared with conventional wing shapes. Based on the results of the study new wing design paradigms will be developed to improve t...

  15. Biomarkers of Whale Shark Health: A Metabolomic Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Alistair D M Dove; Johannes Leisen; Manshui Zhou; Byrne, Jonathan J; Krista Lim-Hing; Webb, Harry D.; Leslie Gelbaum; Viant, Mark R.; Julia Kubanek; Facundo M Fernández

    2012-01-01

    In a search for biomarkers of health in whale sharks and as exploration of metabolomics as a modern tool for understanding animal physiology, the metabolite composition of serum in six whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) from an aquarium collection was explored using (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry (MS). Principal components analysis (PCA) of spectral data showed that individual animals could be resolved based on the meta...

  16. Methylmercury Exposure and Adverse Cardiovascular Effects in Faroese Whaling Men

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Anna Lai; Weihe, Pal; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben; Jørgensen, Poul J.; Jukka T Salonen; Tuomainen, Tomi-Pekka; Murata, Katsuyuki; Nielsen, Hans Petur; Petersen, Maria Skaalum; Askham, Jórun; Grandjean, Philippe

    2008-01-01

    Background: Methylmercury (MeHg), a worldwide contaminant found in fish and seafood, has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality. Objective: We examined 42 Faroese whaling men (30–70 years of age) to assess possible adverse effects within a wide range of MeHg exposures from consumption of pilot whale meat. Methods: We assessed exposure levels from mercury analysis of toenails and whole blood (obtained at the time of clinical examination), and a hair sample collected 7 yea...

  17. Whales Use Distinct Strategies to Counteract Solar Ultraviolet Radiation

    OpenAIRE

    Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M.; Birch-Machin, Mark A; Amy Bowman; Diane Gendron; Elizabeth Weatherhead; Knell, Robert J.; Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse

    2013-01-01

    A current threat to the marine ecosystem is the high level of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV). Large whales have recently been shown to suffer sun-induced skin damage from continuous UV exposure. Genotoxic consequences of such exposure remain unknown for these long-lived marine species, as does their capacity to counteract UV-induced insults. We show that UV exposure induces mitochondrial DNA damage in the skin of seasonally sympatric fin, sperm, and blue whales and that this damage accumula...

  18. Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales

    OpenAIRE

    Susan E Parks; Cusano, Dana A.; Stimpert, Alison K.; Mason T. Weinrich; Friedlaender, Ari S.; David N. Wiley

    2014-01-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), a mysticete with a cosmopolitan distribution, demonstrate marked behavioural plasticity. Recent studies show evidence of social learning in the transmission of specific population level traits ranging from complex singing to stereotyped prey capturing behaviour. Humpback whales have been observed to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate behaviour in these groups is challenging to obtain. This study investigate...

  19. Laser photogrammetry improves size and demographic estimates for whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, Christoph A; Richardson, Anthony J; Prebble, Clare E M; Marshall, Andrea D; Bennett, Michael B; Weeks, Scarla J; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P; Pierce, Simon J

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432-917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420-990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347-1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (whale sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species.

  20. A model to resolve organochlorine pharmacokinetics in migrating humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropp, Roger; Nash, Susan Bengtson; Hawker, Darryl

    2014-07-01

    Humpback whales are iconic mammals at the top of the Antarctic food chain. Their large reserves of lipid-rich tissues such as blubber predispose them to accumulation of lipophilic contaminants throughout their lifetime. Changes in the volume and distribution of lipids in humpback whales, particularly during migration, could play an important role in the pharmacokinetics of lipophilic contaminants such as the organochlorine pesticide hexachlorobenzene (HCB). Previous models have examined constant feeding and nonmigratory scenarios. In the present study, the authors develop a novel heuristic model to investigate HCB dynamics in a humpback whale and its environment by coupling an ecosystem nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton-detritus (NPZD) model, a dynamic energy budget (DEB) model, and a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. The model takes into account the seasonal feeding pattern of whales, their energy requirements, and fluctuating contaminant burdens in the supporting plankton food chain. It is applied to a male whale from weaning to maturity, spanning 20 migration and feeding cycles. The model is initialized with environmental HCB burdens similar to those measured in the Southern Ocean and predicts blubber HCB concentrations consistent with empirical concentrations observed in a southern hemisphere population of male, migrating humpback whales. Results show for the first time some important details of the relationship between energy budgets and organochlorine pharmacokinetics. PMID:24733631

  1. A model to resolve organochlorine pharmacokinetics in migrating humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropp, Roger; Nash, Susan Bengtson; Hawker, Darryl

    2014-07-01

    Humpback whales are iconic mammals at the top of the Antarctic food chain. Their large reserves of lipid-rich tissues such as blubber predispose them to accumulation of lipophilic contaminants throughout their lifetime. Changes in the volume and distribution of lipids in humpback whales, particularly during migration, could play an important role in the pharmacokinetics of lipophilic contaminants such as the organochlorine pesticide hexachlorobenzene (HCB). Previous models have examined constant feeding and nonmigratory scenarios. In the present study, the authors develop a novel heuristic model to investigate HCB dynamics in a humpback whale and its environment by coupling an ecosystem nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton-detritus (NPZD) model, a dynamic energy budget (DEB) model, and a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. The model takes into account the seasonal feeding pattern of whales, their energy requirements, and fluctuating contaminant burdens in the supporting plankton food chain. It is applied to a male whale from weaning to maturity, spanning 20 migration and feeding cycles. The model is initialized with environmental HCB burdens similar to those measured in the Southern Ocean and predicts blubber HCB concentrations consistent with empirical concentrations observed in a southern hemisphere population of male, migrating humpback whales. Results show for the first time some important details of the relationship between energy budgets and organochlorine pharmacokinetics.

  2. Past and present research on gray whale vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollervides, Francisco

    2002-05-01

    Eberhadt and Evans first recorded vocalizations of gray whales in 1967 in Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Mexico. Three and a half decades of bioacoustic research on gray whales has followed this groundbreaking work. Gray whales appear more vocal while at the southern breeding lagoons off Baja California and are least vocal at the northern feeding areas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas. Ten different vocalizations have been identified on the breeding grounds, while only six different vocalizations have been recorded on the feeding grounds. Evans also conducted the first recordings of vocalizations of gray whales in captivity with his work on J.J. II in San Diego in 1974. Since then, the database of captive gray whale vocalizations has expanded with research on GiGi in 1997. From this review, an acoustic repertoire of at least 12 different types of vocalizations is suggested. Nevertheless, not all gray whale calls fall into obvious or distinct categories; thus, correlating specific behaviors with each vocalization type merits further study.

  3. Biosonar performance of foraging Blainvilles beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, Peter T.; Johnson, Mark; Tyack, Peter L.; Aguilar de Soto, Natacha; Zimmer, Walter M. X.

    2001-05-01

    Echolocating animals like bats and toothed whales navigate and locate food by means of echoes from sounds transmitted by the animals themselves. Toothed whale echolocation has been studied intensively in captivity, but little information exists on how echolocation is used by wild animals for orientation and prey location. To expand on this issue, a noninvasive, acoustic Dtag (96-kHz sampling, 16-bit resolution) was deployed on two Blainvilles beaked whales. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m during deep foraging dives. The echolocation clicks are directional, 250-ms transients with peak energy in the 30-40-kHz band. Echoes from the seafloor and from prey items were recorded. The regular click rate is not adjusted to the decreasing echo delay from incoming prey until the target is within an approximate body length of the whale after which the click rate is increased rapidly akin to the buzz phase of echolocating bats. This suggests that the whales use different sonar strategies for operating in near versus far field modes. Changes in received echo intensities from prey targets during approaches are compared to the active gain control in the receiving system of bats and in the transmitting system of dolphins.

  4. Blue whale vocalizations recorded around New Zealand: 1964-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Collins, Kym; Barlow, Jay; Calderan, Susannah; Leaper, Russell; McDonald, Mark; Ensor, Paul; Olson, Paula A; Olavarria, Carlos; Double, Michael C

    2014-03-01

    Previous underwater recordings made in New Zealand have identified a complex sequence of low frequency sounds that have been attributed to blue whales based on similarity to blue whale songs in other areas. Recordings of sounds with these characteristics were made opportunistically during the Southern Ocean Research Partnership's recent Antarctic Blue Whale Voyage. Detections of these sounds occurred all around the South Island of New Zealand during the voyage transits from Nelson, New Zealand to the Antarctic and return. By following acoustic bearings from directional sonobuoys, blue whales were visually detected and confirmed as the source of these sounds. These recordings, together with the historical recordings made northeast of New Zealand, indicate song types that persist over several decades and are indicative of the year-round presence of a population of blue whales that inhabits the waters around New Zealand. Measurements of the four-part vocalizations reveal that blue whale song in this region has changed slowly, but consistently over the past 50 years. The most intense units of these calls were detected as far south as 53°S, which represents a considerable range extension compared to the limited prior data on the spatial distribution of this population. PMID:24606296

  5. Prenatal cranial ossification of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampe, Oliver; Franke, Helena; Hipsley, Christy A; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Müller, Johannes

    2015-05-01

    Being descendants of small terrestrial ungulate mammals, whales underwent enormous transformations during their evolutionary history, that is, extensive changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior were evolved during secondary adaptations to life in water. However, still only little is known about whale ontogenetic development, which help to identify the timing and sequence of critical evolutionary events, such as modification of the cetacean ear. This is particularly true for baleen whales (Mysticeti), the group including the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae. We use high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to reinvestigate humpback whale fetuses from the Kükenthal collection at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, thus, extending historic descriptions of their skeletogenesis and providing for the first time sequences of cranial ossification for this species. Principally, the ossification sequence of prenatal Megaptera follows a typical mammalian pattern with the anterior dermal bones being the first ossifying elements in the skull, starting with the dentary. In contrast to other mammals, the ectotympanic bone ossifies at an early stage. Alveolar structure can be observed in both the maxillae and dentaries in these early prenatal specimens but evidence for teeth is lacking. Although the possibility of obtaining new embryological material is unlikely due to conservation issues, our study shows that reexamination of existing specimens employing new technologies still holds promise for filling gaps in our knowledge of whale evolution and ontogeny.

  6. Transient killer whale range - Satellite tagging of West Coast transient killer whales to determine range and movement patterns

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Transient killers whales inhabit the West Coast of the United States. Their range and movement patterns are difficult to ascertain, but are vital to understanding...

  7. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds: implications for anti-predator strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Cure, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo Nuno; Alves, Ana Catarina De Carvalho; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H.; Miller, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could mediate predator-prey interactions. We explored the anti-predator behaviour of five typically-solitary male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Norwegian Sea by playing sounds of mammal-fee...

  8. Contributions to understanding the fall migration of beluga sturgeon (Huso huso) on the Lower Danube River, Romania

    OpenAIRE

    Alin M. Bâdiliţă; György Deák; Carmen G. Nicolae; Ştefan Diaconescu

    2013-01-01

    Within this article the authors present the processing of an informational volume, unique on bothnational and international plan, referring to sturgeons’ migration on Danube. In order to present the results ofthe monitoring activity, carried out by a researching mix team of the above mentioned institutes, we chose themarine sturgeon beluga (Huso huso). The objective is to offer exclusive results regarding the migration of thissturgeon species in order to elaborate some protection and conserva...

  9. Mimicking the humpback whale: An aerodynamic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aftab, S. M. A.; Razak, N. A.; Mohd Rafie, A. S.; Ahmad, K. A.

    2016-07-01

    This comprehensive review aims to provide a critical overview of the work on tubercles in the past decade. The humpback whale is of interest to aerodynamic/hydrodynamic researchers, as it performs manoeuvres that baffle the imagination. Researchers have attributed these capabilities to the presence of lumps, known as tubercles, on the leading edge of the flipper. Tubercles generate a unique flow control mechanism, offering the humpback exceptional manoeuverability. Experimental and numerical studies have shown that the flow pattern over the tubercle wing is quite different from conventional wings. Research on the Tubercle Leading Edge (TLE) concept has helped to clarify aerodynamic issues such as flow separation, tonal noise and dynamic stall. TLE shows increased lift by delaying and restricting spanwise separation. A summary of studies on different airfoils and reported improvement in performance is outlined. The major contributions and limitations of previous work are also reported.

  10. Abundance and Distribution of Sperm Whales in the Canary Islands: Can Sperm Whales in the Archipelago Sustain the Current Level of Ship-Strike Mortalities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fais, Andrea; Lewis, Tim P; Zitterbart, Daniel P; Álvarez, Omar; Tejedor, Ana; Aguilar Soto, Natacha

    2016-01-01

    Sperm whales are present in the Canary Islands year-round, suggesting that the archipelago is an important area for this species in the North Atlantic. However, the area experiences one of the highest reported rates of sperm whale ship-strike in the world. Here we investigate if the number of sperm whales found in the archipelago can sustain the current rate of ship-strike mortality. The results of this study may also have implications for offshore areas where concentrations of sperm whales may coincide with high densities of ship traffic, but where ship-strikes may be undocumented. The absolute abundance of sperm whales in an area of 52933 km2, covering the territorial waters of the Canary Islands, was estimated from 2668 km of acoustic line-transect survey using Distance sampling analysis. Data on sperm whale diving and acoustic behaviour, obtained from bio-logging, were used to calculate g(0) = 0.92, this is less than one because of occasional extended periods when whales do not echolocate. This resulted in an absolute abundance estimate of 224 sperm whales (95% log-normal CI 120-418) within the survey area. The recruitment capability of this number of whales, some 2.5 whales per year, is likely to be exceeded by the current ship-strike mortality rate. Furthermore, we found areas of higher whale density within the archipelago, many coincident with those previously described, suggesting that these are important habitats for females and immature animals inhabiting the archipelago. Some of these areas are crossed by active shipping lanes increasing the risk of ship-strikes. Given the philopatry in female sperm whales, replacement of impacted whales might be limited. Therefore, the application of mitigation measures to reduce the ship-strike mortality rate seems essential for the conservation of sperm whales in the Canary Islands.

  11. Abundance and Distribution of Sperm Whales in the Canary Islands: Can Sperm Whales in the Archipelago Sustain the Current Level of Ship-Strike Mortalities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fais, Andrea; Lewis, Tim P; Zitterbart, Daniel P; Álvarez, Omar; Tejedor, Ana; Aguilar Soto, Natacha

    2016-01-01

    Sperm whales are present in the Canary Islands year-round, suggesting that the archipelago is an important area for this species in the North Atlantic. However, the area experiences one of the highest reported rates of sperm whale ship-strike in the world. Here we investigate if the number of sperm whales found in the archipelago can sustain the current rate of ship-strike mortality. The results of this study may also have implications for offshore areas where concentrations of sperm whales may coincide with high densities of ship traffic, but where ship-strikes may be undocumented. The absolute abundance of sperm whales in an area of 52933 km2, covering the territorial waters of the Canary Islands, was estimated from 2668 km of acoustic line-transect survey using Distance sampling analysis. Data on sperm whale diving and acoustic behaviour, obtained from bio-logging, were used to calculate g(0) = 0.92, this is less than one because of occasional extended periods when whales do not echolocate. This resulted in an absolute abundance estimate of 224 sperm whales (95% log-normal CI 120-418) within the survey area. The recruitment capability of this number of whales, some 2.5 whales per year, is likely to be exceeded by the current ship-strike mortality rate. Furthermore, we found areas of higher whale density within the archipelago, many coincident with those previously described, suggesting that these are important habitats for females and immature animals inhabiting the archipelago. Some of these areas are crossed by active shipping lanes increasing the risk of ship-strikes. Given the philopatry in female sperm whales, replacement of impacted whales might be limited. Therefore, the application of mitigation measures to reduce the ship-strike mortality rate seems essential for the conservation of sperm whales in the Canary Islands. PMID:26999791

  12. Is it possible to go whale watching off the coast of Peru?: A case study of humpback whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo S Pacheco

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Whale watching is the human activity of encountering cetaceans in their natural habitat for recreational and scientific purposes. Despite the high diversity of cetaceans in Peruvian waters, this activity has yet to be developed. Herein we present data regarding the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae off northern Peru, evaluating the possibility of extending whale watching activities in this area. Data were obtained from surveys conducted from an ecotourism boat. Humpbacks were distributed in shallow waters, usually in pairs or trios throughout the study period between late July and late September. The presence of whales off northern Peru is due to winter migration for breeding and calving purposes. A high probability of encountering humpbacks within the study area could encourage the development of a whale watching industry. As this stage in the life cycle of this species is very delicate, we suggest the adoption of the precautionary principie in the management of the activity in order to minimize the risk of negative impacts on humpback populations. Whale watching in northern Peru is feasible and could be considered an alternative to fishing.

  13. Epigenetic estimation of age in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polanowski, Andrea M; Robbins, Jooke; Chandler, David; Jarman, Simon N

    2014-09-01

    Age is a fundamental aspect of animal ecology, but is difficult to determine in many species. Humpback whales exemplify this as they have a lifespan comparable to humans, mature sexually as early as 4 years and have no reliable visual age indicators after their first year. Current methods for estimating humpback age cannot be applied to all individuals and populations. Assays for human age have recently been developed based on age-induced changes in DNA methylation of specific genes. We used information on age-associated DNA methylation in human and mouse genes to identify homologous gene regions in humpbacks. Humpback skin samples were obtained from individuals with a known year of birth and employed to calibrate relationships between cytosine methylation and age. Seven of 37 cytosines assayed for methylation level in humpback skin had significant age-related profiles. The three most age-informative cytosine markers were selected for a humpback epigenetic age assay. The assay has an R(2) of 0.787 (P = 3.04e-16) and predicts age from skin samples with a standard deviation of 2.991 years. The epigenetic method correctly determined which of parent-offspring pairs is the parent in more than 93% of cases. To demonstrate the potential of this technique, we constructed the first modern age profile of humpback whales off eastern Australia and compared the results to population structure 5 decades earlier. This is the first epigenetic age estimation method for a wild animal species and the approach we took for developing it can be applied to many other nonmodel organisms. PMID:24606053

  14. AFSC/NMML: North Pacific Right Whale Photo-ID Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The eastern population of the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) is the most endangered stock of whales in the world, with recent abundance estimates...

  15. Right Whale and Cetacean Abundance Spring Survey (AL0404, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  16. SWFSC/MMTD: Sperm Whale Abundance and Population Structure (SWAPS) 1997

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The 1997 Sperm Whale Abundance and Population Structures (SWAPS) line-transect survey was designed to census sperm whales near the end of their breeding season in...

  17. SRKW seasonal occurence - Patterns of seasonal occurrence of Southern Resident Killer Whales

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Patterns of seasonal occurrence of Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) throughout their range. Southern Resident Killer Whales are listed as a Distinct...

  18. Migrations of California gray whales tracked by oxygen-18 variations in their epizoic barnacles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Killingley, J.S.

    1980-02-15

    Barnacles attached to the California gray whale have oxygen isotope compositions that serve as a record of changing ocean temperatures as the whale migrates between arctic and subtropical waters. The isotopic values for the barnacles can be used to track whale migrations and to reconstruct the recent movements of beached whales. The method may be useful for tracing the movements of other animals, living or fossil, and for reconstructing the voyages of ancient ships.

  19. Herpesvirus infection with severe lymphoid necrosis affecting a beaked whale stranded in the Canary Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbelo, Manuel; Sierra, Eva; Esperón, Fernando; Watanabe, Tatiane T N; Bellière, Edwige N; Espinosa de los Monteros, Antonio; Fernández, Antonio

    2010-04-01

    This report describes the pathologic findings in a single, adult female Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris stranded in the Canary Islands. The study indicated that this whale died with a severe, systemic, herpesviral infection and clearly exhibited lesions different from those of the fat and gas embolic syndrome described in beaked whale mass strandings associated with sonar exposure. This is the first report of a cetacean alphaherpesvirus infection of the lymphoid system in a beaked whale.

  20. Blue and fin whale call source levels and propagation range in the Southern Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    Sirovic, Anna; Hildebrand, John A.; Wiggins, Sean

    2007-01-01

    Blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin whales (B. physalus) produce high-intensity, low-frequency calls, which probably function for communication during mating and feeding. The source levels of blue and fin whale calls off the Western Antarctic Peninsula were calculated using recordings made with calibrated, bottom-moored hydrophones. Blue whales were located up to a range of 200 km using hyperbolic localization and time difference of arrival. The distance to fin whales, estimated using multi...

  1. Migrations of California gray whales tracked by oxygen-18 variations in their epizoic barnacles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnacles attached to the California gray whale have oxygen isotope compositions that serve as a record of changing ocean temperatures as the whale migrates between arctic and subtropical waters. The isotopic values for the barnacles can be used to track whale migrations and to reconstruct the recent movements of beached whales. The method may be useful for tracing the movements of other animals, living or fossil, and for reconstructing the voyages of ancient ships

  2. Newspaper Reporting of Whaling in Australia and Japan: A Comparative Content Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Tets Kimura

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing dispute over whaling is a significant issue of conflict between Australia and Japan. It appears that the print media in each country supports the dominant opinion: anti-whaling in Australia, and pro-whaling in Japan. To investigate media perspectives, this study reviews newspaper coverage throughout a whaling season (15 December 2007 – 24 March 2008), analysing 48 articles from Australian newspapers (in English) and 51 articles from Japanese newspapers (in Japanese). Content analy...

  3. Sperm whale behaviour indicates the use of echolocation click buzzes "creaks" in prey capture.

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Patrick J. O.; Johnson, Mark P.; Tyack, Peter L

    2004-01-01

    During foraging dives, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) produce long series of regular clicks at 0.5-2 s intervals interspersed with rapid-click buzzes called "creaks". Sound, depth and orientation recording Dtags were attached to 23 whales in the Ligurian Sea and Gulf of Mexico to test whether the behaviour of diving sperm whales supports the hypothesis that creaks are produced during prey capture. Sperm whales spent most of their bottom time within one or two depth bands, apparently fe...

  4. Toothed whales in the northwestern Mediterranean: Insight into their feeding ecology using chemical tracers

    OpenAIRE

    Praca, Emilie; Laran, Sophie; Lepoint, Gilles; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Quetglas, Antoni; Belcari, Paola; Sartor, Paolo; Dhermain, Frank; Ody, Denis; Tapie, Nathalie; Budzinski, Hélène; Das, Krishna

    2011-01-01

    Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales rarely strand in the northwestern Mediterranean. Thus, their feeding ecology, through the analysis of stomach contents, is poorly known. The aim of this study was to gain further insight into the segregation/superposition of the diet and habitat of Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales using chemical tracers, namely, stable isotopes (d13C, d15N) and organochlorines. Significantly different d15N values were obtained in Risso's dolphins ...

  5. Humpback and Fin Whaling in the Gulf of Maine from 1800 to 1918

    OpenAIRE

    Reeves, Randall R.; Smith, Ted D.; Webb, Robert L.; Robbins, Jooke; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2002-01-01

    The history of whaling in the Gulf of Maine was reviewed primarily to estimate removals of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, especially during the 19th century. In the decades from 1800 to 1860, whaling effort consisted of a few localized, small-scale, shore-based enterprises on the coast of Maine and Cape Cod, Mass. Provincetown and Nantucket schooners occasionally conducted short cruises for humpback whales in New England waters. With the development of bomb-lance technology at mid c...

  6. Novel locomotor muscle design in extreme deep-diving whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velten, B P; Dillaman, R M; Kinsey, S T; McLellan, W A; Pabst, D A

    2013-05-15

    Most marine mammals are hypothesized to routinely dive within their aerobic dive limit (ADL). Mammals that regularly perform deep, long-duration dives have locomotor muscles with elevated myoglobin concentrations that are composed of predominantly large, slow-twitch (Type I) fibers with low mitochondrial volume densities (V(mt)). These features contribute to extending ADL by increasing oxygen stores and decreasing metabolic rate. Recent tagging studies, however, have challenged the view that two groups of extreme deep-diving cetaceans dive within their ADLs. Beaked whales (including Ziphius cavirostris and Mesoplodon densirostris) routinely perform the deepest and longest average dives of any air-breathing vertebrate, and short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) perform high-speed sprints at depth. We investigated the locomotor muscle morphology and estimated total body oxygen stores of several species within these two groups of cetaceans to determine whether they (1) shared muscle design features with other deep divers and (2) performed dives within their calculated ADLs. Muscle of both cetaceans displayed high myoglobin concentrations and large fibers, as predicted, but novel fiber profiles for diving mammals. Beaked whales possessed a sprinter's fiber-type profile, composed of ~80% fast-twitch (Type II) fibers with low V(mt). Approximately one-third of the muscle fibers of short-finned pilot whales were slow-twitch, oxidative, glycolytic fibers, a rare fiber type for any mammal. The muscle morphology of beaked whales likely decreases the energetic cost of diving, while that of short-finned pilot whales supports high activity events. Calculated ADLs indicate that, at low metabolic rates, both beaked and short-finned pilot whales carry sufficient onboard oxygen to aerobically support their dives.

  7. 78 FR 4835 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-23

    ... Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and... Plan (Plan) for the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). NMFS is soliciting review and... West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attn: North Pacific Right Whale Recovery Plan. Instructions:...

  8. 50 CFR 229.32 - Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... consists of the Cape Cod Bay right whale critical habitat area specified under 50 CFR 226.203(b) unless the... consists of the Great South Channel right whale critical habitat area specified under 50 CFR 226.203(a... the Gulf of Maine, except those designated as right whale critical habitat under 50 CFR...

  9. 76 FR 43985 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... Plan for the Sei Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric... the sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis). NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all... would not promote its recovery. The sei whale has been listed as ``endangered'' under the...

  10. 50 CFR 226.206 - Critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... killer whale (Orcinus orca). 226.206 Section 226.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES... CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.206 Critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca). Critical habitat is designated for the Southern Resident killer whale as described in this section. The...

  11. 75 FR 68756 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA018 Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of... Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as a depleted stock under the Marine Mammal... assessment report for Eastern North Pacific gray whales is available on the Internet at the following...

  12. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

    ... Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and... Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Final Recovery Plan are... recovery. The Northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) has been listed as ``endangered'' under...

  13. Whale Multi-Disciplinary Studies: A Marine Education Infusion Unit. Northern New England Marine Education Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maine Univ., Orono. Coll. of Education.

    This multidisciplinary unit deals with whales, whaling lore and history, and the interaction of the whale with the complex marine ecosystem. It seeks to teach adaptation of marine organisms. It portrays the concept that man is part of the marine ecosystem and man's activities can deplete and degrade marine ecosystems, endangering the survival of…

  14. 75 FR 970 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-07

    ... Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS... and alternate members of the following seats on its Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine... other various groups that help to focus efforts and attention on the humpback whale and its...

  15. 77 FR 19646 - International Whaling Commission; 64th Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-02

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XB127 International Whaling Commission; 64th... a call for nominees for the U.S. Delegation to the July 2012 International Whaling Commission (IWC... International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946. The U.S. IWC Commissioner has responsibility...

  16. 75 FR 23247 - International Whaling Commission; 62nd Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-03

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XV73 International Whaling Commission; 62nd Annual... nominees for the U.S. Delegation to the June 2010 International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting... under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946. The U.S. IWC Commissioner...

  17. 76 FR 34209 - International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-13

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA486 International Whaling Commission; 63rd... a call for nominees for the U.S. Delegation to the July 2011 International Whaling Commission (IWC... obligations of the United States under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946. The...

  18. 76 FR 30921 - International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-27

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA459 International Whaling Commission; 63rd... annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. DATES: The public meetings will be held June 14... International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946. The U.S. Commissioner has responsibility for...

  19. 75 FR 23242 - International Whaling Commission; 62nd Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-03

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XV74 International Whaling Commission; 62nd Annual... International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. DATES: The public meetings will be held May 20 and May 26, 2010... the Regulation of Whaling, 1946. The U.S. Commissioner has responsibility for the preparation...

  20. 77 FR 25408 - International Whaling Commission; 64th Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-30

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XB150 International Whaling Commission; 64th... annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. DATES: The public meeting will be held June 5... the United States under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946. The U.S....

  1. Stranding of two sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the "North Sea trap" at Henne Strand, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mette Sif; Alstrup, Aage K. O.; Hansen, Jørgen H.;

    2016-01-01

    In February 2014 two male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded at Henne Strand, Denmark. One whale (MCE 1644) was found dead, while the other (MCE 1645) was still alive, but drowned during the high tide. To increase our knowledge of sperm whales, conduct forage investigations, post...... where they follow each other, which could explain why MCE 1645 stranded alive without signs of disease....

  2. Fin whale abundance in the eastern North Atlantic estimated from Spanish NASS-89 data

    OpenAIRE

    Buckland, S.T. (Stephen); Cattanach, K.L.; Lens, S. (Santiago)

    1992-01-01

    Applying standard line transect analysis to the Spanish NASS-89 sightings survey data, the abundance of fin whales in the eastern Atlantic west of Iberia and south-west of the British Isles is estimated as 17,335 whales (CV=0.266; 95% confidence interval (10,400, 28,900) whales).

  3. 77 FR 5491 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Sei Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-03

    ...; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Sei Whales AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic...; request for information. SUMMARY: NMFS announces a 5-year review of sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis... of any such information on sei whales that has become available since that has become available...

  4. The hunting of the Greenland right whale in Svalbard, its interaction with climate and its impact on the marine ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hacquebord, L

    1999-01-01

    During the 17th and 18th centuries, tens of thousands of Greenland right whales were killed as a result of extensive European whaling in the coastal waters of the Svalbard archipelago. The author reconstructed these whaling activities, examined how the changing climate affected whaling productivity,

  5. WHALE, a management tool for Tier-2 LCG sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The LCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) is a grid-based hierarchical computing distributed facility, composed of more than 140 computing centers, organized in 4 tiers, by size and offer of services. Every site, although indipendent for many technical choices, has to provide services with a well-defined set of interfaces. For this reason, different LCG sites need frequently to manage very similar situations, like jobs behaviour on the batch system, dataset transfers between sites, operating system and experiment software installation and configuration, monitoring of services. In this context we created WHALE (WHALE Handles Administration in an LCG Environment), a software actually used at the T2ITRome site, an LCG Tier-2 for the CMS experiment. WHALE is a generic, site independent tool written in Python: it allows administrator to interact in a uniform and coherent way with several subsystems using a high level syntax which hides specific commands. The architecture of WHALE is based on the plugin concept and on the possibility of connecting the output of a plugin to the input of the next one, in a pipe-like system, giving the administrator the possibility of making complex functions by combining the simpler ones. The core of WHALE just handles the plugin orchestrations, while even the basic functions (eg. the WHALE activity logging) are performed by plugins, giving the capability to tune and possibly modify every component of the system. WHALE already provides many plugins useful for a LCG site and some more for a Tier-2 of the CMS experiment, especially in the field of job management, dataset transfer and analysis of performance results and availability tests (eg. Nagios tests, SAM tests). Thanks to its architecture and the provided plugins WHALE makes easy to perform tasks that, even if logically simple, are technically complex or tedious, like eg. closing all the worker nodes with a job-failure rate greater than a given threshold. Finally, thanks to the

  6. WHALE, a management tool for Tier-2 LCG sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barone, L. M.; Organtini, G.; Talamo, I. G.

    2012-12-01

    The LCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) is a grid-based hierarchical computing distributed facility, composed of more than 140 computing centers, organized in 4 tiers, by size and offer of services. Every site, although indipendent for many technical choices, has to provide services with a well-defined set of interfaces. For this reason, different LCG sites need frequently to manage very similar situations, like jobs behaviour on the batch system, dataset transfers between sites, operating system and experiment software installation and configuration, monitoring of services. In this context we created WHALE (WHALE Handles Administration in an LCG Environment), a software actually used at the T2_IT_Rome site, an LCG Tier-2 for the CMS experiment. WHALE is a generic, site independent tool written in Python: it allows administrator to interact in a uniform and coherent way with several subsystems using a high level syntax which hides specific commands. The architecture of WHALE is based on the plugin concept and on the possibility of connecting the output of a plugin to the input of the next one, in a pipe-like system, giving the administrator the possibility of making complex functions by combining the simpler ones. The core of WHALE just handles the plugin orchestrations, while even the basic functions (eg. the WHALE activity logging) are performed by plugins, giving the capability to tune and possibly modify every component of the system. WHALE already provides many plugins useful for a LCG site and some more for a Tier-2 of the CMS experiment, especially in the field of job management, dataset transfer and analysis of performance results and availability tests (eg. Nagios tests, SAM tests). Thanks to its architecture and the provided plugins WHALE makes easy to perform tasks that, even if logically simple, are technically complex or tedious, like eg. closing all the worker nodes with a job-failure rate greater than a given threshold. Finally, thanks to the

  7. Entanglements of right whales, Eubalaena australis (Cetacea, Mysticeti, in the 2010 breeding season in Santa Catarina state, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica Pontalti

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Right whales (Eubalaena australis have been suffering with anthropogenic activities such as pollution, marine traffic and entanglement in fishing nets. The entanglement of right whales grows each breeding season on the southern coast of Santa Catarina state, and can cause strands and even death. During the 2010 breeding season, six entanglements among immature and adult whales were recorded. In most of the cases, the whales kept swimming slowly and didn’t want to approximate the whale watching boat. Fishing activities in the area during the right whale breeding season need to be regularized to avoid conflicts and injuries to the whales.

  8. Acoustic detection and satellite-tracking leads to discovery of rare concentration of endangered North Pacific right whales

    OpenAIRE

    Wade, Paul; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Shelden, Kim; Barlow, Jay; Carretta, James; Durban, John; LeDuc, Rick; Munger, Lisa; Rankin, Shannon; Sauter, Allan; Stinchcomb, Charles

    2006-01-01

    The North Pacific right whale, Eubalaena japonica, is one of the most endangered species of whale in the world. On 10 August 2004, two right whales were located in the Bering Sea using headings to right whale calls provided by directional sonobuoys. A satellite-monitored radio tag attached to one of these whales functioned for 40 days. Over the 40-day period, this whale moved throughout a large part of the southeast Bering Sea shelf, including areas of the outer-shelf where right whales have ...

  9. The impact of whaling on the ocean carbon cycle: why bigger was better.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Pershing

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Humans have reduced the abundance of many large marine vertebrates, including whales, large fish, and sharks, to only a small percentage of their pre-exploitation levels. Industrial fishing and whaling also tended to preferentially harvest the largest species and largest individuals within a population. We consider the consequences of removing these animals on the ocean's ability to store carbon. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Because body size is critical to our arguments, our analysis focuses on populations of baleen whales. Using reconstructions of pre-whaling and modern abundances, we consider the impact of whaling on the amount of carbon stored in living whales and on the amount of carbon exported to the deep sea by sinking whale carcasses. Populations of large baleen whales now store 9.1×10(6 tons less carbon than before whaling. Some of the lost storage has been offset by increases in smaller competitors; however, due to the relative metabolic efficiency of larger organisms, a shift toward smaller animals could decrease the total community biomass by 30% or more. Because of their large size and few predators, whales and other large marine vertebrates can efficiently export carbon from the surface waters to the deep sea. We estimate that rebuilding whale populations would remove 1.6×10(5 tons of carbon each year through sinking whale carcasses. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Even though fish and whales are only a small portion of the ocean's overall biomass, fishing and whaling have altered the ocean's ability to store and sequester carbon. Although these changes are small relative to the total ocean carbon sink, rebuilding populations of fish and whales would be comparable to other carbon management schemes, including ocean iron fertilization.

  10. Abundance, trends and distribution of baleen whales off Western Alaska and the central Aleutian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Waite, Janice M.; Laake, Jeffrey L.; Wade, Paul R.

    2006-11-01

    Large whales were extensively hunted in coastal waters off Alaska, but current distribution, population sizes and trends are poorly known. Line transect surveys were conducted in coastal waters of the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula in the summer of 2001-2003. Abundances of three species were estimated by conventional and multiple covariate distance sampling (MCDS) methods. Time series of abundance estimates were used to derive rates of increase for fin whales ( Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae). Fin whales occurred primarily from the Kenai Peninsula to the Shumagin Islands, but were abundant only near the Semidi Islands and Kodiak. Humpback whales were found from the Kenai Peninsula to Umnak Island and were more abundant near Kodiak, the Shumagin Islands and north of Unimak Pass. Minke whales ( B. acutorostrata) occurred primarily in the Aleutian Islands, with a few sightings south of the Alaska Peninsula and near Kodiak Island. Humpback whales were observed in large numbers in their former whaling grounds. In contrast, high densities of fin whales were not observed around the eastern Aleutian Islands, where whaling occurred. Average abundance estimates (95% CI) for fin, humpback and minke whales were 1652 (1142-2389), 2644 (1899-3680), and 1233 (656-2315), respectively. Annual rates of increase were estimated at 4.8% (95% CI=4.1-5.4%) for fin and 6.6% (5.2-8.6%) for humpback whales. This study provides the first estimate of the rate of increase of fin whales in the North Pacific Ocean. The estimated trends are consistent with those of other recovering baleen whales. There were no sightings of blue or North Pacific right whales, indicating the continued depleted status of these species.

  11. Blue whales respond to simulated mid-frequency military sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Southall, Brandon L; DeRuiter, Stacy L; Calambokidis, John; Friedlaender, Ari S; Hazen, Elliott L; Falcone, Erin A; Schorr, Gregory S; Douglas, Annie; Moretti, David J; Kyburg, Chris; McKenna, Megan F; Tyack, Peter L

    2013-08-22

    Mid-frequency military (1-10 kHz) sonars have been associated with lethal mass strandings of deep-diving toothed whales, but the effects on endangered baleen whale species are virtually unknown. Here, we used controlled exposure experiments with simulated military sonar and other mid-frequency sounds to measure behavioural responses of tagged blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in feeding areas within the Southern California Bight. Despite using source levels orders of magnitude below some operational military systems, our results demonstrate that mid-frequency sound can significantly affect blue whale behaviour, especially during deep feeding modes. When a response occurred, behavioural changes varied widely from cessation of deep feeding to increased swimming speed and directed travel away from the sound source. The variability of these behavioural responses was largely influenced by a complex interaction of behavioural state, the type of mid-frequency sound and received sound level. Sonar-induced disruption of feeding and displacement from high-quality prey patches could have significant and previously undocumented impacts on baleen whale foraging ecology, individual fitness and population health. PMID:23825206

  12. Baleen whale infrasonic sounds: Natural variability and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher W.

    2001-05-01

    Blue and fin whales (Balaenoptera musculus and B. physalus) produce very intense, long, patterned sequences of infrasonic sounds. The acoustic characteristics of these sounds suggest strong selection for signals optimized for very long-range propagation in the deep ocean as first hypothesized by Payne and Webb in 1971. This hypothesis has been partially validated by very long-range detections using hydrophone arrays in deep water. Humpback songs recorded in deep water contain units in the 20-l00 Hz range, and these relatively simple song components are detectable out to many hundreds of miles. The mid-winter peak in the occurrence of 20-Hz fin whale sounds led Watkins to hypothesize a reproductive function similar to humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) song, and by default this function has been extended to blue whale songs. More recent evidence shows that blue and fin whales produce infrasonic calls in high latitudes during the feeding season, and that singing is associated with areas of high productivity where females congregate to feed. Acoustic sampling over broad spatial and temporal scales for baleen species is revealing higher geographic and seasonal variability in the low-frequency vocal behaviors than previously reported, suggesting that present explanations for baleen whale sounds are too simplistic.

  13. Hearing loss in stranded odontocete dolphins and whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mann

    Full Text Available The causes of dolphin and whale stranding can often be difficult to determine. Because toothed whales rely on echolocation for orientation and feeding, hearing deficits could lead to stranding. We report on the results of auditory evoked potential measurements from eight species of odontocete cetaceans that were found stranded or severely entangled in fishing gear during the period 2004 through 2009. Approximately 57% of the bottlenose dolphins and 36% of the rough-toothed dolphins had significant hearing deficits with a reduction in sensitivity equivalent to severe (70-90 dB or profound (>90 dB hearing loss in humans. The only stranded short-finned pilot whale examined had profound hearing loss. No impairments were detected in seven Risso's dolphins from three different stranding events, two pygmy killer whales, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, one spinner dolphin, or a juvenile Gervais' beaked whale. Hearing impairment could play a significant role in some cetacean stranding events, and the hearing of all cetaceans in rehabilitation should be tested.

  14. Blue whales respond to simulated mid-frequency military sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Southall, Brandon L; DeRuiter, Stacy L; Calambokidis, John; Friedlaender, Ari S; Hazen, Elliott L; Falcone, Erin A; Schorr, Gregory S; Douglas, Annie; Moretti, David J; Kyburg, Chris; McKenna, Megan F; Tyack, Peter L

    2013-08-22

    Mid-frequency military (1-10 kHz) sonars have been associated with lethal mass strandings of deep-diving toothed whales, but the effects on endangered baleen whale species are virtually unknown. Here, we used controlled exposure experiments with simulated military sonar and other mid-frequency sounds to measure behavioural responses of tagged blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in feeding areas within the Southern California Bight. Despite using source levels orders of magnitude below some operational military systems, our results demonstrate that mid-frequency sound can significantly affect blue whale behaviour, especially during deep feeding modes. When a response occurred, behavioural changes varied widely from cessation of deep feeding to increased swimming speed and directed travel away from the sound source. The variability of these behavioural responses was largely influenced by a complex interaction of behavioural state, the type of mid-frequency sound and received sound level. Sonar-induced disruption of feeding and displacement from high-quality prey patches could have significant and previously undocumented impacts on baleen whale foraging ecology, individual fitness and population health.

  15. Tracking beaked whales with a passive acoustic profiler float.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Haru; Jones, Christopher; Klinck, Holger; Mellinger, David K; Dziak, Robert P; Meinig, Christian

    2013-02-01

    Acoustic methods are frequently used to monitor endangered marine mammal species. Advantages of acoustic methods over visual ones include the ability to detect submerged animals, to work at night, and to work in any weather conditions. A relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use acoustic float, the QUEphone, was developed by converting a commercially available profiler float to a mobile platform, adding acoustic capability, and installing the ERMA cetacean click detection algorithm of Klinck and Mellinger [(2011). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 129(4), 1807-1812] running on a high-power DSP. The QUEphone was tested at detecting Blainville's beaked whales at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC), a Navy acoustic test range in the Bahamas, in June 2010. Beaked whale were present at AUTEC, and the performance of the QUEphone was compared with the Navy's Marine Mammal Monitoring on Navy Ranges (M3R) system. The field tests provided data useful to evaluate the QUEphone's operational capability as a tool to detect beaked whales and report their presence in near-real time. The range tests demonstrated that the QUEphone's beaked whale detections were comparable to that of M3R's, and that the float is effective at detecting beaked whales. PMID:23363092

  16. Who has the right - An investigation into the representations of whaling in the Faroe Islands and the Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Batty, Roxanne; Lang Olsen, Mads; Aabling-Thomsen, Signe; Ibsen, Søren Møllnitz

    2015-01-01

    This paper sets out to investigate the way in which two documentaries represent whaling. One documentary is by Russia Today, that focuses on the Faroese Pilot Whale Hunt, and another made by the British Broadcasting Corporation, with a focus the Arctic and Inuit whaling. Working on the question of representation on whaling, the paper explores the role colonial history plays in this representation, how the representation of whaling has developed and what role it plays in the documentaries, and...

  17. Entanglements of right whales, Eubalaena australis (Cetacea, Mysticeti), in the 2010 breeding season in Santa Catarina state, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Mônica Pontalti; Mônica Danielski

    2011-01-01

    Right whales (Eubalaena australis) have been suffering with anthropogenic activities such as pollution, marine traffic and entanglement in fishing nets. The entanglement of right whales grows each breeding season on the southern coast of Santa Catarina state, and can cause strands and even death. During the 2010 breeding season, six entanglements among immature and adult whales were recorded. In most of the cases, the whales kept swimming slowly and didn’t want to approximate the whale watchi...

  18. Not whale-fall specialists, Osedax worms also consume fishbones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouse, Greg W; Goffredi, Shana K; Johnson, Shannon B; Vrijenhoek, Robert C

    2011-10-23

    Marine annelid worms of the genus Osedax exploit sunken vertebrate bones for food. To date, the named species occur on whale or other mammalian bones, and it is argued that Osedax is a whale-fall specialist. To assess whether extant Osedax species could obtain nutrition from non-mammalian resources, we deployed teleost bones and calcified shark cartilage at approximately 1000 m depth for five months. Although the evidence from shark cartilage was inconclusive, the teleost bones hosted three species of Osedax, each of which also lives off whalebones. This suggests that rather than being a whale-fall specialist, Osedax has exploited and continues to exploit a variety of food sources. The ability of Osedax to colonize and to grow on fishbone lends credibility to a hypothesis that it might have split from its siboglinid relatives to assume the bone-eating lifestyle during the Cretaceous, well before the origin of marine mammals.

  19. Sperm whale clicks: Directionality and source level revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møhl, Bertel; Wahlberg, Magnus; Madsen, Peter T.;

    2000-01-01

    In sperm whales ~Physeter catodon L. 1758! the nose is vastly hypertrophied, accounting for about one-third of the length or weight of an adult male. Norris and Harvey @in Animal Orientation and Navigation, NASA SP-262 ~1972!, pp. 397–417# ascribed a sound-generating function to this organ complex....... A sound generator weighing upward of 10 tons and with a cross-section of 1 m is expected to generate high-intensity, directional sounds. This prediction from the Norris and Harvey theory is not supported by published data for sperm whale clicks ~source levels of 180 dB re 1 mPa and little, if any....... This implicates sonar as a possible function of the clicks. Thus, previously published properties of sperm whale clicks underestimate the capabilities of the sound generator and therefore cannot falsify the Norris and Harvey theory....

  20. Gray whale sightings in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, September 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwahara, Yuka; Fujiwara, Amane; Ito, Keizo; Miyashita, Kazushi; Mitani, Yoko

    2016-06-01

    Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) are distributed within the productive neritic and estuarine waters of the North Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, and adjacent waters of the Arctic Ocean. They migrate to high-latitude feeding grounds each spring. Their main feeding grounds in the Arctic include the Chirikov Basin, the northeastern Chukchi Sea from Pt. Hope to Cape Lisburne and Pt. Lay to Pt. Barrow, and the northwestern Chukchi Sea along the Chukotka coast. Although sightings are rare in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, we observed three gray whales in two groups in this area in September 2014. A mud plume was observed near one of the whales, suggesting the animal had been feeding. In the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, large-scale monitoring of the distributions of marine mammals has been continuously conducted since 1979; however, there has been less monitoring in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Therefore, it is necessary to record opportunistic sightings, such as those described here.

  1. Dividing up the pie: Whales, fish, and humans as competitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzicka, James J.; Steele, John H.; Ballerini, Tosca; Gaichas, Sarah K.; Ainley, David G.

    2013-09-01

    Similarly structured food web models of four coastal ecosystems (Northern California Current, Central Gulf of Alaska, Georges Bank, southwestern Antarctic Peninsula) were used to investigate competition among whales, fishes, pinnipeds, and humans. Two analysis strategies simulated the effects of historic baleen and odontocete whale abundances across all trophic levels: food web structure scenarios and time-dynamic scenarios. Direct competition between whales and commercial fisheries is small at current whale abundances; whales and fisheries each take similar proportions of annual pelagic fish production (4-7%). Scenarios show that as whale populations grow, indirect competition between whales and fish for zooplankton would more likely impact fishery production than would direct competition for fish between whales and commercial fisheries. Increased baleen whale abundance would have greater and broader indirect effects on upper trophic levels and fisheries than a similar increase in odontocete abundance. Time-dynamic scenarios, which allow for the evolution of compensatory mechanisms, showed more modest impacts than structural scenarios, which show the immediate impacts of altered energy pathways. Structural scenarios show that in terms of energy availability, there is potential for large increases in whale abundance without major changes to existing food web structures and without substantial reduction of fishery production. For each ecosystem, a five-fold increase in baleen whale abundance could be supported with minor disruptions to existing energy flow pathways. However, such an increase would remain below historical population levels for many cetaceans. A larger expansion (20X) could be accommodated only with large reductions in energy flow to competitor groups. The scope for odontocete expansion varies between ecosystems but may be more restricted than the scope for baleen expansion because they feed at higher, less productive trophic levels. Egestion

  2. Gastrointestinal leiomyosarcoma in a pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leone, Angelique; Dark, Michael; Kondo, Hirotaka; Rotstein, David S; Kiupel, Matti; Walsh, Michael T; Erlacher-Reid, Claire; Gordon, Nadia; Conway, Julia A

    2013-09-01

    An adult male pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) was stranded within a tidal pool on Fernandina Beach on the north Florida Atlantic coast (USA) and expired soon after discovery. Necropsy findings included a small intestinal mass markedly expanding the intestinal wall and partially obstructing the lumen. This finding likely led to the malnutrition and ultimately the stranding of this whale. The differential diagnoses for the mass based on gross evaluation included a duodenal adenocarcinoma, leiomyoma/sarcoma, gastrointestinal stroma tumor, and benign/malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, previously referred to as neurofibromas or schwannomas. The mass was presumptively diagnosed as a leiomyosarcoma via routine histopathology and confirmed by immunoreactivity for desmin and smooth actin (SMA). KIT, a gene name for CD 117, was negative, excluding a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Leiomyosarcomas have been reported within numerous wild and domestic species, although this is the first reported case of any neoplasm in a pygmy sperm whale (K. breviceps). PMID:24063105

  3. Not whale-fall specialists, Osedax worms also consume fishbones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouse, Greg W; Goffredi, Shana K; Johnson, Shannon B; Vrijenhoek, Robert C

    2011-10-23

    Marine annelid worms of the genus Osedax exploit sunken vertebrate bones for food. To date, the named species occur on whale or other mammalian bones, and it is argued that Osedax is a whale-fall specialist. To assess whether extant Osedax species could obtain nutrition from non-mammalian resources, we deployed teleost bones and calcified shark cartilage at approximately 1000 m depth for five months. Although the evidence from shark cartilage was inconclusive, the teleost bones hosted three species of Osedax, each of which also lives off whalebones. This suggests that rather than being a whale-fall specialist, Osedax has exploited and continues to exploit a variety of food sources. The ability of Osedax to colonize and to grow on fishbone lends credibility to a hypothesis that it might have split from its siboglinid relatives to assume the bone-eating lifestyle during the Cretaceous, well before the origin of marine mammals. PMID:21490008

  4. Using blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) photographic-identification sightings to assess potential vessel-whale encounters in the Santa Barbara Channel

    OpenAIRE

    Stingle, Kelli Faye

    2012-01-01

    In 2007 six blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) were found dead in the Southern California Bight with four of the deaths resulting from vessel strikes. To reduce the spatial overlap of vessels and whales, the United States Coast Guard proposed shifting the southern Santa Barbara Channel shipping lane north by one nmi. We used sighting rate predictions from generalized additive models to assess potential vessel-whale encounters in the current and proposed traffic separation schemes. Sightings ...

  5. Strandings of the beaked whales, Risso’s dolphins, and a minke whale on the Turkish coast of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    ÖZTÜRK, AYAKA AMAHA; Dede, Arda M. Tonay and Ayhan

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Stranding information of nine Cuvier‟s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) and one Mesoplodon sp., five Risso‟s dolphin (Grampus griseus), and one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) on the Turkish coast of the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea was compiled, based on the published and unpublished data between 1964 and 2011. Mesoplodon sp. and the minke whale were rare, possibly visitors, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

  6. Identifying the “demon whale-biter”: Patterns of scarring on large whales attributed to a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp

    OpenAIRE

    Best, Peter B.; Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

    The presence of crater-like wounds on cetaceans and other large marine vertebrates and invertebrates has been attributed to various organisms. We review the evidence for the identity of the biting agent responsible for crater wounds on large whales, using data collected from sei (Balaenoptera borealis), fin (B. physalus), inshore and offshore Bryde’s (B. brydeii sp) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) examined at the Donkergat whaling station, Saldanha Bay, South Africa between March an...

  7. What do humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae (Cetartiodactyla: Balaenopteridae pairs do after tagging?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The social structure of humpback whales in their tropical wintering grounds is very fluid. To date, no information has been published for cases in which two whales were both satellite-tagged while in association. Here, we report the movements of four humpback whale pairs tagged together off the coast of Brazil. Fieldwork and satellite tagging of humpback whales was conducted between 2003 and 2008 along the eastern coast of Brazil, between 20°S and 8°S. Movement was monitored while whales were still in their breeding ground. A switching state space model was applied to the filtered data of each humpback whale to standardize telemetry data and allow direct comparison of each individual track. GIS was used to plot model-predicted locations and to visually compare animal movements. The results confirm the short-lived nature of associations between breeding humpback whales, and shows that individuals differ widely in their movements.

  8. The enigmatic whale: the North Atlantic humpback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We know more about the North Atlantic humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae than we do for virtually any other cetacean, yet attempts to use this information to describe the status of the populations in this ocean basin have not proven satisfactory. The North Atlantic humpback has been the subject of extensive research over the past few decades, resulting in a substantial amount of knowledge about what has proven to be a species with a very complex life history and population structure. While several population models have been developed to integrate the available information, the data overall are not well described by any of the models. This has left considerable uncertainty about population status, and has raised questions about the interpretation of some of the data. We describe 7 specific areas where puzzling or ambiguous observations have been made; these require closer attention if population status is to be determined. These areas raise several fundamental questions, including: How many breeding populations are there? How much do the populations mix on the feeding grounds? How has the distribution of animals on both feeding and breeding grounds changed? We identify additional research needed to address the 7 areas and these questions in particular, so that population status might be determined.

  9. Laser photogrammetry improves size and demographic estimates for whale sharks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph A. Rohner

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432–917 cm total length (TL (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122 in southern Mozambique and from 420–990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46 in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347–1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania, the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania. The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (<400 cm whale sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species.

  10. Dynamics of whale shark occurrence at their fringe oceanic habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Pedro; McGinty, Niall; Machete, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), a vulnerable large filter feeder, seasonally aggregates at highly productive coastal sites and that individuals can perform large, trans-boundary migrations to reach these locations. Yet, the whereabouts of the whale shark when absent from these sites and the potential oceanographic and biological drivers involved in shaping their present and future habitat use, including that located at the fringes of their suitable oceanic habitat, are largely unknown. We analysed a 16-year (1998-2013) observer dataset from the pole-and-line tuna fishery across the Azores (mid-North Atlantic) and used GAM models to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of whale shark occurrence in relation to oceanographic features. Across this period, the whale shark became a regular summer visitor to the archipelago after a sharp increase in sighting frequency seen in 2008. We found that SST helps predicting their occurrence in the region associated to the position of the seasonal 22°C isotherm, showing that the Azores are at a thermal boundary for this species and providing an explanation for the post 2007 increase. Within the region, whale shark detections were also higher in areas of increased bathymetric slope and closer to the seamounts, coinciding with higher chl-a biomass, a behaviour most probably associated to increased feeding opportunities. They also showed a tendency to be clustered around the southernmost island of Santa Maria. This study shows that the region integrates the oceanic habitat of adult whale shark and suggests that an increase in its relative importance for the Atlantic population might be expected in face of climate change.

  11. Dynamics of whale shark occurrence at their fringe oceanic habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Pedro; McGinty, Niall; Machete, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), a vulnerable large filter feeder, seasonally aggregates at highly productive coastal sites and that individuals can perform large, trans-boundary migrations to reach these locations. Yet, the whereabouts of the whale shark when absent from these sites and the potential oceanographic and biological drivers involved in shaping their present and future habitat use, including that located at the fringes of their suitable oceanic habitat, are largely unknown. We analysed a 16-year (1998-2013) observer dataset from the pole-and-line tuna fishery across the Azores (mid-North Atlantic) and used GAM models to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of whale shark occurrence in relation to oceanographic features. Across this period, the whale shark became a regular summer visitor to the archipelago after a sharp increase in sighting frequency seen in 2008. We found that SST helps predicting their occurrence in the region associated to the position of the seasonal 22°C isotherm, showing that the Azores are at a thermal boundary for this species and providing an explanation for the post 2007 increase. Within the region, whale shark detections were also higher in areas of increased bathymetric slope and closer to the seamounts, coinciding with higher chl-a biomass, a behaviour most probably associated to increased feeding opportunities. They also showed a tendency to be clustered around the southernmost island of Santa Maria. This study shows that the region integrates the oceanic habitat of adult whale shark and suggests that an increase in its relative importance for the Atlantic population might be expected in face of climate change. PMID:25028929

  12. Dynamics of whale shark occurrence at their fringe oceanic habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Afonso

    Full Text Available Studies have shown that the whale shark (Rhincodon typus, a vulnerable large filter feeder, seasonally aggregates at highly productive coastal sites and that individuals can perform large, trans-boundary migrations to reach these locations. Yet, the whereabouts of the whale shark when absent from these sites and the potential oceanographic and biological drivers involved in shaping their present and future habitat use, including that located at the fringes of their suitable oceanic habitat, are largely unknown. We analysed a 16-year (1998-2013 observer dataset from the pole-and-line tuna fishery across the Azores (mid-North Atlantic and used GAM models to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of whale shark occurrence in relation to oceanographic features. Across this period, the whale shark became a regular summer visitor to the archipelago after a sharp increase in sighting frequency seen in 2008. We found that SST helps predicting their occurrence in the region associated to the position of the seasonal 22°C isotherm, showing that the Azores are at a thermal boundary for this species and providing an explanation for the post 2007 increase. Within the region, whale shark detections were also higher in areas of increased bathymetric slope and closer to the seamounts, coinciding with higher chl-a biomass, a behaviour most probably associated to increased feeding opportunities. They also showed a tendency to be clustered around the southernmost island of Santa Maria. This study shows that the region integrates the oceanic habitat of adult whale shark and suggests that an increase in its relative importance for the Atlantic population might be expected in face of climate change.

  13. Collisions between Whales and Fast Ferries around Korean Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Jun Song

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Although there is heavy maritime traffic around Korean waters, collisions between whales and fast ferries around Korean waters are nearly unknown. A ship strike that was associated with a minke whale occurred near the southeastern part of Tsushima Island along the sailing route of the fast ferry between Korea and Japan on December 16, 2004. It was associated with a fast ferry that runs at a speed of approximately 46.1 kn (83 km/h between Korea and Japan. This individual was certainly seriously injured or killed by this ship strike because large amounts of skin of this individual were attached to the surface of the fast ferry, and also large amounts of blood of this individual spread out in that area. However, fortunately, serious damage did not occur to the mariners and passengers of the ferry, although many passengers were knocked down to the floor of the fast ferry when the fast ferry collided with the minke whale. In addition, a total of 4 records of possible collisions between whales and fast ferries have occurred on the fast ferry route between Korea and Japan between 2004 and 2007. This study is the first formal report on collisions between whales and fast ferries around Korean waters. Although the effect of ship strikes on the survival of cetaceans distributed around Korean waters is not very high at present compared with that of other threats, such as entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes can pose a significant potential threat to endangered cetaceans such as western gray whales. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare prevention measures for ship strikes for the conservation of cetaceans around Korean waters in the future.

  14. Laser photogrammetry improves size and demographic estimates for whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, Christoph A; Richardson, Anthony J; Prebble, Clare E M; Marshall, Andrea D; Bennett, Michael B; Weeks, Scarla J; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P; Pierce, Simon J

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432-917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420-990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347-1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (whale sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species. PMID:25870776

  15. Spyhoppers and Stargazers: Can Whales See the Stars?

    CERN Document Server

    West, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    In Moby Dick, Herman Melville wondered how - or what - whales see with eyes on opposite sides of their heads. "It is plain that he can never see an object which is exactly ahead... Is his brain so much more comprehensive, combining and subtle than man's that he can at the same moment of time attentively examine two distinct prospects, one on one side of him, and the other in an exactly opposite direction?" he asked. It's a good question. But if Melville were alive today he might have pondered something perhaps even more intriguing: Can whales see the stars?

  16. Paternity analysis in a litter of whale shark embryos

    OpenAIRE

    Schmidt, Jennifer; Chien-Chi, Chen; Sheikh, Saad; Meekan, Mark; Norman, Bradley; Joung, Shoou-Jeng

    2010-01-01

    A 10.6 m female whale shark Rhincodon typus caught off the coast of eastern Taiwan in 1995 carried 304 embryos that ranged in developmental stage from individuals still in egg cases to hatched and free-swimming near-term animals. This litter established that whale sharks develop by aplacental yolk-sac viviparity, with embryos hatching from eggs within the female. The range of developmental stages in this litter suggested ongoing fertilization over an extended period of time, with embryos of d...

  17. Contributions to understanding the fall migration of beluga sturgeon (Huso huso on the Lower Danube River, Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alin M. Bâdiliţă

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Within this article the authors present the processing of an informational volume, unique on bothnational and international plan, referring to sturgeons’ migration on Danube. In order to present the results ofthe monitoring activity, carried out by a researching mix team of the above mentioned institutes, we chose themarine sturgeon beluga (Huso huso. The objective is to offer exclusive results regarding the migration of thissturgeon species in order to elaborate some protection and conservation measures in the future, taking intoconsideration the fact that this species is mentioned starting April the 1st 1998 in the 2nd axis of The Conventionof International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This paper is based on Lower Danube’smonitoring section, covered between km 175-375, using specific techniques (DKTB station to monitor theichtyofauna, especially sturgeons, through remote sensing, with ultrasonic tags in different hydromorphologicalconditions, file number: no. A100773/30.10.2012. The article presents the results that come to improve theexistent informational volume throughout the identification of some migrating routes of the sturgeon (belugaspecies directly correlated to water temperature, swimming depth and geodesic localization as well asindirectly with the average velocity of movement. The exceptional character of this paper consists in the factthat until now, in Romania, there has not been possible the accomplishment of sturgeons’ migration monitoringon a significant number of individuals and on a distance of more than 400 km, using ultrasonic tags.

  18. Software for real-time localization of baleen whale calls using directional sonobuoys: A case study on Antarctic blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Calderan, Susannah; Gillespie, Douglas; Weatherup, Graham; Leaper, Russell; Collins, Kym; Double, Michael C

    2016-03-01

    Directional frequency analysis and recording (DIFAR) sonobuoys can allow real-time acoustic localization of baleen whales for underwater tracking and remote sensing, but limited availability of hardware and software has prevented wider usage. These software limitations were addressed by developing a module in the open-source software PAMGuard. A case study is presented demonstrating that this software provides greater efficiency and accessibility than previous methods for detecting, localizing, and tracking Antarctic blue whales in real time. Additionally, this software can easily be extended to track other low and mid frequency sounds including those from other cetaceans, pinnipeds, icebergs, shipping, and seismic airguns. PMID:27036292

  19. Affects of Changes in Sea Ice Cover on Bowhead Whales and Subsistence Whaling in the Western Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, S.; Suydam, R.; Overland, J.; Laidre, K.; George, J.; Demaster, D.

    2004-12-01

    Global warming may disproportionately affect Arctic marine mammals and disrupt traditional subsistence hunting activities. Based upon analyses of a 24-year time series (1979-2002) of satellite-derived sea ice cover, we identified significant positive trends in the amount of open-water in three large and five small-scale regions in the western Arctic, including habitats where bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) feed or are suspected to feed. Bowheads are the only mysticete whale endemic to the Arctic and a cultural keystone species for Native peoples from northwestern Alaska and Chukotka, Russia. While copepods (Calanus spp.) are a mainstay of the bowhead diet, prey sampling conducted in the offshore region of northern Chukotka and stomach contents from whales harvested offshore of the northern Alaskan coast indicate that euphausiids (Thysanoessa spp.) advected from the Bering Sea are also common prey in autumn. Early departure of sea ice has been posited to control availability of zooplankton in the southeastern Bering Sea and in the Cape Bathurst polynya in the southeastern Canadian Beaufort Sea, with maximum secondary production associated with a late phytoplankton bloom in insolatoin-stratified open water. While it is unclear if declining sea-ice has directly affected production or advection of bowhead prey, an extension of the open-water season increases opportunities for Native subsistence whaling in autumn. Therefore, bowhead whales may provide a nexus for simultaneous exploration of the effects sea ice reduction on pagophillic marine mammals and on the social systems of the subsistence hunting community in the western Arctic. The NOAA/Alaska Fisheries Science Center and NSB/Department of Wildlife Management will investigate bowhead whale stock identity, seasonal distribution and subsistence use patterns during the International Polar Year, as an extension of research planned for 2005-06. This research is in response to recommendations from the Scientific

  20. 2004-2005 International Whaling Commission-Southern Ocean Whale and Ecosystem Research (IWC-SOWER) Cruise, Area III

    OpenAIRE

    Ensor, P.; Findlay, K.; Friedrichsen, G.; Hirose, K.; Komiya, H; Morse, L; Olson, P; Sekiguchi, K.; Van Waerebeek, K.; Yoshimura, I

    2005-01-01

    We conducted the 27th annual IWC-SOWER (formerly IDCR) Cruise in Area III (000°-070°E) aboard the Japanese Research Vessels Shonan Maru and Shonan Maru No.2. The 65-day cruise departed Cape Town, South Africa on 4 January 2005 and returned to Fremantle, Australia on 9 March 2005. After transiting to the study area, we carried out a minke whale survey and several research experiments from 12 January to 25 February. A systematic minke whale survey was conducted in Area IIIW (000°-035°E) from 12...

  1. Comparative Chromosome Map and Heterochromatin Features of the Gray Whale Karyotype (Cetacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulemzina, Anastasia I; Proskuryakova, Anastasia A; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Lemskaya, Natalia A; Perelman, Polina L; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2016-01-01

    Cetacean karyotypes possess exceptionally stable diploid numbers and highly conserved chromosomes. To date, only toothed whales (Odontoceti) have been analyzed by comparative chromosome painting. Here, we studied the karyotype of a representative of baleen whales, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus, Mysticeti), by Zoo-FISH with dromedary camel and human chromosome-specific probes. We confirmed a high degree of karyotype conservation and found an identical order of syntenic segments in both branches of cetaceans. Yet, whale chromosomes harbor variable heterochromatic regions constituting up to a third of the genome due to the presence of several types of repeats. To investigate the cause of this variability, several classes of repeated DNA sequences were mapped onto chromosomes of whale species from both Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We uncovered extensive intrapopulation variability in the size of heterochromatic blocks present in homologous chromosomes among 3 individuals of the gray whale by 2-step differential chromosome staining. We show that some of the heteromorphisms observed in the gray whale karyotype are due to distinct amplification of a complex of common cetacean repeat and heavy satellite repeat on homologous autosomes. Furthermore, we demonstrate localization of the telomeric repeat in the heterochromatin of both gray and pilot whale (Globicephala melas, Odontoceti). Heterochromatic blocks in the pilot whale represent a composite of telomeric and common repeats, while heavy satellite repeat is lacking in the toothed whale consistent with previous studies.

  2. Crassicaudosis: a parasitic disease threatening the health and population recovery of large baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambertsen, R H

    1992-12-01

    This communication briefly reviews knowledge of the systemic disease caused by Crassicauda boopis in blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (B. physalus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Infections with this giant nematode characteristically incite a chronic inflammatory reaction of the blood vessels which drain the kidneys. In this critical location, the parasite-induced lesion can cause complete vascular occlusion and kidney failure. Whale calves and juveniles typically suffer the heaviest parasite burdens following transplacental infection of the developing whale foetus. There is also probable whale-to-whale transmission post-partum, involving urinary contamination of the environment with C. boopis eggs and larvae. The frequency of the infection can exceed 95%. Haematological findings suggest that systemic pathological effects are typical at the population level. Gradual development of occlusive lesions in the renal veins appears to correlate with a major peak in natural mortality at about one year of age. To date, all findings support the conclusion that premature death caused by C. boopis infection is potentially a major impediment to population recovery of affected whale species. This suggests the interesting possibility of actively encouraging the population recovery of three species of large baleen whales. Such a restoration effort would entail remotely-deployed anthelminthic therapy administered, at sea, to infected whale cows and calves. PMID:1305859

  3. Comparative Chromosome Map and Heterochromatin Features of the Gray Whale Karyotype (Cetacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulemzina, Anastasia I; Proskuryakova, Anastasia A; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Lemskaya, Natalia A; Perelman, Polina L; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2016-01-01

    Cetacean karyotypes possess exceptionally stable diploid numbers and highly conserved chromosomes. To date, only toothed whales (Odontoceti) have been analyzed by comparative chromosome painting. Here, we studied the karyotype of a representative of baleen whales, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus, Mysticeti), by Zoo-FISH with dromedary camel and human chromosome-specific probes. We confirmed a high degree of karyotype conservation and found an identical order of syntenic segments in both branches of cetaceans. Yet, whale chromosomes harbor variable heterochromatic regions constituting up to a third of the genome due to the presence of several types of repeats. To investigate the cause of this variability, several classes of repeated DNA sequences were mapped onto chromosomes of whale species from both Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We uncovered extensive intrapopulation variability in the size of heterochromatic blocks present in homologous chromosomes among 3 individuals of the gray whale by 2-step differential chromosome staining. We show that some of the heteromorphisms observed in the gray whale karyotype are due to distinct amplification of a complex of common cetacean repeat and heavy satellite repeat on homologous autosomes. Furthermore, we demonstrate localization of the telomeric repeat in the heterochromatin of both gray and pilot whale (Globicephala melas, Odontoceti). Heterochromatic blocks in the pilot whale represent a composite of telomeric and common repeats, while heavy satellite repeat is lacking in the toothed whale consistent with previous studies. PMID:27088853

  4. Seasonal and geographic variation of southern blue whale subspecies in the Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samaran, Flore; Stafford, Kathleen M; Branch, Trevor A; Gedamke, Jason; Royer, Jean-Yves; Dziak, Robert P; Guinet, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the seasonal movements and distribution patterns of migratory species over ocean basin scales is vital for appropriate conservation and management measures. However, assessing populations over remote regions is challenging, particularly if they are rare. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp) are an endangered species found in the Southern and Indian Oceans. Here two recognized subspecies of blue whales and, based on passive acoustic monitoring, four "acoustic populations" occur. Three of these are pygmy blue whale (B.m. brevicauda) populations while the fourth is the Antarctic blue whale (B.m. intermedia). Past whaling catches have dramatically reduced their numbers but recent acoustic recordings show that these oceans are still important habitat for blue whales. Presently little is known about the seasonal movements and degree of overlap of these four populations, particularly in the central Indian Ocean. We examined the geographic and seasonal occurrence of different blue whale acoustic populations using one year of passive acoustic recording from three sites located at different latitudes in the Indian Ocean. The vocalizations of the different blue whale subspecies and acoustic populations were recorded seasonally in different regions. For some call types and locations, there was spatial and temporal overlap, particularly between Antarctic and different pygmy blue whale acoustic populations. Except on the southernmost hydrophone, all three pygmy blue whale acoustic populations were found at different sites or during different seasons, which further suggests that these populations are generally geographically distinct. This unusual blue whale diversity in sub-Antarctic and sub-tropical waters indicates the importance of the area for blue whales in these former whaling grounds. PMID:23967221

  5. Seasonal and geographic variation of southern blue whale subspecies in the Indian Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flore Samaran

    Full Text Available Understanding the seasonal movements and distribution patterns of migratory species over ocean basin scales is vital for appropriate conservation and management measures. However, assessing populations over remote regions is challenging, particularly if they are rare. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp are an endangered species found in the Southern and Indian Oceans. Here two recognized subspecies of blue whales and, based on passive acoustic monitoring, four "acoustic populations" occur. Three of these are pygmy blue whale (B.m. brevicauda populations while the fourth is the Antarctic blue whale (B.m. intermedia. Past whaling catches have dramatically reduced their numbers but recent acoustic recordings show that these oceans are still important habitat for blue whales. Presently little is known about the seasonal movements and degree of overlap of these four populations, particularly in the central Indian Ocean. We examined the geographic and seasonal occurrence of different blue whale acoustic populations using one year of passive acoustic recording from three sites located at different latitudes in the Indian Ocean. The vocalizations of the different blue whale subspecies and acoustic populations were recorded seasonally in different regions. For some call types and locations, there was spatial and temporal overlap, particularly between Antarctic and different pygmy blue whale acoustic populations. Except on the southernmost hydrophone, all three pygmy blue whale acoustic populations were found at different sites or during different seasons, which further suggests that these populations are generally geographically distinct. This unusual blue whale diversity in sub-Antarctic and sub-tropical waters indicates the importance of the area for blue whales in these former whaling grounds.

  6. Seasonal and geographic variation of southern blue whale subspecies in the Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samaran, Flore; Stafford, Kathleen M; Branch, Trevor A; Gedamke, Jason; Royer, Jean-Yves; Dziak, Robert P; Guinet, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the seasonal movements and distribution patterns of migratory species over ocean basin scales is vital for appropriate conservation and management measures. However, assessing populations over remote regions is challenging, particularly if they are rare. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp) are an endangered species found in the Southern and Indian Oceans. Here two recognized subspecies of blue whales and, based on passive acoustic monitoring, four "acoustic populations" occur. Three of these are pygmy blue whale (B.m. brevicauda) populations while the fourth is the Antarctic blue whale (B.m. intermedia). Past whaling catches have dramatically reduced their numbers but recent acoustic recordings show that these oceans are still important habitat for blue whales. Presently little is known about the seasonal movements and degree of overlap of these four populations, particularly in the central Indian Ocean. We examined the geographic and seasonal occurrence of different blue whale acoustic populations using one year of passive acoustic recording from three sites located at different latitudes in the Indian Ocean. The vocalizations of the different blue whale subspecies and acoustic populations were recorded seasonally in different regions. For some call types and locations, there was spatial and temporal overlap, particularly between Antarctic and different pygmy blue whale acoustic populations. Except on the southernmost hydrophone, all three pygmy blue whale acoustic populations were found at different sites or during different seasons, which further suggests that these populations are generally geographically distinct. This unusual blue whale diversity in sub-Antarctic and sub-tropical waters indicates the importance of the area for blue whales in these former whaling grounds.

  7. Functional convergence in bat and toothed whale biosonars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, P T; Surlykke, A

    2013-01-01

    Echolocating bats and toothed whales hunt and navigate by emission of sound pulses and analysis of returning echoes to form a self-generated auditory scene. Here, we demonstrate a striking functional convergence in the way these two groups of mammals independently evolved the capability to sense...

  8. On the Research of Whales%鲸鱼考

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨秀英; 沙大禹

    2012-01-01

    As the biggest fish in the ocean, Whales are full of mystery in the ancient people' s eyes. In ancient times, the whale is named in different ways. This paper attempts make an analysis about the ancient names of whales based on the ancient literature review together with the modern scientific research achieve- ments. Furthermore, this paper also aims to explore the relevant problems such as various names of whales in different historical period and the regional distribution in order to make contrast between ancient and modern research.%鲸,在古人看来,是充满了神秘色彩的海鱼之最大者。古人对鲸鱼的命名也是多种多样。本文试图通过对古代历史文献的梳理,结合现代科学研究成果,对鲸鱼的古代名称详加辨析,并探讨鲸鱼在不同历史时期的异名、区域分布等相关问题,以便古今对照,有所借鉴。

  9. Toxaphene in minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from the North Atlantic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toxaphene contamination of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from North Atlantic waters was examined for the first time. Total toxaphene and ΣCHB (sum of 11 chlorobornanes) concentrations in blubber samples ranged from 170 ± 110 and 41 ± 39 ng/g lipid weight (l.w.) for female minke whales from southeastern Greenland to 5800 ± 4100 and 1100 ± 780 ng/g l.w. for males from the North Sea, respectively. Very large variations in toxaphene concentrations among sampling areas were observed suggesting a spatial segregation of minke whales. However, much of the apparent geographical discrimination was explained by the seasonal fluctuation of animal fat mass. Patterns of CHBs in males revealed that recalcitrant CHBs were in higher proportions in animals from the more easterly areas than in animals from the more westerly areas. This trend may be influenced by the predominance of the US, over the European, input of toxaphene to North Atlantic waters. - High levels of toxaphene were found in different sub-populations of minke whales from North Atlantic waters

  10. Detection of Blainville’s beaked whales with towed arrays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benda-Beckmann, A.M. von; Lam, F.P.A.; Moretti, D.J.; Fulkerson, K.; Ainslie, M.A.; IJsselmuide, S.P. van; Theriault, J.; Beerens, S.P.

    2010-01-01

    The detection performance of a towed hydrophone array for deep-diving species is quantified by comparing detections of echolocation clicks from foraging groups of Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) from the TNO Delphinus array to detections from bottom-mounted hydrophones at the At

  11. Even The Whales Have Their Predators:Ships

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ On a day SO clear the ocean,from certain angles,is nothing but a field of glare,a team of spotters in a Twin Otter airplane flies a precise grid pattern,looking for North Atlantic right whales in the warm,shallow waters they use as their winter calving ground.

  12. Iceland and European Union accession - the whaling issue

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Peter G.G.

    2011-01-01

    This article seeks to assess one of the important questions regarding Iceland’s potential accession to the EU, namely, whether Iceland could legitimately continue its whaling operations under current EU environmental law if it becomes a member of the regional economic integration organization

  13. Cenozoic cooling, Antarctic nutrient pump, and the evolution of whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, W. H.

    2007-10-01

    The evolution of large marine mammals and their invasion of the pelagic realm is tied to the availability of sufficient food, which in turn is linked to upwelling areas and other highly productive regions in the ocean, as has been recognized for some time. Here I propose that silicate-supported upwelling (which provides the shorter food chain and hence the higher yield for apex consumers) and deep mixing within the Southern Ocean are the crucial ingredients of the system providing the stage for the evolution of whales. The Circumpolar Current receives silicate from various sources but especially from the North Atlantic Deep Water introduced in the Atlantic sector. The silicate is largely trapped in the Ring, some in the water, and some in the sediment, and is made available to shallower waters by unusually deep mixing. From these shallower depths silica-rich waters can enter the thermocline all through the southern hemisphere, stimulating diatom growth in upwelling systems to the equator and beyond. From the link diatoms-krill-whales and diatoms-krill-small fishes, it is readily apparent that the link between the climate narrative and the narrative of whale evolution (both for mysticetes and odontocetes) is the silica cycle. Studying it will generate hypotheses about whale evolution that can be tested using fossils.

  14. Calling behavior of blue and fin whales off California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Erin Marie

    Passive acoustic monitoring is an effective means for evaluating cetacean presence in remote regions and over long time periods, and may become an important component of cetacean abundance surveys. To use passive acoustic recordings for abundance estimation, an understanding of the behavioral ecology of cetacean calling is crucial. In this dissertation, I develop a better understanding of how blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin (B. physalus ) whales use sound with the goal of evaluating passive acoustic techniques for studying their populations. Both blue and fin whales produce several different call types, though the behavioral and environmental context of these calls have not been widely investigated. To better understand how calling is used by these whales off California I have employed both new technologies and traditional techniques, including acoustic recording tags, continuous long-term autonomous acoustic recordings, and simultaneous shipboard acoustic and visual surveys. The outcome of these investigations has led to several conclusions. The production of blue whale calls varies with sex, behavior, season, location, and time of day. Each blue whale call type has a distinct behavioral context, including a male-only bias in the production of song, a call type thought to function in reproduction, and the production of some calls by both sexes. Long-term acoustic records, when interpreted using all call types, provide a more accurate measure of the local seasonal presence of whales, and how they use the region annually, seasonally and daily. The relative occurrence of different call types may indicate prime foraging habitat and the presence of different segments of the population. The proportion of animals heard calling changes seasonally and geographically relative to the number seen, indicating the calibration of acoustic and visual surveys is complex and requires further study on the motivations behind call production and the behavior of calling whales

  15. Specific features of vowel-like signals of white whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bel'Kovich, V. M.; Kreichi, S. A.

    2004-05-01

    The set of acoustic signals of White-Sea white whales comprises about 70 types of signals. Six of them occur most often and constitute 75% of the total number of signals produced by these animals. According to behavioral reactions, white whales distinguish each other by acoustic signals, which is also typical of other animal species and humans. To investigate this phenomenon, signals perceived as vowel-like sounds of speech, including sounds perceived as a “bleat,” were chosen A sample of 480 signals recorded in June and July, 2000, in the White Sea within a reproductive assemblage of white whales near the Large Solovetskii Island was studied. Signals were recorded on a digital data carrier (a SONY minidisk) in the frequency range of 0.06 20 kHz. The purpose of the study was to reveal the perceptive and acoustic features specific to individual animals. The study was carried out using the methods of structural analysis of vocal speech that are employed in lingual criminalistics to identify a speaking person. It was demonstrated that this approach allows one to group the signals by coincident perceptive and acoustic parameters with assigning individual attributes to single parameters. This provided an opportunity to separate conditionally about 40 different sources of acoustic signals according to the totality of coincidences, which corresponded to the number of white whales observed visually. Thus, the application of this method proves to be very promising for the acoustic identification of white whales and other marine mammals, this possibility being very important for biology.

  16. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds: Implications for anti-predator strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Curé, C.; Antunes, R.; Alves, A.C.; Visser, F.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could m

  17. Getting to know you: Identification of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata and melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra under challenging conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Siciliano

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra and Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata are very poorly known species and are often confused with each other. We examined in detail Figure 3 in MARIGO and GIFFONI (2010 who reported that two melon-headed whales were taken in a surface driftnet about 90 nm off Santos, Brazil. We concluded they were in fact pygmy killer whales and explain our reasoning. To aid in future identifications, we illustrate and describe some of the main differences between these two species of small cetaceans. The incident reported by MARIGO and GIFFONI (2010 might represent the 'tip of the iceberg' regarding the incidental catches of cetaceans by pelagic drift nets off Brazil. Offshore driftnetting operating along the south-southeastern coast of Brazil may threaten pygmy killer whales.

  18. Diving behaviour of whale sharks in relation to a predictable food pulse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Rachel T; Roberts, Callum M; Smart, James C R

    2006-02-22

    We present diving data for four whale sharks in relation to a predictable food pulse (reef fish spawn) and an analysis of the longest continuous fine-resolution diving record for a planktivorous shark. Fine-resolution pressure data from a recovered pop-up archival satellite tag deployed for 206 days on a whale shark were analysed using the fast Fourier Transform method for frequency domain analysis of time-series. The results demonstrated that a free-ranging whale shark displays ultradian, diel and circa-lunar rhythmicity of diving behaviour. Whale sharks dive to over 979.5 m and can tolerate a temperature range of 26.4 degrees C. The whale sharks made primarily diurnal deep dives and remained in relatively shallow waters at night. Whale shark diving patterns are influenced by a seasonally predictable food source, with shallower dives made during fish spawning periods.

  19. Model-based passive acoustic tracking of sperm whale foraging behavior in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiemann, Christopher; Thode, Aaron; Straley, Jan; Folkert, Kendall; O'Connell, Victoria

    2005-09-01

    In 2004, the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project (SEASWAP) introduced the use of passive acoustics to help monitor the behavior of sperm whales depredating longline fishing operations. Acoustic data from autonomous recorders mounted on longlines provide the opportunity to demonstrate a tracking algorithm based on acoustic propagation modeling while providing insight into whales' foraging behavior. With knowledge of azimuthally dependent bathymetry, a 3D track of whale motion can be obtained using data from just one hydrophone by exploiting multipath arrival information from recorded sperm whale clicks. The evolution of multipath arrival patterns is matched to range-, depth-, and azimuth-dependent modeled arrival patterns to generate an estimate of whale motion. This technique does not require acoustic ray identification (i.e., direct path, surface reflected, etc.) while still utilizing individual ray arrival information, and it can also account for all waveguide propagation physics such as interaction with range-dependent bathymetry and ray refraction.

  20. Endoparasite survey of free-swimming baleen whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, B. borealis) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using non/minimally invasive methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermosilla, Carlos; Silva, Liliana M R; Kleinertz, Sonja; Prieto, Rui; Silva, Monica A; Taubert, Anja

    2016-02-01

    A number of parasitic diseases have gained importance as neozoan opportunistic infections in the marine environment. Here, we report on the gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna of three baleen whale species and one toothed whale: blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) from the Azores Islands, Portugal. In total, 17 individual whale fecal samples [n = 10 (B. physalus); n = 4 (P. macrocephalus); n = 2 (B. musculus); n = 1 (B. borealis)] were collected from free-swimming animals as part of ongoing studies on behavioral ecology. Furthermore, skin biopsies were collected from sperm whales (n = 5) using minimally invasive biopsy darting and tested for the presence of Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Besnoitia besnoiti DNA via PCR. Overall, more than ten taxa were detected in whale fecal samples. Within protozoan parasites, Entamoeba spp. occurred most frequently (64.7%), followed by Giardia spp. (17.6%) and Balantidium spp. (5.9%). The most prevalent metazoan parasites were Ascaridida indet. spp. (41.2%), followed by trematodes (17.7%), acanthocephalan spp., strongyles (11.8%), Diphyllobotrium spp. (5.9%), and spirurids (5.9%). Helminths were mainly found in sperm whales, while enteric protozoan parasites were exclusively detected in baleen whales, which might be related to dietary differences. No T. gondii, N. caninum, or B. besnoiti DNA was detected in any skin sample. This is the first record on Giardia and Balantidium infections in large baleen whales. PMID:26593736

  1. Calling under pressure: short-finned pilot whales make social calls during deep foraging dives

    OpenAIRE

    Frants H Jensen; Perez, Jacobo Marrero; Johnson, Mark; Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T.

    2011-01-01

    Toothed whales rely on sound to echolocate prey and communicate with conspecifics, but little is known about how extreme pressure affects pneumatic sound production in deep-diving species with a limited air supply. The short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a highly social species among the deep-diving toothed whales, in which individuals socialize at the surface but leave their social group in pursuit of prey at depths of up to 1000 m. To investigate if these animals commun...

  2. Wintering habitat model for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the southeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

    The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS) are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales) were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment.

  3. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Christoph A. Rohner; Armstrong, Amelia J.; Simon J Pierce; Prebble, Clare E. M.; Cagua, E. Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E. M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2015-01-01

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surfa...

  4. Discovery of a blue whale feeding and nursing ground in southern Chile.

    OpenAIRE

    Hucke-Gaete, Rodrigo; Osman, Layla P; Moreno, Carlos A; Findlay, Ken P.; Ljungblad, Don K

    2004-01-01

    After the extensive exploitation that reduced the Southern Hemisphere blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) populations to less than 3% of its original numbers, studies on its recovery have been compounded by the inaccessibility of most populations and the extensive migrations between low and high latitudes, thus ensuring that knowledge about blue whale ecology and status remains limited. We report the recent discovery of, arguably, the most important blue whale feeding and nursing ground known ...

  5. Baleen whale spatial patterns in the Scotia Sea during January and February 2003

    OpenAIRE

    Sirovic, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.; Thiele, Deborah

    2006-01-01

    Different species of baleen whales display distinct spatial distribution patterns in the Scotia Sea during the austral summer. Passive acoustic and visual surveys for baleen whales were conducted aboard the RRS James Clark Ross in the Scotia Sea and around South Georgia in January and February 2003. Identified calls from four species were recorded during the acoustic survey including southern right (Eubalaena australis), blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (B. physalus) and humpback whales (Meg...

  6. Sloughed skin: a method for the systematic colletion of tissue samples from Baja California blue whales

    OpenAIRE

    Gendron, Diane; Mesnick, S.L.

    2001-01-01

    The frequency of occurrence of naturally sloughed skin was investigated to verify the feasibility of this method to study blue whale genetics off Baja California. Sloughed skin was recorded in 97% of 337 surfacing intervals with blue whales, Balaenoptera musculus, along the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. No significant difference (P>0.05) was found in size of pieces of skin sloughed from whales in different habitats, sea surface temperatures or whether they were alone or in pairs. Samp...

  7. Productivity in American Whaling: The New Bedford Fleet in the Nineteenth Century

    OpenAIRE

    Lance Davis; Robert E. Gallman; Teresa Hutchins

    1987-01-01

    From the end of the War of 1812 until the Civil War the New Bedford whaling fleet grew spectacularly; thereafter it declined, equally spectacularly. By the end of the century New Bedford's day was over. During the 88 years of this period, the technical configuration of the fleet, the hunting grounds visited, and the types of whales pursued all changed dramatically, and more than once. The literature on whaling suggests that the collapse of the industry was due, in part, to declining productiv...

  8. The safety of bycatch: South Korean responses to the moratorium on commercial whaling

    OpenAIRE

    Bradley Tatar

    2014-01-01

    When the global moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented in 1986, Korea prohibited whaling; however, there was no effort to build the capacity of social institutions to guide local residents to cooperate with the policy. Utilizing a social ecology approach, this research examines the practice of eating whale meat in Ulsan, South Korea, to illustrate the importance of culture for attaining the social acceptance of wildlife conservation policy. The cultural models which influence the co...

  9. Fossil traces of the bone-eating worm Osedax in early Oligocene whale bones

    OpenAIRE

    Kiel, Steffen; Goedert, James L; Kahl, Wolf-Achim; Rouse, Greg W.

    2010-01-01

    Osedax is a recently discovered group of siboglinid annelids that consume bones on the seafloor and whose evolutionary origins have been linked with Cretaceous marine reptiles or to the post-Cretaceous rise of whales. Here we present whale bones from early Oligocene bathyal sediments exposed in Washington State, which show traces similar to those made by Osedax today. The geologic age of these trace fossils (∼30 million years) coincides with the first major radiation of whales, consistent wit...

  10. Science should not be abandoned in a bid to resolve whaling disputes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Justin; Leaper, Russell; Papastavrou, Vassili

    2009-10-23

    The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is currently engaged in an intensive negotiating process in an attempt to resolve international disputes about whaling. The IWC has pioneered and agreed a management procedure approach for setting catch limits for commercial whaling that was unanimously recommended by its Scientific Committee. It is disturbing that current negotiations are moving towards discarding this agreed and carefully developed scientific procedure in favour of ad hoc catch allowances based on political expediency. PMID:19515654

  11. Mortality rate acceleration and post-reproductive lifespan in matrilineal whale species

    OpenAIRE

    Foote, Andrew D.

    2008-01-01

    The strength of selection to increase the span of a life stage is dependent upon individuals at that stage being able to contribute towards individual fitness and the probability of their surviving to that stage. Complete reproductive cessation and a long post-reproductive female lifespan as found in humans are also found in killer whale (Orcinus orca) and short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), but not in the long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melaena). Each species forms k...

  12. Biogeochemistry of a deep-sea whale fall: sulfate reduction, sulfide efflux and methanogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Treude, Tina; Smith, C. R.; Wenzhöfer, F.; Carney, E; Bernardino, A. F.; A. K. Hannides; Krüger, M.; A. Boetius

    2009-01-01

    Deep-sea whale falls create sulfidic habits Supporting chemoautotrophic communities, but microbial processes underlying the formation Of Such habitats remain poorly evaluated. Microbial degradation processes (sulfate reduction, methanogenesis) and biogeochemical gradients were studied in a whale-fall habitat created by a 30 t whale carcass deployed at 1675 m depth for 6 to 7 yr on the California margin. A variety of measurements were conducted including photomosaicking, microsensor measuremen...

  13. Stomach contents of sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus stranded in the North Sea 1990-1996

    OpenAIRE

    Santos, M. B.; Pierce, G.J.; Boyle, P.R. (Peter R.); Reid, R.J.; Ross, H. M.; Patterson, I. A. P.; Kinze, C.C.; S. Tougaard; Lick, R.; Piatkowski, Uwe; Hernandez-García, V.

    1999-01-01

    Stomach contents of 17 sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus stranded in Scotland and Denmark during 1990-96 were analysed. All were sub-adult or adult males and stranded between November and March. They had presumably entered the North Sea during their southward migration from feeding grounds in Arctic waters. Other studies indicate that the majority of the whales were apparently healthy. The diet of these whales was found to consist almost entirely of cephalopods, principally squid of the gen...

  14. Wintering habitat model for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis in the southeastern United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy A Gowan

    Full Text Available The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis, used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST, water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment.

  15. Transcriptomic Analysis of Cultured Whale Skin Cells Exposed to Hexavalent Chromium [Cr(VI)

    OpenAIRE

    Pabuwal, Vagmita; Boswell, Mikki; Pasquali, Amanda; Wise, Sandra S.; Kumar, Suresh; Shen, Yingjia; Garcia, Tzintzuni; LaCerte, Carolyne; Wise, John Pierce; Warren, Wesley; Walter, Ronald B.

    2013-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium Cr(VI) is known to produce cytotoxic effects in humans and is a highly toxic environmental contaminant. Interestingly, it has been shown that free ranging sperm whales (Phyester macrocephalus) may have exceedingly high levels of Cr in their skin. Also, it has been demonstrated that skin cells from whales appear more resistant to both cytotoxicity and clastogenicity upon Cr exposure compared to human cells. However, the molecular genetic mechanisms employed in whale skin ce...

  16. Conservation efforts of the East African Whale Shark Trust in Kenya.

    OpenAIRE

    Bassen, V.

    2007-01-01

    While it is known that the highly migratory nature of whale sharks results in the world’s largest fish being found in the waters of Kenya, minimal research has been conducted into their distribution and abundance along the Kenyan coast. The whale shark is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), however the species is not protected by law in Kenya and whale sharks fishing remains unchecked. The ...

  17. The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru

    OpenAIRE

    Lambert, O; G. BIANUCCI; Post, K.; De Muizon, C.; Salas-Gismondi, R.; Urbina, M.; Reumer, J.W.F.

    2010-01-01

    The modern giant sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, one of the largest known predators, preys upon cephalopods at great depths1, 2. Lacking a functional upper dentition, it relies on suction for catching its prey3; in contrast, several smaller Miocene sperm whales (Physeteroidea) have been interpreted as raptorial (versus suction) feeders4, 5, analogous to the modern killer whale Orcinus orca. Whereas very large physeteroid teeth have been discovered in various Miocene localities, associated...

  18. Low Genetic Differentiation across Three Major Ocean Populations of the Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus

    OpenAIRE

    Schmidt, Jennifer V.; Claudia L Schmidt; Fusun Ozer; Robin E Ernst; Feldheim, Kevin A; Ashley, Mary V.; Marie Levine

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Whale sharks are a declining species for which little biological data is available. While these animals are protected in many parts of their range, they are fished legally and illegally in some countries. Baseline biological and ecological data are needed to allow the formulation of an effective conservation plan for whale sharks. It is not known, for example, whether the whale shark is represented by a single worldwide panmictic population or by numerous, reproductively isolated ...

  19. Low Diversity in the Mitogenome of Sperm Whales Revealed by Next-Generation Sequencing

    OpenAIRE

    Alexander, Alana; Steel, Debbie; Slikas, Beth; Hoekzema, Kendra; Carraher, Colm; Parks, Matthew; Cronn, Richard; Baker, C. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Large population sizes and global distributions generally associate with high mitochondrial DNA control region (CR) diversity. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is an exception, showing low CR diversity relative to other cetaceans; however, diversity levels throughout the remainder of the sperm whale mitogenome are unknown. We sequenced 20 mitogenomes from 17 sperm whales representative of worldwide diversity using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies (Illumina GAIIx, Roche 45...

  20. Science should not be abandoned in a bid to resolve whaling disputes

    OpenAIRE

    Cooke, Justin; Leaper, Russell; Papastavrou, Vassili

    2009-01-01

    The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is currently engaged in an intensive negotiating process in an attempt to resolve international disputes about whaling. The IWC has pioneered and agreed a management procedure approach for setting catch limits for commercial whaling that was unanimously recommended by its Scientific Committee. It is disturbing that current negotiations are moving towards discarding this agreed and carefully developed scientific procedure in favour of ad hoc catch all...

  1. In the wake of Tønnessen and Johnsen : trends in whaling history research after 1970

    OpenAIRE

    Basberg, Bjørn L.

    2005-01-01

    In 1970 the fourth and final volume of Arne Odd Johnsen and Joh. N. Tønnessens’s Den moderne hvalfangsts historie was published. The work represented a milestone in the writing about the development of the 20th century whaling industry. This paper reviews the literature that has been published in Norway and internationally on the history of modern whaling after Johnsen and Tønnessen, and analyses the focus, trends and direction in the research and writing on whaling history in ...

  2. Postmortem Investigations on Winter Stranded Sperm Whales from the Coasts of Belgium and the Netherlands

    OpenAIRE

    Jauniaux, Thierry; Brosens, L.; Jacquinet, E.; Lambrigts, D.; Addink, M.; Smeenk, C; Coignoul, Freddy

    1998-01-01

    During winter 1994-95, four and three sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were stranded along the Belgian and the Dutch coasts, respectively. Necropsies and tissue samplings were collected 24 hrs post mortem. Lesions on several whales included round and linear skin scars, ventral skin abrasions, acute skin ulcers, acute ulcerative stomatitides, acute to chronic external otitides, and passive visceral congestion. In addition, these sperm whales appeared to be debilitated with severe weight d...

  3. Saving the Whales: Lessons from the Extinction of the Eastern Arctic Bowhead.

    OpenAIRE

    Robert C. Allen; Keay, Ian

    2004-01-01

    In this article we investigate the possibility that a regulatory regime designed to maximize the profitability of the early Dutch whaling industry could have simultaneously guaranteed the biological sustainability of the eastern Arctic Bowhead whale. We find that policies with economic profit as the sole objective could have saved the whales, as well as increasing the incomes of the whalers, under assumptions commonly made in fisheries models. However, the necessary assumptions are implausibl...

  4. The effects of probiotic bacillus for promotion of growth and feeding parameters in beluga (Huso huso larvae via feeding by bioencapsulated Artemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hojatollah Jafaryan

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study five species of probiotic bacillus as bacterial blend under the commercial title ofProtexin aquatic were used for bioencapsulation of Artemia urmiana (Gunther, 1899. This experimentwas conducted in a completely random design. A. urmiana naupli I was used as a vector to carryprobiotic bacillus to digestive tract of Huso huso (Linnaeus, 1758 larvae. Nauplii with threeconcentrations of bacteria, 1×105, 2×105 and 3×105 bacteria per milliliter in suspension of broth for 10hours were bioencapsulated and beluga larvae were fed by them. Beluga larvae were fed 50 percent oftheir body weight for 6 times a day. The control treatment was fed by unbioencapsulated artemia nauplii.The results indicated that the probiotic bacillus could influence on growth and feeding parameters inbeluga larvae. The final body weight and specific growth rate (SGR for weight in experimentaltreatments had significant difference in comparison to control treatment (P0.05. In experimentaltreatments the Food efficiency was increased significantly in comparison with control. The probioticbacillus had significant positive effects on conversion efficiency ratio (CER, Daily growth coefficient(DGC and average weight gain (AWG in comparison to control treatment (P-1 significantly increased (P<0.05.

  5. The safety of bycatch: South Korean responses to the moratorium on commercial whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Tatar

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available When the global moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented in 1986, Korea prohibited whaling; however, there was no effort to build the capacity of social institutions to guide local residents to cooperate with the policy. Utilizing a social ecology approach, this research examines the practice of eating whale meat in Ulsan, South Korea, to illustrate the importance of culture for attaining the social acceptance of wildlife conservation policy. The cultural models which influence the consumption of whale meat are here classified as representing four distinct responses to the moratorium: opposition, resistance, evasion and support. The two most important changes are the public utilization of whale meat as a symbol of an endangered culture, and the reliance on meat procured legally from accidental entanglements of whales in fishing nets (cetacean bycatch. These cultural changes have a social function, which is to impart legitimacy and acceptance to the continued consumption of whale meat, from illegal as well as legal sources. Given the cultural acceptance of whale meat, I argue that it will not be possible to eradicate the illegal market through enforcement alone. Instead, the solution is to persuade local consumers of whale meat to cooperate with the moratorium.

  6. Fin whale vocalizations observed with ocean bottom seismometers of cabled observatories off east Japan Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwase, Ryoichi

    2015-07-01

    Fin whale vocalizations were found in the archived waveform data from both hydrophones and ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) of a cabled observatory off Kushiro-Tokachi in Hokkaido. A fin whale was localized on the basis of the incident orientation estimated with a single OBS and the time difference of multipath arrival of sound pressure data from a hydrophone. Furthermore, several fin whale vocalizations were found in the archived OBS waveform data from other cabled observatories off east Japan Pacific Ocean. These findings suggest that the cabled OBSs would be significant apparatuses for real-time monitoring of the presence of baleen whales around Japan.

  7. Testing the effectiveness of an acoustic deterrent for gray whales along the Oregon coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lagerquist, Barbara [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute; Winsor, Martha [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute; Mate, Bruce [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute

    2012-12-31

    This study was conducted to determine whether a low-powered sound source could be effective at deterring gray whales from areas that may prove harmful to them. With increased interest in the development of marine renewal energy along the Oregon coast the concern that such development may pose a collision or entanglement risk for gray whales. A successful acoustic deterrent could act as a mitigation tool to prevent harm to whales from such risks. In this study, an acoustic device was moored on the seafloor in the pathway of migrating gray whales off Yaquina Head on the central Oregon coast. Shore-based observers tracked whales with a theodolite (surveyor’s tool) to accurately locate whales as they passed the headland. Individual locations of different whales/whale groups as well as tracklines of the same whale/whale groups were obtained and compared between times with the acoustic device was transmitting and when it was off. Observations were conducted on 51 d between January 1 and April 15, 2012. A total of 143 individual whale locations were collected for a total of 243 whales, as well as 57 tracklines for a total of 142 whales. Inclement weather and equipment problems resulted in very small sample sizes, especially during experimental periods, when the device was transmitting. Because of this, the results of this study were inconclusive. We feel that another season of field testing is warranted to successfully test the effectiveness of the deterrent, but recommend increasing the zone of influence to 3 km to ensure the collection of adequate sample sizes. Steps have been taken to acquire the necessary federal research permit modification to authorize the increased zone of influence and to modify the acoustic device for the increased power. With these changes we are confident we will be able to determine whether the deterrent is effective at deflecting gray whales. A successful deterrent device may serve as a valuable mitigation tool to protect gray whales, and

  8. Morphological specializations of baleen whales associated with hydrodynamic performance and ecological niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Becky L; Winn, Jeremy P; Fish, Frank E

    2006-11-01

    Feeding behavior, prey type, and habitat appear to be associated with the morphological design of body, fluke, and flippers in baleen whales. Morphometric data from whaling records and recent stranding events were compiled, and morphometric parameters describing the body length, and fluke and flipper dimensions for an "average" blue whale Balaenoptera musculus, humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae, gray whale Eschrichtius robustus, and right whale Eubalaena glacialis were determined. Body mass, body volume, body surface area, and fluke and flipper surface areas were estimated. The resultant morphological configurations lent themselves to the following classifications based on hydrodynamic principles: fast cruiser, slow cruiser, fast maneuverer, and slow maneuverer. Blue whales have highly streamlined bodies with small, high aspect ratio flippers and flukes for fast efficient cruising in the open ocean. On the other hand, the rotund right whale has large, high aspect ratio flukes for efficient slow speed cruising that is optimal for their continuous filter feeding technique. Humpbacks have large, high aspect ratio flippers and a large, low aspect ratio tail for quick acceleration and high-speed maneuvering which would help them catch their elusive prey, while gray whales have large, low aspect ratio flippers and flukes for enhanced low-speed maneuvering in complex coastal water habitats. PMID:17051544

  9. Shifts in frequency-modulated pulses recorded during an encounter with Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, Jennifer L; Barlow, Jay; Rankin, Shannon

    2016-08-01

    Echolocation signals produced by beaked whales (family: Ziphiidae) include frequency-modulated (FM) pulses that appear to have species-specific characteristics. To date there has been no established evidence that a single species of beaked whale might produce more than one type of FM pulse. In 2014 a group of Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) were sighted off of Southern California; recordings included FM pulses with significant increases in peak frequency, center frequency, and -10 dB bandwidth relative to FM pulses previously attributed to this species. This research suggests there may be greater variation in received beaked whale FM pulses than previously understood. PMID:27586775

  10. Is it 'boom times' for baleen whales in the Pacific Arctic region?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Sue E

    2016-09-01

    The marine ecosystem in the Pacific Arctic region has experienced dramatic transformation, most obvious by the loss of sea ice volume (75%), late-summer areal extent (50%) and change in phenology (four to six weeks longer open-water period). This alteration has resulted in an opening of habitat for subarctic species of baleen whales, many of which are recovering in number from severe depletions from commercial whaling in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Specifically, humpback, fin and minke whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, Balaenoptera physalus and Balaenoptera acutorostrata) are now regularly reported during summer and autumn in the southern Chukchi Sea. These predators of zooplankton and forage fishes join the seasonally resident grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) and the arctic-endemic bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) in the expanding open-ocean habitat of the Pacific Arctic. Questions arising include: (i) what changes in whale-prey production and delivery mechanisms have accompanied the loss of sea ice, and (ii) how are these five baleen whale species partitioning the expanding ice-free habitat? While there has been no programme of research specifically focused on these questions, an examination of seasonal occurrence, foraging plasticity and (for bowhead whales) body condition suggests that the current state of Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem may be 'boom times' for baleen whales. These favourable conditions may be moderated, however, by future shifts in ecosystem structure and/or negative impacts to cetaceans related to increased commercial activities in the region. PMID:27601724

  11. Inter-basin movements of Mediterranean sperm whales provide insight into their population structure and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frantzis, A.; Airoldi, S.; Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G.; Johnson, C.; Mazzariol, S.

    2011-04-01

    The sperm whale is one of the very few deep diving mammal species in the Mediterranean Sea. Following a rare mass stranding of male sperm whales in the Adriatic Sea in December 2009, photo-identification methods were used in order to investigate previous sightings of the stranded whales in the region. Fluke photos of the stranded whales were compared with those of 153 and 128 free-ranging individuals photographed in the western and eastern Mediterranean basins, respectively. Three out of the seven stranded whales had been previously photo-identified and some of them more than once. To reach the stranding place, two of these re-identified whales performed long-range inter-basin movements of about 1600-2100 km (in a straight line) either through the Strait of Sicily or the Strait of Messina. In addition, comparisons among all whales photographed in the two Mediterranean basins revealed that one more individual first photographed in the western basin (1991) was re-identified 13 years later in the eastern basin (2004). These three cases provide the first conclusive evidence of inter-basin movement of sperm whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Inter-basin gene flow is important for the survival of the small and endangered Mediterranean sperm whale population. Mitigating the disturbance created by human activities in the straits area is crucial for its conservation.

  12. Toothed whales in the northwestern Mediterranean: Insight into their feeding ecology using chemical tracers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Research highlights: →δ15N highlights significant different trophic levels. → Similar δ13C indicate a habitat superposition or corroborate seasonal migrations. → Congener 180 and tDDT/tPCB show wider migrations for sperm whales. - Abstract: Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales rarely strand in the northwestern Mediterranean. Thus, their feeding ecology, through the analysis of stomach contents, is poorly known. The aim of this study was to gain further insight into the segregation/superposition of the diet and habitat of Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales using chemical tracers, namely, stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N) and organochlorines. Significantly different δ15N values were obtained in Risso's dolphins (11.7 ± 0.7 per mille ), sperm whales (10.8 ± 0.3 per mille ) and pilot whales (9.8 ± 0.3 per mille ), revealing different trophic levels. These differences are presumably due to various proportions of Histioteuthidae cephalopods in each toothed whale's diet. Similar δ13C contents between species indicated long-term habitat superposition or corroborated important seasonal migrations. Lower congener 180 concentrations (8.20 vs. 21.73 μg.g-1 lw) and higher tDDT/tPCB ratios (0.93 vs. 0.42) were observed in sperm whales compared with Risso's dolphins and may indicate wider migrations for the former. Therefore, competition between these species seems to depend on different trophic levels and migration patterns.

  13. Bringing Whales Ashore: Oceans and the Environment of Early Modern Japan, 1600-1900

    OpenAIRE

    Arch, Jakobina Kirsten

    2014-01-01

    Whales are an enigma. It is difficult to pin them down because they straddle categories. Whales were difficult not just because of their extraordinary size, but rather because they were peculiar sorts of fish, with meat more like wild boar than tuna. In the same way that they existed at the intersection of classifications, with features of land and sea creatures, whales also were a nexus in a web of linkages between the ocean and the shore. By focusing on whales and the boundaries they stradd...

  14. Sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific: Part VII. Reproduction and growth in the female

    OpenAIRE

    Clarke, R.; Paliza, O.; Van Waerebeek, K.

    2011-01-01

    This report on the reproduction and growth of the female sperm whale Physeter catodon is Part VII of our work on this whale in the Southeast Pacific. There were 1105 female sperm whales in our sample collected from two whaling stations in Chile and two in Peru. Since Clarke and Paliza (1972) have shown that they belonged to a single stock, we have worked them together. A second Graafian follicle develops more than the others in each ovary so to improve the possibility of fertilization in case...

  15. SRKW acoustic response - Investigating noise effects on the acoustic signals and behavior of Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In this study, vocal compensation is being investigated in Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) calls to determine the degree to which whales can adjust to...

  16. Sperm whales reduce foraging effort during exposure to 1-2 kHz sonar and killer whale sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isojunno, Saana; Cure, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter Helgevold; Lam, Frans-Peter Alexander; Tyack, Peter Lloyd; Wensveen, Paul Jacobus; Miller, Patrick James O'Malley

    2016-01-01

    The time and energetic costs of behavioral responses to incidental and experimental sonar exposures, as well as control stimuli, were quantified using hidden state analysis of time series of acoustic and movement data recorded by tags (DTAG) attached to 12 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using suction cups. Behavioral state transition modeling showed that tagged whales switched to a non-foraging, non-resting state during both experimental transmissions of low-frequency active sonar from an approaching vessel (LFAS; 1-2 kHz, source level 214 dB re 1 µPa m, four tag records) and playbacks of potential predator (killer whale, Orcinus orca) sounds broadcast at naturally occurring sound levels as a positive control from a drifting boat (five tag records). Time spent in foraging states and the probability of prey capture attempts were reduced during these two types of exposures with little change in overall locomotion activity, suggesting an effect on energy intake with no immediate compensation. Whales switched to the active non-foraging state over received sound pressure levels of 131-165 dB re 1 µPa during LFAS exposure. In contrast, no changes in foraging behavior were detected in response to experimental negative controls (no-sonar ship approach or noise control playback) or to experimental medium-frequency active sonar exposures (MFAS; 6-7 kHz, source level 199 re 1 µPa m, received sound pressure level [SPL] = 73-158 dB re 1 µPa). Similarly, there was no reduction in foraging effort for three whales exposed to incidental, unidentified 4.7-5.1 kHz sonar signals received at lower levels (SPL = 89-133 dB re 1 µPa). These results demonstrate that similar to predation risk, exposure to sonar can affect functional behaviors, and indicate that increased perception of risk with higher source level or lower frequency may modulate how sperm whales respond to anthropogenic sound.

  17. Sperm whales reduce foraging effort during exposure to 1-2 kHz sonar and killer whale sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isojunno, Saana; Cure, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter Helgevold; Lam, Frans-Peter Alexander; Tyack, Peter Lloyd; Wensveen, Paul Jacobus; Miller, Patrick James O'Malley

    2016-01-01

    The time and energetic costs of behavioral responses to incidental and experimental sonar exposures, as well as control stimuli, were quantified using hidden state analysis of time series of acoustic and movement data recorded by tags (DTAG) attached to 12 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using suction cups. Behavioral state transition modeling showed that tagged whales switched to a non-foraging, non-resting state during both experimental transmissions of low-frequency active sonar from an approaching vessel (LFAS; 1-2 kHz, source level 214 dB re 1 µPa m, four tag records) and playbacks of potential predator (killer whale, Orcinus orca) sounds broadcast at naturally occurring sound levels as a positive control from a drifting boat (five tag records). Time spent in foraging states and the probability of prey capture attempts were reduced during these two types of exposures with little change in overall locomotion activity, suggesting an effect on energy intake with no immediate compensation. Whales switched to the active non-foraging state over received sound pressure levels of 131-165 dB re 1 µPa during LFAS exposure. In contrast, no changes in foraging behavior were detected in response to experimental negative controls (no-sonar ship approach or noise control playback) or to experimental medium-frequency active sonar exposures (MFAS; 6-7 kHz, source level 199 re 1 µPa m, received sound pressure level [SPL] = 73-158 dB re 1 µPa). Similarly, there was no reduction in foraging effort for three whales exposed to incidental, unidentified 4.7-5.1 kHz sonar signals received at lower levels (SPL = 89-133 dB re 1 µPa). These results demonstrate that similar to predation risk, exposure to sonar can affect functional behaviors, and indicate that increased perception of risk with higher source level or lower frequency may modulate how sperm whales respond to anthropogenic sound. PMID:27039511

  18. Towards population-level conservation in the critically endangered Antarctic blue whale: the number and distribution of their populations

    OpenAIRE

    Attard, Catherine R. M.; Luciano B Beheregaray; Möller, Luciana M.

    2016-01-01

    Population-level conservation is required to prevent biodiversity loss within a species, but it first necessitates determining the number and distribution of populations. Many whale populations are still depleted due to 20th century whaling. Whales are one of the most logistically difficult and expensive animals to study because of their mobility, pelagic lifestyle and often remote habitat. We tackle the question of population structure in the Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus inter...

  19. Migratory Movements of Pygmy Blue Whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) between Australia and Indonesia as Revealed by Satellite Telemetry

    OpenAIRE

    Double, Michael C; Virginia Andrews-Goff; K Curt S Jenner; Micheline-Nicole Jenner; Sarah M Laverick; Branch, Trevor A.; Gales, Nicholas J.

    2014-01-01

    In Australian waters during the austral summer, pygmy blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) occur predictably in two distinct feeding areas off western and southern Australia. As with other blue whale subspecies, outside the austral summer their distribution and movements are poorly understood. In order to describe the migratory movements of these whales, we present the satellite telemetry derived movements of eleven individuals tagged off western Australia over two years. Whales wer...

  20. From good to eat to good to watch: whale watching, adaptation and change in Icelandic fishing communities

    OpenAIRE

    Einarsson, Níels

    2009-01-01

    Arctic and North Atlantic fishing communities may seem unlikely candidates for a viable whale-watching industry, because of the prevalent traditional consumptive attitudes towards marine mammals and their uses. The topic of this paper is the introduction of an internationally growing industry of whale watching in a fishing village in north-east Iceland, and how local inhabitants reconcile opposing views on whales, whaling and the new cetacean tourism. The paper also discusses the conflict bet...

  1. Cashing in on whales: cetaceans as symbol and commodity along the northern Pacific coast, 1959-2008

    OpenAIRE

    Murray, Okay

    2009-01-01

    This thesis traces shifts in how humans related to cetaceans in the late twentieth century. Economic transitions from whaling to whale watching revealed not only a growing affinity for whales, dolphins, and porpoises but also how humans recommodified animals from resources to objects of research, entertainment, and reverence. In the process new cultural and social fissures opened. Cetaceans divided people by class, geography, and race. Views about whales divided over proprietary rights, scien...

  2. Evidence that whales (Balaenoptera borealis) visit drifting fish aggregating devices : do their presence affect the processes underlying fish aggregation ?

    OpenAIRE

    Brehmer, Patrice; Josse, Erwan; Nottestad, L. (Leif)

    2012-01-01

    Evidence of the presence of a group of sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) detected around drifting fish aggregating devices (FADs) was provided by omnidirectional multi-beam sonar during a survey off the Seychelles (Indian Ocean). The short visit by the sei whales produced a significant change in the behaviour of the fish assemblage associated with the FAD. There was first a significant increase in fish density when the whales approached the FAD, then a marked decrease after the whales had mo...

  3. Operational Performance Analysis of Passive Acoustic Monitoring for Killer Whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matzner, Shari; Fu, Tao; Ren, Huiying; Deng, Zhiqun; Sun, Yannan; Carlson, Thomas J.

    2011-09-30

    For the planned tidal turbine site in Puget Sound, WA, the main concern is to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) due to their Endangered Species Act status. A passive acoustic monitoring system is proposed because the whales emit vocalizations that can be detected by a passive system. The algorithm for detection is implemented in two stages. The first stage is an energy detector designed to detect candidate signals. The second stage is a spectral classifier that is designed to reduce false alarms. The evaluation presented here of the detection algorithm incorporates behavioral models of the species of interest, environmental models of noise levels and potential false alarm sources to provide a realistic characterization of expected operational performance.

  4. Properties and architecture of the sperm whale skull amphitheatre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Parvez; Amini, Shahrouz; Tadayon, Maryam; Miserez, Ali; Chinsamy, Anusuya

    2016-02-01

    The sperm whale skull amphitheatre cradles an enormous two-tonne spermaceti organ. The amphitheatre separates this organ from the cranium and the cervical vertebrae that lie in close proximity to the base of the skull. Here, we elucidate that this skull amphitheatre is an elastic, flexible, triple-layered structure with mechanical properties that are conjointly guided by bone histology and the characteristics of pore space. We contend that the amphitheatre will flex elastically to equilibrate forces transmitted via the spermaceti organ that arise through diving. We find that collisions from sperm whale aggression do not cause the amphitheatre to bend, but rather localise stress to the base of the amphitheatre on its anterior face. We consider, therefore, that the uniquely thin and extended construction of the amphitheatre, has relevance as an energy absorptive structure in diving.

  5. Ultrasonic hearing and echolocation in the earliest toothed whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of biosonar (production of high-frequency sound and reception of its echo) was a key innovation of toothed whales and dolphins (Odontoceti) that facilitated phylogenetic diversification and rise to ecological predominance. Yet exactly when high-frequency hearing first evolved in odontocete history remains a fundamental question in cetacean biology. Here, we show that archaic odontocetes had a cochlea specialized for sensing high-frequency sound, as exemplified by an Oligocene xenorophid, one of the earliest diverging stem groups. This specialization is not as extreme as that seen in the crown clade. Paired with anatomical correlates for high-frequency signal production in Xenorophidae, this is strong evidence that the most archaic toothed whales possessed a functional biosonar system, and that this signature adaptation of odontocetes was acquired at or soon after their origin. PMID:27072406

  6. Conservation markets for wildlife management with case studies from whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Leah R; Costello, Christopher; Gaines, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    Although market-based incentives have helped resolve many environmental challenges, conservation markets still play a relatively minor role in wildlife management. Establishing property rights for environmental goods and allowing trade between resource extractors and resource conservationists may offer a path forward in conserving charismatic species like whales, wolves, turtles, and sharks. In this paper, we provide a conceptual model for implementing a conservation market for wildlife and evaluate how such a market could be applied to three case studies for whales (minke [Balaenoptera acutorostrata], bowhead [Balaena mysticetus], and gray [Eschrictius robustus]). We show that, if designed and operated properly, such a market could ensure persistence of imperiled populations, while simultaneously improving the welfare of resource harvesters. PMID:24640529

  7. Phylogenomics of the killer whale indicates ecotype divergence in sympatry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, A E; Kenny, J G; Chaudhuri, R R; Hughes, M A; Reisinger, R R; de Bruyn, P J N; Dahlheim, M E; Hall, N; Hoelzel, A R

    2015-01-01

    For many highly mobile species, the marine environment presents few obvious barriers to gene flow. Even so, there is considerable diversity within and among species, referred to by some as the 'marine speciation paradox'. The recent and diverse radiation of delphinid cetaceans (dolphins) represents a good example of this. Delphinids are capable of extensive dispersion and yet many show fine-scale genetic differentiation among populations. Proposed mechanisms include the division and isolation of populations based on habitat dependence and resource specializations, and habitat release or changing dispersal corridors during glacial cycles. Here we use a phylogenomic approach to investigate the origin of differentiated sympatric populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca). Killer whales show strong specialization on prey choice in populations of stable matrifocal social groups (ecotypes), associated with genetic and phenotypic differentiation. Our data suggest evolution in sympatry among populations of resource specialists.

  8. Archaeocete-like jaws in a baleen whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Erich M G

    2012-02-23

    The titanic baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) have a bizarre skull morphology, including an elastic mandibular symphysis, which permits dynamic oral cavity expansion during bulk feeding. How this key innovation evolved from the sutured symphysis of archaeocetes has remained unclear. Now, mandibles of the Oligocene toothed mysticete Janjucetus hunderi show that basal mysticetes had an archaeocete-like sutured symphysis. This archaic morphology was paired with a wide rostrum typical of later-diverging baleen whales. This demonstrates that increased oral capacity via rostral widening preceded the evolution of mandibular innovations for filter feeding. Thus, the initial evolution of the mysticetes' unique cranial form and huge mouths was perhaps not linked to filtering plankton, but to enhancing suction feeding on individual prey.

  9. Ultrasonic hearing and echolocation in the earliest toothed whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of biosonar (production of high-frequency sound and reception of its echo) was a key innovation of toothed whales and dolphins (Odontoceti) that facilitated phylogenetic diversification and rise to ecological predominance. Yet exactly when high-frequency hearing first evolved in odontocete history remains a fundamental question in cetacean biology. Here, we show that archaic odontocetes had a cochlea specialized for sensing high-frequency sound, as exemplified by an Oligocene xenorophid, one of the earliest diverging stem groups. This specialization is not as extreme as that seen in the crown clade. Paired with anatomical correlates for high-frequency signal production in Xenorophidae, this is strong evidence that the most archaic toothed whales possessed a functional biosonar system, and that this signature adaptation of odontocetes was acquired at or soon after their origin.

  10. Omura's whales (Balaenoptera omurai) off northwest Madagascar: ecology, behaviour and conservation needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Andrianantenaina, Boris; Lindsay, Alec; Rekdahl, Melinda; Andrianarivelo, Norbert; Rasoloarijao, Tahina

    2015-10-01

    The Omura's whale (Balaenoptera omurai) was described as a new species in 2003 and then soon after as an ancient lineage basal to a Bryde's/sei whale clade. Currently known only from whaling and stranding specimens primarily from the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, there exist no confirmed field observations or ecological/behavioural data. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first genetically confirmed documentation of living Omura's whales including descriptions of basic ecology and behaviour from northwestern Madagascar. Species identification was confirmed through molecular phylogenetic analyses of biopsies collected from 18 adult animals. All individuals shared a single haplotype in a 402 bp sequence of mtDNA control region, suggesting low diversity and a potentially small population. Sightings of 44 groups indicated preference for shallow-water shelf habitat with sea surface temperature between 27.4°C and 30.2°C. Frequent observations were made of lunge feeding, possibly on zooplankton. Observations of four mothers with young calves, and recordings of a song-like vocalization probably indicate reproductive behaviour. Social organization consisted of loose aggregations of predominantly unassociated single individuals spatially and temporally clustered. Photographic recapture of a female re-sighted the following year with a young calf suggests site fidelity or a resident population. Our results demonstrate that the species is a tropical whale without segregation of feeding and breeding habitat, and is probably non-migratory; our data extend the range of this poorly studied whale into the western Indian Ocean. Exclusive range restriction to tropical waters is rare among baleen whale species, except for the various forms of Bryde's whales and Omura's whales. Thus, the discovery of a tractable population of Omura's whales in the tropics presents an opportunity for understanding the ecological factors driving potential convergence of life

  11. Massive losses of taste receptor genes in toothed and baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ping; Zheng, Jinsong; Rossiter, Stephen J; Wang, Ding; Zhao, Huabin

    2014-06-01

    Taste receptor genes are functionally important in animals, with a surprising exception in the bottlenose dolphin, which shows extensive losses of sweet, umami, and bitter taste receptor genes. To examine the generality of taste gene loss, we examined seven toothed whales and five baleen whales and sequenced the complete repertoire of three sweet/umami (T1Rs) and ten bitter (T2Rs) taste receptor genes. We found all amplified T1Rs and T2Rs to be pseudogenes in all 12 whales, with a shared premature stop codon in 10 of the 13 genes, which demonstrated massive losses of taste receptor genes in the common ancestor of whales. Furthermore, we analyzed three genome sequences from two toothed whales and one baleen whale and found that the sour taste marker gene Pkd2l1 is a pseudogene, whereas the candidate salty taste receptor genes are intact and putatively functional. Additionally, we examined three genes that are responsible for taste signal transduction and found the relaxation of functional constraints on taste signaling pathways along the ancestral branch leading to whales. Together, our results strongly suggest extensive losses of sweet, umami, bitter, and sour tastes in whales, and the relaxation of taste function most likely arose in the common ancestor of whales between 36 and 53 Ma. Therefore, whales represent the first animal group to lack four of five primary tastes, probably driven by the marine environment with high concentration of sodium, the feeding behavior of swallowing prey whole, and the dietary switch from plants to meat in the whale ancestor.

  12. Predicting current and future global distributions of whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, Ana M M; Mellin, Camille; Fordham, Damien A; Meekan, Mark G; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2014-03-01

    The Vulnerable (IUCN) whale shark spans warm and temperate waters around the globe. However, their present-day and possible future global distribution has never been predicted. Using 30 years (1980-2010) of whale shark observations recorded by tuna purse-seiners fishing in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, we applied generalized linear mixed-effects models to test the hypothesis that similar environmental covariates predict whale shark occurrence in all major ocean basins. We derived global predictors from satellite images for chlorophyll a and sea surface temperature, and bathymetric charts for depth, bottom slope and distance to shore. We randomly generated pseudo-absences within the area covered by the fisheries, and included fishing effort as an offset to account for potential sampling bias. We predicted sea surface temperatures for 2070 using an ensemble of five global circulation models under a no climate-policy reference scenario, and used these to predict changes in distribution. The full model (excluding standard deviation of sea surface temperature) had the highest relative statistical support (wAICc  = 0.99) and explained ca. 60% of the deviance. Habitat suitability was mainly driven by spatial variation in bathymetry and sea surface temperature among oceans, although these effects differed slightly among oceans. Predicted changes in sea surface temperature resulted in a slight shift of suitable habitat towards the poles in both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans (ca. 5°N and 3-8°S, respectively) accompanied by an overall range contraction (2.5-7.4% and 1.1-6.3%, respectively). Predicted changes in the Pacific Ocean were small. Assuming that whale shark environmental requirements and human disturbances (i.e. no stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions) remain similar, we show that warming sea surface temperatures might promote a net retreat from current aggregation areas and an overall redistribution of the species.

  13. Initial characterization of novel beaked whale morbillivirus in Hawaiian cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Jessica M; West, Kristi L; Levine, Gregg; Sanchez, Susan; Jensen, Brenda A

    2016-01-13

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) is a causative factor in epizootics that have resulted in thousands of deaths throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean since 1987, but less is known of its presence and significance in the Pacific. The first case of CeMV reported in Hawai'i was in a Longman's beaked whale that stranded in 2010. The initial CeMV sequence from this individual indicated the possibility of a novel strain. To address this, archived samples from cetaceans that stranded in Hawai'i between 1997 and 2014 were screened for CeMV. The beaked whale morbillivirus (BWMV) was detected in 15 individuals representing 12 different species (24% of Code 1 and 2 stranded cetaceans). The earliest detected case was a humpback whale that stranded in 1998. Sequence comparisons of a 2.2 kb sequence spanning the phosphoprotein (P) and nucleocapsid (N) genes strongly suggest that the BWMV represents a novel strain of CeMV present in Hawai'i and the Central Pacific. In contrast to recently reported isolates from Brazil and Australia that may represent a distinct clade, BWMV appears to be more closely related to known strains of CeMV (dolphin morbillivirus; porpoise morbillivirus; and pilot whale morbillivirus). Detection rates with repeat sampling of positive lymph nodes were between 2 and 61%, illustrating the extreme heterogeneity that can occur in affected tissues. Taken together, these results suggest that BWMV may be common and established in Hawaiian cetacean populations. BWMV will be important for understanding CeMV and health threats in the relatively understudied cetaceans of the Pacific.

  14. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks

    OpenAIRE

    Cagua, E. Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E. M.; Christoph A. Rohner; Prebble, Clare E. M.; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H.; Simon J Pierce; Berumen, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Although whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have been documented to move thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long ‘off-seasons’ at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged indiv...

  15. Oxygen saturation in free-diving whales: optical sensor development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Herrera, Enoch; Vacas-Jacques, Paulino; Anderson, Rox; Zapol, Warren; Franco, Walfre

    2013-02-01

    Mass stranding of live whales has been explained by proposing many natural or human-related causes. Recent necropsy reports suggest a link between the mass stranding of beaked whales and the use of naval mid-frequency sonar. Surprisingly, whales have experienced symptoms similar to those caused by inert gas bubbles in human divers. Our goal is to develop a compact optical sensor to monitor the consumption of the oxygen stores in the muscle of freely diving whales. To this end we have proposed the use of a near-infrared phase-modulated frequency-domain spectrophotometer, in reflectance mode, to probe tissue oxygenation. Our probe consists of three main components: radiofrequency (RF) modulated light sources, a high-bandwidth avalanche photodiode with transimpedance amplifier, and a RF gain and phase detector. In this work, we concentrate on the design and performance of the light sensor, and its corresponding amplifier unit. We compare three state-of-the-art avalanche photodiodes: one through-hole device and two surface-mount detectors. We demonstrate that the gain due to the avalanche effect differs between sensors. The avalanche gain near maximum bias of the through-hole device exceeds by a factor of 2.5 and 8.3 that of the surface-mount detectors. We present the behavior of our assembled through-hole detector plus high-bandwidth transimpedance amplifier, and compare its performance to that of a commercially available module. The assembled unit enables variable gain, its phase noise is qualitatively lower, and the form factor is significantly smaller. Having a detecting unit that is compact, flexible, and functional is a milestone in the development of our tissue oxygenation tag.

  16. Stable isotopes of captive Cetaceans (Killer Whales and Bottlenose dolphins)

    OpenAIRE

    Caut, Stéphane; Laran, Sophie; Garcia-Hartmann, Emmanuel; Das, Krishna

    2011-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of interest in using stable-isotope methods to investigate diet, trophic level and migration movement in wild cetaceans. Fundamental to the interpretation of these methods is the need to understand how diet isotopic values are reflected in consumer tissues. In this study, we investigated patterns of isotopic discrimination between diet and blood constituents of two species of cetaceans (killer whale, Orcinus orca and 19 bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncutus) f...

  17. Initial characterization of novel beaked whale morbillivirus in Hawaiian cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Jessica M; West, Kristi L; Levine, Gregg; Sanchez, Susan; Jensen, Brenda A

    2016-01-13

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) is a causative factor in epizootics that have resulted in thousands of deaths throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean since 1987, but less is known of its presence and significance in the Pacific. The first case of CeMV reported in Hawai'i was in a Longman's beaked whale that stranded in 2010. The initial CeMV sequence from this individual indicated the possibility of a novel strain. To address this, archived samples from cetaceans that stranded in Hawai'i between 1997 and 2014 were screened for CeMV. The beaked whale morbillivirus (BWMV) was detected in 15 individuals representing 12 different species (24% of Code 1 and 2 stranded cetaceans). The earliest detected case was a humpback whale that stranded in 1998. Sequence comparisons of a 2.2 kb sequence spanning the phosphoprotein (P) and nucleocapsid (N) genes strongly suggest that the BWMV represents a novel strain of CeMV present in Hawai'i and the Central Pacific. In contrast to recently reported isolates from Brazil and Australia that may represent a distinct clade, BWMV appears to be more closely related to known strains of CeMV (dolphin morbillivirus; porpoise morbillivirus; and pilot whale morbillivirus). Detection rates with repeat sampling of positive lymph nodes were between 2 and 61%, illustrating the extreme heterogeneity that can occur in affected tissues. Taken together, these results suggest that BWMV may be common and established in Hawaiian cetacean populations. BWMV will be important for understanding CeMV and health threats in the relatively understudied cetaceans of the Pacific. PMID:26758655

  18. Predicting current and future global distributions of whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, Ana M M; Mellin, Camille; Fordham, Damien A; Meekan, Mark G; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2014-03-01

    The Vulnerable (IUCN) whale shark spans warm and temperate waters around the globe. However, their present-day and possible future global distribution has never been predicted. Using 30 years (1980-2010) of whale shark observations recorded by tuna purse-seiners fishing in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, we applied generalized linear mixed-effects models to test the hypothesis that similar environmental covariates predict whale shark occurrence in all major ocean basins. We derived global predictors from satellite images for chlorophyll a and sea surface temperature, and bathymetric charts for depth, bottom slope and distance to shore. We randomly generated pseudo-absences within the area covered by the fisheries, and included fishing effort as an offset to account for potential sampling bias. We predicted sea surface temperatures for 2070 using an ensemble of five global circulation models under a no climate-policy reference scenario, and used these to predict changes in distribution. The full model (excluding standard deviation of sea surface temperature) had the highest relative statistical support (wAICc  = 0.99) and explained ca. 60% of the deviance. Habitat suitability was mainly driven by spatial variation in bathymetry and sea surface temperature among oceans, although these effects differed slightly among oceans. Predicted changes in sea surface temperature resulted in a slight shift of suitable habitat towards the poles in both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans (ca. 5°N and 3-8°S, respectively) accompanied by an overall range contraction (2.5-7.4% and 1.1-6.3%, respectively). Predicted changes in the Pacific Ocean were small. Assuming that whale shark environmental requirements and human disturbances (i.e. no stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions) remain similar, we show that warming sea surface temperatures might promote a net retreat from current aggregation areas and an overall redistribution of the species. PMID:23907987

  19. Blue whale response to underwater noise from commercial ships

    OpenAIRE

    McKenna, Megan Frances

    2011-01-01

    The extent to which low-frequency noise from large vessels is a part of the coastal marine environment and the ramifications of this for blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) communication ranges and vocal behavior was investigated in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), a region off the coast of southern California. Analysis of noise from individual ships transiting the region, identified unique spectral characteristics, and radiated noise levels related to ship-type. Predicting radiated underwater...

  20. Virus and the whale: exploring evolution in a museum collaboration

    OpenAIRE

    Diamond, Judy; Spiegel, Amy; Meier, Debra; Disbrow, Sarah

    2005-01-01

    A major new collaboration of museums in the U.S. will teach the public about current research in evolutionary biology. This project, entitled Explore Evolution, combines the strength of interactive exhibits, Web activities and outreach programs for youth to feature seven influential research projects on organisms ranging in size from the smallest, Hiy to the largest, a whale. Launched in 2003 and funded by the Informal Science Education Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Explor...

  1. Sperm whales (Physeter catodon) in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collum, L.A.; Fritts, T.H.

    1985-01-01

    The distribution of the sperm whale, Physeter catodon, was documented in the Gulf of Mexico during 1979 to 1981 using regular aerial surveys and opportunistic sightings from ships. Most sightings were in the western Gulf of Mexico in deep waters near the edge of the continental shelf. A total of 47 adults and 12 young animals was sighted in groups containing from one to 14 animals.

  2. 33 CFR 165.1310 - Strait of Juan de Fuca and adjacent coastal waters of Northwest Washington; Makah Whale Hunting...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... adjacent coastal waters of Northwest Washington; Makah Whale Hunting-Regulated Navigation Area. 165.1310... and adjacent coastal waters of Northwest Washington; Makah Whale Hunting—Regulated Navigation Area. (a.... Datum: NAD 1983. (b) During a whale hunt, while the international numeral pennant five (5) is flown by...

  3. 75 FR 39916 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ... Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... its intent to prepare a recovery plan for the Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis) and requests... ``Sei Whale Recovery Plan Information'' 3. Mail: National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of...

  4. Biomarkers of whale shark health: a metabolomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, Alistair D M; Leisen, Johannes; Zhou, Manshui; Byrne, Jonathan J; Lim-Hing, Krista; Webb, Harry D; Gelbaum, Leslie; Viant, Mark R; Kubanek, Julia; Fernández, Facundo M

    2012-01-01

    In a search for biomarkers of health in whale sharks and as exploration of metabolomics as a modern tool for understanding animal physiology, the metabolite composition of serum in six whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) from an aquarium collection was explored using (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry (MS). Principal components analysis (PCA) of spectral data showed that individual animals could be resolved based on the metabolite composition of their serum and that two unhealthy individuals could be discriminated from the remaining healthy animals. The major difference between healthy and unhealthy individuals was the concentration of homarine, here reported for the first time in an elasmobranch, which was present at substantially lower concentrations in unhealthy whale sharks, suggesting that this metabolite may be a useful biomarker of health status in this species. The function(s) of homarine in sharks remain uncertain but it likely plays a significant role as an osmolyte. The presence of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), another well-known protective osmolyte of elasmobranchs, at 0.1-0.3 mol L(-1) was also confirmed using both NMR and MS. Twenty-three additional potential biomarkers were identified based on significant differences in the frequency of their occurrence between samples from healthy and unhealthy animals, as detected by DART MS. Overall, NMR and MS provided complementary data that showed that metabolomics is a useful approach for biomarker prospecting in poorly studied species like elasmobranchs.

  5. Biomarkers of whale shark health: a metabolomic approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair D M Dove

    Full Text Available In a search for biomarkers of health in whale sharks and as exploration of metabolomics as a modern tool for understanding animal physiology, the metabolite composition of serum in six whale sharks (Rhincodon typus from an aquarium collection was explored using (1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy and direct analysis in real time (DART mass spectrometry (MS. Principal components analysis (PCA of spectral data showed that individual animals could be resolved based on the metabolite composition of their serum and that two unhealthy individuals could be discriminated from the remaining healthy animals. The major difference between healthy and unhealthy individuals was the concentration of homarine, here reported for the first time in an elasmobranch, which was present at substantially lower concentrations in unhealthy whale sharks, suggesting that this metabolite may be a useful biomarker of health status in this species. The function(s of homarine in sharks remain uncertain but it likely plays a significant role as an osmolyte. The presence of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO, another well-known protective osmolyte of elasmobranchs, at 0.1-0.3 mol L(-1 was also confirmed using both NMR and MS. Twenty-three additional potential biomarkers were identified based on significant differences in the frequency of their occurrence between samples from healthy and unhealthy animals, as detected by DART MS. Overall, NMR and MS provided complementary data that showed that metabolomics is a useful approach for biomarker prospecting in poorly studied species like elasmobranchs.

  6. Hearing in Whales and Dolphins: Relevance and Limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacini, Aude F; Nachtigall, Paul E

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the hearing of marine mammals has been a priority to quantify and mitigate the impact of anthropogenic sound on these apex predators. Yet our knowledge of cetacean hearing is still limited to a few dozen species, therefore compromising any attempt to design adaptive management strategies. The use of auditory evoked potentials allows scientists to rapidly and noninvasively obtain the hearing data of species rarely available in captivity. Unfortunately, many practical and ethical reasons still limit the availability of large whales, thus restricting the possibility to effectively ensure that anthropogenic sounds have minimum effects on these species. The example of a recent Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) audiogram collected after a stranding indicated, for instance, very specialized hearing between 40 and 50 kHz, which corresponded to the frequency-modulated upsweep signals used by this species during echolocation. The methods used during a stranding event are presented along with the major difficulties that have slowed down the scientific community in measuring the audition of large whales and the potential value in obtaining such results when successful.

  7. Calcification provides mechanical reinforcement to whale baleen alpha-keratin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szewciw, L J; de Kerckhove, D G; Grime, G W; Fudge, D S

    2010-09-01

    Hard alpha-keratins such as hair, nail, wool and horn are stiff epidermal appendages used by mammals in a variety of functions including thermoregulation, feeding and intraspecific competition. Hard alpha-keratins are fibre-reinforced structures consisting of cytoskeletal elements known as 'intermediate filaments' embedded in an amorphous protein matrix. Recent research has shown that intermediate filaments are soft and extensible in living keratinocytes but become far stiffer and less extensible in keratinized cells, and this stiffening may be mediated by air-drying. Baleen, the keratinous plates used by baleen whales during filter feeding, is an unusual mammalian keratin in that it never air dries, and in some species, it represents the most heavily calcified of all the hard alpha-keratins. We therefore tested the hypothesis that whale baleen is stiffened by calcification. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive description of baleen material properties and show that calcification contributes to overcoming the shortcomings of stiffening this hard alpha-keratin without the benefit of air-drying. We also demonstrate striking interspecies differences in the calcification patterns among three species of baleen whales and provide novel insights into the function and evolution of this unusual biomaterial.

  8. Blue whale earplug reveals lifetime contaminant exposure and hormone profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumble, Stephen J; Robinson, Eleanor M; Berman-Kowalewski, Michelle; Potter, Charles W; Usenko, Sascha

    2013-10-15

    Lifetime contaminant and hormonal profiles have been reconstructed for an individual male blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus, Linnaeus 1758) using the earplug as a natural aging matrix that is also capable of archiving and preserving lipophilic compounds. These unprecedented lifetime profiles (i.e., birth to death) were reconstructed with a 6-mo resolution for a wide range of analytes including cortisol (stress hormone), testosterone (developmental hormone), organic contaminants (e.g., pesticides and flame retardants), and mercury. Cortisol lifetime profiles revealed a doubling of cortisol levels over baseline. Testosterone profiles suggest this male blue whale reached sexual maturity at approximately 10 y of age, which corresponds well with and improves on previous estimates. Early periods of the reconstructed contaminant profiles for pesticides (such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes and chlordanes), polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers demonstrate significant maternal transfer occurred at 0-12 mo. The total lifetime organic contaminant burden measured between the earplug (sum of contaminants in laminae layers) and blubber samples from the same organism were similar. Total mercury profiles revealed reduced maternal transfer and two distinct pulse events compared with organic contaminants. The use of a whale earplug to reconstruct lifetime chemical profiles will allow for a more comprehensive examination of stress, development, and contaminant exposure, as well as improve the assessment of contaminant use/emission, environmental noise, ship traffic, and climate change on these important marine sentinels. PMID:24043814

  9. Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) sounds from the North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellinger, David K.; Clark, Christopher W.

    2003-08-01

    Sounds of blue whales were recorded from U.S. Navy hydrophone arrays in the North Atlantic. The most common signals were long, patterned sequences of very-low-frequency sounds in the 15-20 Hz band. Sounds within a sequence were hierarchically organized into phrases consisting of one or two different sound types. Sequences were typically composed of two-part phrases repeated every 73 s: a constant-frequency tonal ``A'' part lasting approximately 8 s, followed 5 s later by a frequency-modulated ``B'' part lasting approximately 11 s. A common sequence variant consisted only of repetitions of part A. Sequences were separated by silent periods averaging just over four minutes. Two other sound types are described: a 2-5 s tone at 9 Hz, and a 5-7s inflected tone that swept up in frequency to ca. 70 Hz and then rapidly down to 25 Hz. The general characteristics of repeated sequences of simple combinations of long-duration, very-low-frequency sound units repeated every 1-2 min are typical of blue whale sounds recorded in other parts of the world. However, the specific frequency, duration, and repetition interval features of these North Atlantic sounds are different than those reported from other regions, lending further support to the notion that geographically separate blue whale populations have distinctive acoustic displays.

  10. The Origin of High-Frequency Hearing in Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, Morgan; Martinez-Caceres, Manuel; de Muizon, Christian; Mnieckowski, Jessica; Geisler, Jonathan H

    2016-08-22

    Odontocetes (toothed whales) rely upon echoes of their own vocalizations to navigate and find prey underwater [1]. This sensory adaptation, known as echolocation, operates most effectively when using high frequencies, and odontocetes are rivaled only by bats in their ability to perceive ultrasonic sound greater than 100 kHz [2]. Although features indicative of ultrasonic hearing are present in the oldest known odontocetes [3], the significance of this finding is limited by the methods employed and taxa sampled. In this report, we describe a new xenorophid whale (Echovenator sandersi, gen. et sp. nov.) from the Oligocene of South Carolina that, as a member of the most basal clade of odontocetes, sheds considerable light on the evolution of ultrasonic hearing. By placing high-resolution CT data from Echovenator sandersi, 2 hippos, and 23 fossil and extant whales in a phylogenetic context, we conclude that ultrasonic hearing, albeit in a less specialized form, evolved at the base of the odontocete radiation. Contrary to the hypothesis that odontocetes evolved from low-frequency specialists [4], we find evidence that stem cetaceans, the archaeocetes, were more sensitive to high-frequency sound than their terrestrial ancestors. This indicates that selection for high-frequency hearing predates the emergence of Odontoceti and the evolution of echolocation. PMID:27498568

  11. Hearing in Whales and Dolphins: Relevance and Limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacini, Aude F; Nachtigall, Paul E

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the hearing of marine mammals has been a priority to quantify and mitigate the impact of anthropogenic sound on these apex predators. Yet our knowledge of cetacean hearing is still limited to a few dozen species, therefore compromising any attempt to design adaptive management strategies. The use of auditory evoked potentials allows scientists to rapidly and noninvasively obtain the hearing data of species rarely available in captivity. Unfortunately, many practical and ethical reasons still limit the availability of large whales, thus restricting the possibility to effectively ensure that anthropogenic sounds have minimum effects on these species. The example of a recent Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) audiogram collected after a stranding indicated, for instance, very specialized hearing between 40 and 50 kHz, which corresponded to the frequency-modulated upsweep signals used by this species during echolocation. The methods used during a stranding event are presented along with the major difficulties that have slowed down the scientific community in measuring the audition of large whales and the potential value in obtaining such results when successful. PMID:26611035

  12. Comparative sensitivity analysis of transmission loss in beaked whale environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wezensky, Eryn M.; Miller, James H.; Tyce, Robert C.

    2001-05-01

    Scientific literature states that anthropogenic sound, such as mid-frequency sonar, may cause a behavioral response in marine mammals. The degree of response is highly variable and dependent upon many factors, including how sound transmission is influenced by environmental features. The physical parameters of the ocean medium, such as sound speed profile and bathymetry, are important controls of underwater acoustic propagation. Determining the acoustic propagation loss of the ocean environment is an application used to identify and correlate influential environmental factors. This study investigates the sensitivity of acoustic propagation loss based on specific physical characteristics found in five different sites representing beaked whale environments. These sites were chosen with regards to existing data on beaked whale distribution, historical mass stranding records, and presence of mid-frequency sonar activity. A range-independent, ray-tracing acoustic propagation model was used to generate a two-dimensional sound field over a range of 30 km. From the results of this experiment, the acoustic importance of bathymetry and sound speed profile of the five beaked whale environments were identified. Preliminary results from the experimental study will be presented.

  13. Biomarkers of whale shark health: a metabolomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, Alistair D M; Leisen, Johannes; Zhou, Manshui; Byrne, Jonathan J; Lim-Hing, Krista; Webb, Harry D; Gelbaum, Leslie; Viant, Mark R; Kubanek, Julia; Fernández, Facundo M

    2012-01-01

    In a search for biomarkers of health in whale sharks and as exploration of metabolomics as a modern tool for understanding animal physiology, the metabolite composition of serum in six whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) from an aquarium collection was explored using (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry (MS). Principal components analysis (PCA) of spectral data showed that individual animals could be resolved based on the metabolite composition of their serum and that two unhealthy individuals could be discriminated from the remaining healthy animals. The major difference between healthy and unhealthy individuals was the concentration of homarine, here reported for the first time in an elasmobranch, which was present at substantially lower concentrations in unhealthy whale sharks, suggesting that this metabolite may be a useful biomarker of health status in this species. The function(s) of homarine in sharks remain uncertain but it likely plays a significant role as an osmolyte. The presence of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), another well-known protective osmolyte of elasmobranchs, at 0.1-0.3 mol L(-1) was also confirmed using both NMR and MS. Twenty-three additional potential biomarkers were identified based on significant differences in the frequency of their occurrence between samples from healthy and unhealthy animals, as detected by DART MS. Overall, NMR and MS provided complementary data that showed that metabolomics is a useful approach for biomarker prospecting in poorly studied species like elasmobranchs. PMID:23166652

  14. Morphology of the eyeball from the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Fernanda M; Silva, Fernanda M O; Trompieri-Silveira, Ana Carolina; Vergara-Parente, Jociery E; Miglino, Maria Angélica; Guimarães, Juliana P

    2014-05-01

    Aquatic mammals underwent morphological and physiological adaptations due to the transition from terrestrial to aquatic environment. One of the morphological changes regards their vision since cetaceans' eyes are able to withstand mechanical, chemical, osmotic, and optical water conditions. Due to insufficient information about these animals, especially regarding their sense organs, this study aimed to describe the morphology of the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) eyeball. Three newborn females, stranded dead on the coast of Sergipe and Bahia, Brazil, were used. Samples were fixed in a 10% formalin solution, dissected, photographed, collected, and evaluated through light and electron microscopy techniques. The Humpback whale sclera was thick and had an irregular surface with mechanoreceptors in its lamina propria. Lens was dense, transparent, and ellipsoidal, consisting of three layers, and the vascularized choroid contains melanocytes, mechanoreceptors, and a fibrous tapetum lucidum. The Humpback whale eyeball is similar to other cetaceans and suggests an adaptation to diving and migration, contributing to the perception of differences in temperature, pressure, and lighting.

  15. Two intense decades of 19th century whaling precipitated rapid decline of right whales around New Zealand and East Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Carroll, Emma L.; Jackson, Jennifer A.; David Paton; Smith, Tim D.

    2014-01-01

    Funding for the review and report preparation was provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries through Project ZBD200505 to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Oregon State University General Research Fund to JJ and CS Baker and the Lenfest Ocean Program of the Pew Charitable Trust to SR Palumbi. EC was supported by a fellowship from the Tertiary Education Commission and TS through the History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) project. Right whales (Euba...

  16. The right whale mandatory ship reporting system: a retrospective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory K. Silber

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In 1998, the United States sought and received International Maritime Organization-endorsement of two Mandatory Ship Reporting (MSR systems designed to improve mariner awareness about averting ship collisions with the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis. Vessel collisions are a serious threat to the right whale and the program was among the first formal attempts to reduce this threat. Under the provisions of the MSR, all ships >300 gross tons are required to report their location, speed, and destination to a shore-based station when entering two key right whale habitats: one in waters off New England and one off coastal Georgia and Florida. In return, reporting ships receive an automatically-generated message, delivered directly to the ship’s bridge, that provides information about right whale vulnerability to vessel collisions and actions mariners can take to avoid collisions. The MSR has been in operation continuously from July 1999 to the present. Archived incoming reports provided a 15-plus year history of ship operations in these two locations. We analyzed a total of 26,772 incoming MSR messages logged between July 1999 and December 2013. Most ships that were required to report did so, and compliance rates were generally constant throughout the study period. Self-reported vessel speeds when entering the systems indicated that most ships travelled between 10 and 16 (range = 5–20 + knots. Ship speeds generally decreased in 2009 to 2013 following implementation of vessel speed restrictions. The number of reports into the southern system remained relatively constant following a steady increase through 2007, but numbers in the northern system decreased annually beginning in 2008. If reporting is indicative of long-term patterns in shipping operations, it reflects noteworthy changes in marine transportation. Observed declines in ship traffic are likely attributable to the 2008–2009 economic recession, the

  17. The right whale mandatory ship reporting system: a retrospective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silber, Gregory K; Adams, Jeffrey D; Asaro, Michael J; Cole, Timothy V N; Moore, Katie S; Ward-Geiger, Leslie I; Zoodsma, Barbara J

    2015-01-01

    In 1998, the United States sought and received International Maritime Organization-endorsement of two Mandatory Ship Reporting (MSR) systems designed to improve mariner awareness about averting ship collisions with the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). Vessel collisions are a serious threat to the right whale and the program was among the first formal attempts to reduce this threat. Under the provisions of the MSR, all ships >300 gross tons are required to report their location, speed, and destination to a shore-based station when entering two key right whale habitats: one in waters off New England and one off coastal Georgia and Florida. In return, reporting ships receive an automatically-generated message, delivered directly to the ship's bridge, that provides information about right whale vulnerability to vessel collisions and actions mariners can take to avoid collisions. The MSR has been in operation continuously from July 1999 to the present. Archived incoming reports provided a 15-plus year history of ship operations in these two locations. We analyzed a total of 26,772 incoming MSR messages logged between July 1999 and December 2013. Most ships that were required to report did so, and compliance rates were generally constant throughout the study period. Self-reported vessel speeds when entering the systems indicated that most ships travelled between 10 and 16 (range = 5-20 +) knots. Ship speeds generally decreased in 2009 to 2013 following implementation of vessel speed restrictions. The number of reports into the southern system remained relatively constant following a steady increase through 2007, but numbers in the northern system decreased annually beginning in 2008. If reporting is indicative of long-term patterns in shipping operations, it reflects noteworthy changes in marine transportation. Observed declines in ship traffic are likely attributable to the 2008-2009 economic recession, the containerized shipping industry

  18. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, Olga; Spyridis, Panagiotis; Mehari Abraha, Hyab; Carrier, David R; Pataky, Todd C

    2016-01-01

    Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L.) sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the "spermaceti organ" and "junk," that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the spermaceti organ would

  19. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spyridis, Panagiotis; Mehari Abraha, Hyab; Carrier, David R.; Pataky, Todd C.

    2016-01-01

    Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L.) sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the “spermaceti organ” and “junk,” that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the spermaceti organ

  20. Risso's dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, Fleur; Hartman, Karin L.; Rood, Ente J. J.; Hendriks, Arthur J. E.; Zult, Daan B.; Wolff, Wim J.; Huisman, Jef; Pierce, Graham J.

    2011-01-01

    P>Behavioral responses of Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a c