WorldWideScience

Sample records for endangered killer whale

  1. 76 FR 20870 - Protective Regulations for Killer Whales in the Northwest Region Under the Endangered Species Act...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-14

    ... Killer Whales in the Northwest Region Under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act... from approaching killer whales within 200 yards (182.9 m) and from parking in the path of whales when... of this final rule is to protect killer whales from interference and noise associated with vessels...

  2. Population growth is limited by nutritional impacts on pregnancy success in endangered Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    OpenAIRE

    Wasser, Samuel K.; Lundin, Jessica I.; Ayres, Katherine; Seely, Elizabeth; Giles, Deborah; Balcomb, Kenneth; Hempelmann, Jennifer; Parsons, Kim; Booth, Rebecca

    2017-01-01

    The Southern Resident killer whale population (Orcinus orca) was listed as endangered in 2005 and shows little sign of recovery. These fish eating whales feed primarily on endangered Chinook salmon. Population growth is constrained by low offspring production for the number of reproductive females in the population. Lack of prey, increased toxins and vessel disturbance have been listed as potential causes of the whale?s decline, but partitioning these pressures has been difficult. We validate...

  3. Identifying key habitat and seasonal patterns of a critically endangered population of killer whales

    OpenAIRE

    Esteban, Ruth; Verborgh, Philippe; Gauffier, Pauline; Giménez, Joan; Afán, Isabel; García, Pedro; Murcia, José Luis; Magalhães, Sara; Andreu, Ezequiel; de Stephanis, Renaud

    2014-01-01

    Killer whales have been described in the Gulf of Cadiz, southern Spain, in spring and in the Strait of Gibraltar in summer. A total of 11,276 cetaceans sightings coming from different sources (dedicated research surveys, whale watching companies and opportunistic observations) were used to create two presence–‘pseudo-absence’ predictive generalized additive models (GAM), where presence data were defined as sightings of killer whales and ‘pseudo-absence’ data as sightings of other cetacean spe...

  4. Cytochrome P4501A1 expression in blubber biopsies of endangered false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) and nine other odontocete species from Hawai'i.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foltz, Kerry M; Baird, Robin W; Ylitalo, Gina M; Jensen, Brenda A

    2014-11-01

    Odontocetes (toothed whales) are considered sentinel species in the marine environment because of their high trophic position, long life spans, and blubber that accumulates lipophilic contaminants. Cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1) is a biomarker of exposure and molecular effects of certain persistent organic pollutants. Immunohistochemistry was used to visualize CYP1A1 expression in blubber biopsies collected by non-lethal sampling methods from 10 species of free-ranging Hawaiian odontocetes: short-finned pilot whale, melon-headed whale, pygmy killer whale, common bottlenose dolphin, rough-toothed dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphin, Blainville's beaked whale, Cuvier's beaked whale, sperm whale, and endangered main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale. Significantly higher levels of CYP1A1 were observed in false killer whales and rough-toothed dolphins compared to melon-headed whales, and in general, trophic position appears to influence CYP1A1 expression patterns in particular species groups. No significant differences in CYP1A1 were found based on age class or sex across all samples. However, within male false killer whales, juveniles expressed significantly higher levels of CYP1A1 when compared to adults. Total polychlorinated biphenyl (∑PCBs) concentrations in 84% of false killer whales exceeded proposed threshold levels for health effects, and ∑PCBs correlated with CYP1A1 expression. There was no significant relationship between PCB toxic equivalent quotient and CYP1A1 expression, suggesting that this response may be influenced by agonists other than the dioxin-like PCBs measured in this study. No significant differences were found for CYP1A1 expression among social clusters of false killer whales. This work provides a foundation for future health monitoring of the endangered stock of false killer whales and other Hawaiian odontocetes.

  5. Evaluating anthropogenic threats to endangered killer whales to inform effective recovery plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacy, Robert C; Williams, Rob; Ashe, Erin; Balcomb Iii, Kenneth C; Brent, Lauren J N; Clark, Christopher W; Croft, Darren P; Giles, Deborah A; MacDuffee, Misty; Paquet, Paul C

    2017-10-26

    Understanding cumulative effects of multiple threats is key to guiding effective management to conserve endangered species. The critically endangered, Southern Resident killer whale population of the northeastern Pacific Ocean provides a data-rich case to explore anthropogenic threats on population viability. Primary threats include: limitation of preferred prey, Chinook salmon; anthropogenic noise and disturbance, which reduce foraging efficiency; and high levels of stored contaminants, including PCBs. We constructed a population viability analysis to explore possible demographic trajectories and the relative importance of anthropogenic stressors. The population is fragile, with no growth projected under current conditions, and decline expected if new or increased threats are imposed. Improvements in fecundity and calf survival are needed to reach a conservation objective of 2.3% annual population growth. Prey limitation is the most important factor affecting population growth. However, to meet recovery targets through prey management alone, Chinook abundance would have to be sustained near the highest levels since the 1970s. The most optimistic mitigation of noise and contaminants would make the difference between a declining and increasing population, but would be insufficient to reach recovery targets. Reducing acoustic disturbance by 50% combined with increasing Chinook by 15% would allow the population to reach 2.3% growth.

  6. Population growth is limited by nutritional impacts on pregnancy success in endangered Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasser, Samuel K; Lundin, Jessica I; Ayres, Katherine; Seely, Elizabeth; Giles, Deborah; Balcomb, Kenneth; Hempelmann, Jennifer; Parsons, Kim; Booth, Rebecca

    2017-01-01

    The Southern Resident killer whale population (Orcinus orca) was listed as endangered in 2005 and shows little sign of recovery. These fish eating whales feed primarily on endangered Chinook salmon. Population growth is constrained by low offspring production for the number of reproductive females in the population. Lack of prey, increased toxins and vessel disturbance have been listed as potential causes of the whale's decline, but partitioning these pressures has been difficult. We validated and applied temporal measures of progesterone and testosterone metabolites to assess occurrence, stage and health of pregnancy from genotyped killer whale feces collected using detection dogs. Thyroid and glucocorticoid hormone metabolites were measured from these same samples to assess physiological stress. These methods enabled us to assess pregnancy occurrence and failure as well as how pregnancy success was temporally impacted by nutritional and other stressors, between 2008 and 2014. Up to 69% of all detectable pregnancies were unsuccessful; of these, up to 33% failed relatively late in gestation or immediately post-partum, when the cost is especially high. Low availability of Chinook salmon appears to be an important stressor among these fish-eating whales as well as a significant cause of late pregnancy failure, including unobserved perinatal loss. However, release of lipophilic toxicants during fat metabolism in the nutritionally deprived animals may also provide a contributor to these cumulative effects. Results point to the importance of promoting Chinook salmon recovery to enhance population growth of Southern Resident killer whales. The physiological measures used in this study can also be used to monitor the success of actions aimed at promoting adaptive management of this important apex predator to the Pacific Northwest.

  7. Population growth is limited by nutritional impacts on pregnancy success in endangered Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel K Wasser

    Full Text Available The Southern Resident killer whale population (Orcinus orca was listed as endangered in 2005 and shows little sign of recovery. These fish eating whales feed primarily on endangered Chinook salmon. Population growth is constrained by low offspring production for the number of reproductive females in the population. Lack of prey, increased toxins and vessel disturbance have been listed as potential causes of the whale's decline, but partitioning these pressures has been difficult. We validated and applied temporal measures of progesterone and testosterone metabolites to assess occurrence, stage and health of pregnancy from genotyped killer whale feces collected using detection dogs. Thyroid and glucocorticoid hormone metabolites were measured from these same samples to assess physiological stress. These methods enabled us to assess pregnancy occurrence and failure as well as how pregnancy success was temporally impacted by nutritional and other stressors, between 2008 and 2014. Up to 69% of all detectable pregnancies were unsuccessful; of these, up to 33% failed relatively late in gestation or immediately post-partum, when the cost is especially high. Low availability of Chinook salmon appears to be an important stressor among these fish-eating whales as well as a significant cause of late pregnancy failure, including unobserved perinatal loss. However, release of lipophilic toxicants during fat metabolism in the nutritionally deprived animals may also provide a contributor to these cumulative effects. Results point to the importance of promoting Chinook salmon recovery to enhance population growth of Southern Resident killer whales. The physiological measures used in this study can also be used to monitor the success of actions aimed at promoting adaptive management of this important apex predator to the Pacific Northwest.

  8. Ship noise extends to frequencies used for echolocation by endangered killer whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Veirs

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Combining calibrated hydrophone measurements with vessel location data from the Automatic Identification System, we estimate underwater sound pressure levels for 1,582 unique ships that transited the core critical habitat of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales during 28 months between March, 2011, and October, 2013. Median received spectrum levels of noise from 2,809 isolated transits are elevated relative to median background levels not only at low frequencies (20–30 dB re 1 µPa2/Hz from 100 to 1,000 Hz, but also at high frequencies (5–13 dB from 10,000 to 96,000 Hz. Thus, noise received from ships at ranges less than 3 km extends to frequencies used by odontocetes. Broadband received levels (11.5–40,000 Hz near the shoreline in Haro Strait (WA, USA for the entire ship population were 110 ± 7 dB re 1 µPa on average. Assuming near-spherical spreading based on a transmission loss experiment we compute mean broadband source levels for the ship population of 173 ± 7 dB re 1 µPa 1 m without accounting for frequency-dependent absorption. Mean ship speed was 7.3 ± 2.0 m/s (14.1 ± 3.9 knots. Most ship classes show a linear relationship between source level and speed with a slope near +2 dB per m/s (+1 dB/knot. Spectrum, 1/12-octave, and 1/3-octave source levels for the whole population have median values that are comparable to previous measurements and models at most frequencies, but for select studies may be relatively low below 200 Hz and high above 20,000 Hz. Median source spectrum levels peak near 50 Hz for all 12 ship classes, have a maximum of 159 dB re 1 µPa2/Hz @ 1 m for container ships, and vary between classes. Below 200 Hz, the class-specific median spectrum levels bifurcate with large commercial ships grouping as higher power noise sources. Within all ship classes spectrum levels vary more at low frequencies than at high frequencies, and the degree of variability is almost halved for classes that have smaller speed

  9. Ship noise extends to frequencies used for echolocation by endangered killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veirs, Scott; Veirs, Val; Wood, Jason D

    2016-01-01

    Combining calibrated hydrophone measurements with vessel location data from the Automatic Identification System, we estimate underwater sound pressure levels for 1,582 unique ships that transited the core critical habitat of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales during 28 months between March, 2011, and October, 2013. Median received spectrum levels of noise from 2,809 isolated transits are elevated relative to median background levels not only at low frequencies (20-30 dB re 1 µPa(2)/Hz from 100 to 1,000 Hz), but also at high frequencies (5-13 dB from 10,000 to 96,000 Hz). Thus, noise received from ships at ranges less than 3 km extends to frequencies used by odontocetes. Broadband received levels (11.5-40,000 Hz) near the shoreline in Haro Strait (WA, USA) for the entire ship population were 110 ± 7 dB re 1 µPa on average. Assuming near-spherical spreading based on a transmission loss experiment we compute mean broadband source levels for the ship population of 173 ± 7 dB re 1 µPa 1 m without accounting for frequency-dependent absorption. Mean ship speed was 7.3 ± 2.0 m/s (14.1 ± 3.9 knots). Most ship classes show a linear relationship between source level and speed with a slope near +2 dB per m/s (+1 dB/knot). Spectrum, 1/12-octave, and 1/3-octave source levels for the whole population have median values that are comparable to previous measurements and models at most frequencies, but for select studies may be relatively low below 200 Hz and high above 20,000 Hz. Median source spectrum levels peak near 50 Hz for all 12 ship classes, have a maximum of 159 dB re 1 µPa(2)/Hz @ 1 m for container ships, and vary between classes. Below 200 Hz, the class-specific median spectrum levels bifurcate with large commercial ships grouping as higher power noise sources. Within all ship classes spectrum levels vary more at low frequencies than at high frequencies, and the degree of variability is almost halved for classes that have smaller speed standard

  10. Killer whales and whaling: the scavenging hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal; Reeves, Randall

    2005-12-22

    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 carcasses were much more abundant than those resulting from natural mortality of whales, and we propose that scavenging killer whales multiplied through diet shifts and reproduction. During the 1970s the numbers of available carcasses fell dramatically with the cessation of most whaling (in contrast to a reasonably stable abundance of living whales), and the scavenging killer whales needed an alternative source of nutrition. Diet shifts may have triggered declines in other prey species, potentially affecting ecosystems, as well as increasing direct predation on living whales.

  11. Distinguishing the impacts of inadequate prey and vessel traffic on an endangered killer whale (Orcinus orca population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine L Ayres

    Full Text Available Managing endangered species often involves evaluating the relative impacts of multiple anthropogenic and ecological pressures. This challenge is particularly formidable for cetaceans, which spend the majority of their time underwater. Noninvasive physiological approaches can be especially informative in this regard. We used a combination of fecal thyroid (T3 and glucocorticoid (GC hormone measures to assess two threats influencing the endangered southern resident killer whales (SRKW; Orcinus orca that frequent the inland waters of British Columbia, Canada and Washington, U.S.A. Glucocorticoids increase in response to nutritional and psychological stress, whereas thyroid hormone declines in response to nutritional stress but is unaffected by psychological stress. The inadequate prey hypothesis argues that the killer whales have become prey limited due to reductions of their dominant prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. The vessel impact hypothesis argues that high numbers of vessels in close proximity to the whales cause disturbance via psychological stress and/or impaired foraging ability. The GC and T3 measures supported the inadequate prey hypothesis. In particular, GC concentrations were negatively correlated with short-term changes in prey availability. Whereas, T3 concentrations varied by date and year in a manner that corresponded with more long-term prey availability. Physiological correlations with prey overshadowed any impacts of vessels since GCs were lowest during the peak in vessel abundance, which also coincided with the peak in salmon availability. Our results suggest that identification and recovery of strategic salmon populations in the SRKW diet are important to effectively promote SRKW recovery.

  12. Distinguishing the Impacts of Inadequate Prey and Vessel Traffic on an Endangered Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayres, Katherine L.; Booth, Rebecca K.; Hempelmann, Jennifer A.; Koski, Kari L.; Emmons, Candice K.; Baird, Robin W.; Balcomb-Bartok, Kelley; Hanson, M. Bradley; Ford, Michael J.; Wasser, Samuel K.

    2012-01-01

    Managing endangered species often involves evaluating the relative impacts of multiple anthropogenic and ecological pressures. This challenge is particularly formidable for cetaceans, which spend the majority of their time underwater. Noninvasive physiological approaches can be especially informative in this regard. We used a combination of fecal thyroid (T3) and glucocorticoid (GC) hormone measures to assess two threats influencing the endangered southern resident killer whales (SRKW; Orcinus orca) that frequent the inland waters of British Columbia, Canada and Washington, U.S.A. Glucocorticoids increase in response to nutritional and psychological stress, whereas thyroid hormone declines in response to nutritional stress but is unaffected by psychological stress. The inadequate prey hypothesis argues that the killer whales have become prey limited due to reductions of their dominant prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The vessel impact hypothesis argues that high numbers of vessels in close proximity to the whales cause disturbance via psychological stress and/or impaired foraging ability. The GC and T3 measures supported the inadequate prey hypothesis. In particular, GC concentrations were negatively correlated with short-term changes in prey availability. Whereas, T3 concentrations varied by date and year in a manner that corresponded with more long-term prey availability. Physiological correlations with prey overshadowed any impacts of vessels since GCs were lowest during the peak in vessel abundance, which also coincided with the peak in salmon availability. Our results suggest that identification and recovery of strategic salmon populations in the SRKW diet are important to effectively promote SRKW recovery. PMID:22701560

  13. Respiratory Microbiome of Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales and Microbiota of Surrounding Sea Surface Microlayer in the Eastern North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raverty, Stephen A; Rhodes, Linda D; Zabek, Erin; Eshghi, Azad; Cameron, Caroline E; Hanson, M Bradley; Schroeder, J Pete

    2017-03-24

    In the Salish Sea, the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) is a high trophic indicator of ecosystem health. Three major threats have been identified for this population: reduced prey availability, anthropogenic contaminants, and marine vessel disturbances. These perturbations can culminate in significant morbidity and mortality, usually associated with secondary infections that have a predilection to the respiratory system. To characterize the composition of the respiratory microbiota and identify recognized pathogens of SRKW, exhaled breath samples were collected between 2006-2009 and analyzed for bacteria, fungi and viruses using (1) culture-dependent, targeted PCR-based methodologies and (2) taxonomically broad, non-culture dependent PCR-based methodologies. Results were compared with sea surface microlayer (SML) samples to characterize the respective microbial constituents. An array of bacteria and fungi in breath and SML samples were identified, as well as microorganisms that exhibited resistance to multiple antimicrobial agents. The SML microbes and respiratory microbiota carry a pathogenic risk which we propose as an additional, fourth putative stressor (pathogens), which may adversely impact the endangered SRKW population.

  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. The Relationship between Vessel Traffic and Noise Levels Received by Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Houghton, Juliana; Holt, Marla M; Giles, Deborah A; Hanson, M Bradley; Emmons, Candice K; Hogan, Jeffrey T; Branch, Trevor A; VanBlaricom, Glenn R

    2015-01-01

    .... Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia...

  16. Attitudes of Nunavut Inuit toward Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    KRISTIN H. WESTDAL; JEFF W. HIGDON; STEVEN H. FERGUSON

    2013-01-01

    .... Interviews provided data on interactions between Inuit and killer whales, physical descriptions and nature of killer whales in this region, overall opinion of interviewees with respect to killer...

  17. 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…

  18. Speaking up: Killer whales (Orcinus orca) increase their call amplitude in response to vessel noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Marla M; Noren, Dawn P; Veirs, Val; Emmons, Candice K; Veirs, Scott

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of anthropogenic sound exposure on the vocal behavior of free-ranging killer whales. Endangered Southern Resident killer whales inhabit areas including the urban coastal waters of Puget Sound near Seattle, WA, where anthropogenic sounds are ubiquitous, particularly those from motorized vessels. A calibrated recording system was used to measure killer whale call source levels and background noise levels (1-40 kHz). Results show that whales increased their call amplitude by 1 dB for every 1 dB increase in background noise levels. Furthermore, nearby vessel counts were positively correlated with these observed background noise levels.

  19. 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...

  20. PCB-associated changes in mRNA expression in killer whales (Orcinus orca) from the NE Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckman, Andrea H; Veldhoen, Nik; Ellis, Graeme; Ford, John K B; Helbing, Caren C; Ross, Peter S

    2011-12-01

    Killer whales in the NE Pacific Ocean are among the world's most PCB-contaminated marine mammals, raising concerns about implications for their health. Sixteen health-related killer whale mRNA transcripts were analyzed in blubber biopsies collected from 35 free-ranging killer whales in British Columbia using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We observed PCB-related increases in the expression of five gene targets, including the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR; r(2) = 0.83; p physiological effects of persistent environmental contaminants in these endangered killer whales.

  1. Quantifying the Effects of Prey Abundance on Killer Whale Reproduction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Eric J. Ward; Elizabeth E. Holmes; Ken C. Balcomb

    2009-01-01

    .... We assessed the impact of a wide range of factors on the fecundity of two threatened populations of killer whales Orcinus orca, specifically whether killer whale production is limited by availability...

  2. 75 FR 2853 - False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-19

    ... 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 Reduction... Insular, and Palmyra Atoll stocks of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in the Hawaii-based deep...

  3. 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...

  4. Vulnerability of a killer whale social network to disease outbreaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimarães, Paulo R., Jr.; de Menezes, Márcio Argollo; Baird, Robin W.; Lusseau, David; Guimarães, Paulo; Dos Reis, Sérgio F.

    2007-10-01

    Emerging infectious diseases are among the main threats to conservation of biological diversity. A crucial task facing epidemiologists is to predict the vulnerability of populations of endangered animals to disease outbreaks. In this context, the network structure of social interactions within animal populations may affect disease spreading. However, endangered animal populations are often small and to investigate the dynamics of small networks is a difficult task. Using network theory, we show that the social structure of an endangered population of mammal-eating killer whales is vulnerable to disease outbreaks. This feature was found to be a consequence of the combined effects of the topology and strength of social links among individuals. Our results uncover a serious challenge for conservation of the species and its ecosystem. In addition, this study shows that the network approach can be useful to study dynamical processes in very small networks.

  5. Conservation Status of Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, in the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, R; Verborgh, P; Gauffier, P; Alarcón, D; Salazar-Sierra, J M; Giménez, J; Foote, A D; de Stephanis, R

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Mediterranean Sea are currently restricted to the Strait of Gibraltar and surrounding waters. Thirty-nine individuals were present in 2011, with a well-differentiated social structure, organized into five pods. Killer whale occurrence in the Strait is apparently related to the migration of their main prey, Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). In spring, whale distribution was restricted to shallow waters off the western coast of the Strait where all pods were observed actively hunting tuna. In summer, the whales were observed in the shallow central waters of the Strait. A relatively new feeding strategy has been observed among two of the five pods. These two pods interact with an artisanal drop-line fishery. Pods depredating the fishery had access to larger tuna in comparison with pods that were actively hunting. The Strait of Gibraltar killer whales are socially and ecologically different from individuals in the Canary Islands. Molecular genetic research has indicated that there is little or no female-mediated gene migration between these areas. Conservation threats include small population size, prey depletion, vessel traffic, and contaminants. We propose the declaration of the Strait of Gibraltar killer whales as an endangered subpopulation. A conservation plan to protect the Strait of Gibraltar killer whales is urgently needed, and we recommend implementation of a seasonal management area where activities producing underwater noise are restricted, and the promotion of bluefin tuna conservation. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) at Marion Island, Southern Ocean ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) were studied using data obtained on an opportunistic basis between 1973 and 1996 at Marion Island (46°54'S, 37°45'E) in the Southern Indian Ocean. A clear seasonal pattern of occurrence with the main peak between October and December was evident. Most killer whales were observed ...

  8. Confirmation of the occurrence of a second killer whale morphotype ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Killer whales Orcinus orca occur worldwide in a number of morphotypes that differ in size, pigmentation, acoustic behaviour, food type and genetics – some may indeed warrant subspecific or even specific status. Until recently, all killer whales in South African waters were referred to a single morphotype, Type A, but three ...

  9. Sounds produced by Norwegian killer whales, Orcinus orca, during capture

    OpenAIRE

    Parijs, Sofie M. van; Leyssen, Teo; Similä, Tiu

    2004-01-01

    Journal home page: http://scitation.aip.org/jasa/ To date very little is still known about the acoustic behavior of Norwegian killer whales, in particular that of individual whales. In this study a unique opportunity was presented to document the sounds produced by five captured killer whales in the Vestfjord area, northern Norway. Individuals produced 14 discrete and 7 compound calls. Two call types were used both by individuals 16178 and 23365 suggesting that they may belong to the same ...

  10. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Williams, Rob; Krkošek, Martin; Ashe, Erin; Branch, Trevor A; Clark, Steve; Hammond, Philip S; Hoyt, Erich; Noren, Dawn P; Rosen, David; Winship, Arliss

    2011-01-01

    .... We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide...

  11. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Predation on Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon spp.) in the Bremer Sub-Basin, Western Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Wellard, Rebecca; Lightbody, Keith; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle; Riggs, David; Erbe, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Observations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) feeding on the remains of beaked whales have been previously documented; however, to date, there has been no published account of killer whales actively preying upon beaked whales. This article describes the first field observations of killer whales interacting with, hunting and preying upon beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp.) on four separate occasions during 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Bremer Sub-Basin, off the south coast of Western Australia.

  12. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Predation on Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon spp.) in the Bremer Sub-Basin, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellard, Rebecca; Lightbody, Keith; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle; Riggs, David; Erbe, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Observations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) feeding on the remains of beaked whales have been previously documented; however, to date, there has been no published account of killer whales actively preying upon beaked whales. This article describes the first field observations of killer whales interacting with, hunting and preying upon beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp.) on four separate occasions during 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Bremer Sub-Basin, off the south coast of Western Australia.

  13. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca Predation on Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon spp. in the Bremer Sub-Basin, Western Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Wellard

    Full Text Available Observations of killer whales (Orcinus orca feeding on the remains of beaked whales have been previously documented; however, to date, there has been no published account of killer whales actively preying upon beaked whales. This article describes the first field observations of killer whales interacting with, hunting and preying upon beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp. on four separate occasions during 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Bremer Sub-Basin, off the south coast of Western Australia.

  14. 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; Trites, Andrew W.

    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...

  15. 76 FR 42082 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-18

    ... Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan AGENCY...: NMFS announces the availability of a Draft False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan developed by the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team. This proposed rule would implement the proposed False Killer...

  16. 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. Photographs...

  17. Reported Causes of Death of Captive Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam H

    1979-01-01

    Inquiries were made of the six major oceanaria in North America that maintain killer whales to determine sex, date of capture or acquisition, length and weight at acquisition, date of death, length...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The relationship between vessel traffic and noise levels received by killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houghton, Juliana; Holt, Marla M.; Giles, Deborah A.; Hanson, M. Bradley; Emmons, Candice K.; Hogan, Jeffrey T.; Branch, Trevor A.; VanBlaricom, Glenn R.

    2015-01-01

    Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship), number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates) found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

  3. The Relationship between Vessel Traffic and Noise Levels Received by Killer Whales (Orcinus orca.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Houghton

    Full Text Available Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship, number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

  4. The Relationship between Vessel Traffic and Noise Levels Received by Killer Whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houghton, Juliana; Holt, Marla M; Giles, Deborah A; Hanson, M Bradley; Emmons, Candice K; Hogan, Jeffrey T; Branch, Trevor A; VanBlaricom, Glenn R

    2015-01-01

    Whale watching has become increasingly popular as an ecotourism activity around the globe and is beneficial for environmental education and local economies. Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) comprise an endangered population that is frequently observed by a large whale watching fleet in the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia. One of the factors identified as a risk to recovery for the population is the effect of vessels and associated noise. An examination of the effects of vessels and associated noise on whale behavior utilized novel equipment to address limitations of previous studies. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) measured the noise levels the tagged whales received while laser positioning systems allowed collection of geo-referenced data for tagged whales and all vessels within 1000 m of the tagged whale. The objective of the current study was to compare vessel data and DTAG recordings to relate vessel traffic to the ambient noise received by tagged whales. Two analyses were conducted, one including all recording intervals, and one that excluded intervals when only the research vessel was present. For all data, significant predictors of noise levels were length (inverse relationship), number of propellers, and vessel speed, but only 15% of the variation in noise was explained by this model. When research-vessel-only intervals were excluded, vessel speed was the only significant predictor of noise levels, and explained 42% of the variation. Simple linear regressions (ignoring covariates) found that average vessel speed and number of propellers were the only significant correlates with noise levels. We conclude that vessel speed is the most important predictor of noise levels received by whales in this study. Thus, measures that reduce vessel speed in the vicinity of killer whales would reduce noise exposure in this population.

  5. 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 Population...

  6. 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. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. 77 FR 70915 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for the Main Hawaiian Islands...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-28

    ... still uncertainty about false killer whale behavior and the association of the MHI insular and NWHI... Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for the Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale Distinct... insular false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) distinct population segment (DPS) as an endangered...

  8. 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 textual...

  9. 77 FR 71259 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-29

    ... Operations; False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... final False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan (FKWTRP), and regulatory measures and non-regulatory measures and recommendations to reduce mortalities and serious injuries of false killer whales in Hawaii...

  10. 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. PMID:23087648

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lise Doksæter Sivle

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 5 killer whales (Orcinus orca, 7 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas and 4 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus were studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar (LFAS: 1-2 kHz and 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 during LFAS, while killer whales conducting deep dives at the onset of MFAS did not alter dive mode. When in shallow diving mode at sonar onset, killer whales did not change their diving behavior. Pilot and sperm whales performed normal deep dives 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 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Final Critical Habitat for Southern Resident Killer Whales

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A geospatial data set depicting the boundaries of marine areas designated as critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for Southern Resident killer...

  14. Offshore killer whale tracking using multiple hydrophone arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gassmann, Martin; Henderson, E Elizabeth; Wiggins, Sean M; Roch, Marie A; Hildebrand, John A

    2013-11-01

    To study delphinid near surface movements and behavior, two L-shaped hydrophone arrays and one vertical hydrophone line array were deployed at shallow depths (killer whales (Orcinus orca) using their emitted clicks. In addition, killer whale pulsed calls and high-frequency modulated (HFM) signals were localized using other standard techniques. Based on these tracks sound source levels for the killer whales were estimated. The peak to peak source levels for echolocation clicks vary between 170-205 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m, for HFM calls between 185-193 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m, and for pulsed calls between 146-158 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m.

  15. Icelandic herring-eating killer whales feed at night.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Gaëtan; Filatova, Olga A; Samarra, Filipa I P; Fedutin, Ivan D; Lammers, Marc; Miller, Patrick J

    2017-01-01

    Herring-eating killer whales debilitate herring with underwater tail slaps and likely herd herring into tighter schools using a feeding-specific low-frequency pulsed call ('herding' call). Feeding on herring may be dependent upon daylight, as the whales use their white underside to help herd herring; however, feeding at night has not been investigated. The production of feeding-specific sounds provides an opportunity to use passive acoustic monitoring to investigate feeding behaviour at different times of day. We compared the acoustic behaviour of killer whales between day and night, using an autonomous recorder deployed in Iceland during winter. Based upon acoustic detection of underwater tail slaps used to feed upon herring we found that killer whales fed both at night and day: they spent 50% of their time at night and 73% of daytime feeding. Interestingly, there was a significant diel variation in acoustic behaviour. Herding calls were significantly associated with underwater tail slap rate and were recorded significantly more often at night, suggesting that in low-light conditions killer whales rely more on acoustics to herd herring. Communicative sounds were also related to underwater tail slap rate and produced at different rates during day and night. The capability to adapt feeding behaviour to different light conditions may be particularly relevant for predator species occurring in high latitudes during winter, when light availability is limited.

  16. Adaptive prolonged postreproductive life span in killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Emma A; Franks, Daniel W; Mazzi, Sonia; Darden, Safi K; Balcomb, Ken C; Ford, John K B; Croft, Darren P

    2012-09-14

    Prolonged life after reproduction is difficult to explain evolutionarily unless it arises as a physiological side effect of increased longevity or it benefits related individuals (i.e., increases inclusive fitness). There is little evidence that postreproductive life spans are adaptive in nonhuman animals. By using multigenerational records for two killer whale (Orcinus orca) populations in which females can live for decades after their final parturition, we show that postreproductive mothers increase the survival of offspring, particularly their older male offspring. This finding may explain why female killer whales have evolved the longest postreproductive life span of all nonhuman animals.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sivle, Lise D; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Fahlman, Andreas; Lam, Frans Peter; Tyack, Peter Lloyd; Miller, Patrick

    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...

  18. Sustained disruption of narwhal habitat use and behavior in the presence of Arctic killer whales

    OpenAIRE

    Breed, Greg A.; Matthews, Cory J. D.; Marcoux, Marianne; Higdon, Jeff W.; LeBlanc, Bernard; Petersen, Stephen D.; Orr, Jack; Reinhart, Natalie R.; Ferguson, Steven H.

    2017-01-01

    Predators are widely understood to impact the structure and stability of ecosystems. In the Arctic, summer sea ice is rapidly declining, degrading habitat for Arctic species, such as polar bears and ringed seals, but also providing more access to important predators, such as killer whales. Using data from concurrently tracked predator (killer whales) and prey (narwhal), we show that the presence of killer whales significantly changes the behavior and distribution of narwhal. Because killer wh...

  19. Whistle sequences in wild killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesch, Rüdiger; Ford, John K B; Thomsen, Frank

    2008-09-01

    Combining different stereotyped vocal signals into specific sequences increases the range of information that can be transferred between individuals. The temporal emission pattern and the behavioral context of vocal sequences have been described in detail for a variety of birds and mammals. Yet, in cetaceans, the study of vocal sequences is just in its infancy. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of sequences of stereotyped whistles in killer whales off Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A total of 1140 whistle transitions in 192 whistle sequences recorded from resident killer whales were analyzed using common spectrographic analysis techniques. In addition to the stereotyped whistles described by Riesch et al., [(2006). "Stability and group specificity of stereotyped whistles in resident killer whales, Orcinus orca, off British Columbia," Anim. Behav. 71, 79-91.] We found a new and rare stereotyped whistle (W7) as well as two whistle elements, which are closely linked to whistle sequences: (1) stammers and (2) bridge elements. Furthermore, the frequency of occurrence of 12 different stereotyped whistle types within the sequences was not randomly distributed and the transition patterns between whistles were also nonrandom. Finally, whistle sequences were closely tied to close-range behavioral interactions (in particular among males). Hence, we conclude that whistle sequences in wild killer whales are complex signal series and propose that they are most likely emitted by single individuals.

  20. Sounds produced by Norwegian killer whales, Orcinus orca, during capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Parijs, Sofie M.; Leyssen, Teo; Similä, Tiu

    2004-07-01

    To date very little is still known about the acoustic behavior of Norwegian killer whales, in particular that of individual whales. In this study a unique opportunity was presented to document the sounds produced by five captured killer whales in the Vestfjord area, northern Norway. Individuals produced 14 discrete and 7 compound calls. Two call types were used both by individuals 16178 and 23365 suggesting that they may belong to the same pod. Comparisons with calls documented in Strager (1993) showed that none of the call types used by the captured individuals were present. The lack of these calls in the available literature suggests that call variability within individuals is likely to be large. This short note adds to our knowledge of the vocal repertoire of this population and demonstrates the need for further studies to provide behavioural context to these sounds.

  1. Variability in click-evoked potentials in killer whales (Orcinus orca) and determination of a hearing impairment in a rehabilitated killer whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucke, K.; Finneran, J.J.; Almunia, Javier; Houser, D.S.

    2016-01-01

    An immature female killer whale (Orcinus orca) stranded in the Wadden Sea in 2010 and was later transferred to Loro Parque, Tenerife, Spain, for rehabilitation. The killer whale, named “Morgan,” was suspected to have a hearing impairment. To test whether Morgan has a hearing deficit, auditory

  2. Effects of age, sex and reproductive status on persistent organic pollutant concentrations in "Southern Resident" killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krahn, Margaret M; Hanson, M Bradley; Schorr, Gregory S; Emmons, Candice K; Burrows, Douglas G; Bolton, Jennie L; Baird, Robin W; Ylitalo, Gina M

    2009-10-01

    "Southern Resident" killer whales (Orcinus orca) that comprise three fish-eating "pods" (J, K and L) were listed as "endangered" in the US and Canada following a 20% population decline between 1996 and 2001. Blubber biopsy samples from Southern Resident juveniles had statistically higher concentrations of certain persistent organic pollutants than were found for adults. Most Southern Resident killer whales, including the four juveniles, exceeded the health-effects threshold for total PCBs in marine mammal blubber. Maternal transfer of contaminants to the juveniles during rapid development of their biological systems may put these young whales at greater risk than adults for adverse health effects (e.g., immune and endocrine system dysfunction). Pollutant ratios and field observations established that two of the pods (K- and L-pod) travel to California to forage. Nitrogen stable isotope values, supported by field observations, indicated possible changes in the diet of L-pod over the last decade.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curé, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo; Samarra, Filipa; Alves, Ana Catarina; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Miller, Patrick 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) 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lise Doksæter Sivle; Petter Helgevold Kvadsheim; Andreas eFahlman; Andreas eFahlman; Frans-Peter eLam; Peter eTyack; 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 5 killer whales (Orcinus orca), 7 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) and 4 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar (LFAS: 1-2 kHz and MFAS: 6-7 kHz) during three field seasons (2006-2009). Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after so...

  7. False killer whale Pseudorca crassidens mass stranding at Long ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A mass stranding of false killer whales Pseudorca crassidens at Long Beach near the village of Kommetjie (34°8.18′ S, 18°9.77′ E) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, in May 2009 is described. The estimated size of stranded group was 55 animals, which is close to the median size of P. crassidens groups that have ...

  8. Experimental evidence for action imitation in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, José Z; Hernández-Lloreda, Victoria; Call, Josep; Colmenares, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Comparative experimental studies of imitative learning have focused mainly on primates and birds. However, cetaceans are promising candidates to display imitative learning as they have evolved in socioecological settings that have selected for large brains, complex sociality, and coordinated predatory tactics. Here we tested imitative learning in killer whales, Orcinus orca. We used a 'do-as-other-does' paradigm in which 3 subjects witnessed a conspecific demonstrator's performance that included 15 familiar and 4 novel behaviours. The three subjects (1) learned the copy command signal 'Do that' very quickly, that is, 20 trials on average; (2) copied 100 % of the demonstrator's familiar and novel actions; (3) achieved full matches in the first attempt for 8-13 familiar behaviours (out of 15) and for the 2 novel behaviours (out of 2) in one subject; and (4) took no longer than 8 trials to accurately copy any familiar behaviour, and no longer than 16 trials to copy any novel behaviour. This study provides experimental evidence for body imitation, including production imitation, in killer whales that is comparable to that observed in dolphins tested under similar conditions. These findings suggest that imitative learning may underpin some of the group-specific traditions reported in killer whales in the field.

  9. Using opportunistic photo-identifications to detect a population decline of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in British and Irish waters

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Suzanne Beck; Andrew D Foote; Sandra Kötter; Olivia Harries; Laura Mandleberg; Peter T Stevick; Pádraig Whooley; John W Durban

    2014-01-01

      An assemblage of killer whales that has been sighted in waters off the west coast of the British Isles and Ireland has previously been shown to be isolated from other North Atlantic killer whale...

  10. 75 FR 316 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Insular Population...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-05

    ...) potential for acoustic impacts on false killer whale behavior; (6) inadequacy of existing regulatory...-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Insular Population of Hawaiian False Killer Whales as an... killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that...

  11. Observed foraging behaviour of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the northwest Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, T. S.; Lawson, J. W.; Kenney, R.

    2016-02-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the northwest Atlantic have been observed feeding on a variety of prey types with >35 cases of confirmed consumption and >55 other interactions since 1866. They have been documented harassing, attacking, and eating minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), dolphins, porpoises, seals, tuna, birds, and other prey. However, it remains unknown whether killer whales are prey specialists in this region. It is likely that distribution, movement, and residency patterns of killer whales are linked to those of their prey. Some killer whales appear to remain year-round in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and have been sighted during the spring within pack ice, potentially feeding on breeding seals. Killer whales in southern areas, such as the Gulf of Maine, are sighted less frequently and have historically been in association with Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus). A majority of successful and confirmed attacks involve minke whales in NL during the summer months, suggesting that minke whales may be one of the most important prey for killer whales in this region. Killer whales are apex predators and so detailing their foraging behaviour in the northwest Atlantic is critical for assessing their influence in this marine ecosystem.

  12. Prey and seasonal abundance of killer whales at sub-Antarctic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The diet of killer whales Orcinus orca was investigated from 48 predation events observed during sightings at sub-Antarctic Marion Island between 2006 and 2009. From these events, there were 10 cases where prey could be identified. Killer whales fed on fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis, elephant seals Mirounga leonina ...

  13. Low-frequency signals produced by Northeast Atlantic killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    OpenAIRE

    Samarra, Filipa I.P.; Deecke, Volker B.; Miller, Patrick J.O.

    2016-01-01

    Killer whale acoustic behavior has been extensively investigated, however most studies have focused on pulsed calls and whistles. This study reports the production of low-frequency signals by killer whales at frequencies below 300 Hz. Recordings of killer whales were made in Iceland and Norway when whales were observed feeding on herring, and no other cetacean species were nearby. Low-frequency sounds were identified in Iceland and ranged in duration between 0.14 and 2.77 seconds and in frequ...

  14. Behaviour of Southern sea lions in presence of killer whales during fishing operations in Central Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Hückstädt

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The killer whale is an opportunistic top-predator of ecosystems worldwide and its diet varies locally and seasonally, which is reflected in diverse feeding behaviours associated with its prey. We report the occurrence of killer whales presumably predating on southern sea lions associated with the jack mackerel fishing fleet in central Chile. The presence of killer whales was recorded during 4 fishing sets. All sightings consisted of 3-5 individual pods of females and calves. The number of sea lions was not significantly affected by the presence of killer whales, but their behaviour was, by reducing the number of behavioural displays, as they stopped feeding and resting activities and stayed close to the hull of the vessel after net retrieval ended. We propose that killer whales could be using the fishery as an indirect source of prey to benefit from the aggregation of sea lions around the vessel, far away from land.

  15. Accumulation and transfer of contaminants in killer whales (Orcinus orca) from Norway: indications for contaminant metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkers, Hans; Corkeron, Peter J; Van Parijs, Sofie M; Similä, Tiu; Van Bavel, Bert

    2007-08-01

    Blubber tissue of one subadult and eight male adult killer whales was sampled in Northern Norway in order to assess the degree and type of contaminant exposure and transfer in the herring-killer whale link of the marine food web. A comprehensive selection of contaminants was targeted, with special attention to toxaphenes and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). In addition to assessing exposure and food chain transfer, selective accumulation and metabolism issues also were addressed. Average total polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and pesticide levels were similar, approximately 25 microg/g lipid, and PBDEs were approximately 0.5 microg/g. This makes killer whales one of the most polluted arctic animals, with levels exceeding those in polar bears. Comparing the contamination of the killer whale's diet with the diet of high-arctic species such as white whales reveals six to more than 20 times higher levels in the killer whale diet. The difference in contaminant pattern between killer whales and their prey and the metabolic index calculated suggested that these cetaceans have a relatively high capacity to metabolize contaminants. Polychlorinated biphenyls, chlordanes, and dichlorodiphenyldichloro-ethylene (DDE) accumulate to some degree in killer whales, although toxaphenes and PBDEs might be partly broken down.

  16. Low-frequency signals produced by Northeast Atlantic killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samarra, Filipa I P; Deecke, Volker B; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-03-01

    Killer whale acoustic behavior has been extensively investigated; however, most studies have focused on pulsed calls and whistles. This study reports the production of low-frequency signals by killer whales at frequencies below 300 Hz. Recordings were made in Iceland and Norway when killer whales were observed feeding on herring and no other marine mammal species were nearby. Low-frequency sounds were identified in Iceland and ranged in duration between 0.14 and 2.77 s and in frequency between 50 and 270 Hz, well below the previously reported lower limit for killer whale tonal sounds of 500 Hz. Low-frequency sounds appeared to be produced close in time to tail slaps, which are indicative of feeding attempts, suggesting that these sounds may be related to a feeding context. However, their precise function is unknown, and they could be the by-product of a non-vocal behavior rather than a vocal signal deliberately produced by the whales. Although killer whales in Norway exhibit similar feeding behavior, this sound has not been detected in recordings from Norway to date. This study suggests that, like other delphinids, killer whales produce low-frequency sounds, but further studies will be required to understand whether similar sounds exist in other killer whale populations.

  17. Reproductive Conflict and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croft, Darren P; Johnstone, Rufus A; Ellis, Samuel; Nattrass, Stuart; Franks, Daniel W; Brent, Lauren J N; Mazzi, Sonia; Balcomb, Kenneth C; Ford, John K B; Cant, Michael A

    2017-01-23

    Why females of some species cease ovulation prior to the end of their natural lifespan is a long-standing evolutionary puzzle [1-4]. The fitness benefits of post-reproductive helping could in principle select for menopause [1, 2, 5], but the magnitude of these benefits appears insufficient to explain the timing of menopause [6-8]. Recent theory suggests that the cost of inter-generational reproductive conflict between younger and older females of the same social unit is a critical missing term in classical inclusive fitness calculations (the "reproductive conflict hypothesis" [6, 9]). Using a unique long-term dataset on wild resident killer whales, where females can live decades after their final parturition, we provide the first test of this hypothesis in a non-human animal. First, we confirm previous theoretical predictions that local relatedness increases with female age up to the end of reproduction. Second, we construct a new evolutionary model and show that given these kinship dynamics, selection will favor younger females that invest more in competition, and thus have greater reproductive success, than older females (their mothers) when breeding at the same time. Third, we test this prediction using 43 years of individual-based demographic data in resident killer whales and show that when mothers and daughters co-breed, the mortality hazard of calves from older-generation females is 1.7 times that of calves from younger-generation females. Intergenerational conflict combined with the known benefits conveyed to kin by post-reproductive females can explain why killer whales have evolved the longest post-reproductive lifespan of all non-human animals. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Stable isotopes of captive cetaceans (killer whales and bottlenose dolphins).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caut, Stéphane; Laran, Sophie; Garcia-Hartmann, Emmanuel; Das, Krishna

    2011-02-15

    There is currently a great deal of interest in using stable isotope methods to investigate diet, trophic level and migration in wild cetaceans. In order to correctly interpret the results stemming from these methods, it is crucial 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 bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus) fed controlled diets over 308 and 312 days, respectively. Diet discrimination factors (Δ; mean ± s.d.) for plasma were estimated to Δ(13)C=2.3±0.6‰ and Δ(15)N=1.8±0.3‰, respectively, for both species and to Δ(13)C=2.7±0.3‰ and Δ(15)N=0.5±0.1‰ for red blood cells. Delipidation did not have a significant effect on carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of blood constituents, confirming that cetacean blood does not serve as a reservoir of lipids. In contrast, carbon isotopic values were higher in delipidated samples of blubber, liver and muscle from killer whales. The potential for conflict between fisheries and cetaceans has heightened the need for trophic information about these taxa. These results provide the first published stable isotope incorporation data for cetaceans, which are essential if conclusions are to be drawn on issues concerning trophic structures, carbon sources and diet reconstruction.

  19. Environmental isolates of fungi from aquarium pools housing killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohata, Erina; Kano, Rui; Akune, Yuichiro; Ohno, Yoshito; Soichi, Makoto; Yanai, Tokuma; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko; Kamata, Hiroshi

    2013-12-01

    Systemic mycoses in killer whales (Orcinus orca) are rare diseases, but have been reported. Two killer whales died by fungal infections at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium in Japan. In this study, the fungal flora of the pool environment at the aquarium was characterized. Alternaria spp., Aspergillus spp. (A. fumigatus, A. niger, A. versicolor), Fusarium spp. and Penicillium spp. were isolated from the air and the pool surroundings. The other isolates were identified as fungal species non-pathogenic for mammals. However, the species of fungi isolated from the environmental samples in this study were not the same as those isolated from the cases of disease in killer whales previously reported.

  20. Target Strength of Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca): Measurement and Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Jinshan; Deng, Zhiqun; Carlson, Thomas J.; Moore, Brian

    2012-04-04

    A major criterion for tidal power licensing in Washington’s Puget Sound is the management of the risk of injury to killer whales due to collision with moving turbine blades. An active monitoring system is being proposed for killer whale detection, tracking, and alerting that links to and triggers temporary turbine shutdown when there is risk of collision. Target strength (TS) modeling of the killer whale is critical to the design and application of any active monitoring system. A 1996 study performed a high-resolution measurement of acoustic reflectivity as a function of frequency of a female bottlenose dolphin (2.2 m length) at broadside aspect and TS as a function of incident angle at 67 kHz frequency. Assuming that killer whales share similar morphology structure with the bottlenose dolphin, we extrapolated the TS of an adult killer whale 7.5 m in length at 67 kHz frequency with -8 dB at broadside aspect and -28 dB at tail side. The backscattering data from three Southern Resident killer whales were analyzed to obtain the TS measurement. These data were collected at Lime Kiln State Park using a split-beam system deployed from a boat. The TS of the killer whale at higher frequency (200 kHz) was estimated based on a three-layer model for plane wave reflection from the lung of the whale. The TS data of killer whales were in good agreement with our model. In this paper, we also discuss and explain possible causes for measurement estimation error.

  1. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Williams

    Full Text Available Ecosystem-based management (EBM of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of

  2. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Rob; Krkošek, Martin; Ashe, Erin; Branch, Trevor A; Clark, Steve; Hammond, Philip S; Hoyt, Erich; Noren, Dawn P; Rosen, David; Winship, Arliss

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US) ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years) implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of conflict

  3. Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation among killer whales in the northern North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Kim M; Durban, John W; Burdin, Alexander M; Burkanov, Vladimir N; Pitman, Robert L; Barlow, Jay; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G; LeDuc, Richard G; Robertson, Kelly M; Matkin, Craig O; Wade, Paul R

    2013-01-01

    The difficulties associated with detecting population boundaries have long constrained the conservation and management of highly mobile, wide-ranging marine species, such as killer whales (Orcinus orca). In this study, we use data from 26 nuclear microsatellite loci and mitochondrial DNA sequences (988bp) to test a priori hypotheses about population subdivisions generated from a decade of killer whale surveys across the northern North Pacific. A total of 462 remote skin biopsies were collected from wild killer whales primarily between 2001 and 2010 from the northern Gulf of Alaska to the Sea of Okhotsk, representing both the piscivorous "resident" and the mammal-eating "transient" (or Bigg's) killer whales. Divergence of the 2 ecotypes was supported by both mtDNA and microsatellites. Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation were supported by significant regions of genetic discontinuity, providing evidence of population structuring within both ecotypes and corroborating direct observations of restricted movements of individual whales. In the Aleutian Islands (Alaska), subpopulations, or groups with significantly different mtDNA and microsatellite allele frequencies, were largely delimited by major oceanographic boundaries for resident killer whales. Although Amchitka Pass represented a major subdivision for transient killer whales between the central and western Aleutian Islands, several smaller subpopulations were evident throughout the eastern Aleutians and Bering Sea. Support for seasonally sympatric transient subpopulations around Unimak Island suggests isolating mechanisms other than geographic distance within this highly mobile top predator.

  4. Killer whale industry - Baseline Data Collection of Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) Industry Members

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — SRKW were listed as endangered in 2005. This study collected baseline data about the industry to be able to determine social impacts to the industry as a result of...

  5. First longitudinal study of seal-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Norwegian coastal waters

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Eve Jourdain; Dag Vongraven; Anna Bisther; Richard Karoliussen

    2017-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey...

  6. High-Frequency Modulated Signals Recorded Off the Antarctic Peninsula Area: Are Killer Whales Emitting Them?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    M. V. Reyes Reyes; S. Baumann-Pickering; A. Simonis; M. L. Melcón; J. Trickey; J. Hildebrand; M. Iñíguez

    2017-01-01

    ... s. HFM signals partially modulated in the non-ultrasonic range similar to the ones described in this paper have already been reported for killer whales in the North Pacific, Western South Atlantic...

  7. The influence of ecology on sociality in the killer whale (Orcinus orca)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Suzanne; Kuningas, Sanna; Esteban, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    a population under different ecological conditions can identify the relative influence of ecological selection on group formation. Here, we compare the size and persistence of social groups within a community of Atlantic killer whales, comparing between data collected from an area around Scotland where...... the whales have mainly been seen to hunt seals and data collected from an area around Iceland where the whales have mainly been seen to hunt herring. Additionally, we compare the observed social structure with that of previously studied Pacific ecotypes. Atlantic killer whale groups in both locations had...... a stable long-term primary social tier (association index level . 0.8) similar to that of Pacific killer whales. However, associations between these groups were much lower when hunting for seals than for fish in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. The occurrence of these differences in sociality between...

  8. 76 FR 14299 - Listing Endangered and Threatened Species: Correction To Codify in the Code of Federal...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-16

    ... and Correcting Amendment We listed the Southern Resident killer whale DPS as an endangered species... separate endangered species under the ESA. In that more recent rule the Southern Resident killer whale DPS... Threatened Species: Correction To Codify in the Code of Federal Regulations Endangered Status for Southern...

  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 Endangered...

  10. Using Vocal Dialects to Assess the Population Structure of Bigg's Killer Whales in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, D. L.; Wade, P. R.; Castellote, M.; Cornick, L. A.

    2016-02-01

    Apex predators are important indicators of ecosystem health, but little is known about the population structure of Bigg's killer whales (Orcinus orca; i.e. "transient" ecotype) in western Alaska. Currently, all Bigg's killer whales in western Alaska are ascribed to a single broad stock for management under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act. However, recent nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA analyses indicate that this stock is likely comprised of genetically distinct sub-populations. In accordance with what is known about group-specific killer whale vocal dialects in other locations, we sought to evaluate and refine Bigg's killer whale population structure by using acoustic recordings to examine the spatial distribution of call types in western Alaska. Digital audio recordings were collected from 34 encounters with Bigg's killer whales throughout the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands in the summers of 2001-2007 and 2009-2010, then visually and aurally reviewed using the software Adobe Audition. High quality calls were identified and classified into discrete call types based on spectrographic characteristics and aural uniqueness. A comparative analysis of call types recorded throughout the study area revealed spatial segregation of call types, corresponding well with proposed genetic delineations. These results suggest that Bigg's killer whales exhibit regional vocal dialects, which can be used to help refine the putative sub-populations that have been genetically identified throughout western Alaska. Our findings support the proposal to restructure current stock designations.

  11. Sustained disruption of narwhal habitat use and behavior in the presence of Arctic killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breed, Greg A; Matthews, Cory J D; Marcoux, Marianne; Higdon, Jeff W; LeBlanc, Bernard; Petersen, Stephen D; Orr, Jack; Reinhart, Natalie R; Ferguson, Steven H

    2017-03-07

    Although predators influence behavior of prey, analyses of electronic tracking data in marine environments rarely consider how predators affect the behavior of tracked animals. We collected an unprecedented dataset by synchronously tracking predator (killer whales, [Formula: see text] = 1; representing a family group) and prey (narwhal, [Formula: see text] = 7) via satellite telemetry in Admiralty Inlet, a large fjord in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. Analyzing the movement data with a switching-state space model and a series of mixed effects models, we show that the presence of killer whales strongly alters the behavior and distribution of narwhal. When killer whales were present (within about 100 km), narwhal moved closer to shore, where they were presumably less vulnerable. Under predation threat, narwhal movement patterns were more likely to be transiting, whereas in the absence of threat, more likely resident. Effects extended beyond discrete predatory events and persisted steadily for 10 d, the duration that killer whales remained in Admiralty Inlet. Our findings have two key consequences. First, given current reductions in sea ice and increases in Arctic killer whale sightings, killer whales have the potential to reshape Arctic marine mammal distributions and behavior. Second and of more general importance, predators have the potential to strongly affect movement behavior of tracked marine animals. Understanding predator effects may be as or more important than relating movement behavior to resource distribution or bottom-up drivers traditionally included in analyses of marine animal tracking data.

  12. Killer whale (Orcinus orca photo-identification in the eastern Canadian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent G. Young

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We identified individual killer whales (Orcinus orca using recent (2004–09 photographs to obtain a minimum count of whales that use eastern Canadian Arctic waters. Fifty-three individuals were identified from nine different sightings; 11 individuals from western Hudson Bay sightings and 42 from the areas around northern and eastern Baffin Island. One whale was re-sighted: an adult female or large juvenile photographed 17 days and 375 km apart at Churchill, Manitoba, and off-shore of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, in August 2007. With only one individual re-sighted, the number of individuals that use this area is likely much larger. No re-sightings occurred between Arctic killer whales and individuals photographed off the coast of Newfoundland. Our results represent the minimum number of killer whales sighted in eastern Canadian Arctic waters and provide the foundation for further killer whale research. Little is known about Arctic killer whales and, as a top predator, it is unclear what effect they have on Arctic marine ecosystems.

  13. 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...

  14. Whistle communication in mammal-eating killer whales (Orcinus orca): further evidence for acoustic divergence between ecotypes

    OpenAIRE

    Deecke, Volker B.; Riesch, Rüdiger

    2011-01-01

    Public signaling plays an important role in territorial and sexual displays in animals; however, in certain situations, it is advantageous to keep signaling private to prevent eavesdropping by unintended receivers. In the northeastern Pacific, two populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca), fish-eating “resident” killer whales and mammal-eating “transient” killer whales, share the same habitat. Previous studies have shown that residents use whistles as private signals during close-range comm...

  15. Prey items and predation behavior of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Nunavut, Canada based on Inuit hunter interviews

    OpenAIRE

    Ferguson, Steven H; Higdon, Jeff W; Westdal, Kristin H

    2012-01-01

    Background Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are the most widely distributed cetacean, occurring in all oceans worldwide, and within ocean regions different ecotypes are defined based on prey preferences. Prey items are largely unknown in the eastern Canadian Arctic and therefore we conducted a survey of Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to provide information on the feeding ecology of killer whales. We compiled Inuit observations on killer whales and their prey items via 105 semi-direc...

  16. Longitudinal evaluation of leukocyte transcripts in killer whales (Orcinus Orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitt, Tatjana; Bowen, Lizabeth; Lee, Chia-Shan; Blanchard, Myra T; McBain, James; Dold, Christopher; Stott, Jeffrey L

    2016-07-01

    Early identification of illness and/or presence of environmental and/or social stressors in free-ranging and domestic cetaceans is a priority for marine mammal health care professionals. Incorporation of leukocyte gene transcript analysis into the diagnostic tool kit has the potential to augment classical diagnostics based upon ease of sample storage and shipment, inducible nature and well-defined roles of transcription and associated downstream actions. Development of biomarkers that could serve to identify "insults" and potentially differentiate disease etiology would be of great diagnostic value. To this end, a modest number of peripheral blood leukocyte gene transcripts were selected for application to a domestic killer whale population with a focus on broad representation of inducible immunologically relevant genes. Normalized leukocyte transcript values, longitudinally acquired from 232 blood samples derived from 26 clinically healthy whales, were not visibly influenced temporally nor by sex or the specific Park in which they resided. Stability in leukocyte transcript number during periods of health enhances their potential use in diagnostics through identification of outliers. Transcript levels of two cytokine genes, IL-4 and IL-17, were highly variable within the group as compared to the other transcripts. IL-4 transcripts were typically absent. Analysis of transcript levels on the other genes of interest, on an individual animal basis, identified more outliers than were visible when analyzed in the context of the entire population. The majority of outliers (9 samples) were low, though elevated transcripts were identified for IL-17 from 2 animals and one each for Cox-2 and IL-10. The low number of outliers was not unexpected as sample selection was intentionally directed towards animals that were clinically healthy at the time of collection. Outliers may reflect animals experiencing subclinical disease that is transient and self-limiting. The immunologic

  17. Longitudinal evaluation of leukocyte transcripts in killer whales (Orcinus Orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitt, Tatjana; Bowen, Lizabeth; Lee, Chia-Shan; Blanchard, Myra; McBain, James; Dold, Christopher; Stott, Jeffrey L.

    2016-01-01

    Early identification of illness and/or presence of environmental and/or social stressors in free-ranging and domestic cetaceans is a priority for marine mammal health care professionals. Incorporation of leukocyte gene transcript analysis into the diagnostic tool kit has the potential to augment classical diagnostics based upon ease of sample storage and shipment, inducible nature and well-defined roles of transcription and associated downstream actions. Development of biomarkers that could serve to identify “insults” and potentially differentiate disease etiology would be of great diagnostic value. To this end, a modest number of peripheral blood leukocyte gene transcripts were selected for application to a domestic killer whale population with a focus on broad representation of inducible immunologically relevant genes. Normalized leukocyte transcript values, longitudinally acquired from 232 blood samples derived from 26 clinically healthy whales, were not visibly influenced temporally nor by sex or the specific Park in which they resided. Stability in leukocyte transcript number during periods of health enhances their potential use in diagnostics through identification of outliers. Transcript levels of two cytokine genes, IL-4 and IL-17, were highly variable within the group as compared to the other transcripts. IL-4 transcripts were typically absent. Analysis of transcript levels on the other genes of interest, on an individual animal basis, identified more outliers than were visible when analyzed in the context of the entire population. The majority of outliers (9 samples) were low, though elevated transcripts were identified for IL-17 from 2 animals and one each for Cox-2 and IL-10. The low number of outliers was not unexpected as sample selection was intentionally directed towards animals that were clinically healthy at the time of collection. Outliers may reflect animals experiencing subclinical disease that is transient and self-limiting. The

  18. 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...

  19. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) whistles from the western South Atlantic Ocean include high frequency signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriolo, Artur; Reis, Sarah S; Amorim, Thiago O S; Sucunza, Federico; de Castro, Franciele R; Maia, Ygor Geyer; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Bortolotto, Guilherme A; Dalla Rosa, Luciano

    2015-09-01

    Acoustic parameters of killer whale (Orcinus orca) whistles were described for the western South Atlantic Ocean and highlight the occurrence of high frequency whistles. Killer whale signals were recorded on December of 2012, when a pod of four individuals was observed harassing a group of sperm whales. The high frequency whistles were highly stereotyped and were modulated mostly at ultrasonic frequencies. Compared to other contour types, the high frequency whistles are characterized by higher bandwidths, shorter durations, fewer harmonics, and higher sweep rates. The results add to the knowledge of vocal behavior of this species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curé, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo; Alves, Ana Catarina; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Miller, Patrick 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 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-feeding killer whales and monitoring behavioural responses using multi-sensor tags. Our results suggest that, rather than taking advantage of their large aerobic capacities to dive away from the perceived predator, sperm whales responded to killer whale playbacks by interrupting their foraging or resting dives and returning to the surface, changing their vocal production, and initiating a surprising degree of social behaviour in these mostly solitary animals. Thus, the interception of predator vocalizations by male sperm whales disrupted functional behaviours and mediated previously unrecognized anti-predator responses.

  1. Killer whale call frequency is similar across the oceans, but varies across sympatric ecotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filatova, Olga A; Miller, Patrick J O; Yurk, Harald; Samarra, Filipa I P; Hoyt, Erich; Ford, John K B; Matkin, Craig O; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G

    2015-07-01

    Killer whale populations may differ in genetics, morphology, ecology, and behavior. In the North Pacific, two sympatric populations ("resident" and "transient") specialize on different prey (fish and marine mammals) and retain reproductive isolation. In the eastern North Atlantic, whales from the same populations have been observed feeding on both fish and marine mammals. Fish-eating North Pacific "residents" are more genetically related to eastern North Atlantic killer whales than to sympatric mammal-eating "transients." In this paper, a comparison of frequency variables in killer whale calls recorded from four North Pacific resident, two North Pacific transient, and two eastern North Atlantic populations is reported to assess which factors drive the large-scale changes in call structure. Both low-frequency and high-frequency components of North Pacific transient killer whale calls have significantly lower frequencies than those of the North Pacific resident and North Atlantic populations. The difference in frequencies could be related to ecological specialization or to the phylogenetic history of these populations. North Pacific transient killer whales may have genetically inherited predisposition toward lower frequencies that may shape their learned repertoires.

  2. Design and operation specifications of an active monitoring system for detecting southern resident killer whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deng, Zhiqun; Carlson, Thomas J.; Xu, Jinshan; Martinez, Jayson J.; Weiland, Mark A.; Mueller, Robert P.; Myers, Joshua R.; Jones, Mark E.

    2011-09-30

    Before final approval is given to the Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 for deploying the first tidal power devices in the United States in an open water environment, a system to manage the potential risk of injury to killer whales due to collision with moving turbine blades must be demonstrated. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is tasked with establishing the performance requirements for, constructing, and testing a prototype marine animal alert system for triggering temporary turbine shutdown when there is risk of collision with a killer whale. To develop a system that relies on active sonar two critical areas must be investigated - the target strength of killer whales and the frequency content of commercially available active sonar units. PNNL studied three target strength models: a simple model, the Fourier matching model, and the Kirchoff-ray mode model. Using target strength measurements of bottlenose dolphins obtained by previous researchers and assuming killer whales share similar morphology and structure, PNNL extrapolated the target strength of an adult killer whale 7.5 m in length at a frequency of 67 kHz. To study the frequency content of a commercially available sonar unit, direct measurements of the signal transmitted by the sonar were obtained by using a hydrophone connected to a data acquisition system in both laboratory and field conditions. The measurements revealed that in addition to the primary frequency of 200 kHz, there is a secondary frequency component at 90 kHz, which is within the hearing range of killer whales. The amplitude of the 90-kHz frequency component is above the hearing threshold of killer whales but below the threshold for potential injuries.

  3. Molecular characterization of a novel gammaretrovirus in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamere, Sarah A; St Leger, Judy A; Schrenzel, Mark D; Anthony, Simon J; Rideout, Bruce A; Salomon, Daniel R

    2009-12-01

    There are currently no published data documenting the presence of retroviruses in cetaceans, though the occurrences of cancers and immunodeficiency states suggest the potential. We examined tissues from adult killer whales and detected a novel gammaretrovirus by degenerate PCR. Reverse transcription-PCR also demonstrated tissue and serum expression of retroviral mRNA. The full-length sequence of the provirus was obtained by PCR, and a TaqMan-based copy number assay did not demonstrate evidence of productive infection. PCR on blood samples from 11 healthy captive killer whales and tissues from 3 free-ranging animals detected the proviral DNA in all tissues examined from all animals. A survey of multiple cetacean species by PCR for gag, pol, and env sequences showed homologs of this virus in the DNA of eight species of delphinids, pygmy and dwarf sperm whales, and harbor porpoises, but not in beluga or fin whales. Analysis of the bottlenose dolphin genome revealed two full-length proviral sequences with 97.4% and 96.9% nucleotide identity to the killer whale gammaretrovirus. The results of single-cell PCR on killer whale sperm and Southern blotting are also consistent with the conclusion that the provirus is endogenous. We suggest that this gammaretrovirus entered the delphinoid ancestor's genome before the divergence of modern dolphins or that an exogenous variant existed following divergence that was ultimately endogenized. However, the transcriptional activity demonstrated in tissues and the nearly intact viral genome suggest a more recent integration into the killer whale genome, favoring the latter hypothesis. The proposed name for this retrovirus is killer whale endogenous retrovirus.

  4. Effectiveness of voluntary conservation agreements: case study of endangered whales and commercial whale watching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, David N; Moller, Just C; Pace, Richard M; Carlson, Carole

    2008-04-01

    The use of voluntary approaches to achieve conservation goals is becoming increasingly popular. Nevertheless, few researchers have quantitatively evaluated their efficacy. In 1998 industry, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations established a voluntary conservation program for whale watching in the northeast region of the United States, with the intent to avoid collisions with and harassment of endangered whales by commercial and recreational whale-watching vessels. One important aspect of the program was the establishment of 3 speed zones within specific distances of whales. We wanted to determine the level of compliance with this aspect of the program to gauge its efficacy and gain insights into the effectiveness of voluntary measures as a conservation tool. Inconspicuous observers accompanied 46 commercial whale-watching trips from 12 companies in 2003 (n= 35) and 2004 (n= 11). During each trip, vessel position and speed were collected at 5-second intervals with a GPS receiver. Binoculars with internal laser rangefinders and digital compasses were used to record range and bearing to sighted whales. We mapped whale locations with ArcGIS. We created speed-zone buffers around sighted whales and overlaid them with vessel-track and speed data to evaluate compliance. Speeds in excess of those recommended by the program were considered noncompliant. We judged the magnitude of noncompliance by comparing a vessel's maximum speed within a zone to its maximum recorded trip speed. The level of noncompliance was high (mean 0.78; company range 0.74-0.88), some companies were more compliant than others (p= 0.02), noncompliance was significantly higher in zones farther from whales (p whales. Our results support the need for conservation programs to have quantifiable metrics and frequent evaluation to ensure efficacy.

  5. Occurrence and diet of killer whales in northern Norway: seasonal patterns relative to the distribution and abundance of Norwegian spring-spawning herring

    OpenAIRE

    Similä, Tiu; Holst, Jens Christian; Christensen, Ivar

    1996-01-01

    Our objectives were to investigate the seasonal occurrence of photoidentified killer whale pods in relation to the distribution of Norwegian spring-spawning herring and whether or not pod-specific differences in the occurrence or diet of killer whales could be demonstrated. In a 4-year study, the killer whales occurred in different areas during the summer and the fall–winter, and these areas coincided with the distribution areas of herring. Killer whales were encountered most freq...

  6. Concentrations of organotin compounds in the stranded killer whales from Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harino, Hiroya; Ohji, Madoka; Brownell, Robert L; Arai, Takaomi; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki

    2008-07-01

    We measured the concentrations of butyltin (BT) and phenyltin (PT) compounds in blubber, liver, lung, and muscle of seven stranded killer whales (Orcinus orca) collected from Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan. BTs in blubber (n = 6), liver (n = 4), lung (n = 1), and muscle (n = 4) of adult whale were in the range of 37-90, 385-676, 15, and 26-53 microg kg(-1) wet weight, respectively. Concentrations of PTs in blubber, liver, lung, and muscle were whale calf were lower than those in adult whales. MBT and DBT in the liver of the calf were the same (42%). MBT in blubber was the dominant compound among BTs.

  7. 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

  8. Killer whale depredation and associated costs to Alaskan sablefish, Pacific halibut and Greenland turbot longliners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan J Peterson

    Full Text Available Killer whale (Orcinus orca depredation (whales stealing or damaging fish caught on fishing gear adversely impacts demersal longline fisheries for sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria, Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis and Greenland turbot (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Western Gulf of Alaska. These interactions increase direct costs and opportunity costs associated with catching fish and reduce the profitability of longline fishing in western Alaska. This study synthesizes National Marine Fisheries Service observer data, National Marine Fisheries Service sablefish longline survey and fishermen-collected depredation data to: 1 estimate the frequency of killer whale depredation on longline fisheries in Alaska; 2 estimate depredation-related catch per unit effort reductions; and 3 assess direct costs and opportunity costs incurred by longliners in western Alaska as a result of killer whale interactions. The percentage of commercial fishery sets affected by killer whales was highest in the Bering Sea fisheries for: sablefish (21.4%, Greenland turbot (9.9%, and Pacific halibut (6.9%. Average catch per unit effort reductions on depredated sets ranged from 35.1-69.3% for the observed longline fleet in all three management areas from 1998-2012 (p<0.001. To compensate for depredation, fishermen set additional gear to catch the same amount of fish, and this increased fuel costs by an additional 82% per depredated set (average $433 additional fuel per depredated set. In a separate analysis with six longline vessels in 2011 and 2012, killer whale depredation avoidance measures resulted in an average additional cost of $494 per depredated vessel-day for fuel and crew food. Opportunity costs of time lost by fishermen averaged $522 per additional vessel-day on the grounds. This assessment of killer whale depredation costs represents the most extensive economic evaluation of this issue in Alaska to date and will help

  9. Evidence for a postreproductive phase in female false killer whales Pseudorca crassidens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Photopoulou, Theoni; Ferreira, Ines M; Best, Peter B; Kasuya, Toshio; Marsh, Helene

    2017-01-01

    A substantial period of life after reproduction ends, known as postreproductive lifespan (PRLS), is at odds with classical life history theory and its causes and mechanisms have puzzled evolutionary biologists for decades. Prolonged PRLS has been confirmed in only two non-human mammals, both odontocete cetaceans in the family Delphinidae. We investigate the evidence for PRLS in a third species, the false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidens, using a quantitative measure of PRLS and morphological evidence from reproductive tissues. We examined specimens from false killer whales from combined strandings (South Africa, 1981) and harvest (Japan 1979-80) and found morphological evidence of changes in the activity of the ovaries in relation to age. Ovulation had ceased in 50% of whales over 45 years, and all whales over 55 years old had ovaries classified as postreproductive. We also calculated a measure of PRLS, known as postreproductive representation (PrR) as an indication of the effect of inter-population demographic variability. PrR for the combined sample was 0.14, whereas the mean of the simulated distribution for PrR under the null hypothesis of no PRLS was 0.02. The 99th percentile of the simulated distribution was 0.08 and no simulated value exceeded 0.13. These results suggest that PrR was convincingly different from the measures simulated under the null hypothesis. We found morphological and statistical evidence for PRLS in South African and Japanese pods of false killer whales, suggesting that this species is the third non-human mammal in which this phenomenon has been demonstrated in wild populations. Nonetheless, our estimate for PrR in false killer whales (0.14) is lower than the single values available for the short-finned pilot whale (0.28) and the killer whale (0.22) and is more similar to working Asian elephants (0.13).

  10. Blubber-depth distribution and bioaccumulation of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in Arctic-invading killer whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedro, Sara; Boba, Conor; Dietz, Rune

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Sightings of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Greenland have increased in recent years, coincident with sea ice loss. These killer whales are likely from fish-feeding North Atlantic populations, but may have access to marine mammal prey in Greenlandic waters,...

  11. Mathematics of pulsed vocalizations with application to killer whale biphonation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Judith C

    2008-05-01

    Formulas for the spectra of pulsed vocalizations for both the continuous and discrete cases are rigorously derived from basic formulas for Fourier analysis, a topic discussed qualitatively in Watkins' classic paper on "the harmonic interval" ["The harmonic interval: Fact or artifact in spectral analysis of pulse trains," in Marine Bioacoustics 2, edited by W. N. Tavogla (Pergamon, New York, 1967), pp. 15-43]. These formulas are summarized in a table for easy reference, along with most of the corresponding graphs. The case of a "pulse tone" is shown to involve multiplication of two temporal wave forms, corresponding to convolution in the frequency domain. This operation is discussed in detail and shown to be equivalent to a simpler approach using a trigonometric formula giving sum and difference frequencies. The presence of a dc component in the temporal wave form, which implies physically that there is a net positive pressure at the source, is discussed, and examples of the corresponding spectra are calculated and shown graphically. These have application to biphonation (two source signals) observed for some killer whale calls and implications for a source mechanism. A MATLAB program for synthesis of a similar signal is discussed and made available online.

  12. The relationship between the acoustic behaviour and surface activity of killer whales (Orcinus orca) that feed on herring (Clupea harengus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, Malene Juul; McGregor, Peter K.; Ugarte, Fernando

    2007-01-01

    We describe the acoustic behaviour of piscivorous killer whales in Norwegian and Icelandic waters. Whales were assigned to one of three activities (feeding, travelling or other), and sound recordings were made in their proximity with a single hydrophone and a digital audiotape (DAT) recorder. A q...... behaviour, we suggest that the killer whales in Icelandic and Norwegian waters belong to the same ecotype: Scandinavian herring-eating killer whales. Udgivelsesdato: 18 April 2007......We describe the acoustic behaviour of piscivorous killer whales in Norwegian and Icelandic waters. Whales were assigned to one of three activities (feeding, travelling or other), and sound recordings were made in their proximity with a single hydrophone and a digital audiotape (DAT) recorder...

  13. Seasonal distribution and abundance of killer whales around Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands, northern Norway

    OpenAIRE

    Similä, Tiu; Christensen, Ivar

    1992-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been pohotoidentified around Lofoten and Vesterålen islands northern Norway during fall-winter (October-February) and summer (June-August) in 1990 and 1991. Some background data exists from 1983-1989. To date 302 killer whale individuals belonging to 44 different groups have been identified. The yearly distribution and abundance of whales is closely related to the distribution of springspawning herring (Clupea harengus) in the area. Since...

  14. 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 the...

  15. Prey items and predation behavior of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Nunavut, Canada based on Inuit hunter interviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Steven H; Higdon, Jeff W; Westdal, Kristin H

    2012-01-30

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are the most widely distributed cetacean, occurring in all oceans worldwide, and within ocean regions different ecotypes are defined based on prey preferences. Prey items are largely unknown in the eastern Canadian Arctic and therefore we conducted a survey of Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to provide information on the feeding ecology of killer whales. We compiled Inuit observations on killer whales and their prey items via 105 semi-directed interviews conducted in 11 eastern Nunavut communities (Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk regions) from 2007-2010. Results detail local knowledge of killer whale prey items, hunting behaviour, prey responses, distribution of predation events, and prey capture techniques. Inuit TEK and published literature agree that killer whales at times eat only certain parts of prey, particularly of large whales, that attacks on large whales entail relatively small groups of killer whales, and that they hunt cooperatively. Inuit observations suggest that there is little prey specialization beyond marine mammals and there are no definitive observations of fish in the diet. Inuit hunters and elders also documented the use of sea ice and shallow water as prey refugia. By combining TEK and scientific approaches we provide a more holistic view of killer whale predation in the eastern Canadian Arctic relevant to management and policy. Continuing the long-term relationship between scientists and hunters will provide for successful knowledge integration and has resulted in considerable improvement in understanding of killer whale ecology relevant to management of prey species. Combining scientists and Inuit knowledge will assist in northerners adapting to the restructuring of the Arctic marine ecosystem associated with warming and loss of sea ice.

  16. 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.

  17. First longitudinal study of seal-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Norwegian coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisther, Anna; Karoliussen, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey. Off Norway, killer whales have been shown to rely on the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) as a main prey resource. Infrequent observations have revealed seals as an additional component of their diet, yet the extent of predation on marine mammals has remained largely unknown. Here, we present the findings of 29 years of photographic and observational data on seal-feeding killer whale groups identified in Norwegian coastal waters. Four groups have been observed preying and feeding on seals over several years, taking both harbor (Phoca vitulina) and grey (Halichoerus grypus) seals. These stable groups are shown to adopt small group sizes, were typically observed in near-shore areas and were not encountered on herring wintering grounds. Behavioral and social traits adopted by these groups are similar to those of pinniped-feeding killer whales from other regions. The potential ecological reasons and the extent of such prey specializations are discussed. PMID:28666015

  18. Killer whale presence in relation to naval sonar activity and prey abundance in northern Norway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuningas, S.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.A.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2013-01-01

    In this study, retrospective data on naval sonar activity and prey abundance were correlated with killer whale sightings within a fjord basin in northern Norway. In addition, passive acoustic and visual marine mammal surveys were conducted before, during, and after a specific navy exercise in 2006.

  19. Movements and Habitat Use of Satellite-Tagged False Killer Whales Around the Main Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    4. Pseudorca crassidens. Habitat use characteristics and movement information of tagged false killer whales deter- mined from satellite-derived...functional anatomy and gen- eral biology of Pseudorca crassidens (Owen) with a review of the hydrodynamic and acoustics in Cetacea . Investig Cetacea 9:67–227

  20. Insights into the diet of a poorly known species: pygmy killer whale ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite having a worldwide distribution in tropical waters, knowledge on pygmy killer whales Feresa attenuata, including diet, is poor, with only a few studies carried out to date. The presence of otoliths and beaks in stomachs that have been examined indicate that the diet of F. attenuata includes squid, octopus and fish.

  1. Ecological, morphological and genetic divergence of sympatric North Atlantic killer whale populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew D; Newton, Jason; Piertney, Stuart B

    2009-01-01

    promoting divergence. Here we use morphological traits, nitrogen stable isotope ratios and tooth wear to characterize two disparate types of North Atlantic killer whale. We find a highly specialist type, which reaches up to 8.5 m in length and a generalist type which reaches up to 6.6 m in length...

  2. Killer whales in South African waters — a review of their biology ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The distribution, seasonality and schooling behaviour of killer whalesOrcinus orca in South African waters have been investigated from 785 records compiled between 1963 and 2009, and their size, morphometrics, growth, reproduction, food and feeding behaviour described from the examination of 54 individuals, 36 of ...

  3. First longitudinal study of seal-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Norwegian coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jourdain, Eve; Vongraven, Dag; Bisther, Anna; Karoliussen, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey. Off Norway, killer whales have been shown to rely on the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) as a main prey resource. Infrequent observations have revealed seals as an additional component of their diet, yet the extent of predation on marine mammals has remained largely unknown. Here, we present the findings of 29 years of photographic and observational data on seal-feeding killer whale groups identified in Norwegian coastal waters. Four groups have been observed preying and feeding on seals over several years, taking both harbor (Phoca vitulina) and grey (Halichoerus grypus) seals. These stable groups are shown to adopt small group sizes, were typically observed in near-shore areas and were not encountered on herring wintering grounds. Behavioral and social traits adopted by these groups are similar to those of pinniped-feeding killer whales from other regions. The potential ecological reasons and the extent of such prey specializations are discussed.

  4. First longitudinal study of seal-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca in Norwegian coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eve Jourdain

    Full Text Available Killer whales (Orcinus orca have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey. Off Norway, killer whales have been shown to rely on the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus as a main prey resource. Infrequent observations have revealed seals as an additional component of their diet, yet the extent of predation on marine mammals has remained largely unknown. Here, we present the findings of 29 years of photographic and observational data on seal-feeding killer whale groups identified in Norwegian coastal waters. Four groups have been observed preying and feeding on seals over several years, taking both harbor (Phoca vitulina and grey (Halichoerus grypus seals. These stable groups are shown to adopt small group sizes, were typically observed in near-shore areas and were not encountered on herring wintering grounds. Behavioral and social traits adopted by these groups are similar to those of pinniped-feeding killer whales from other regions. The potential ecological reasons and the extent of such prey specializations are discussed.

  5. Immune functions in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas): Evaluation of natural killer cell activity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. De Guise (Sylvain); P.S. Ross (Peter); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); D. Martineau (Daniel); P. Beland; M. Fournier (Michel)

    1997-01-01

    textabstractNatural killer (NK) activity, an important non-specific defense mechanism against viral infections and tumors, was demonstrated in beluga whales using two different methods: 51Cr release and flow cytometry. Using the 51Cr release assay, NK activity in belugas was shown to be higher

  6. Conceptual Change and Killer Whales: Constructing Ecological Values for Animals at the Vancouver Aquarium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelsey, Elin

    1991-01-01

    Examines how the aquarium has attempted to move from a transfer view of knowledge to a constructivist approach in its most popular general public program--the killer whale presentation. The process of change that staff underwent is similar to conceptual change processes among learners of science. Describes constructivist strategies of conceptual…

  7. Herring (sild), killer whales (spekkhogger) and sonar : The 3S-2006 cruise report with preliminary results

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kvadsheim, P.; Benders, F.P.A.; Miller, P.; Doksµter, L.; Knudsen, F.; Tyack, P.; Kleivane, L.; God°, O.R.; Norlund, N.; Lam, F-P.A.; Samarra, F.

    2007-01-01

    This report summarises the outcome of an international research cruise in Norwegian waters (Vestfjorden) in November 2006. The objectives of the trial were to study impacts of military low frequency - (LFAS 1-2 kHz) and mid frequency - (MFAS 6-7 kHz) active sonars on killer whales and herring. In

  8. Estimation of southern resident killer whale exposure to exhaust emissions from whale-watching vessels and potential adverse health effects and toxicity thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachmuth, Cara L; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G; Steyn, D Q; Milsom, William K

    2011-04-01

    Southern resident killer whales in British Columbia and Washington are exposed to heavy vessel traffic. This study investigates their exposure to exhaust gases from whale-watching vessels by using a simple dispersion model incorporating data on whale and vessel behavior, atmospheric conditions, and output of airborne pollutants from the whale-watching fleet based on emissions data from regulatory agencies. Our findings suggest that current whale-watching guidelines are usually effective in limiting pollutant exposure to levels at or just below those at which measurable adverse health effects would be expected in killer whales. However, safe pollutant levels are exceeded under worst-case conditions and certain average-case conditions. To reduce killer whale exposure to exhaust we recommend: vessels position on the downwind side of whales, a maximum of 20 whale-watching vessels should be within 800 m at any given time, viewing periods should be limited, and current whale-watch guidelines and laws should be enforced. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Gliding locomotion of manta rays, killer whales and swordfish near the water surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Jie-Min; Gong, Ye-Jun; Li, Tian-Zeng

    2017-03-24

    The hydrodynamic performance of the locomotive near the water surface is impacted by its geometrical shape. For marine animals, their geometrical shape is naturally selective; thus, investigating gliding locomotion of marine animal under the water surface may be able to elucidate the influence of the geometrical shape. We investigate three marine animals with specific geometries: the killer whale is fusiform shaped; the manta ray is flat and broad-winged; and the swordfish is best streamlined. The numerical results are validated by the measured drag coefficients of the manta ray model in a towing tank. The friction drag of the three target models are very similar; the body shape affected form drag coefficient is order as swordfish killer whale killer whale and swordfish. These bio-inspired observations provide a new and in-depth understanding of the shape effects on the hydrodynamic performances near the free surface.

  10. Vocalisations of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in the Bremer Canyon, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellard, Rebecca; Erbe, Christine; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    To date, there has been no dedicated study in Australian waters on the acoustics of killer whales. Hence no information has been published on the sounds produced by killer whales from this region. Here we present the first acoustical analysis of recordings collected off the Western Australian coast. Underwater sounds produced by Australian killer whales were recorded during the months of February and March 2014 and 2015 in the Bremer Canyon in Western Australia. Vocalisations recorded included echolocation clicks, burst-pulse sounds and whistles. A total of 28 hours and 29 minutes were recorded and analysed, with 2376 killer whale calls (whistles and burst-pulse sounds) detected. Recordings of poor quality or signal-to-noise ratio were excluded from analysis, resulting in 142 whistles and burst-pulse vocalisations suitable for analysis and categorisation. These were grouped based on their spectrographic features into nine Bremer Canyon (BC) “call types”. The frequency of the fundamental contours of all call types ranged from 600 Hz to 29 kHz. Calls ranged from 0.05 to 11.3 seconds in duration. Biosonar clicks were also recorded, but not studied further. Surface behaviours noted during acoustic recordings were categorised as either travelling or social behaviour. A detailed description of the acoustic characteristics is necessary for species acoustic identification and for the development of passive acoustic tools for population monitoring, including assessments of population status, habitat usage, migration patterns, behaviour and acoustic ecology. This study provides the first quantitative assessment and report on the acoustic features of killer whales vocalisations in Australian waters, and presents an opportunity to further investigate this little-known population. PMID:26352429

  11. Vocalisations of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in the Bremer Canyon, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellard, Rebecca; Erbe, Christine; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    To date, there has been no dedicated study in Australian waters on the acoustics of killer whales. Hence no information has been published on the sounds produced by killer whales from this region. Here we present the first acoustical analysis of recordings collected off the Western Australian coast. Underwater sounds produced by Australian killer whales were recorded during the months of February and March 2014 and 2015 in the Bremer Canyon in Western Australia. Vocalisations recorded included echolocation clicks, burst-pulse sounds and whistles. A total of 28 hours and 29 minutes were recorded and analysed, with 2376 killer whale calls (whistles and burst-pulse sounds) detected. Recordings of poor quality or signal-to-noise ratio were excluded from analysis, resulting in 142 whistles and burst-pulse vocalisations suitable for analysis and categorisation. These were grouped based on their spectrographic features into nine Bremer Canyon (BC) "call types". The frequency of the fundamental contours of all call types ranged from 600 Hz to 29 kHz. Calls ranged from 0.05 to 11.3 seconds in duration. Biosonar clicks were also recorded, but not studied further. Surface behaviours noted during acoustic recordings were categorised as either travelling or social behaviour. A detailed description of the acoustic characteristics is necessary for species acoustic identification and for the development of passive acoustic tools for population monitoring, including assessments of population status, habitat usage, migration patterns, behaviour and acoustic ecology. This study provides the first quantitative assessment and report on the acoustic features of killer whales vocalisations in Australian waters, and presents an opportunity to further investigate this little-known population.

  12. Vocalisations of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca in the Bremer Canyon, Western Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Wellard

    Full Text Available To date, there has been no dedicated study in Australian waters on the acoustics of killer whales. Hence no information has been published on the sounds produced by killer whales from this region. Here we present the first acoustical analysis of recordings collected off the Western Australian coast. Underwater sounds produced by Australian killer whales were recorded during the months of February and March 2014 and 2015 in the Bremer Canyon in Western Australia. Vocalisations recorded included echolocation clicks, burst-pulse sounds and whistles. A total of 28 hours and 29 minutes were recorded and analysed, with 2376 killer whale calls (whistles and burst-pulse sounds detected. Recordings of poor quality or signal-to-noise ratio were excluded from analysis, resulting in 142 whistles and burst-pulse vocalisations suitable for analysis and categorisation. These were grouped based on their spectrographic features into nine Bremer Canyon (BC "call types". The frequency of the fundamental contours of all call types ranged from 600 Hz to 29 kHz. Calls ranged from 0.05 to 11.3 seconds in duration. Biosonar clicks were also recorded, but not studied further. Surface behaviours noted during acoustic recordings were categorised as either travelling or social behaviour. A detailed description of the acoustic characteristics is necessary for species acoustic identification and for the development of passive acoustic tools for population monitoring, including assessments of population status, habitat usage, migration patterns, behaviour and acoustic ecology. This study provides the first quantitative assessment and report on the acoustic features of killer whales vocalisations in Australian waters, and presents an opportunity to further investigate this little-known population.

  13. Food Web Bioaccumulation Model for Resident Killer Whales from the Northeastern Pacific Ocean as a Tool for the Derivation of PBDE-Sediment Quality Guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alava, Juan José; Ross, Peter S; Gobas, Frank A P C

    2016-01-01

    Resident killer whale populations in the NE Pacific Ocean are at risk due to the accumulation of pollutants, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). To assess the impact of PBDEs in water and sediments in killer whale critical habitat, we developed a food web bioaccumulation model. The model was designed to estimate PBDE concentrations in killer whales based on PBDE concentrations in sediments and the water column throughout a lifetime of exposure. Calculated and observed PBDE concentrations exceeded the only toxicity reference value available for PBDEs in marine mammals (1500 μg/kg lipid) in southern resident killer whales but not in northern resident killer whales. Temporal trends (1993-2006) for PBDEs observed in southern resident killer whales showed a doubling time of ≈5 years. If current sediment quality guidelines available in Canada for polychlorinated biphenyls are applied to PBDEs, it can be expected that PBDE concentrations in killer whales will exceed available toxicity reference values by a large margin. Model calculations suggest that a PBDE concentration in sediments of approximately 1.0 μg/kg dw produces PBDE concentrations in resident killer whales that are below the current toxicity reference value for 95 % of the population, with this value serving as a precautionary benchmark for a management-based approach to reducing PBDE health risks to killer whales. The food web bioaccumulation model may be a useful risk management tool in support of regulatory protection for killer whales.

  14. Evidence for vocal learning in juvenile male killer whales, Orcinus orca, from an adventitious cross-socializing experiment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Crance, Jessica L; Bowles, Ann E; Garver, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are thought to learn their vocal dialect. Dispersal in the species is rare, but effects of shifts in social association on the dialect can be studied under controlled conditions...

  15. Sightings of killer whales Orcinus orca from longline vessels in South African waters, and consideration of the regional conservation status

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Williams, AJ; Petersen, SL; Goren, M; Watkins, BP

    2009-01-01

    Killer whales Orcinus orca are seldom reported from South African nearshore waters but, allowing for the bias of vessel attraction, observations from longline vessels suggest there is a resident off...

  16. An Inventory of Peer-reviewed Articles on Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) with a Comparison to Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    OpenAIRE

    Hill, Heather M.; Sara Guarino; Sarah Dietrich; Judy St. Leger

    2016-01-01

    The welfare of killer whales (Orcinus orca) has received worldwide attention recently. The purpose of this study was to sample the peer-reviewed scientific research on killer whales with a complementary comparison to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to ascertain the primary topics of research conducted with these two cetaceans. A second objective of the study was to assess the relationship between the research topic and the setting in which the research was conducted. From a ...

  17. An Inventory of Peer-reviewed Articles on Killer Whales (Orcinus orca with a Comparison to Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M. Hill

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The welfare of killer whales (Orcinus orca has received worldwide attention recently. The purpose of this study was to sample the peer-reviewed scientific research on killer whales with a complementary comparison to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus to ascertain the primary topics of research conducted with these two cetaceans. A second objective of the study was to assess the relationship between the research topic and the setting in which the research was conducted. From a database-driven search of peer-reviewed academic journal articles, 759 unique articles involving killer whales, 2,022 unique articles involving Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and 38 additional articles that included both species were retained for analysis. Coders categorized each article by topic (Anthropogenic Response, Cognition, Distribution, Echolocation, Foraging/Predation, Health/Physiology, Interactions with Humans, Sociality, and Vocalization and research setting (Natural Habitat, Captivity, or Both. Most studies of killer whales involved animals in their natural habitat (90% and the majority of killer whale studies, regardless of setting, concentrated on health and physiology, such as contaminants and genetic variability (31%, foraging and predation behaviors (26%, and geographic distribution (20%. The majority of the studies (68% involving bottlenose dolphins were also conducted in their natural habitat, but there was significantly more research comparatively with captive animals and with greater diversity. The results suggested that research with killer whales has been dominated by a limited range of topics with relatively little research conducted on topics that directly address issues of welfare. Similar to killer whales, research with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins has been dominated by health and physiology (48.5% and distribution (17.6%. In contrast to killer whales, topics such as sociality (9.5% and cognition (5% were more prominent in research

  18. Prey selection of offshore killer whales Orcinus orca in the Northeast Atlantic in late summer: spatial associations with mackerel

    OpenAIRE

    Nøttestad, Leif; Sivle, Lise Doksæter; Krafft, Bjørn A.; Langård, Lise; Anthonypillai, Valantine; Bernasconi, Matteo; Langøy, Herdis; Fernö, Anders

    2014-01-01

    The traditional perception of prey species preference of killer whales Orcinus orca L. in the Northeast Atlantic has, to a large extent, been linked to herring Clupea harengus L. Few studies have investigated the feeding ecology of killer whales from the offshore parts of this ecosystem. We conducted 2 summer-season ecosystem-based surveys in the Norwegian Sea, when it is most crucial for these animals to build up their energy reserves, using observational, acoustic, oceanographic, plankton n...

  19. Ecological knowledge, leadership, and the evolution of menopause in killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brent, Lauren J N; Franks, Daniel W; Foster, Emma A; Balcomb, Kenneth C; Cant, Michael A; Croft, Darren P

    2015-03-16

    Classic life-history theory predicts that menopause should not occur because there should be no selection for survival after the cessation of reproduction [1]. Yet, human females routinely live 30 years after they have stopped reproducing [2]. Only two other species-killer whales (Orcinus orca) and short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) [3, 4]-have comparable postreproductive lifespans. In theory, menopause can evolve via inclusive fitness benefits [5, 6], but the mechanisms by which postreproductive females help their kin remain enigmatic. One hypothesis is that postreproductive females act as repositories of ecological knowledge and thereby buffer kin against environmental hardships [7, 8]. We provide the first test of this hypothesis using a unique long-term dataset on wild resident killer whales. We show three key results. First, postreproductively aged females lead groups during collective movement in salmon foraging grounds. Second, leadership by postreproductively aged females is especially prominent in difficult years when salmon abundance is low. This finding is critical because salmon abundance drives both mortality and reproductive success in resident killer whales [9, 10]. Third, females are more likely to lead their sons than they are to lead their daughters, supporting predictions of recent models [5] of the evolution of menopause based on kinship dynamics. Our results show that postreproductive females may boost the fitness of kin through the transfer of ecological knowledge. The value gained from the wisdom of elders can help explain why female resident killer whales and humans continue to live long after they have stopped reproducing. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. Hematological and serum biochemical analytes reflect physiological challenges during gestation and lactation in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robeck, Todd R; Nollens, Hendrik H

    2013-01-01

    Gestation and lactation result in metabolic alterations of the dam because of varying demands of the fetus and offspring during the different stages of development. Despite killer whales (Orcinus orca) having one of the longest gestations and highest birth weights of all mammals in human care, these metabolic alterations, and their impact on the physiology of the dam have not been measured. The objectives of this analysis were to determine if physiologic demands on the killer whale during pregnancy and lactation have measurable effects on hematology and biochemical analytes and if detectable, to compare these changes to those which are observed in other mammalian species. Forty hematologic and biochemical analytes from seven female killer whales (22 pregnancies, 1,507 samples) were compared between the following stages: (1) non-pregnant or lactating (control); (2) gestation; and (3) the first 12 months of lactation. Decreased hematocrit, hemoglobin, and red blood cell counts were indicative of plasma volume expansion during mid and late gestation. The killer whales exhibited a progressively increasing physiologic inflammatory state leading up to parturition. Gestation and lactation caused significant shifts in the serum lipid profiles. Gestation and lactation cause significant physiologic changes in the killer whale dam. The last 12 months of gestation had greater physiological impact than lactation, but changes associated with and immediately following parturition were the most dramatic. During this period, killer whales may experience increased susceptibility to illness, and anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Loss of Arctic sea ice causing punctuated change in sightings of killer whales (Orcinus orca) over the past century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higdon, Jeff W; Ferguson, Steven H

    2009-07-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are major predators that may reshape marine ecosystems via top-down forcing. Climate change models predict major reductions in sea ice with the subsequent expectation for readjustments of species' distribution and abundance. Here, we measure changes in killer whale distribution in the Hudson Bay region with decreasing sea ice as an example of global readjustments occurring with climate change. We summarize records of killer whales in Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and Foxe Basin in the eastern Canadian Arctic and relate them to an historical sea ice data set while accounting for spatial and temporal autocorrelation in the data. We find evidence for "choke points," where sea ice inhibits killer whale movement, thereby creating restrictions to their Arctic distribution. We hypothesize that a threshold exists in seasonal sea ice concentration within these choke points that results in pulses in advancements in distribution of an ice-avoiding predator. Hudson Strait appears to have been a significant sea ice choke point that opened up .approximately 50 years ago allowing for an initial punctuated appearance of killer whales followed by a gradual advancing distribution within the entire Hudson Bay region. Killer whale sightings have increased exponentially and are now reported in the Hudson Bay region every summer. We predict that other choke points will soon open up with continued sea ice melt producing punctuated predator-prey trophic cascades across the Arctic.

  2. Use of chemical tracers in assessing the diet and foraging regions of eastern North Pacific killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krahn, Margaret M; Herman, David P; Matkin, Craig O; Durban, John W; Barrett-Lennard, Lance; Burrows, Douglas G; Dahlheim, Marilyn E; Black, Nancy; LeDuc, Richard G; Wade, Paul R

    2007-03-01

    Top predators in the marine environment integrate chemical signals acquired from their prey that reflect both the species consumed and the regions from which the prey were taken. These chemical tracers-stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen; persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations, patterns and ratios; and fatty acid profiles-were measured in blubber biopsy samples from North Pacific killer whales (Orcinus orca) (n=84) and were used to provide further insight into their diet, particularly for the offshore group, about which little dietary information is available. The offshore killer whales were shown to consume prey species that were distinctly different from those of sympatric resident and transient killer whales. In addition, it was confirmed that the offshores forage as far south as California. Thus, these results provide evidence that the offshores belong to a third killer whale ecotype. Resident killer whale populations showed a gradient in stable isotope profiles from west (central Aleutians) to east (Gulf of Alaska) that, in part, can be attributed to a shift from off-shelf to continental shelf-based prey. Finally, stable isotope ratio results, supported by field observations, showed that the diet in spring and summer of eastern Aleutian Island transient killer whales is apparently not composed exclusively of Steller sea lions.

  3. Call types of Bigg's killer whales (Orcinus orca) in western Alaska: Using vocal dialects to assess population structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Deborah Lynn

    Apex predators are important indicators of ecosystem health, but little is known about the population structure of Bigg's killer whales ( Orcinus orca; i.e. 'transient' ecotype) in western Alaska. Currently, all Bigg's killer whales in western Alaska are ascribed to a single broad stock for management under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act. However, recent nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA analyses indicate that this stock is likely comprised of genetically distinct sub-populations. In accordance with what is known about killer whale vocal dialects in other locations, I sought to evaluate Bigg's killer whale population structure by examining the spatial distribution of group-specific call types in western Alaska. Digital audio recordings were collected from 33 encounters with Bigg's killer whales throughout the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands in the summers of 2001-2007 and 2009-2010. Recorded calls were perceptually classified into discrete types and then quantitatively described using 12 structural and time-frequency measures. Resulting call categories were objectively validated using a random forest approach. A total of 36 call types and subtypes were identified across the entire study area, and regional patterns of call type usage revealed three distinct dialects, each of which corresponding to proposed genetic delineations. I suggest that at least three acoustically and genetically distinct subpopulations are present in western Alaska, and put forth an initial catalog for this area describing the regional vocal repertoires of Bigg's killer whale call types.

  4. Individual killer whale vocal variation during intra-group behavioral dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebner, Dawn M.

    The scientific goal of this dissertation was to carefully study the signal structure of killer whale communications and vocal complexity and link them to behavioral circumstances. The overall objective of this research sought to provide insight into killer whale call content and usage which may be conveying information to conspecifics in order to maintain group cohesion. Data were collected in the summers of 2006 and 2007 in Johnstone Strait, British Columbia. For both individuals and small groups, vocalizations were isolated using a triangular hydrophone array and the behavioral movement patterns were captured by a theodolite and video camera positioned on a cliff overlooking the hyrophone locations. This dissertation is divided into four analysis chapters. In Chapter 3, discriminant analysis was used to validate the four N04 call subtypes which were originally parsed due to variations in slope segments. The first two functions of the discriminant analysis explained 97% of the variability. Most of the variability for the N04 call was found in the front convex and the terminal portions of the call, while very little variability was found in the center region of the call. This research revealed that individual killer whales produced multiple subtypes of the N04 call. No correlations of behaviors to acoustic parameters obtained were found. The aim of the Chapter 4 was to determine if killer whale calling behavior varied prior to and after the animals had joined. Pulsed call rates were found to be greater pre- compared to post-joining events. Two-way vocal exchanges were more common occurring 74% of the time during pre-joining events. In Chapter 5, initiated and first response to calls varied between age/sex class groups when mothers were separated from an offspring. Solo mothers and calves initiated pulsed calls more often than they responded. Most of the no vocal responses were due to mothers who were foraging. Finally, observations of the frequency split in N04

  5. Estimation of a Killer Whale (Orcinus orca Population's Diet Using Sequencing Analysis of DNA from Feces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Ford

    Full Text Available Estimating diet composition is important for understanding interactions between predators and prey and thus illuminating ecosystem function. The diet of many species, however, is difficult to observe directly. Genetic analysis of fecal material collected in the field is therefore a useful tool for gaining insight into wild animal diets. In this study, we used high-throughput DNA sequencing to quantitatively estimate the diet composition of an endangered population of wild killer whales (Orcinus orca in their summer range in the Salish Sea. We combined 175 fecal samples collected between May and September from five years between 2006 and 2011 into 13 sample groups. Two known DNA composition control groups were also created. Each group was sequenced at a ~330bp segment of the 16s gene in the mitochondrial genome using an Illumina MiSeq sequencing system. After several quality controls steps, 4,987,107 individual sequences were aligned to a custom sequence database containing 19 potential fish prey species and the most likely species of each fecal-derived sequence was determined. Based on these alignments, salmonids made up >98.6% of the total sequences and thus of the inferred diet. Of the six salmonid species, Chinook salmon made up 79.5% of the sequences, followed by coho salmon (15%. Over all years, a clear pattern emerged with Chinook salmon dominating the estimated diet early in the summer, and coho salmon contributing an average of >40% of the diet in late summer. Sockeye salmon appeared to be occasionally important, at >18% in some sample groups. Non-salmonids were rarely observed. Our results are consistent with earlier results based on surface prey remains, and confirm the importance of Chinook salmon in this population's summer diet.

  6. Critically endangered western gray whales migrate to the eastern North Pacific

    OpenAIRE

    Mate, Bruce R.; Ilyashenko, Valentin Yu.; Bradford, Amanda L.; Vertyankin, Vladimir V.; Tsidulko, Grigory A.; Rozhnov, Vyacheslav V.; Irvine, Ladd M.

    2015-01-01

    Western North Pacific gray whales (WGWs), once considered extinct, are critically endangered with unknown migratory routes and reproductive areas. We attached satellite-monitored tags to seven WGWs on their primary feeding ground off Sakhalin Island, Russia, three of which subsequently migrated to regions occupied by non-endangered eastern gray whales (EGWs). A female with the longest-lasting tag visited all three major EGW reproductive areas off Baja California, Mexico, before returning to S...

  7. Persistent organic pollutants and stable isotopes in biopsy samples (2004/2006) from Southern Resident killer whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krahn, Margaret M. [NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, WA 98112 (United States)], E-mail: peggy.krahn@noaa.gov; Hanson, M. Bradley [NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, WA 98112 (United States); Baird, Robin W. [Cascadia Research, 218 1/2 W, 4th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501 (United States); Boyer, Richard H.; Burrows, Douglas G.; Emmons, Candice K. [NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, WA 98112 (United States); Ford, John K.B. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5K6 (Canada); Jones, Linda L.; Noren, Dawn P. [NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, WA 98112 (United States); Ross, Peter S. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2 (Canada); Schorr, Gregory S. [Cascadia Research, 218 1/2 W, 4th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501 (United States); Collier, Tracy K. [NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, WA 98112 (United States)

    2007-12-15

    'Southern Resident' killer whales include three 'pods' (J, K and L) that reside primarily in Puget Sound/Georgia Basin during the spring, summer and fall. This population was listed as 'endangered' in the US and Canada following a 20% decline between 1996 and 2001. The current study, using blubber/epidermis biopsy samples, contributes contemporary information about potential factors (i.e., levels of pollutants or changes in diet) that could adversely affect Southern Residents. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes indicated J- and L-pod consumed prey from similar trophic levels in 2004/2006 and also showed no evidence for a large shift in the trophic level of prey consumed by L-pod between 1996 and 2004/2006. {sigma}PCBs decreased for Southern Residents biopsied in 2004/2006 compared to 1993-1995. Surprisingly, however, a three-year-old male whale (J39) had the highest concentrations of {sigma}PBDEs, {sigma}HCHs and HCB. POP ratio differences between J- and L-pod suggested that they occupy different ranges in winter.

  8. Assessment of injuries to killer whales in Prince William Sound. Marine mammal study number 2. Exxon Valdez oil spill state/federal natural resource damage assessment final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dahlheim, M.E.; Matkin, C.O.

    1993-12-01

    Photo-identification studies of individual killer whales inhabiting Prince William Sound were collected from 1989-91 to determine the impact of the spill on whale abundance and distribution. Concurrent photo-identification studies were also conducted in Southeast Alaska to determine if PWS killer whales were displaced to other areas. Despite increased effort, the number of encounters with PWS killer whales appears to be decreasing. The authors assume, that the whales are dead from natural causes, a result of interactions with fisheries, from the spill, or a combination of these causes.

  9. Tracing the spatio-temporal dynamics of endangered fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) within baleen whale (Mysticeti) lineages: a mitogenomic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jihyun; Nam, Bo-Hye; Yoon, Joon; Kim, Eun Bae; Park, Jung Youn; Kim, Heebal; Yoon, Sook Hee

    2017-12-01

    To explore the spatio-temporal dynamics of endangered fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) within the baleen whale (Mysticeti) lineages, we analyzed 148 published mitochondrial genome sequences of baleen whales. We used a Bayesian coalescent approach as well as Bayesian inferences and maximum likelihood methods. The results showed that the fin whales had a single maternal origin, and that there is a significant correlation between geographic location and evolution of global fin whales. The most recent common female ancestor of this species lived approximately 9.88 million years ago (Mya). Here, North Pacific fin whales first appeared about 7.48 Mya, followed by a subsequent divergence in Southern Hemisphere approximately 6.63 Mya and North Atlantic about 4.42 Mya. Relatively recently, approximately 1.76 and 1.42 Mya, there were two additional occurrences of North Pacific populations; one originated from the Southern Hemisphere and the other from an uncertain location. The evolutionary rate of this species was 1.002 × 10-3 substitutions/site/My. Our Bayesian skyline plot illustrates that the fin whale population has the rapid expansion event since ~ 2.5 Mya, during the Quaternary glaciation stage. Additionally, this study indicates that the fin whale has a sister group relationship with humpback whale (Meganoptera novaeangliae) within the baleen whale lineages. Of the 16 genomic regions, NADH5 showed the most powerful signal for baleen whale phylogenetics. Interestingly, fin whales have 16 species-specific amino acid residues in eight mitochondrial genes: NADH2, COX2, COX3, ATPase6, ATPase8, NADH4, NADH5, and Cytb.

  10. Orchestration: The Movement and Vocal Behavior of Free-Ranging Norwegian Killer Whales (Orcinus Orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    a premium on learning and the cognitive and behavioral adaptability associated therein, which may have led to the development of intelligence more...influenced by both pre- existing social dynamics (Coussi-Korbel & Fragaszy, 1995) and the cognitive capacity determining the information content that...or ecological differences. Compared to the fission-fusion societies of bottlenose dolphins described above, killer whale social groupings are

  11. An agent-based model of dialect evolution in killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filatova, Olga A; Miller, Patrick J O

    2015-05-21

    The killer whale is one of the few animal species with vocal dialects that arise from socially learned group-specific call repertoires. We describe a new agent-based model of killer whale populations and test a set of vocal-learning rules to assess which mechanisms may lead to the formation of dialect groupings observed in the wild. We tested a null model with genetic transmission and no learning, and ten models with learning rules that differ by template source (mother or matriline), variation type (random errors or innovations) and type of call change (no divergence from kin vs. divergence from kin). The null model without vocal learning did not produce the pattern of group-specific call repertoires we observe in nature. Learning from either mother alone or the entire matriline with calls changing by random errors produced a graded distribution of the call phenotype, without the discrete call types observed in nature. Introducing occasional innovation or random error proportional to matriline variance yielded more or less discrete and stable call types. A tendency to diverge from the calls of related matrilines provided fast divergence of loose call clusters. A pattern resembling the dialect diversity observed in the wild arose only when rules were applied in combinations and similar outputs could arise from different learning rules and their combinations. Our results emphasize the lack of information on quantitative features of wild killer whale dialects and reveal a set of testable questions that can draw insights into the cultural evolution of killer whale dialects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Cross-cultural and cross-ecotype production of a killer whale `excitement' call suggests universality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehn, Nicola; Filatova, Olga A.; Durban, John W.; Foote, Andrew D.

    2011-01-01

    Facial and vocal expressions of emotion have been found in a number of social mammal species and are thought to have evolved to aid social communication. There has been much debate about whether such signals are culturally inherited or are truly biologically innate. Evidence for the innateness of such signals can come from cross-cultural studies. Previous studies have identified a vocalisation (the V4 or `excitement' call) associated with high arousal behaviours in a population of killer whales in British Columbia, Canada. In this study, we compared recordings from three different socially and reproductively isolated ecotypes of killer whales, including five vocal clans of one ecotype, each clan having discrete culturally transmitted vocal traditions. The V4 call was found in recordings of each ecotype and each vocal clan. Nine independent observers reproduced our classification of the V4 call from each population with high inter-observer agreement. Our results suggest the V4 call may be universal in Pacific killer whale populations and that transmission of this call is independent of cultural tradition or ecotype. We argue that such universality is more consistent with an innate vocalisation than one acquired through social learning and may be linked to its apparent function of motivational expression.

  13. Segmentation of Killer Whale Vocalizations Using the Hilbert-Huang Transform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Adam

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of cetacean vocalizations is usually based on spectrogram analysis. The feature extraction is obtained from 2D methods like the edge detection algorithm. Difficulties appear when signal-to-noise ratios are weak or when more than one vocalization is simultaneously emitted. This is the case for acoustic observations in a natural environment and especially for the killer whales which swim in groups. To resolve this problem, we propose the use of the Hilbert-Huang transform. First, we illustrate how few modes (5 are satisfactory for the analysis of these calls. Then, we detail our approach which consists of combining the modes for extracting the time-varying frequencies of the vocalizations. This combination takes advantage of one of the empirical mode decomposition properties which is that the successive IMFs represent the original data broken down into frequency components from highest to lowest frequency. To evaluate the performance, our method is first applied on the simulated chirp signals. This approach allows us to link one chirp to one mode. Then we apply it on real signals emitted by killer whales. The results confirm that this method is a favorable alternative for the automatic extraction of killer whale vocalizations.

  14. Nuclear and mitochondrial patterns of population structure in North Pacific false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martien, Karen K; Chivers, Susan J; Baird, Robin W; Archer, Frederick I; Gorgone, Antoinette M; Hancock-Hanser, Brittany L; Mattila, David; McSweeney, Daniel J; Oleson, Erin M; Palmer, Carol; Pease, Victoria L; Robertson, Kelly M; Schorr, Gregory S; Schultz, Mark B; Webster, Daniel L; Taylor, Barbara L

    2014-01-01

    False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are large delphinids typically found in deep water far offshore. However, in the Hawaiian Archipelago, there are 2 resident island-associated populations of false killer whales, one in the waters around the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) and one in the waters around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). We use mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences and genotypes from 16 nuclear DNA (nucDNA) microsatellite loci from 206 individuals to examine levels of differentiation among the 2 island-associated populations and offshore animals from the central and eastern North Pacific. Both mtDNA and nucDNA exhibit highly significant differentiation between populations, confirming limited gene flow in both sexes. The mtDNA haplotypes exhibit a strong pattern of phylogeographic concordance, with island-associated populations sharing 3 closely related haplotypes not found elsewhere in the Pacific. However, nucDNA data suggest that NWHI animals are at least as differentiated from MHI animals as they are from offshore animals. The patterns of differentiation revealed by the 2 marker types suggest that the island-associated false killer whale populations likely share a common colonization history, but have limited contemporary gene flow. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Genetic Association 2014. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  15. Segmentation of Killer Whale Vocalizations Using the Hilbert-Huang Transform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Olivier

    2008-12-01

    The study of cetacean vocalizations is usually based on spectrogram analysis. The feature extraction is obtained from 2D methods like the edge detection algorithm. Difficulties appear when signal-to-noise ratios are weak or when more than one vocalization is simultaneously emitted. This is the case for acoustic observations in a natural environment and especially for the killer whales which swim in groups. To resolve this problem, we propose the use of the Hilbert-Huang transform. First, we illustrate how few modes (5) are satisfactory for the analysis of these calls. Then, we detail our approach which consists of combining the modes for extracting the time-varying frequencies of the vocalizations. This combination takes advantage of one of the empirical mode decomposition properties which is that the successive IMFs represent the original data broken down into frequency components from highest to lowest frequency. To evaluate the performance, our method is first applied on the simulated chirp signals. This approach allows us to link one chirp to one mode. Then we apply it on real signals emitted by killer whales. The results confirm that this method is a favorable alternative for the automatic extraction of killer whale vocalizations.

  16. Complete mitochondrial genome phylogeographic analysis of killer whales (Orcinus orca) indicates multiple species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, Phillip A; Archer, Frederick I; Foote, Andrew D; Vilstrup, Julia; Allen, Eric E; Wade, Paul; Durban, John; Parsons, Kim; Pitman, Robert; Li, Lewyn; Bouffard, Pascal; Abel Nielsen, Sandra C; Rasmussen, Morten; Willerslev, Eske; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Harkins, Timothy

    2010-07-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) currently comprise a single, cosmopolitan species with a diverse diet. However, studies over the last 30 yr have revealed populations of sympatric "ecotypes" with discrete prey preferences, morphology, and behaviors. Although these ecotypes avoid social interactions and are not known to interbreed, genetic studies to date have found extremely low levels of diversity in the mitochondrial control region, and few clear phylogeographic patterns worldwide. This low level of diversity is likely due to low mitochondrial mutation rates that are common to cetaceans. Using killer whales as a case study, we have developed a method to readily sequence, assemble, and analyze complete mitochondrial genomes from large numbers of samples to more accurately assess phylogeography and estimate divergence times. This represents an important tool for wildlife management, not only for killer whales but for many marine taxa. We used high-throughput sequencing to survey whole mitochondrial genome variation of 139 samples from the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and southern oceans. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that each of the known ecotypes represents a strongly supported clade with divergence times ranging from approximately 150,000 to 700,000 yr ago. We recommend that three named ecotypes be elevated to full species, and that the remaining types be recognized as subspecies pending additional data. Establishing appropriate taxonomic designations will greatly aid in understanding the ecological impacts and conservation needs of these important marine predators. We predict that phylogeographic mitogenomics will become an important tool for improved statistical phylogeography and more precise estimates of divergence times.

  17. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Deaths in Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1985–1990

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraker, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    During 1985–1990, two groups of killer whales in Prince William Sound, Alaska, experienced unusually high rates of mortality, while seven others did not. Those affected were AB pod, part of the southern Alaska population of resident (fish-eating) killer whales, and the AT1 transient (marine mammal–eating) group, a very small, reproductively isolated population that last reproduced in 1984. In 1985–1986, several AB pod members were shot by fishermen defending their catch from depredation, which explains some of the deaths. Understanding the other deaths is complicated by the Exxon Valdez oil spill (March 1989) and uncertainties about the causes and times of the deaths. For AB pod, possible factors involved in the post-spill mortalities are delayed effects of bullet wounds, continued shooting, oil exposure, and consequences of being orphaned. For the AT1 group, possible factors are oil exposure, small population size, old age, and high-contaminant burdens. An analysis of possible effects of inhalation of volatile organic compounds, contact with the oil slick, and ingestion of oil with water or prey did not reveal route(s) of exposure that could explain the mortalities. The cause(s) of the killer whale deaths recorded following the oil spill remain uncertain. PMID:23335844

  18. Effects of noise levels and call types on the source levels of killer whale calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Marla M; Noren, Dawn P; Emmons, Candice K

    2011-11-01

    Accurate parameter estimates relevant to the vocal behavior of marine mammals are needed to assess potential effects of anthropogenic sound exposure including how masking noise reduces the active space of sounds used for communication. Information about how these animals modify their vocal behavior in response to noise exposure is also needed for such assessment. Prior studies have reported variations in the source levels of killer whale sounds, and a more recent study reported that killer whales compensate for vessel masking noise by increasing their call amplitude. The objectives of the current study were to investigate the source levels of a variety of call types in southern resident killer whales while also considering background noise level as a likely factor related to call source level variability. The source levels of 763 discrete calls along with corresponding background noise were measured over three summer field seasons in the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands, WA. Both noise level and call type were significant factors on call source levels (1-40 kHz band, range of 135.0-175.7 dB(rms) re 1 [micro sign]Pa at 1 m). These factors should be considered in models that predict how anthropogenic masking noise reduces vocal communication space in marine mammals.

  19. The relationship between the acoustic behaviour and surface activity of killer whales (Orcinus orca) that feed on herring (Clupea harengus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, M.; McGregor, P.K.; Ugarte, F.

    2007-01-01

    We describe the acoustic behaviour of piscivorous killer whales in Norwegian and Icelandic waters. Whales were assigned to one of three activities (feeding, travelling or other), and sound recordings were made in their proximity with a single hydrophone and a digital audiotape (DAT) recorder....... A quantitative analysis of the production of pulsed calls, whistles and echolocation clicks in the three activities revealed that there was a significant effect of activity on the production of these sound types. Both killer whales in Icelandic and Norwegian waters produced high rates of clicks and calls during...... feeding and low rates of click, calls and whistles during travelling. The differences can be used as acoustical markers and provides new possibilities for acoustic monitoring of killer whales in these areas. Based on the similarity between their prey choice, hunting strategies, phenotype and acoustic...

  20. Killer whales attack on South American sea lion associated with a fishing vessel: predator and prey tactics/Ataque de orcas a un lobo marino sudamericano asociado a un barco pesquero: tácticas del predador y la presa

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Florencia Grandi; Rocío Loizaga de Castro; Enrique A Crespo

    2012-01-01

      Interactions between killer whales and sea lions are widely known. This work describes the predator-prey behaviour of killer whales and South American sea lion associated with a trawling fishery...

  1. Influence of life-history parameters on organochlorine concentrations in free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca) from Prince William Sound, AK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ylitalo, G M; Matkin, C O; Buzitis, J; Krahn, M M; Jones, L L; Rowles, T; Stein, J E

    2001-12-17

    Certain populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been extensively studied over the past 30 years, including populations that use Puget Sound, WA, the inside waters of British Columbia, Southeastern Alaska and Kenai Fjords/Prince William Sound, Alaska. Two eco-types of killer whales, 'transient' and 'resident', occur in all of these regions. These eco-types are genetically distinct and differ in various aspects of morphology, vocalization patterns, diet and habitat use. Various genetic and photo-identification studies of eastern North Pacific killer whales have provided information on the male-female composition of most of these resident pods and transient groups, as well as the approximate ages, reproductive status and putative recruitment order (birth order) of the individual whales. Biopsy blubber samples of free-ranging resident and transient killer whales from the Kenai Fjords/Prince William Sound, AK region were acquired during the 1994-1999 field seasons and analyzed for selected organochlorines (OCs), including dioxin-like CB congeners and DDTs. Concentrations of OCs in transient killer whales (marine mammal-eating) were much higher than those found in resident animals (fish-eating) apparently due to differences in diets of these two killer whale eco-types. Certain life-history parameters such as sex, age and reproductive status also influenced the concentrations of OCs in the Alaskan killer whales. Reproductive female whales contained much lower levels of OCs than sexually immature whales or mature male animals in the same age class likely due to transfer of OCs from the female to her offspring during gestation and lactation. Recruitment order also influenced the concentrations of OCs in the Alaskan killer whales. In adult male residents, first-recruited whales contained much higher OC concentrations than those measured in non-first-recruited (e.g. second recruited, third recruited) resident animals in the same age group. This study provides

  2. Antarctic killer whales make rapid, round-trip movements to subtropical waters: evidence for physiological maintenance migrations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durban, J W; Pitman, R L

    2012-04-23

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are important predators in high latitudes, where their ecological impact is mediated through their movements. We used satellite telemetry to provide the first evidence of migration for killer whales, characterized by fast (more than 12 km h(-1), 6.5 knots) and direct movements away from Antarctic waters by six of 12 type B killer whales tagged when foraging near the Antarctic Peninsula, including all tags transmitting for more than three weeks. Tags on five of these whales revealed consistent movements to subtropical waters (30-37° S) off Uruguay and Brazil, in surface water temperatures ranging from -1.9°C to 24.2°C; one 109 day track documented a non-stop round trip of almost 9400 km (5075 nmi) in just 42 days. Although whales travelled slower in the warmest waters, there was no obvious interruption in swim speed or direction to indicate calving or prolonged feeding. Furthermore, these movements were aseasonal, initiating over 80 days between February and April; one whale returned to within 40 km of the tagging site at the onset of the austral winter in June. We suggest that these movements may represent periodic maintenance migrations, with warmer waters allowing skin regeneration without the high cost of heat loss: a physiological constraint that may also affect other whales.

  3. 75 FR 1582 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-12

    ... Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries... whale, Delphinapterus leucas, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We published a... proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale can be found on our Web site at...

  4. 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.

  5. The structure of stereotyped calls reflects kinship and social affiliation in resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deecke, Volker B.; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G.; Spong, Paul; Ford, John K. B.

    2010-05-01

    A few species of mammals produce group-specific vocalisations that are passed on by learning, but the function of learned vocal variation remains poorly understood. Resident killer whales live in stable matrilineal groups with repertoires of seven to 17 stereotyped call types. Some types are shared among matrilines, but their structure typically shows matriline-specific differences. Our objective was to analyse calls of nine killer whale matrilines in British Columbia to test whether call similarity primarily reflects social or genetic relationships. Recordings were made in 1985-1995 in the presence of focal matrilines that were either alone or with groups with non-overlapping repertoires. We used neural network discrimination performance to measure the similarity of call types produced by different matrilines and determined matriline association rates from 757 encounters with one or more focal matrilines. Relatedness was measured by comparing variation at 11 microsatellite loci for the oldest female in each group. Call similarity was positively correlated with association rates for two of the three call types analysed. Similarity of the N4 call type was also correlated with matriarch relatedness. No relationship between relatedness and association frequency was detected. These results show that call structure reflects relatedness and social affiliation, but not because related groups spend more time together. Instead, call structure appears to play a role in kin recognition and shapes the association behaviour of killer whale groups. Our results therefore support the hypothesis that increasing social complexity plays a role in the evolution of learned vocalisations in some mammalian species.

  6. Assessment of Re-sighting Rates of Previously Dart-Tagged False Killer Whales and Short-Finned Pilot Whales in Hawai’i: A Preliminary Report Taking into Account Re-sighting of Social Groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-14

    PSRG-2011-18   1  Assessment of re-sighting rates of previously dart-tagged false killer whales and short- finned pilot whales in Hawai‘i: a...98501 2Wild Whale Research Foundation, Box 139, Holualoa, HI 96725 3NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, NC...Research, we are conducting follow-up studies on tagged whales to assess the effects of tagging on survival and reproduction. These studies are

  7. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in killer whales (Orcinus orca) from the Crozet Archipelago, southern Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, Marie; Barrett-Lennard, Lance; Guinet, Christophe; Dangerfield, Neil; Ross, Peter S

    2009-10-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), and dibenzofurans (PCDFs), are ubiquitous environmental contaminants of which significant concentrations are reported in upper trophic level animals. In 1998, we collected blubber biopsy samples (n=11) from killer whales (Orcinus orca) inhabiting the coastal waters around Possession Island, Crozet Archipelago, southern Indian Ocean, for contaminant analyses. Despite inhabiting an isolated region far removed from industrial activities, these killer whales can presently be considered among the most PCB-contaminated cetaceans in the southern hemisphere, with concentrations ranging from 4.4 to 20.5mg/kg lipid weight (lw). PCDD levels ranged from below the detection limit (5 ng/kg) to 77.1 ng/kg lw and PCDF levels from below the detection limit (7 ng/kg) to 36.1 ng/kg lw. Over 70% of our study animals had PCB concentrations which exceeded a 1.3mg/kg PCB threshold established for endocrine disruption and immunotoxicity in free-ranging harbour seals, suggesting that organic contaminants cannot be ruled out as an additional threat to this declining population.

  8. Severity of killer whale behavioral responses to ship noise: a dose-response study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Rob; Erbe, Christine; Ashe, Erin; Beerman, Amber; Smith, Jodi

    2014-02-15

    Critical habitats of at-risk populations of northeast Pacific "resident" killer whales can be heavily trafficked by large ships, with transits occurring on average once every hour in busy shipping lanes. We modeled behavioral responses of killer whales to ship transits during 35 "natural experiments" as a dose-response function of estimated received noise levels in both broadband and audiogram-weighted terms. Interpreting effects is contingent on a subjective and seemingly arbitrary decision about severity threshold indicating a response. Subtle responses were observed around broadband received levels of 130 dB re 1 μPa (rms); more severe responses are hypothesized to occur at received levels beyond 150 dB re 1 μPa, where our study lacked data. Avoidance responses are expected to carry minor energetic costs in terms of increased energy expenditure, but future research must assess the potential for reduced prey acquisition, and potential population consequences, under these noise levels. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Dose-response relationships for the onset of avoidance of sonar by free-ranging killer whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miller, P.J.O.; Antunes, R.N.; Wensveen, P.J.; Samarra, F.I.P.; Alves, A.C.; Tyack, P.L.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Kleivane, L.; Lam, F.P.A.; Ainslie, M.A.; Thomas, L.

    2014-01-01

    Eight experimentally controlled exposures to 1−2 kHz or 6−7 kHz sonar signals were conducted with four killer whale groups. The source level and proximity of the source were increased during each exposure in order to reveal response thresholds. Detailed inspection of movements during each exposure

  10. Persistent organic pollutants in chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): implications for resident killer whales of British Columbia and adjacent waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullon, Donna L; Yunker, Mark B; Alleyne, Carl; Dangerfield, Neil J; O'Neill, Sandra; Whiticar, Michael J; Ross, Peter S

    2009-01-01

    We measured persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations in chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in order to characterize dietary exposure in the highly contaminated, salmon-eating northeastern Pacific resident killer whales. We estimate that 97 to 99% of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in returning adult chinook were acquired during their time at sea. Highest POP concentrations (including PCBs, PCDDs, PCDFs, and DDT) and lowest lipids were observed in the more southerly chinook sampled. While feeding by salmon as they enter some more POP-contaminated near-shore environments inevitably contribute to their contamination, relationships observed between POP patterns and both lipid content and delta13C also suggest a migration-related metabolism and loss of the less-chlorinated PCB congeners. This has implications for killer whales, with the more PCB-contaminated salmon stocks in the south partly explaining the 4.0 to 6.6 times higher estimated daily intake for sigmaPCBs in southern resident killer whales compared to northern residents. We hypothesize that the lower lipid content of southerly chinook stocks may cause southern resident killer whales to increase their salmon consumption by as much as 50%, which would further increase their exposure to POPs.

  11. AFSC/NMML: Killer Whale encounter data in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, and the western and central Gulf of Alaska from 2000 - 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Comprises data from surveys focused on killer whales with opportunistic data from other cetacean species; includes data describing encounters for...

  12. Genome-culture coevolution promotes rapid divergence of killer whale ecotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, Andrew D; Vijay, Nagarjun; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Baird, Robin W; Durban, John W; Fumagalli, Matteo; Gibbs, Richard A; Hanson, M Bradley; Korneliussen, Thorfinn S; Martin, Michael D; Robertson, Kelly M; Sousa, Vitor C; Vieira, Filipe G; Vinař, Tomáš; Wade, Paul; Worley, Kim C; Excoffier, Laurent; Morin, Phillip A; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Wolf, Jochen B W

    2016-05-31

    Analysing population genomic data from killer whale ecotypes, which we estimate have globally radiated within less than 250,000 years, we show that genetic structuring including the segregation of potentially functional alleles is associated with socially inherited ecological niche. Reconstruction of ancestral demographic history revealed bottlenecks during founder events, likely promoting ecological divergence and genetic drift resulting in a wide range of genome-wide differentiation between pairs of allopatric and sympatric ecotypes. Functional enrichment analyses provided evidence for regional genomic divergence associated with habitat, dietary preferences and post-zygotic reproductive isolation. Our findings are consistent with expansion of small founder groups into novel niches by an initial plastic behavioural response, perpetuated by social learning imposing an altered natural selection regime. The study constitutes an important step towards an understanding of the complex interaction between demographic history, culture, ecological adaptation and evolution at the genomic level.

  13. Source parameter estimates of echolocation clicks from wild pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) (L)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, P. T.; Kerr, I.; Payne, R.

    2004-10-01

    Pods of the little known pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata) in the northern Indian Ocean were recorded with a vertical hydrophone array connected to a digital recorder sampling at 320 kHz. Recorded clicks were directional, short (25 μs) transients with estimated source levels between 197 and 223 dB re. 1 μPa (pp). Spectra of clicks recorded close to or on the acoustic axis were bimodal with peak frequencies between 45 and 117 kHz, and with centroid frequencies between 70 and 85 kHz. The clicks share characteristics of echolocation clicks from similar sized, whistling delphinids, and have properties suited for the detection and classification of prey targeted by this odontocete. .

  14. Localization of Southern Resident Killer Whales Using Two Star Arrays to Support Marine Renewable Energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ren, Huiying; Deng, Zhiqun; Carlson, Thomas J.; Sun, Yannan; Fu, Tao; Martinez, Jayson J.; Matzner, Shari; Myers, Joshua R.

    2012-10-19

    Tidal power has been identified as one of the most potential commercial-scale renewable energy sources. Puget Sound, Washington, is a potential site to deploy tidal power generating devices. The risk of injury for killer whales needs to be managed before the deployment of these types of devices can be approved by regulating authorities. A passive acoustic system consisting of two star arrays, each with four hydrophones, was designed and implemented for the detection and localization of Southern Resident killer whales. Deployment of the passive acoustic system was conducted at Sequim Bay, Washington. A total of nine test locations were chosen, within a radius of 250 m around the star arrays, to test our localization approach. For the localization algorithm, a least square solver was applied to obtain a bearing location from each star array. The final source location was determined by the intersection of the bearings given by each of the two star arrays. Bearing and distance errors were obtained to conduct comparison between the calculated and true (from Global Positioning System) locations. The results indicated that bearing errors were within 1.04º for eight of the test locations; one location had bearing errors slightly larger than expected due to the strong background noise at that position. For the distance errors, six of the test locations were within the range of 1.91 to 32.36 m. The other two test locations were near the intersection line between the centers of the two star arrays, which were expected to have large errors from the theoretical sensitivity analysis performed.

  15. Population genomics of the killer whale indicates ecotype evolution in sympatry involving both selection and drift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Andre E; Kenny, John G; Chaudhuri, Roy; Hughes, Margaret A; J Welch, Andreanna; Reisinger, Ryan R; de Bruyn, P J Nico; Dahlheim, Marilyn E; Hall, Neil; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2014-11-01

    The evolution of diversity in the marine ecosystem is poorly understood, given the relatively high potential for connectivity, especially for highly mobile species such as whales and dolphins. The killer whale (Orcinus orca) has a worldwide distribution, and individual social groups travel over a wide geographic range. Even so, regional populations have been shown to be genetically differentiated, including among different foraging specialists (ecotypes) in sympatry. Given the strong matrifocal social structure of this species together with strong resource specializations, understanding the process of differentiation will require an understanding of the relative importance of both genetic drift and local adaptation. Here we provide a high-resolution analysis based on nuclear single-nucleotide polymorphic markers and inference about differentiation at both neutral loci and those potentially under selection. We find that all population comparisons, within or among foraging ecotypes, show significant differentiation, including populations in parapatry and sympatry. Loci putatively under selection show a different pattern of structure compared to neutral loci and are associated with gene ontology terms reflecting physiologically relevant functions (e.g. related to digestion). The pattern of differentiation for one ecotype in the North Pacific suggests local adaptation and shows some fixed differences among sympatric ecotypes. We suggest that differential habitat use and resource specializations have promoted sufficient isolation to allow differential evolution at neutral and functional loci, but that the process is recent and dependent on both selection and drift. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Killer whale caller localization using a hydrophone array in an oceanarium pool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Ann E.; Greenlaw, Charles F.; McGehee, Duncan E.; van Holliday, D.

    2004-05-01

    A system to localize calling killer whales was designed around a ten-hydrophone array in a pool at SeaWorld San Diego. The array consisted of nine ITC 8212 and one ITC 6050H hydrophones mounted in recessed 30×30 cm2 niches. Eight of the hydrophones were connected to a Compaq Armada E500 laptop computer through a National Instruments DAQ 6024E PCMCIA A/D data acquisition card and a BNC-2120 signal conditioner. The system was calibrated with a 139-dB, 4.5-kHz pinger. Acoustic data were collected during four 48-72 h recording sessions, simultaneously with video recorded from a four-camera array. Calling whales were localized by one of two methods, (1) at the hydrophone reporting the highest sound exposure level and (2) using custom-designed 3-D localization software based on time-of-arrival (ORCA). Complex reverberations in the niches and pool made locations based on time of arrival difficult to collect. Based on preliminary analysis of data from four sessions (400+ calls/session), the hydrophone reporting the highest level reliably attributed callers 51%-100% of the time. This represents a substantial improvement over attribution rates of 5%-15% obtained with single hydrophone recordings. [Funding provided by Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and the Hubbs Society.

  17. Population genomics of the killer whale indicates ecotype evolution in sympatry involving both selection and drift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Andre E; Kenny, John G; Chaudhuri, Roy; Hughes, Margaret A; J Welch, Andreanna; Reisinger, Ryan R; de Bruyn, P J Nico; Dahlheim, Marilyn E; Hall, Neil; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of diversity in the marine ecosystem is poorly understood, given the relatively high potential for connectivity, especially for highly mobile species such as whales and dolphins. The killer whale (Orcinus orca) has a worldwide distribution, and individual social groups travel over a wide geographic range. Even so, regional populations have been shown to be genetically differentiated, including among different foraging specialists (ecotypes) in sympatry. Given the strong matrifocal social structure of this species together with strong resource specializations, understanding the process of differentiation will require an understanding of the relative importance of both genetic drift and local adaptation. Here we provide a high-resolution analysis based on nuclear single-nucleotide polymorphic markers and inference about differentiation at both neutral loci and those potentially under selection. We find that all population comparisons, within or among foraging ecotypes, show significant differentiation, including populations in parapatry and sympatry. Loci putatively under selection show a different pattern of structure compared to neutral loci and are associated with gene ontology terms reflecting physiologically relevant functions (e.g. related to digestion). The pattern of differentiation for one ecotype in the North Pacific suggests local adaptation and shows some fixed differences among sympatric ecotypes. We suggest that differential habitat use and resource specializations have promoted sufficient isolation to allow differential evolution at neutral and functional loci, but that the process is recent and dependent on both selection and drift. PMID:25244680

  18. Towards population-level conservation in the critically endangered Antarctic blue whale: the number and distribution of their populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attard, Catherine R. M.; Beheregaray, Luciano B.; Möller, Luciana M.

    2016-03-01

    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 intermedia) - a critically endangered subspecies and the largest extant animal - by capitalizing on the largest genetic dataset to date for Antarctic blue whales. We found evidence of three populations that are sympatric in the Antarctic feeding grounds and likely occupy separate breeding grounds. Our study adds to knowledge of population structure in the Antarctic blue whale. Future research should invest in locating the breeding grounds and migratory routes of Antarctic blue whales through satellite telemetry to confirm their population structure and allow population-level conservation.

  19. A spatially explicit estimate of the prewhaling abundance of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsarrat, Sophie; Pennino, M Grazia; Smith, Tim D; Reeves, Randall R; Meynard, Christine N; Kaplan, David M; Rodrigues, Ana S L

    2016-08-01

    The North Atlantic right whale (NARW) (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the world's most threatened whales. It came close to extinction after nearly a millennium of exploitation and currently persists as a population of only approximately 500 individuals. Setting appropriate conservation targets for this species requires an understanding of its historical population size, as a baseline for measuring levels of depletion and progress toward recovery. This is made difficult by the scarcity of records over this species' long whaling history. We sought to estimate the preexploitation population size of the North Atlantic right whale and understand how this species was distributed across its range. We used a spatially explicit data set on historical catches of North Pacific right whales (NPRWs) (Eubalaena japonica) to model the relationship between right whale relative density and the environment during the summer feeding season. Assuming the 2 right whale species select similar environments, we projected this model to the North Atlantic to predict how the relative abundance of NARWs varied across their range. We calibrated these relative abundances with estimates of the NPRW total prewhaling population size to obtain high and low estimates for the overall NARW population size prior to exploitation. The model predicted 9,075-21,328 right whales in the North Atlantic. The current NARW population is thus <6% of the historical North Atlantic carrying capacity and has enormous potential for recovery. According to the model, in June-September NARWs concentrated in 2 main feeding areas: east of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and in the Norwegian Sea. These 2 areas may become important in the future as feeding grounds and may already be used more regularly by this endangered species than is thought. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. The scaling of locomotor performance in predator-prey encounters: from fish to killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domenici, P

    2001-12-01

    During predator-prey encounters, a high locomotor performance in unsteady manoeuvres (i.e. acceleration, turning) is desirable for both predators and prey. While speed increases with size in fish and other aquatic vertebrates in continuous swimming, the speed achieved within a given time, a relevant parameter in predator-prey encounters, is size independent. In addition, most parameters indicating high performance in unsteady swimming decrease with size. Both theoretical considerations and data on acceleration suggest a decrease with body size. Small turning radii and high turning rates are indices of maneuverability in space and in time, respectively. Maneuverability decreases with body length, as minimum turning radii and maximum turning rates increase and decrease with body length, respectively. In addition, the scaling of linear performance in fish locomotion may be modulated by turning behaviour, which is an essential component of the escape response. In angelfish, for example, the speed of large fish is inversely related to their turning angle, i.e. fish escaping at large turning angles show lower speed than fish escaping at small turning angles. The scaling of unsteady locomotor performance makes it difficult for large aquatic vertebrates to capture elusive prey by using whole-body attacks, since the overall maneuverability and acceleration of small prey is likely to be superior to that of large predators. Feeding strategies in vertebrate predators can be related to the predator-prey length ratios. At prey-predator ratios higher than approximately 10(-2), vertebrate predators are particulate feeders, while at smaller ratios, they tend to be filter feeders. At intermediate ratios, large aquatic predators may use a variety of feeding methods that aid, or do not involve, whole body attacks. Among these are bubble curtains used by humpback whales to trap fish schools, and tail-slapping of fish by delphinids. Tail slapping by killer whales is discussed as an

  1. Assessment of injuries and recovery monitoring of Prince William Sound killer whales using photo-identification techniques. Restoration project 93042/94092. Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration project final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dahlheim, M.E.

    1994-04-01

    Photo-identification studies of individual killer whales inhabitating Prince William Sound were collected from 1989-91 and from July to September 1993 to determine the impact of the spill on whale abundance and distribution (1989-1991) and monitor recovery (1993). Concurrent photo-identification studies were also conducted in Southeast Alaska to determine if PWS killer whales were displaced to other areas between 1989 and 1991. Despite increased effort, the number of encounters with PWS killer whales appears to be decreasing. The authors assume, that the whales are dead from natural causes, a result of interactions with fisheries, from the spill, or a combination of these causes.

  2. Assessing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impact on marine mammal population through acoustics: endangered sperm whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackleh, Azmy S; Ioup, George E; Ioup, Juliette W; Ma, Baoling; Newcomb, Joal J; Pal, Nabendu; Sidorovskaia, Natalia A; Tiemann, Christopher

    2012-03-01

    Long-term monitoring of endangered species abundance based on acoustic recordings has not yet been pursued. This paper reports the first attempt to use multi-year passive acoustic data to study the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the population of endangered sperm whales. Prior to the spill the Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center (LADC) collected acoustic recordings near the spill site in 2007. These baseline data now provide a unique opportunity to better understand how the oil spill affected marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico. In September 2010, LADC redeployed recording buoys at previously used locations 9, 25, and 50 miles away from the incident site. A statistical methodology that provides point and interval estimates of the abundance of the sperm whale population at the two nearest sites is presented. A comparison of the 2007 and the 2010 recordings shows a decrease in acoustic activity and abundance of sperm whales at the 9-mile site by a factor of 2, whereas acoustic activity and abundance at the 25-mile site has clearly increased. This indicates that some sperm whales may have relocated farther away from the spill. Follow-up experiments will be important for understanding long-term impact. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America

  3. 78 FR 25044 - Listing Endangered or Threatened Species: 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Include the Killer...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-29

    ... William Sound, Kodiak Island, the Bering Sea and Russia (but not transient or offshore killer whales). The... three specific areas: (1) The Summer Core Area in Haro Strait and waters around the San Juan Islands; (2) Puget Sound; and (3) the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which comprise approximately 2,560 square miles (6,630...

  4. Complete mitochondrial genome phylogeographic analysis of killer whales (Orcinus orca) indicates multiple species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morin, Phillip A; Archer, Frederick I.; Foote, Andrew David

    2010-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) currently comprise a single, cosmopolitan species with a diverse diet. However, studies over the last 30 yr have revealed populations of sympatric "ecotypes" with discrete prey preferences, morphology, and behaviors. Although these ecotypes avoid social interactions a...... impacts and conservation needs of these important marine predators. We predict that phylogeographic mitogenomics will become an important tool for improved statistical phylogeography and more precise estimates of divergence times....

  5. Echolocation signals of free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca) and modeling of foraging for chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Au, Whitlow W. L.; Ford, John K. B.; Horne, John K.; Allman, Kelly A. Newman

    2004-02-01

    Fish-eating ``resident''-type killer whales (Orcinus orca) that frequent the coastal waters off northeastern Vancouver Island, Canada have a strong preference for chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The whales in this region often forage along steep cliffs that extend into the water, echolocating their prey. Echolocation signals of resident killer whales were measured with a four-hydrophone symmetrical star array and the signals were simultaneously digitized at a sample rate of 500 kHz using a lunch-box PC. A portable VCR recorded the images from an underwater camera located adjacent to the array center. Only signals emanating from close to the beam axis (1185 total) were chosen for a detailed analysis. Killer whales project very broadband echolocation signals (Q equal 0.9 to 1.4) that tend to have bimodal frequency structure. Ninety-seven percent of the signals had center frequencies between 45 and 80 kHz with bandwidths between 35 and 50 kHz. The peak-to-peak source level of the echolocation signals decreased as a function of the one-way transmission loss to the array. Source levels varied between 195 and 224 dB re:1 μPa. Using a model of target strength for chinook salmon, the echo levels from the echolocation signals are estimated for different horizontal ranges between a whale and a salmon. At a horizontal range of 100 m, the echo level should exceed an Orcinus hearing threshold at 50 kHz by over 29 dB and should be greater than sea state 4 noise by at least 9 dB. In moderately heavy rain conditions, the detection range will be reduced substantially and the echo level at a horizontal range of 40 m would be close to the level of the rain noise.

  6. Killer whales and marine mammal trends in the North Pacific - A re-examination of evidence for sequential megafauna collapse and the prey-switching hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, P.R.; Burkanov, V.N.; Dahlheim, M.E.; Friday, N.A.; Fritz, L.W.; Loughlin, Thomas R.; Mizroch, S.A.; Muto, M.M.; Rice, D.W.; Barrett-Lennard, L. G.; Black, N.A.; Burdin, A.M.; Calambokidis, J.; Cerchio, S.; Ford, J.K.B.; Jacobsen, J.K.; Matkin, C.O.; Matkin, D.R.; Mehta, A.V.; Small, R.J.; Straley, J.M.; McCluskey, S.M.; VanBlaricom, G.R.; Clapham, P.J.

    2007-01-01

    Springer et al. (2003) contend that sequential declines occurred in North Pacific populations of harbor and fur seals, Steller sea lions, and sea otters. They hypothesize that these were due to increased predation by killer whales, when industrial whaling's removal of large whales as a supposed primary food source precipitated a prey switch. Using a regional approach, we reexamined whale catch data, killer whale predation observations, and the current biomass and trends of potential prey, and found little support for the prey-switching hypothesis. Large whale biomass in the Bering Sea did not decline as much as suggested by Springer et al., and much of the reduction occurred 50-100 yr ago, well before the declines of pinnipeds and sea otters began; thus, the need to switch prey starting in the 1970s is doubtful. With the sole exception that the sea otter decline followed the decline of pinnipeds, the reported declines were not in fact sequential. Given this, it is unlikely that a sequential megafaunal collapse from whales to sea otters occurred. The spatial and temporal patterns of pinniped and sea otter population trends are more complex than Springer et al. suggest, and are often inconsistent with their hypothesis. Populations remained stable or increased in many areas, despite extensive historical whaling and high killer whale abundance. Furthermore, observed killer whale predation has largely involved pinnipeds and small cetaceans; there is little evidence that large whales were ever a major prey item in high latitudes. Small cetaceans (ignored by Springer et al.) were likely abundant throughout the period. Overall, we suggest that the Springer et al. hypothesis represents a misleading and simplistic view of events and trophic relationships within this complex marine ecosystem. ?? 2007 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  7. Evidence for vocal learning in juvenile male killer whales, Orcinus orca, from an adventitious cross-socializing experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crance, Jessica L; Bowles, Ann E; Garver, Alan

    2014-04-15

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are thought to learn their vocal dialect. Dispersal in the species is rare, but effects of shifts in social association on the dialect can be studied under controlled conditions. Individual call repertoires and social association were measured in three adult female killer whales and three males (two juveniles and an adult) during two periods, 2001-2003 and 2005-2006. Three distinct dialect repertoires were represented among the subjects. An adventitious experiment in social change resulted from the birth of a calf and the transfer of two non-focal subjects in 2004. Across the two periods, 1691 calls were collected, categorized and attributed to individuals. Repertoire overlap for each subject dyad was compared with an index of association. During 2005-2006, the two juvenile males increased association with the unrelated adult male. By the end of the period, both had begun producing novel calls and call features characteristic of his repertoire. However, there was little or no reciprocal change and the adult females did not acquire his calls. Repertoire overlap and association were significantly correlated in the first period. In the second, median association time and repertoire similarity increased, but the relationship was only marginally significant. The results provided evidence that juvenile male killer whales are capable of learning new call types, possibly stimulated by a change in social association. The pattern of learning was consistent with a selective convergence of male repertoires.

  8. Mortality risk and social network position in resident killer whales: sex differences and the importance of resource abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, S; Franks, D W; Nattrass, S; Cant, M A; Weiss, M N; Giles, D; Balcomb, K C; Croft, D P

    2017-10-25

    An individual's ecological environment affects their mortality risk, which in turn has fundamental consequences for life-history evolution. In many species, social relationships are likely to be an important component of an individual's environment, and therefore their mortality risk. Here, we examine the relationship between social position and mortality risk in resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) using over three decades of social and demographic data. We find that the social position of male, but not female, killer whales in their social unit predicts their mortality risk. More socially integrated males have a significantly lower risk of mortality than socially peripheral males, particularly in years of low prey abundance, suggesting that social position mediates access to resources. Male killer whales are larger and require more resources than females, increasing their vulnerability to starvation in years of low salmon abundance. More socially integrated males are likely to have better access to social information and food-sharing opportunities which may enhance their survival in years of low salmon abundance. Our results show that observable variation in the social environment is linked to variation in mortality risk, and highlight how sex differences in social effects on survival may be linked to sex differences in life-history evolution. © 2017 The Authors.

  9. A small towed beamforming array to identify vocalizing resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca) concurrent with focal behavioral observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Patrick J.; Tyack, Peter L.

    Investigations of communication systems benefit from concurrent observation of vocal and visible behaviors of individual animals. A device has been developed to identify individual vocalizing resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca) during focal behavioral observations. The device consists of a 2-m, 15-element hydrophone array, which is easily towed behind a small vessel, on-board multi-channel recorders, and real-time signal processing equipment. Acoustic data from the hydrophones are digitized and processed using broadband frequency-domain beamforming to yield frequency-azimuth (FRAZ) and "directo-gram" displays of arriving sounds. Based upon statistical analysis of independent portions of typical killer whale calls, the precision of the angle-of-arrival estimate ranges from ±0° to ±2.5° with a mean precision of ±1.5°. Echolocation clicks also are resolved precisely with a typical -6 dB mainlobe width of ±2.0°. Careful positioning of the array relative to the animals minimizes the effects of depth ambiguities and allows identification of individual sources in many circumstances. Several strategies for identifying vocalizing individuals are discussed and an example of a successful identification is described. Use of the array with resident killer whales did not interfere with vessel maneuverability, animal tracking, or behavioral sampling of focal individuals. This localization technique has promise for advancing the abilities of researchers to conduct unbiased behavioral and acoustic sampling of individual free-ranging cetaceans.

  10. Identifying Variations in Baseline Behavior of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) to Contextualize Their Responses to Anthropogenic Noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samarra, Filipa I P; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-01-01

    Determining the baseline behavior of a whale requires understanding natural variations occurring due to environmental context, such as changes in prey behavior. Killer whales feeding on herring consistently encircle herring schools; however, depth of feeding differs from near the surface in winter to deeper than 10 m in spring and summer. These variations in feeding depth are probably due to the depth of the prey and the balance between the costs and benefits of bringing schools of herring to the surface. Such variation in baseline behavior may incur different energetic costs and consequently change the motivation of whales to avoid a feeding area. Here, we discuss these variations in feeding behavior in the context of exposure to noise and interpret observed responses to simulated navy sonar signals.

  11. Accounting for subgroup structure in line-transect abundance estimates of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in Hawaiian waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, Amanda L; Forney, Karin A; Oleson, Erin M; Barlow, Jay

    2014-01-01

    For biological populations that form aggregations (or clusters) of individuals, cluster size is an important parameter in line-transect abundance estimation and should be accurately measured. Cluster size in cetaceans has traditionally been represented as the total number of individuals in a group, but group size may be underestimated if group members are spatially diffuse. Groups of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) can comprise numerous subgroups that are dispersed over tens of kilometers, leading to a spatial mismatch between a detected group and the theoretical framework of line-transect analysis. Three stocks of false killer whales are found within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone of the Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian EEZ): an insular main Hawaiian Islands stock, a pelagic stock, and a Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) stock. A ship-based line-transect survey of the Hawaiian EEZ was conducted in the summer and fall of 2010, resulting in six systematic-effort visual sightings of pelagic (n = 5) and NWHI (n = 1) false killer whale groups. The maximum number and spatial extent of subgroups per sighting was 18 subgroups and 35 km, respectively. These sightings were combined with data from similar previous surveys and analyzed within the conventional line-transect estimation framework. The detection function, mean cluster size, and encounter rate were estimated separately to appropriately incorporate data collected using different methods. Unlike previous line-transect analyses of cetaceans, subgroups were treated as the analytical cluster instead of groups because subgroups better conform to the specifications of line-transect theory. Bootstrap values (n = 5,000) of the line-transect parameters were randomly combined to estimate the variance of stock-specific abundance estimates. Hawai'i pelagic and NWHI false killer whales were estimated to number 1,552 (CV = 0.66; 95% CI = 479-5,030) and 552 (CV = 1.09; 95% CI = 97

  12. Accounting for subgroup structure in line-transect abundance estimates of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens in Hawaiian waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda L Bradford

    Full Text Available For biological populations that form aggregations (or clusters of individuals, cluster size is an important parameter in line-transect abundance estimation and should be accurately measured. Cluster size in cetaceans has traditionally been represented as the total number of individuals in a group, but group size may be underestimated if group members are spatially diffuse. Groups of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens can comprise numerous subgroups that are dispersed over tens of kilometers, leading to a spatial mismatch between a detected group and the theoretical framework of line-transect analysis. Three stocks of false killer whales are found within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone of the Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian EEZ: an insular main Hawaiian Islands stock, a pelagic stock, and a Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI stock. A ship-based line-transect survey of the Hawaiian EEZ was conducted in the summer and fall of 2010, resulting in six systematic-effort visual sightings of pelagic (n = 5 and NWHI (n = 1 false killer whale groups. The maximum number and spatial extent of subgroups per sighting was 18 subgroups and 35 km, respectively. These sightings were combined with data from similar previous surveys and analyzed within the conventional line-transect estimation framework. The detection function, mean cluster size, and encounter rate were estimated separately to appropriately incorporate data collected using different methods. Unlike previous line-transect analyses of cetaceans, subgroups were treated as the analytical cluster instead of groups because subgroups better conform to the specifications of line-transect theory. Bootstrap values (n = 5,000 of the line-transect parameters were randomly combined to estimate the variance of stock-specific abundance estimates. Hawai'i pelagic and NWHI false killer whales were estimated to number 1,552 (CV = 0.66; 95% CI = 479-5,030 and 552 (CV = 1.09; 95% CI = 97

  13. Accounting for Subgroup Structure in Line-Transect Abundance Estimates of False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in Hawaiian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, Amanda L.; Forney, Karin A.; Oleson, Erin M.; Barlow, Jay

    2014-01-01

    For biological populations that form aggregations (or clusters) of individuals, cluster size is an important parameter in line-transect abundance estimation and should be accurately measured. Cluster size in cetaceans has traditionally been represented as the total number of individuals in a group, but group size may be underestimated if group members are spatially diffuse. Groups of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) can comprise numerous subgroups that are dispersed over tens of kilometers, leading to a spatial mismatch between a detected group and the theoretical framework of line-transect analysis. Three stocks of false killer whales are found within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone of the Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian EEZ): an insular main Hawaiian Islands stock, a pelagic stock, and a Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) stock. A ship-based line-transect survey of the Hawaiian EEZ was conducted in the summer and fall of 2010, resulting in six systematic-effort visual sightings of pelagic (n = 5) and NWHI (n = 1) false killer whale groups. The maximum number and spatial extent of subgroups per sighting was 18 subgroups and 35 km, respectively. These sightings were combined with data from similar previous surveys and analyzed within the conventional line-transect estimation framework. The detection function, mean cluster size, and encounter rate were estimated separately to appropriately incorporate data collected using different methods. Unlike previous line-transect analyses of cetaceans, subgroups were treated as the analytical cluster instead of groups because subgroups better conform to the specifications of line-transect theory. Bootstrap values (n = 5,000) of the line-transect parameters were randomly combined to estimate the variance of stock-specific abundance estimates. Hawai’i pelagic and NWHI false killer whales were estimated to number 1,552 (CV = 0.66; 95% CI = 479–5,030) and 552 (CV = 1.09; 95% CI = 97–3

  14. Stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen in killer whales (Orcinus orca) stranded on the coast of Hokkaido, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Tetsuya; Kimura, Osamu; Sato, Rie; Kobayashi, Mari; Matsuda, Ayaka; Matsuishi, Takashi; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2014-09-15

    We analyzed δ(13)C, δ(15)N and δ(18)O in the muscle and liver from killer whales stranded on the coast of Japan. The δ(15)N values in the muscle samples from calves were apparently higher than those in their lactating mothers, suggesting that nursing may result in the higher δ(15)N values in the muscle samples of calves. The δ(15)N value in the muscle samples of male and female whales, except for the calves, were positively correlated with the δ(13)C values and body length, suggesting that the increases in δ(15)N were due to the growth of the whales and increase in their trophic level. In contrast, the δ(18)O values in the muscle samples of female whales except for the calves were negatively correlated with the δ(13)C and δ(15)N values. The δ(18)O may be lower in whales occupying higher trophic positions (δ(15)N), although it might also be affected by geographic and climatic conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Critically endangered western gray whales migrate to the eastern North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mate, Bruce R; Ilyashenko, Valentin Yu; Bradford, Amanda L; Vertyankin, Vladimir V; Tsidulko, Grigory A; Rozhnov, Vyacheslav V; Irvine, Ladd M

    2015-04-01

    Western North Pacific gray whales (WGWs), once considered extinct, are critically endangered with unknown migratory routes and reproductive areas. We attached satellite-monitored tags to seven WGWs on their primary feeding ground off Sakhalin Island, Russia, three of which subsequently migrated to regions occupied by non-endangered eastern gray whales (EGWs). A female with the longest-lasting tag visited all three major EGW reproductive areas off Baja California, Mexico, before returning to Sakhalin Island the following spring. Her 22 511 km round-trip is the longest documented mammal migration and strongly suggests that some presumed WGWs are actually EGWs foraging in areas historically attributed to WGWs. The observed migration routes provide evidence of navigational skills across open water that break the near-shore north-south migratory paradigm of EGWs. Despite evidence of genetic differentiation, these tagging data indicate that the population identity of whales off Sakhalin Island needs further evaluation. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  16. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, Andrew D; Newton, Jason; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Kampmann, Marie-Louise; Samaniego, Jose A; Post, Klaas; Rosing-Asvid, Aqqalu; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2013-10-07

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios were measured from tissue samples of sympatric killer whale Orcinus orca lineages from the North Sea, spanning over 10 000 years. Isotopic ratios spanned a range similar to the difference in isotopic values of two known prey items, herring Clupea harengus and harbour seal Phoca vitulina. Two proxies of the stage of speciation, lineage sorting of mitogenomes and genotypic clustering, were both weak to intermediate indicating that speciation has made little progress. Thus, our study confirms that even with the necessary ecological conditions, i.e. among-individual variation in ecology, it is difficult for sympatric speciation to progress in the face of gene flow. In contrast to some theoretical models, our empirical results suggest that sympatric speciation driven by among-individual differences in ecological niche is a slow process and may not reach completion. We argue that sympatric speciation is constrained in this system owing to the plastic nature of the behavioural traits under selection when hunting either mammals or fish.

  17. Vocal behavior of resident killer whale matrilines with newborn calves: the role of family signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Brigitte M; Ladich, Friedrich; Spong, Paul; Symonds, Helena

    2006-01-01

    Studies of the vocal behavior of resident killer whales or orcas, Orcinus orca, in British Columbia have shown that matrilines have unique call repertoires consisting of up to 17 different call types. These call types cannot be attributed exclusively to specific behaviors, and their function in social contexts is poorly understood. This study investigated the change in call patterns of three resident matrilines in a changed social environment, before and up to one year after the birth of a calf. Acoustic data were collected with a network of hydrophones and were supplemented by visual observations. Call use changed distinctly after the birth of a calf in all three observed matrilines. All call types that were recorded in control situations were also recorded in postbirth situations; however, aberrant versions of discrete calls and excitement calls made up a higher proportion of calls after birth. Most conspicuously, family-specific call types occurred significantly more frequently in the days following a birth in two of the three matrilines and gradually returned to prebirth values within 2 weeks. Their increased use after a calf's birth may facilitate the learning process of this "acoustic family badge" and thereby help to recognize and maintain cohesion with family members.

  18. Caller sex and orientation influence spectral characteristics of "two-voice" stereotyped calls produced by free-ranging killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Patrick J O; Samarra, Filipa I P; Perthuison, Aurélie D

    2007-06-01

    This study investigates how particular received spectral characteristics of stereotyped calls of sexually dimorphic adult killer whales may be influenced by caller sex, orientation, and range. Calls were ascribed to individuals during natural behavior using a towed beamforming array. The fundamental frequency of both high-frequency and low-frequency components did not differ consistently by sex. The ratio of peak energy within the fundamental of the high-frequency component relative to summed peak energy in the first two low-frequency component harmonics, and the number of modulation bands off the high-frequency component, were significantly greater when whales were oriented towards the array, while range and adult sex had little effect. In contrast, the ratio of peak energy in the first versus second harmonics of the low-frequency component was greater in calls produced by adult females than adult males, while orientation and range had little effect. The dispersion of energy across harmonics has been shown to relate to body size or sex in terrestrial species, but pressure effects during diving are thought to make such a signal unreliable in diving animals. The observed spectral differences by signaler sex and orientation suggest that these types of information may be transmitted acoustically by freely diving killer whales.

  19. Predation by killer whales (Orcinus orca) and the evolution of whistle loss and narrow-band high frequency clicks in odontocetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morisaka, T; Connor, R C

    2007-07-01

    A disparate selection of toothed whales (Odontoceti) share striking features of their acoustic repertoires including the absence of whistles and high frequency but weak (low peak-to-peak source level) clicks that have a relatively long duration and a narrow bandwidth. The non-whistling, high frequency click species include members of the family Phocoenidae, members of one genus of delphinids, Cephalorhynchus, the pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps, and apparently the sole member of the family Pontoporiidae. Our review supports the 'acoustic crypsis' hypothesis that killer whale predation risk was the primary selective factor favouring an echolocation and communication system in cephalorhynchids, phocoenids and possibly Pontoporiidae and Kogiidae restricted to sounds that killer whales hear poorly or not at all ( 100 kHz).

  20. Fine-scale foraging movements by fish-eating killer whales (Orcinus orca) relate to the vertical distributions and escape responses of salmonid prey (Oncorhynchusspp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Brianna M; Ford, John K B; Ellis, Graeme M; Deecke, Volker B; Shapiro, Ari Daniel; Battaile, Brian C; Trites, Andrew W

    2017-01-01

    We sought to quantitatively describe the fine-scale foraging behavior of northern resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca ), a population of fish-eating killer whales that feeds almost exclusively on Pacific salmon ( Oncorhynchus spp.). To reconstruct the underwater movements of these specialist predators, we deployed 34 biologging Dtags on 32 individuals and collected high-resolution, three-dimensional accelerometry and acoustic data. We used the resulting dive paths to compare killer whale foraging behavior to the distributions of different salmonid prey species. Understanding the foraging movements of these threatened predators is important from a conservation standpoint, since prey availability has been identified as a limiting factor in their population dynamics and recovery. Three-dimensional dive tracks indicated that foraging ( N  = 701) and non-foraging dives ( N  = 10,618) were kinematically distinct (Wilks' lambda: λ 16  = 0.321, P  killer whales dove deeper, remained submerged longer, swam faster, increased their dive path tortuosity, and rolled their bodies to a greater extent than during other activities. Maximum foraging dive depths reflected the deeper vertical distribution of Chinook (compared to other salmonids) and the tendency of Pacific salmon to evade predators by diving steeply. Kinematic characteristics of prey pursuit by resident killer whales also revealed several other escape strategies employed by salmon attempting to avoid predation, including increased swimming speeds and evasive maneuvering. High-resolution dive tracks reconstructed using data collected by multi-sensor accelerometer tags found that movements by resident killer whales relate significantly to the vertical distributions and escape responses of their primary prey, Pacific salmon.

  1. Captive bottlenose dolphins and killer whales harbor a species-specific skin microbiota that varies among individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarello, M; Villéger, S; Bouvier, C; Auguet, J C; Bouvier, T

    2017-11-10

    Marine animals surfaces host diverse microbial communities, which play major roles for host's health. Most inventories of marine animal surface microbiota have focused on corals and fishes, while cetaceans remain overlooked. The few studies focused on wild cetaceans, making difficult to distinguish intrinsic inter- and/or intraspecific variability in skin microbiota from environmental effects. We used high-throughput sequencing to assess the skin microbiota from 4 body zones of 8 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and killer whales (Orcinus orca), housed in captivity (Marineland park, France). Overall, cetacean skin microbiota is more diverse than planktonic communities and is dominated by different phylogenetic lineages and functions. In addition, the two cetacean species host different skin microbiotas. Within each species, variability was higher between individuals than between body parts, suggesting a high individuality of cetacean skin microbiota. Overall, the skin microbiota of the assessed cetaceans related more to the humpback whale and fishes' than to microbiotas of terrestrial mammals.

  2. Retrospective characterization of ontogenetic shifts in killer whale diets via δ13C and δ15N analysis of teeth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsome, Seth D.; Etnier, Michael A.; Monson, Daniel H.; Fogel, Marilyn L.

    2009-01-01

    Metabolically inert, accretionary structures such as the dentin growth layers in teeth provide a life history record of individual diet with near-annual resolution. We constructed ontogenetic δ13C and δ15N profiles by analyzing tooth dentin growth layers from 13 individual killer whales Orcinus orca collected in the eastern northeast Pacific Ocean between 1961 and 2003. The individuals sampled were 6 to 52 yr old, representing 2 ecotypes—resident and transient—collected across ~25° of latitude. The average isotopic values of transient individuals (n = 10) are consistent with a reliance on mammalian prey, while the average isotopic values of residents (n = 3) are consistent with piscivory. Regardless of ecotype, most individuals show a decrease in δ15N values of ~2.5‰ through the first 3 yr of life, roughly equivalent to a decrease of one trophic level. We interpret this as evidence of gradual weaning, after which, ontogenetic shifts in isotopic values are highly variable. A few individuals (n = 2) maintained relatively stable δ15N and δ13C values throughout the remainder of their lives, whereas δ15N values of most (n = 11) increased by ~1.5‰, suggestive of an ontogenetic increase in trophic level. Significant differences in mean δ13C and δ15N values among transients collected off California suggest that individuality in prey preferences may be prevalent within this ecotype. Our approach provides retrospective individual life history and dietary information that cannot be obtained through traditional field observations of free-ranging and elusive species such as killer whales, including unique historic ecological information that pre-dates modern studies. By providing insights into individual diet composition, stable isotope analysis of teeth and/or bones may be the only means of evaluating a number of hypothesized historical dietary shifts in killer whales of the northeast Pacific Ocean

  3. Development of sociality and emergence of independence in a killer whale (Orcinus orca) calf from birth to 36 months.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarino, Sara; Hill, Heather M; Sigman, Julie

    2017-01-01

    Dolphin calves spend most of their time swimming with their mother immediately after birth. As they mature, the calves become increasingly independent, and begin to interact more often with other calves, juveniles, and sub-adults. For bottlenose dolphin calves, sociality is related to maternal behaviors. Unfortunately, much less is known about the development of sociality and emergence of independence for killer whale calves. The purpose of this study was to examine the developmental changes in social behaviors and solitary activities of a killer whale calf across a 36-month period. Focal follow video recordings of a mother-calf pair housed at SeaWorld San Antonio were collected 2-6 times a day for 5-15 min at 6-month intervals. Using a sample of randomly selected video recordings at each month, developmental changes in swims and social interactions with her mother, swims and social interactions with non-maternal partners, and solitary activities (e.g., solitary swims, solitary play) were observed across the months. The calf spent most of her time swimming with the mother across the 36-month period. The time the calf socialized with her mother was greater than the time she socialized with others at each month. Besides her mother, the calf socialized more often with the other adult female compared to adult males. As the calf matured, the increase in the time she spent socializing with adult killer whales other than the mother corresponded with an increase in the rate and time spent in solitary play. The developmental trends of sociality and emerging independence replicate research conducted with calves of other dolphin species. Zoo Biol. 36:11-20, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Using line acceleration to measure false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) click and whistle source levels during pelagic longline depredation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thode, Aaron; Wild, Lauren; Straley, Janice; Barnes, Dustin; Bayless, Ali; O'Connell, Victoria; Oleson, Erin; Sarkar, Jit; Falvey, Dan; Behnken, Linda; Martin, Sean

    2016-11-01

    False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) depredate pelagic longlines in offshore Hawaiian waters. On January 28, 2015 a depredation event was recorded 14 m from an integrated GoPro camera, hydrophone, and accelerometer, revealing that false killer whales depredate bait and generate clicks and whistles under good visibility conditions. The act of plucking bait off a hook generated a distinctive 15 Hz line vibration. Two similar line vibrations detected at earlier times permitted the animal's range and thus signal source levels to be estimated over a 25-min window. Peak power spectral density source levels for whistles (4-8 kHz) were estimated to be between 115 and 130 dB re 1 μPa2/Hz @ 1 m. Echolocation click source levels over 17-32 kHz bandwidth reached 205 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m pk-pk, or 190 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m (root-mean-square). Predicted detection ranges of the most intense whistles are 10 to 25 km at respective sea states of 4 and 1, with click detection ranges being 5 times smaller than whistles. These detection range analyses provide insight into how passive acoustic monitoring might be used to both quantify and avoid depredation encounters.

  5. Out of the Pacific and back again: insights into the matrilineal history of Pacific killer whale ecotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D Foote

    Full Text Available Killer whales (Orcinus orca are the most widely distributed marine mammals and have radiated to occupy a range of ecological niches. Disparate sympatric types are found in the North Atlantic, Antarctic and North Pacific oceans, however, little is known about the underlying mechanisms driving divergence. Previous phylogeographic analysis using complete mitogenomes yielded a bifurcating tree of clades corresponding to described ecotypes. However, there was low support at two nodes at which two Pacific and two Atlantic clades diverged. Here we apply further phylogenetic and coalescent analyses to partitioned mitochondrial genome sequences to better resolve the pattern of past radiations in this species. Our phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that in the North Pacific, sympatry between the maternal lineages that make up each ecotype arises from secondary contact. Both the phylogenetic reconstructions and a clinal decrease in diversity suggest a North Pacific to North Atlantic founding event, and the later return of killer whales to the North Pacific. Therefore, ecological divergence could have occurred during the allopatric phase through drift or selection and/or may have either commenced or have been consolidated upon secondary contact due to resource competition. The estimated timing of bidirectional migration between the North Pacific and North Atlantic coincided with the previous inter-glacial when the leakage of fauna from the Indo-Pacific into the Atlantic via the Agulhas current was particularly vigorous.

  6. Dietary variation within and between populations of northeast Atlantic killer whales Orcinus orca, inferred from δ13C and δ15N analyses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Vester, Heike; Vikingsson, Gísli A.

    2012-01-01

    Epidermal skin samples from eastern North Atlantic killer whales, Orcinus orca, were analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. From those, compar- isons within a data set of 17 samples collected from Tysfjord, Norway, in November suggested that diet is relatively specialized during...

  7. The Severity of behavioral changes observed during experimental exposures of killer (Orcinus orca), long-finned Pilot (Globicephala melas), and sperm (Physeter macrocephalus) whales to naval sonar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miller, P.J.O.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.A.; Wensveen, P.J.; Antunes, R.; Alves, A.C.; Visser, F.; Kleivane, L.; Tyack, P.L.; Sivle, L.D.

    2012-01-01

    This study describes behavioral changes of wild cetaceans observed during controlled exposures of naval sonar. In 2006 through 2009, 14 experiments were conducted with killer (n = 4), long-finned pilot (n = 6), and sperm (n = 4) whales. A total of 14 6-7 kHz upsweep, 13 1-2 kHz upsweep, and five 1-2

  8. Behavioral responses of herring (Clupea harengus) to 1–2 and 6–7 kHz sonar signals and killer whale feeding sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doksæter, L.; Godø, O.R.; Handegard, N.O.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.A.; Donovan, C.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2009-01-01

    Military antisubmarine sonars produce intense sounds within the hearing range of most clupeid fish. The behavioral reactions of overwintering herring (Clupea harengus) to sonar signals of two different frequency ranges (1–2 and 6–7 kHz), and to playback of killer whale feeding sounds, were tested in

  9. Sperm whales reduce foraging effort during exposure to 1-2 kHz sonar and killer whale sounds.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isojunno,S.; Curé, C.; Helgevold Kvadsheim, P.; Lam, F.P.A.; Tyack, P.L.; Wensveen, P.J.; Miller, P.J.O

    2016-01-01

    Abstract . The time and energetic costs of behavioral responses to incidental and experimental sonar exposures, as well as control stimuli, were quantifi ed using hidden state analysis of time series of acoustic and movement data recorded by tags ( DTAG ) attached to 12 sperm whales ( Physeter

  10. Bioaccumulation and enantiomeric profiling of organochlorine pesticides and persistent organic pollutants in the killer whale (Orcinus orca) from British and Irish waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McHugh, Brendan [Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Galway (Ireland)], E-mail: brendan.mchugh@marine.ie; Law, Robin J.; Allchin, Colin R. [Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Cefas Burnham Laboratory, Remembrance Avenue, Burnham on Crouch, Essex CM0 8HA (United Kingdom); Rogan, Emer [Department of Zoology, University College Cork (Ireland); Murphy, Sinead [Department of Zoology, University College Cork (Ireland); Sea Mammal Research Unit, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 8LB (United Kingdom); Foley, M. Barry [Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8 (Ireland); Glynn, Denise; McGovern, Evin [Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Galway (Ireland)

    2007-11-15

    Concentrations and enantiomeric profiles for a range of organochlorine compounds are reported in blubber samples from a number of individual killer whales (Orcinus orca) from British and Irish waters. Elevated contaminant levels and enriched isotopic ratios were determined in one individual whale sampled in the Scottish Western Isles compared to the others suggesting marine mammal based dietary influences. The potential application of isotopic ratios to model contaminant uptake, enantioselective enrichment and accumulation is demonstrated. Data are presented which provide information on enantioselective enrichment factors (EFs) for o,p'-DDT, {alpha}-HCH and toxaphene congeners CHB26 and CHB 50. This dataset further improves the current database on reported levels of a number of contaminants and provides additional background information on potential metabolic processes in killer whales from British and Irish waters.

  11. Reproductive physiology and development of artificial insemination technology in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robeck, T R; Steinman, K J; Gearhart, S; Reidarson, T R; McBain, J F; Monfort, S L

    2004-08-01

    Research was conducted to define the basic reproductive physiology of killer whales (Orcinus orca) and to use this knowledge to facilitate the development of artificial insemination procedures. The specific objectives were 1) to determine the excretory dynamics of urinary LH and ovarian steroid metabolites during the estrous cycle; 2) to evaluate the effect of an exogenously administered, synthetic progesterone analog on reproductive hormone excretion; 3) to validate the use of transabdominal ultrasound for ovarian evaluation and timing of ovulation; 4) to examine the quality of semen after liquid storage and cryopreservation; and 5) to develop an intrauterine insemination technique. Based on urinary endocrine monitoring of 41 follicular phases and 26 complete cycles from five females, estrous cycles were 41 days long and comprised a 17-day follicular phase and a 21-day luteal phase. A consistent temporal relationship was observed between peak estrogen conjugates and the LH surge, the latter of which occurred approximately 0.5 days later. Two animals placed on oral altrenogest (three separate occasions for 30, 17, and 31 days, respectively) excreted peak urinary estrogen concentrations 25 days after withdrawal that were followed by sustained elevations in urinary pregnanediol-3alpha-glucuronide excretion. Mean preovulatory follicle diameter was 3.9 cm (n = 6), and ovulation occurred 38 h (n = 5) after the peak of the LH surge. Based on visual estimates of motility, liquid-stored semen maintained 92% of its raw ejaculate sperm motility index (total progressive motility x kinetic rating [0-5 scale, where 0 = no movement and 5 = rapid progressive movement]) when held at 4 degrees C for 3 days postcollection. Semen cryopreserved using a medium freezing rate demonstrated good postthaw total motility (50%), progressive motility (94%), and kinetic rating (3.5). Insemination during eight estrous cycles resulted in three pregnancies (38%), two from liquid-stored and one

  12. The underwater soundscape in western Fram Strait: Breeding ground of Spitsbergen's endangered bowhead whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahonen, Heidi; Stafford, Kathleen M; de Steur, Laura; Lydersen, Christian; Wiig, Øystein; Kovacs, Kit M

    2017-10-15

    In the Arctic, warming and concomitant reductions in sea ice will affect the underwater soundscape, with the greatest changes likely being linked to anthropogenic activities. In this study, an acoustic recorder deployed on an oceanographic mooring in western Fram Strait documented the soundscape of this area, which is important habitat for the Critically Endangered Spitsbergen bowhead whale population. The soundscape was quasi-pristine much of the year, with low numbers of ships traversing the area. However, during summer/autumn, signals from airgun surveys were detected >12h/day. Mean received peak-to-peak SPLs for loud airgun pulses reached 160.46±0.48dB 1μPa when seismic-survey ships were close (at ~57km). Bowhead whales were present almost daily October-April in all years, with singing occurring in almost every hour November-March. Currently, loud anthropogenic sound sources do not temporally overlap the peak period of bowhead singing. This study provides important baseline data for future monitoring. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Variation in the emission rate of sounds in a captive group of false killer whales Pseudorca crassidens during feedings: possible food anticipatory vocal activity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platto, Sara; Wang, Ding; Wang, Kexiong

    2016-11-01

    This study examines whether a group of captive false killer whales ( Pseudorca crassidens ) showed variations in the vocal rate around feeding times. The high level of motivation to express appetitive behaviors in captive animals may lead them to respond with changes of the behavioral activities during the time prior to food deliveries which are referred to as food anticipatory activity. False killer whales at Qingdao Polar Ocean World (Qingdao, China) showed significant variations of the rates of both the total sounds and sound classes (whistles, clicks, and burst pulses) around feedings. Precisely, from the Transition interval that recorded the lowest vocalization rate (3.40 s/m/d), the whales increased their acoustic emissions upon trainers' arrival (13.08 s/m/d). The high rate was maintained or intensified throughout the food delivery (25.12 s/m/d), and then reduced immediately after the animals were fed (9.91 s/m/d). These changes in the false killer whales sound production rates around feeding times supports the hypothesis of the presence of a food anticipatory vocal activity. Although sound rates may not give detailed information regarding referential aspects of the animal communication it might still shed light about the arousal levels of the individuals during different social or environmental conditions. Further experiments should be performed to assess if variations of the time of feeding routines may affect the vocal activity of cetaceans in captivity as well as their welfare.

  14. Deep granulomatous dermatitis of the fin caused by Fusarium solani in a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Miyuu; Izawa, Takeshi; Kuwamura, Mitsuru; Nakao, Tatsuko; Maezono, Yuko; Ito, Shu; Murata, Michiko; Murakami, Masaru; Sano, Ayako; Yamate, Jyoji

    2012-06-01

    A 10-year-old female false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) developed skin lesions in the left breast fin. Histopathologically, the lesions consisted of multiple granulomas spread diffusely into the deep dermis and bone; characteristically, each granuloma had septate, branching fungal hyphae and chlamydospores surrounded by eosinophilic Splendore-Hoeppli materials. Macrophages, epithelioid cells and multinucleated giant cells in the granulomas reacted mainly to anti-SRA-E5 antibody against human macrophage scavenger receptor type I. Fusarium solani was isolated and its gene was detected from the skin samples. Mycotic skin lesions by Fusarium spp. reported so far in marine mammals were regarded as superficial dermatitis; therefore, the present case is very uncommon in that the lesions spread deeper into the skin.

  15. Low genetic variation among killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the eastern north Pacific and genetic differentiation between foraging specialists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoelzel, A R; Dahlheim, M; Stern, S J

    1998-01-01

    Killer whales from the coastal waters off California through Alaska were compared for genetic variation at three nuclear DNA markers and sequenced for a total of 520 bp from the mitochondrial control region. Two putative sympatric populations that range throughout this region were compared. They can be distinguished by social and foraging behavior and are known as "residents" and "transients". We found low levels of variation within populations compared to other cetacean species. Comparisons between fish (resident) versus marine mammal (transient) foraging specialists indicated highly significant genetic differentiation at both nuclear and mitochondrial loci. This differentiation is at a level consistent with intraspecific variation. A comparison between two parapatric resident populations showed a small but fixed mtDNA haplotype difference. Together these data suggest low levels of genetic dispersal between foraging specialists and a pattern of genetic differentiation consistent with matrifocal population structure and small effective population size.

  16. Endangered North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) experience repeated, concurrent exposure to multiple environmental neurotoxins produced by marine algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doucette, Gregory J; Mikulski, Christina M; King, Kristen L; Roth, Patricia B; Wang, Zhihong; Leandro, Luis F; DeGrasse, Stacey L; White, Kevin D; De Biase, Daniela; Gillett, Roxanne M; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2012-01-01

    The western North Atlantic population of right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the most critically endangered of any whale population in the world. Among the factors considered to have potentially adverse effects on the health and reproduction of E. glacialis are biotoxins produced by certain microalgae responsible for causing harmful algal blooms. The worldwide incidence of these events has continued to increase dramatically over the past several decades and is expected to remain problematic under predicted climate change scenarios. Previous investigations have demonstrated that N. Atlantic right whales are being exposed to at least two classes of algal-produced environmental neurotoxins-paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) and domoic acid (DA). Our primary aims during this six-year study (2001-2006) were to assess whether the whales' exposure to these algal biotoxins occurred annually over multiple years, and to what extent individual whales were exposed repeatedly and/or concurrently to one or both toxin classes. Approximately 140 right whale fecal samples obtained across multiple habitats in the western N. Atlantic were analyzed for PSTs and DA. About 40% of these samples were attributed to individual whales in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog, permitting analysis of biotoxin exposure according to sex, age class, and reproductive status/history. Our findings demonstrate clearly that right whales are being exposed to both of these algal biotoxins on virtually an annual basis in multiple habitats for periods of up to six months (April through September), with similar exposure rates for females and males (PSTs: ∼70-80%; DA: ∼25-30%). Notably, only one of 14 lactating females sampled did not contain either PSTs or DA, suggesting the potential for maternal toxin transfer and possible effects on neonatal animals. Moreover, 22% of the fecal samples tested for PSTs and DA showed concurrent exposure to both neurotoxins, leading to questions of interactive

  17. From the eye of the albatrosses: a bird-borne camera shows an association between albatrosses and a killer whale in the Southern Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentaro Q Sakamoto

    Full Text Available Albatrosses fly many hundreds of kilometers across the open ocean to find and feed upon their prey. Despite the growing number of studies concerning their foraging behaviour, relatively little is known about how albatrosses actually locate their prey. Here, we present our results from the first deployments of a combined animal-borne camera and depth data logger on free-ranging black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys. The still images recorded from these cameras showed that some albatrosses actively followed a killer whale (Orcinus orca, possibly to feed on food scraps left by this diving predator. The camera images together with the depth profiles showed that the birds dived only occasionally, but that they actively dived when other birds or the killer whale were present. This association with diving predators or other birds may partially explain how albatrosses find their prey more efficiently in the apparently 'featureless' ocean, with a minimal requirement for energetically costly diving or landing activities.

  18. Using hierarchical bayes to understand movement, health, and survival in the endangered north atlantic right whale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S Schick

    Full Text Available Body condition is an indicator of health, and it plays a key role in many vital processes for mammalian species. While evidence of individual body condition can be obtained, these observations provide just brief glimpses into the health state of the animal. An analytical framework is needed for understanding how health of animals changes over space and time.Through knowledge of individual health we can better understand the status of populations. This is particularly important in endangered species, where the consequences of disruption of critical biological functions can push groups of animals rapidly toward extinction. Here we built a state-space model that provides estimates of movement, health, and survival. We assimilated 30+ years of photographic evidence of body condition and three additional visual health parameters in individual North Atlantic right whales, together with survey data, to infer the true health status as it changes over space and time. We also included the effect of reproductive status and entanglement status on health. At the population level, we estimated differential movement patterns in males and females. At the individual level, we estimated the likely animal locations each month. We estimated the relationship between observed and latent health status. Observations of body condition, skin condition, cyamid infestation on the blowholes, and rake marks all provided measures of the true underlying health. The resulting time series of individual health highlight both normal variations in health status and how anthropogenic stressors can affect the health and, ultimately, the survival of individuals. This modeling approach provides information for monitoring of health in right whales, as well as a framework for integrating observational data at the level of individuals up through the health status of the population. This framework can be broadly applied to a variety of systems - terrestrial and marine - where sporadic

  19. 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 since...

  20. 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: All...

  1. 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,...

  2. Optimization of Energy Efficiency and Conservation in Green Building Design Using Duelist, Killer-Whale and Rain-Water Algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biyanto, T. R.; Matradji; Syamsi, M. N.; Fibrianto, H. Y.; Afdanny, N.; Rahman, A. H.; Gunawan, K. S.; Pratama, J. A. D.; Malwindasari, A.; Abdillah, A. I.; Bethiana, T. N.; Putra, Y. A.

    2017-11-01

    The development of green building has been growing in both design and quality. The development of green building was limited by the issue of expensive investment. Actually, green building can reduce the energy usage inside the building especially in utilization of cooling system. External load plays major role in reducing the usage of cooling system. External load is affected by type of wall sheathing, glass and roof. The proper selection of wall, type of glass and roof material are very important to reduce external load. Hence, the optimization of energy efficiency and conservation in green building design is required. Since this optimization consist of integer and non-linear equations, this problem falls into Mixed-Integer-Non-Linear-Programming (MINLP) that required global optimization technique such as stochastic optimization algorithms. In this paper the optimized variables i.e. type of glass and roof were chosen using Duelist, Killer-Whale and Rain-Water Algorithms to obtain the optimum energy and considering the minimal investment. The optimization results exhibited the single glass Planibel-G with the 3.2 mm thickness and glass wool insulation provided maximum ROI of 36.8486%, EUI reduction of 54 kWh/m2·year, CO2 emission reduction of 486.8971 tons/year and reduce investment of 4,078,905,465 IDR.

  3. Killer Whale Nuclear Genome and mtDNA Reveal Widespread Population Bottleneck during the Last Glacial Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Andre E.; Janse van Rensburg, Charlene; Pilot, Malgorzata; Tehrani, Arman; Best, Peter B.; Thornton, Meredith; Plön, Stephanie; de Bruyn, P.J. Nico; Worley, Kim C.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Dahlheim, Marilyn E.; Hoelzel, Alan Rus

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem function and resilience is determined by the interactions and independent contributions of individual species. Apex predators play a disproportionately determinant role through their influence and dependence on the dynamics of prey species. Their demographic fluctuations are thus likely to reflect changes in their respective ecological communities and habitat. Here, we investigate the historical population dynamics of the killer whale based on draft nuclear genome data for the Northern Hemisphere and mtDNA data worldwide. We infer a relatively stable population size throughout most of the Pleistocene, followed by an order of magnitude decline and bottleneck during the Weichselian glacial period. Global mtDNA data indicate that while most populations declined, at least one population retained diversity in a stable, productive ecosystem off southern Africa. We conclude that environmental changes during the last glacial period promoted the decline of a top ocean predator, that these events contributed to the pattern of diversity among extant populations, and that the relatively high diversity of a population currently in productive, stable habitat off South Africa suggests a role for ocean productivity in the widespread decline. PMID:24497033

  4. Ecology of Hawaiian marine mammals emphasizing the impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on endangered species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, S.F.; Hartwig, E.O.

    1982-06-01

    Twenty-two marine mammal species including 2 baleen whales, 20 toothed whales, and one pinniped occur in Hawaiian waters. Among these are two endangered species, the migratory humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) around the main islands, and the non-migratory Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) in the extreme northwestern island chain. The endangered species are among those most commonly sighted, while spinner dolphins (Stenella spp.), bottle-nosed dolphins (Tursiops sp.), and false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are sighted less frequently. Most Hawaiian cetacean species are Odontoceti, or toothed whales, and feed on fish and squid. The Mysteceti or baleen whales feed on plankton, however the endangered humpback whale, which migrates to Hawaii to breed and calve, presumably does not feed there. The endangered monk seal feeds on cephalopods and fish. The impact of OTEC on endangered and non-endangered marine mammals results from several direct and indirect effects and is discussed in the text. Careful siting of OTEC plants away from humpback breeding areas and monk seal breeding and feeding areas will avoid adverse effects on these populations.

  5. The significance of respiration timing in the energetics estimates of free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roos, Marjoleine M H; Wu, Gi-Mick; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-07-01

    Respiration rate has been used as an indicator of metabolic rate and associated cost of transport (COT) of free-ranging cetaceans, discounting potential respiration-by-respiration variation in O2 uptake. To investigate the influence of respiration timing on O2 uptake, we developed a dynamic model of O2 exchange and storage. Individual respiration events were revealed from kinematic data from 10 adult Norwegian herring-feeding killer whales (Orcinus orca) recorded with high-resolution tags (DTAGs). We compared fixed O2 uptake per respiration models with O2 uptake per respiration estimated through a simple 'broken-stick' O2-uptake function, in which O2 uptake was assumed to be the maximum possible O2 uptake when stores are depleted or maximum total body O2 store minus existing O2 store when stores are close to saturated. In contrast to findings assuming fixed O2 uptake per respiration, uptake from the broken-stick model yielded a high correlation (r(2)>0.9) between O2 uptake and activity level. Moreover, we found that respiration intervals increased and became less variable at higher swimming speeds, possibly to increase O2 uptake efficiency per respiration. As found in previous studies, COT decreased monotonically versus speed using the fixed O2 uptake per respiration models. However, the broken-stick uptake model yielded a curvilinear COT curve with a clear minimum at typical swimming speeds of 1.7-2.4 m s(-1) Our results showed that respiration-by-respiration variation in O2 uptake is expected to be significant. And though O2 consumption measurements of COT for free-ranging cetaceans remain impractical, accounting for the influence of respiration timing on O2 uptake will lead to more consistent predictions of field metabolic rates than using respiration rate alone. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Satellite tagging and biopsy sampling of killer whales at subantarctic Marion Island: effectiveness, immediate reactions and long-term responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan R Reisinger

    Full Text Available Remote tissue biopsy sampling and satellite tagging are becoming widely used in large marine vertebrate studies because they allow the collection of a diverse suite of otherwise difficult-to-obtain data which are critical in understanding the ecology of these species and to their conservation and management. Researchers must carefully consider their methods not only from an animal welfare perspective, but also to ensure the scientific rigour and validity of their results. We report methods for shore-based, remote biopsy sampling and satellite tagging of killer whales Orcinus orca at Subantarctic Marion Island. The performance of these methods is critically assessed using 1 the attachment duration of low-impact minimally percutaneous satellite tags; 2 the immediate behavioural reactions of animals to biopsy sampling and satellite tagging; 3 the effect of researcher experience on biopsy sampling and satellite tagging; and 4 the mid- (1 month and long- (24 month term behavioural consequences. To study mid- and long-term behavioural changes we used multievent capture-recapture models that accommodate imperfect detection and individual heterogeneity. We made 72 biopsy sampling attempts (resulting in 32 tissue samples and 37 satellite tagging attempts (deploying 19 tags. Biopsy sampling success rates were low (43%, but tagging rates were high with improved tag designs (86%. The improved tags remained attached for 26±14 days (mean ± SD. Individuals most often showed no reaction when attempts missed (66% and a slight reaction-defined as a slight flinch, slight shake, short acceleration, or immediate dive-when hit (54%. Severe immediate reactions were never observed. Hit or miss and age-sex class were important predictors of the reaction, but the method (tag or biopsy was unimportant. Multievent trap-dependence modelling revealed considerable variation in individual sighting patterns; however, there were no significant mid- or long-term changes

  7. Satellite tagging and biopsy sampling of killer whales at subantarctic Marion Island: effectiveness, immediate reactions and long-term responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisinger, Ryan R; Oosthuizen, W Chris; Péron, Guillaume; Cory Toussaint, Dawn; Andrews, Russel D; de Bruyn, P J Nico

    2014-01-01

    Remote tissue biopsy sampling and satellite tagging are becoming widely used in large marine vertebrate studies because they allow the collection of a diverse suite of otherwise difficult-to-obtain data which are critical in understanding the ecology of these species and to their conservation and management. Researchers must carefully consider their methods not only from an animal welfare perspective, but also to ensure the scientific rigour and validity of their results. We report methods for shore-based, remote biopsy sampling and satellite tagging of killer whales Orcinus orca at Subantarctic Marion Island. The performance of these methods is critically assessed using 1) the attachment duration of low-impact minimally percutaneous satellite tags; 2) the immediate behavioural reactions of animals to biopsy sampling and satellite tagging; 3) the effect of researcher experience on biopsy sampling and satellite tagging; and 4) the mid- (1 month) and long- (24 month) term behavioural consequences. To study mid- and long-term behavioural changes we used multievent capture-recapture models that accommodate imperfect detection and individual heterogeneity. We made 72 biopsy sampling attempts (resulting in 32 tissue samples) and 37 satellite tagging attempts (deploying 19 tags). Biopsy sampling success rates were low (43%), but tagging rates were high with improved tag designs (86%). The improved tags remained attached for 26±14 days (mean ± SD). Individuals most often showed no reaction when attempts missed (66%) and a slight reaction-defined as a slight flinch, slight shake, short acceleration, or immediate dive-when hit (54%). Severe immediate reactions were never observed. Hit or miss and age-sex class were important predictors of the reaction, but the method (tag or biopsy) was unimportant. Multievent trap-dependence modelling revealed considerable variation in individual sighting patterns; however, there were no significant mid- or long-term changes following

  8. Diel and seasonal patterns of underwater sounds by Weddell seals, leopard seals, and killer whales in the Antarctic: When it's adaptive to be quiet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mindach, Debrah; Thomas, Jeanette

    2005-09-01

    Automated underwater recordings taken during the austral breeding season of the Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) in Antarctica also provided data on the vocalizations of predators in the area; leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) and killer whales (Orcinus orca). Weddell seals inhabit fast ice areas to give birth, mate, and molt. Near the end of the breeding season in December the fast ice often breaks out and the two pack ice predators are able to move near the Weddell seal colonies and prey on them, especially pups. Recordings were taken continuously for a 2.5-min period each hour from mid-October 1977 and late-January 1978 at Hutton Cliffs and South Turtle Rock Crack, in McMurdo Sound. The leopard seals increased their trill calls when killer whales came into the area as evidenced by an increase in their frequency-modulated squeak calls. Weddell seals decreased their vocalization rate dramatically (~10 sounds/min) compared to during the peak of the breeding season (~75 sounds/min). Perhaps by being quiet, Weddell seals do not attract predators to their area.

  9. Distribution of total mercury, methyl mercury and selenium in pod of killer whales (Orcinus Orca) stranded in the northern area of Japan: Comparison of mature females with calves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Endo, Tetsuya [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan)]. E-mail: endotty@hoku-iryo-u.ac.jp; Kimura, Osamu [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan); Hisamichi, Yohsuke [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan); Minoshima, Yasuhiko [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan); Haraguchi, Koichi [Daiichi College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 22-1 Tamagawa-Cho, Minami-Ku, Fukuoka 815-8511 (Japan); Kakumoto, Chiharu [Marine Wildlife Center of JAPAN - Incorporated Non Profit Organization/NPO, 1-35-103, N21W6 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021 (Japan); Kobayashi, Mari [Marine Wildlife Center of JAPAN - Incorporated Non Profit Organization/NPO, 1-35-103, N21W6 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0021 (Japan)

    2006-11-15

    Total mercury (T-Hg) and selenium (Se) concentrations in liver, kidney and muscle from a pod of killer whales including five mature females and three calves stranded in the northern area of Japan were analyzed. In the mature female, contamination level of T-Hg in the liver sample (62.2 {+-} 21.9 {mu}g/wet g) was markedly higher than that in kidney sample and muscle sample. The molar ratio of T-Hg to Se in the liver sample was approximately 1, and those in the kidney and muscle samples were markedly lower than 1. These results suggest that the formation of HgSe compound increases the hepatic accumulation of mercury (Hg). In contrast, contamination level of T-Hg in the calf organs was much lower than that in the mature female organs. These results suggest that the transfer of Hg from the mother to the fetus via placenta and/or to calf via milk is trace. - Total mercury, methyl mercury and selenium concentrations in liver, kidney and muscle from a pod of killer whales stranded in the northern area of Japan were analyzed.

  10. Persistence of skin marks on killer whales (Orcinus orca) caused by the parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in Iceland

    OpenAIRE

    Samarra, Filipa I.P.; Fennell, Alexandra; Aoki, Kagari; Deecke, Volker B.; Miller, Patrick J.O.

    2012-01-01

    Lampreys have long been thought to be a cetacean ectoparasite, due to the observation of round marks on the skin of whales caught during whaling operations. Pike (1951), Nemoto (1955), and van Utrecht (1959) compared such marks on the skin of various cetacean species caught in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with the dentition of lampreys and concluded that most round marks had been caused by this parasite. However, lampreys were never collected from captured whales and, due to the lack of di...

  11. Effects of body condition on buoyancy in endangered North Atlantic right whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nousek-McGregor, Anna E; Miller, Carolyn A; Moore, Michael J; Nowacek, Douglas P

    2014-01-01

    Buoyancy is an important consideration for diving marine animals, resulting in specific ecologically relevant adaptations. Marine mammals use blubber as an energy reserve, but because this tissue is also positively buoyant, nutritional demands have the potential to cause considerable variation in buoyancy. North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glacialis are known to be positively buoyant as a result of their blubber, and the thickness of this layer varies considerably, but the effect of this variation on buoyancy has not been explored. This study compared the duration and rate of ascending and descending glides, recorded with an archival tag, with blubber thickness, measured with an ultrasound device, in free-swimming right whales. Ascending whales with thicker blubber had shorter portions of active propulsion and longer passive glides than whales with thinner blubber, suggesting that blubber thickness influences buoyancy because the buoyant force is acting in the same direction as the animal's movement during this phase. Whales with thinner layers also used similar body angles and velocities when traveling to and from depth, while those with thicker layers used shallower ascent angles but achieved higher ascent velocities. Such alterations in body angle may help to reduce the cost of transport when swimming against the force of buoyancy in a state of augmented positive buoyancy, which represents a dynamic response to reduce the energetic consequences of physiological changes. These results have considerable implications for any diving marine animal during periods of nutritional stress, such as during seasonal migrations and annual variations in prey availability.

  12. Aerial Surveys of Endangered Whales in the Beaufort, Eastern Chukchi, and Northern Bearing Seas, 1982.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-06-01

    with the tail by two whales on 18 August (Figure 28)1 active swimming in a tight circles by groups of up to eight whales on 18 August; sexual play...In r,., i.W00 ,! B-5 544 s)10 (.4 (. 4 9: 44 0 aco 041 )44) la .4 kO C .J ~ C-4 1414 0. . 󈧬 0 C4 I 44W5nCP ,A 0 U.)I 04 to ’I 4 04 W1.4 4)C:,c ~O u

  13. 75 FR 81584 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sperm Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-28

    ... their ecosystems and no longer need the protections of the ESA. The sperm whale was listed as an..., including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, those in the Pacific Ocean and its adjoining seas and gulfs... base due to climate and ecosystem change were ranked as having an unknown impact. ] Ship strikes was...

  14. 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... scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission...

  15. Modeling (137)Cs bioaccumulation in the salmon-resident killer whale food web of the Northeastern Pacific following the Fukushima Nuclear Accident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alava, Juan José; Gobas, Frank A P C

    2016-02-15

    To track the long term bioaccumulation of (137)Cs in marine organisms off the Pacific Northwest coast of Canada, we developed a time dependent bioaccumulation model for (137)Cs in a marine mammalian food web that included fish-eating resident killer whales. The model outcomes show that (137)Cs can be expected to gradually bioaccumulate in the food web over time as demonstrated by the increase of the apparent trophic magnification factor of (137)Cs, ranging from 0.76 after 1 month of exposure to 2.0 following 30 years of exposure. (137)Cs bioaccumulation is driven by relatively rapid dietary uptake rates, moderate depuration rates in lower trophic level organisms and slow elimination rates in high trophic level organisms. Model estimates of the (137)Cs activity in species of the food web, based on current measurements and forecasts of (137)Cs activities in oceanic waters and sediments off the Canadian Pacific Northwest, indicate that the long term (137)Cs activities in fish species including Pacific herring, wild Pacific salmon, sablefish and halibut will remain well below the current (137)Cs-Canada Action Level for consumption (1000 Bq/kg) following a nuclear emergency. Killer whales and Pacific salmon are expected to exhibit the largest long term (137)Cs activities and may be good sentinels for monitoring (137)Cs in the region. Assessment of the long term consequences of (137)Cs releases from the Fukushima aftermath should consider the extent of ecological magnification in addition to ocean dilution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Modeling {sup 137}Cs bioaccumulation in the salmon–resident killer whale food web of the Northeastern Pacific following the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alava, Juan José, E-mail: jalavasa@sfu.ca; Gobas, Frank A.P.C.

    2016-02-15

    To track the long term bioaccumulation of {sup 137}Cs in marine organisms off the Pacific Northwest coast of Canada, we developed a time dependent bioaccumulation model for {sup 137}Cs in a marine mammalian food web that included fish-eating resident killer whales. The model outcomes show that {sup 137}Cs can be expected to gradually bioaccumulate in the food web over time as demonstrated by the increase of the apparent trophic magnification factor of {sup 137}Cs, ranging from 0.76 after 1 month of exposure to 2.0 following 30 years of exposure. {sup 137}Cs bioaccumulation is driven by relatively rapid dietary uptake rates, moderate depuration rates in lower trophic level organisms and slow elimination rates in high trophic level organisms. Model estimates of the {sup 137}Cs activity in species of the food web, based on current measurements and forecasts of {sup 137}Cs activities in oceanic waters and sediments off the Canadian Pacific Northwest, indicate that the long term {sup 137}Cs activities in fish species including Pacific herring, wild Pacific salmon, sablefish and halibut will remain well below the current {sup 137}Cs-Canada Action Level for consumption (1000 Bq/kg) following a nuclear emergency. Killer whales and Pacific salmon are expected to exhibit the largest long term {sup 137}Cs activities and may be good sentinels for monitoring {sup 137}Cs in the region. Assessment of the long term consequences of {sup 137}Cs releases from the Fukushima aftermath should consider the extent of ecological magnification in addition to ocean dilution. - Highlights: • A food web bioaccumulation model to assess the biomagnification of {sup 137}Cs is developed. • Cesium 137 exhibits bioaccumulation over time as simulated by the model. • Predicted activities in marine biota are below {sup 137}Cs-food consumption benchmarks. • Long-term monitoring of {sup 137}Cs in the ocean will improve the model predictions.

  17. Analysis of the microbial diversity in faecal material of the endangered blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guass, Olivia; Haapanen, Lisa Meier; Dowd, Scot E; Širović, Ana; McLaughlin, Richard William

    2016-07-01

    Using bacterial and fungal tag-encoded FLX-Titanium amplicon pyrosequencing, the microbiota of the faecal material of two blue whales living in the wild off the coast of California was investigated. In both samples the most predominant bacterial phylum was the Firmicutes with Clostridium spp. being the most dominant bacteria. The most predominant fungi were members of the phylum Ascomycota with Metschnikowia spp. being the most dominant. In this study, we also preliminarily characterised the culturable anaerobic bacteria from the faecal material, using traditional culture and 16S rRNA gene sequencing approaches. In total, three bacterial species belonging to the phylum Firmicutes were identified.

  18. Killer whales attack on South American sea lion associated with a fishing vessel: predator and prey tactics Ataque de orcas a un lobo marino sudamericano asociado a un barco pesquero: tácticas del predador y la presa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Florencia Grandi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between killer whales and sea lions are widely known. This work describes the predator-prey behaviour of killer whales and South American sea lion associated with a trawling fishery. In Argentina the predatory behaviours of killer whales and anti-predatory behaviours of South American sea lions have been described from costal based observations, but predator-prey behaviour of these species is poorly known at open waters. Here we describe a killer whale group attack on an individual sea lion, using a video recorded from a trawling vessel and an interview of the ship captain. This predator-prey behaviour represents an example of the complexity of interactions between marine mammals and fisheries along the Patagonian coast.Las interacciones entre orcas y lobos marinos son ampliamente conocidas. Este trabajo describe el comportamiento predador-presa entre orcas y un lobo marino sudamericano asociados a un barco pesquero de arrastre. Particularmente en Argentina el comportamiento predatorio de las orcas y el anti-predatorio de los lobos marinos comunes fueron descriptos mediante observaciones costeras, pero se sabe poco sobre el comportamiento de estas especies en aguas abiertas. En este trabajo, a partir de un video grabado desde un barco de pesca arrastrero, junto con la entrevista del capitán del barco, se describe cómo un grupo de orcas ataca a un lobo marino Sudamericano. Este comportamiento predador-presa representa un ejemplo sobre la complejidad de las interacciones entre mamíferos marinos y las pesquerías a lo largo de la costa patagónica.

  19. Tagging and Playback Studies to Toothed Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    stranding has not been elucidated. We now know that beaked whales react strongly to sonar, killer whale , and bandlimited noise by ceasing echolocation and...a more complete picture of pilot whale baseline behavior and vocalization rates in different social contexts, as well as calculating more exact...follows and attempts at tagging these animals, no tags were successfully deployed. In 2011, playbacks of both mammal-eating killer whale calls and

  20. Aerial surveys of endangered cetaceans and other marine mammals in the northwestern Gulf of Alaska and southeastern Bering Sea. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brueggeman, J.J.; Green, G.A.; Grotefendt, R.A.; Chapman, D.G.

    1987-09-01

    Aerial surveys were conducted in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska and southeastern Bering Sea to determine the abundance, distribution, and habitat use patterns of endangered cetaceans and other marine mammals. Four species of cetaceans listed by the Federal Government as endangered were observed: gray, humpback, finback, and sperm whales. Sightings were also made to seven nonendangered species of cetaceans: minke, Cuvier's beaked, Baird's beaked, belukha, and killer whales, and Dall and harbor porpoises. Results show that the project area is an important feeding ground for relatively large numbers of humpback and finback whales and lower numbers of gray whale migration route between seasonal ranges. The project area also supports a variety of other marine mammals both seasonally and annually.

  1. Stenurus globicephalae Baylis et Daubney, 1925 (Nematoda: Pseudaliidae from a False Killer Whale, Pseudorca crassidens (Cetacea: Delphinidae, Stranded on the Coast of Uruguay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zylber María Inés

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Stenurus globicephalae Baylis et Daubney, 1925 (Nematoda: Pseudaliidae was found in the cranial air sinuses of a false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, stranded on the coast of Uruguay in 1999. Although this species has been reported once in P. crassidens from the North Atlantic, this is the first record for South America. A total of 920 specimens were obtained, of which 663 were females (body length: 4.34 ± 0.45 cm and 257 were males (2.99 ± 0.18 cm. Morphometric details are presented for S. globicephalae in this host, which do not show significant differences from those parasitizing Globicephala melas (Traill, but are distinct from those parasitizing Peponocephala electra (Gray. The host's skull revealed loss of osseous mass with the disappearance of the left zygomatic arch, and the left jaw had three osseous fenestrations in the region related to the organ of acoustic reception. These lesions support the hypothesis that this infection, known as stenurosis, was related to the stranding.

  2. Stenurus globicephalae Baylis et Daubney, 1925 (Nematoda: Pseudaliidae) from a false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidens (Cetacea: Delphinidae), stranded on the coast of Uruguay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zylber, María Inés; Failla, Gabriela; Le Bas, Alfredo

    2002-03-01

    Stenurus globicephalae Baylis et Daubney, 1925 (Nematoda: Pseudaliidae) was found in the cranial air sinuses of a false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidens (Owen), stranded on the coast of Uruguay in 1999. Although this species has been reported once in P. crassidens from the North Atlantic, this is the first record for South America. A total of 920 specimens were obtained, of which 663 were females (body length: 4.34 +/- 0.45 cm) and 257 were males (2.99 +/- 0.18 cm). Morphometric details are presented for S. globicephalae in this host, which do not show significant differences from those parasitizing Globicephala melas (Traill), but are distinct from those parasitizing Peponocephala electra (Gray). The host's skull revealed loss of osseous mass with the disappearance of the left zygomatic arch, and the left jaw had three osseous fenestrations in the region related to the organ of acoustic reception. These lesions support the hypothesis that this infection, known as stenurosis, was related to the stranding.

  3. Shipboard surveys of endangered cetaceans in the northwestern Gulf of Alaska. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brueggeman, J.J.; Green, G.A.; Tressler, R.W.; Chapman, D.G.

    1988-10-01

    Shipboard surveys were conducted during June-July 1987 along 2,034 nmi of trackline south of the Alaska Peninsula to determine the abundance and distribution of endangered whales and other marine mammals. There were 150 observations of humpback whales, 122 of finback whales, 351 of Dall porpoises, 101 of killer whales, 12 of minke whales, 3 of harbor porpoises, and 170 of pinnipeds and sea otters. Humpbacks were primarily associated with the 50- and 100-fathom isobaths, particularly near the Shelikof Strait submarine canyon and some banks. Humpbacks and finbacks were observed on one occasion feeding together, but their distribution generally did not overlap. The other species were widespread in the study area except for killer whales, which were observed together east of Kodiak Island. Abundance was estimated for humpbacks at 1,247 (+ or - 392 SE) and finbacks at 1,257 (+ or - 563 SE). Sample sizes were too small to estiamte abundance for the other species. These results are similar to those developed for this area in 1985.

  4. 75 FR 17377 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Southern Resident Killer Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-06

    ... status, threats and recovery actions for Southern Residents, including updates since the ESA listing in... determination or most recent status review. Categories of requested information include: (1) species biology...

  5. Elemental distribution patterns in the skins of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) from a mass stranding in South Africa, analysed using micro-PIXE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mouton, M., E-mail: marnel@sun.ac.za [Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7600 (South Africa); Botha, A., E-mail: abo@sun.ac.za [Department of Microbiology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7600 (South Africa); Thornton, M., E-mail: meredith@sharkwatchsa.com [Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria, c/o Iziko South African Museum, P.O. Box 61, Cape Town 8000 (South Africa); Mesjasz-Przybyłowicz, J., E-mail: mesjasz@tlabs.ac.za [iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation, P.O. Box 722, Somerset West 7129 (South Africa); Przybyłowicz, W.J., E-mail: przybylowicz@tlabs.ac.za [iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation, P.O. Box 722, Somerset West 7129 (South Africa); AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, Al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow (Poland)

    2015-11-15

    Several studies revealed that anthropogenic activities often cause toxic concentrations of some elements, such as mercury, which bio-accumulate through the marine food chain, impacting negatively on the health of animals in the top trophic levels, such as a variety of marine mammals. Moreover, analysis of cetacean skin has been reported to be a reliable, long-term and mostly non-invasive method to monitor bio-accumulation of chemicals in cetacean populations. Several elements, including trace elements, occur naturally in cetacean skin, although nothing is known about their distribution patterns and little about safe base line concentrations. In May 2009, 42 false killer whales (FKWs) beached and died at Kommetjie in the Western Cape of South Africa. Skin samples of these FKWs were collected and analysed to determine elemental distribution patterns. The concentrations and distribution patterns of the major, as well as detectable trace elements were determined in skin samples from ten randomly selected FKW individuals, using micro-PIXE (particle-induced X-ray emission) analysis. Results revealed differences between the distribution patterns of elements in the skin sections. Fe, for example, was found to be concentrated in the dermal papillae, whereas the highest Zn concentrations occurred in the epidermis and particularly in the epidermal papillae. Since these essential elements mediate factors such as host immunity, from skin integrity to humoral immunity, knowledge of their typical distribution patterns can be of great value in studies of bio-accumulation. This is the first report of micro-PIXE being employed to study elemental distribution in cetacean skin and the resulting elemental distribution maps can serve as reference in future environmental pollution studies.

  6. High status of mercury and selenium in false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens, Owen 1846) stranded on Southern South America: A possible toxicological concern?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cáceres-Saez, Iris; Haro, Daniela; Blank, Olivia; Aguayo Lobo, Anelio; Dougnac, Catherine; Arredondo, Cristóbal; Cappozzo, H Luis; Guevara, Sergio Ribeiro

    2018-02-10

    The study was carried out to determine Hg and Se concentrations in false killer whales stranded on the Estrecho de Magallanes, Chile, South America. Tissue samples of five mature specimens were analyzed (two females and three males). Mean Hg concentration in liver 1068 (234) μg g -1 dry weight (DW) (standard deviation in parenthesis) was markedly higher than those in kidney 272 (152) μg g -1 DW, lung 423 (325) μg g -1 DW, spleen 725 (696) μg g -1 DW, muscle 118 (94) μg g -1 DW and testicle 18.0 (2.8) μg g -1 DW. Mean Se concentration in liver, 398 (75) μg g -1 DW, was higher than those in kidney 162 (69) μg g -1 DW, lung 128 (84) μg g -1 DW, spleen 268 (245) μg g -1 DW, muscle 47 (38) μg g -1 DW and testicle 25.4 (2.1) μg g -1 DW. Positive correlations were found between Hg and Se molar concentrations in muscle, lung, spleen and kidney. Molar ratio of Se/Hg in liver, lung and muscle were 1 suggesting a Se protection against Hg toxicity. In all the examined specimens Hg values exceeded the toxic thresholds defined for hepatic damage in marine mammals, with Se/Hg molar ratios below 1 implying limited protective action of Se. Generally, our results showed that individuals are carrying a significant burden, reflecting a high exposure to this toxic metal. This constitutes the first report on Hg and Se levels for a large subantarctic odontocete in South America region, providing insights into their contamination status and with information to the understanding of possible impacts on wild populations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Elemental distribution patterns in the skins of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) from a mass stranding in South Africa, analysed using micro-PIXE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouton, M.; Botha, A.; Thornton, M.; Mesjasz-Przybyłowicz, J.; Przybyłowicz, W. J.

    2015-11-01

    Several studies revealed that anthropogenic activities often cause toxic concentrations of some elements, such as mercury, which bio-accumulate through the marine food chain, impacting negatively on the health of animals in the top trophic levels, such as a variety of marine mammals. Moreover, analysis of cetacean skin has been reported to be a reliable, long-term and mostly non-invasive method to monitor bio-accumulation of chemicals in cetacean populations. Several elements, including trace elements, occur naturally in cetacean skin, although nothing is known about their distribution patterns and little about safe base line concentrations. In May 2009, 42 false killer whales (FKWs) beached and died at Kommetjie in the Western Cape of South Africa. Skin samples of these FKWs were collected and analysed to determine elemental distribution patterns. The concentrations and distribution patterns of the major, as well as detectable trace elements were determined in skin samples from ten randomly selected FKW individuals, using micro-PIXE (particle-induced X-ray emission) analysis. Results revealed differences between the distribution patterns of elements in the skin sections. Fe, for example, was found to be concentrated in the dermal papillae, whereas the highest Zn concentrations occurred in the epidermis and particularly in the epidermal papillae. Since these essential elements mediate factors such as host immunity, from skin integrity to humoral immunity, knowledge of their typical distribution patterns can be of great value in studies of bio-accumulation. This is the first report of micro-PIXE being employed to study elemental distribution in cetacean skin and the resulting elemental distribution maps can serve as reference in future environmental pollution studies.

  8. Circumpolar diversity and geographic differentiation of mtDNA in the critically endangered Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sremba, Angela L; Hancock-Hanser, Brittany; Branch, Trevor A; LeDuc, Rick L; Baker, C Scott

    2012-01-01

    The Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) was hunted to near extinction between 1904 and 1972, declining from an estimated initial abundance of more than 250,000 to fewer than 400. Here, we describe mtDNA control region diversity and geographic differentiation in the surviving population of the Antarctic blue whale, using 218 biopsy samples collected under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) during research cruises from 1990-2009. Microsatellite genotypes and mtDNA sequences identified 166 individuals among the 218 samples and documented movement of a small number of individuals, including a female that traveled at least 6,650 km or 131° longitude over four years. mtDNA sequences from the 166 individuals were aligned with published sequences from 17 additional individuals, resolving 52 unique haplotypes from a consensus length of 410 bp. From this minimum census, a rarefaction analysis predicted that only 72 haplotypes (95% CL, 64, 86) have survived in the contemporary population of Antarctic blue whales. However, haplotype diversity was relatively high (0.968±0.004), perhaps as a result of the longevity of blue whales and the relatively recent timing of the bottleneck. Despite the potential for circumpolar dispersal, we found significant differentiation in mtDNA diversity (F(ST) = 0.032, pblue whales.

  9. Soundwatch: Eighteen years of monitoring whale watch vessel activities in the Salish Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Seely

    Full Text Available The Soundwatch Boater Education Program is a vessel monitoring and public education outreach program. Soundwatch has been run by The Whale Museum (TWM during the whale watch season (May through September in the Haro Strait Region of the Central Salish Sea since 1993. Data collection has been in a consistent manner since 1998 and is presented here. The program compiles data on vessel types and vessel interactions with marine mammals with a focus on the Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW, Orcinas orca, which was listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA in 2005. The primary goal of the Soundwatch program is to reduce vessel disturbance to SRKWs and other marine wildlife through the education of boaters on regional, local and federal guidelines and regulations and the systematic monitoring of vessel activities around cetaceans. Since 1998, the number of active commercial whale watching vessels has increased over time; ranging from a low of 63 in 1999, to a high of 96 in 2015. In addition, the number of vessel incidents or violation of regulations and guidelines has also increased; ranging from a low of 398 in 1998 to a high of 2621 in 2012. Soundwatch collected data on 23 incident types, some remaining the same over the 18-year data set and some changing over time. The most common incidents over the 18 years were "Within 880 m of Lime Kiln" and "Crossing the path of whales". The numbers of people kayaking near whales also significantly increased since 2004 with the incident "kayaks spread out" with a significantly increasing trend making it difficult for whales to avoid vessels. These results suggest a need for further outreach for effective education and enforcement of whale watching guidelines and regulations in the Central Salish Sea.

  10. Circumpolar diversity and geographic differentiation of mtDNA in the critically endangered Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela L Sremba

    Full Text Available The Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia was hunted to near extinction between 1904 and 1972, declining from an estimated initial abundance of more than 250,000 to fewer than 400. Here, we describe mtDNA control region diversity and geographic differentiation in the surviving population of the Antarctic blue whale, using 218 biopsy samples collected under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC during research cruises from 1990-2009. Microsatellite genotypes and mtDNA sequences identified 166 individuals among the 218 samples and documented movement of a small number of individuals, including a female that traveled at least 6,650 km or 131° longitude over four years. mtDNA sequences from the 166 individuals were aligned with published sequences from 17 additional individuals, resolving 52 unique haplotypes from a consensus length of 410 bp. From this minimum census, a rarefaction analysis predicted that only 72 haplotypes (95% CL, 64, 86 have survived in the contemporary population of Antarctic blue whales. However, haplotype diversity was relatively high (0.968±0.004, perhaps as a result of the longevity of blue whales and the relatively recent timing of the bottleneck. Despite the potential for circumpolar dispersal, we found significant differentiation in mtDNA diversity (F(ST = 0.032, p<0.005 and microsatellite alleles (F(ST = 0.005, p<0.05 among the six Antarctic Areas historically used by the IWC for management of blue whales.

  11. 76 FR 10560 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15530

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-25

    ... endangered: blue whale (Balaenoptera ] musculus), fin whale (B. physalus), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), right whale (Eubalaena japonica), sei whale (B. borealis), beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) Cook Inlet stock, killer whale (Orcinus orca) southern resident stock, and sperm whale (Physeter...

  12. 78 FR 50032 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Whale Shark as...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-16

    ... species (Castro et al., 2007). A second study, using nuclear DNA, also found low differentiation among... (e.g., population abundance and trends, productivity, spatial structure, age structure, sex ratio... megamouth (Megachasma pelagios) shark. Among the whale shark's distinctive features are its large, first...

  13. Satellite tracking reveals novel migratory patterns and the importance of seamounts for endangered South Pacific humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrigue, Claire; Clapham, Phillip J; Geyer, Ygor; Kennedy, Amy S; Zerbini, Alexandre N

    2015-11-01

    The humpback whale population of New Caledonia appears to display a novel migratory pattern characterized by multiple directions, long migratory paths and frequent pauses over seamounts and other shallow geographical features. Using satellite-monitored radio tags, we tracked 34 whales for between 5 and 110 days, travelling between 270 and 8540 km on their southward migration from a breeding ground in southern New Caledonia. Mean migration speed was 3.53±2.22 km h(-1), while movements within the breeding ground averaged 2.01±1.63 km h(-1). The tag data demonstrate that seamounts play an important role as offshore habitats for this species. Whales displayed an intensive use of oceanic seamounts both in the breeding season and on migration. Seamounts probably serve multiple and important roles as breeding locations, resting areas, navigational landmarks or even supplemental feeding grounds for this species, which can be viewed as a transient component of the seamount communities. Satellite telemetry suggests that seamounts represent an overlooked cryptic habitat for the species. The frequent use by humpback whales of such remote locations has important implications for conservation and management.

  14. Killer whale morphology - Variation in morphology of killer whale ecotypes

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We are using elliptic Fourier analysis to determine the patterns of variation in morphology of dorsal fin shape, saddle patch shape, and eye patch shape of resident,...

  15. 77 FR 22760 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent To Update a Recovery Plan for the Blue Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-17

    ... Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended to develop plans for the ] conservation and survival of federally listed species, i.e., recovery plans. DATES: To allow NMFS adequate time to conduct the reviews... species. Section 4(f)(1)(B) of the ESA specifies that recovery plans must incorporate in each plan (i) a...

  16. Disturbance-specific social responses in long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Visser, Fleur; Curé, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Lam, Frans-Peter A; Tyack, Peter L; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-01-01

    Social interactions among animals can influence their response to disturbance. We investigated responses of long-finned pilot whales to killer whale sound playbacks and two anthropogenic sources of disturbance...

  17. Fine-Scale Focal Dtag Behavioral Study of Diel Trends in Activity Budgets and Sound Production of Endangered Baleen Whales in the Gulf of Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    whale calls in the Bay of Fundy and Cape Cod Bay. North Atlantic Right whale Consortium Meeting 2009, New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, MA...Christopher Clark at Cornell University, involving the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (Leila Hatch) and the Northeast Fisheries Science...Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service (Sofie Van Parijs). WORK COMPLETED The first cruise occurred in June and July 2008 and

  18. The electrocardiogram and heart rate in three mid-sized whale species

    OpenAIRE

    Bickett, Natalie

    2017-01-01

    Although there are many studies describing the behavior/ecology of whales, little is known of their physiology. Furthermore, the limited data available regarding cardiac function in whales have been collected under atypical conditions. To address this, we applied electrocardiogram (ECG) recorders with a suction cup attachment technique to a killer whale (Orcinus orca), pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) to investigate heart rate regulation. The ...

  19. 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...

  20. Off-Range Beaked Whale Studies (ORBS): Baseline Data and Tagging Development for Northern Bottlenose Whales (Hyperoodon ampulatus) off Jan Mayen, Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    make it possible to over longer-time and wider-spatial aspects of behavioral responses using multi-scale observations. The proposed killer whale and...sounds. Visual tracking was strong until the killer whale playback when the animals were not sighted after an apparently strong behavioral response to...studies have reported behavioral responses of a small number of beaked whales to experimentally-presented sonar signals (Tyack et al., 2011

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Book review: Unveiling the Whale: Discourses on Whales and Whaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Schelhas

    2012-01-01

    Whaling represents one of the most internationally controversial and highly polarized environmental issues of recent times. Arne Kalland, in Unveiling the Whale: Discourses on Whales and Whaling, examines the whaling issue from the perspective of a pro-whaling country with an emphasis on analysis of discourse in international arenas, primarily the International Whaling...

  4. Baseline Behavior of Pilot Whales and their Responses to Playback of Anthropogenic and Natural Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Baseline Behavior of Pilot Whales and their Responses to...N000141210417 LONG-TERM GOALS This project investigates the social ecology and baseline behavior of pilot whales , and their responses to anthropogenic...and estimating a robust quantification of group cohesion  Conduct playback experiments to study responses of tagged whales to sounds of killer whales

  5. "Invisible" Killer

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 8270. Consumers can obtain recall information at CPSC’s web site at http://www.cpsc.gov . Consumers can report product hazards to info@cpsc.gov . U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Washington, DC 20207 The “Invisible” KILLER Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the “invisible” killer. ...

  6. Movements and Habitat Use of Dwarf and Pygmy Sperm Whales using Remotely-Deployed LIMPET Satellite Tags

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    individual photo-identification (Mahaffy et al. 2009). As part of this work we have been able to identify certain behavioral patterns of dwarf sperm whales ...spotted dolphins, and examining false killer whale movements”, funded by the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) under Grant Number...will be undertaken in association with a project on “False killer whale movements in relation to longline fishing activity: assessment of interactions

  7. Blue Whales Respond to Anthropogenic Noise

    OpenAIRE

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

    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...

  8. Distribution patterns and migratory behavior of Antarctic blue whales

    OpenAIRE

    Thomisch, Karolin

    2016-01-01

    After having been one of the primary targets of commercial whaling during the 20th century, Antarctic blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) are still listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and many aspects of their distribution and migration patterns remain poorly understood to date. This dissertation investigates spatio-temporal patterns in the (acoustic) presence of Antarctic blue whales in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean and...

  9. 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...

  10. Behavioral Responses of Naive Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in the Ligurian Sea to Playback of Anthropogenic and Natural Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Behavioral Responses of Naïve Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in...cavirostris) to MFA sonar signals. Secondary goals included conducting a killer whale playback that has not been preceded by a sonar playback (as in Tyack...detailed reconstruction of whale behavior before, during, and after sonar transmissions. The tag is attached to the whale with suction cups using a

  11. Trackline and Point Detection Probabilities for Acoustic Surveys of Cuvier’s and Blainville’s Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    For acoustic sur- veys of beaked whales , this value cannot be assumed to be 1.0 (certain detection) because beaked whales are silent for long periods...Pitman, R. L., and Balance, L. T. (2008). “Satellite tracking reveals distinct movement patterns for Type B and Type C killer whales in the...Trackline and point detection probabilities for acoustic surveys of Cuvier’s and Blainville’s beaked whales Jay Barlowa) Protected Resources Division

  12. Sound production by singing humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo; Schneider, Jennifer N; Pack, Adam A; Herman, Louis M

    2010-04-01

    Sounds from humpback whale songs were analyzed to evaluate possible mechanisms of sound production. Song sounds fell along a continuum with trains of discrete pulses at one end and continuous tonal signals at the other. This graded vocal repertoire is comparable to that seen in false killer whales [Murray et al. (1998). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 104, 1679-1688] and human singers, indicating that all three species generate sounds by varying the tension of pneumatically driven, vibrating membranes. Patterns in the spectral content of sounds and in nonlinear sound features show that resonating air chambers may also contribute to humpback whale sound production. Collectively, these findings suggest that categorizing individual units within songs into discrete types may obscure how singers modulate song features and illustrate how production-based characterizations of vocalizations can provide new insights into how humpback whales sing.

  13. Advanced Whale Detection Methods to Improve Whale-Ship Collision Avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGillivary, P. A.; Tougher, B.

    2010-12-01

    Collisions between whales and ships are now estimated to account for fully a third of all whale deaths worldwide. Such collisions can incur costly ship repairs, and may damage or disable ship steering requiring costly response efforts from state and federal agencies. While collisions with rare whale species are problematic in further reducing their low population numbers, collisions with some of the more abundant whale species are also becoming more common as their populations increase. The problem is compounded as ship traffic likewise continues to grow, thus posing a growing risk to both whales and ships. Federal agencies are considering policies to alter shipping lanes to minimize whale-ship collisions off California and elsewhere. Similar efforts have already been undertaken for the Boston Harbor ship approach, where a bend in the shipping lane was introduced to reduce ship traffic through a favorite area of the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The Boston shipping approach lane was also flanked with a system of moorings with whale detection hydrophones which broadcast the presence of calling whales in or near the ship channel to approaching ships in real time. When so notified, ships can post lookouts to avoid whale collisions, and reduce speed to reduce the likelihood of whale death, which is highly speed dependent. To reduce the likelihood and seriousness of whale-ship collisions off California and Alaska in particular, there is a need to better know areas of particularly high use by whales, and consider implementation of reduced ship speeds in these areas. There is also an ongoing discussion of altering shipping lanes in the Santa Barbara Channel to avoid habitual Blue whales aggregation areas in particular. However, unlike the case for Boston Harbor, notification of ships that whales are nearby to reduce or avoid collisions is complicated because many California and Alaska whale species do not call regularly, and would thus be undetected by

  14. Disturbance-specific social responses in long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, F.; Curé, C.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.A.; Tyack, P.L.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2016-01-01

    Social interactions among animals can influence their response to disturbance. We investigated responses of long-finned pilot whales to killer whale sound playbacks and two anthropogenic sources of disturbance: Tagging effort and naval sonar exposure. The acoustic scene and diving behaviour of

  15. Baleen Whale Responses to a High-Frequency Active Pinger: Implications for Upper Frequency Hearing Limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    P. E. Nachtigall, M. Breese, and A. Y. Supin. 2005. “ Behavioral and Auditory Evoked Potential Audiograms of a False Killer Whale (Pseudorca... behavior continued as normal. None of the blue whales demonstrated any behavioral response, and continued their normal surface behavior , dive...this time and the change in behavior was similar to what had been observed prior. Therefore, it is inconclusive whether the humpback whale

  16. Population Consequences of Acoustic Disturbance of Blainville’s Beaked Whales at AUTEC

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    N000141210213 http://www.bahamaswhales.org LONG-TERM GOALS Atypical strandings and behavioral responses of beaked whales have been associated...diving behavior of beaked whales and other odontocete cetacean species on the US Navy’s AUTEC range before, during and after sonar exercises in which...potential for recovery of west coast transient killer whales using coastal waters of British Columbia. Research document 2007/088 prepared for the

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyack, Peter L; Zimmer, Walter M X; Moretti, David; Southall, Brandon L; Claridge, Diane E; Durban, John W; Clark, Christopher W; D'Amico, Angela; DiMarzio, Nancy; Jarvis, Susan; McCarthy, Elena; Morrissey, Ronald; Ward, Jessica; Boyd, Ian L

    2011-03-14

    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 regulators to define

  19. Compliance with vessel speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic right whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Silber, Gregory K; Adams, Jeffrey D; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    .... We assessed vessel operator compliance with a December 2008 regulation aimed at reducing collisions with the endangered North Atlantic right whale that requires vessels 65 feet or greater in length...

  20. Behavioral Responses of Nave Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in the Ligurian Sea to Playback of Anthropogenic and Natural Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Behavioral Responses of Naïve Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in...Secondary goals included conducting a killer whale playback that has not been preceded by a sonar playback (as in Tyack et al. 2011) and collecting...information. DTAG audio was sampled at 192 kHz and other sensors at 50 Hz, allowing for a detailed reconstruction of whale behavior before, during, and

  1. Baleen whale ecology and feeding habitat use in the Bay of Fundy, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, K. T. A.; Brown, M.; Taggart, C. T.

    2016-02-01

    The Bay of Fundy on the east coast of Canada contains a rich supply of zooplankton and fish that provide food for diverse baleen whales. Endangered North Atlantic right whales and other large baleen whales have been monitored in the Bay of Fundy at least weekly during every summer since the 1980s. Over the most recent years, significant declines in sightings and residency of the right whales have been observed in this habitat; hypothetically indicative of a substantial and multi-year reduction in food supply. Whether concurrent changes in other baleen whales and, by inference, their respective food supplies have also occurred is unknown. This study quantifies changes in baleen whale ecology in the Bay over three decades with a focus on comparing (1) recent declines in right whale sightings to long-term historical trends, and (2) variation in right whale sightings to other large baleen whale species who share similar zooplankton food sources (e.g., sei whales) or rely on different food sources (e.g., fin, humpback). First, survey effort is reconstructed as survey track-length and as time-on-effort, and the space-time variations in effort are quantified. Then, variation in whale density indices and residency among surveys and survey-years are examined through effort-corrected sightings of all baleen whale species, as well as effort-corrected sightings of photo-identified right whale individuals. Results are then interpreted within the context of the oceanographic and food supply variation in the habitat.

  2. 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.

  3. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 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.

  4. Gene-culture coevolution in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-07-24

    Whales and dolphins (Cetacea) have excellent social learning skills as well as a long and strong mother-calf bond. These features produce stable cultures, and, in some species, sympatric groups with different cultures. There is evidence and speculation that this cultural transmission of behavior has affected gene distributions. Culture seems to have driven killer whales into distinct ecotypes, which may be incipient species or subspecies. There are ecotype-specific signals of selection in functional genes that correspond to cultural foraging behavior and habitat use by the different ecotypes. The five species of whale with matrilineal social systems have remarkably low diversity of mtDNA. Cultural hitchhiking, the transmission of functionally neutral genes in parallel with selective cultural traits, is a plausible hypothesis for this low diversity, especially in sperm whales. In killer whales the ecotype divisions, together with founding bottlenecks, selection, and cultural hitchhiking, likely explain the low mtDNA diversity. Several cetacean species show habitat-specific distributions of mtDNA haplotypes, probably the result of mother-offspring cultural transmission of migration routes or destinations. In bottlenose dolphins, remarkable small-scale differences in haplotype distribution result from maternal cultural transmission of foraging methods, and large-scale redistributions of sperm whale cultural clans in the Pacific have likely changed mitochondrial genetic geography. With the acceleration of genomics new results should come fast, but understanding gene-culture coevolution will be hampered by the measured pace of research on the socio-cultural side of cetacean biology.

  5. Gene–culture coevolution in whales and dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-01-01

    Whales and dolphins (Cetacea) have excellent social learning skills as well as a long and strong mother–calf bond. These features produce stable cultures, and, in some species, sympatric groups with different cultures. There is evidence and speculation that this cultural transmission of behavior has affected gene distributions. Culture seems to have driven killer whales into distinct ecotypes, which may be incipient species or subspecies. There are ecotype-specific signals of selection in functional genes that correspond to cultural foraging behavior and habitat use by the different ecotypes. The five species of whale with matrilineal social systems have remarkably low diversity of mtDNA. Cultural hitchhiking, the transmission of functionally neutral genes in parallel with selective cultural traits, is a plausible hypothesis for this low diversity, especially in sperm whales. In killer whales the ecotype divisions, together with founding bottlenecks, selection, and cultural hitchhiking, likely explain the low mtDNA diversity. Several cetacean species show habitat-specific distributions of mtDNA haplotypes, probably the result of mother–offspring cultural transmission of migration routes or destinations. In bottlenose dolphins, remarkable small-scale differences in haplotype distribution result from maternal cultural transmission of foraging methods, and large-scale redistributions of sperm whale cultural clans in the Pacific have likely changed mitochondrial genetic geography. With the acceleration of genomics new results should come fast, but understanding gene–culture coevolution will be hampered by the measured pace of research on the socio-cultural side of cetacean biology. PMID:28739936

  6. 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.

  7. An Economical Custom-Built Drone for Assessing Whale Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Pirotta

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs have huge potential to improve the safety and efficiency of sample collection from wild animals under logistically challenging circumstances. Here we present a method for surveying population health that uses UAVs to sample respiratory vapor, ‘whale blow,' exhaled by free-swimming humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, and coupled this with amplification and sequencing of respiratory tract microbiota. We developed a low-cost multirotor UAV incorporating a sterile petri dish with a remotely operated ‘blow' to sample whale blow with minimal disturbance to the whales. This design addressed several sampling challenges: accessibility; safety; cost, and critically, minimized the collection of atmospheric and seawater microbiota and other potential sources of sample contamination. We collected 59 samples of blow from northward migrating humpback whales off Sydney, Australia and used high throughput sequencing of bacterial ribosomal gene markers to identify putative respiratory tract microbiota. Model-based comparisons with seawater and drone-captured air demonstrated that our system minimized external sources of contamination and successfully captured sufficient material to identify whale blow-specific microbial taxa. Whale-specific taxa included species and genera previously associated with the respiratory tracts or oral cavities of mammals (e.g., Pseudomonas, Clostridia, Cardiobacterium, as well as species previously isolated from dolphin or killer whale blowholes (Corynebacteria, others. Many examples of exogenous marine species were identified, including Tenacibaculum and Psychrobacter spp. that have been associated with the skin microbiota of marine mammals and fish and may include pathogens. This information provides a baseline of respiratory tract microbiota profiles of contemporary whale health. Customized UAVs are a promising new tool for marine megafauna research and may have broad application in

  8. 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...

  9. Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA's Endangered Species Protection Program helps promote recovery of listed species. The ESPP determines if pesticide use in a geographic area may affect any listed species. Find needed limits on pesticide use in Endangered Species Protection Bulletins.

  10. 75 FR 61690 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Designating Critical Habitat for the Endangered North...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-06

    ... Atlantic Ocean (59 FR 28805; June 3, 1994). This critical habitat designation includes portions of Cape Cod... Wildlife and Designating Critical Habitat for the Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION...

  11. 75 FR 29984 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-28

    ... North Pacific (CNP) stock of endangered humpback whales by the Hawaii-based longline fisheries (deep-set...: Reference material for this permit is available on the Internet at the following address: http://www.fpir... (deep-set and shallow-set) to incidentally take individuals from the CNP stock of humpback whales, which...

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Evidence that ship noise increases stress in right whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-22

    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 and alterations in the intensity, frequency and intervals of calls. However, it has been unclear whether exposure to noise results in physiological responses that may lead to significant consequences for individuals or populations. Here, we show that reduced ship traffic in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, following the events of 11 September 2001, resulted in a 6 dB decrease in underwater noise with a significant reduction below 150 Hz. This noise reduction was associated with decreased baseline levels of stress-related faecal hormone metabolites (glucocorticoids) in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). This is the first evidence that exposure to low-frequency ship noise may be associated with chronic stress in whales, and has implications for all baleen whales in heavy ship traffic areas, and for recovery of this endangered right whale population.

  15. 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. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-23

    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) probably contributes to risk of collisions with ships. In this study, feeding right whales tagged with archival suction cup tags spent the majority of their time just below the water's surface where they cannot be seen but are shallow enough to be vulnerable to ship strike. Habitat surveys show that large patches of right whale prey are common in the upper 5 m of the water column in CCB during spring. These results indicate that the typical spring-time foraging ecology of right whales may contribute to their high level of mortality from vessel collisions. The results of this study suggest that remote acoustic detection of prey aggregations may be a useful supplement to the management and conservation of right whales.

  17. Frequent loss and alteration of the MOXD2 gene in catarrhines and whales: a possible connection with the evolution of olfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dong Seon; Wang, Yao; Oh, Hye Ji; Lee, Kangseok; Hahn, Yoonsoo

    2014-01-01

    The MOXD2 gene encodes a membrane-bound monooxygenase similar to dopamine-β-hydroxylase, and has been proposed to be associated with olfaction. In this study, we analyzed MOXD2 genes from 64 mammalian species, and identified loss-of-function mutations in apes (humans, Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, and five gibbon species from the four major gibbon genera), toothed whales (killer whales, bottlenose dolphins, finless porpoises, baijis, and sperm whales), and baleen whales (minke whales and fin whales). We also identified a shared 13-nt deletion in the last exon of Old World cercopithecine monkeys that results in conversion of a membrane-bound protein to a soluble form. We hypothesize that the frequent inactivation and alteration of MOXD2 genes in catarrhines and whales may be associated with the evolution of olfaction in these clades.

  18. Frequent loss and alteration of the MOXD2 gene in catarrhines and whales: a possible connection with the evolution of olfaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Seon Kim

    Full Text Available The MOXD2 gene encodes a membrane-bound monooxygenase similar to dopamine-β-hydroxylase, and has been proposed to be associated with olfaction. In this study, we analyzed MOXD2 genes from 64 mammalian species, and identified loss-of-function mutations in apes (humans, Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, and five gibbon species from the four major gibbon genera, toothed whales (killer whales, bottlenose dolphins, finless porpoises, baijis, and sperm whales, and baleen whales (minke whales and fin whales. We also identified a shared 13-nt deletion in the last exon of Old World cercopithecine monkeys that results in conversion of a membrane-bound protein to a soluble form. We hypothesize that the frequent inactivation and alteration of MOXD2 genes in catarrhines and whales may be associated with the evolution of olfaction in these clades.

  19. Suicide in serial killers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, David; White, John

    2010-02-01

    In a sample of 248 killers of two victims in America from 1900 to 2005, obtained from an encyclopedia of serial killers by Newton (2006), those completing suicide did not differ in sex, race, or the motive for the killing from those who were arrested.

  20. Classification of large acoustic datasets using machine learning and crowdsourcing: Application to whale calls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shamir, L.; Carol Yerby, C.; Simpson, R.; Benda-Beckmann, A.M. von; Tyack, P.; Samarra, F.; Miller, P.; Wallin, J.

    2014-01-01

    Vocal communication is a primary communication method of killer and pilot whales, and is used for transmitting a broad range of messages and information for short and long distance. The large variation in call types of these species makes it challenging to categorize them. In this study, sounds

  1. Acoustically detected year-round presence of right whales in an urbanized migration corridor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morano, Janelle L; Rice, Aaron N; Tielens, Jamey T; Estabrook, Bobbi J; Murray, Anita; Roberts, Bethany L; Clark, Christopher W

    2012-08-01

    Species' conservation relies on understanding their seasonal habitats and migration routes. North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, migrate from the southeastern U.S. coast to Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts, a federally designated critical habitat, from February through May to feed. The whales then continue north across the Gulf of Maine to northern waters (e.g., Bay of Fundy). To enter Cape Cod Bay, right whales must traverse an area of dense shipping and fishing activity in Massachusetts Bay, where there are no mandatory regulations for the protection of right whales or management of their habitat. We used passive acoustic recordings of right whales collected in Massachusetts Bay from May 2007 through October 2010 to determine the annual spatial and temporal distribution of the whales and their calling activity. We detected right whales in the bay throughout the year, in contrast to results from visual surveys. Right whales were detected on at least 24% of days in each month, with the exception of June 2007, in which there were no detections. Averaged over all years, right whale calls were most abundant from February through May. During this period, calls were most frequent between 17:00 and 20:00 local time; no diel pattern was apparent in other months. The spatial distribution of the approximate locations of calling whales suggests they may use Massachusetts Bay as a conduit to Cape Cod Bay in the spring and as they move between the Gulf of Maine and waters to the south in September through December. Although it is unclear how dependent right whales are on the bay, the discovery of their widespread presence in Massachusetts Bay throughout the year suggests this region may need to be managed to reduce the probability of collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Acoustic Interactions with the Endangered Vaquita

    OpenAIRE

    Lande, Michelle

    2009-01-01

    The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) are endemic to the northernmost portion of the Gulf of California and are the world’s most endangered cetacean. Vaquita, like other toothed whales, have the ability to echolocate, which is the use of biological sonar to investigate their environment. Acoustics allow scientists to study these animals’ behavior, biology, and population dynamics more easily. This project aimed to use Finite Element Modeling (FEM) to understand the interaction between acoustic stimuli...

  5. Endangered Languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, Ken; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Endangered languages, or languages on the verge of becoming extinct, are discussed in relation to the larger process of loss of cultural and intellectual diversity. This article summarizes essays presented at the 1991 Linguistic Society of America symposium, "Endangered Languages and Their Preservation." (11 references) (LB)

  6. 75 FR 32919 - Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Northwest Aggregates' Previously...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-10

    ... analysis of potential impacts of the project on the marine environment, including endangered species (Chinook salmon, Southern Resident Killer whales, rockfish, eulachon, and other listed species) and forage...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Classifying serial killers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Promish, D I; Lester, D

    1999-11-08

    We attempted to match the appearance and demeanor of 27 serial killers to the postmortem 'signatures' found on their victims' bodies. Our results suggest that a link may exist between postmortem signatures and two complementary appearance-demeanor types.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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....

  15. The Violence of Collection: "Indian Killer"'s Archives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Janet

    2008-01-01

    At the close of Sherman Alexie's "Indian Killer," in a final chapter titled "Creation Story," a killer carries a backpack containing, among other things, "dozens of owl feathers, a scrapbook, and two bloody scalps in a plastic bag." Readers schooled in the psychopathologies of real and fictional serial killers will be familiar with the detail:…

  16. Grass and weed killer poisoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002838.htm Grass and weed killer poisoning To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Many weed killers contain dangerous chemicals that are harmful if ...

  17. Killer whale at-sea density off California

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  18. The Legal Status of Whales: capabilities, entitlements and culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Nussbaum Wichert

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Whales, among our planet’s most majestic, mysterious, powerful, and intelligent beings, are profoundly endangered. International law has for some time attempted to protect them from extinction. Our paper addresses the legal status of whales and argues that they should be regarded as creatures with rights, not simply as commodities. Currently, international law does not recognize whales as creatures with rights. International organizations, particularly the International Whaling Commission (IWC and its founding document, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW, have focused on the issue of overfishing and have allowed exceptions to usual standards based both on the alleged needs of scientific research (in the case of Japan and on the alleged claims of culture (in the case of aboriginal groups in the Arctic.

  19. 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.

  20. Disturbance-specific social responses in long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Fleur; Curé, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter H.; Lam, Frans-Peter A.; Tyack, Peter L.; Miller, Patrick J. O.

    2016-06-01

    Social interactions among animals can influence their response to disturbance. We investigated responses of long-finned pilot whales to killer whale sound playbacks and two anthropogenic sources of disturbance: tagging effort and naval sonar exposure. The acoustic scene and diving behaviour of tagged individuals were recorded along with the social behaviour of their groups. All three disturbance types resulted in larger group sizes, increasing social cohesion during disturbance. However, the nature and magnitude of other responses differed between disturbance types. Tagging effort resulted in a clear increase in synchrony and a tendency to reduce surface logging and to become silent (21% of cases), whereas pilot whales increased surface resting during sonar exposure. Killer whale sounds elicited increased calling rates and the aggregation of multiple groups, which approached the sound source together. This behaviour appears to represent a mobbing response, a likely adaptive social defence against predators or competitors. All observed response-tactics would reduce risk of loss of group coordination, suggesting that, in social pilot whales, this could drive behavioural responses to disturbance. However, the behavioural means used to achieve social coordination depends upon other considerations, which are disturbance-specific.

  1. Sequential megafaunal collapse in the North Pacific Ocean: an ongoing legacy of industrial whaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, A M; Estes, J A; van Vliet, G B; Williams, T M; Doak, D F; Danner, E M; Forney, K A; Pfister, B

    2003-10-14

    Populations of seals, sea lions, and sea otters have sequentially collapsed over large areas of the northern North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea during the last several decades. A bottom-up nutritional limitation mechanism induced by physical oceanographic change or competition with fisheries was long thought to be largely responsible for these declines. The current weight of evidence is more consistent with top-down forcing. Increased predation by killer whales probably drove the sea otter collapse and may have been responsible for the earlier pinniped declines as well. We propose that decimation of the great whales by post-World War II industrial whaling caused the great whales' foremost natural predators, killer whales, to begin feeding more intensively on the smaller marine mammals, thus "fishing-down" this element of the marine food web. The timing of these events, information on the abundance, diet, and foraging behavior of both predators and prey, and feasibility analyses based on demographic and energetic modeling are all consistent with this hypothesis.

  2. Sequential megafaunal collapse in the North Pacific Ocean: An ongoing legacy of industrial whaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, A.M.; Estes, J.A.; Van Vliet, Gus B.; Williams, T.M.; Doak, D.F.; Danner, E.M.; Forney, K.A.; Pfister, B.

    2003-01-01

    Populations of seals, sea lions, and sea otters have sequentially collapsed over large areas of the northern North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea during the last several decades. A bottom-up nutritional limitation mechanism induced by physical oceanographic change or competition with fisheries was long thought to be largely responsible for these declines. The current weight of evidence is more consistent with top-down forcing. Increased predation by killer whales probably drove the sea otter collapse and may have been responsible for the earlier pinniped declines as well. We propose that decimation of the great whales by post-World War II industrial whaling caused the great whales' foremost natural predators, killer whales, to begin feeding more intensively on the smaller marine mammals, thus "fishing-down" this element of the marine food web. The timing of these events, information on the abundance, diet, and foraging behavior of both predators and prey, and feasibility analyses based on demographic and energetic modeling are all consistent with this hypothesis.

  3. Thermal Imaging and Biometrical Thermography of Humpback Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis W. Horton

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Determining species' distributions through time and space remains a primary challenge in cetacean science and conservation. For example, many whales migrate thousands of kilometers every year between remote seasonal habitats along migratory corridors that cross major shipping lanes and intensively harvested fisheries, creating a dynamic spatial and temporal context that conservation decisions must take into account. Technological advances enabling automated whale detection have the potential to dramatically improve our knowledge of when and where whales are located, presenting opportunities to help minimize adverse human-whale interactions. Using thermographic data we show that near-horizontal (i.e., high zenith angle infrared images of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae blows, dorsal fins, flukes and rostrums record similar magnitude brightness temperature anomalies relative to the adjacent ocean surface. Our results demonstrate that these anomalies are similar in both low latitude and high latitude environments despite a ~16°C difference in ocean surface temperature between study areas. We show that these similarities occur in both environments due to emissivity effects associated with oblique target imaging, rather than differences in cetacean thermoregulation. The consistent and reproducible brightness temperature anomalies we report provide important quantitative constraints that will help facilitate the development of transient temperature anomaly detection algorithms in diverse marine environments. Thermographic videography coupled with laser range finding further enables calculation of whale blow velocity, demonstrating that biometrical measurements are possible for near-horizontal datasets that otherwise suffer from emissivity effects. The thermographic research we present creates a platform for the delivery of three important contributions to cetacean conservation: (1 non-invasive species-level identifications based on whale blow

  4. 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.

  5. Behavioural responses of western gray whales to a 4-D seismic survey off northeastern Sakhalin Island, Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Gailey, Glenn; Sychenko, Olga; McDonald, Trent; Racca, Roberto; Rutenko, Alexander; Bröker, Koen

    2016-01-01

    A seismic survey was conducted off the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island, Russia in 2010. The survey area was adjacent to the only known near-shore feeding ground of the Critically Endangered population of western gray whales Eschrichtius robustus in the western Pacific south of the Aleutian Islands. This study examined the effectiveness of efforts to minimize the behavioural responses of the whales to vessel proximity and sound during the survey. Two shore-based behavioural observation t...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Biology Myth-Killers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampert, Evan

    2014-01-01

    "Biology Myth-Killers" is an activity designed to identify and correct common misconceptions for high school and college introductory biology courses. Students identify common myths, which double as biology misconceptions, and use appropriate sources to share the "truth" about the myths. This learner-centered activity is a fun…

  9. Star-Mapping Tools Enable Tracking of Endangered Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Software programmer Jason Holmberg of Portland, Oregon, partnered with a Goddard Space Flight Center astrophysicist to develop a method for tracking the elusive whale shark using the unique spot patterns on the fish s skin. Employing a star-mapping algorithm originally designed for the Hubble Space Telescope, Holmberg created the Shepherd Project, a photograph database and pattern-matching system that can identify whale sharks by their spots and match images contributed to the database by photographers from around the world. The system has been adapted for tracking other rare and endangered animals, including polar bears and ocean sunfish.

  10. 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...

  11. The Gray whale: Eschrichtius robustus

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jones, Mary Lou; Leatherwood, Stephen; Swartz, Steven L

    1984-01-01

    .... Section II documents historical aspects of gray whale exploitation and the economic importance of these whales to humans, beginning with aboriginal societies in Asia and North America, and leading...

  12. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Arteriovenous patterns in beaked whales Alexander M...picture of the vascular anatomy in beaked whale heads that will enhance our understanding of the basic biology of beaked whales and act as a baseline...The objective was to describe and better understand the gross morphology of the blood vessels in the heads of beaked whales . Gross anatomical

  13. Discovery of a blue whale feeding and nursing ground in southern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hucke-Gaete, Rodrigo; Osman, Layla P; Moreno, Carlos A; Findlay, Ken P; Ljungblad, Don K

    2004-05-07

    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 to date in the Southern Hemisphere, which is located near the fjords off southern Chile. Through aerial and marine surveys (n = 7) 47 groups, comprising 153 blue whales including at least 11 mother-calf pairs, were sighted during the austral summer and early autumn of 2003. The implications of this discovery on the biological understanding and conservation of this endangered species are discussed.

  14. Delaware's first serial killer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inguito, G B; Sekula-Perlman, A; Lynch, M J; Callery, R T

    2000-11-01

    The violent murder of Shirley Ellis on November 29, 1987, marked the beginning of the strange and terrible tale of Steven Bryan Pennell's reign as the state of Delaware's first convicted serial killer. Three more bodies followed the first victim, and all had been brutally beaten and sadistically tortured. The body of a fifth woman has never been found. State and county police collaborated with the FBI to identify and hunt down their suspect, forming a task force of over 100 officers and spending about one million dollars. Through their knowledge and experience with other serial killers, the FBI was able to make an amazingly accurate psychological profile of Delaware's serial killer. After months of around-the-clock surveillance, Steven Pennell was arrested on November 29, 1988, one year to the day after the first victim was found. Pennell was found guilty in the deaths of the first two victims on November 29, 1989, and plead no contest to the murder of two others on October 30, 1991. Still maintaining his innocence, he asked for the death penalty so that he could spare his family further agony. Steven Pennell was executed by lethal injection on March 15, 1992.

  15. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Cur?, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo; Samarra, Filipa; Alves, Ana Catarina; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H.; Miller, Patrick J. O.

    2012-01-01

    This study was mainly funded by three naval organisations: the US Office of Naval Research, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense. In addition, WWF-Norway, TOTAL Foundation and the Foundation Bleustein-Blanchet also contributed financially. Authors are employed by government (Norwegian Defense Research Establishment), independent no-profit (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research and Kelp Marine Research), or academic (University of St. And...

  17. 77 FR 44218 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16111

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-27

    ... (Mesoplodon spp.) whales. An additional 15 cetacean species and five pinniped species may be studied, including the endangered sei whale (B. borealis), endangered Southern Resident stock of killer whales..., diving behavior, and diet. Focal species are blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (B. physalus), humpback...

  18. Endangered Metaphors

    CERN Document Server

    Idström, Anna; Falzett, Tiber FM

    2012-01-01

    When the last speaker of a language dies, s/he takes to oblivion the memories, associations and the rich imagery this language community has once lived by. The cultural heritage encoded in conventional linguistic metaphors, handed down through generations, will be lost forever. This volume consists of fifteen articles about metaphors in endangered languages, from Peru to Alaska, from India to Ghana.The empirical data demonstrate that the assumptions of contemporary cognitive linguistic theory about "universal" metaphors and the underlying cognitive processes are still far from plausible, since

  19. How Do Density Fronts Interact with Zooplankton Distributions to Create Baleen Whale Prey-Fields in Roseway Basin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruckdeschel, G.; Ross, T.; Davies, K. T. A.

    2016-02-01

    On the Scotian Shelf in the northwest Atlantic, Roseway Basin is a feeding ground for several species of large baleen whales, including the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. In this habitat, aggregations of zooplankton must be present at concentrations high enough for baleen whales to obtain an energetic benefit. Regions of highly concentrated zooplankton are formed within the habitat through various biophysical interactions, such as fontal accumulation and retention. In Roseway Basin, humpback and fin whales prey on accumulated euphausiids, while right and sei whales forage for deep layers of Calanoid copepods. Right whales are found most often along the southeastern basin margin in Roseway, and this is also where density fronts occur and are associated with zooplankton patches that can form and disaggregate at tidal scales. The temporal persistence and biophysical mechanisms behind the observed interactions of zooplankton and frontal features have not been assessed. To understand how density fronts impact zooplankton distributions at the scale of feeding whales, we deployed Slocum gliders equipped with conductivity-temperature-depth sensors and echosounders in a series of cross-isobath transects along the sloped southeastern margin of Roseway Basin during August to November 2015. By looking for the presence of density fronts that are also regions of elevated acoustic backscatter (primarily from copepods and euphausiids) and quantifying their persistence over time, we aim to determine how these biophysical interactions create whale prey-fields.

  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. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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)

  4. Arsenic: The Silent Killer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foster, Andrea (USGS)

    2006-02-28

    Andrea Foster uses x-rays to determine the forms of potentially toxic elements in environmentally-important matrices such as water, sediments, plants, and microorganisms. In this free public lecture, Foster will discuss her research on arsenic, which is called the silent killer because dissolved in water, it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, yet consumption of relatively small doses of this element in its most toxic forms can cause rapid and violent death. Arsenic is a well-known poison, and has been used as such since ancient times. Less well known is the fact that much lower doses of the element, consumed over years, can lead to a variety of skin and internal cancers that can also be fatal. Currently, what has been called the largest mass poisoning in history is occurring in Bangladesh, where most people are by necessity drinking ground water that is contaminated with arsenic far in excess of the maximum amounts determined to be safe by the World Health Organization. This presentation will review the long and complicated history with arsenic, describe how x-rays have helped explain the high yet spatially variable arsenic concentrations in Bangladesh, discuss the ways in which land use in Bangladesh may be exacerbating the problem, and summarize the impact of this silent killer on drinking water systems worldwide.

  5. Abundance, behavior, and movement patterns of western gray whales in relation to a 3-D seismic survey, Northeast Sakhalin Island, Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Gailey, Glenn; W?rsig, Bernd; McDonald, Trent L.

    2007-01-01

    A geophysical seismic survey was conducted in the summer of 2001 off the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island, Russia. The area of seismic exploration was immediately adjacent to the Piltun feeding grounds of the endangered western gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus). This study investigates relative abundance, behavior, and movement patterns of gray whales in relation to occurrence and proximity to the seismic survey by employing scan sampling, focal follow, and theodolite tracking methodolo...

  6. Behavioural responses of western gray whales to a 4-D seismic survey off northeastern Sakhalin Island, Russia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gailey, Glenn; Sychenko, Olga; McDonald, Trent; Racca, Roberto; Rutenko, Alexander; Bröker, Koen

    2016-01-01

    A seismic survey was conducted off the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island, Russia in 2010. The survey area was adjacent to the only known near-shore feeding ground of the Critically Endangered population of western gray whales Eschrichtius robustus in the western Pacific south of the Aleutian

  7. An ocean-basin-wide mark-recapture study of the North Atlantic humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, TD; Allen, J; Clapham, PJ; Hammond, PS; Katona, S; Larsen, F; Lien, J; Mattila, D; Palsboll, PJ; Sigurjonsson, J; Stevick, PT; Oien, N

    Although much is known about the humpback whale, Mesaptera novaeangliae, regional studies have been unable to answer several questions that are central to the conservation and management of this endangered species. To resolve uncertainties about population size, as well as the spatial and genetic

  8. Rafinesque's Sicilian whale, Balena gastrytis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, Neal; Mead, James G.

    2017-01-01

    In 1815, the naturalist Constantine S. Rafinesque described a new species of cetacean, Balena gastrytis, from Sicily, based on a whale that stranded on Carini beach near Palermo. In comparing the characteristics of his new whale with known species, Rafinesque also took the opportunity to name a new genus, Cetoptera, to replace Balaenoptera Lacépède, 1804. Unfortunately, few of Rafinesque's contemporaries saw his article, which appeared in Il Portafoglio, a local journal that he published and distributed. The journal remains rare, and awareness of the whale remains minimal, despite its relevance to cetacean taxonomy and understanding of whale diversity and distribution in the Mediterranean. We describe the circumstances of the stranding of the Sicilian whale and provide Rafinesque's original description of the whale, as well as an evaluation of its reported characteristics and its current identity.

  9. A whale of an opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    column, (2) to examine the relationships between whale foraging areas and productive zones, and (3) to examine the correlation between whale-derived in situ values of Chl-a and those from concurrent satellite images using the NASA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) EOS-AQUA satellite...... not always target patches of high concentrations of Chl-a in the upper 50 m. Five satellite images were available within the periods whales carried fluorometers. Whales traversed 91 pixels collecting on average 761 s (SD 826) of Chl-a samples per pixel (0-136 m). The depth of the Chl-a maximum ranged widely...

  10. Natural killer cells in psoriasis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Tobin, A M

    2012-02-01

    Psoriasis is one of the most common immune-mediated disorders. There is evidence that it is mediated by Th1 and, more recently, Th17 cells. The cytokine pattern, particularly the dominance of TNF-alpha, implicates the innate immune system in psoriasis pathogenesis. Of the many components of the innate immune system known to be involved in psoriatic lesions, natural killer and natural killer T cells appear to have a unique role. We review the evidence supporting a role for natural killer cells in psoriasis.

  11. Arctic data compilation and appraisal. Vol. 10, Beaufort Sea: Biological oceanography - whales 1848 to 1983

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norton, P.; Smiley, B.D.; de March, L.

    1987-01-01

    This data report is an inventory of measurements and observations of white whales, bowhead whales, gray whales, harbour porpoises, narwhal, and killer whales in the Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf. Measurements most commonly reported concern numbers, identification, movements, morphometrics, age behaviour, food, and reproduction. Organization within this inventory is by data set (measurements and observations made by one group of people, for a particular purpose, generally within one year). In all, 143 data sets were inventoried for the 1848 to 1983 period. Times and locations of sampling efforts are listed in tables and also are shown on computer-drawn maps. Sampling methodology and intensity, whale measurements and observations obtained by species, and concurrent bio logical, physical, and chemical measurements are described in the tables. A five-level rating system, based on sampling methodolgy, is outlined and has been applied to each measurement in each data set as a rough indication of the data's reliability. Data sets are indexed according to geographic coverage, study methods, species, measurements and observations made by category, and published references. The form, location, and availability of original data is given if know. 74 refs 115 figs 3 tabs

  12. Arctic data compilation and appraisal. Vol. 13, Northwest passage: biological oceanography-whales, 1920-1984

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norton, P.; de March, L.; Smiley, B.D.

    1987-01-01

    The pace of offshore development in the Canadian Arctic has emphasized the need to review the sufficiency and suitability of available scientific information for design, regulatory, and planning purposes. This report presents part of the results of the first stage of this review process, the compilation and appraisal of existing data sets on whales in the Northwest Passage. Measurements were made of narwhales, white whales, bowhead whales, and killer whales, and most commonly concern numbers, identification, movements, reproduction, food, and color. Overall, 143 data sets are inventoried for the period from 1820 to 1984. Times and locations of sampling efforts are listed in tables and are also shown on computer-drawn maps. Sampling methodology and intensity, whale measurements and observations obtained by species, and concurrent biological, physical, and chemical measurements are described in the tables. A 5-level rating system, based on sampling methodology, is outlined and has been applied to each measurement in each data set as a rough indication of data reliability. Data sets are indexed according to geographic coverage, study methods, species, specific measurements and observations made, and published references. The form, location, and availability of original data are provided if known. 415 figs., 3 tabs.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter T Fretwell

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. Sperm whale clicks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

    . 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...... of the continental shelf off Andenes, Norway, in the summers of 1997 and 1998. With this system, source levels up to 223 dB re 1 mPa peRMS were recorded. Also, source level differences of 35 dB for the same click at different directions were seen, which are interpreted as evidence for high directionality....... 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....

  16. Uncertain recovery of the North Atlantic right whale in a changing ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Gutbrod, Erin L; Greene, Charles H

    2018-01-01

    Human activities have placed populations of many endangered species at risk and mitigation efforts typically focus on reducing anthropogenic sources of mortality. However, failing to recognize the additional role of environmental factors in regulating birth and mortality rates can lead to erroneous demographic analyses and conclusions. The North Atlantic right whale population is currently the focus of conservation efforts aimed at reducing mortality rates associated with ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. Consistent monitoring of the population since 1980 has revealed evidence that climate-associated changes in prey availability have played an important role in the population's recovery. The considerable interdecadal differences observed in population growth coincide with remote Arctic and North Atlantic oceanographic processes that link to the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Here, we build capture-recapture models to quantify the role of prey availability on right whale demographic transitional probabilities and use a corresponding demographic model to project population growth rates into the next century. Contrary to previous predictions, the right whale population is projected to recover in the future as long as prey availability and mortality rates remain within the ranges observed during 1980-2012. However, recent events indicate a northward range shift in right whale prey, potentially resulting in decreased prey availability and/or an expansion of right whale habitat into unprotected waters. An annual increase in the number of whale deaths comparable to that observed during the summer 2017 mass mortality event may cause a decline to extinction even under conditions of normal prey availability. This study highlights the importance of understanding the oceanographic context for observed population changes when evaluating the efficacy of conservation management plans for endangered marine species. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Endangered Species Protection Bulletins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endangered Species Protection Bulletins set forth geographically specific pesticide use limitations for the protection of threatened and endangered (listed) species and their designated critical habitat. Find out how to get and use Bulletins.

  18. Feeding of western gray whales during a seismic survey near Sakhalin Island, Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Yazvenko, S. B.; McDonald, T. L.; Blokhin, S. A.; Johnson, S. R.; Melton, H. R.; Newcomer, M. W.; Nielson, R.; Wainwright, P. W.

    2007-01-01

    Exxon Neftegas Limited, as operator of the Sakhalin-1 consortium, is developing oil and gas reserves on the continental shelf off northeast Sakhalin Island, Russia. DalMorNefteGeofizika (DMNG) on behalf of the Sakhalin-1 consortium conducted a 3-D seismic survey of the Odoptu license area during 17 August? September 2001. A portion of the primary feeding area of the endangered western gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is located in the vicinity of the seismic survey. This paper presents data...

  19. Endangered Animals. Second Grade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, Marcia

    This second grade teaching unit centers on endangered animal species around the world. Questions addressed are: What is an endangered species? Why do animals become extinct? How do I feel about the problem? and What can I do? Students study the definition of endangered species and investigate whether it is a natural process. They explore topics…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 w...

  1. 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.

  2. Proceedings from the Pacific Islands Region Threatened, Endangered, and At-Risk Species Workshop held 6-8 Jun 2006 in Honolulu, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-06-01

    described the Guard’s “don’t feed the cats” initiative that he instituted to help reduce the number of feral cats that prey upon endangered birds... Albatross ° Humpback Whale ° Sperm Whale ° O’opu alamo’o ° Mariana moorhen ° Demonstration • Remote sensing of aquatic...effect of military noise on bats and crows in Guam o impacts of bombing on seabird colonies (see also monitoring tools for seabirds ) o effect of

  3. Largest baleen whale mass mortality during strong El Niño event is likely related to harmful toxic algal bloom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena Häussermann

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available While large mass mortality events (MMEs are well known for toothed whales, they have been rare in baleen whales due to their less gregarious behavior. Although in most cases the cause of mortality has not been conclusively identified, some baleen whale mortality events have been linked to bio-oceanographic conditions, such as harmful algal blooms (HABs. In Southern Chile, HABs can be triggered by the ocean–atmosphere phenomenon El Niño. The frequency of the strongest El Niño events is increasing due to climate change. In March 2015, by far the largest reported mass mortality of baleen whales took place in a gulf in Southern Chile. Here, we show that the synchronous death of at least 343, primarily sei whales can be attributed to HABs during a building El Niño. Although considered an oceanic species, the sei whales died while feeding near to shore in previously unknown large aggregations. This provides evidence of new feeding grounds for the species. The combination of older and newer remains of whales in the same area indicate that MMEs have occurred more than once in recent years. Large HABs and reports of marine mammal MMEs along the Northeast Pacific coast may indicate similar processes in both hemispheres. Increasing MMEs through HABs may become a serious concern in the conservation of endangered whale species.

  4. The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Olivier; Bianucci, Giovanni; Post, Klaas; de Muizon, Christian; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Urbina, Mario; Reumer, Jelle

    2010-07-01

    The modern giant sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, one of the largest known predators, preys upon cephalopods at great depths. Lacking a functional upper dentition, it relies on suction for catching its prey; in contrast, several smaller Miocene sperm whales (Physeteroidea) have been interpreted as raptorial (versus suction) feeders, analogous to the modern killer whale Orcinus orca. Whereas very large physeteroid teeth have been discovered in various Miocene localities, associated diagnostic cranial remains have not been found so far. Here we report the discovery of a new giant sperm whale from the Middle Miocene of Peru (approximately 12-13 million years ago), Leviathan melvillei, described on the basis of a skull with teeth and mandible. With a 3-m-long head, very large upper and lower teeth (maximum diameter and length of 12 cm and greater than 36 cm, respectively), robust jaws and a temporal fossa considerably larger than in Physeter, this stem physeteroid represents one of the largest raptorial predators and, to our knowledge, the biggest tetrapod bite ever found. The appearance of gigantic raptorial sperm whales in the fossil record coincides with a phase of diversification and size-range increase of the baleen-bearing mysticetes in the Miocene. We propose that Leviathan fed mostly on high-energy content medium-size baleen whales. As a top predator, together with the contemporaneous giant shark Carcharocles megalodon, it probably had a profound impact on the structuring of Miocene marine communities. The development of a vast supracranial basin in Leviathan, extending on the rostrum as in Physeter, might indicate the presence of an enlarged spermaceti organ in the former that is not associated with deep diving or obligatory suction feeding.

  5. 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...

  6. iDNA at Sea: Recovery of Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus Mitochondrial DNA Sequences from the Whale Shark Copepod (Pandarus rhincodonicus Confirms Global Population Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Meekan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The whale shark (Rhincodon typus is an iconic and endangered species with a broad distribution spanning warm-temperate and tropical oceans. Effective conservation management of the species requires an understanding of the degree of genetic connectivity among populations, which is hampered by the need for sampling that involves invasive techniques. Here, the feasibility of minimally-invasive sampling was explored by isolating and sequencing whale shark DNA from a commensal or possibly parasitic copepod, Pandarus rhincodonicus that occurs on the skin of the host. We successfully recovered mitochondrial control region DNA sequences (~1,000 bp of the host via DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction from whole copepod specimens. DNA sequences obtained from multiple copepods collected from the same shark exhibited 100% sequence similarity, suggesting a persistent association of copepods with individual hosts. Newly-generated mitochondrial haplotypes of whale shark hosts derived from the copepods were included in an analysis of the genetic structure of the global population of whale sharks (644 sequences; 136 haplotypes. Our results supported those of previous studies and suggested limited genetic structuring across most of the species range, but the presence of a genetically unique and potentially isolated population in the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, we recovered the mitogenome and nuclear ribosomal genes of a whale shark using a shotgun sequencing approach on copepod tissue. The recovered mitogenome is the third mitogenome reported for the species and the first from the Mozambique population. Our invertebrate DNA (iDNA approach could be used to better understand the population structure of whale sharks, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean, and also for genetic analyses of other elasmobranchs parasitized by pandarid copepods.

  7. Calls reveal population structure of blue whales across the southeast Indian Ocean and the southwest Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcazar, Naysa E; Tripovich, Joy S; Klinck, Holger; Nieukirk, Sharon L; Mellinger, David K; Dziak, Robert P; Rogers, Tracey L

    2015-11-24

    For effective species management, understanding population structure and distribution is critical. However, quantifying population structure is not always straightforward. Within the Southern Hemisphere, the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) complex is extremely diverse but difficult to study. Using automated detector methods, we identified "acoustic populations" of whales producing region-specific call types. We examined blue whale call types in passive acoustic data at sites spanning over 7,370 km across the southeast Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific Ocean (SWPO) from 2009 to 2012. In the absence of genetic resolution, these acoustic populations offer unique information about the blue whale population complex. We found that the Australian continent acts as a geographic boundary, separating Australia and New Zealand blue whale acoustic populations at the junction of the Indian and Pacific Ocean basins. We located blue whales in previously undocumented locations, including the far SWPO, in the Tasman Sea off the east coast of Australia, and along the Lau Basin near Tonga. Our understanding of population dynamics across this broad scale has significant implications to recovery and conservation management for this endangered species, at a regional and global scale.

  8. Patterns of spatial and temporal distribution of humpback whales at the southern limit of the Southeast Pacific breeding area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidino, Chiara; Llapapasca, Miguel A; Silva, Sebastian; Alcorta, Belen; Pacheco, Aldo S

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the patterns of spatial and temporal distribution in threshold habitats of highly migratory and endangered species is important for understanding their habitat requirements and recovery trends. Herein, we present new data about the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in neritic waters off the northern coast of Peru: an area that constitutes a transitional path from cold, upwelling waters to warm equatorial waters where the breeding habitat is located. Data was collected during four consecutive austral winter/spring seasons from 2010 to 2013, using whale-watching boats as platforms for research. A total of 1048 whales distributed between 487 groups were sighted. The spatial distribution of humpbacks resembled the characteristic segregation of whale groups according to their size/age class and social context in breeding habitats; mother and calf pairs were present in very shallow waters close to the coast, while dyads, trios or more whales were widely distributed from shallow to moderate depths over the continental shelf break. Sea surface temperatures (range: 18.2-25.9°C) in coastal waters were slightly colder than those closer to the oceanic realm, likely due to the influence of cold upwelled waters from the Humboldt Current system. Our results provide new evidence of the southward extension of the breeding region of humpback whales in the Southeast Pacific. Integrating this information with the knowledge from the rest of the breeding region and foraging grounds would enhance our current understanding of population dynamics and recovery trends of this species.

  9. Patterns of spatial and temporal distribution of humpback whales at the southern limit of the Southeast Pacific breeding area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Guidino

    Full Text Available Understanding the patterns of spatial and temporal distribution in threshold habitats of highly migratory and endangered species is important for understanding their habitat requirements and recovery trends. Herein, we present new data about the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in neritic waters off the northern coast of Peru: an area that constitutes a transitional path from cold, upwelling waters to warm equatorial waters where the breeding habitat is located. Data was collected during four consecutive austral winter/spring seasons from 2010 to 2013, using whale-watching boats as platforms for research. A total of 1048 whales distributed between 487 groups were sighted. The spatial distribution of humpbacks resembled the characteristic segregation of whale groups according to their size/age class and social context in breeding habitats; mother and calf pairs were present in very shallow waters close to the coast, while dyads, trios or more whales were widely distributed from shallow to moderate depths over the continental shelf break. Sea surface temperatures (range: 18.2-25.9°C in coastal waters were slightly colder than those closer to the oceanic realm, likely due to the influence of cold upwelled waters from the Humboldt Current system. Our results provide new evidence of the southward extension of the breeding region of humpback whales in the Southeast Pacific. Integrating this information with the knowledge from the rest of the breeding region and foraging grounds would enhance our current understanding of population dynamics and recovery trends of this species.

  10. Beaked Whale Habitat Characterization and Prediction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ward, Jessica A; Mitchell, Glenn H; Farak, Amy M; Keane, Ellen P

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize known beaked whale habitat and create a predictive beaked whale habitat model of the Gulf of Mexico and east coast of the United States using available...

  11. 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

  12. Abundance and survival of Pacific humpback whales in a proposed critical habitat area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Ashe

    Full Text Available Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae were hunted commercially in Canada's Pacific region until 1966. Depleted to an estimated 1,400 individuals throughout the North Pacific, humpback whales are listed as Threatened under Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA and Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We conducted an 8-year photo-identification study to monitor humpback whale usage of a coastal fjord system in British Columbia (BC, Canada that was recently proposed as candidate critical habitat for the species under SARA. This participatory research program built collaborations among First Nations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academics. The study site, including the territorial waters of Gitga'at First Nation, is an important summertime feeding destination for migratory humpback whales, but is small relative to the population's range. We estimated abundance and survivorship using mark-recapture methods using photographs of naturally marked individuals. Abundance of humpback whales in the region was large, relative to the site's size, and generally increased throughout the study period. The resulting estimate of adult survivorship (0.979, 95% CI: 0.914, 0.995 is at the high end of previously reported estimates. A high rate of resights provides new evidence for inter-annual site fidelity to these local waters. Habitat characteristics of our study area are considered ecologically significant and unique, and this should be considered as regulatory agencies consider proposals for high-volume crude oil and liquefied natural gas tanker traffic through the area. Monitoring population recovery of a highly mobile, migratory species is daunting for low-cost, community-led science. Focusing on a small, important subset of the animals' range can make this challenge more tractable. Given low statistical power and high variability, our community is considering simpler ecological indicators of population health, such as the number

  13. Abundance and survival of Pacific humpback whales in a proposed critical habitat area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Erin; Wray, Janie; Picard, Christopher R; Williams, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were hunted commercially in Canada's Pacific region until 1966. Depleted to an estimated 1,400 individuals throughout the North Pacific, humpback whales are listed as Threatened under Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA) and Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We conducted an 8-year photo-identification study to monitor humpback whale usage of a coastal fjord system in British Columbia (BC), Canada that was recently proposed as candidate critical habitat for the species under SARA. This participatory research program built collaborations among First Nations, environmental non-governmental organizations and academics. The study site, including the territorial waters of Gitga'at First Nation, is an important summertime feeding destination for migratory humpback whales, but is small relative to the population's range. We estimated abundance and survivorship using mark-recapture methods using photographs of naturally marked individuals. Abundance of humpback whales in the region was large, relative to the site's size, and generally increased throughout the study period. The resulting estimate of adult survivorship (0.979, 95% CI: 0.914, 0.995) is at the high end of previously reported estimates. A high rate of resights provides new evidence for inter-annual site fidelity to these local waters. Habitat characteristics of our study area are considered ecologically significant and unique, and this should be considered as regulatory agencies consider proposals for high-volume crude oil and liquefied natural gas tanker traffic through the area. Monitoring population recovery of a highly mobile, migratory species is daunting for low-cost, community-led science. Focusing on a small, important subset of the animals' range can make this challenge more tractable. Given low statistical power and high variability, our community is considering simpler ecological indicators of population health, such as the number of individuals

  14. High thresholds for avoidance of sonar by free-ranging long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, R; Kvadsheim, P H; Lam, F P A; Tyack, P L; Thomas, L; Wensveen, P J; Miller, P J O

    2014-06-15

    The potential effects of exposing marine mammals to military sonar is a current concern. Dose-response relationships are useful for predicting potential environmental impacts of specific operations. To reveal behavioral response thresholds of exposure to sonar, we conducted 18 exposure/control approaches to 6 long-finned pilot whales. Source level and proximity of sonar transmitting one of two frequency bands (1-2 kHz and 6-7 kHz) were increased during exposure sessions. The 2-dimensional movement tracks were analyzed using a changepoint method to identify the avoidance response thresholds which were used to estimate dose-response relationships. No support for an effect of sonar frequency or previous exposures on the probability of response was found. Estimated response thresholds at which 50% of population show avoidance (SPLmax=170 dB re 1 μPa, SELcum=173 dB re 1 μPa(2) s) were higher than previously found for other cetaceans. The US Navy currently uses a generic dose-response relationship to predict the responses of cetaceans to naval active sonar, which has been found to underestimate behavioural impacts on killer whales and beaked whales. The navy curve appears to match more closely our results with long-finned pilot whales, though it might underestimate the probability of avoidance for pilot-whales at long distances from sonar sources. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Whaling: will the Phoenix rise again?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Sidney J

    2007-08-01

    It is argued that Japan's authorities and entrepreneurs involved in whaling and the whale-meat trade have a long-term goal of rebuilding a large and profitable industry of pelagic whaling, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, in the next 20 years or so. They have made large investments in this enterprise since the so-called moratorium on commercial whaling was adopted by the International Whaling Commission in 1982. These include, but are not confined to, state subsidizing of an expanding and diversifying 20-year programme of commercial whaling under provisions in all relevant international agreements since 1937 that permit unlimited and unilaterally decreed whaling, supposedly for scientific purposes, provided that the commodities from the whales killed are fully utilized. The context of this is the monopoly of technical knowledge, special skills and the market for valuable whale-meat that Japanese enterprises acquired in the post-world war II period, having broken - in 1937 - the strongly defended de facto Anglo-Norwegian monopoly of technology, skills, access to Antarctic whaling grounds and the market for whale-oil that had existed until then. The attraction of 'scientific whaling' is not only that it by-passes any internationally agreed catch-limits but that it also circumvents all other rules - many dating fr/om the League of Nations whaling convention of 1931 - regarding protected species, closed areas, killing of juveniles, less inhumane killing methods, etc. The groundwork is being laid to justify that resumed whaling on partially recovered whale stocks will be at the unsustainable levels that will be profitable again. This justification is based on spurious assertions that numerous and hungry whales threaten the world's fisheries, and that the abundance and possible increase in some whale species is impeding the recovery of other, severely depleted, and potentially more valuable species such as the blue whale. If the scenario presented here is correct

  18. Deep-penetrating photodynamic therapy with KillerRed mediated by upconversion nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Liuen; Lu, Yiqing; Zhang, Run; Care, Andrew; Ortega, Tiago A; Deyev, Sergey M; Qian, Yi; Zvyagin, Andrei V

    2017-03-15

    The fluorescent protein KillerRed, a new type of biological photosensitizer, is considered as a promising substitute for current synthetic photosensitizes used in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, broad application of this photosensitiser in treating deep-seated lesions is challenging due to the limited tissue penetration of the excitation light with the wavelength falling in the visible spectral range. To overcome this challenge, we employ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) that are able to convert deep-penetrating near infrared (NIR) light to green light to excite KillerRed locally, followed by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill tumour cells under centimetre-thick tissue. The photosensitizing bio-nanohybrids, KillerRed-UCNPs, are fabricated through covalent conjugation of KillerRed and UCNPs. The resulting KillerRed-UCNPs exhibit excellent colloidal stability in biological buffers and low cytotoxicity in the dark. Cross-comparison between the conventional KillerRed and UCNP-mediated KillerRed PDT demonstrated superiority of KillerRed-UCNPs photosensitizing by NIR irradiation, manifested by the fact that ∼70% PDT efficacy was achieved at 1-cm tissue depth, whereas that of the conventional KillerRed dropped to ∼7%. KillerRed is a protein photosensitizer that holds promise as an alternative for the existing hydrophobic photosensitizers that are widely used in clinical photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, applications of KillerRed to deep-seated tumours are limited by the insufficient penetration depth of the excitation light in highly scattering and absorbing biological tissues. Herein, we reported the deployment of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) to enhance the treatment depth of KillerRed by converting the deep-penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light to upconversion photoluminescence and activating the PDT effect of KillerRed under deep tissues. This work demonstrated clear potential of UCNPs as the NIR-to-visible light converter to

  19. The world's smallest whale population?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Paul R.; Kennedy, Amy; LeDuc, Rick; Barlow, Jay; Carretta, Jim; Shelden, Kim; Perryman, Wayne; Pitman, Robert; Robertson, Kelly; Rone, Brenda; Salinas, Juan Carlos; Zerbini, Alexandre; Brownell, Robert L.; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2011-01-01

    The North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) was heavily exploited by both nineteenth century whaling and recent (1960s) illegal Soviet catches. Today, the species remains extremely rare especially in the eastern North Pacific. Here, we use photographic and genotype data to calculate the first mark–recapture estimates of abundance for right whales in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. The estimates were very similar: photographic = 31 (95% CL 23–54), genotyping = 28 (95% CL 24–42). We also estimated the population contains eight females (95% CL 7–18) and 20 males (95% CL 17–37). Although these estimates may relate to a Bering Sea subpopulation, other data suggest that the total eastern North Pacific population is unlikely to be much larger. Its precarious status today—the world's smallest whale population for which an abundance estimate exists—is a direct consequence of uncontrolled and illegal whaling, and highlights the past failure of international management to prevent such abuses. PMID:20591853

  20. 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

  1. Estimating historical eastern North Pacific blue whale catches using spatial calling patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cole C Monnahan

    Full Text Available Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus were exploited extensively around the world and remain endangered. In the North Pacific their population structure is unclear and current status unknown, with the exception of a well-studied eastern North Pacific (ENP population. Despite existing abundance estimates for the ENP population, it is difficult to estimate pre-exploitation abundance levels and gauge their recovery because historical catches of the ENP population are difficult to separate from catches of other populations in the North Pacific. We collated previously unreported Soviet catches and combined these with known catches to form the most current estimates of North Pacific blue whale catches. We split these conflated catches using recorded acoustic calls from throughout the North Pacific, the knowledge that the ENP population produces a different call than blue whales in the western North Pacific (WNP. The catches were split by estimating spatiotemporal occurrence of blue whales with generalized additive models fitted to acoustic call patterns, which predict the probability a catch belonged to the ENP population based on the proportion of calls of each population recorded by latitude, longitude, and month. When applied to the conflated historical catches, which totaled 9,773, we estimate that ENP blue whale catches totaled 3,411 (95% range 2,593 to 4,114 from 1905-1971, and amounted to 35% (95% range 27% to 42% of all catches in the North Pacific. Thus most catches in the North Pacific were for WNP blue whales, totaling 6,362 (95% range 5,659 to 7,180. The uncertainty in the acoustic data influence the results substantially more than uncertainty in catch locations and dates, but the results are fairly insensitive to the ecological assumptions made in the analysis. The results of this study provide information for future studies investigating the recovery of these populations and the impact of continuing and future sources of anthropogenic

  2. Estimating historical eastern North Pacific blue whale catches using spatial calling patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monnahan, Cole C; Branch, Trevor A; Stafford, Kathleen M; Ivashchenko, Yulia V; Oleson, Erin M

    2014-01-01

    Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) were exploited extensively around the world and remain endangered. In the North Pacific their population structure is unclear and current status unknown, with the exception of a well-studied eastern North Pacific (ENP) population. Despite existing abundance estimates for the ENP population, it is difficult to estimate pre-exploitation abundance levels and gauge their recovery because historical catches of the ENP population are difficult to separate from catches of other populations in the North Pacific. We collated previously unreported Soviet catches and combined these with known catches to form the most current estimates of North Pacific blue whale catches. We split these conflated catches using recorded acoustic calls from throughout the North Pacific, the knowledge that the ENP population produces a different call than blue whales in the western North Pacific (WNP). The catches were split by estimating spatiotemporal occurrence of blue whales with generalized additive models fitted to acoustic call patterns, which predict the probability a catch belonged to the ENP population based on the proportion of calls of each population recorded by latitude, longitude, and month. When applied to the conflated historical catches, which totaled 9,773, we estimate that ENP blue whale catches totaled 3,411 (95% range 2,593 to 4,114) from 1905-1971, and amounted to 35% (95% range 27% to 42%) of all catches in the North Pacific. Thus most catches in the North Pacific were for WNP blue whales, totaling 6,362 (95% range 5,659 to 7,180). The uncertainty in the acoustic data influence the results substantially more than uncertainty in catch locations and dates, but the results are fairly insensitive to the ecological assumptions made in the analysis. The results of this study provide information for future studies investigating the recovery of these populations and the impact of continuing and future sources of anthropogenic mortality.

  3. SRKW summer prey - Prey species and stock specific consumption estimates for SRKW in their summer range

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) are listed as a Distinct Population Segment under the Endangered Species Act. Data concerning their prey species and stock...

  4. SRKW occurrence coastal - Occurrence of SRKW on the US West Coast using passive acoustic recorders

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) are listed as a Distinct Population Segment under the Endangered Species Act. Their movements, presence, and seasonal patterns...

  5. Public willingness to pay for recovering and downlisting threatened and endangered marine species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallmo, Kristy; Lew, Daniel K

    2012-10-01

    Nonmarket valuation research has produced economic value estimates for a variety of threatened, endangered, and rare species around the world. Although over 40 value estimates exist, it is often difficult to compare values from different studies due to variations in study design, implementation, and modeling specifications. We conducted a stated-preference choice experiment to estimate the value of recovering or downlisting 8 threatened and endangered marine species in the United States: loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica), upper Willamette River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), Puget Sound Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi), and smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). In May 2009, we surveyed a random sample of U.S. households. We collected data from 8476 households and estimated willingness to pay for recovering and downlisting the 8 species from these data. Respondents were willing to pay for recovering and downlisting threatened and endangered marine taxa. Willingness-to-pay values ranged from $40/household for recovering Puget Sound Chinook salmon to $73/household for recovering the North Pacific right whale. Statistical comparisons among willingness-to-pay values suggest that some taxa are more economically valuable than others, which suggests that the U.S. public's willingness to pay for recovery may vary by species. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology  No claim to original US government works.

  6. Trophic interactions in the St. Lawrence Estuary (Canada): Must the blue whale compete for krill?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savenkoff, C.; Comtois, S.; Chabot, D.

    2013-09-01

    Inverse methodology was used to construct a mass-balance model of the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary (LSLE) for the 2008-2010 time period. Our first objective was to make an overall description of community structure, trophic interactions, and the effects of fishing and predation on the vertebrate and invertebrate communities of the ecosystem. A second objective was to identify other important predators of krill, and to assess if these compete with blue whales, listed as endangered under the Canadian Species at Risk Act in 2005 (northwest Atlantic population). The Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence are summer feeding grounds for blue whales and other marine mammals. Blue whales eat only euphausiids (krill) and require dense concentrations of prey to meet their energy requirements, which makes them particularly vulnerable to changes in prey availability. In the LSLE, many species from secondary producers (hyperiid amphipods, other macrozooplankton) to top predators (fish, birds, and marine mammals) consumed euphausiids. Consequently, krill predators were found at all consumer trophic levels. However, our results showed that only about 35% of the estimated euphausiid production was consumed by all predator species combined. Euphausiid did not seem to be a restricted resource in the LSLE ecosystem, at least during the study period. The blue whale did not appear to have to compete for krill in the LSLE.

  7. Cultural traditions across a migratory network shape the genetic structure of southern right whales around Australia and New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, E L; Baker, C S; Watson, M; Alderman, R; Bannister, J; Gaggiotti, O E; Gröcke, D R; Patenaude, N; Harcourt, R

    2015-11-09

    Fidelity to migratory destinations is an important driver of connectivity in marine and avian species. Here we assess the role of maternally directed learning of migratory habitats, or migratory culture, on the population structure of the endangered Australian and New Zealand southern right whale. Using DNA profiles, comprising mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes (500 bp), microsatellite genotypes (17 loci) and sex from 128 individually-identified whales, we find significant differentiation among winter calving grounds based on both mtDNA haplotype (FST = 0.048, ΦST = 0.109, p whales from different calving grounds mix in migratory corridors. Furthermore, we find a significant relationship between δ(13)C stable isotope profiles of 66 Australian southern right whales, a proxy for feeding ground location, and both mtDNA haplotypes and kinship inferred from microsatellite-based estimators of relatedness. This indicates migratory culture may influence genetic structure on feeding grounds. This fidelity to migratory destinations is likely to influence population recovery, as long-term estimates of historical abundance derived from estimates of genetic diversity indicate the South Pacific calving grounds remain at <10% of pre-whaling abundance.

  8. Applicability of Information Theory to the Quantification of Responses to Anthropogenic Noise by Southeast Alaskan Humpback Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ellen Blue

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available We assess the effectiveness of applying information theory to the characterization and quantification of the affects of anthropogenic vessel noise on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae vocal behavior in and around Glacier Bay, Alaska. Vessel noise has the potential to interfere with the complex vocal behavior of these humpback whales which could have direct consequences on their feeding behavior and thus ultimately on their health and reproduction. Humpback whale feeding calls recorded during conditions of high vessel-generated noise and lower levels of background noise are compared for differences in acoustic structure, use, and organization using information theoretic measures. We apply information theory in a self-referential manner (i.e., orders of entropy to quantify the changes in signaling behavior. We then compare this with the reduction in channel capacity due to noise in Glacier Bay itself treating it as a (Gaussian noisy channel. We find that high vessel noise is associated with an increase in the rate and repetitiveness of sequential use of feeding call types in our averaged sample of humpback whale vocalizations, indicating that vessel noise may be modifying the patterns of use of feeding calls by the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska. The information theoretic approach suggested herein can make a reliable quantitative measure of such relationships and may also be adapted for wider application to many species where environmental noise is thought to be a problem.

  9. Ancient DNA analysis of northeast Pacific humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    OpenAIRE

    Arndt, Ursula Maria

    2011-01-01

    The main goal of this ancient DNA-based study was to analyze archaeological whale skeletal remains from the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia to investigate population genetic diversities of humpback whales pre-dating industrial whaling. This study also examined whale hunting practices of early indigenous people by revealing potential species selections. Nuu-chah-nulth people are believed to have hunted whales for millennia and numerous whale bones have been recovered from arch...

  10. Spatial and temporal occurrence of blue whales off the U.S. West Coast, with implications for management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, Ladd M; Mate, Bruce R; Winsor, Martha H; Palacios, Daniel M; Bograd, Steven J; Costa, Daniel P; Bailey, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Mortality and injuries caused by ship strikes in U.S. waters are a cause of concern for the endangered population of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) occupying the eastern North Pacific. We sought to determine which areas along the U.S. West Coast are most important to blue whales and whether those areas change inter-annually. Argos-monitored satellite tags were attached to 171 blue whales off California during summer/early fall from 1993 to 2008. We analyzed portions of the tracks that occurred within U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone waters and defined the 'home range' (HR) and 'core areas' (CAU) as the 90% and 50% fixed kernel density distributions, respectively, for each whale. We used the number of overlapping individual HRs and CAUs to identify areas of highest use. Individual HR and CAU sizes varied dramatically, but without significant inter-annual variation despite covering years with El Niño and La Niña conditions. Observed within-year differences in HR size may represent different foraging strategies for individuals. The main areas of HR and CAU overlap among whales were near highly productive, strong upwelling centers that were crossed by commercial shipping lanes. Tagged whales generally departed U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone waters from mid-October to mid-November, with high variability among individuals. One 504-d track allowed HR and CAU comparisons for the same individual across two years, showing similar seasonal timing, and strong site fidelity. Our analysis showed how satellite-tagged blue whales seasonally used waters off the U.S. West Coast, including high-risk areas. We suggest possible modifications to existing shipping lanes to reduce the likelihood of collisions with vessels.

  11. Spatial and temporal occurrence of blue whales off the U.S. West Coast, with implications for management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ladd M Irvine

    Full Text Available Mortality and injuries caused by ship strikes in U.S. waters are a cause of concern for the endangered population of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus occupying the eastern North Pacific. We sought to determine which areas along the U.S. West Coast are most important to blue whales and whether those areas change inter-annually. Argos-monitored satellite tags were attached to 171 blue whales off California during summer/early fall from 1993 to 2008. We analyzed portions of the tracks that occurred within U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone waters and defined the 'home range' (HR and 'core areas' (CAU as the 90% and 50% fixed kernel density distributions, respectively, for each whale. We used the number of overlapping individual HRs and CAUs to identify areas of highest use. Individual HR and CAU sizes varied dramatically, but without significant inter-annual variation despite covering years with El Niño and La Niña conditions. Observed within-year differences in HR size may represent different foraging strategies for individuals. The main areas of HR and CAU overlap among whales were near highly productive, strong upwelling centers that were crossed by commercial shipping lanes. Tagged whales generally departed U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone waters from mid-October to mid-November, with high variability among individuals. One 504-d track allowed HR and CAU comparisons for the same individual across two years, showing similar seasonal timing, and strong site fidelity. Our analysis showed how satellite-tagged blue whales seasonally used waters off the U.S. West Coast, including high-risk areas. We suggest possible modifications to existing shipping lanes to reduce the likelihood of collisions with vessels.

  12. Modus operandi of female serial killers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, W; Hilton, T

    1998-04-01

    The modus operandi of female serial killers was examined from a chronology of 58 cases in America and 47 cases in 17 other countries, compiled over 25-year intervals. Female serial killers in other countries accounted for a disproportionately greater number of victims, but those in America managed a longer killing career when associated with a low profile modus operandi.

  13. Endangered Species Act

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife...

  14. Endangered Species: Pesticide Restrictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Our goal is to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, without placing unnecessary burden on agriculture and pesticide users. Pesticide limitations are developed to ensure safe use of pesticides in order to meet this goal.

  15. Notorious Cases of Serial Killers

    OpenAIRE

    Iosub Elena-Cătălina

    2014-01-01

    The reconstruction of a death scene provides an overall picture of the crime and will indicate the murder as an event or one of a series of events and also the criminal. But when the criminal is declared a serial killer, many questions are raised up. How could a person kill some else without a reason or why people react in such a disorganized way and become so brutal or what made them act like that and so many questions with also so many answers. This project explains the psycholo...

  16. Bony outgrowths on the jaws of an extinct sperm whale support macroraptorial feeding in several stem physeteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Olivier; Bianucci, Giovanni; Beatty, Brian L.

    2014-06-01

    Several extinct sperm whales (stem Physeteroidea) were recently proposed to differ markedly in their feeding ecology from the suction-feeding modern sperm whales Kogia and Physeter. Based on cranial, mandibular, and dental morphology, these Miocene forms were tentatively identified as macroraptorial feeders, able to consume proportionally large prey using their massive teeth and robust jaws. However, until now, no corroborating evidence for the use of teeth during predation was available. We report on a new specimen of the stem physeteroid Acrophyseter, from the late middle to early late Miocene of Peru, displaying unusual bony outgrowths along some of the upper alveoli. Considering their position and outer shape, these are identified as buccal maxillary exostoses. More developed along posterior teeth and in tight contact with the high portion of the dental root outside the bony alveoli, the exostoses are hypothesized to have developed during powerful bites; they may have worked as buttresses, strengthening the teeth when facing intense occlusal forces. These buccal exostoses further support a raptorial feeding technique for Acrophyseter and, indirectly, for other extinct sperm whales with a similar oral apparatus ( Brygmophyseter, Livyatan, Zygophyseter). With a wide size range, these Miocene stem physeteroids were major marine macropredators, occupying ecological niches nowadays mostly taken by killer whales.

  17. Worldwide structure of mtDNA diversity among Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris): implications for threatened populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalebout, Merel L; Robertson, Kelly M; Frantzis, Alexandros; Engelhaupt, Dan; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A; Rosario-Delestre, Raul J; Baker, C Scott

    2005-10-01

    We present the first description of phylogeographic structure among Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) worldwide using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences obtained from strandings (n = 70), incidental fisheries takes (n = 11), biopsy (n = 1), and whale-meat markets (n = 5). Over a 290-base pair fragment, 23 variable sites defined 33 unique haplotypes among the total of 87 samples. Nucleotide diversity at the control region was relatively low (pi = 1.27%+/- 0.723%) compared to wide-ranging baleen whales, but higher than strongly matrifocal sperm, pilot and killer whales. Phylogenetic reconstruction using maximum likelihood revealed four distinct haplotype groups, each of which displayed strong frequency differences among ocean basins, but no reciprocal monophyly or fixed character differences. Consistent with this phylogeographic pattern, an analysis of molecular variance showed high levels of differentiation among ocean basins (F(ST) = 0.14, Phi ST = 0.42; P fisheries by-catch, direct hunting, and disturbance or mortality from anthropogenic sound.

  18. Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus Behavior and Group Dynamics as Observed from an Aircraft off Southern California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Lomac-MacNair

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Group behavior and interactions of endangered blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus have not been systematically studied. Such behavioral data are often overlooked when assessing anthropogenic effects. Yet behavioral data are necessary to compare “normal” behaviors with behavior affected by anthropogenic factors of concern relative to effective management and recovery of blue whales. For a baseline study, we hypothesized that the response variables sighting rate, group size, calf presence and group cohesion (i.e., spacing between individuals within a group differed according to the spatio-temporal explanatory variables behavioral state, time of day, season, water depth and distance from shore. To address our hypotheses, we flew systematic line transect surveys in southern California and collected focal group data. Two sets of data were separately analyzed using different sampling approaches: (1 point sample data associated with the first sighting of a blue whale(s, and (2 extended all-occurrence focal group behavioral sampling data (i.e., focal follows collected on a subsample of all sightings while the aircraft circled at a radial distance of approximately 0.5-1 km and an altitude of 1,500 m for extended periods of 5 – 60 minutes. Chi-square contingency table and G² analyses were used to assess statistical relationships between response and explanatory variables. We conducted 18 one-week-long aerial surveys spanning October 2008 through May 2013 (at least once during every month except December, totaling 87,555 km of observation effort. Seventy blue whale sightings (117 individuals were seen, ranging in size from 1 – 6 whales, and focal follow was performed on over half (55% of these sightings. Results supported our hypotheses that blue whale group characteristics were related to behavioral state and spatio-temporal variables. Sighting rates were significantly highest during summer followed by spring, fall, and winter. Group type differed

  19. Notorious Cases of Serial Killers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iosub Elena-Cătălina

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The reconstruction of a death scene provides an overall picture of the crime and will indicate the murder as an event or one of a series of events and also the criminal. But when the criminal is declared a serial killer, many questions are raised up. How could a person kill some else without a reason or why people react in such a disorganized way and become so brutal or what made them act like that and so many questions with also so many answers. This project explains the psychology of a murderer, his own way of thinking and acting by presuming that we may accurately discover what is in their minds when they kill. It is about a very complex issue regarding murder investigations, biological factors and psychological profile of a serial killer. Dealing with this problem we will at last reach to the question that could solve finally the puzzle: ―Are serial murderers distorted reflections of society's own values?

  20. 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

  1. Tread-water feeding of Bryde's whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Takashi; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Thongsukdee, Surasak; Cherdsukjai, Phaothep; Adulyanukosol, Kanjana; Sato, Katsufumi

    2017-11-06

    Many previous studies have shown that rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae), including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whale (B. physalus), sei whale (B. borealis), Bryde's whale (B. edeni), minke whale (B. acutorostrata), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), employ a strategy called lunge feeding to capture a large amount of krill and/or fish for nourishment [1]. Lunge feeding entails a high energetic cost due to the drag created by an open mouth at high speeds [1,2]. In the upper Gulf of Thailand, Bryde's whales, which feed on small fish species [3], predominantly anchovies, demonstrated a range of feeding behaviors such as oblique, vertical, and lateral lunging. Moreover, they displayed a novel head-lifting feeding behavior characterized by holding the vertical posture for several seconds with an open mouth at the water surface. This study describes the head-lifting feeding by Bryde's whales, which is distinct from the typical lunge feeding of rorqual whales. Whales showing this behavior were observed on 58 occasions, involving 31 whales and including eight adult-calf pairs. Whales caught their prey using a series of coordinated movements: (i) lifting the head above the water with a closed mouth, (ii) opening the mouth until the lower jaw contacted the sea surface, which created a current of water flowing into the mouth, (iii) holding their position for several seconds, (iv) waiting for the prey to enter the mouth, and (v) closing the mouth and engulfing the prey underwater (Figure 1A-F, Movie S1 in Supplemental Information published with this article online). When a whale kept its upper jaw above the sea surface, many anchovies in the targeted shoal appeared to lose orientation and flowed passively into the mouth of the whale by the current created by the lower mandible breaking the surface of the water. We measured the duration of feeding events when the whales had a wide-open mouth mostly above the sea surface. The mean and maximum feeding

  2. Deficient natural killer cell function in preeclampsia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alanen, A.; Lassila, O.

    1982-11-01

    Natural killer cell activity of peripheral blood lymphocytes was measured against K-562 target cells with a 4-hour /sup 51/Cr release assay in 15 primigravid women with preeclamptic symptoms. Nineteen primigravid women with an uncomplicated pregnancy and 18 nonpregnant women served as controls. The natural killer cell activity of preeclamptic women was observed to be significantly lower than that of both control groups. Natural killer cells in preeclamptic women responded normally to augmentation caused by interferon. These findings give further evidence for the participation of the maternal immune system in this pregnancy disorder.

  3. Endangered Species Act Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Critical habitat (CH) is designated for the survival and recovery of species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Critical...

  4. Mapping the Super-Whale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2010-01-01

    In empirical discussion on global connections, frequent allusions are made to Michael Burawoy's 'global' and George Marcus' 'multi-sited' ethnographies. While both have inspired transnational fieldwork, neither methodological approach has sufficiently analysed the local-global dichotomy embedded ...... and plural 'globalities' is outlined. These claims are developed drawing on the author's inquiries into Japanese whaling practices, showing how 'ethno-socio-cartography' can contribute to the mapping of global-scale micro-cosmoses....

  5. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    time in cold storage, and therefore yielded varying results. Nonetheless, all specimens examined were beneficial to the process and added various...to thermoregulation . We observed a sizable arteriovenous structure suggestive of counter-current heat exchange (CCHE) not only in the lingual and...surfaces in contact with cold water. An analogous structure was described on the palatine surface of the bowhead whale (Mead, Werth and George, 2013

  6. 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)

  7. 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…

  8. Serial killer: il database mondiale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaetano parente

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The complex and multisided study of serial killers is partly made difficult by the current level of progress that has led these deviant people to evolve in relation to the aspects of shrewdness (concerning the staging and mobility. Despite the important work of some scholars who proposed important theories, all this shows that, concerning serial murders, it is still particularly frequent not to pay attention to links among homicides committed by the same person but in different parts of the world. It is therefore crucial to develop a worldwide database that allows all police forces to access information collected on crime scenes of murders which are particularly absurd and committed without any apparent reason. It will then be up to the profiler, through ad hoc and technologically advanced tools, to collect this information on the crime scene that would be made available to all police forces thanks to the worldwide database.

  9. Chronic natural killer cell lymphocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tefferi, A

    1996-01-01

    Chronic proliferations of natural killer (NK) cells (CD3- CD16+) are identified initially by detecting large granular lymphocyte (LGL) excess in a peripheral blood smear and subsequent lymphocyte immunophenotyping by flow cytometry. A related disease, T-LGL leukemia, has an indolent clinical course with chronic neutropenia and a close association with rheumatoid arthritis. Herein are described the clinical presentation and long-term clinical course of patients with chronic NK cell lymphocytosis (CNKL). The majority of the 14 patients followed up for a median of 4 years presented with severe cytopenias or vasculitic syndromes that were responsive to immunosuppressive therapy. Other manifestations included fever and arthralgias. In general, the disease was nonprogressive and had a course similar to that of T-LGL leukemia.

  10. 76 FR 2348 - Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-13

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA140 Endangered Species AGENCY: National Marine... Fort Fisher. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of... exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226). The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort...

  11. 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)

  12. Can You Escape the Silent Killer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Peripheral Artery Disease Venous Thromboembolism Aortic Aneurysm More Can You Escape the Silent Killer? Updated:Feb 2, ... Numbers • Understand Symptoms and Risks • Learn How HBP Can Harm Your Health • Commit To A Plan • Make ...

  13. Heart Disease the No. 1 Killer Worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165667.html Heart Disease the No. 1 Killer Worldwide Low-cost, effective ... deaths around the world are the result of heart disease and stroke, making cardiovascular disease the number one ...

  14. Persistence in the Shadow of Killers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Michael Sinclair

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Killing is perhaps the most definite form of communication possible. Microbes such as yeasts and gutbacteria have been shown to exhibit killer phenotypes. The killer strains are able to kill othermicrobes occupying the same ecological niche, and do so with impunity. It would therefore beexpected that, wherever a killer phenotype has arisen, all members of the population would soon bekillers or dead. Surprisingly, (i one can find both killer and sensitive strains in coexistence, both inthe wild and in in-vitro experiments, and (ii the absolute fitness cost of the killer phenotype oftenseems to be very small. We present an explicit model of such coexistence in a fragmented or discreteenvironment. A killer strain may kill all sensitive cells in one patch (one piece of rotting fruit, onecave or one human gut, for example, allowing sensitives to exist only in the absence of killer strainson the same patch. In our model, populations spread easily between patches, but in a stochasticmanner: One can imagine spores borne by the wind over a field of untended apple trees, or entericdisease transmission in a region in which travel is effectively unrestricted. What we show is thatcoexistence is not only possible, but that it is possible even if the absolute fitness advantage of thesensitive strain over the killer strain is arbitrarily small. We do this by performing a specificallytargeted mathematical analysis on our model, rather than via simulations. Our model does not assumelarge population densities, and may thus be useful in the context of understanding the ecology ofextreme environments.

  15. Remote acoustic monitoring of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) reveals seasonal and diel variations in acoustic behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Leanna P; McCordic, Jessica A; Parks, Susan E

    2014-01-01

    Remote acoustic monitoring is a non-invasive tool that can be used to study the distribution, behavior, and habitat use of sound-producing species. The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is an endangered baleen whale species that produces a variety of stereotyped acoustic signals. One of these signals, the "gunshot" sound, has only been recorded from adult male North Atlantic right whales and is thought to function for reproduction, either as reproductive advertisement for females or as an agonistic signal toward other males. This study uses remote acoustic monitoring to analyze the presence of gunshots over a two-year period at two sites on the Scotian Shelf to determine if there is evidence that North Atlantic right whales may use these locations for breeding activities. Seasonal analyses at both locations indicate that gunshot sound production is highly seasonal, with an increase in the autumn. One site, Roseway West, had significantly more gunshot sounds overall and exhibited a clear diel trend in production of these signals at night. The other site, Emerald South, also showed a seasonal increase in gunshot production during the autumn, but did not show any significant diel trend. This difference in gunshot signal production at the two sites indicates variation either in the number or the behavior of whales at each location. The timing of the observed seasonal increase in gunshot sound production is consistent with the current understanding of the right whale breeding season, and our results demonstrate that detection of gunshots with remote acoustic monitoring can be a reliable way to track shifts in distribution and changes in acoustic behavior including possible mating activities.

  16. Remote Acoustic Monitoring of North Atlantic Right Whales (Eubalaena glacialis) Reveals Seasonal and Diel Variations in Acoustic Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Leanna P.; McCordic, Jessica A.; Parks, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Remote acoustic monitoring is a non-invasive tool that can be used to study the distribution, behavior, and habitat use of sound-producing species. The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is an endangered baleen whale species that produces a variety of stereotyped acoustic signals. One of these signals, the “gunshot” sound, has only been recorded from adult male North Atlantic right whales and is thought to function for reproduction, either as reproductive advertisement for females or as an agonistic signal toward other males. This study uses remote acoustic monitoring to analyze the presence of gunshots over a two-year period at two sites on the Scotian Shelf to determine if there is evidence that North Atlantic right whales may use these locations for breeding activities. Seasonal analyses at both locations indicate that gunshot sound production is highly seasonal, with an increase in the autumn. One site, Roseway West, had significantly more gunshot sounds overall and exhibited a clear diel trend in production of these signals at night. The other site, Emerald South, also showed a seasonal increase in gunshot production during the autumn, but did not show any significant diel trend. This difference in gunshot signal production at the two sites indicates variation either in the number or the behavior of whales at each location. The timing of the observed seasonal increase in gunshot sound production is consistent with the current understanding of the right whale breeding season, and our results demonstrate that detection of gunshots with remote acoustic monitoring can be a reliable way to track shifts in distribution and changes in acoustic behavior including possible mating activities. PMID:24646524

  17. Distribution, abundance and feeding ecology of baleen whales in Icelandic waters: have recent environmental changes had an effect?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gísli Arnór Víkingsson

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The location of Iceland at the junction of submarine ridges in the North-East Atlantic where warm and cold water masses meet south of the Arctic Circle contributes to high productivity of the waters around the island. During the last two decades, substantial increases in sea temperature and salinity have been reported. Concurrently, pronounced changes have occurred in the distribution of several fish species and euphausiids. The distribution and abundance of cetaceans in the Central and Eastern North Atlantic have been monitored regularly since 1987. Significant changes in the distribution and abundance of several cetacean species have occurred in this time period. The abundance of Central North Atlantic humpback and fin whales has increased from 1,800 to 11,600 and 15,200 to 20,600, respectively, in the period 1987-2007. In contrast, the abundance of minke whales on the Icelandic continental shelf decreased from around 44,000 in 2001 to 20,000 in 2007 and 10,000 in 2009. The increase in fin whale abundance was accompanied by expansion of distribution into the deep waters of the Irminger Sea. The distribution of the endangered blue whale has shifted northwards in this period. The habitat selection of fin whales was analyzed with respect to physical variables (temperature, depth, salinity using a generalized additive model, and the results suggest that abundance was influenced by an interaction between the physical variables depth and distance to the 2000m isobaths, but also by sea surface temperature and sea surface height, However, environmental data generally act as proxies of other variables, to which the whales respond directly. Overall, these changes in cetacean distribution and abundance may be a functional feeding response of the cetacean species to physical and biological changes in the marine environment, including decreased abundance of euphausiids, a northward shift in summer distribution of capelin and a crash in the abundance of

  18. A Miocene breeding ground of an extinct baleen whale (Cetacea: Mysticeti

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Hsiu Tsai

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Locating breeding sites is definitely a key to understanding the ecological requirements and maintaining the sustainability of populations/species. Here I re-examined published specimens of an extinct baleen whale, Parietobalaena yamaokai, from the lower part of Itahashi Formation (16.1–15.6 Ma, Middle Miocene in Shobara, Hiroshima, Japan. A critical and previously unnoticed feature, the open suture between the supraoccipital and exoccipital, in one specimen indicates the preservation of a very young individual–under six months old and even close to a new-born calf. Given the occurrence of a new-born whale and relatively abundant assemblage of Parietobalaena yamaokai, I propose a previously hidden and unknown breeding ground for the extinct baleen whale, P. yamaokai, in the Middle Miocene of Shobara (16.1–15.6 Ma, Hiroshima. Discovery of paleo-breeding sites of extinct populations/species should further help us to understand biological extinctions from a long-term perspective as conservation paleobiology aims to offer new insights into policy making for conserving endangered populations/species.

  19. A Miocene breeding ground of an extinct baleen whale (Cetacea: Mysticeti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu

    2017-01-01

    Locating breeding sites is definitely a key to understanding the ecological requirements and maintaining the sustainability of populations/species. Here I re-examined published specimens of an extinct baleen whale, Parietobalaena yamaokai, from the lower part of Itahashi Formation (16.1-15.6 Ma, Middle Miocene) in Shobara, Hiroshima, Japan. A critical and previously unnoticed feature, the open suture between the supraoccipital and exoccipital, in one specimen indicates the preservation of a very young individual-under six months old and even close to a new-born calf. Given the occurrence of a new-born whale and relatively abundant assemblage of Parietobalaena yamaokai, I propose a previously hidden and unknown breeding ground for the extinct baleen whale, P. yamaokai, in the Middle Miocene of Shobara (16.1-15.6 Ma), Hiroshima. Discovery of paleo-breeding sites of extinct populations/species should further help us to understand biological extinctions from a long-term perspective as conservation paleobiology aims to offer new insights into policy making for conserving endangered populations/species.

  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. 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

  2. Quantifying the energy stores of capital breeding humpback whales and income breeding sperm whales using historical whaling records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thums, Michele; Hanson, Christine E.; McMahon, Clive R.; Hindell, Mark A.

    2017-01-01

    Cetacean energy stores are known to vary according to life history, reproductive status and time of year; however, the opportunity to quantify these relationships is rare. Using a unique set of historical whaling records from Western Australia (1952–1963), we investigated energy stores of large cetaceans with differing life histories, and quantified the relationship between total body lipid and length for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) (n = 905) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) (n = 1961). We found that total body lipid increased with body length in both humpback and sperm whales, consistent with size-related energy stores. Male humpback whales stored 2.49 kl (15.6 barrels) (31.9–74.9%) more lipid than male sperm whales of equivalent length, to fuel their annual migration. Relative lipid stores of sperm whales (males) were constant throughout the year, while those of humpback whales varied with reproductive class and sampling date. Pregnant female humpback whales had higher relative energy stores than non-pregnant females and males (26.2% and 37.4%, respectively), to fuel the energy demands of gestation and lactation. Those that reached the sampling site later (en route to their breeding grounds) carried higher lipid stores than those that arrived earlier, possibly reflecting individual variation in residency times in the Antarctic feeding grounds. Importantly, longer pregnant females had relatively larger energy stores than the shorter pregnant females, indicating that the smaller individuals may experience higher levels of energetic stress during the migration fast. The relationships we developed between body lipid and length can be used to inform bioenergetics and ecosystem models when such detailed information is not available. PMID:28405350

  3. Quantifying the energy stores of capital breeding humpback whales and income breeding sperm whales using historical whaling records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, Lyn G; Thums, Michele; Hanson, Christine E; McMahon, Clive R; Hindell, Mark A

    2017-03-01

    Cetacean energy stores are known to vary according to life history, reproductive status and time of year; however, the opportunity to quantify these relationships is rare. Using a unique set of historical whaling records from Western Australia (1952-1963), we investigated energy stores of large cetaceans with differing life histories, and quantified the relationship between total body lipid and length for humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae) ( n  = 905) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) ( n  = 1961). We found that total body lipid increased with body length in both humpback and sperm whales, consistent with size-related energy stores. Male humpback whales stored 2.49 kl (15.6 barrels) (31.9-74.9%) more lipid than male sperm whales of equivalent length, to fuel their annual migration. Relative lipid stores of sperm whales (males) were constant throughout the year, while those of humpback whales varied with reproductive class and sampling date. Pregnant female humpback whales had higher relative energy stores than non-pregnant females and males (26.2% and 37.4%, respectively), to fuel the energy demands of gestation and lactation. Those that reached the sampling site later ( en route to their breeding grounds) carried higher lipid stores than those that arrived earlier, possibly reflecting individual variation in residency times in the Antarctic feeding grounds. Importantly, longer pregnant females had relatively larger energy stores than the shorter pregnant females, indicating that the smaller individuals may experience higher levels of energetic stress during the migration fast. The relationships we developed between body lipid and length can be used to inform bioenergetics and ecosystem models when such detailed information is not available.

  4. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Their Wintering Grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolotto, Guilherme A; Danilewicz, Daniel; Andriolo, Artur; Secchi, Eduardo R; Zerbini, Alexandre N

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563-25,495) animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595-24,500) and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958-23,654) whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated.

  5. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in Their Wintering Grounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme A Bortolotto

    Full Text Available The western South Atlantic (WSA humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563-25,495 animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595-24,500 and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958-23,654 whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated.

  6. Whales, science, and scientific whaling in the International Court of Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangel, Marc

    2016-12-20

    I provide a brief review of the origins of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and the failure to successfully regulate whaling that led to the commercial moratorium in 1986. I then describe the Japanese Whale Research Programs Under Special Permit in the Antarctica (JARPA I, JARPA II) and the origins of the case Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand Intervening) in the International Court of Justice. I explain that the International Court of Justice chose to conduct an objective review of JARPA II, the standard that it used for the review, and the pathway that it took to adjudicate the case without providing a definition of science to be used in international law. I conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of the Judgment for the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, and the International Whaling Commission in particular, for other international treaties, and for the interaction of science and law more generally.

  7. Middle/late Miocene hoplocetine sperm whale remains (Odontoceti: Physeteridae of North Germany with an emended classification of the Hoplocetinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Hampe

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Hoplocetus ritzi n. sp. is a new hoplocetine physeterid from the Bolboforma fragori /subfragoris Zone of the middle/late Miocene mica-clay of Groß Pampau in Schleswig-Holstein, North Germany. The Hoplocetinae are known from the early Miocene to the Pliocene. Comparative studies of cranial characters and tooth morphology allow an emended diagnosis of the Hoplocetinae Cabrera, 1926. Four genera, Diaphorocetus, Idiorophus, Scaldicetus, and Hoplocetus are included in this subfamily. The pattern of functional tooth wear deduced from the described Hoplocetus ritzi n. sp. remains is reminescent of that known from Orcinus orca. The hoplocetine physeterids possibly occupied the killer whale niche before the killer whales appeared during the middle Pliocene. Mit Hoplocetusritzi n. sp. wird ein neuer hoplocetiner Physeteride beschrieben. Der Fund stammt aus der Bolboformafragori /subfragoris Zone des mittel-/obermiozänen Glimmertons von Groß Pampau in Schleswig-Holstein, Norddeutschland. Die Hoplocetinae sind vom unteren Miozän bis ins Pliozän nachgewiesen. Anhand vergleichender Untersuchungen an wenigen Schädelmerkmalen und der Zahnmorphologie gelingt eine Neudiagnose der Hoplocetinae Cabrera, 1926 und eine vorläufige Abgrenzung zwischen den als valid angesehenen Gattungen dieser Unterfamilie, Diaphorocetus, Idiorophus, Scaldicetus und Hoplocetus. Das Abkauungsmuster der Zähne von Hoplocetusritzi n. sp. erinnert an das des heutigen Orcinusorca. Möglicherweise sind die hoplocetinen Pottwale habituell den Schwertwalen, die erdgeschichtlich erstmals im mittleren Pliozän auftreten, vergleichbar. doi:10.1002/mmng.200600002

  8. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Andrew D. Foote; Jason Newton; María C. Ávila-Arcos; Marie-Louise Kampmann; Jose A. Samaniego; Klaas Post; Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid; Mikkel-Holger S. Sinding; M. Thomas P. Gilbert

    2013-01-01

    .... Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopie niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes...

  9. Nuclear and Mitochondrial Patterns of Population Structure in North Pacific False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-14

    and TtrRC11 (Rosel et al. 2005) derived from common bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ). Extracted DNA was amplified using published protocols...mitochondrial and microsatel- lite markers for common bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) around the main Hawaiian Islands. Mar Mammal Sci. 28:E208–E232...diversity in captive bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ). J Hered. 90:228–231. Rosel PE, Dizon AE, Heyning JE. 1994. Genetic analysis of sympatric mor

  10. Evidence of Genetic Differentiation for Hawaii Insular False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    of inbreeding as the population under consideration. Effective population size is directly related to genetic diversity and hence the amount of...diversity contributes to the risks facing small populations (Lande 1988), we calculate Ne and discuss the implications. Materials and Methods The...result was not statistically significant (P = 0.103). Discussion The addition of new samples and nDNA data confirmed the demographic independence

  11. "Freshwater killer whales": beaching behavior of an alien fish to hunt land birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Cucherousset

    Full Text Available The behavioral strategies developed by predators to capture and kill their prey are fascinating, notably for predators that forage for prey at, or beyond, the boundaries of their ecosystem. We report here the occurrence of a beaching behavior used by an alien and large-bodied freshwater predatory fish (Silurus glanis to capture birds on land (i.e. pigeons, Columbia livia. Among a total of 45 beaching behaviors observed and filmed, 28% were successful in bird capture. Stable isotope analyses (δ(13C and δ(15N of predators and their putative prey revealed a highly variable dietary contribution of land birds among individuals. Since this extreme behavior has not been reported in the native range of the species, our results suggest that some individuals in introduced predator populations may adapt their behavior to forage on novel prey in new environments, leading to behavioral and trophic specialization to actively cross the water-land interface.

  12. "Freshwater killer whales": beaching behavior of an alien fish to hunt land birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucherousset, Julien; Boulêtreau, Stéphanie; Azémar, Frédéric; Compin, Arthur; Guillaume, Mathieu; Santoul, Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    The behavioral strategies developed by predators to capture and kill their prey are fascinating, notably for predators that forage for prey at, or beyond, the boundaries of their ecosystem. We report here the occurrence of a beaching behavior used by an alien and large-bodied freshwater predatory fish (Silurus glanis) to capture birds on land (i.e. pigeons, Columbia livia). Among a total of 45 beaching behaviors observed and filmed, 28% were successful in bird capture. Stable isotope analyses (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) of predators and their putative prey revealed a highly variable dietary contribution of land birds among individuals. Since this extreme behavior has not been reported in the native range of the species, our results suggest that some individuals in introduced predator populations may adapt their behavior to forage on novel prey in new environments, leading to behavioral and trophic specialization to actively cross the water-land interface.

  13. AFSC/NMML: North Pacific Killer whale genetic dataset, 1990-2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The difficulties associated with detecting population boundaries have long constrained the conservation and management of highly mobile marine species, especially...

  14. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Newton, Jason; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen

    2013-01-01

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales...

  15. Near-real-time acoustic monitoring of beaked whales and other cetaceans using a Seaglider™.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinck, Holger; Mellinger, David K; Klinck, Karolin; Bogue, Neil M; Luby, James C; Jump, William A; Shilling, Geoffrey B; Litchendorf, Trina; Wood, Angela S; Schorr, Gregory S; Baird, Robin W

    2012-01-01

    In most areas, estimating the presence and distribution of cryptic marine mammal species, such as beaked whales, is extremely difficult using traditional observational techniques such as ship-based visual line transect surveys. Because acoustic methods permit detection of animals underwater, at night, and in poor weather conditions, passive acoustic observation has been used increasingly often over the last decade to study marine mammal distribution, abundance, and movements, as well as for mitigation of potentially harmful anthropogenic effects. However, there is demand for new, cost-effective tools that allow scientists to monitor areas of interest autonomously with high temporal and spatial resolution in near-real time. Here we describe an autonomous underwater vehicle--a glider--equipped with an acoustic sensor and onboard data processing capabilities to passively scan an area for marine mammals in near-real time. The glider was tested extensively off the west coast of the Island of Hawai'i, USA. The instrument covered approximately 390 km during three weeks at sea and collected a total of 194 h of acoustic data. Detections of beaked whales were successfully reported to shore in near-real time. Manual analysis of the recorded data revealed a high number of vocalizations of delphinids and sperm whales. Furthermore, the glider collected vocalizations of unknown origin very similar to those made by known species of beaked whales. The instrument developed here can be used to cost-effectively screen areas of interest for marine mammals for several months at a time. The near-real-time detection and reporting capabilities of the glider can help to protect marine mammals during potentially harmful anthropogenic activities such as seismic exploration for sub-sea fossil fuels or naval sonar exercises. Furthermore, the glider is capable of under-ice operation, allowing investigation of otherwise inaccessible polar environments that are critical habitats for many

  16. Near-real-time acoustic monitoring of beaked whales and other cetaceans using a Seaglider™.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holger Klinck

    Full Text Available In most areas, estimating the presence and distribution of cryptic marine mammal species, such as beaked whales, is extremely difficult using traditional observational techniques such as ship-based visual line transect surveys. Because acoustic methods permit detection of animals underwater, at night, and in poor weather conditions, passive acoustic observation has been used increasingly often over the last decade to study marine mammal distribution, abundance, and movements, as well as for mitigation of potentially harmful anthropogenic effects. However, there is demand for new, cost-effective tools that allow scientists to monitor areas of interest autonomously with high temporal and spatial resolution in near-real time. Here we describe an autonomous underwater vehicle--a glider--equipped with an acoustic sensor and onboard data processing capabilities to passively scan an area for marine mammals in near-real time. The glider was tested extensively off the west coast of the Island of Hawai'i, USA. The instrument covered approximately 390 km during three weeks at sea and collected a total of 194 h of acoustic data. Detections of beaked whales were successfully reported to shore in near-real time. Manual analysis of the recorded data revealed a high number of vocalizations of delphinids and sperm whales. Furthermore, the glider collected vocalizations of unknown origin very similar to those made by known species of beaked whales. The instrument developed here can be used to cost-effectively screen areas of interest for marine mammals for several months at a time. The near-real-time detection and reporting capabilities of the glider can help to protect marine mammals during potentially harmful anthropogenic activities such as seismic exploration for sub-sea fossil fuels or naval sonar exercises. Furthermore, the glider is capable of under-ice operation, allowing investigation of otherwise inaccessible polar environments that are critical

  17. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Their Wintering Grounds

    OpenAIRE

    Bortolotto, Guilherme A.; Danilewicz, Daniel; Andriolo, Artur; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to pres...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Short Communication Observations of individual humpback whales ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Movements of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae among breeding regions within the southwestern Indian Ocean are poorly understood. Understanding the relationships among breeding regions is critical for effective conservation and management strategies. Through systematic comparisons of molecular ...

  1. Source levels of foraging humpback whale calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournet, Michelle E H; Matthews, Leanna P; Gabriele, Christine M; Mellinger, David K; Klinck, Holger

    2018-02-01

    Humpback whales produce a wide range of low- to mid-frequency vocalizations throughout their migratory range. Non-song "calls" dominate this species' vocal repertoire while on high-latitude foraging grounds. The source levels of 426 humpback whale calls in four vocal classes were estimated using a four-element planar array deployed in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Southeast Alaska. There was no significant difference in source levels between humpback whale vocal classes. The mean call source level was 137 dB RMS re 1 μPa @ 1 m in the bandwidth of the call (range 113-157 dB RMS re 1 μPa @ 1 m), where bandwidth is defined as the frequency range from the lowest to the highest frequency component of the call. These values represent a robust estimate of humpback whale source levels on foraging grounds and should append earlier estimates.

  2. A whale better adjusts the biosonar to ordered rather than to random changes in the echo parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supin, Alexander Ya; Nachtigall, Paul E; Breese, Marlee

    2012-09-01

    A false killer whale's (Pseudorca crassidens) sonar clicks and auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) were recorded during echolocation with simulated echoes in two series of experiments. In the first, both the echo delay and transfer factor (which is the dB-ratio of the echo sound-pressure level to emitted pulse source level) were varied randomly from trial to trial until enough data were collected (random presentation). In the second, a combination of the echo delay and transfer factor was kept constant until enough data were collected (ordered presentation). The mean click level decreased with shortening the delay and increasing the transfer factor, more at the ordered presentation rather than at the random presentation. AEPs to the self-heard emitted clicks decreased with shortening the delay and increasing the echo level equally in both series. AEPs to echoes increased with increasing the echo level, little dependent on the echo delay at random presentations but much more dependent on delay with ordered presentations. So some adjustment of the whale's biosonar was possible without prior information about the echo parameters; however, the availability of prior information about echoes provided additional whale capabilities to adjust both the transmitting and receiving parts of the biosonar.

  3. Killer dendritic cells: IKDC and the others.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonmort, Mathieu; Dalod, Marc; Mignot, Grégoire; Ullrich, Evelyn; Chaput, Nathalie; Zitvogel, Laurence

    2008-10-01

    Tumors can regress as a result of invading myeloid and lymphoid cells that act in concert. Although the myeloid cells are widely recognized as antigen presenters and lymphoid cells as classical effectors, recent evidence revealed the capacity of dendritic cells (DC) to kill tumor cells. The functional concept of 'natural killer (NK) myeloid DC' is supported by mouse and human in vitro data that may be clinically relevant because human killer DC can contribute to tumor shrinking during topical therapy with toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists. Whether tumor killing by DC is a 'catalyzing' step for efficient crosspresentation and/or a promoting step for an immunogenic cell death pathway remains an open question. We also discuss how interferon-producing killer DC (IKDC) may participate in the control of tumor progression.

  4. Stochastic modeling of a serial killer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkin, M V; Roychowdhury, V P

    2014-08-21

    We analyze the time pattern of the activity of a serial killer, who during 12 years had murdered 53 people. The plot of the cumulative number of murders as a function of time is of "Devil's staircase" type. The distribution of the intervals between murders (step length) follows a power law with the exponent of 1.4. We propose a model according to which the serial killer commits murders when neuronal excitation in his brain exceeds certain threshold. We model this neural activity as a branching process, which in turn is approximated by a random walk. As the distribution of the random walk return times is a power law with the exponent 1.5, the distribution of the inter-murder intervals is thus explained. We illustrate analytical results by numerical simulation. Time pattern activity data from two other serial killers further substantiate our analysis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Stochastic modeling of a serial killer

    OpenAIRE

    Simkin, M. V.; Roychowdhury, V. P.

    2014-01-01

    We analyze the time pattern of the activity of a serial killer, who during twelve years had murdered 53 people. The plot of the cumulative number of murders as a function of time is of "Devil's staircase" type. The distribution of the intervals between murders (step length) follows a power law with the exponent of 1.4. We propose a model according to which the serial killer commits murders when neuronal excitation in his brain exceeds certain threshold. We model this neural activity as a bran...

  6. Are whale sharks exposed to persistent organic pollutants and plastic pollution in the Gulf of California (Mexico)? First ecotoxicological investigation using skin biopsies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Baini, Matteo; Panti, Cristina; Galli, Matteo; Jiménez, Begoña; Muñoz-Arnanz, Juan; Marsili, Letizia; Finoia, Maria Grazia; Ramírez-Macías, Dení

    2017-09-01

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is an endangered species that may be exposed to micro- and macro-plastic ingestion as a result of their filter-feeding activity, particularly on the sea surface. In this pilot project we perform the first ecotoxicological investigation on whale sharks sampled in the Gulf of California exploring the potential interaction of this species with plastic debris (macro-, micro-plastics and related sorbed contaminants). Due to the difficulty in obtaining stranded specimens of this endangered species, an indirect approach, by skin biopsies was used for the evaluation of the whale shark ecotoxicological status. The levels of organochlorine compounds (PCBs, DDTs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) plastic additives, and related biomarkers responses (CYP1A) were investigated for the first time in the whale shark. Twelve whale shark skin biopsy samples were collected in January 2014 in La Paz Bay (BCS, Mexico) and a preliminary investigation on microplastic concentration and polymer composition was also carried out in seawater samples from the same area. The average abundance pattern for the target contaminants was PCBs>DDTs>PBDEs>HCB. Mean concentration values of 8.42ng/g w.w. were found for PCBs, 1.31ng/g w.w. for DDTs, 0.29ng/g w.w. for PBDEs and 0.19ng/g w.w. for HCB. CYP1A-like protein was detected, for the first time, in whale shark skin samples. First data on the average density of microplastics in the superficial zooplankton/microplastic samples showed values ranging from 0.00items/m 3 to 0.14items/m 3 . A focused PCA analysis was performed to evaluate a possible correlation among the size of the whale sharks, contaminants and CYP1A reponses. Further ecotoxicological investigation on whale shark skin biopsies will be carried out for a worldwide ecotoxicological risk assessment of this endangerd species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Wandering whales? : Relationships between baleen whales and the sea ice environment in the Southern Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beekmans, Bas

    2017-01-01

    Each austral summer large baleen whales migrate into the Southern Ocean to feed on krill. The melting of sea ice leads to algal blooms which allow rapid growth and development of krill. In order to predict how baleen whales will respond to long-term changes in the physical environment, we need to

  8. Draft sequencing and assembly of the genome of the world's largest fish, the whale shark: Rhincodon typus Smith 1828.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Read, Timothy D; Petit, Robert A; Joseph, Sandeep J; Alam, Md Tauqeer; Weil, M Ryan; Ahmad, Maida; Bhimani, Ravila; Vuong, Jocelyn S; Haase, Chad P; Webb, D Harry; Tan, Milton; Dove, Alistair D M

    2017-07-14

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) has by far the largest body size of any elasmobranch (shark or ray) species. Therefore, it is also the largest extant species of the paraphyletic assemblage commonly referred to as fishes. As both a phenotypic extreme and a member of the group Chondrichthyes - the sister group to the remaining gnathostomes, which includes all tetrapods and therefore also humans - its genome is of substantial comparative interest. Whale sharks are also listed as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of threatened species and are of growing popularity as both a target of ecotourism and as a charismatic conservation ambassador for the pelagic ecosystem. A genome map for this species would aid in defining effective conservation units and understanding global population structure. We characterised the nuclear genome of the whale shark using next generation sequencing (454, Illumina) and de novo assembly and annotation methods, based on material collected from the Georgia Aquarium. The data set consisted of 878,654,233 reads, which yielded a draft assembly of 1,213,200 contigs and 997,976 scaffolds. The estimated genome size was 3.44Gb. As expected, the proteome of the whale shark was most closely related to the only other complete genome of a cartilaginous fish, the holocephalan elephant shark. The whale shark contained a novel Toll-like-receptor (TLR) protein with sequence similarity to both the TLR4 and TLR13 proteins of mammals and TLR21 of teleosts. The data are publicly available on GenBank, FigShare, and from the NCBI Short Read Archive under accession number SRP044374. This represents the first shotgun elasmobranch genome and will aid studies of molecular systematics, biogeography, genetic differentiation, and conservation genetics in this and other shark species, as well as providing comparative data for studies of evolutionary biology and immunology across the jawed vertebrate lineages.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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 taken...

  16. Acoustic effects of the ATOC signal (75 Hz, 195 dB) on dolphins and whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Au, W.W.; Nachtigall, P.E.; Pawloski, J.L. [Marine Mammal Research Program, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, P.O. Box 1106, Kailua, Hawaii 96734 (United States)

    1997-05-01

    The Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) program of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, will broadcast a low-frequency 75-Hz phase modulated acoustic signal over ocean basins in order to study ocean temperatures on a global scale and examine the effects of global warming. One of the major concerns is the possible effect of the ATOC signal on marine life, especially on dolphins and whales. In order to address this issue, the hearing sensitivity of a false killer whale ({ital Pseudorca crassidens}) and a Risso{close_quote}s dolphin ({ital Grampus griseus}) to the ATOC sound was measured behaviorally. A staircase procedure with the signal levels being changed in 1-dB steps was used to measure the animals{close_quote} threshold to the actual ATOC coded signal. The results indicate that small odontocetes such as the {ital Pseudorca} and {ital Grampus} swimming directly above the ATOC source will not hear the signal unless they dive to a depth of approximately 400 m. A sound propagation analysis suggests that the sound-pressure level at ranges greater than 0.5 km will be less than 130 dB for depths down to about 500 m. Several species of baleen whales produce sounds much greater than 170{endash}180 dB. With the ATOC source on the axis of the deep sound channel (greater than 800 m), the ATOC signal will probably have minimal physical and physiological effects on cetaceans. {copyright} {ital 1997 Acoustical Society of America.}

  17. How man-made interference might cause gas bubble emboli in deep diving whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eFahlman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent cetacean mass strandings in close temporal and spatial association with sonar activity has raised the concern that anthropogenic sound may harm breath-hold diving marine mammals. Necropsy results of the stranded whales have shown evidence of bubbles in the tissues, similar to those in human divers suffering from decompression sickness (DCS. It has been proposed that changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving could increase tissue and blood N2 levels, thereby increasing DCS risk. Dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville’s beaked and Cuvier’s beaked whales before and during exposure to low- (1-2 kHz and mid- (2-7 kHz frequency active sonar were used to estimate the changes in blood and tissue N2 tension (PN2. Our objectives were to determine if differences in 1 dive behavior or 2 physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors for bubble formation. The theoretical estimates indicate that all species may experience high N2 levels. However, unexpectedly, deep diving generally result in higher end-dive PN2 as compared with shallow diving. In this focused review we focus on three possible explanations: 1 We revisit an old hypothesis that CO2, because of its much higher diffusivity, form bubble precursors that continue to grow in N2 supersaturated tissues. Such a mechanism would be less dependent on the alveolar collapse depth but affected by elevated levels of CO2 following a burst of activity during sonar exposure. 2 During deep dives, a greater duration of time might be spent at depths where gas exchange continues as compared with shallow dives. The resulting elevated levels of N2 in deep diving whales might also make them more susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances. 3 Extended duration of dives even at depths beyond where the alveoli collapse could result in slow continuous accumulation of N2 in the adipose tissues that eventually becomes a liability.

  18. How man-made interference might cause gas bubble emboli in deep diving whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahlman, Andreas; Tyack, Peter L; Miller, Patrick J O; Kvadsheim, Petter H

    2014-01-01

    Recent cetacean mass strandings in close temporal and spatial association with sonar activity has raised the concern that anthropogenic sound may harm breath-hold diving marine mammals. Necropsy results of the stranded whales have shown evidence of bubbles in the tissues, similar to those in human divers suffering from decompression sickness (DCS). It has been proposed that changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving could increase tissue and blood N2 levels, thereby increasing DCS risk. Dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville's beaked and Cuvier's beaked whales before and during exposure to low- (1-2 kHz) and mid- (2-7 kHz) frequency active sonar were used to estimate the changes in blood and tissue N2 tension (PN2 ). Our objectives were to determine if differences in (1) dive behavior or (2) physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors for bubble formation. The theoretical estimates indicate that all species may experience high N2 levels. However, unexpectedly, deep diving generally result in higher end-dive PN2 as compared with shallow diving. In this focused review we focus on three possible explanations: (1) We revisit an old hypothesis that CO2, because of its much higher diffusivity, forms bubble precursors that continue to grow in N2 supersaturated tissues. Such a mechanism would be less dependent on the alveolar collapse depth but affected by elevated levels of CO2 following a burst of activity during sonar exposure. (2) During deep dives, a greater duration of time might be spent at depths where gas exchange continues as compared with shallow dives. The resulting elevated levels of N2 in deep diving whales might also make them more susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances. (3) Extended duration of dives even at depths beyond where the alveoli collapse could result in slow continuous accumulation of N2 in the adipose tissues that eventually becomes a liability.

  19. DETERMINATION OF KILLER CHARACTER OF WINE YEAST ISOLATED FROM ISTRA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandi ORLIC

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Wild wine yeasts with killer phenotype are widespread in many wine regions of the world. The presence of killer yeasts may become particularly important in wine fermentations conducted by inoculation with selected strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Wild killer yeasts may suppress selected sensitive yeasts inoculated into the must during the fermentation. The goal of this investigation was to identify killer yeast in Istra region using physiological and molecular methods. In total 50 S.cerevisiae strains were tested. Using the physiological methods 17 strains were identifi ed like killer positive and using molecular methods two strains more. Our results are in agreement with some previous ecological surveys.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Worthington, Monty [ORPC Alaska, LLC, Anchorage, AK (United States)

    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

  1. 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).

  2. Atlantic Canada : Dancing with whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid, W.

    2003-03-03

    A major question in the Atlantic provinces that needs resolving concerns the how much waters and sea floors that can be considered protected area before disruption of industrial activity in the vicinity of those areas occurs, especially where there is potential for natural gas and crude oil. Another question that needs pondering relates to the amount of money that the federal government is willing to spend to study the effects on marine habitats resulting from this industrial activity. The consideration being given to a region called the Gully, as to whether it should be declared an official marine protected zone, brought these questions to the forefront. A canyon approximately 70 kilometres (km) long and 20 km wide, the Gully is a potentially resource-rich area located in deep water 300 km east of Cape Breton at the edge of the Scotian Shelf. A pilot project was implemented in 1998, but no clear decision has yet been made concerning the status of the Gully. According to a biology professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is busy obtaining the proper approvals for its designation as a fully protected area. The northern bottlenose whale can be found in this canyon. This professor advocates a ban on industrial activity in the vicinity of the Gully, as he believes that seismic surveys and exploratory drilling pose a danger to the whales. He would like to see more funding allocated to research programs. Companies conducting seismic surveys in the vicinity of the Gully have to comply with environmental standards.

  3. California Endangered Species Resource Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    California State Dept. of Education, Los Angeles.

    This document was developed in response to California Senate Bill No. 885, "The Endangered Species Education Project," that called for a statewide program in which schools adopt a local endangered species, research past and current efforts to preserve the species' habitat, develop and implement an action plan to educate the community…

  4. 76 FR 1405 - Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-10

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA128 Endangered Species AGENCY: National Marine... issued under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq... species (50 CFR parts 222-226). The five-year permit authorizes up to 130 loggerhead, 70 Kemp's ridley, 60...

  5. 76 FR 74778 - Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-01

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA850 Endangered Species AGENCY: National Marine... has been issued under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C... threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226). The Permit Holder is issued a five-year permit to study shortnose...

  6. 75 FR 78974 - Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-17

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA086 Endangered Species AGENCY: National Marine... Comment'' from the Features box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page.... 10022-01 is requested under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C...

  7. Natural born killers?: the development of the sexually sadistic serial killer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, B R; Becker, J V

    1997-01-01

    Today's society seems enthralled with serial killers in the news and the media. Forensic psychiatrists often interview serial killers after they have been caught. There are retrospective studies and case reports of individuals who have committed sexually sadistic serial murders. However, there exists a dearth of case reports on adolescents who have expressed serious fantasies about becoming serial killer prior to actualizing their fantasy. This article presents nine clinical cases of 14- to 18-year-olds who have clinically significant fantasies of becoming a serial killer. Similarities exist in these adolescent cases when compared with retrospective studies and case reports of serial killers on the role of sexually sadistic fantasies and actual killings. Since it has been established that sexual paraphilias may develop at a young age, one can surmise that sadistic paraphilias may also develop in some adolescents. The question is posed, can we predict which of these adolescents may go on to actually become serial killers? This article focuses on how the sexually sadistic fantasy can eventually be acted out and possible motives for the act to be repeated multiple times. Finally, recommendations are made about assessing and treating a youngster who expresses violent sexually sadistic killing fantasies so that attempts can be made to interrupt the progression to actual killing.

  8. Killer plasma ready to devour the Earth

    CERN Multimedia

    Uhlig, R; Highfield, R

    2001-01-01

    A chance fluctuation of the 'vacuum universe' could disintegrate all atoms, according to CERN associate, Dr Allanach. Alternatively, so-called killer strangelets could "eat up the universe from the inside out". Should either of these scenarios occur, the most likely starting point is the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Long Island, New York state (1 page).

  9. Natural killer cells in chronic hepatitis B

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.T.T.L. Tjwa (Eric)

    2012-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Natural killer (NK) cells play a major role in anti-viral immunity as first line defense and regulation of virus-specific T cell responses. OBJECTIVE: To investigate phenotype and function of NK cells in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and

  10. The KP4 killer protein gene family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killer protein 4 (KP4) is a well studied toxin secreted by the maize smut fungus Ustilago maydis that kills sensitive Ustilago strains as well as inhibits Fusarium and plant root growth. This small, cysteine rich protein is encoded by a virus that depends on host survival for replication. KP4 functi...

  11. 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 Ranger...

  12. 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 to...

  13. Trends and interventions in large whale entanglement along the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The prevalence of entanglements is seasonal with the peaks in activity coinciding with the breeding migrations of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae and southern right whales Eubalaena australis, the two large whale species that are the most prone to entanglement. Generalised linear models with a Poisson or ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Emma L; Jackson, Jennifer A; Paton, David; Smith, Tim D

    2014-01-01

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Satellite tagging highlights the importance of productive Mozambican coastal waters to the ecology and conservation of whale sharks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Anthony J.; Jaine, Fabrice R. A.; Bennett, Michael B.; Weeks, Scarla J.; Cliff, Geremy; Robinson, David P.; Reeve-Arnold, Katie E.; Pierce, Simon J.

    2018-01-01

    The whale shark Rhincodon typus is an endangered, highly migratory species with a wide, albeit patchy, distribution through tropical oceans. Ten aerial survey flights along the southern Mozambican coast, conducted between 2004–2008, documented a relatively high density of whale sharks along a 200 km stretch of the Inhambane Province, with a pronounced hotspot adjacent to Praia do Tofo. To examine the residency and movement of whale sharks in coastal areas around Praia do Tofo, where they may be more susceptible to gill net entanglement, we tagged 15 juveniles with SPOT5 satellite tags and tracked them for 2–88 days (mean = 27 days) as they dispersed from this area. Sharks travelled between 10 and 2,737 km (mean = 738 km) at a mean horizontal speed of 28 ± 17.1 SD km day−1. While several individuals left shelf waters and travelled across international boundaries, most sharks stayed in Mozambican coastal waters over the tracking period. We tested for whale shark habitat preferences, using sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a concentration and water depth as variables, by computing 100 random model tracks for each real shark based on their empirical movement characteristics. Whale sharks spent significantly more time in cooler, shallower water with higher chlorophyll-a concentrations than model sharks, suggesting that feeding in productive coastal waters is an important driver of their movements. To investigate what this coastal habitat choice means for their conservation in Mozambique, we mapped gill nets during two dedicated aerial surveys along the Inhambane coast and counted gill nets in 1,323 boat-based surveys near Praia do Tofo. Our results show that, while whale sharks are capable of long-distance oceanic movements, they can spend a disproportionate amount of time in specific areas, such as along the southern Mozambique coast. The increasing use of drifting gill nets in this coastal hotspot for whale sharks is likely to be a threat to regional

  17. Estimated Tissue and Blood N2 Levels and Risk of Decompression Sickness in Deep-, Intermediate-, and Shallow-Diving Toothed Whales during Exposure to Naval Sonar

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Naval sonar has been accused of causing whale stranding by a mechanism which increases formation of tissue N2 gas bubbles. Increased tissue and blood N2 levels, and thereby increased risk of decompression sickness (DCS), is thought to result from changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving. Previous theoretical studies have used hypothetical sonar-induced changes in both behavior and physiology to model blood and tissue N2 tension PN2, but this is the first attempt to estimate the changes during actual behavioral responses to sonar. We used an existing mathematical model to estimate blood and tissue N2 tension PN2 from dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville’s beaked, and Cuvier’s beaked whales before and during exposure to Low- (1–2 kHz) and Mid- (2–7 kHz) frequency active sonar. Our objectives were: (1) to determine if differences in dive behavior affects risk of bubble formation, and if (2) behavioral- or (3) physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors. Our results suggest that all species have natural high N2 levels, with deep diving generally resulting in higher end-dive PN2 as compared with shallow diving. Sonar exposure caused some changes in dive behavior in both killer whales, pilot whales and beaked whales, but this did not lead to any increased risk of DCS. However, in three of eight exposure session with sperm whales, the animal changed to shallower diving, and in all these cases this seem to result in an increased risk of DCS, although risk was still within the normal risk range of this species. When a hypothetical removal of the normal dive response (bradycardia and peripheral vasoconstriction), was added to the behavioral response during model simulations, this led to an increased variance in the estimated end-dive N2 levels, but no consistent change of risk. In conclusion, we cannot rule out the possibility that a combination of behavioral and physiological responses to sonar

  18. Estimated Tissue and Blood N(2) Levels and Risk of Decompression Sickness in Deep-, Intermediate-, and Shallow-Diving Toothed Whales during Exposure to Naval Sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Naval sonar has been accused of causing whale stranding by a mechanism which increases formation of tissue N(2) gas bubbles. Increased tissue and blood N(2) levels, and thereby increased risk of decompression sickness (DCS), is thought to result from changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving. Previous theoretical studies have used hypothetical sonar-induced changes in both behavior and physiology to model blood and tissue N(2) tension [Formula: see text], but this is the first attempt to estimate the changes during actual behavioral responses to sonar. We used an existing mathematical model to estimate blood and tissue N(2) tension [Formula: see text] from dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville's beaked, and Cuvier's beaked whales before and during exposure to Low- (1-2 kHz) and Mid- (2-7 kHz) frequency active sonar. Our objectives were: (1) to determine if differences in dive behavior affects risk of bubble formation, and if (2) behavioral- or (3) physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors. Our results suggest that all species have natural high N(2) levels, with deep diving generally resulting in higher end-dive [Formula: see text] as compared with shallow diving. Sonar exposure caused some changes in dive behavior in both killer whales, pilot whales and beaked whales, but this did not lead to any increased risk of DCS. However, in three of eight exposure session with sperm whales, the animal changed to shallower diving, and in all these cases this seem to result in an increased risk of DCS, although risk was still within the normal risk range of this species. When a hypothetical removal of the normal dive response (bradycardia and peripheral vasoconstriction), was added to the behavioral response during model simulations, this led to an increased variance in the estimated end-dive N(2) levels, but no consistent change of risk. In conclusion, we cannot rule out the possibility that a combination

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi; Christoffersen, Mads; FØrasier, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    , and more rarely mate attraction. In the North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, a closely related species to the bowhead whale, the female produces simple calls during sexual interactions that attract other males to mating groups. We suggest that our results may indicate that the elaborate songs...... 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...

  20. The Army and the Endangered Species Act: Who's Endangering Whom?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Diner, David N

    1993-01-01

    Mankind is causing a mass extinction of plant and animal species. The Army, as steward of 25 million acres of public lands, is being asked to play an increasingly decisive role in recovering endangered species...

  1. Predictive Spatial Analysis of Marine Mammal Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    pilot whale 30 Guild name Scientific name Common Name Globicephala melas Long-finned pilot whale Lags Lagenorhynchus spp. White-beaked...whale (Physeter macrocephalus), pygmy and dwarf sperm whales (Kogia spp.), killer whales, pilot whales ( Globicephala spp.), Lags (Lagenorhynchus spp...Melon-headed whale Pseudorca crassidens False killer whale Pilot whales Globicephala spp. Pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus Short-finned

  2. Fine-Scale Movements and Behaviors of Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus, in a Seasonal Aggregation near Al Lith, Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Sun, Lu

    2016-12-01

    Movement and behavior studies are traditional yet effective ways to understand the biology and ecology of a species. For an endangered species like the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), a comprehensive knowledge of its movement and behavior is particularly critical for successful management and conservation. For this dissertation, acoustic telemetry and biologging tagging studies were carried out at a seasonal whale shark aggregation site near Al Lith in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Acoustic telemetry data revealed consistent path usage in a narrow longshore area with patterns in seasonality and diel horizontal movements within a smaller scale. Some individuals specifically concentrated on this path and made non-stop back and forth movements along it. In another dimension, depth use of whale sharks derived from biologgers showed distinct diel patterns. The sharks heavily utilized shallow waters with mixed depth usage consisting of surface swimming and varied types of dives, which explained the data of previous visual surveys. Vertical velocities indicated potential energy expenditure strategies that were further investigated based on acceleration data. Energy expenditure data suggested strategies that fine-tuned foraging efforts to optimize the balance between feeding and foraging. However, while these strategies fit well in the natural habitat, local human impacts could be of great disturbance if not well managed.

  3. Point process models for spatio-temporal distance sampling data from a large-scale survey of blue whales

    KAUST Repository

    Yuan, Yuan

    2017-12-28

    Distance sampling is a widely used method for estimating wildlife population abundance. The fact that conventional distance sampling methods are partly design-based constrains the spatial resolution at which animal density can be estimated using these methods. Estimates are usually obtained at survey stratum level. For an endangered species such as the blue whale, it is desirable to estimate density and abundance at a finer spatial scale than stratum. Temporal variation in the spatial structure is also important. We formulate the process generating distance sampling data as a thinned spatial point process and propose model-based inference using a spatial log-Gaussian Cox process. The method adopts a flexible stochastic partial differential equation (SPDE) approach to model spatial structure in density that is not accounted for by explanatory variables, and integrated nested Laplace approximation (INLA) for Bayesian inference. It allows simultaneous fitting of detection and density models and permits prediction of density at an arbitrarily fine scale. We estimate blue whale density in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean from thirteen shipboard surveys conducted over 22 years. We find that higher blue whale density is associated with colder sea surface temperatures in space, and although there is some positive association between density and mean annual temperature, our estimates are consistent with no trend in density across years. Our analysis also indicates that there is substantial spatially structured variation in density that is not explained by available covariates.

  4. 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.

  5. [Personality disorders, psychopathy and serial killers].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morana, Hilda C P; Stone, Michael H; Abdalla-Filho, Elias

    2006-10-01

    To illustrate the basic characteristics of several specific personality disorders, focusing mainly in antisocial personality disorder. The differences between antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy are highlighted. Serial killers and its psychopathic aspects are also discussed. A bibliographic review was completed in order to outline convergences and divergences among different authors about this controversial issue, especially those concerning the possibility of treatment. While anti-social personality disorder is a medical diagnosis, the term "psychopathy" (which belongs to the sphere of forensic psychiatry) may be understood as a "legal diagnosis". It is not still possible to identify an effective treatment for serial killers. Personality disorders, especially of the antisocial type, still represent a formidable challenge to forensic psychiatry today. Questions as yet unanswered include the best and most humane place for patients with this condition and the nature of a standardised treatment recommendation.

  6. 'Killer' character of yeasts isolated from ethanolic fermentations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ceccato-Antonini Sandra Regina

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available The number of killer, neutral and sensitive yeasts was determined from strains isolated from substrates related to alcoholic fermentations. From 113 isolates, 24 showed killer activity against NCYC 1006 (standard sensitive strain, while 30 were sensitive to NCYC 738 (standard killer strain, and 59 had no reaction in assays at 25-27°C. Two wild yeast strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and one of Candida colliculosa were tested against 10 standard killer strains and one standard sensitive strain in a cell x cell and well-test assays at four different pHs. None of the isolates displayed strong killer activity or were sensitive to the standard strains. All belonged to the neutral type. It was concluded that although the number of killer strains was high, this character cannot be used to protect ethanol fermentation processes against yeast contaminants like those which form cell clusters.

  7. 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.

  8. The atlas of endangered species

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mackay, R

    2009-01-01

    Vividly illustrated with full-color maps and detailed graphics, The Atlas of Endangered Species catalogs the inhabitants of a wide variety of ecosystems, including forests, mangroves, and coral reefs...

  9. Security: a Killer App for SDN?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    TELEPHONE NUMBER (Include area code) N/A Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 7 Security: a killer app for SDN? Dongting Yu...cal compromise of switches. This will become increasingly more important as networks get larger and serve more het- erogeneous tenants. Consider the...or inadvertent) though there may be some additional requirements in areas such as finance; Chinese- wall regulations may require a bank to separate

  10. Potential for spatial displacement of Cook Inlet beluga whales by anthropogenic noise in critical habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Robert J.; Brost, Brian M.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Castellote, Manuel; Mondragon, Jeffrey

    2017-01-01

    The population of beluga whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska, USA, declined by nearly half in the mid-1990s, primarily from an unsustainable harvest, and was listed as endangered in 2008. In 2014, abundance was ~340 whales, and the population trend during 1999-2014 was -1.3% yr-1. Cook Inlet beluga whales are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts, and noise that has the potential to reduce communication and echolocation range considerably has been documented in critical habitat; thus, noise was ranked as a high potential threat in the Cook Inlet beluga Recovery Plan. The current recovery strategy includes research on effects of threats potentially limiting recovery, and thus we examined the potential impact of anthropogenic noise in critical habitat, specifically, spatial displacement. Using a subset of data on anthropogenic noise and beluga detections from a 5 yr acoustic study, we evaluated the influence of noise events on beluga occupancy probability. We used occupancy models, which account for factors that affect detection probability when estimating occupancy, the first application of these models to examine the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine mammal behavior. Results were inconclusive, primarily because beluga detections were relatively infrequent. Even though noise metrics (sound pressure level and noise duration) appeared in high-ranking models as covariates for occupancy probability, the data were insufficient to indicate better predictive ability beyond those models that only included environmental covariates. Future studies that implement protocols designed specifically for beluga occupancy will be most effective for accurately estimating the effect of noise on beluga displacement.

  11. Representation of the serial killer on the Italian Internet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villano, P; Bastianoni, P; Melotti, G

    2001-10-01

    The representation of serial killers was examined from the analysis of 317 Web pages in the Italian language to study how the psychological profiles of serial killers are described on the Italian Internet. The correspondence analysis of the content of these Web pages shows that in Italy the serial killer is associated with words such as "monster" and "horror," which suggest and imply psychological perversion and aberrant acts. These traits are peculiar for the Italian scenario.

  12. 'Trophic whales' as biotic buffers: weak interactions stabilize ecosystems against nutrient enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarzmüller, Florian; Eisenhauer, Nico; Brose, Ulrich

    2015-05-01

    Human activities may compromise biodiversity if external stressors such as nutrient enrichment endanger overall network stability by inducing unstable dynamics. However, some ecosystems maintain relatively high diversity levels despite experiencing continuing disturbances. This indicates that some intrinsic properties prevent unstable dynamics and resulting extinctions. Identifying these 'ecosystem buffers' is crucial for our understanding of the stability of ecosystems and an important tool for environmental and conservation biologists. In this vein, weak interactions have been suggested as stabilizing elements of complex systems, but their relevance has rarely been tested experimentally. Here, using network and allometric theory, we present a novel concept for a priori identification of species that buffer against externally induced instability of increased population oscillations via weak interactions. We tested our model in a microcosm experiment using a soil food-web motif. Our results show that large-bodied species feeding at the food web's base, so called 'trophic whales', can buffer ecosystems against unstable dynamics induced by nutrient enrichment. Similar to the functionality of chemical or mechanical buffers, they serve as 'biotic buffers' that take up stressor effects and thus protect fragile systems from instability. We discuss trophic whales as common functional building blocks across ecosystems. Considering increasing stressor effects under anthropogenic global change, conservation of these network-intrinsic biotic buffers may help maintain the stability and diversity of natural ecosystems. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  13. Fine-scale population structure of blue whale wintering aggregations in the Gulf of California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Costa-Urrutia

    Full Text Available Population differentiation in environments without well-defined geographical barriers represents a challenge for wildlife management. Based on a comprehensive database of individual sighting records (1988-2009 of blue whales from the winter/calving Gulf of California, we assessed the fine-scale genetic and spatial structure of the population using individual-based approaches. Skin samples of 187 individuals were analyzed for nine microsatellite loci. A single population with no divergence among years and months and no isolation by distance (Rxy = 0.1-0.001, p>0.05 were found. We ran two bayesian clustering methods using Structure and Geneland softwares in two different ways: 1 a general analysis including all individuals in which a single cluster was identified with both softwares; 2 a specific analysis of females only in which two main clusters (Loreto Bay and northern areas, and San Jose-La Paz Bay area were revealed by Geneland program. This study provides information indicating that blue whales wintering in the Gulf of California are part of a single population unit and showed a fine-scale structure among females, possibly associated with their high site fidelity, particularly when attending calves. It is likely that the loss of genetic variation is minimized by male mediated gene flow, which may reduce the genetic drift effect. Opportunities for kin selection may also influence calf survival and, in consequence, have a positive impact on population demography in this small and endangered population.

  14. Fine-scale population structure of blue whale wintering aggregations in the Gulf of California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa-Urrutia, Paula; Sanvito, Simona; Victoria-Cota, Nelva; Enríquez-Paredes, Luis; Gendron, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Population differentiation in environments without well-defined geographical barriers represents a challenge for wildlife management. Based on a comprehensive database of individual sighting records (1988-2009) of blue whales from the winter/calving Gulf of California, we assessed the fine-scale genetic and spatial structure of the population using individual-based approaches. Skin samples of 187 individuals were analyzed for nine microsatellite loci. A single population with no divergence among years and months and no isolation by distance (Rxy = 0.1-0.001, p>0.05) were found. We ran two bayesian clustering methods using Structure and Geneland softwares in two different ways: 1) a general analysis including all individuals in which a single cluster was identified with both softwares; 2) a specific analysis of females only in which two main clusters (Loreto Bay and northern areas, and San Jose-La Paz Bay area) were revealed by Geneland program. This study provides information indicating that blue whales wintering in the Gulf of California are part of a single population unit and showed a fine-scale structure among females, possibly associated with their high site fidelity, particularly when attending calves. It is likely that the loss of genetic variation is minimized by male mediated gene flow, which may reduce the genetic drift effect. Opportunities for kin selection may also influence calf survival and, in consequence, have a positive impact on population demography in this small and endangered population.

  15. A psychological profile of a serial killer: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dogra, T D; Leenaars, Antoon A; Chadha, R K; Manju, Mehta; Lalwani, Sanjeev; Sood, Mamta; Lester, David; Raina, Anupuma; Behera, C

    2012-01-01

    Serial killers have always fascinated society. A serial killer is typically defined as a perpetrator who murders three or more people over a period of time. Most reported cases of serial killers come from the United States and Canada. In India, there are few reported cases. We present, to the best of our knowledge, the first Indian case in the literature. The present case is of a 28-year-old man, Surinder Koli. The Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delphi handled the forensic study. We present a most unique psychological investigation into the mind of a serial killer.

  16. Blue whale habitat and prey in the California Channel Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, Paul C.; Reilly, Stephen B.; Hewitt, Roger P.; Demer, David; Philbrick, Valerie A.; Smith, Susan; Armstrong, Wesley; Croll, Donald A.; Tershy, Bernie R.; Mate, Bruce R.

    1998-08-01

    Whale Habitat and Prey Studies were conducted off southern California during August 1995 (WHAPS95) and July 1996 (WHAPS96) to (1) study the distribution and activities of blue whales and other large whales, (2) survey the distribution of prey organisms (krill), and (3) measure physical and biological habitat variables that influence the distribution of whales and prey. A total of 1307 cetacean sightings included 460 blue whale, 78 fin whale and 101 humpback whale sightings. Most blue whales were found in cold, well-mixed and productive water that had upwelled along the coast north of Point Conception and then advected south. They were aggregated in this water near San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands, where they fed on dense, subsurface layers of euphausiids both on the shelf and extending off the shelf edge. Two species of euphausiids were consumed by blue whales, Thysanoessa spinifera and Euphausia pacifica, with evidence of preference for the former, a larger and more coastal species. These krill patches on the Channel Island feeding grounds are a resource exploited during summer-fall by the world's largest stock of blue whales.

  17. 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.

  18. Echolocation in Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, P T; de Soto, N Aguilar; Arranz, P; Johnson, M

    2013-06-01

    Here we use sound and movement recording tags to study how deep-diving Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) use echolocation to forage in their natural mesopelagic habitat. These whales ensonify thousands of organisms per dive but select only about 25 prey for capture. They negotiate their cluttered environment by radiating sound in a narrow 20° field of view which they sample with 1.5-3 clicks per metre travelled requiring only some 60 clicks to locate, select and approach each prey. Sampling rates do not appear to be defined by the range to individual targets, but rather by the movement of the predator. Whales sample faster when they encounter patches of prey allowing them to search new water volumes while turning rapidly to stay within a patch. This implies that the Griffin search-approach-capture model of biosonar foraging must be expanded to account for sampling behaviours adapted to the overall prey distribution. Beaked whales can classify prey at more than 15 m range adopting stereotyped motor patterns when approaching some prey. This long detection range relative to swimming speed facilitates a deliberate mode of sensory-motor operation in which prey and capture tactics can be selected to optimize energy returns during long breath-hold dives.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.