WorldWideScience

Sample records for humpback whale megaptera

  1. Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, song during the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Colombia Foundation to educate the communities of the Gulf of. Tribugá about the ... humpback whales (Winn and Winn 1978). Humpback whale song. ARTICLE .... mental (e.g., wind, waves) or anthropogenic (e.g., water craft) fea- tures, as well ..... rine Sanctuary, Division of Aquatic Resources, Department of Land and Na-.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Finn; Hammond, P.S.

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Morphology of the eyeball from the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Fernanda M; Silva, Fernanda M O; Trompieri-Silveira, Ana Carolina; Vergara-Parente, Jociery E; Miglino, Maria Angélica; Guimarães, Juliana P

    2014-05-01

    Aquatic mammals underwent morphological and physiological adaptations due to the transition from terrestrial to aquatic environment. One of the morphological changes regards their vision since cetaceans' eyes are able to withstand mechanical, chemical, osmotic, and optical water conditions. Due to insufficient information about these animals, especially regarding their sense organs, this study aimed to describe the morphology of the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) eyeball. Three newborn females, stranded dead on the coast of Sergipe and Bahia, Brazil, were used. Samples were fixed in a 10% formalin solution, dissected, photographed, collected, and evaluated through light and electron microscopy techniques. The Humpback whale sclera was thick and had an irregular surface with mechanoreceptors in its lamina propria. Lens was dense, transparent, and ellipsoidal, consisting of three layers, and the vascularized choroid contains melanocytes, mechanoreceptors, and a fibrous tapetum lucidum. The Humpback whale eyeball is similar to other cetaceans and suggests an adaptation to diving and migration, contributing to the perception of differences in temperature, pressure, and lighting. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, song during the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Madagascar Conservation & Development ... Song is made up of single units combined together into phrases, which are repeated to make up themes. A song ... to educate the communities of the Gulf of Tribugá about the importance of conservation, and to advocate for stricter guidelines for safe whale-watching practices.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besseling, E; Foekema, E M; Van Franeker, J A; Leopold, M F; Kühn, S; Bravo Rebolledo, E L; Heße, E; Mielke, L; IJzer, J; Kamminga, P; Koelmans, A A

    2015-06-15

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in intestines of a baleen whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Contents of its gastrointestinal tract were sieved, dissolved in 10% potassium hydroxide and washed. From the remaining dried material, potential synthetic polymer particles were selected based on density and appearance, and analysed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Several polymer types (polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon) were found, in varying particle shapes: sheets, fragments and threads with a size of 1mm to 17cm. This diversity in polymer types and particle shapes, can be interpreted as a representation of the varying characteristics of marine plastic and the unselective way of ingestion by M. novaeangliae. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae in the Atlantic Ocean, Svalbard, Norway, August 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Lydersen

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae was observed on several occasions off Svalbard, Norway, during August 2012. The animal was completely white, except for a few small dark patches on the ventral side of its fluke. The baleen plates were light-coloured, but the animal's eyes had normal (dark colouration. This latter characteristic indicates that the animal was not an albino; it was a leucistic individual. The animal was a full-sized adult and was engaged in “bubble-feeding”, together with 15–20 other humpback whales, each time it was seen. Subsequent to these sightings, polling of the marine mammal science community has resulted in the discovery of two other observations of white humpback whales in the Barents Sea area, one in 2004 and another in 2006; in both cases the observed individuals were adult animals. It is likely that all of these sightings are of the same individual, but there is no genetic or photographic evidence to confirm this suggestion. The rarity of observations of such white individuals suggests that they are born at very low frequencies or that the ontogenetic survival rates of the colour morph are low.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E., Besseling,; E.M., Foekema,; J.A. van, Franeker; Leopold, Mardik F; Kuhn, S.; Bravo Rebolledo, E.L.; Hese, E.; Mielke, L.; IJzer, J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304839663; Kamminga, P.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Bottom side-roll feeding by humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the southern Gulf of Maine, U.S.A.

    OpenAIRE

    Ware, Colin; Wiley, David N.; Friedlaender, Ari S.; Weinrich, Mason; Hazen, Elliott L.; Bocconcelli, Alessandro; Parks, Susan E.; Stimpert, Alison K.; Thompson, Mike A.; Abernathy, Kyler

    2013-01-01

    The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mms.12053 Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are known for the variety and complexity of their feeding behaviors. Here we report on the use of synchronous motion and acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) to provide the first detailed kinematic descriptions of humpback whales using bottom side-rolls (BSRs) to feed along the seafloor. We recorded 3,505 events from 19 animals (individual range 8–722). B...

  10. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findlay, Ken P; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Kirkman, Stephen P; Barendse, Jaco; Cade, David E; Hurwitz, David; Kennedy, Amy S; Kotze, Pieter G H; McCue, Steven A; Thornton, Meredith; Vargas-Fonseca, O Alejandra; Wilke, Christopher G

    2017-01-01

    Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens), hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii), mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015) identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals) of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun) and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding events

  11. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken P Findlay

    Full Text Available Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens, hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii, mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015 identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude

  12. The first historic record of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) from the Low Countries (Southern Bight of the North Sea)

    OpenAIRE

    Haelters, J.; Kerckhof, F.; Camphuysen, K.C.J.

    2010-01-01

    In 1751 the corpse of a large whale was found floating at sea near Blankenberge (currently Belgium). The case was illustrated at the time by a water-colour of the whale and of an associated barnacle. In earlier publications, this whale has been regarded as a northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). However, morphological characteristics depicted in the original water-colour, published here for the first time, and in a copy of the original, point towards a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeang...

  13. 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.

  14. Microsatellite genetic distances between oceanic populations of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valsecchi, E; Palsboll, P; Hale, P; GlocknerFerrari, D; Ferrari, M; Clapham, P; Larsen, F; Mattila, D; Sears, R; Sigurjonsson, J; Brown, M; Corkeron, P; Amos, B

    Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes of humpback whales show strong segregation between oceanic populations and between feeding grounds within oceans, but this highly structured pattern does not exclude the possibility of extensive nuclear gene flow. Here we present allele frequency data for four

  15. Multivariate analysis of behavioural response experiments in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; Cato, Douglas H; Kniest, Eric; Miller, Patrick J O; Smith, Joshua N; Stokes, M Dale

    2013-03-01

    The behavioural response study (BRS) is an experimental design used by field biologists to determine the function and/or behavioural effects of conspecific, heterospecific or anthropogenic stimuli. When carrying out these studies in marine mammals it is difficult to make basic observations and achieve sufficient samples sizes because of the high cost and logistical difficulties. Rarely are other factors such as social context or the physical environment considered in the analysis because of these difficulties. This paper presents results of a BRS carried out in humpback whales to test the response of groups to one recording of conspecific social sounds and an artificially generated tone stimulus. Experiments were carried out in September/October 2004 and 2008 during the humpback whale southward migration along the east coast of Australia. In total, 13 'tone' experiments, 15 'social sound' experiments (using one recording of social sounds) and three silent controls were carried out over two field seasons. The results (using a mixed model statistical analysis) suggested that humpback whales responded differently to the two stimuli, measured by changes in course travelled and dive behaviour. Although the response to 'tones' was consistent, in that groups moved offshore and surfaced more often (suggesting an aversion to the stimulus), the response to 'social sounds' was highly variable and dependent upon the composition of the social group. The change in course and dive behaviour in response to 'tones' was found to be related to proximity to the source, the received signal level and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This study demonstrates that the behavioural responses of marine mammals to acoustic stimuli are complex. In order to tease out such multifaceted interactions, the number of replicates and factors measured must be sufficient for multivariate analysis.

  16. Coupled solar-magnetic orientation during leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) long-distance migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, T. W.; Holdaway, R. N.; Zerbini, A.; Andriolo, A.; Clapham, P. J.

    2010-12-01

    Determining how animals perform long-distance animal migration remains one of the most enduring and fundamental mysteries of behavioural ecology. It is widely accepted that navigation relative to a reference datum is a fundamental requirement of long-distance return migration between seasonal habitats, and significant experimental research has documented a variety of viable orientation and navigation cues. However, relatively few investigations have attempted to reconcile experimentally determined orientation and navigation capacities of animals with empirical remotely sensed animal track data, leaving most theories of navigation and orientation untested. Here we show, using basic hypothesis testing, that leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) migration paths are non-randomly distributed in magnetic coordinate space, with local peaks in magnetic coordinate distributions equal to fractional multiples of the angular obliquity of Earth’s axis of rotation. Time series analysis of humpback whale migratory behaviours, including migration initiation, changes in course, and migratory stop-overs, further demonstrate coupling of magnetic and celestial orientation cues during long-distance migration. These unexpected and highly novel results indicate that diverse taxa integrate magnetic and celestial orientation cues during long-distance migration. These results are compatible with a 'map and compass' orientation and navigation system. Humpback whale migration track geometries further indicate a map and compass orientation system is used. Several humpback whale tracks include highly directional segments (Mercator latitude vs. longitude r2>0.99) exceeding 2000 km in length, despite exposure to variable strength (c. 0-1 km/hr) surface cross-currents. Humpback whales appear to be able to compensate for surface current drift. The remarkable directional

  17. Between a rock and a hard place: habitat selection in female-calf humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae Pairs on the Hawaiian breeding grounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Cartwright

    Full Text Available The Au'au Channel between the islands of Maui and Lanai, Hawaii comprises critical breeding habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae of the Central North Pacific stock. However, like many regions where marine mega-fauna gather, these waters are also the focus of a flourishing local eco-tourism and whale watching industry. Our aim was to establish current trends in habitat preference in female-calf humpback whale pairs within this region, focusing specifically on the busy, eastern portions of the channel. We used an equally-spaced zigzag transect survey design, compiled our results in a GIS model to identify spatial trends and calculated Neu's Indices to quantify levels of habitat use. Our study revealed that while mysticete female-calf pairs on breeding grounds typically favor shallow, inshore waters, female-calf pairs in the Au'au Channel avoided shallow waters (<20 m and regions within 2 km of the shoreline. Preferred regions for female-calf pairs comprised water depths between 40-60 m, regions of rugged bottom topography and regions that lay between 4 and 6 km from a small boat harbor (Lahaina Harbor that fell within the study area. In contrast to other humpback whale breeding grounds, there was only minimal evidence of typical patterns of stratification or segregation according to group composition. A review of habitat use by maternal females across Hawaiian waters indicates that maternal habitat choice varies between localities within the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting that maternal females alter their use of habitat according to locally varying pressures. This ability to respond to varying environments may be the key that allows wildlife species to persist in regions where human activity and critical habitat overlap.

  18. Acoustic, genetic and observational evidence indicate the presence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from both hemispheres in Cape Verdean waters during their respective breeding seasons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ryan, Conor; Berrow, Simon D.; Romagosa, Miriam; Boisseau, Oliver; Lopes-Suarez, Pedro; Jann, Beatrice; Wenzel, F.; Bérubé, Martine; Palsboll, Per

    2018-01-01

    A small population of humpback whales breeds around the Cape Verde Islands off West Africa. These whales exhibit a boreal seasonality, albeit two months later than that in the West Indies. Based on aseasonal observations of humpback whales and calves, Hazevoet et al. (2011) postulated that whales

  19. Stereotypic and complex phrase types provide structural evidence for a multi-message display in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Anita; Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; Goldizen, Anne W

    2018-02-01

    Male humpback whales produce a mating display called "song." Behavioral studies indicate song has inter- and/or intra-sexual functionality, suggesting song may be a multi-message display. Multi-message displays often include stereotypic components that convey group membership for mate attraction and/or male-male interactions, and complex components that convey individual quality for courtship. Humpback whale song contains sounds ("units") arranged into sequences ("phrases"). Repetitions of a specific phrase create a "theme." Within a theme, imperfect phrase repetitions ("phrase variants") create variability among phrases of the same type ("phrase type"). The hypothesis that song contains stereotypic and complex phrase types, structural characteristics consistent with a multi-message display, is investigated using recordings of 17 east Australian males (8:2004, 9:2011). Phrase types are categorized as stereotypic or complex using number of unit types, number of phrase variants, and the proportion of phrases that is unique to an individual versus shared amongst males. Unit types are determined using self-organizing maps. Phrase variants are determined by Levenshtein distances between phrases. Stereotypic phrase types have smaller numbers of unit types and shared phrase variants. Complex phrase types have larger numbers of unit types and unique phrase variants. This study supports the hypothesis that song could be a multi-message display.

  20. The song of the Brazilian population of Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae, in the year 2000: individual song variations and possible implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arraut Eduardo M.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The song of the Brazilian population of the Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae was studied in its breeding and calving ground, the Abrolhos Bank, Bahia, Brazil, from July to November 2000. Aural and spectral analyses of digital recordings were completed for approximately 20 song cycles, totaling 5 hours of song from 10 different recording events. We identified 24 note types, organized in five themes. All songs presented the same themes and the order in which they were sung did not vary. We registered the appearance of a note type and the disappearance of a phrase ending, which indicate that the song changed as the season progressed. Moreover, we detected individual variation in the way singers performed certain complex note types. As songs are transmitted culturally, it is likely that singers have different abilities to compose and/or learn new notes. If, as it has been previously suggested, 'new' songs are preferred to 'old' ones, these more able singers will be sending out information about their learning abilities that could be used by other whales to decide whether or not to interact with them.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program Humpback Whale Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Since 1980, the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory has been collecting photos of humpback whales (Megaptera...

  3. 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

  4. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olsen, Morten T.; Robbins, Jooke; Bérubé, Martine; Rew, Mary Beth; Palsboll, Per

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), ranging from 0 to 26

  5. A hydrodynamically active flipper-stroke in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segre, Paolo S; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Findlay, Ken P; Goldbogen, Jeremy A

    2017-07-10

    A central paradigm of aquatic locomotion is that cetaceans use fluke strokes to power their swimming while relying on lift and torque generated by the flippers to perform maneuvers such as rolls, pitch changes and turns [1]. Compared to other cetaceans, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have disproportionately large flippers with added structural features to aid in hydrodynamic performance [2,3]. Humpbacks use acrobatic lunging maneuvers to attack dense aggregations of krill or small fish, and their large flippers are thought to increase their maneuverability and thus their ability to capture prey. Immediately before opening their mouths, humpbacks will often rapidly move their flippers, and it has been hypothesized that this movement is used to corral prey [4,5] or to generate an upward pitching moment to counteract the torque caused by rapid water engulfment [6]. Here, we demonstrate an additional function for the rapid flipper movement during lunge feeding: the flippers are flapped using a complex, hydrodynamically active stroke to generate lift and increase propulsive thrust. We estimate that humpback flipper-strokes are capable of producing large forward oriented forces, which may be used to enhance lunge feeding performance. This behavior is the first observation of a lift-generating flipper-stroke for propulsion cetaceans and provides an additional function for the uniquely shaped humpback whale flipper. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Distribution of mtDNA haplotypes in North-Atlantic humpback whales : The influence of behavior on population structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palsboll, PJ; Clapham, PJ; Mattila, DK; Larsen, F; Sears, R; Siegismund, HR; Sigurjonsson, J; Vasquez, O; Arctander, P

    Samples from 136 humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae, representing 5 feeding aggregations in the North Atlantic and 1 in the Antarctic, were analyzed with respect to the sequence variation in the mitochondrial (mt) control region. A total of 288 base pairs was sequenced by direct sequencing of

  7. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morten Tange Olsen

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, ranging from 0 to 26 years of age. The results suggested a significant correlation between telomere length and age in humpback whales. However, telomere length was highly variable among individuals of similar age, suggesting that telomere length measured by quantitative PCR is an imprecise determinant of age in humpback whales. The observed variation in individual telomere length was found to be a function of both experimental and biological variability, with the latter perhaps reflecting patterns of inheritance, resource allocation trade-offs, and stochasticity of the marine environment.

  8. Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, song during the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Christina E. Perazio. Psychology Department, University of Southern Mississippi, ... thors identified the Gulf of Tribugá as a breeding ground where no recordings of .... Three distinct themes (Figure 1) were found in each song, and these were ...

  9. Seasonal presence and potential influence of humpback whales on wintering Pacific herring populations in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straley, Janice M.; Moran, John R.; Boswell, Kevin M.; Vollenweider, Johanna J.; Heintz, Ron A.; Quinn, Terrance J., II; Witteveen, Briana H.; Rice, Stanley D.

    2018-01-01

    This study addressed the lack of recovery of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in relation to humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) predation. As humpback whales rebound from commercial whaling, their ability to influence their prey through top-down forcing increases. We compared the potential influence of foraging humpback whales on three herring populations in the coastal Gulf of Alaska: Prince William Sound, Lynn Canal, and Sitka Sound (133-147°W; 57-61°N) from 2007 to 2009. Information on whale distribution, abundance, diet and the availability of herring as potential prey were used to correlate populations of overwintering herring and humpback whales. In Prince William Sound, the presence of whales coincided with the peak of herring abundance, allowing whales to maximize the consumption of overwintering herring prior to their southern migration. In Lynn Canal and Sitka Sound peak attendance of whales occurred earlier, in the fall, before the herring had completely moved into the areas, hence, there was less opportunity for predation to influence herring populations. North Pacific humpback whales in the Gulf of Alaska may be experiencing nutritional stress from reaching or exceeding carrying capacity, or oceanic conditions may have changed sufficiently to alter the prey base. Intraspecific competition for food may make it harder for humpback whales to meet their annual energetic needs. To meet their energetic demands whales may need to lengthen their time feeding in the northern latitudes or by skipping the annual migration altogether. If humpback whales extended their time feeding in Alaskan waters during the winter months, the result would likely be an increase in herring predation.

  10. 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

  11. Structure and Dynamics of Humpback Whales Competitive Groups in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Félix

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the social structure and behavior of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae competitive groups off Ecuador between July and August 2010. During this time we followed 185 whales in 22 competitive groups for 41.45 hr. The average group size was 8.4 animals (SD = 2.85. The average sighting time was 113.05 min/group (SD = 47.1. We used photographs of dorsal fins and video to record interactions and estimate an association index (AI between each pair of whales within the groups. Sightings were divided into periods, which were defined by changes in group membership. On average, group composition changed every 30.2 min, which confirms that the structure of competitive groups is highly dynamic. Interactions between escorts characterized by low level of aggression. At least 60% of escorts joined or left together the group in small subunits between two and five animals, suggesting some type of cooperative association. Although singletons, as well as pairs or trios were able to join competitive groups at any moment, escorts that joined together were able to stay longer with the group and displace dominant escorts. Genetic analysis showed that in three occasions more than one female was present within a competitive group, suggesting either males are herding females or large competitive groups are formed by subunits. Males and females performed similar surface displays. We propose that competition and cooperation are interrelated in humpback whales’ competitive groups and that male cooperation would be an adaptive strategy either to displace dominant escorts or to fend off challengers.

  12. Isotopic Evidence of a Wide Spectrum of Feeding Strategies in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Baleen Records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenmann, Pascale; Fry, Brian; Holyoake, Carly; Coughran, Douglas; Nicol, Steve; Bengtson Nash, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Our current understanding of Southern hemisphere humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) ecology assumes high-fidelity feeding on Antarctic krill in Antarctic waters during summer, followed by fasting during their annual migration to and from equatorial breeding grounds. An increase in the number of reported departures from this feeding/fasting model suggests that the current model may be oversimplified or, alternatively, undergoing contemporary change. Information about the feeding and fasting cycles of the two Australian breeding populations of humpback whales were obtained through stable isotope analysis of baleen plates from stranded adult individuals. Comparison of isotope profiles showed that individuals from the West Australian breeding population strongly adhered to the classical feeding model. By contrast, East Australian population individuals demonstrated greater heterogeneity in their feeding. On a spectrum from exclusive Antarctic feeding to exclusive feeding in temperate waters, three different strategies were assigned and discussed: classical feeders, supplemental feeders, and temperate zone feeders. Diversity in the inter-annual feeding strategies of humpback whales demonstrates the feeding plasticity of the species, but could also be indicative of changing dynamics within the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. This study presents the first investigation of trophodynamics in Southern hemisphere humpback whales derived from baleen plates, and further provides the first estimates of baleen plate elongation rates in the species.

  13. Isotopic Evidence of a Wide Spectrum of Feeding Strategies in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Baleen Records.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Eisenmann

    Full Text Available Our current understanding of Southern hemisphere humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae ecology assumes high-fidelity feeding on Antarctic krill in Antarctic waters during summer, followed by fasting during their annual migration to and from equatorial breeding grounds. An increase in the number of reported departures from this feeding/fasting model suggests that the current model may be oversimplified or, alternatively, undergoing contemporary change. Information about the feeding and fasting cycles of the two Australian breeding populations of humpback whales were obtained through stable isotope analysis of baleen plates from stranded adult individuals. Comparison of isotope profiles showed that individuals from the West Australian breeding population strongly adhered to the classical feeding model. By contrast, East Australian population individuals demonstrated greater heterogeneity in their feeding. On a spectrum from exclusive Antarctic feeding to exclusive feeding in temperate waters, three different strategies were assigned and discussed: classical feeders, supplemental feeders, and temperate zone feeders. Diversity in the inter-annual feeding strategies of humpback whales demonstrates the feeding plasticity of the species, but could also be indicative of changing dynamics within the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. This study presents the first investigation of trophodynamics in Southern hemisphere humpback whales derived from baleen plates, and further provides the first estimates of baleen plate elongation rates in the species.

  14. Population structure of humpback whales in the western and central South Pacific Ocean as determined by vocal exchange among populations

    OpenAIRE

    Garland, E.C.; Goldizen, A.W.; Lilley, M.S.; Rekdahl, M.L.; Garrigue, Claire; Constantine, R.; Hauser, N.D.; Poole, M.M.; Robbins, J.; Noad, M.J.

    2015-01-01

    For cetaceans, population structure is traditionally determined by molecular genetics or photographically identified individuals. Acoustic data, however, has provided information on movement and population structure with less effort and cost than traditional methods in an array of taxa. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce a continually evolving vocal sexual display, or song, that is similar among all males in a population. The rapid cultural transmission (the transfer of inf...

  15. Evolutionary of history of North Pacific Humpback Whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verkuil, Yvonne; Bérubé, Martine; Urban-R, Jorge; Darling, J; Mattila, David; Yamaguchi, M; Pastene, Luis A.; Palsboll, Per

    North Pacific Humpback Whales breed on winter grounds at Hawaii, Mexico and Okinawa, and summer on feeding grounds in northern Temperate and sub-Arctic waters. Re-sighting records of photographically identified individual humpback whales suggest that breeding grounds are not isolated. Later genetic

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Long-range movement of humpback whales and their overlap with anthropogenic activity in the South Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Howard C; Maxwell, Sara M; Kershaw, Francine; Mate, Bruce

    2014-04-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are managed by the International Whaling Commission as 7 primary populations that breed in the tropics and migrate to 6 feeding areas around the Antarctic. There is little information on individual movements within breeding areas or migratory connections to feeding grounds. We sought to better understand humpback whale habitat use and movements at breeding areas off West Africa, and during the annual migration to Antarctic feeding areas. We also assessed potential overlap between whale habitat and anthropogenic activities. We used Argos satellite-monitored radio tags to collect data on 13 animals off Gabon, a primary humpback whale breeding area. We quantified habitat use for 3 cohorts of whales and used a state-space model to determine transitions in the movement behavior of individuals. We developed a spatial metric of overlap between whale habitat and models of cumulative human activities, including oil platforms, toxicants, and shipping. We detected strong heterogeneity in movement behavior over time that is consistent with previous genetic evidence of multiple populations in the region. Breeding areas for humpback whales in the eastern Atlantic were extensive and extended north of Gabon late in the breeding season. We also observed, for the first time, direct migration between West Africa and sub-Antarctic feeding areas. Potential overlap of whale habitat with human activities was the highest in exclusive economic zones close to shore, particularly in areas used by both individual whales and the hydrocarbon industry. Whales potentially overlapped with different activities during each stage of their migration, which makes it difficult to implement mitigation measures over their entire range. Our results and existing population-level data may inform delimitation of populations and actions to mitigate potential threats to whales as part of local, regional, and international management of highly migratory marine species.

  19. Humpback whale song and foraging behavior on an antarctic feeding ground.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison K Stimpert

    Full Text Available Reports of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae song chorusing occurring outside the breeding grounds are becoming more common, but song structure and underwater behavior of individual singers on feeding grounds and migration routes remain unknown. Here, ten humpback whales in the Western Antarctic Peninsula were tagged in May 2010 with non-invasive, suction-cup attached tags to study foraging ecology and acoustic behavior. Background song was identified on all ten records, but additionally, acoustic records of two whales showed intense and continuous singing, with a level of organization and structure approaching that of typical breeding ground song. The songs, produced either by the tagged animals or close associates, shared phrase types and theme structure with one another, and some song bouts lasted close to an hour. Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m. One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging. These data show behavioral flexibility as the humpbacks manage competing needs to continue to feed and to prepare for the breeding season during late fall. This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.

  20. Humpback whale song: A new review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankel, Adam S.

    2003-04-01

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

  1. Satellite Tracking of Humpback Whales in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  2. 75 FR 970 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-07

    ... the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (council): Native Hawaiians, Fishing, Education...

  3. Spatial pattern analysis of cruise ship-humpback whale interactions in and near Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Karin; Gende, Scott M; Logsdon, Miles G; Klinger, Terrie

    2012-01-01

    Understanding interactions between large ships and large whales is important to estimate risks posed to whales by ships. The coastal waters of Alaska are a summer feeding area for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) as well as a prominent destination for large cruise ships. Lethal collisions between cruise ships and humpback whales have occurred throughout Alaska, including in Glacier Bay National Park (GBNP). Although the National Park Service (NPS) establishes quotas and operating requirements for cruise ships within GBNP in part to minimize ship-whale collisions, no study has quantified ship-whale interactions in the park or in state waters where ship traffic is unregulated. In 2008 and 2009, an observer was placed on ships during 49 different cruises that included entry into GBNP to record distance and bearing of whales that surfaced within 1 km of the ship's bow. A relative coordinate system was developed in ArcGIS to model the frequency of whale surface events using kernel density. A total of 514 whale surface events were recorded. Although ship-whale interactions were common within GBNP, whales frequently surfaced in front of the bow in waters immediately adjacent to the park (west Icy Strait) where cruise ship traffic is not regulated by the NPS. When ships transited at speeds >13 knots, whales frequently surfaced closer to the ship's midline and ship's bow in contrast to speeds slower than 13 knots. Our findings confirm that ship speed is an effective mitigation measure for protecting whales and should be applied to other areas where ship-whale interactions are common.

  4. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. The Cape Verde Islands are home to a small and genetically distinct humpback whale breeding population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bérubé, Martine; Ryan, Conor; Berrow, Simon D.; Suarez, Pedro Lopez; Monteiro, Vanda; Wenzel, Frederick; Robbins, Jooke; Mattila, David; Vikingsson, G.A.; Øien, Nils; Palsboll, Per

    2013-01-01

    The Cape Verde Islands appear to be winter breeding ground of the smallest humpback whale population yet known. However, it is unclear whether the humpback whales at the Cape Verde Islands interbreed with those in the West Indies. Here we present the results of the genetic analysis of 50 humpback

  6. Regional variation in the intensity of humpback whale predation on Pacific herring in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, J. R.; Heintz, R. A.; Straley, J. M.; Vollenweider, J. J.

    2018-01-01

    We modeled the biomass of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) consumed by humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to determine if whales are preventing the recovery of some herring populations in the Gulf of Alaska. We estimated consumption, by whales, of two depressed (Lynn Canal, Prince William Sound) and one robust (Sitka Sound) herring populations during fall/winter of 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Consumption estimates relied on observations of whale abundance, prey selection, and herring energy content along with published data on whale size and metabolic rate. Herring biomass removed by whales was compared with independent estimates of herring abundance to assess the impact of predation on each population. Whales removed a greater proportion of the total biomass of herring available in Lynn Canal and Prince William Sound than in Sitka Sound. Biomass removals were greatest in Prince William Sound where we observed the largest number of whales foraging on herring. The biomass of herring consumed in Prince William Sound approximated the biomass lost to natural mortality over winter as projected by age-structured stock assessments. Though whales also focused their foraging on herring during the fall in Lynn Canal, whales were less abundant resulting in lower estimated consumption rates. Whales were more abundant in Sitka Sound than in Lynn Canal but foraged predominately on euphausiids. Herring abundance was greater in Sitka Sound, further reducing the overall impact on the herring population. These data indicate that the focused predation in Prince William Sound can exert top-down controlling pressure, but whale populations are not a ubiquitous constraint on forage fish productivity in the Gulf of Alaska at this time.

  7. Telomere length and age in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olsen, Morten Tange; Bérubé, Martine; Robbins, Jooke; Rew, Mary Beth; Palsboll, Per

    2009-01-01

    Telomeres are DNA sequences situated at the end of chromosomes that play a key role in maintaining chromosome integrity and are crucial for normal cell function. In vertebrates, telomeres tend to shorten with age, ultimately reaching a threshold believed to trigger cellular and organismal

  8. Hydrodynamics of a Digitized Adult Humpback Whale Flipper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassmann, Wesley N.; McDonald, Samuel J.; Thomson, Scott L.; Fish, Frank E.

    2013-11-01

    During feeding, humpback whales turn with a turn radius of up to 1 /6th of their length towards schools of fish enclosed by bubble nets. This high maneuverability requirement is facilitated by high aspect ratio flippers with leading edge tubercles that delay stall. Previous experimental and computational studies have used idealized models, such as airfoils with scalloped leading edges, to explore the influence of leading edge tubercles on boundary layer separation, vortex generation, and airfoil lift and drag characteristics. Owing to the substantial size of the flipper, no studies have been performed on a digitized adult humpback flipper with real geometry. In this study the hydrodynamics of a realistic humpback flipper model were explored. The model was developed by digitizing a sequence of 18 images circumscribing the suspended flipper of a beached humpback whale. A physical prototype was constructed based on the resulting 3D model, along with a complementary model with the tubercles removed. Experimentally-obtained measurements of lift and drag were used to study the influence of the tubercles. In the presentation, digitization and flow measurement methods are described, and the flow data and results are presented and discussed.

  9. Humpback whale populations share a core skin bacterial community: towards a health index for marine mammals?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Apprill

    Full Text Available Microbes are now well regarded for their important role in mammalian health. The microbiology of skin--a unique interface between the host and environment--is a major research focus in human health and skin disorders, but is less explored in other mammals. Here, we report on a cross-population study of the skin-associated bacterial community of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, and examine the potential for a core bacterial community and its variability with host (endogenous or geographic/environmental (exogenous specific factors. Skin biopsies or freshly sloughed skin from 56 individuals were sampled from populations in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and South Pacific oceans and bacteria were characterized using 454 pyrosequencing of SSU rRNA genes. Phylogenetic and statistical analyses revealed the ubiquity and abundance of bacteria belonging to the Flavobacteria genus Tenacibaculum and the Gammaproteobacteria genus Psychrobacter across the whale populations. Scanning electron microscopy of skin indicated that microbial cells colonize the skin surface. Despite the ubiquity of Tenacibaculum and Psychrobater spp., the relative composition of the skin-bacterial community differed significantly by geographic area as well as metabolic state of the animals (feeding versus starving during migration and breeding, suggesting that both exogenous and endogenous factors may play a role in influencing the skin-bacteria. Further, characteristics of the skin bacterial community from these free-swimming individuals were assembled and compared to two entangled and three dead individuals, revealing a decrease in the central or core bacterial community members (Tenacibaculum and Psychrobater spp., as well as the emergence of potential pathogens in the latter cases. This is the first discovery of a cross-population, shared skin bacterial community. This research suggests that the skin bacteria may be connected to humpback health and immunity and could

  10. Migratory preferences of humpback whales between feeding and breeding grounds in the eastern South Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acevedo, Jorge; Aguayo-lobo, Anelio; Allen, Judith; Botero-acosta, Natalia; Capella, Juan; Castro, Cristina; Rosa, Luciano Dalla; Denkinger, Judith; Félix, Fernando; Flórez-gonzález, Lilian; Garita, Frank; Guzmán, Héctor M.; Haase, Ben; Kaufman, Gregory; Llano, Martha; Olavarría, Carlos; Pacheco, Aldo S.; Plana, Jordi; Rasmussen, Kristin; Scheidat, Meike; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Silva, Sebastian; Stevick, Peter T.

    2017-01-01

    Latitudinal preferences within the breeding range have been suggested for Breeding Stock G humpback whales that summer in different feeding areas of the eastern South Pacific. To address this hypothesis, humpback whales photo-identified from the Antarctic Peninsula and the Fueguian Archipelago

  11. Madagascar Conservation & Development - Early View (Humpback ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, song during the breeding season in the Gulf of Tribugá, Colombian Pacific · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. Christina E Perazio, Maria E Zapetis, Dana Roberson, Natalia Botero, Stan Kuczaj.

  12. Mother knows best: occurrence and associations of resighted humpback whales suggest maternally derived fidelity to a Southern Hemisphere coastal feeding ground.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaco Barendse

    Full Text Available Site fidelity is common among migratory cetaceans, including humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae. In the Northern Hemisphere it has been found that fidelity to humpback whale feeding grounds is transferred maternally but this has never been shown for the species in the Southern Hemisphere. We examined this in a unique feeding area off west South Africa using resighting data of 68 individually identified humpback whales by means of photographic (tail flukes and dorsal fins and/or molecular methods (microsatellite genotyping over an 18 year span. We found short-term association patterns and recurrent visits typical of other feeding grounds. Males and females had different seasonality of attendance. Significant female-dominated presence corresponded to timing of an expected influx of females on their southward migration from the breeding ground: firstly non-nursing (possibly pregnant females in mid-spring, and mothers and calves in mid-to late summer. The potential benefit of this mid-latitude feeding area for females is illustrated by a record of a cow with known age of at least 23 years that produced calves in three consecutive years, each of which survived to at least six months of age: the first record of successful post-partum ovulation for this species in the Southern Hemisphere. We recorded association of a weaned calf with its mother, and a recurring association between a non-lactating female and male over more than two years. Moreover, three animals first identified as calves returned to the same area in subsequent years, sometimes on the same day as their mothers. This, together with numerous Parent-Offspring relations detected genetically among and between resighted and non-resighted whales is strongly suggestive of maternally derived site fidelity at a small spatial scale by a small sub-population of humpback whales.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Population structure of humpback whales in the western and central South Pacific Ocean as determined by vocal exchange among populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garland, Ellen C; Goldizen, Anne W; Lilley, Matthew S; Rekdahl, Melinda L; Garrigue, Claire; Constantine, Rochelle; Hauser, Nan Daeschler; Poole, M Michael; Robbins, Jooke; Noad, Michael J

    2015-08-01

    For cetaceans, population structure is traditionally determined by molecular genetics or photographically identified individuals. Acoustic data, however, has provided information on movement and population structure with less effort and cost than traditional methods in an array of taxa. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce a continually evolving vocal sexual display, or song, that is similar among all males in a population. The rapid cultural transmission (the transfer of information or behavior between conspecifics through social learning) of different versions of this display between distinct but interconnected populations in the western and central South Pacific region presents a unique way to investigate population structure based on the movement dynamics of a song (acoustic) display. Using 11 years of data, we investigated an acoustically based population structure for the region by comparing stereotyped song sequences among populations and years. We used the Levenshtein distance technique to group previously defined populations into (vocally based) clusters based on the overall similarity of their song display in space and time. We identified the following distinct vocal clusters: western cluster, 1 population off eastern Australia; central cluster, populations around New Caledonia, Tonga, and American Samoa; and eastern region, either a single cluster or 2 clusters, one around the Cook Islands and the other off French Polynesia. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that each breeding aggregation represents a distinct population (each occupied a single, terminal node) in a metapopulation, similar to the current understanding of population structure based on genetic and photo-identification studies. However, the central vocal cluster had higher levels of song-sharing among populations than the other clusters, indicating that levels of vocal connectivity varied within the region. Our results demonstrate the utility and value of

  16. Radiocarbon as a Novel Tracer of Extra-Antarctic Feeding in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenmann, Pascale; Fry, Brian; Mazumder, Debashish; Jacobsen, Geraldine; Holyoake, Carlysle Sian; Coughran, Douglas; Bengtson Nash, Susan

    2017-06-29

    Bulk stable isotope analysis provides information regarding food web interactions, and has been applied to several cetacean species for the study of migration ecology. One limitation in bulk stable isotope analysis arises when a species, such as Southern hemisphere humpback whales, utilises geographically distinct food webs with differing isotopic baselines. Migrations to areas with different baselines can result in isotopic changes that mimic changes in feeding relations, leading to ambiguous food web interpretations. Here, we demonstrate the novel application of radiocarbon measurement for the resolution of such ambiguities. Radiocarbon was measured in baleen plates from humpback whales stranded in Australia between 2007 and 2013, and in skin samples collected in Australia and Antarctica from stranded and free-ranging animals. Radiocarbon measurements showed lower values for Southern Ocean feeding than for extra-Antarctic feeding in Australian waters. While the whales mostly relied on Antarctic-derived energy stores during their annual migration, there was some evidence of feeding within temperate zone waters in some individuals. This work, to our knowledge, provides the first definitive biochemical evidence for supplementary feeding by southern hemisphere humpback whales within temperate waters during migration. Further, the work contributes a powerful new tool (radiocarbon) for tracing source regions and geographical feeding.

  17. Is it possible to go whale watching off the coast of Peru?: A case study of humpback whales ¿Es posible hacer turismo de observación de ballenas en la costa de Perú?: Un caso de estudio con ballenas jorobadas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo S Pacheco

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Whale watching is the human activity of encountering cetaceans in their natural habitat for recreational and scientific purposes. Despite the high diversity of cetaceans in Peruvian waters, this activity has yet to be developed. Herein we present data regarding the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae off northern Peru, evaluating the possibility of extending whale watching activities in this area. Data were obtained from surveys conducted from an ecotourism boat. Humpbacks were distributed in shallow waters, usually in pairs or trios throughout the study period between late July and late September. The presence of whales off northern Peru is due to winter migration for breeding and calving purposes. A high probability of encountering humpbacks within the study area could encourage the development of a whale watching industry. As this stage in the life cycle of this species is very delicate, we suggest the adoption of the precautionary principie in the management of the activity in order to minimize the risk of negative impacts on humpback populations. Whale watching in northern Peru is feasible and could be considered an alternative to fishing.La observación de ballenas es la actividad humana de observar estos cetáceos en su habitat natural con fines recreacionales y científicos. A pesar de la alta diversidad de cetáceos en aguas del Perú, esta actividad no ha sido desarrollada. En este estudio se presentan datos sobre la distribución de la ballena jorobada (Megaptera novaeangliae en un area de la costa norte del Perú, con el objetivo de evaluar la posibilidad de extender el turismo de observación de ballenas jorobadas. La información proviene de muéstreos realizados en un bote de ecoturismo. Las ballenas jorobadas se distribuyeron en aguas someras usualmente en pares o tríos y estuvieron presentes de manera permanente entre fines de julio y fines de septiembre. La presencia de esta especie en el area resulta de la

  18. Establishment of the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines and their application in chemical risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burkard, Michael, E-mail: Michael.burkard@eawag.ch [Griffith University, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program, Brisbane, QLD (Australia); Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Dübendorf (Switzerland); Whitworth, Deanne [The University of Queensland, School of Veterinary Science, Gatton, QLD (Australia); Schirmer, Kristin [Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Dübendorf (Switzerland); ETH Zürich, Institute of Biogechemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, Zürich (Switzerland); EPF Lausanne, School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lausanne (Switzerland); Nash, Susan Bengtson [Griffith University, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program, Brisbane, QLD (Australia)

    2015-10-15

    Highlights: • We established and characterised the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. • Cell lines have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44. • Exposure to p,p′-DDE resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. • p,p′-DDE sensitivity differed considerably from human fibroblasts. • Exposure to a whale blubber extract showed higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone. - Abstract: This paper reports the first successful derivation and characterization of humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. Primary fibroblasts were isolated from the dermal connective tissue of skin biopsies, cultured at 37 °C and 5% CO{sub 2} in the standard mammalian medium DMEM/F12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Of nine initial biopsies, two cell lines were established from two different animals and designated HuWa1 and HuWa2. The cells have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44, which has commonly been observed in other baleen whale species. Cells were verified as being fibroblasts based on their spindle-shaped morphology, adherence to plastic and positive immunoreaction to vimentin. Population doubling time was determined to be ∼41 h and cells were successfully cryopreserved and thawed. To date, HuWa1 cells have been propagated 30 times. Cells proliferate at the tested temperatures, 30, 33.5 and 37 °C, but show the highest rate of proliferation at 37 °C. Short-term exposure to para,para′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE), a priority compound accumulating in southern hemisphere humpback whales, resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. The effective concentration which caused a 50% reduction in HuWa1 cell viability (EC{sub 50} value) was approximately six times greater than the EC{sub 50} value for the same chemical measured with human dermal fibroblasts. HuWa1 exposed to a natural, p,p′-DDE-containing, chemical mixture extracted from whale blubber showed distinctively higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone

  19. Establishment of the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines and their application in chemical risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burkard, Michael; Whitworth, Deanne; Schirmer, Kristin; Nash, Susan Bengtson

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We established and characterised the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. • Cell lines have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44. • Exposure to p,p′-DDE resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. • p,p′-DDE sensitivity differed considerably from human fibroblasts. • Exposure to a whale blubber extract showed higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone. - Abstract: This paper reports the first successful derivation and characterization of humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. Primary fibroblasts were isolated from the dermal connective tissue of skin biopsies, cultured at 37 °C and 5% CO_2 in the standard mammalian medium DMEM/F12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Of nine initial biopsies, two cell lines were established from two different animals and designated HuWa1 and HuWa2. The cells have a stable karyotype with 2n = 44, which has commonly been observed in other baleen whale species. Cells were verified as being fibroblasts based on their spindle-shaped morphology, adherence to plastic and positive immunoreaction to vimentin. Population doubling time was determined to be ∼41 h and cells were successfully cryopreserved and thawed. To date, HuWa1 cells have been propagated 30 times. Cells proliferate at the tested temperatures, 30, 33.5 and 37 °C, but show the highest rate of proliferation at 37 °C. Short-term exposure to para,para′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE), a priority compound accumulating in southern hemisphere humpback whales, resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. The effective concentration which caused a 50% reduction in HuWa1 cell viability (EC_5_0 value) was approximately six times greater than the EC_5_0 value for the same chemical measured with human dermal fibroblasts. HuWa1 exposed to a natural, p,p′-DDE-containing, chemical mixture extracted from whale blubber showed distinctively higher sensitivity than to p,p′-DDE alone. Thus, we

  20. Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Curé, C.; Doksæter Sivle, L.; Visser, F.; Wensveen, P.J.; Isojunno, S.; Harris, C.M.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.; Millewr, P.J.O.

    2015-01-01

    Anti-predator strategies are often defined as ‘flight’ or ‘fight’, based upon prey anatomical adaptations for size, morphology and weapons, as well as observed behaviours in the presence of predators. The humpback whale Megaptera nova eangliae is considered a ‘fight’ specialist based upon anatomy

  1. Baleen whales and their prey in a coastal environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatt, John F.; Methven, David A.; Burger, Alan E.; McLagan, Ruth L.; Mercer, Vicki; Creelman, Elizabeth

    1989-01-01

    Patterns of abundance of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) whales are described in relation to the abundance of their primary prey, capelin (Mallotus villosus), during 1982–1985 at Witless Bay, Newfoundland. The abundance ratio of the three whale species was 10:1:3.5, respectively. Abundance of all whale species was strongly correlated with abundance of capelin through each season and between years. Capelin abundance accounted for 63% of the variation in whale numbers in 1983 and 1984, while environmental parameters (e.g., water temperatures) accounted for little variance. The amount of capelin consumed by whales was small (< 2%) compared with the amount available. All three species overlapped temporally at Witless Bay, but spatial overlap was reduced as fins occurred primarily offshore, minkes primarily inshore, and humpbacks in bay habitats of intermediate depth.

  2. Low frequency, ca. 40 Hz, pulse trains recorded in the humpback whale assembly in Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darling, James D

    2015-11-01

    During studies of humpback whale song and social sounds in Hawaii, bouts of low frequency (ca. 40 Hz) pulses were periodically recorded. One example was made near an active group of eight adults (included 22 bouts, 2-13 s long, over 90 min); another close to an adult male-female pair (12 bouts, 9-93 s long, over 22 min). The mean peak and center frequencies (39 to 40 Hz) and bandwidth (13 Hz) were similar in both, but the organization of the pulses differed. Song components, social sounds, bubble trains, or other species do not provide a ready explanation for this sound.

  3. Ecosystem scale acoustic sensing reveals humpback whale behavior synchronous with herring spawning processes and re-evaluation finds no effect of sonar on humpback song occurrence in the Gulf of Maine in fall 2006.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng Gong

    Full Text Available We show that humpback-whale vocalization behavior is synchronous with peak annual Atlantic herring spawning processes in the Gulf of Maine. With a passive, wide-aperture, densely-sampled, coherent hydrophone array towed north of Georges Bank in a Fall 2006 Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS experiment, vocalizing whales could be instantaneously detected and localized over most of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem in a roughly 400-km diameter area by introducing array gain, of 18 dB, orders of magnitude higher than previously available in acoustic whale sensing. With humpback-whale vocalizations consistently recorded at roughly 2000/day, we show that vocalizing humpbacks (i were overwhelmingly distributed along the northern flank of Georges Bank, coinciding with the peak spawning time and location of Atlantic herring, and (ii their overall vocalization behavior was strongly diurnal, synchronous with the formation of large nocturnal herring shoals, with a call rate roughly ten-times higher at night than during the day. Humpback-whale vocalizations were comprised of (1 highly diurnal non-song calls, suited to hunting and feeding behavior, and (2 songs, which had constant occurrence rate over a diurnal cycle, invariant to diurnal herring shoaling. Before and during OAWRS survey transmissions: (a no vocalizing whales were found at Stellwagen Bank, which had negligible herring populations, and (b a constant humpback-whale song occurrence rate indicates the transmissions had no effect on humpback song. These measurements contradict the conclusions of Risch et al. Our analysis indicates that (a the song occurrence variation reported in Risch et al. is consistent with natural causes other than sonar, (b the reducing change in song reported in Risch et al. occurred days before the sonar survey began, and (c the Risch et al. method lacks the statistical significance to draw the conclusions of Risch et al. because it has a 98-100% false-positive rate

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Examination of Health Effects and Long-Term Impacts of Deployments of Multiple Tag Types on Blue, Humpback, and Gray Whales in the Eastern North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    monitoring planned (Calambokidis et al 2002, 2010, 2014, Calambokidis and Barlow 2004, 2013). In all three species, the majority of the population has...providing important photographs and data for assessment of tagged animals. REFERENCES Calambokidis, J. and J. Barlow . 2004. Abundance of...Calambokidis, J and J. Barlow . 2013. Trends in humpback and blue whales off the US West Coast and their relationship to ship strike mortality

  7. Density surface fitting to estimate the abundance of humpback whales based on the NASS-95 and NASS- 2001 aerial and shipboard surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles GM Paxton

    2009-09-01

    The estimated humpback whale abundance for the region covered by the aerial and shipboard surveys in 1995 was 10,521 (95% CI: 3,716–24,636 using all available data and 7,625 (3,641–22,424 if survey blocks with 0 sightings around the Faroes and south of 60˚ N where no humpback whales were detected were excluded from the analysis. The estimate for the total survey region in 2001 was 14,662 (9,441–29,879. The high upper bounds of the confidence intervals were thought to be caused by a paucity of effort over wide areas of the survey leading to interpolation. Overall, the uncertainty associated with these abundance estimates was approximately equal to, or greater than, that associated with a stratified distance analysis. Given these wide CIs the evidence for a substantial difference in abundance between years was equivocal. However there was evidence to suggest that humpback whales congregated in shallower waters between 6–8˚C.

  8. 75 FR 57441 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-21

    ... National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/Commerce, Citizen-at-Large, Conservation, Tourism, Lana`i Island Representative, and Moloka`i Island...

  9. 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

  10. The Tubercles on Humpback Whales’ Flippers: Application of Bio-Inspired Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-01

    Fish et al. at S IC B S ociety A ccess on July 5, 2011 icb.oxfordjournals.org D ow nloaded from Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier- Strokes (RANS...advances of technology in marine systems: what does biomimetics have to offer to aquatic robots? Appl Bionics Biomech 3:49–60. Fish FE. 2009. Biomimetics...mechanisms of baleen whales. Amer Sci 67:432–440. Reidenberg JS, Laitman JT. 2007. Blowing bubbles: An aquatic adaptation that risks protection of the

  11. Megaptera Novaeangliae sightings recorder (Borowski, 1781) in the capixaba coast during marine seismic survey; Registro de avistagens de Megaptera Novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) no litoral capixaba durante levantamento sismico maritimo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Costa, Leandro Damiao S. da; Almeida, Alexandre N. Ferraz de [Okeanos Consultoria e Meio Ambiente Ltda. (Brazil); Uller, George A.; Oliveira, Joao Luiz Martinez de [CGG do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Derntl, Jose Renato; Pereira, Edisio; Silva, Camila C. da [GEOCOOP Cooperativa de Trabalho, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Miranda, Cristina M. de [Nautilus Cooperativa de Trabalho (Brazil)

    2004-07-01

    This work presents Megaptera novaeangliae (Humpback Whale) sightings recorded during CGG seismic survey along south of Espirito Santo coast. The seismic vessel executed transects perpendicular to the coastline between 50 and 3.200 m depth. Two environmental technicians recorded all sightings during seismic survey; They worked on the highest point of the vessel (bridge) observing the presence and behavior of the marine biota around vessel. There were recorded 38 sightings of Humpback Whales and a total of 81 organisms. 61% of the sightings were concentrated between 40 and 80 m depth. About 60,5% of the sightings were recorded females with puppies, mainly in the afternoon. There were observed no difference between sightings with the source working on and off. The results obtained suggest similarity between the number of sightings and the distance of the animals related to seismic source activity, suggesting non evasive behavior, as well as any indicative change on the behavior regarding to the presence of the Seismic Vessel. Nevertheless, we know that it's necessary to make more studies to obtain definitive conclusions about the subject. (author)

  12. Megaptera Novaeangliae sightings recorder (Borowski, 1781) in the capixaba coast during marine seismic survey; Registro de avistagens de Megaptera Novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) no litoral capixaba durante levantamento sismico maritimo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Costa, Leandro Damiao S. da; Almeida, Alexandre N. Ferraz de [Okeanos Consultoria e Meio Ambiente Ltda. (Brazil); Uller, George A; Oliveira, Joao Luiz Martinez de [CGG do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Derntl, Jose Renato; Pereira, Edisio; Silva, Camila C. da [GEOCOOP Cooperativa de Trabalho, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Miranda, Cristina M. de [Nautilus Cooperativa de Trabalho (Brazil)

    2004-07-01

    This work presents Megaptera novaeangliae (Humpback Whale) sightings recorded during CGG seismic survey along south of Espirito Santo coast. The seismic vessel executed transects perpendicular to the coastline between 50 and 3.200 m depth. Two environmental technicians recorded all sightings during seismic survey; They worked on the highest point of the vessel (bridge) observing the presence and behavior of the marine biota around vessel. There were recorded 38 sightings of Humpback Whales and a total of 81 organisms. 61% of the sightings were concentrated between 40 and 80 m depth. About 60,5% of the sightings were recorded females with puppies, mainly in the afternoon. There were observed no difference between sightings with the source working on and off. The results obtained suggest similarity between the number of sightings and the distance of the animals related to seismic source activity, suggesting non evasive behavior, as well as any indicative change on the behavior regarding to the presence of the Seismic Vessel. Nevertheless, we know that it's necessary to make more studies to obtain definitive conclusions about the subject. (author)

  13. Effects of fishing rope strength on the severity of large whale entanglements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowlton, Amy R; Robbins, Jooke; Landry, Scott; McKenna, Henry A; Kraus, Scott D; Werner, Timothy B

    2016-04-01

    Entanglement in fixed fishing gear affects whales worldwide. In the United States, deaths of North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have exceeded management limits for decades. We examined live and dead whales entangled in fishing gear along the U.S. East Coast and the Canadian Maritimes from 1994 to 2010. We recorded whale species, age, and injury severity and determined rope polymer type, breaking strength, and diameter of the fishing gear. For the 132 retrieved ropes from 70 cases, tested breaking strength range was 0.80-39.63 kN (kiloNewtons) and the mean was 11.64 kN (SD 8.29), which is 26% lower than strength at manufacture (range 2.89-53.38 kN, mean = 15.70 kN [9.89]). Median rope diameter was 9.5 mm. Right and humpback whales were found in ropes with significantly stronger breaking strengths at time of manufacture than minke whales (Balaenoptera acuturostrata) (19.30, 17.13, and 10.47 mean kN, respectively). Adult right whales were found in stronger ropes (mean 34.09 kN) than juvenile right whales (mean 15.33 kN) and than all humpback whale age classes (mean 17.37 kN). For right whales, severity of injuries increased since the mid 1980s, possibly due to changes in rope manufacturing in the mid 1990s that resulted in production of stronger ropes at the same diameter. Our results suggest that broad adoption of ropes with breaking strengths of ≤ 7.56 kN (≤ 1700 lbsf) could reduce the number of life-threatening entanglements for large whales by at least 72%, and yet could provide sufficient strength to withstand the routine forces involved in many fishing operations. A reduction of this magnitude would achieve nearly all the mitigation legally required for U.S. stocks of North Atlantic right and humpback whales. Ropes with reduced breaking strength should be developed and tested to determine the feasibility of their use in a variety of fisheries. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley

  14. Empirical evaluation of humpback whale telomere length estimates; quality control and factors causing variability in the singleplex and multiplex qPCR methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Morten Tange; Bérubé, Martine; Robbins, Jooke

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND:Telomeres, the protective cap of chromosomes, have emerged as powerful markers of biological age and life history in model and non-model species. The qPCR method for telomere length estimation is one of the most common methods for telomere length estimation, but has received recent...... steps of qPCR. In order to evaluate the utility of the qPCR method for telomere length estimation in non-model species, we carried out four different qPCR assays directed at humpback whale telomeres, and subsequently performed a rigorous quality control to evaluate the performance of each assay. RESULTS...... to 40% depending on assay and quantification method, however this variation only affected telomere length estimates in the worst performing assays. CONCLUSION:Our results suggest that seemingly well performing qPCR assays may contain biases that will only be detected by extensive quality control...

  15. Humpback Whale, Pacific Summer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The marine mammal and sea turtle layers in MarineCadastre.gov represent habitat-based density-model estimates of animal density. The marine mammal layers are a...

  16. 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

  17. Partial pressure (or fugacity) of carbon dioxide, salinity and other variables collected from Surface underway observations using Carbon dioxide (CO2) gas analyzer, Shower head chamber equilibrator for autonomous carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement and other instruments from KAIYO-MARU in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, North Pacific Ocean and others from 1987-10-28 to 1987-12-05 (NODC Accession 0080985)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NCEI Accession 0080985 includes Surface underway, chemical, meteorological and physical data collected from KAIYO-MARU in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale...

  18. Synchronous seasonal change in fin whale song in the North Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M Oleson

    Full Text Available Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus song consists of down-swept pulses arranged into stereotypic sequences that can be characterized according to the interval between successive pulses. As in blue (B. musculus and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, these song sequences may be geographically distinct and may correlate with population boundaries in some regions. We measured inter-pulse intervals of fin whale songs within year-round acoustic datasets collected between 2000 and 2006 in three regions of the eastern North Pacific: Southern California, the Bering Sea, and Hawaii. A distinctive song type that was recorded in all three regions is characterized by singlet and doublet inter-pulse intervals that increase seasonally, then annually reset to the same shorter intervals at the beginning of each season. This song type was recorded in the Bering Sea and off Southern California from September through May and off Hawaii from December through April, with the song interval generally synchronized across all monitoring locations. The broad geographic and seasonal occurrence of this particular fin whale song type may represent a single population broadly distributed throughout the eastern Pacific with no clear seasonal migratory pattern. Previous studies attempting to infer population structure of fin whales in the North Pacific using synchronous individual song samples have been unsuccessful, likely because they did not account for the seasonal lengthening in song intervals observed here.

  19. Extensive Core Microbiome in Drone-Captured Whale Blow Supports a Framework for Health Monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apprill, Amy; Miller, Carolyn A; Moore, Michael J; Durban, John W; Fearnbach, Holly; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G

    2017-01-01

    The pulmonary system is a common site for bacterial infections in cetaceans, but very little is known about their respiratory microbiome. We used a small, unmanned hexacopter to collect exhaled breath condensate (blow) from two geographically distinct populations of apparently healthy humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ), sampled in the Massachusetts coastal waters off Cape Cod ( n = 17) and coastal waters around Vancouver Island ( n = 9). Bacterial and archaeal small-subunit rRNA genes were amplified and sequenced from blow samples, including many of sparse volume, as well as seawater and other controls, to characterize the associated microbial community. The blow microbiomes were distinct from the seawater microbiomes and included 25 phylogenetically diverse bacteria common to all sampled whales. This core assemblage comprised on average 36% of the microbiome, making it one of the more consistent animal microbiomes studied to date. The closest phylogenetic relatives of 20 of these core microbes were previously detected in marine mammals, suggesting that this core microbiome assemblage is specialized for marine mammals and may indicate a healthy, noninfected pulmonary system. Pathogen screening was conducted on the microbiomes at the genus level, which showed that all blow and few seawater microbiomes contained relatives of bacterial pathogens; no known cetacean respiratory pathogens were detected in the blow. Overall, the discovery of a shared large core microbiome in humpback whales is an important advancement for health and disease monitoring of this species and of other large whales. IMPORTANCE The conservation and management of large whales rely in part upon health monitoring of individuals and populations, and methods generally necessitate invasive sampling. Here, we used a small, unmanned hexacopter drone to noninvasively fly above humpback whales from two populations, capture their exhaled breath (blow), and examine the associated microbiome. In the

  20. Looking for North Atlantic Baleen Whales: When are they coming to the Azores?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura González

    2014-06-01

    baleen whales: fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus with 221 sightings, sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis with 143 and blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus with 83. Those three species were sighted regularly each season every year of the study. Following them, with a much smaller number of sightings, were minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata with 16, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae with 15 and Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera edeni with 13. Minke, humpback and Bryde’s whales were seen more rarely, being occasionally observed around the islands. The preferred time of the year for all species except Bryde’s, were spring months between March and June (81.7% of the sightings. Blue whales were more frequent in 2010 and 2012, having the highest sighting rates in May (32 sightings, April (24 sightings and March (20 sightings, making up 91.6% of total blue whale records. Having into account March 2014 photos, we identified 75 different blue whales, and from those, only two were re-sighted in different years. One was firstly sighted on April 2010 with a calf and re-sighted alone on March 2014; and the other was firstly sighted on March 2012 and re-sighted on April 2014. 2013 was a good unusual year for fin whales, with a total number of 90 sightings seen mostly in may. Along the study period, we identified 45 fin whales, and at the moment, we didn’t get any match in different years or locations. Humpback whales were not sighted during 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013, but we must bear in mind that our data from those years are incomplete (except for 2013. Nevertheless, they seem to have a slight preference for April-May as well. We photo-identified 12 individuals. One whale was re-sighted after only seven days, but there were no other re-sightings between seasons or years yet. For sei whales the best year was 2010, with 47 records. Most of records for both species were made in April and May, 66% of the fin whales and 54% of sei whales. Minke whales were sighted all years but

  1. 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.

  2. SWFSC/MMTD/AK: Structure of Populations, Level of Abundance, and Status of Humpbacks (SPLASH) 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project was part of a larger international project (SPLASH) designed to estimate the abundance and determine the population structure for humpback whales...

  3. Adapting to a warmer ocean--seasonal shift of baleen whale movements over three decades.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Ramp

    Full Text Available Global warming poses particular challenges to migratory species, which face changes to the multiple environments occupied during migration. For many species, the timing of migration between summer and winter grounds and also within-season movements are crucial to maximise exploitation of temporarily abundant prey resources in feeding areas, themselves adapting to the warming planet. We investigated the temporal variation in the occurrence of fin (Balaenoptera physalus and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in a North Atlantic summer feeding ground, the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Canada, from 1984 to 2010 using a long-term study of individually identifiable animals. These two sympatric species both shifted their date of arrival at a previously undocumented rate of more than 1 day per year earlier over the study period thus maintaining the approximate 2-week difference in arrival of the two species and enabling the maintenance of temporal niche separation. However, the departure date of both species also shifted earlier but at different rates resulting in increasing temporal overlap over the study period indicating that this separation may be starting to erode. Our analysis revealed that the trend in arrival was strongly related to earlier ice break-up and rising sea surface temperature, likely triggering earlier primary production. The observed changes in phenology in response to ocean warming are a remarkable example of phenotypic plasticity and may partly explain how baleen whales were able to survive a number of changes in climate over the last several million years. However, it is questionable whether the observed rate of change in timing can be maintained. Substantial modification to the distribution or annual life cycle of these species might be required to keep up with the ongoing warming of the oceans.

  4. Cetaceans stranded in the Netherlands from 1998 to 2007

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Camphuysen, C.J.; Smeenk, C.; Addink, M.; Grouw, van H.; Jansen, O.E.

    2008-01-01

    Between 1998 and 2007, 2063 cetaceans were found stranded in the Netherlands, representing at least 14 species. Two species, humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), are additions to the Dutch list. Apart from the first humpback whales,

  5. Development and Validation of a Technique for Detection of Stress and Pregnancy in Large Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    humpback whales, blue whales, and possibly insular false killer whales). 2 2) The second objective is to complete the biological validation using...identification using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Briefly, pooled blubber extract from animals of known gender will be serially diluted 1...progesterone in captive female false killer whales, pseudorca crassidens. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 115:323-332. Atkinson, S., Crocker, D., Houser, D

  6. Migratory round-trip of individually identified humpback whales at the Strait of Magellan: clues on transit times and phylopatry to destinations Ciclo migratorio de ballenas jorobadas individualizadas del estrecho de Magallanes: indicios sobre la duración de la migración y filopatría en los destinos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JUAN J CAPELLA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Humpback whales undertake seasonal migration between productive high-latitude areas where they feed in summer and low-latitude tropical waters where mating and calving occur during winter. In the eastern south Pacific, the species breeds off Colombia and Ecuador, and feeds primarily in the western Antarctic Peninsula and in the waters of the Strait of Magellan (SM, recently described as a new feeding ground for humpback whales. Comparison of fluke photographs of 62 individuals from the SM obtained during the austral summer from 1999 to 2005 and 1,042 individuals from Colombia, provided conclusive matches for six individuals, with an overall interchange Índex of 0.093. Eight migratory trips between summer and winter grounds were registered for four whales during a complete migratory round-trip in consecutive years. The mínimum distance traveled in a one-way trip ranged from 6,650 to 7,000 km. The duration of the two fastest trips between these migratory destinations was 88 and 99 days, with a mean speed of migration of 76 and 67 km day-1 respectively. Five of the whales present in both areas were males and three mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were identified: EM-1 for three individuals, EM-2 for two and EM-3 for the last one, all of which have been previously described for humpback whales from Colombia. All six individuals were seen several days in each season in the SM (as many as 39 days in one case, with an average stay of 72 ± 40 days (n = 20 per year, ranging from 3 to 125 days. On average, each of the six individuals was seen in the SM during 71 ± 18 % of the seven monitored summers. Three individuals were re-sighted in the SM six out of the seven surveyed years, during four to six consecutive years. These results provide the first direct evidence to include humpback whales that feed in the Strait of Magellan as part of the eastern south Pacific population of whales that feed off Colombian waters.La ballena jorobada migra estacionalmente

  7. Marine Animal Sound Database. Twelve Years of Tracking 52-Hz Whale Calls from a Unique Source in the North Pacific

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Watkins, William

    2004-01-01

    Long-term monitoring of underwater sounds using U.S. Navy SOSUS and other hydrophone arrays allowed us to follow the seasonal distribution of underwater calls produced by blue, fin and humpback whales across the North Pacific...

  8. Trends and interventions in large whale entanglement along the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Generalised linear models with a Poisson or quasi-Poisson distribution were used to describe the relationship between the number of incidents and time. Taking into account the combined length of shark-net installations per year as an offset variable, entanglement of humpback whales in shark nets increased at 15.1% per ...

  9. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet L. Neilson

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Partial pressure (or fugacity) of carbon dioxide, salinity and other variables collected from Surface underway observations using Barometric pressure sensor, Carbon dioxide (CO2) gas analyzer and other instruments from NOAA Ship KA'IMIMOANA in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean from 2008-02-02 to 2008-11-16 (NODC Accession 0081043)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NCEI Accession 0081043 includes Surface underway, chemical, meteorological and physical data collected from NOAA Ship KA'IMIMOANA in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback...

  12. Migration redefined? Seasonality, movements and group ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The migration of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae between their feeding and breeding areas has thus far been considered a highly predictable and seasonal event. However, previous observations on the humpbacks that pass through the nearshore waters of the west coast of South Africa ...

  13. Behavioral and Physiological Response of Baleen Whales to Ships and Ship Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1), 39-53, DOI 10.1578/AM.41.1.2015.39 Calambokidis, J and J. Barlow . 2013. Trends in humpback and blue whales off the US West Coast and their...in Technology and Experimental Methods. Marine Technology Society Journal 46(4): 46- 59. Southall, B, Calambokidis, J. Moretti, D, Barlow , J

  14. 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.

  15. An investigation of the roles of geomagnetic and acoustic cues in whale navigation and orientation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Ann Nichole

    Many species of whales migrate annually between high-latitude feeding grounds and low-latitude breeding grounds. Yet, very little is known about how these animals navigate during these migrations. This thesis takes a first look at the roles of geomagnetic and acoustic cues in humpback whale navigation and orientation, in addition to documenting some effects of human-produced sound on beaked whales. The tracks of satellite-tagged humpback whales migrating from Hawaii to Alaska were found to have systematic deviations from the most direct route to their destination. For each whale, a migration track was modeled using only geomagnetic inclination and intensity as navigation cues. The directions in which the observed and modeled tracks deviated from the direct route were compared and found to match for 7 out of 9 tracks, which suggests that migrating humpback whales may use geomagnetic cues for navigation. Additionally, in all cases the observed tracks followed a more direct route to the destination than the modeled tracks, indicating that the whales are likely using additional navigational cues to improve their routes. There is a significant amount of sound available in the ocean to aid in navigation and orientation of a migrating whale. This research investigates the possibility that humpback whales migrating near-shore listen to sounds of snapping shrimp to detect the presence of obstacles, such as rocky islands. A visual tracking study was used, together with hydrophone recordings near a rocky island, to determine whether the whales initiated an avoidance reaction at distances that varied with the acoustic detection range of the island. No avoidance reaction was found. Propagation modeling of the snapping shrimp sounds suggested that the detection range of the island was beyond the visual limit of the survey, indicating that snapping shrimp sounds may be suited as a long-range indicator of a rocky island. Lastly, this thesis identifies a prolonged avoidance

  16. Potential impacts of shipping noise on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and implications for regulation and mitigation: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Songhai; Liu, Mingming; Dong, Lijun; Dong, Jianchen; Wang, Ding

    2018-01-09

    Shipping noise is a widespread and relatively loud sound source among human-induced underwater sounds. The impacts of shipping noise are of special concern for Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis), as they inhabit shallow and nearshore habitats and are highly dependent on sound for survival. This study synthesizes our current understanding of the potential impacts of shipping noise on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins combined with knowledge on sound production and hearing of these animals and the impacts of noise on other whales and dolphins. For further protection and management of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and their habitats, shipping noise should be regulated and mitigated to modify sound from ships, to reduce overall noise levels, and to set more marine protected areas (MPAs) covering most Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin habitats with seasonal and geographical restrictions to avoid ensonification of shipping noise. The emphasis for future research should be on obtaining more baseline information about the population distribution, sound production, hearing capabilities at the population level, behavior, and stress hormones of the humpback dolphins under different noise conditions or under different noise-producing activities, and/or in high-noise areas compared with relatively quiet areas, and the noise characteristics of ships of different types, sizes, and speeds. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  17. Lifetime Stable isotopes profiles in whale earplug: assessment of foraging and migrations in the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansouri, F.; Crain, D.; Winfield, Z.; Trumble, S.; Usenko, S.

    2017-12-01

    Whale earplugs, historically used for aging, were used to reconstruct lifetime stable isotope profiles for carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) for individual whales by delaminating lamina within the earplug. These stable isotope profile, which provide Continuous lifetime records of feeding, foraging ecology, and migration, were determined for 20 individuals from 4 baleen species including fin, minke, humpback, and blue whales spanning more than a century (1869 - 2014) using stable isotope analysis. Approximately 1 mg tissue from each lamina (n=1200) was analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope using continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer (CF-IRMS). This research using whale earplugs have combined age estimates with stable isotope measurements to reconstruct lifetime foraging profiles with a 6-month resolution, providing an unprecedented opportunity to assess periods and trends in dietary fluctuations as well as migration between different foraging area which have distinct isotope values. Trends with these profiles suggest long-term changing in migration, while annual variability highlights seasonal fasting and feeding. Isotopic ratios were also used to identify subpopulations of Atlantic fin whales, which enabled us to assign unidentified humpback and minke whales to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. This historical archive of data provides us an unprecedented tool to assess long term marine ecosystem and subsequently marine organism transition to alternate foraging area and shed light on the whale's population status in the Northern hemisphere.

  18. Humpback 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,...

  19. Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Boundary (polygon)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries manages a system of sanctuaries and other managed areas around the country. The legal boundaries of These sanctuaries are...

  20. High Source Levels and Small Active Space of High-Pitched Song in Bowhead Whales (Balaena mysticetus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi M.; Christoffersen, Mads F.; Simon, Malene

    2012-01-01

    The low frequency, powerful vocalizations of blue and fin whales may potentially be detected by conspecifics across entire ocean basins. In contrast, humpback and bowhead whales produce equally loud, but more complex broadband vocalizations composed of higher frequencies that suffer from higher...... notes is between 40 and 130 km, an order of magnitude smaller than the estimated active space of low frequency blue and fin whale songs produced at similar source levels and for similar noise conditions. We propose that bowhead whales spatially compensate for their smaller communication range through...

  1. Bones as biofuel: a review of whale bone composition with implications for deep-sea biology and palaeoanthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgs, Nicholas D; Little, Crispin T S; Glover, Adrian G

    2011-01-07

    Whales are unique among vertebrates because of the enormous oil reserves held in their soft tissue and bone. These 'biofuel' stores have been used by humans from prehistoric times to more recent industrial-scale whaling. Deep-sea biologists have now discovered that the oily bones of dead whales on the seabed are also used by specialist and generalist scavenging communities, including many unique organisms recently described as new to science. In the context of both cetacean and deep-sea invertebrate biology, we review scientific knowledge on the oil content of bone from several of the great whale species: Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eschrichtius robustus, Physeter macrocephalus and the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba. We show that data collected by scientists over 50 years ago during the heyday of industrial whaling explain several interesting phenomena with regard to the decay of whale remains. Variations in the lipid content of bones from different parts of a whale correspond closely with recently observed differences in the taphonomy of deep-sea whale carcasses and observed biases in the frequency of whale bones at archaeological sites.

  2. Whale Heart

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2017-01-01

    Student bachelor film. Synopsis:Silas lives in an isolated whaling town, toiling for months in the harsh and bloody trade on which he and his community depend. However, in order to be capable of killing the creatures whose bone and blubber pay his wage, he has developed an ungodly method for extr...

  3. Partial pressure (or fugacity) of carbon dioxide, salinity and other variables collected from Surface underway observations using Barometric pressure sensor, Carbon dioxide (CO2) gas analyzer and other instruments from NOAA Ship McARTHUR II in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean from 2006-07-30 to 2006-12-02 (NODC Accession 0084052)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NCEI Accession 0084052 includes Surface underway, chemical, meteorological and physical data collected from NOAA Ship McARTHUR II in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback...

  4. Movement patterns of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the presence of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The presence and movement of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins Tursiops aduncus were investigated using shore-based observations made during a humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae migration survey at Cape Vidal, South Africa, undertaken between June and October 1988–1991. Occurrence was analysed as ...

  5. 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…

  6. Feasibility of Acoustic Remote Sensing of Large Herring Shoals and Seafloor by Baleen Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Hoon Yi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has found a high spatial and temporal correlation between certain baleen whale vocalizations and peak herring spawning processes in the Gulf of Maine. These vocalizations are apparently related to feeding activities with suggested functions that include communication, prey manipulation, and echolocation. Here, the feasibility of the echolocation function is investigated. Physical limitations on the ability to detect large herring shoals and the seafloor by acoustic remote sensing are determined with ocean acoustic propagation, scattering, and statistical theories given baleen whale auditory parameters. Detection is found to be highly dependent on ambient noise conditions, herring shoal distributions, baleen whale time-frequency vocalization spectra, and geophysical parameters of the ocean waveguide. Detections of large herring shoals are found to be physically feasible in common Gulf of Maine herring spawning scenarios at up to 10 ± 6 km in range for humpback parameters and 1 ± 1 km for minke parameters but not for blue and fin parameters even at zero horizontal range. Detections of the seafloor are found to be feasible up to 2 ± 1 km for blue and humpback parameters and roughly 1 km for fin and minke parameters, suggesting that the whales share a common acoustic sensation of rudimentary features of the geophysical environment.

  7. 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

  8. WhalePower tubercle blade power performance test report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-07-15

    Toronto-based WhalePower Corporation has developed turbine blades that are modeled after humpback whale flippers. The blades, which incorporate tubercles along the leading edge of the blade, have been fitted to a Wenvor 25 kW turbine installed in North Cape, Prince Edward Island at a test site for the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan). A test was conducted to characterize the power performance of the prototype wind turbine. This report described the wind turbine configuration with particular reference to turbine information, power rating, blade information, tower information, control systems and grid connections. The test site was also described along with test equipment and measurement procedures. Information regarding power output as a function of wind speed was included along with power curves, power coefficient and annual energy production. The results for the power curve and annual energy production contain a level of uncertainty. While measurements for this test were collected and analyzed in accordance with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for performance measurements of electricity producing wind turbines (IEC 61400-12-1), the comparative performance data between the prototype WhalePower wind turbine blade and the Wenvor standard blade was not gathered to IEC data standards. Deviations from IEC-61400-12-1 procedures were listed. 6 tabs., 16 figs., 3 appendices.

  9. War of the Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2011-01-01

    This article examines some of the difficulties of universalistic science in situations of deep conflict over global nature, using empirical material pertaining to ongoing controversies in the context of Japanese whaling practices. Within global-scale whaling assemblages since the 1970s, science has...... become a ‘‘post-sovereign’’ authority, unable to impose any stable definition of nature on all actors. Instead, across spaces of deep antagonistic differences, anti- and pro-whalers now ontologically enact a multiplicity of mutually irreconcilable versions of whales. Empirically, the article attempts...... 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....

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Acoustic Ecology of Minke Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Costa, Daniel

    1998-01-01

    Calls of minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, off the coast of NE Australia in July of 1997 were recorded utilizing a newly described population, where minke whales maintain long contacts with vessels...

  14. Big and slow: phylogenetic estimates of molecular evolution in baleen whales (suborder mysticeti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, J A; Baker, C S; Vant, M; Steel, D J; Medrano-González, L; Palumbi, S R

    2009-11-01

    Baleen whales are the largest animals that have ever lived. To develop an improved estimation of substitution rate for nuclear and mitochondrial DNA for this taxon, we implemented a relaxed-clock phylogenetic approach using three fossil calibration dates: the divergence between odontocetes and mysticetes approximately 34 million years ago (Ma), between the balaenids and balaenopterids approximately 28 Ma, and the time to most recent common ancestor within the Balaenopteridae approximately 12 Ma. We examined seven mitochondrial genomes, a large number of mitochondrial control region sequences (219 haplotypes for 465 bp) and nine nuclear introns representing five species of whales, within which multiple species-specific alleles were sequenced to account for within-species diversity (1-15 for each locus). The total data set represents >1.65 Mbp of mitogenome and nuclear genomic sequence. The estimated substitution rate for the humpback whale control region (3.9%/million years, My) was higher than previous estimates for baleen whales but slow relative to other mammal species with similar generation times (e.g., human-chimp mean rate > 20%/My). The mitogenomic third codon position rate was also slow relative to other mammals (mean estimate 1%/My compared with a mammalian average of 9.8%/My for the cytochrome b gene). The mean nuclear genomic substitution rate (0.05%/My) was substantially slower than average synonymous estimates for other mammals (0.21-0.37%/My across a range of studies). The nuclear and mitogenome rate estimates for baleen whales were thus roughly consistent with an 8- to 10-fold slowing due to a combination of large body size and long generation times. Surprisingly, despite the large data set of nuclear intron sequences, there was only weak and conflicting support for alternate hypotheses about the phylogeny of balaenopterid whales, suggesting that interspecies introgressions or a rapid radiation has obscured species relationships in the nuclear genome.

  15. 76 FR 72389 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16479

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-23

    ... Pacific Whale Foundation [Responsible Party: Gregory Kaufman; Principal Investigator: Daniela Maldini... humpback whales, and define the probability of 'surprise encounters' with humpback whales in relation to...

  16. Whale-Watching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lande, Rivian

    1973-01-01

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

  17. Humpback Dolphins: A Brief Introduction to the Genus Sousa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Thomas A; Curry, Barbara E

    2015-01-01

    The delphinid genus Sousa has recently undergone a major revision, and currently contains four species, the Atlantic humpback (Sousa teuszii), Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea), Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis), and Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis) dolphins. Recent molecular evidence suggests that humpback dolphins in the Bay of Bengal may comprise a fifth species. These moderate-sized dolphin species are found in shallow (eastern Atlantic, Indian, and western Pacific oceans. Abundance and trends have only been studied in a few areas, mostly in eastern Africa, China, and northern Australia. No global, empirically derived abundance estimates exist for any of the four species, but none appear to number more than about 20,000 individuals. Humpback dolphins feed mostly on small fishes, and sometimes shrimps; occur for the most part in small groups (mostly 12 or less); have limited nearshore movements; and in most parts of their range exhibit a fission/fusion type of social organization. Major threats that affect all the species are entanglement in fishing gear, and habitat degradation/destruction from various forms of coastal development. Impacts from vessel traffic (including behavioural disturbance and displacement, as well as mortality and morbidity from collisions with vessels) appear to be significant in most areas. Several other threats are apparently significant only in particular parts of the range of some species (e.g. high levels of organochlorine contaminants affecting Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Hong Kong). Direct hunting only occurs in limited areas and primarily on a small scale. Conservation actions so far have been limited, with most populations receiving little study and almost no management attention. Much more work is needed on humpback dolphin population status, threats, and how the major threats can be reduced or eliminated. Extinction risks for the four species and some populations are preliminarily re-assessed using the

  18. 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.

  19. 75 FR 77615 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-13

    ... Recreation, Business/ Commerce, Citizen-at-Large, Conservation, Tourism, Lanai Island Representative, and... Education Committee chaired by the Education Representative, and a Conservation Committee chaired by the Conservation Representative, each respectively dealing with matters concerning research, education and resource...

  20. 77 FR 27185 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-09

    ... National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (council): Native Hawaiian, Fishing, Education, Research... and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources... Council Chair, a Research Committee chaired by the Research Representative, an Education Committee chaired...

  1. 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.

  2. 77 FR 21540 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-10

    ... 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by a calf. NOAA regulations (at 50 CFR... which are summarized here: Only licensed whaling captains or crew under the control of those captains... crew, supplies, and equipment to engage in an efficient operation. Crew may not receive money for...

  3. 76 FR 16388 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-23

    ... well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by... captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. They must follow the provisions... aboriginal hunters must have adequate crew, supplies, and equipment. They may not receive money for...

  4. 78 FR 13028 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-26

    ... The IWC regulations, as well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or... whaling captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. Captains and crew must... operation. Crew may not receive money for participating in the hunt. No person may sell or offer for sale...

  5. 75 FR 10223 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-05

    ... well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by... captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. They must follow the provisions... aboriginal hunters must have adequate crew, supplies, and equipment. They may not receive money for...

  6. Distribution, behaviour and photo-identification of Atlantic humpback ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa teuszii are a priority for research due to their restricted geographic range, narrow ecological niche and the paucity of existing information. The distribution and behaviour of S. teuszii off Flamingos, southern Angola, was investigated during summer and winter 2008 using boat- and ...

  7. A whale of an opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Sixty hours of direct measurements of fluorescence were collected from six bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) instrumented with fluorometers in Greenland in April 2005 and 2006. The data were used to (1) characterize the three-dimensional spatial pattern of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) in the water...... 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...... (MOD21, SeaWifs analogue OC3M and SST MOD37). Bowhead whales traversed 1600 km2, providing information on diving, Chl-a structure and temperature profiles to depths below 200 m. Feeding dives frequently passed through surface waters (>50 m) and targeted depths close to the bottom, and whales did...

  8. 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

  9. From whales to tritium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonnemains, J.

    2007-01-01

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

  10. 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...

  11. 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......In sperm whales ~Physeter catodon L. 1758! the nose is vastly hypertrophied, accounting for about one-third of the length or weight of an adult male. Norris and Harvey @in Animal Orientation and Navigation, NASA SP-262 ~1972!, pp. 397–417# ascribed a sound-generating function to this organ complex......, directionality!. Either the theory is not borne out or the data is not representative for the capabilities of the sound-generating mechanism. To increase the amount of relevant data, a five-hydrophone array, suspended from three platforms separated by 1 km and linked by radio, was deployed at the slope...

  12. Humpback Dolphin (Genus Sousa) Behavioural Responses to Human Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piwetz, Sarah; Lundquist, David; Würsig, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) use shallow, near-shore waters throughout their range. This coastal distribution makes them vulnerable to recreational and commercial disturbances, especially near heavily populated and industrialized areas. Most research focusing on Sousa and human activities has emphasized direct impacts and threats, involving injury and death, with relatively little focus on indirect effects on dolphins, such as changes in behaviour that may lead to deleterious effects. Understanding behaviour is important in resolving human-wildlife conflict and is an important component of conservation. This chapter gives an overview of animal behavioural responses to human activity with examples from diverse taxa; reviews the scientific literature on behavioural responses of humpback dolphins to human activity throughout their range, including marine vessel traffic, dolphin tourism, cetacean-fishery interactions, noise pollution, and habitat alteration; and highlights information and data gaps for future humpback dolphin research to better inform behaviour-based management decisions that contribute to conservation efforts. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  13. Japanese Small Type Coastal Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Fisher

    2016-07-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The interplay between social networks and culture: theoretically and among whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-05-19

    Culture is increasingly being understood as a driver of mammalian phenotypes. Defined as group-specific behaviour transmitted by social learning, culture is shaped by social structure. However, culture can itself affect social structure if individuals preferentially interact with others whose behaviour is similar, or cultural symbols are used to mark groups. Using network formalism, this interplay can be depicted by the coevolution of nodes and edges together with the coevolution of network topology and transmission patterns. We review attempts to model the links between the spread, persistence and diversity of culture and the network topology of non-human societies. We illustrate these processes using cetaceans. The spread of socially learned begging behaviour within a population of bottlenose dolphins followed the topology of the social network, as did the evolution of the song of the humpback whale between breeding areas. In three bottlenose dolphin populations, individuals preferentially associated with animals using the same socially learned foraging behaviour. Homogeneous behaviour within the tight, nearly permanent social structures of the large matrilineal whales seems to result from transmission bias, with cultural symbols marking social structures. We recommend the integration of studies of culture and society in species for which social learning is an important determinant of behaviour.

  18. Humpback Dolphins (Genus Sousa) in India: An Overview of Status and Conservation Issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutaria, Dipani; Panicker, Divya; Jog, Ketki; Sule, Mihir; Muralidharan, Rahul; Bopardikar, Isha

    2015-01-01

    This chapter aims to collate recent work done by different research teams along the Indian coast and presents research plans for the conservation and management of the genus Sousa in Indian waters. Humpback dolphins are the most common nearshore cetaceans found along the Indian coast. The taxonomy is confused, but two or more species of humpback dolphins may be present in India. Dedicated research on humpback dolphins and other cetaceans has been initiated only in the past few years and vast gaps in the ecology and conservation of the genus from the region remain. Dedicated and opportunistic research indicates that humpback dolphin presence is continuous along the west coast of India, owing to the contiguous favourable habitat of shallow nearshore waters, while along the east coast humpback dolphins are apparently found in pockets. Humpback dolphins are also the most numerous in incidental catch records from the coast, owing to the large overlap in space use with nearshore fisheries like small gillnets, trawls, shore seines and purse seines. Along many coastal sites, humpback dolphins are known to cause damage and depredation of fish catch of certain fishing gears, making them unpopular. At the same time, many fishers along the west coast have developed local dolphin-watching programmes as an alternate source of livelihood, providing positive impetus for conservation. However, research on the long-term effects of dolphin watching and its management is required. Some recommendations for more effective management of this species are made. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  19. 50 CFR 216.241 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... pair of any of the following marine mammals of concern: beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, melon-headed whales, pilot whales, right whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue...

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Humpback Dolphins of Western Australia: A Review of Current Knowledge and Recommendations for Future Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanf, Daniella M; Hunt, Tim; Parra, Guido J

    2016-01-01

    Among the many cetacean species that occupy Australian coastal waters, Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, are one of the most vulnerable to extirpation due to human activities. This review summarises the existing knowledge, presently occurring and planned research projects, and current conservation measures for humpback dolphins in Western Australia (WA). Rapid and wide-scale coastal development along the northern WA coastline has occurred despite a lack of baseline data for inshore dolphins and, therefore, without a precautionary approach to their conservation. The distribution, abundance, habitat use, and population structure of humpback dolphins remain poorly understood. Less than 1% of their inferred distribution has so far been studied to understand local population demography. The sparse data available suggest that WA humpback dolphins occur as localised populations in low numbers within a range of inshore habitats, including both clear and turbid coastal waters. Marine protected areas cover a third of their inferred distribution in WA, but the efficacy of these reserves in protecting local cetacean populations is unknown. There is a pressing need for coordination and collaboration among scientists, government agencies, industry bodies, Traditional Owners, and local community groups to fill in the gaps of information on humpback dolphins in WA. The recently developed strategies and sampling guidelines developed by state and federal governments should serve as a best practise standard for collection of data aimed at assessing the conservation status of humpback dolphins in WA and Australia. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-09

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern.

  4. Modeling Distribution and Abundance of Antarctic Baleen Whales Using Ships of Opportunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Williams

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Information on animal abundance and distribution is at the cornerstone of many wildlife and conservation strategies. However, these data can be difficult and costly to obtain for cetacean species. The expense of sufficient ship time to conduct design-unbiased line transect surveys may be simply out of reach for researchers in many countries, which nonetheless grapple with problems of conservation of endangered species, by-catch of small cetaceans in commercial fisheries, and progression toward ecosystem-based fisheries management. Recently developed spatial modeling techniques show promise for estimating wildlife abundance using non-randomized surveys, but have yet to receive much field-testing in areas where designed surveys have also been conducted. Effort and sightings data were collected along 9 650 km of transects aboard ships of opportunity in the Southern Ocean during the austral summers of 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. Generalized additive models with generalized cross-validation were used to express heterogeneity of cetacean sightings as functions of spatial covariates. Models were used to map predicted densities and to estimate abundance of humpback, minke, and fin whales in the Drake Passage and along the Antarctic Peninsula. All species' distribution maps showed strong density gradients, which were robust to jackknife resampling when each of 14 trips was removed sequentially with replacement. Looped animations of model predictions of whale density illustrate uncertainty in distribution estimates in a way that is informative to non-scientists. The best abundance estimate for humpback whales was 1 829 (95% CI: 978-3 422. Abundance of fin whales was 4 487 (95% CI: 1 326-15 179 and minke whales was 1,544 (95% CI: 1,221-1,953. These estimates agreed roughly with those reported from a designed survey conducted in the region during the previous austral summer. These estimates assumed that all animals on the trackline were detected, but

  5. Night-life of Bryde's whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Izadi, Sahar; Johnson, Mark; Aguilar de Soto, Natacha

    2018-01-01

    logging tags on resident Bryde'swhales in a busy gulf to study their daily activity patterns. We found that, while whales were active during daytime making energetic lunges to capture tonnes of plankton, they dedicated much of the night to rest. This suggests that whales may rely on vision to find prey...

  6. Sex determination of baleen whale artefacts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sinding, Mikkel Holger Strander; Tervo, Outi M.; Grønnow, Bjarne

    2016-01-01

    to 4500 years old bowhead whale samples, and for comparison on dilution series from modern bowhead whales of known sex. DNA sequencing of PCR products obtained from the ancient material confirmed a higher proportion of successful PCR amplifications of the X homologue over the Y homologue. This potentially...

  7. 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)

  8. 77 FR 44218 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16111

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-27

    ... (B. physalus), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), eastern gray (Eschrichtius robustus), sperm... for population counts and scat collection to study harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and other pinnipeds...

  9. 75 FR 40759 - Initiation of Review of Management Plan/Regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-14

    ... 10, Mokup[amacr]papa Discovery Center, 308 Kamehameha Avenue, Suite 109, Hilo, HI 96720. 2. Kailua... School, 59-360 Kamehameha Highway, Hale'iwa, HI 96712. 10. Lana'i City, Lana'I, Wednesday, August 26...

  10. AFSC/NMML Location-only satellite telemetry data for North Pacific Humpback Whales in the Bering Sea, 2007 - 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset contains ARGOS location data (latitude and longitude in decimal format) and associated time (date and time) and location quality (as defined by Argos...

  11. 15 CFR Appendix A to Subpart Q of... - Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... digital geography data have been referenced to WGS84 (NAD83) and have been converted to geographic... Halawa, Molokai, south and westward to Ilio Point, Molokai; southwestward to include Penguin Banks... 12 Upolu Pt., Hawaii (Big Island) 2 20°16′5.3″20°17′59.9″ −155°51′0.5″−155°51′17.2″ 13 Keahole Pt...

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Detection and Classification of Whale Acoustic Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xian, Yin

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Bilateral Directional Asymmetry of the Appendicular Skeleton of the White-Beaked Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galatius, Anders

    2006-01-01

    Bilateral directional asymmetry of the lengths and diameters of the scapula, humerus, radius, and ulna were analyzed on a sample of 38 white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) from Danish waters. The levels of asymmetry were consistent between the sexes and between physically mature...... of lateralized use of the flippers in the white-beaked dolphin and possibly other delphinid and cetacean species. Although some evidence exists for flipper preference in the baleen humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) and turning preferences in other species, this needs to be confirmed through further...

  18. Effects of turbidity on predation vulnerability of juvenile humpback chub to rainbow and brown trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, David L.; Morton-Starner, Rylan; Vaage, Benjamin M.

    2016-01-01

    Predation on juvenile native fish by introduced rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and brown trout Salmo trutta is considered a significant threat to the persistence of endangered humpback chub Gila cypha in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Diet studies of rainbow and brown trout in Glen and Grand canyons indicate that these species eat native fish, but impacts are difficult to assess because predation vulnerability is highly variable depending on the physical conditions under which the predation interactions take place. We conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate how short-term predation vulnerability of juvenile humpback chub changes in response to changes in turbidity. In overnight laboratory trials, we exposed hatchery-reared juvenile humpback chub and bonytail Gila elegans (a surrogate for humpback chub) to adult rainbow and brown trout at turbidities ranging from 0 to 1,000 formazin nephlometric units. We found that turbidity as low as 25 formazin nephlometric units significantly reduced predation vulnerability of bonytail to rainbow trout and led to a 36% mean increase in survival (24–60%, 95% CI) compared to trials conducted in clear water. Predation vulnerability of bonytail to brown trout at 25 formazin nephlometric units also decreased with increasing turbidity and resulted in a 25% increase in survival on average (17–32%, 95% CI). Understanding the effects of predation by trout on endangered humpback chub is important when evaluating management options aimed at preservation of native fishes in Grand Canyon National Park. This research suggests that relatively small changes in turbidity may be sufficient to alter predation dynamics of trout on humpback chub in the mainstem Colorado River and that turbidity manipulation may warrant further investigation as a fisheries management tool.

  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. 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.

  1. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Umezu, Takeshi; Minamisako, Yoko; Ebihara, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hiroshi.

    1984-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Are Antarctic minke whales unusually abundant because of 20th century whaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruegg, Kristen C; Anderson, Eric C; Scott Baker, C; Vant, Murdoch; Jackson, Jennifer A; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2010-01-01

    Severe declines in megafauna worldwide illuminate the role of top predators in ecosystem structure. In the Antarctic, the Krill Surplus Hypothesis posits that the killing of more than 2 million large whales led to competitive release for smaller krill-eating species like the Antarctic minke whale. If true, the current size of the Antarctic minke whale population may be unusually high as an indirect result of whaling. Here, we estimate the long-term population size of the Antarctic minke whale prior to whaling by sequencing 11 nuclear genetic markers from 52 modern samples purchased in Japanese meat markets. We use coalescent simulations to explore the potential influence of population substructure and find that even though our samples are drawn from a limited geographic area, our estimate reflects ocean-wide genetic diversity. Using Bayesian estimates of the mutation rate and coalescent-based analyses of genetic diversity across loci, we calculate the long-term population size of the Antarctic minke whale to be 670,000 individuals (95% confidence interval: 374,000-1,150,000). Our estimate of long-term abundance is similar to, or greater than, contemporary abundance estimates, suggesting that managing Antarctic ecosystems under the assumption that Antarctic minke whales are unusually abundant is not warranted.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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).

  14. Annotated bibliography for the humpback chub (Gila cypha) with emphasis on the Grand Canyon population.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goulet, C. T.; LaGory, K. E.; Environmental Science Division

    2009-10-05

    Glen Canyon Dam is a hydroelectric facility located on the Colorado River in Arizona that is operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) for multiple purposes including water storage, flood control, power generation, recreation, and enhancement of fish and wildlife. Glen Canyon Dam operations have been managed for the last several years to improve conditions for the humpback chub (Gila cypha) and other ecosystem components. An extensive amount of literature has been produced on the humpback chub. We developed this annotated bibliography to assist managers and researchers in the Grand Canyon as they perform assessments, refine management strategies, and develop new studies to examine the factors affecting humpback chub. The U.S. Geological Survey recently created a multispecies bibliography (including references on the humpback chub) entitled Bibliography of Native Colorado River Big Fishes (available at www.fort.usgs.gov/Products/data/COFishBib). That bibliography, while quite extensive and broader in scope than ours, is not annotated, and, therefore, does not provide any of the information in the original literature. In developing this annotated bibliography, we have attempted to assemble abstracts from relevant published literature. We present here abstracts taken unmodified from individual reports and articles except where noted. The bibliography spans references from 1976 to 2009 and is organized in five broad topical areas, including: (1) biology, (2) ecology, (3) impacts of dam operations, (4) other impacts, and (5) conservation and management, and includes twenty subcategories. Within each subcategory, we present abstracts alphabetically by author and chronologically by year. We present relevant articles not specific to either the humpback chub or Glen Canyon Dam, but cited in other included reports, under the Supporting Articles subcategory. We provide all citations in alphabetical order in Section 7.

  15. Acoustic occurrence detection of a newly recorded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin population in waters southwest of Hainan Island, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Lijun; Liu, Mingming; Dong, Jianchen; Li, Songhai

    2017-11-01

    In 2014, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were recorded for the first time in waters southwest of Hainan Island, China. In this paper, the temporal occurrence of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in this region was detected by stationary passive acoustic monitoring. During the 130-day observation period (from January to July 2016), 1969 click trains produced by Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were identified, and 262 ten-minute recording bins contained echolocation click trains of dolphins, of which 70.9% were at night and 29.1% were during the day. A diurnal rhythm with a nighttime peak in acoustic detections was found. Passive acoustic detections indicated that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins frequently occurred in this area and were detected mainly at night. This information may be relevant to conservation efforts for these dolphins in the near future.

  16. Food and feeding of sperm whales physeter macrocephalus off the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The stomach contents of 1 268 sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus processed at the Donkergat whaling station, South Africa, were examined during the 1962 and 1963 whaling seasons. Results were compared with. Clarkefs analysis of cephalopod beaks collected in 1963 (Clarke 1980). There was no significant ...

  17. Southern right whales Eubalaena australis visit the coasts of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Counts and photographs of right whales Eubalaena australis taken on aerial surveys of the southern coast of. South Africa between ... of 0.08–2.89 km.h-1. Theodolite tracking of undisturbed groups of right whales from Cape Columbine produced ...... right whales on the coast of Argentina (Outer Coast) between 1971 and ...

  18. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-24

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: The Prince of Whales Resource Advisory... Ranger District, 504 9th Street, Craig Alaska. Send written comments to Prince of Whales Resource...

  19. 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...

  20. Blue whales Balaenoptera musculus off Angola: recent sightings ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Further survey work is required to better clarify the status of blue whales in Angolan waters, particularly with regard to population structure and potential calving grounds. Keywords: Antarctic blue whale, calving, catch data, pygmy blue whale, South-East Atlantic, stomach contents. African Journal of Marine Science 2014, ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

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

  2. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) behavioral audiograms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Brian K; St Leger, Judy; Acton, Doug; Stewart, John; Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James J; Jenkins, Keith

    2017-04-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are one of the most cosmopolitan marine mammal species with potential widespread exposure to anthropogenic noise impacts. Previous audiometric data on this species were from two adult females [Szymanski, Bain, Kiehl, Pennington, Wong, and Henry (1999). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1322-1326] and one sub-adult male [Hall and Johnson (1972). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 51, 515-517] with apparent high-frequency hearing loss. All three killer whales had best sensitivity between 15 and 20 kHz, with thresholds lower than any odontocete tested to date, suggesting this species might be particularly sensitive to acoustic disturbance. The current study reports the behavioral audiograms of eight killer whales at two different facilities. Hearing sensitivity was measured from 100 Hz to 160 kHz in killer whales ranging in age from 12 to 52 year. Previously measured low thresholds at 20 kHz were not replicated in any individual. Hearing in the killer whales was generally similar to other delphinids, with lowest threshold (49 dB re 1 μPa) at approximately 34 kHz, good hearing (i.e., within 20 dB of best sensitivity) from 5 to 81 kHz, and low- and high-frequency hearing cutoffs (>100 dB re μPa) of 600 Hz and 114 kHz, respectively.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

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

  4. Marine mammals of Easter Island (Rapa Nui and Salas y Gómez Island (Motu Motiro Hiva, Chile: a review and new records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The Chilean oceanic islands Easter Island (Rapa Nui and Salas y Gómez Island (Motu Motiro Hiva have received little attention with regards to basic marine mammal investigations. Here we review and update available information on the status of marine mammals in this area from different sources, including published accounts, local interviews and two recent expeditions. We also provide detailed accounts for each confirmed family or species, including historical data from published archaeological studies and whalers' logbooks from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Results indicate that a total of five marine mammal families (Balaenopteridae, Physeteridae, Ziphiidae, Delphinidae and Phocidae have been confirmed within the study area, representing two mammalian orders (Cetartiodactyla and Carnivora. Within these, twelve species are known to occur: blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus, unidentified minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis or B. acutorostrata, humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus, Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris, Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris, false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens, unidentified pilot whale (Globicephala sp., bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, common dolphin (Delphinus sp., southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina and leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx. We discuss the implications of some of most noteworthy records and make a plea for further studies to improve our knowledge of these top predators in one of the most isolated places in the world.

  5. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

    and review for the topics addressed in the subsequent chapters, with discussions of these chapters where appropriate. In this thesis, I have undertaken a series of acoustic studies on two species of toothed whales, the bottlenose dolphin and the short-finned pilot whale. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops sp.......) is one of the best known toothed whales due to studies in captivity over the last 50 years. In contrast, the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a larger, deep-diving toothed whale that has been studied rather little, in part because their deep-diving ecology regularly takes them out...... their vocal behaviour and sound production to their different ecological niches and habitats. Toothed whales find and capture prey using a sophisticated biosonar system. Little is known about how toothed whales use their biosonar during a complex three-dimensional task of locating and capturing prey...

  6. 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...

  7. The Diet Composition of Beaked Whales and Melon-Headed Whales from the North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    description and comparison of diet composition as well as provide insight into the foraging behavior and ecology of these whales in the North...activities. Assessing diet for many species of cetaceans is difficult, given that most foraging occurs far below the surface and that stomach...furthering our understanding of the foraging behavior of this species. Such an examination of food habits from Hawaiian melon-headed whales would be

  8. Conservation Status of the Australian Humpback Dolphin (Sousa sahulensis) Using the IUCN Red List Criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) were recently described as a new species endemic to northern Australia and potentially southern New Guinea. We assessed the species conservation status against IUCN Red List Criteria using available information on their biology, ecology and threatening processes. Knowledge of population sizes and trends across the species range is lacking. Recent genetic studies indicate Australian humpback dolphins live in small and relatively isolated populations with limited gene flow among them. The available abundance estimates range from 14 to 207 individuals and no population studied to date is estimated to contain more than 104 mature individuals. The Potential Biological Removal method indicates populations are vulnerable to even low rates of anthropogenic mortality. Habitat degradation and loss is ongoing and expected to increase across the species range in Australia, and a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals is anticipated. Considering the available evidence and following a precautionary approach, we considered this species as Vulnerable under IUCN criterion C2a(i) because the total number of mature individuals is plausibly fewer than 10,000, an inferred continuing decline due to cumulative impacts, and each of the populations studied to date is estimated to contain fewer than 1000 mature individuals. Ongoing research efforts and recently developed research strategies and priorities will provide valuable information towards the future conservation and management of Australian humpback dolphins. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. An individual-based model for population viability analysis of humpback chub in Grand Canyon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pine, William Pine; Healy, Brian; Smith, Emily Omana; Trammell, Melissa; Speas, Dave; Valdez, Rich; Yard, Mike; Walters, Carl; Ahrens, Rob; Vanhaverbeke, Randy; Stone, Dennis; Wilson, Wade

    2013-01-01

    We developed an individual-based population viability analysis model (females only) for evaluating risk to populations from catastrophic events or conservation and research actions. This model tracks attributes (size, weight, viability, etc.) for individual fish through time and then compiles this information to assess the extinction risk of the population across large numbers of simulation trials. Using a case history for the Little Colorado River population of Humpback Chub Gila cypha in Grand Canyon, Arizona, we assessed extinction risk and resiliency to a catastrophic event for this population and then assessed a series of conservation actions related to removing specific numbers of Humpback Chub at different sizes for conservation purposes, such as translocating individuals to establish other spawning populations or hatchery refuge development. Our results suggested that the Little Colorado River population is generally resilient to a single catastrophic event and also to removals of larvae and juveniles for conservation purposes, including translocations to establish new populations. Our results also suggested that translocation success is dependent on similar survival rates in receiving and donor streams and low emigration rates from recipient streams. In addition, translocating either large numbers of larvae or small numbers of large juveniles has generally an equal likelihood of successful population establishment at similar extinction risk levels to the Little Colorado River donor population. Our model created a transparent platform to consider extinction risk to populations from catastrophe or conservation actions and should prove useful to managers assessing these risks for endangered species such as Humpback Chub.

  10. The Trophic Significance of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis, in Western Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Ching-Wen; Chen, Meng-Hsien; Chou, Lien-Siang; Lin, Hsing-Juh

    2016-01-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) have attracted considerable attention due to their critically endangered status and related conservation issues, but their trophic relationships and ecological significance in coastal ecosystems are poorly understood. For instance, this species is noticeably more abundant in the Xin-Huwei River Estuary (Ex) of Western Taiwan than in the nearby Zhuoshui River Estuary (Ez), though it is unclear why the distribution shows such partitioning. To explore this topic, we conducted field surveys seasonally for two years from 2012 to 2013 and constructed Ecopath models of Ex, Ez, and an offshore site (Dm) to compare energy flow within the food webs. Model comparisons showed that the availability of food resources was the main factor influencing the biomass of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Specifically, its more frequent occurrence in Ex can be attributed to greater phytoplankton production and greater biomasses of macroinvertebrates and prey fish than in the other two areas. An increase in fishing activity might decrease the food availability and, consequently, the biomass of the dolphins. Although the decline in the dolphin population would increase the biomass of some prey fish species, local fishermen might not necessarily benefit from the decline due to the concurrent decrease of highly valued crabs and shrimp. Collectively, our work suggests that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a keystone species in tropical coastal waters of Taiwan, and thereby exhibit a disproportional large ecological impact given their relatively low abundance.

  11. The Trophic Significance of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis, in Western Taiwan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ching-Wen Pan

    Full Text Available Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis have attracted considerable attention due to their critically endangered status and related conservation issues, but their trophic relationships and ecological significance in coastal ecosystems are poorly understood. For instance, this species is noticeably more abundant in the Xin-Huwei River Estuary (Ex of Western Taiwan than in the nearby Zhuoshui River Estuary (Ez, though it is unclear why the distribution shows such partitioning. To explore this topic, we conducted field surveys seasonally for two years from 2012 to 2013 and constructed Ecopath models of Ex, Ez, and an offshore site (Dm to compare energy flow within the food webs. Model comparisons showed that the availability of food resources was the main factor influencing the biomass of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Specifically, its more frequent occurrence in Ex can be attributed to greater phytoplankton production and greater biomasses of macroinvertebrates and prey fish than in the other two areas. An increase in fishing activity might decrease the food availability and, consequently, the biomass of the dolphins. Although the decline in the dolphin population would increase the biomass of some prey fish species, local fishermen might not necessarily benefit from the decline due to the concurrent decrease of highly valued crabs and shrimp. Collectively, our work suggests that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a keystone species in tropical coastal waters of Taiwan, and thereby exhibit a disproportional large ecological impact given their relatively low abundance.

  12. Diel Variation in Beaked Whale Diving Behavior

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Baird, Robin; Webster, Daniel L; Schorr, Gregory S; McSweeney, Daniel J

    2008-01-01

    ...) occurred at similar rates during the day and night for Blainville's beaked whales (daymean=0.38 h-1; nightmean=0.46 h-1), and there were no significant diel differences in depths, durations, ascent or descent rates for deep dives...

  13. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  14. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Expression and Purification of Sperm Whale Myoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Stephen; Indivero, Virginia; Burkhard, Caroline

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. Whale Preservation. Grades Five to Nine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racicot, Darlene

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

  18. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

    The emergence of Cetacea in the Paleogene represents one of the most profound macroevolutionary transitions within Mammalia. The move from a terrestrial habitat to a committed aquatic lifestyle engendered wholesale changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior. The results of this remarkable transformation are extant whales that include the largest, biggest brained, fastest swimming, loudest, deepest diving mammals, some of which can detect prey with a sophisticated echolocation system (Odontoceti - toothed whales), and others that batch feed using racks of baleen (Mysticeti - baleen whales). A broad-scale reconstruction of the evolutionary remodeling that culminated in extant cetaceans has not yet been based on integration of genomic and paleontological information. Here, we first place Cetacea relative to extant mammalian diversity, and assess the distribution of support among molecular datasets for relationships within Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates, including Cetacea). We then merge trees derived from three large concatenations of molecular and fossil data to yield a composite hypothesis that encompasses many critical events in the evolutionary history of Cetacea. By combining diverse evidence, we infer a phylogenetic blueprint that outlines the stepwise evolutionary development of modern whales. This hypothesis represents a starting point for more detailed, comprehensive phylogenetic reconstructions in the future, and also highlights the synergistic interaction between modern (genomic) and traditional (morphological+paleontological) approaches that ultimately must be exploited to provide a rich understanding of evolutionary history across the entire tree of Life. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins in North-Western Australia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brown, Alexander M.; Kopps, Anna M.; Allen, Simon J.; Bejder, Lars; Littleford-Colquhoun, Bethan; Parra, Guido J.; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Thiele, Deborah; Palmer, Carol; Frere, Celine H.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins ('snubfin' and 'humpback dolphins', hereafter) of north-western Australia. While both species are listed as 'near threatened' by the IUCN, data deficiencies are impeding rigorous

  20. Bioaccumulation of organic pollutants in Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin: A review on current knowledge and future prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanganyado, Edmond; Rajput, Imran Rashid; Liu, Wenhua

    2018-06-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) are chronically exposed to organic pollutants since they inhabit shallow coastal waters that are often impacted by anthropogenic activities. The aim of this review was to evaluate existing knowledge on the occurrence of organic pollutants in Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, identify knowledge gaps, and offer recommendations for future research directions. We discussed the trends in the bioaccumulation of organic pollutants in Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins focusing on sources, physicochemical properties, and usage patterns. Furthermore, we examined factors that influence bioaccumulation such as gender, age, dietary intake and tissue-specific distribution. Studies on bioaccumulation in Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin remain scarce, despite high concentrations above 13,000 ng/g lw we previously detected for PFOS, ∑PBDE and chlorinated paraffins. The maximum concentration of organochlorines detected was 157,000 ng/g wt. Furthermore, variations in bioaccumulation were shown to be caused by factors such as usage patterns and physicochemical properties of the pollutant. However, restrictions in sampling inhibit investigations on exposure pathway and toxicity of organic pollutants in Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. We proposed the use of biopsy sampling, predictive bioaccumulation and toxicity modeling, and monitoring other emerging contaminants such as microplastics and pharmaceuticals for future health risk assessment on this critically endangered marine mammal species. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  2. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

    ... and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine... Recovery Plan (Plan) for the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). ADDRESSES: Electronic copies...

  3. 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...... of female bowhead whales may function for mate attraction and represent a novel example of partial courtship role reversal in mammals....

  4. Decoupling Tooth Loss from the Evolution of Baleen in Whales

    OpenAIRE

    Peredo, Carlos Mauricio; Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Boersma, Alexandra T.

    2017-01-01

    Baleen whales, or mysticetes, include the largest vertebrates to have ever evolved. Their gigantism, evolutionary success, and ecological diversity have been linked to filter feeding. Mysticetes filter feed using elaborate keratinous baleen plates, which grow from the palate and allow them to strain large quantities of prey out of the water. While the earliest mysticetes retained the adult, mineralized teeth present in ancestral whales, all species of living baleen whales lack teeth and inste...

  5. Sightings and behavioral observations of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765 along Chennai coast, Bay of Bengal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Muralidharan

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Boat-based surveys were used to investigate the presence of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis along the coast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Notes were collected on behavior, group size, coloration patterns and group composition on sighting cetaceans during the surveys. Four groups of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins were sighted near-shore in the month of February 2011, between 10-25 m depth with an average group size of 20 individuals of which 10 individuals were photo-identifiable. Dominant group behavior was aerial display, feeding and traveling. This study gives a basic idea of presence, threats and habitat use of Humpback Dolphin areas along Chennai coast.

  6. Virological Sampling of Inaccessible Wildlife with Drones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geoghegan, Jemma L; Pirotta, Vanessa; Harvey, Erin; Smith, Alastair; Buchmann, Jan P; Ostrowski, Martin; Eden, John-Sebastian; Harcourt, Robert; Holmes, Edward C

    2018-06-02

    There is growing interest in characterizing the viromes of diverse mammalian species, particularly in the context of disease emergence. However, little is known about virome diversity in aquatic mammals, in part due to difficulties in sampling. We characterized the virome of the exhaled breath (or blow) of the Eastern Australian humpback whale ( Megaptera novaeangliae ). To achieve an unbiased survey of virome diversity, a meta-transcriptomic analysis was performed on 19 pooled whale blow samples collected via a purpose-built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, or drone) approximately 3 km off the coast of Sydney, Australia during the 2017 winter annual northward migration from Antarctica to northern Australia. To our knowledge, this is the first time that UAVs have been used to sample viruses. Despite the relatively small number of animals surveyed in this initial study, we identified six novel virus species from five viral families. This work demonstrates the potential of UAVs in studies of virus disease, diversity, and evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Elizabeth Alter

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

  9. Substitution of fishmeal with soybean meal in humpback Grouper, Cromileptes altivelis juvenile diets supplemented with phytase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachman Syah

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Feeding experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of replacing fishmeal with soybean meal in diet on growth of humpback grouper. Fifteen cages of 1 x 1 x 1.2 m3 each stocked with 16 humpback grouper juveniles (61.3 ± 0.4 g/pc were set up randomly in seawater. Fish were fed to satiation twice daily for 112 days. The control diet contained 61.9% fishmeal (63.34% crude protein. Four isonitrogenous (48% crude protein and isocaloric (4.7 kcal/g feed diets supplemented with commercial phytase “Rhonozyme-P” at 0.075% were formulated to contain different levels (8%, 16%, 24%, and 32% soybean meal (43.65% crude protein as a partial replacement for fishmeal. These diets contained total phosphorus levels between 3.6—4.5 (±0.4 % and 0.7—1.5 (±0.04 % available phosphorus. Replacement of fishmeal with soybean meal (8 to 32% replacement was not significantly different (P>0.05 to the control diet on daily growth rate (DGR, food conversion ratio (FCR, protein efficiency ratio (PER, and daily food consumption (DFC. However, the dietary levels of soybean meal significantly affected (P<0.05 whole body protein and phosphorus retention (Table 1. These data suggest that addition of phytase in diets could improve protein and phosphorus availability and reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading in the environment. Phytase can therefore play an important role in formulating eco-friendly feed for humpback grouper. Based on P loading, supplementation of phytase enable up to 24% fishmeal replacement with soybean meal.

  10. 'Blue Whale Challenge': A Game or Crime?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhra, Richa; Baryah, Neha; Krishan, Kewal; Kanchan, Tanuj

    2017-11-11

    A bewildering range of games are emerging every other day with newer elements of fun and entertainment to woo youngsters. Games are meant to reduce stress and enhance the cognitive development of children as well as adults. Teenagers are always curious to indulge in newer games; and e-gaming is one such platform providing an easy access and quicker means of entertainment. The particular game challenge which has taken the world by storm is the dangerous "Blue Whale Challenge" often involving vulnerable teenagers. The Blue Whale Challenge is neither an application nor internet based game but the users get a link through social media chat groups to enter this "deadly" challenge game. This probably is the only game where the participant has to end his/her life to complete the game. The innocent teenagers are being targeted based on their depressed psychology and are coercively isolated from their social milieux on the pretext of keeping the challenges confidential. To add to the woes, no option is offered to quit the challenge even if the contender is unable to complete the challenge. Blue Whale Challenge in its sheer form could be seen as an illegal, unethical and inhumane endeavor in our present society. The present communication discusses the severe effects of the game on teenagers, the ethical concerns involved and the preventive measures necessary to curb it.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Cephalopods in the diet of sperm whales caught commercially off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A collection from stomach contents of 30 sperm whales Physeter catodon comprised a total of 46 cephalopods belonging to six families. Nine species were identified, including Ommastrephes bartramii, which is recorded for the first time in the diet of sperm whales caught off South Africa, and Todarodes filippovae, which has ...

  13. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. Biopsying southern right whales : Their reactions and effects on reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Best, PB; Reeb, D; Rew, MB; Palsboll, PJ; Schaeff, C; Brandao, A

    Collecting skin biopsies from large whales for genetic analysis is often subject to national permit, and in the case of cow-calf pairs, it may be prohibited. We present results of 906 biopsy attempts on southern fight whales (Eubalaena australis) in South African waters between 1995 and 1997,

  16. Climate Change and Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-30

    DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Climate Change and Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades in Greenland...SUBTITLE Climate Change And Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades In Greenland 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa-Marie Leclerc

    2011-06-01

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

  19. POPs in free-ranging pilot whales, sperm whales and fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea: Influence of biological and ecological factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinzone, Marianna [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Budzinski, Hélène [ISM/LPTC, Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Chemistry, University of Bordeaux I, 351 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Bordeaux (France); CNRS, EPOC, UMR 5805, F-33400 Talence (France); Tasciotti, Aurélie; Ody, Denis [WWF-France, 6 Rue des Fabres, 13001 Marseille France (France); Lepoint, Gilles; Schnitzler, Joseph [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Scholl, George [CART, Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry LSM, University of Liege, B6C, Allée du 6 Août, 4000, Liege (Belgium); Thomé, Jean-Pierre [CART, Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Ecotoxicology LEAE, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août 11, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Tapie, Nathalie [ISM/LPTC, Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Chemistry, University of Bordeaux I, 351 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Bordeaux (France); CNRS, EPOC, UMR 5805, F-33400 Talence (France); Eppe, Gauthier [CART, Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry LSM, University of Liege, B6C, Allée du 6 Août, 4000, Liege (Belgium); Das, Krishna, E-mail: krishna.das@ulg.ac.be [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium)

    2015-10-15

    The pilot whale Globicephala melas, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, and the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus are large cetaceans permanently inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea. These species are subjected to numerous anthropogenic threats such as exposure to high levels of contaminants. Therefore, selected persistent organic pollutants POPs (29 PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, 9 PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs) were analysed in blubber biopsies of 49 long-finned pilot whales, 61 sperm whales and 70 fin whales sampled in the North Western Mediterranean Sea (NWMS) from 2006 to 2013. Contamination profile and species feeding ecology were then combined through the use of stable isotopes. δ{sup 13}C, δ{sup 15}N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC–MS respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ{sup 15}N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ{sup 13}C of the two odontocetes was similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰ for sperm whales and −17.8±0.3‰ for pilot whales; whilst fin whales were more depleted (−18.7±0.4‰). This indicates a partial overlap in toothed-whales feeding habitats, while confirms the differences in feeding behaviour of the mysticete. Pilot whales presented higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38,666±25,731 ng g{sup −1} lw and 22,849±15,566 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412 ng g{sup −1} lw and 347±173 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46,081±37,506 ng g{sup −1} lw and 37,647±38,518 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively). Fin whales presented the lowest values, in accordance with its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180 ng g{sup −1} lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208 ng g{sup −1} lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549 ng g{sup −1} lw). Each species was characterized by large inter-individual variations that are more

  20. POPs in free-ranging pilot whales, sperm whales and fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea: Influence of biological and ecological factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinzone, Marianna; Budzinski, Hélène; Tasciotti, Aurélie; Ody, Denis; Lepoint, Gilles; Schnitzler, Joseph; Scholl, George; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Tapie, Nathalie; Eppe, Gauthier; Das, Krishna

    2015-01-01

    The pilot whale Globicephala melas, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, and the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus are large cetaceans permanently inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea. These species are subjected to numerous anthropogenic threats such as exposure to high levels of contaminants. Therefore, selected persistent organic pollutants POPs (29 PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, 9 PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs) were analysed in blubber biopsies of 49 long-finned pilot whales, 61 sperm whales and 70 fin whales sampled in the North Western Mediterranean Sea (NWMS) from 2006 to 2013. Contamination profile and species feeding ecology were then combined through the use of stable isotopes. δ 13 C, δ 15 N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC–MS respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ 15 N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ 13 C of the two odontocetes was similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰ for sperm whales and −17.8±0.3‰ for pilot whales; whilst fin whales were more depleted (−18.7±0.4‰). This indicates a partial overlap in toothed-whales feeding habitats, while confirms the differences in feeding behaviour of the mysticete. Pilot whales presented higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38,666±25,731 ng g −1 lw and 22,849±15,566 ng g −1 lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412 ng g −1 lw and 347±173 ng g −1 lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46,081±37,506 ng g −1 lw and 37,647±38,518 ng g −1 lw respectively). Fin whales presented the lowest values, in accordance with its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180 ng g −1 lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208 ng g −1 lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549 ng g −1 lw). Each species was characterized by large inter-individual variations that are more related to sex than trophic level, with males presenting higher

  1. Effects of water temperature and fish size on predation vulnerability of juvenile humpback chub to rainbow trout and brown trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, David L.; Morton-Starner, Rylan

    2015-01-01

    Predation on juvenile native fish by introduced Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout is considered a significant threat to the persistence of endangered Humpback Chub Gila cypha in the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Diet studies of Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout in Glen and Grand canyons indicate that these species do eat native fish, but impacts are difficult to assess because predation vulnerability is highly variable, depending on prey size, predator size, and the water temperatures under which the predation interactions take place. We conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate how short-term predation vulnerability of juvenile native fish changes in response to fish size and water temperature using captivity-reared Humpback Chub, Bonytail, and Roundtail Chub. Juvenile chub 45–90 mm total length (TL) were exposed to adult Rainbow and Brown trouts at 10, 15, and 20°C to measure predation vulnerability as a function of water temperature and fish size. A 1°C increase in water temperature decreased short-term predation vulnerability of Humpback Chub to Rainbow Trout by about 5%, although the relationship is not linear. Brown Trout were highly piscivorous in the laboratory at any size > 220 mm TL and at all water temperatures we tested. Understanding the effects of predation by trout on endangered Humpback Chub is critical in evaluating management options aimed at preserving native fishes in Grand Canyon National Park.

  2. Echolocation signals of free-ranging Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in Sanniang Bay, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Liang; Li, Songhai; Wang, Kexiong; Wang, Zhitao; Shi, Wenjing; Wang, Ding

    2015-09-01

    While the low-frequency communication sounds of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) have been reported in a number of papers, the high-frequency echolocation signals of Sousa chinensis, especially those living in the wild, have been less studied. In the current study, echolocation signals of humpback dolphins were recorded in Sanniang Bay, Guangxi Province, China, using a cross-type hydrophone array with five elements. In total, 77 candidate on-axis clicks from 77 scans were selected for analysis. The results showed that the varied peak-to-peak source levels ranged from 177.1 to 207.3 dB, with an average of 187.7 dB re: 1 μPa. The mean peak frequency was 109.0 kHz with a -3-dB bandwidth of 50.3 kHz and 95% energy duration of 22 μs. The -3-dB bandwidth was much broader than the root mean square bandwidth and exhibited a bimodal distribution. The center frequency exhibited a positive relationship with the peak-to-peak source level. The clicks of the wild Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were short-duration, broadband, ultrasonic pulses, similar to those produced by other whistling dolphins of similar body size. However, the click source levels of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin appear to be lower than those of other whistling dolphins.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  4. On the growth of the baleen plate of the Fin Whale and the Blue Whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utrecht, van W.L.

    1965-01-01

    1. In Whales variations in the thickness of the baleen plates are supposed to give an insight into certain cyclical processes in the life of the animal. To a certain extent, by means of these variations, it is possible to reach conclusions about the age of the animal and/or about its recent period

  5. Propulsion of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus): why the fin whale is a fast swimmer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, N; Lien, J

    1989-07-22

    Measurements of an immature fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), which died as a result of entrapment in fishing gear near Frenchmans Cove, Newfoundland (47 degrees 9' N, 55 degrees 25' W), were made to obtain estimates of volume and surface area of the animal. Detailed measurements of the flukes, both planform and sections, were also obtained. A strip theory was developed to calculate the hydrodynamic performance of the whale's flukes as an oscillating propeller. This method is based on linear, two-dimensional, small-amplitude, unsteady hydrofoil theory with correction factors used to account for the effects of finite span and finite amplitude motion. These correction factors were developed from theoretical results of large-amplitude heaving motion and unsteady lifting-surface theory. A model that makes an estimate of the effects of viscous flow on propeller performance was superimposed on the potential-flow results. This model estimates the drag of the hydrofoil sections by assuming that the drag is similar to that of a hydrofoil section in steady flow. The performance characteristics of the flukes of the fin whale were estimated by using this method. The effects of the different correction factors, and of the frictional drag of the fluke sections, are emphasized. Frictional effects in particular were found to reduce the hydrodynamic efficiency of the flukes significantly. The results are discussed and compared with the known characteristics of fin-whale swimming.

  6. The echolocation transmission beam of free-ranging Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Liang; Wu, Yuping; Wang, Kexiong; Pine, Matthew K; Wang, Ding; Li, Songhai

    2017-08-01

    While the transmission beam of odontocetes has been described in a number of studies, the majority of them that have measured the transmission beam in two dimensions were focused on captive animals. Within the current study, a dedicated cross hydrophone array with nine elements was used to investigate the echolocation transmission beam of free-ranging Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. A total of 265 on-axis clicks were analyzed, from which the apparent peak to peak source levels ranged between 168 to 207 dB (mean 184.5 dB ± 6.6 dB). The 3-dB beam width along the horizontal and vertical plane was 9.6° and 7.4°, respectively. Measured separately, the directivity index of the horizontal and vertical plane was 12.6 and 13.5 dB, respectively, and the overall directivity index (both planes combined) was 29.5 dB. The beam shape was slightly asymmetrical along the horizontal and vertical axis. Compared to other species, the characteristics of the transmitting beam of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were relatively close to the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), likely due to the similarity in the peak frequency and waveform of echolocation clicks and comparable body sizes of the two species.

  7. Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins in Borneo: A Review of Current Knowledge with Emphasis on Sarawak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minton, Gianna; Zulkifli Poh, Anna Norliza; Peter, Cindy; Porter, Lindsay; Kreb, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) are documented from various locations along Borneo's coast, including three sites in Sarawak, Malaysia, three sites in Sabah, Malaysia, three locations in Kalimantan, Indonesia and the limited coastal waters of the Sultanate of Brunei. Observations in all these areas indicate a similar external morphology, which seems to fall somewhere between that documented for Chinese populations known as S. chinensis, and that of Sousa sahulensis in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Sightings occur in shallow nearshore waters, often near estuaries and river mouths, and associations with Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are frequently documented. Population estimates exist for only two locations and sightings information throughout Borneo indicates that frequency of occurrence is rare and group size is usually small. Threats from fisheries by-catch and coastal development are present in many locations and there are concerns over the ability of these small and fragmented populations to survive. The conservation and taxonomic status of humpback dolphins in Borneo remain unclear, and there are intriguing questions as to where these populations fit in our evolving understanding of the taxonomy of the genus. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Taxonomy Icon Data: sperm whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/Cetacea Physeter_macrocephal...us_L.png Physeter_macrocephalus_NL.png Physeter_macrocephalus_S.png Physeter_macrocephal...us_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=L http://bioscience...dbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc....jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=NS ...

  9. Helminths parasites of whales in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís C. Muniz-Pereira

    1999-01-01

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

  10. 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....... It is therefore a suitable organism for testing this hypothesis. We compared a global dataset of the complete mitochondrial genomes of 139 individuals for amino acid changes that were associated with radical physico-chemical property changes and were influenced by positive selection. Two such selected non...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Humpback Dolphins in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta: Status, Threats and Conservation Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karczmarski, Leszek; Huang, Shiang-Lin; Or, Carmen K M; Gui, Duan; Chan, Stephen C Y; Lin, Wenzhi; Porter, Lindsay; Wong, Wai-Ho; Zheng, Ruiqiang; Ho, Yuen-Wa; Chui, Scott Y S; Tiongson, Angelico Jose C; Mo, Yaqian; Chang, Wei-Lun; Kwok, John H W; Tang, Ricky W K; Lee, Andy T L; Yiu, Sze-Wing; Keith, Mark; Gailey, Glenn; Wu, Yuping

    2016-01-01

    In coastal waters of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is thought to number approximately 2500 individuals. Given these figures, the putative PRD population may appear strong enough to resist demographic stochasticity and environmental pressures. However, living in close proximity to the world's busiest seaport/airport and several densely populated urban centres with major coastal infrastructural developments comes with challenges to the long-term survival of these animals. There are few other small cetacean populations that face the range and intensity of human-induced pressures as those present in the PRD and current protection measures are severely inadequate. Recent mark-recapture analyses of the animals in Hong Kong waters indicate that in the past two decades the population parameters have not been well understood, and spatial analyses show that only a very small proportion of the dolphins' key habitats are given any form of protection. All current marine protected areas within the PRD fail to meet a minimum habitat requirement that could facilitate the population's long-term persistence. Demographic models indicate a continuous decline of 2.5% per annum, a rate at which the population is likely to drop below the demographic threshold within two generations and lose 74% of the current numbers within the lifespan of three generations. In Hong Kong, the case of humpback dolphins represents a particularly explicit example of inadequate management where a complete revision of the fundamental approach to conservation management is urgently needed. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  14. The Behavioural Ecology of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins in Hong Kong.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Würsig, Bernd; Parsons, E C M; Piwetz, Sarah; Porter, Lindsay

    2016-01-01

    Fewer than 200 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) occur in Hong Kong waters (though these are part of a much larger population in the Pearl River Estuary), with a decrease in the past about 10 years. They have partially overlapping individual ranges (mean=100km(2)), and two partially overlapping communities. Seasonal occurrence is higher in June-November than December-May, approximate wet and dry monsoon seasons, respectively. Group sizes tend to average three dolphins, a decrease from the past decade. Feeding often occurs in abruptly changing water depths and off rocky natural shores. The area immediately north of Hong Kong International Airport is largely used for travelling between locations to the west, east and further north. The area around Lung Kwu Chau Island in northwest Hong Kong is a "hot spot" for foraging and socializing. The area off Fan Lau, southwest Lantau Island, is largely used for foraging. A former foraging "hot spot" was located around the Brothers Islands east of the airport, now reduced, possibly due to increases in high-speed ferries (HSFs) and other activities. Sound recordings of dolphins from bottom-mounted hydrophones suggest that northwestern Hong Kong waters are used more at night than in daytime. Sexual activity and calving occur throughout the year, with a peak in late spring to autumn (wet monsoon season). Humpback dolphins communicate acoustically with each other and probably passively listen to prey in murky waters, and anthropogenic noises may be masking communication and affecting prey location. Increasing sounds of shipping, HSFs and industrial activities are likely to alter dolphin habitat use patterns and overall behaviours beyond the present already affected status. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. AFSC/REFM: Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The purpose of this project was to collect data to understand the publics preferences for protecting the Cook Inlet beluga whale (CIBW), a distinct population...

  16. Passive acoustic detection of deep-diving beaked whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    Beaked whales can remain submerged for an hour or more and are difficult to sight when they come to the surface to breathe. Passive acoustic detection (PAD) not only complements traditional visual-based methods for detecting these species but also can be more effective because beaked whales produce...... clicks regularly to echolocate on prey during deep foraging dives. The effectiveness of PAD for beaked whales depends not only on the acoustic behavior and output of the animals but also on environmental conditions and the quality of the passive sonar implemented. A primary constraint on the range...... at which beaked whale clicks can be detected involves their high frequencies, which attenuate rapidly, resulting in limited ranges of detection, especially in adverse environmental conditions. Given current knowledge of source parameters and in good conditions, for example, with a wind speed of 2  m...

  17. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Foote, Kenneth G; Feijoo, Gonzalo R; Rye, Kent; Reidenberg, Joy; Hastings, Mardi

    2007-01-01

    The top-level goal of this project is to build an interactive online modeling and visualization system, called the Virtual Beaked Whale, to enable users to predict mid-frequency sonar-induced acoustic...

  18. Numbers of Calling Whales in the North Pacific

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Watkins, William

    2001-01-01

    Since November 1995, the U.S. Navy's Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) and other hydrophone arrays were used to regularly sample the occurrence of whale sounds in four regions bordering the continental margins across the North Pacific...

  19. 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...

  20. Building a Virtual Model of a Baleen Whale: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    large animals . The large body size of mysticete whales precludes any meaningful bioacoustic work in captivity. Consequently, our assessment is...that the most effective way to study the vibroacoustic physiology of these animals is to construct a model of mysticete anatomy that can be used to...a postmortem gray whale specimen for this project, as originally planned. Alternatively, we acquired an entire carcass of a freshly postmortem

  1. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-30

    et al. 2006), in the Bahamas and Madeira in 2000 (NOAA 2001, Cox et al. 2006), and in the Canary Islands in 2002 (Proceed. ECS 2004). Cuvier’s beaked...acoustic testing strand whales?" Nature 392. 29 (1998). L. Freitas, "The stranding of three Cuvier’s beaked whales Ziphius caviostris in Madeira ... Madeira , 1999-2002," Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Technical Report. WHOI-2005- 09, 38 pp. (2005). Available online at http://www.whoi.edu

  2. Multiple origins of gigantism in stem baleen whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Kohno, Naoki

    2016-12-01

    Living baleen whales (Mysticeti) include the world's largest animals to have ever lived—blue whales ( Balaenoptera musculus) can reach more than 30 m. However, the gigantism in baleen whales remains little explored. Here, we compiled all published stem mysticetes from the Eocene and Oligocene and then mapped the estimated body size onto different phylogenies that suggest distinct evolutionary histories of baleen whales. By assembling all known stem baleen whales, we present three novel findings in early mysticete evolution. Results show that, regardless of different phylogenetic scenarios, large body size (more than 5-m long) evolved multiple times independently in their early evolutionary history. For example, the earliest known aetiocetid ( Fucaia buelli, 33-31 Ma) was small in size, about 2 m, and a later aetiocetid ( Morawanocetus-like animal, 26-23 Ma) can reach 8-m long—almost four times the size of Fucaia buelli—suggesting an independent gigantism in the aetiocetid lineage. In addition, our reconstruction of ancestral state demonstrates that the baleen whales originated from small body size (less than 5 m) rather than large body size as previously acknowledged. Moreover, reconstructing the evolution of body size in stem baleen whales suggests that the initial pulse of mysticete gigantism started at least back to the Paleogene and in turn should help to understand the origin, pattern, and process of the extreme gigantism in the crown baleen whales. This study illustrates that Cope's rule is insufficient to explain the evolution of body size in a group that comprises the largest animals in the history of life, although currently the lack of exact ancestor-descendant relationships remains to fully reveal the evolutionary history of body size.

  3. THE MARINE MAMMAL FAUNA OF POTENTIAL OTEC SITES IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND HAWAII

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, S.F.

    1979-05-01

    Twenty-seven marine mammal species have been recorded for the Gulf of Mexico, including 7 Mysticetes or baleen whales, 17 Odontocetes or toothed whales, 1 Sirenian (manatee), and 1 or 2 Pinnipeds or seals. The most common species in the Gulf is Tursiops truncatus, the bottlenosed dolphin, an inshore species. Offshore, Stenella plagiodon, the spotted dolphin, is fairly common. Most other species are recorded from very few sightings or strandings. None of the endangered species is common in potential OTEC sites in the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty-two marine mammals may occur in Hawaii; 2 Mystecetes, 19 Odonotocetes, and the endemic monk seal. The monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), an endangered species, lives in the extreme northwestern island chain away from potential OTEC sites. Among the most common cetaceans in Hawaii is the endangered humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Stenella longirostris, the spinner dolphin; and Tursiops sp., the bottlenosed dolphin are also fairly common. The baleen whales feed on zooplankton during the summer in polar waters, and are migratory, while the toothed whales feed mainly on fish and squid, and are found in temperate or tropical regions year-round. The manatee is vegetarian and the pinnipeds are fish- or squid-eaters. Environmental effects of OTEC which may affect mammals are: toxic effects of biocide release or ammonia spill, biostimulating effects of seawater redistribution, oil spills, or effects of the physical presence of OTEC plants.

  4. The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    New, Leslie; Hall, Ailsa J.; Harcourt, Robert; Kaufman, Greg; Parsons, E.C.M.; Pearson, Heidi C.; Cosentino, A. Mel; Schick, Robert S

    2015-01-01

    In recent years there has been significant interest in modelling cumulative effects and the population consequences of individual changes in cetacean behaviour and physiology due to disturbance. One potential source of disturbance that has garnered particular interest is whale-watching. Though perceived as ‘green’ or eco-friendly tourism, there is evidence that whale-watching can result in statistically significant and biologically meaningful changes in cetacean behaviour, raising the question whether whale-watching is in fact a long term sustainable activity. However, an assessment of the impacts of whale-watching on cetaceans requires an understanding of the potential behavioural and physiological effects, data to effectively address the question and suitable modelling techniques. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the viability of long-term whale-watching, as well as logistical limitations and potential opportunities. We conclude that an integrated, coordinated approach will be needed to further understanding of the possible effects of whale-watching on cetaceans.

  5. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Fais

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Broadband ship noise and its potential impacts on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins: Implications for conservation and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Mingming; Dong, Lijun; Lin, Mingli; Li, Songhai

    2017-11-01

    Ship noise pollution has raised considerable concerns among regulatory agencies and cetacean researchers worldwide. There is an urgent need to quantify ship noise in coastal areas and assess its potential biological impacts. In this study, underwater broadband noise from commercial ships in a critical habitat of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins was recorded and analyzed. Data analysis indicated that the ship noise caused by the investigated commercial ships with an average length of 134 ± 81 m, traveling at 18.8 ± 2.5 km/h [mean ± standard deviation (SD), n = 21] comprises mid-to-high components with frequencies approaching and exceeding 100 kHz, and the ship noise could be sensed auditorily by Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins within most of their sensitive frequency range. The contributions of ship noise to ambient noise were highest in two third-octave bands with center frequencies of 8 and 50 kHz, which are within the sensitive hearing range of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and overlap the frequency of sounds that are biologically significant to the dolphins. It is estimated that ship noise in these third-octave bands can be auditorily sensed by and potentially affect the dolphins within 2290 ± 1172 m and 848 ± 358 m (mean ± SD, n = 21), respectively.

  10. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin occurrence north of Lantau Island, Hong Kong, based on year-round passive acoustic monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munger, Lisa; Lammers, Marc O; Cifuentes, Mattie; Würsig, Bernd; Jefferson, Thomas A; Hung, Samuel K

    2016-10-01

    Long-term passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) was conducted to study Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, Sousa chinensis, as part of environmental impact assessments for several major coastal development projects in Hong Kong waters north of Lantau Island. Ecological acoustic recorders obtained 2711 days of recording at 13 sites from December 2012 to December 2014. Humpback dolphin sounds were manually detected on more than half of days with recordings at 12 sites, 8 of which were within proposed reclamation areas. Dolphin detection rates were greatest at Lung Kwu Chau, with other high-occurrence locations northeast of the Hong Kong International Airport and within the Lung Kwu Tan and Siu Ho Wan regions. Dolphin detection rates were greatest in summer and autumn (June-November) and were significantly reduced in spring (March-May) compared to other times of year. Click detection rates were significantly higher at night than during daylight hours. These findings suggest high use of many of the proposed reclamation/development areas by humpback dolphins, particularly at night, and demonstrate the value of long-term PAM for documenting spatial and temporal patterns in dolphin occurrence to help inform management decisions.

  11. In vitro assessment of environmental stress of persistent organic pollutants on the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Kuntong; Ding, Liang; Zhang, Lingli; Zhang, Mei; Yi, Meisheng; Wu, Yuping

    2015-12-25

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are detected ubiquitously and are linked to range of adverse health effects. The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin inhabited the Pearl River Estuary (PRE), China, where high concentrations of POPs have been reported. This study evaluated the threats posed by POPs in the environment to the dolphin using an in vitro system. We selected BNF(β-naphthoflavone) and four POPs (DDTs (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes), CHLs(chlorides), HCHs(hexachlorocyclohexanes) and HCB(hexachlorobenzene)) which had been accumulated in the dolphin with high concentrations to treat the cultured skin fibroblast cells (ScSF cells) of the dolphin, and investigated the expression patterns of the ecological stress biomarkers CYP1A1, AHR and HSP70 in the cell line. The results showed that CYP1A1 was up-regulated after being exposed to different concentrations of BNF, DDTs and HCHs. CHLs, HCHs and HCB promoted AHR expression. HSP70 expression was increased by high concentrations of BNF and DDTs. Moreover, comet assay experiments revealed that DDTs produced higher degree of DNA damage to ScSF cells than other POPs, implying that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin in the PRE has been threatened by POPs accumulated in the body, especially by DDTs. Our results provided important information to assess the risk of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin raised by environmental POPs in vivo. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Comparison of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) whistles from two areas of western Peninsular Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Jordan M; Ponnampalam, Louisa S; Araújo, Claryana C; Wang, John Y; Kuit, Sui Hyang; Hung, Samuel K

    2015-11-01

    Differences in the acoustic variables of whistles emitted by Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from two coastal locations along western Peninsular Malaysia were investigated. Duration, frequency, and frequency modulation variables were extracted from and used to characterize recordings of free-ranging humpback dolphins that were made using a broadband towed hydrophone. A total of 960 whistles from Matang Mangroves and 823 whistles from Langkawi Island were used in analyses. The whistles of Malaysian humpback dolphins covered frequencies from 1231 to 27 120 Hz with durations from 0.010-1.575 s. Significant multivariate differences were found in whistles emitted between locations. Significant differences were also found between dolphins of the two locations in their whistle duration, frequency modulation, and all frequency variables except for minimum frequency, which is likely under morphological constraints. The differences in whistles may be related to adaptations to the local acoustic habitat or unique whistles may have developed due to social interactions within each location, or broader scale differences resulting from geographic separation between the locations.

  13. Are baleen whales exposed to the threat of microplastics? A case study of the Mediterranean fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Panti, Cristina; Guerranti, Cristiana; Coppola, Daniele; Giannetti, Matteo; Marsili, Letizia; Minutoli, Roberta

    2012-11-01

    Baleen whales are potentially exposed to micro-litter ingestion as a result of their filter-feeding activity. However, the impacts of microplastics on baleen whales are largely unknown. In this case study of the Mediterranean fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), we explore the toxicological effects of microplastics on mysticetes. The study included the following three steps: (1) the collection/count of microplastics in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea), (2) the detection of phthalates in surface neustonic/planktonic samples, and (3) the detection of phthalates in stranded fin whales. A total of 56% of the surface neustonic/planktonic samples contained microplastic particles. The highest abundance of microplastics (9.63 items/m(3)) was found in the Portofino MPA (Ligurian Sea). High concentrations of phthalates (DEHP and MEHP) were detected in the neustonic/planktonic samples. The concentrations of MEHP found in the blubber of stranded fin whales suggested that phthalates could serve as a tracer of the intake of microplastics. The results of this study represent the first warning of this emerging threat to baleen whales. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Acoustic Monitoring of a Previously Unstudied Whale Shark Aggregation in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2012-01-01

    in the area and to inform local management. Continued study will add to the collective knowledge on Red Sea whale sharks, including the population dynamics within the region and how they interact with the global whale shark community.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Site fidelity of female minke whales in the Gulf of. St Lawrence, Canada

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moreira Lopes, Xenia; Bérubé, Martine; Berrow, Simon D.; Larsen, Finn; Haug, Tore; Hoekendijk, Jeroen; Hoelzel, A. Rus; Kot, Brian; Øien, Nils; Oosting, Tom; Pampoulie, Christophe; Ramp, Christian; Robbins, Jooke; Ryan, Conor; Sears, Richard; Simon, Malene; Skaug, H. J.; Verkuil, Yvonne; Vikingsson, G.A.; Witting, Lars; van der Zee, Jurjan; Palsboll, Per

    2017-01-01

    The minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is a globally-distributed species whose population ecology is poorly understood. Most knowledge about minke whale populations, including gender differences, originates from historical data collected during commercial harvests. Here we present results from

  19. The Possibility of Passive Whale Tracking With the Use of An Hyperspectral Sensor

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Barnes, Christina

    1999-01-01

    ...) Sensor to detect and recognize whales. This paper gives a detailed discussion of the sensor, describes the spectral image processing used to detect and enhance the whale images, provides sample imagery products, and finally discusses...

  20. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Killingley, J.S.

    1980-01-01

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

  2. Application of a novel method for age estimation of a baleen whale and a porpoise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Nynne H.; Garde, Eva; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter

    2013-01-01

    Eyeballs from 121 fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and 83 harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were used for age estimation using the aspartic acid racemization (AAR) technique. The racemization rate (kAsp) for fin whales was established from 15 fetuses (age 0) and 15 adult whales where age...

  3. 50 CFR 226.215 - Critical habitat for the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica). 226.215 Section 226.215 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.215 Critical habitat for the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica). (a) Primary Constituent Elements. The primary constituent elements of the North Pacific right whale...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maine Univ., Orono. Coll. of Education.

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

  5. 50 CFR 229.32 - Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Atlantic large whale take reduction plan... Regulations § 229.32 Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations. (a)(1) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to implement the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to reduce incidental...

  6. 76 FR 43985 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service... review of the draft Recovery Plan (Plan) for the sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis). NMFS is soliciting... recovery plans for each listed species unless such a plan would not promote its recovery. The sei whale has...

  7. 77 FR 6065 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-07

    ... Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... beluga whales found in the Cook Inlet of Alaska is one of five distinct population segments in United... beluga whale, such as population increases, are primarily the result of the non- consumptive value people...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

    ... North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service... petition to designate the Eastern North Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as a... Eastern North Pacific gray whales is available on the Internet at the following address: http://www.nmfs...

  10. True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) in Macaronesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Vidal; Silva, Monica; Edler, Roland; Reyes, Cristel; Carrillo, Manuel; Schiavi, Agustina; Morales, Talia; García-Ovide, Belen; Sanchez-Mora, Anna; Garcia-Tavero, Nerea; Steiner, Lisa; Scheer, Michael; Gockel, Roland; Walker, Dylan; Villa, Enrico; Szlama, Petra; Eriksson, Ida K.; Tejedor, Marisa; Perez-Gil, Monica; Quaresma, João; Bachara, Wojtek; Carroll, Emma

    2017-01-01

    The True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus, True 1913) is a poorly known member of the Ziphiidae family. Its distribution in the northern hemisphere is thought to be restricted to the temperate or warm temperate waters of the North Atlantic, while a few stranding records from the southern hemisphere suggest a wider and antitropical distribution, extending to waters from the Atlantic coast of Brazil to South Africa, Mozambique, Australia and the Tasman Sea coast of New Zealand. This paper (i) reports the first molecular confirmation of the occurrence of the True’s beaked whale at the southern limit of its distribution recorded in the northeast Atlantic: the Azores and Canary Islands (macaronesian ecoregion); (ii) describes a new colouration for this species using evidence from a whale with molecular species confirmation; and (iii) contributes to the sparse worldwide database of live sightings, including the first underwater video recording of this species and close images of a calf. Species identification was confirmed in two cases using mitochondrial DNA control region and cytochrome b gene markers: a subadult male True’s beaked whale that stranded in El Hierro, Canary Islands, in November 2012, and a subadult male found floating dead near Faial, the Azores, in July 2004. The whale that stranded in the Canary Islands had a clearly delimited white area on its head, extending posteriorly from the tip of the beak to cover the blowhole dorsally and the gular grooves ventrally. This colouration contrasts with previous descriptions for the species and it may be rare, but it exemplifies the variability of the colouration of True’s beaked whales in the North Atlantic, further confirmed here by live sightings data. The recording of several observations of this species in deep but relatively coastal waters off the Azores and the Canary Islands suggests that these archipelagos may be unique locations to study the behaviour of the enigmatic True’s beaked whale. PMID

  11. True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus in Macaronesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natacha Aguilar de Soto

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus, True 1913 is a poorly known member of the Ziphiidae family. Its distribution in the northern hemisphere is thought to be restricted to the temperate or warm temperate waters of the North Atlantic, while a few stranding records from the southern hemisphere suggest a wider and antitropical distribution, extending to waters from the Atlantic coast of Brazil to South Africa, Mozambique, Australia and the Tasman Sea coast of New Zealand. This paper (i reports the first molecular confirmation of the occurrence of the True’s beaked whale at the southern limit of its distribution recorded in the northeast Atlantic: the Azores and Canary Islands (macaronesian ecoregion; (ii describes a new colouration for this species using evidence from a whale with molecular species confirmation; and (iii contributes to the sparse worldwide database of live sightings, including the first underwater video recording of this species and close images of a calf. Species identification was confirmed in two cases using mitochondrial DNA control region and cytochrome b gene markers: a subadult male True’s beaked whale that stranded in El Hierro, Canary Islands, in November 2012, and a subadult male found floating dead near Faial, the Azores, in July 2004. The whale that stranded in the Canary Islands had a clearly delimited white area on its head, extending posteriorly from the tip of the beak to cover the blowhole dorsally and the gular grooves ventrally. This colouration contrasts with previous descriptions for the species and it may be rare, but it exemplifies the variability of the colouration of True’s beaked whales in the North Atlantic, further confirmed here by live sightings data. The recording of several observations of this species in deep but relatively coastal waters off the Azores and the Canary Islands suggests that these archipelagos may be unique locations to study the behaviour of the enigmatic True

  12. 75 FR 81972 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-29

    ..., and Steller sea lions (Western U.S. stock and Eastern U.S. stock) incidental to the fisheries... fin whales, NP sperm whales, Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and the threatened Eastern U.S... Pacific (CNP) humpback whales, Western North Pacific (WNP) stock of humpback whales, Northeast Pacific...

  13. A right whale pootree: classification trees of faecal hormones identify reproductive states in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corkeron, Peter; Rolland, Rosalind M; Hunt, Kathleen E; Kraus, Scott D

    2017-01-01

    Immunoassay of hormone metabolites extracted from faecal samples of free-ranging large whales can provide biologically relevant information on reproductive state and stress responses. North Atlantic right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis Müller 1776) are an ideal model for testing the conservation value of faecal metabolites. Almost all North Atlantic right whales are individually identified, most of the population is sighted each year, and systematic survey effort extends back to 1986. North Atlantic right whales number trees as an alternative method of analysing multiple-hormone data sets, building on univariate models that have previously been used to describe hormone profiles of individual North Atlantic right whales of known reproductive state. Our tree correctly classified the age class, sex and reproductive state of 83% of 112 faecal samples from known individual whales. Pregnant females, lactating females and both mature and immature males were classified reliably using our model. Non-reproductive [i.e. 'resting' (not pregnant and not lactating) and immature] females proved the most unreliable to distinguish. There were three individual males that, given their age, would traditionally be considered immature but that our tree classed as mature males, possibly calling for a re-evaluation of their reproductive status. Our analysis reiterates the importance of considering the reproductive state of whales when assessing the relationship between cortisol concentrations and stress. Overall, these results confirm findings from previous univariate statistical analyses, but with a more robust multivariate approach that may prove useful for the multiple-analyte data sets that are increasingly used by conservation physiologists.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

    The LCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) is a grid-based hierarchical computing distributed facility, composed of more than 140 computing centers, organized in 4 tiers, by size and offer of services. Every site, although indipendent for many technical choices, has to provide services with a well-defined set of interfaces. For this reason, different LCG sites need frequently to manage very similar situations, like jobs behaviour on the batch system, dataset transfers between sites, operating system and experiment software installation and configuration, monitoring of services. In this context we created WHALE (WHALE Handles Administration in an LCG Environment), a software actually used at the T2 I T R ome site, an LCG Tier-2 for the CMS experiment. WHALE is a generic, site independent tool written in Python: it allows administrator to interact in a uniform and coherent way with several subsystems using a high level syntax which hides specific commands. The architecture of WHALE is based on the plugin concept and on the possibility of connecting the output of a plugin to the input of the next one, in a pipe-like system, giving the administrator the possibility of making complex functions by combining the simpler ones. The core of WHALE just handles the plugin orchestrations, while even the basic functions (eg. the WHALE activity logging) are performed by plugins, giving the capability to tune and possibly modify every component of the system. WHALE already provides many plugins useful for a LCG site and some more for a Tier-2 of the CMS experiment, especially in the field of job management, dataset transfer and analysis of performance results and availability tests (eg. Nagios tests, SAM tests). Thanks to its architecture and the provided plugins WHALE makes easy to perform tasks that, even if logically simple, are technically complex or tedious, like eg. closing all the worker nodes with a job-failure rate greater than a given threshold. Finally, thanks to the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Pershing

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

  17. Acoustic backscatter at a Red Sea whale shark aggregation site

    KAUST Repository

    Hozumi, Aya; Kaartvedt, Stein; Rø stad, Anders; Berumen, Michael L.; Cochran, Jesse E.M.; Jones, Burton

    2018-01-01

    An aggregation of sexually immature whale sharks occurs at a coastal submerged reef near the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast each spring. We tested the hypothesis that these megaplanktivores become attracted to a prey biomass peak coinciding with their aggregation. Acoustic backscatter of the water column at 120 kHz and 333 kHz –a proxy for potential prey biomass –was continuously measured spanning the period prior to, during, and subsequent to the seasonal whale shark aggregations. No peak in acoustic backscatter was observed at the time of the aggregation. However, we observed a decrease in acoustic backscatter in the last days of deployment, which coincided the trailing end of whale shark season. Organisms forming the main scattering layer performed inverse diel vertical migration, with backscatter peaking at mid-depths during the day and in the deeper half of the water column at night. Target strength analyses suggested the backscatter was likely composed of fish larvae. Subsurface foraging behavior of the whale sharks within this aggregation has not been described, yet this study does not support the hypothesis that seasonal peaks in local whale shark abundance correspond to similar peaks in prey availability.

  18. Acoustic backscatter at a Red Sea whale shark aggregation site

    KAUST Repository

    Hozumi, Aya

    2018-03-28

    An aggregation of sexually immature whale sharks occurs at a coastal submerged reef near the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast each spring. We tested the hypothesis that these megaplanktivores become attracted to a prey biomass peak coinciding with their aggregation. Acoustic backscatter of the water column at 120 kHz and 333 kHz –a proxy for potential prey biomass –was continuously measured spanning the period prior to, during, and subsequent to the seasonal whale shark aggregations. No peak in acoustic backscatter was observed at the time of the aggregation. However, we observed a decrease in acoustic backscatter in the last days of deployment, which coincided the trailing end of whale shark season. Organisms forming the main scattering layer performed inverse diel vertical migration, with backscatter peaking at mid-depths during the day and in the deeper half of the water column at night. Target strength analyses suggested the backscatter was likely composed of fish larvae. Subsurface foraging behavior of the whale sharks within this aggregation has not been described, yet this study does not support the hypothesis that seasonal peaks in local whale shark abundance correspond to similar peaks in prey availability.

  19. Chromium Is Elevated in Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Skin Tissue and Is Genotoxic to Fin Whale Skin Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Catherine F.; Wise, Sandra S.; Thompson, W. Douglas; Perkins, Christopher; Wise, John Pierce

    2015-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is present in the marine environment and is a known carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. Cr(VI) is the form of chromium that is well absorbed through the cell membrane. It is also the most prevalent form in seawater. We measured the total Cr levels in skin biopsies obtained from healthy free-ranging fin whales from the Gulf of Maine and found elevated levels relative to marine mammals in other parts of the world. The levels in fin whale biopsies ranged from 1.71 ug/g to 19.6 ug/g with an average level of 10.07 ug/g. We also measured the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Cr(VI) in fin whale skin cells. We found that particulate and soluble Cr(VI) are both cytotoxic and genotoxic to fin whale skin cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The concentration range used in our cell culture studies used environmentally relevant concentrations based on the biopsy measurements. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for whales in the Gulf of Maine. PMID:25805270

  20. Testing the feasibility of a hypothetical whaling-conservation permit market in Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Biao; Abbott, Joshua K; Fenichel, Eli P; Muneepeerakul, Rachata; Perrings, Charles; Gerber, Leah R

    2017-08-01

    A cap-and-trade system for managing whale harvests represents a potentially useful approach to resolve the current gridlock in international whale management. The establishment of whale permit markets, open to both whalers and conservationists, could reveal the strength of conservation demand, about which little is known. This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to predict the outcome of a hypothetical whale permit market. We developed a bioeconomic model to evaluate the influence of economic uncertainty about demand for whale conservation or harvest. We used simulations over a wide range of parameterizations of whaling and conservation demands to examine the potential ecological consequences of the establishment of a whale permit market in Norwegian waters under bounded (but substantial) economic uncertainty. Uncertainty variables were slope of whaling and conservation demand, participation level of conservationists and their willingness to pay for whale conservation, and functional forms of demand, including linear, quadratic, and log-linear forms. A whale-conservation market had the potential to yield a wide range of conservation and harvest outcomes, the most likely outcomes were those in which conservationists bought all whale permits. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in densities of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dares, Lauren E.; Araújo-Wang, Claryana; Yang, Shih Chu; Wang, John Y.

    2017-03-01

    The inshore, estuarine distribution of Taiwanese humpback dolphins (THD) along the west coast of Taiwan puts them in direct conflict with many anthropogenic activities. We investigated the influence of environmental factors (depth, sea surface temperature (SST), salinity and distance to the nearest freshwater source) and coastal developments on THD density. Clear heterogeneity in density was found across the range of the THD, and there was significant spatial and temporal variation in mean densities. Density was not directly related to any environmental factors examined, which may be due to temporal variability and hydrological and oceanographic conditions that create, in effect, a continuous river delta along the central west coast of Taiwan rather than isolated, separate river estuaries. A high abundance of dolphins per unit of survey effort (DPUE) and mother-calf pairs per unit of survey effort (MCPUE) were found in waters adjacent to major coastal developments in which shallow waters had been filled to create new land (reclamation areas), but neither distance to reclamation area nor distance to the nearest river were found to be significant predictors of density. Most reclamation projects in THD habitat are situated near the mouths of major rivers or result in the creation of artificial confluences of smaller rivers, streams and other freshwater outlets, such as waste outflows. Thus, dolphins appear to use these areas in the absence of high quality natural habitat that has been lost to large-scale coastal reclamation throughout their range.

  2. Genetic Characterization of Domesticated F1 Generation in Humpback Grouper (Cromileptes altivelis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ratu Siti Aliah

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available First generation (F1 of hatchery produced humpback grouper (Cromileptes altivelis has been characterized genetically in order to serve the information of their status in related to their breeding strategy. PCR-RFLP method was used to detect the variation of mtDNA D-loop region of F1 population at BBPBL Lampung and BBAP Situbondo. The result of study showed that reducing of haplotype diversity had been arised from broodstock (0.8548 to F1 generation population (0.7473; 0.7273; and 0.6947, respectively.  Genetic divergence that had found between population BBPBL Lampung and BBAP Situbondo make it possible to do outbreeding in order to get its heterosis's effect. Keywords: mtDNA, haplotype diversity, genetic differentiation, Cromileptes altivelis   ABSTRAK Ikan kerapu tikus (Cromileptes altivelis generasi pertama (F1 hasil domestikasi di hatchery telah dikarakterisasi secara genetik untuk menyediakan informasi status sehubungan dengan program pemuliaannya.  Metode PCR-RFLP digunakan untuk mendeteksi variasi sekuens D-loop mtDNA ikan kerapu tikus F1 yang diproduksi di BBPBL Lampung dan BBAP Situbondo.  Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa telah terjadi penurunan keragaman haplotipe dari induk (0,8548 ke populasi generasi F1 (masing-masing 0,7473; 0,7273; dan 0,6947.  Adanya keragaman genetik antara populasi ikan kerapu tikus di BBPBL dan BBAP Situbondo memungkinkan dilakukannya outbreeding untuk mendapatkan efek heterosis. Kata kunci: mtDNA, keragaman haplotipe, diferensiasi genetik, Cromileptes altivelis

  3. Biology and Conservation of the Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis taiwanensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, John Y; Riehl, Kimberly N; Klein, Michelle N; Javdan, Shiva; Hoffman, Jordan M; Dungan, Sarah Z; Dares, Lauren E; Araújo-Wang, Claryana

    2016-01-01

    The humpback dolphins of the eastern Taiwan Strait were first discovered scientifically in 2002 and since then have received much research attention. We reviewed all information published in peer-reviewed scientific journals on these dolphins and where appropriate and available, peer-reviewed scientific workshop reports and graduate theses were also examined. Recent evidence demonstrated that this population warranted recognition as a subspecies, Sousa chinensis taiwanensis. It is found in a highly restricted and linear strip of coastal waters along central western Taiwan. Numbering fewer than 80 individuals and declining, five main threats (fisheries interactions, habitat loss and degradation, loss of freshwater to estuaries within their habitat, air and water pollution, and noise) threaten the future existence of this subspecies. These dolphins have cultural and religious importance and boast the highest level of legal protection for wildlife in Taiwan. However, despite enormous efforts by local and international non-governmental groups urging immediate conservation actions, there have been no real government efforts to mitigate any existing threats; instead, some of these threats have worsened. Based on recent studies, we suggest the IUCN Red List status be revised to Critically Endangered CR 2a(ii); D for the subspecies. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Description of a new fossil beaked whale from the Late Miocene Gram Fm. in Denmark, and aspects of beaked whale evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramassamy, Benjamin Fernand Guy

    Modern beaked whales (Ziphiidae) are among the least known groups of mammals. This family of toothed whales forage at great depths on cephalopods, their favored prey. The origin and timing of their specialisation to deep diving is almost unknown. The discovery of a new fossil beaked whale from...... Denmark may unveil the origin of deep diving in the family. This project had two mains objectives. First, describing a new fossil specimen from the Miocene of Denmark. Second, investigating deep diving abilities in extinct beaked whales. The fossil specimen represent a new genus and species of Ziphiidae...

  6. Of travertine and time: otolith chemistry and microstructure detect provenance and demography of endangered humpback chub in Grand Canyon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limburg, Karin E.; Hayden, Todd A.; Pine, William E.; Yard, Michael D.; Kozdon, Reinhard; Valley, John W.

    2013-01-01

    We developed a geochemical atlas of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon and in its tributary, the Little Colorado River, and used it to identify provenance and habitat use by Federally Endangered humpback chub, Gila cypha. Carbon stable isotope ratios (δ13C) discriminate best between the two rivers, but fine scale analysis in otoliths requires rare, expensive instrumentation. We therefore correlated other tracers (SrSr, Ba, and Se in ratio to Ca) to δ13C that are easier to quantify in otoliths with other microchemical techniques. Although the Little Colorado River’s water chemistry varies with major storm events, at base flow or near base flow (conditions occurring 84% of the time in our study) its chemistry differs sufficiently from the mainstem to discriminate one from the other. Additionally, when fish egress from the natal Little Colorado River to the mainstem, they encounter cold water which causes the otolith daily growth increments to decrease in size markedly. Combining otolith growth increment analysis and microchemistry permitted estimation of size and age at first egress; size at first birthday was also estimated. Emigrants < 1 year old averaged 51.2 ± 4.4 (SE) days and 35.5 ± 3.6 mm at egress; older fish that had recruited to the population averaged 100 ± 7.8 days old and 51.0 ± 2.2 mm at egress, suggesting that larger, older emigrants recruit better. Back-calculated size at age 1 was unimodal and large (78.2 ± 3.3 mm) in Little Colorado caught fish but was bimodally distributed in Colorado mainstem caught fish (49.9 ± 3.6 and 79 ± 4.9 mm) suggesting that humpback chub can also rear in the mainstem. The study demonstrates the coupled usage of the two rivers by this fish and highlights the need to consider both rivers when making management decisions for humpback chub recovery.

  7. Derivation and characterization of cell cultures from the skin of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin Sousa chinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Wei; Jia, Kuntong; Yang, Lili; Chen, Jialin; Wu, Yuping; Yi, Meisheng

    2013-06-01

    The marine mammalian Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, once widely lived in waters of the Indian to western Pacific oceans, has become an endangered species. The individual number of this dolphin has significantly declined in recent decades, which raises the concern of extinction. Direct concentration on laboratorial conservation of the genetic and cell resources should be paid to this marine species. Here, we report the successful derivation of cell lines form the skin of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. The cell cultures displayed the characteristics of fibroblast in morphology and grew rapidly at early passages, but showed obvious growth arrest at higher passages. The karyotype of the cells consisted of 42 autosomes and sex chromosomes X and Y. The immortalized cell lines obtained by forced expression of the SV40 large T-antigen were capable of proliferation at high rate in long-term culture. Immortalization and long-term culture did not cause cytogenetically observable abnormality in the karyotype. The cell type of the primary cultures and immortalized cell lines were further characterized as fibroblasts by the specific expression of vimentin. Gene transfer experiments showed that exogenetic genes could be efficiently delivered into the cells by both plasmid transfection and lentivirus infection. The cells derived from the skin of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin may serve as a useful in vitro system for studies on the effects of environmental pollutants and pathogens in habitats on the dolphin animals. More importantly, because of their high proliferation rate and susceptibility to lentivirus, these cells are potential ideal materials for generation of induced pluripotent stem cells.

  8. Software for real-time localization of baleen whale calls using directional sonobuoys: A case study on Antarctic blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Calderan, Susannah; Gillespie, Douglas; Weatherup, Graham; Leaper, Russell; Collins, Kym; Double, Michael C

    2016-03-01

    Directional frequency analysis and recording (DIFAR) sonobuoys can allow real-time acoustic localization of baleen whales for underwater tracking and remote sensing, but limited availability of hardware and software has prevented wider usage. These software limitations were addressed by developing a module in the open-source software PAMGuard. A case study is presented demonstrating that this software provides greater efficiency and accessibility than previous methods for detecting, localizing, and tracking Antarctic blue whales in real time. Additionally, this software can easily be extended to track other low and mid frequency sounds including those from other cetaceans, pinnipeds, icebergs, shipping, and seismic airguns.

  9. Likely Age-Related Hearing Loss (Presbycusis) in a Stranded Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Songhai; Wang, Ding; Wang, Kexiong; Hoffmann-Kuhnt, Matthias; Fernando, Nimal; Taylor, Elizabeth A; Lin, Wenzhi; Chen, Jialin; Ng, Timothy

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of a stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in Zhuhai, China, was measured. The age of this animal was estimated to be ~40 years. The animal's hearing was measured using a noninvasive auditory evoked potential (AEP) method. The results showed that the high-frequency hearing cutoff frequency of the studied dolphin was ~30-40 kHz lower than that of a conspecific younger individual ~13 year old. The lower high-frequency hearing range in the older dolphin was explained as a likely result of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis).

  10. Comparative Chromosome Map and Heterochromatin Features of the Gray Whale Karyotype (Cetacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulemzina, Anastasia I; Proskuryakova, Anastasia A; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Lemskaya, Natalia A; Perelman, Polina L; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2016-01-01

    Cetacean karyotypes possess exceptionally stable diploid numbers and highly conserved chromosomes. To date, only toothed whales (Odontoceti) have been analyzed by comparative chromosome painting. Here, we studied the karyotype of a representative of baleen whales, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus, Mysticeti), by Zoo-FISH with dromedary camel and human chromosome-specific probes. We confirmed a high degree of karyotype conservation and found an identical order of syntenic segments in both branches of cetaceans. Yet, whale chromosomes harbor variable heterochromatic regions constituting up to a third of the genome due to the presence of several types of repeats. To investigate the cause of this variability, several classes of repeated DNA sequences were mapped onto chromosomes of whale species from both Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We uncovered extensive intrapopulation variability in the size of heterochromatic blocks present in homologous chromosomes among 3 individuals of the gray whale by 2-step differential chromosome staining. We show that some of the heteromorphisms observed in the gray whale karyotype are due to distinct amplification of a complex of common cetacean repeat and heavy satellite repeat on homologous autosomes. Furthermore, we demonstrate localization of the telomeric repeat in the heterochromatin of both gray and pilot whale (Globicephala melas, Odontoceti). Heterochromatic blocks in the pilot whale represent a composite of telomeric and common repeats, while heavy satellite repeat is lacking in the toothed whale consistent with previous studies. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Functional properties of myoglobins from five whale species with different diving capacities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbo, Signe; Fago, Angela

    2012-10-01

    Whales show an exceptionally wide range of diving capabilities and many express high amounts of the O(2) carrier protein myoglobin (Mb) in their muscle tissues, which increases their aerobic diving capacity. Although previous studies have mainly focused on the muscle Mb concentration and O(2) carrying capacity as markers of diving behavior in whales, it still remains unexplored whether whale Mbs differ in their O(2) affinities and nitrite reductase and peroxidase enzymatic activities, all functions that could contribute to differences in diving capacities. In this study, we have measured the functional properties of purified Mbs from five toothed whales and two baleen whales and have examined their correlation with average dive duration. Results showed that some variation in functional properties exists among whale Mbs, with toothed whale Mbs having higher O(2) affinities and nitrite reductase activities (similar to those of horse Mb) compared with baleen whale Mbs. However, these differences did not correlate with average dive duration. Instead, a significant correlation was found between whale Mb concentration and average duration and depth of dives, and between O(2) affinity and nitrite reductase activity when including horse Mb. Despite the fact that the functional properties showed little species-specific differences in vitro, they may still contribute to enhancing diving capacity as a result of the increased muscle Mb concentration found in extreme divers. In conclusion, Mb concentration rather than specific functional reactivities may support whale diving performance.

  12. 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.

  13. Fin whales and microplastics: The Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Baini, Matteo; Giannetti, Matteo; Coppola, Daniele; Guerranti, Cristiana; Caliani, Ilaria; Minutoli, Roberta; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Finoia, Maria Grazia; Rubegni, Fabrizio; Panigada, Simone; Bérubé, Martine; Urbán Ramírez, Jorge; Panti, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    The impact that microplastics have on baleen whales is a question that remains largely unexplored. This study examined the interaction between free-ranging fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and microplastics by comparing populations living in two semi-enclosed basins, the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California, Mexico). The results indicate that a considerable abundance of microplastics and plastic additives exists in the neustonic samples from Pelagos Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea, and that pelagic areas containing high densities of microplastics overlap with whale feeding grounds, suggesting that whales are exposed to microplastics during foraging; this was confirmed by the observation of a temporal increase in toxicological stress in whales. Given the abundance of microplastics in the Mediterranean environment, along with the high concentrations of Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemicals, plastic additives and biomarker responses detected in the biopsies of Mediterranean whales as compared to those in whales inhabiting the Sea of Cortez, we believe that exposure to microplastics because of direct ingestion and consumption of contaminated prey poses a major threat to the health of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea. - Highlights: • Microplastics and phthalates were higher in the Mediterranean Sea than in the Sea of Cortez. • The overlap between the whale feeding areas and high microplastic density shows the risk of interaction. • Data suggest an increasing risk of chemical transfer from microplastic to whales during the foraging. • Mediterranean whales are exposed to higher ecotoxicological threat of than Sea of Cortez whales. - This study identified temporal and regional ecotoxicological variations in free-ranging fin whales inhabiting two seas different characterized by different microplastic abundance.

  14. Methylmercury exposure and adverse cardiovascular effects in Faroese whaling men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, Anna L; Weihe, Pal; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Methylmercury (MeHg), a worldwide contaminant found in fish and seafood, has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality. OBJECTIVE: We examined 42 Faroese whaling men (30-70 years of age) to assess possible adverse effects within a wide range of MeHg exposures from...

  15. Quota disputes and subsistence whaling in Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tejsner, Pelle

    2014-01-01

    In Qeqertarsuaq (Disco Island), northwest Greenland, local disputes about the allocation of annual whaling quotas for beluga and narwhals feature as a source of conflict between state-imposed categories of occupational and non-occupational hunters. The national authorities’ co-management regime...

  16. Like most other rorquals in the southern hemisphere, sei whales ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-04-21

    Apr 21, 2010 ... tering ground, i.e. Brazil (Horwood 1987). Despite ..... Figure 1. It seems to agree with that described in. 1919, in that very few whales were taken within 40 miles of the ...... a considerable degree of segregation (here called.

  17. Comparison of St. Lawrence blue whale vocalizations with field observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchok, Catherine; Bradley, David; Gabrielson, Thomas; Sears, Richard

    2003-04-01

    During four field seasons from 1998-2001, vocalizations were recorded in the presence of St. Lawrence blue whales using a single omni-directional hydrophone. Both long duration infrasonic calls (~18 Hz, 5-20 s) as well as short duration higher frequency calls (85-25 Hz, ~2 s) were detected and compared with field observations. Two trends were noted. First, the long infrasonic call series were concentrated primarily in the deep (300 m) channel. These call series appear to compare well with blue whale vocalizations recorded by others in the deep open ocean. Second, the shorter audible calls were more evenly distributed over bathymetry and seem to be a form of short distance communication with at least one case occurring during an agonistic interaction. A comparison of these calls with biological parameters such as density of whales in the area, percentages of paired versus single whales, and numbers of males versus females will also be discussed. [Project supported by ARL/PSU, NSF, and the American Museum of Natural History.

  18. Functional convergence in bat and toothed whale biosonars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, P T; Surlykke, A

    2013-01-01

    Echolocating bats and toothed whales hunt and navigate by emission of sound pulses and analysis of returning echoes to form a self-generated auditory scene. Here, we demonstrate a striking functional convergence in the way these two groups of mammals independently evolved the capability to sense ...

  19. Toxaphene in minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from the North Atlantic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gouteux, B. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada); Muir, D.C.G. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada)], E-mail: Derek.Muir@ec.gc.ca; Backus, S. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada); Born, E.W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark); Dietz, R. [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Haug, T. [Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 6404, N-9294 Tromso (Norway); Metcalfe, T.; Metcalfe, C. [Worsfold Water Quality Centre, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8 (Canada); Oien, N. [Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, N-5817 Bergen (Norway)

    2008-05-15

    Toxaphene contamination of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from North Atlantic waters was examined for the first time. Total toxaphene and {sigma}CHB (sum of 11 chlorobornanes) concentrations in blubber samples ranged from 170 {+-} 110 and 41 {+-} 39 ng/g lipid weight (l.w.) for female minke whales from southeastern Greenland to 5800 {+-} 4100 and 1100 {+-} 780 ng/g l.w. for males from the North Sea, respectively. Very large variations in toxaphene concentrations among sampling areas were observed suggesting a spatial segregation of minke whales. However, much of the apparent geographical discrimination was explained by the seasonal fluctuation of animal fat mass. Patterns of CHBs in males revealed that recalcitrant CHBs were in higher proportions in animals from the more easterly areas than in animals from the more westerly areas. This trend may be influenced by the predominance of the US, over the European, input of toxaphene to North Atlantic waters. - High levels of toxaphene were found in different sub-populations of minke whales from North Atlantic waters.

  20. Ancient whales did not filter feed with their teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, David P; Marx, Felix G; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2017-08-01

    The origin of baleen whales (Mysticeti), the largest animals on Earth, is closely tied to their signature filter-feeding strategy. Unlike their modern relatives, archaic whales possessed a well-developed, heterodont adult dentition. How these teeth were used, and what role their function and subsequent loss played in the emergence of filter feeding, is an enduring mystery. In particular, it has been suggested that elaborate tooth crowns may have enabled stem mysticetes to filter with their postcanine teeth in a manner analogous to living crabeater and leopard seals, thereby facilitating the transition to baleen-assisted filtering. Here we show that the teeth of archaic mysticetes are as sharp as those of terrestrial carnivorans, raptorial pinnipeds and archaeocetes, and thus were capable of capturing and processing prey. By contrast, the postcanine teeth of leopard and crabeater seals are markedly blunter, and clearly unsuited to raptorial feeding. Our results suggest that mysticetes never passed through a tooth-based filtration phase, and that the use of teeth and baleen in early whales was not functionally connected. Continued selection for tooth sharpness in archaic mysticetes is best explained by a feeding strategy that included both biting and suction, similar to that of most living pinnipeds and, probably, early toothed whales (Odontoceti). © 2017 The Authors.

  1. Toxaphene in minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from the North Atlantic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gouteux, B.; Muir, D.C.G.; Backus, S.; Born, E.W.; Dietz, R.; Haug, T.; Metcalfe, T.; Metcalfe, C.; Oien, N.

    2008-01-01

    Toxaphene contamination of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from North Atlantic waters was examined for the first time. Total toxaphene and ΣCHB (sum of 11 chlorobornanes) concentrations in blubber samples ranged from 170 ± 110 and 41 ± 39 ng/g lipid weight (l.w.) for female minke whales from southeastern Greenland to 5800 ± 4100 and 1100 ± 780 ng/g l.w. for males from the North Sea, respectively. Very large variations in toxaphene concentrations among sampling areas were observed suggesting a spatial segregation of minke whales. However, much of the apparent geographical discrimination was explained by the seasonal fluctuation of animal fat mass. Patterns of CHBs in males revealed that recalcitrant CHBs were in higher proportions in animals from the more easterly areas than in animals from the more westerly areas. This trend may be influenced by the predominance of the US, over the European, input of toxaphene to North Atlantic waters. - High levels of toxaphene were found in different sub-populations of minke whales from North Atlantic waters

  2. The diet of sperm whales caught commercially off Durban was ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Cephalopod Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution. Payne, A. I. L., Lipinski, M. R., Clarke, M. R. and M. A. C. Roeleveld (Eds). S. Afr. J. mar. Sci. 20: 41–45. 1998. 41. CEPHALOPODS IN THE DIET OF SPERM WHALES CAUGHT. COMMERCIALLY OFF DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA. M. R. CLARKE* and M. A. C. ROELEVELD†.

  3. Iceland and European Union accession - the whaling issue

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Peter G.G.

    2011-01-01

    This article seeks to assess one of the important questions regarding Iceland’s potential accession to the EU, namely, whether Iceland could legitimately continue its whaling operations under current EU environmental law if it becomes a member of the regional economic integration organization

  4. Deep Mapping of Teuthivorous Whales and Their Prey Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    components of this effort including Chad Waluk, David O’Gorman, Ian Robbins, John Calambokidas, Ari Friedlander, Peter Tyack, Patricia Arranz, and David...acoustic testing strand whales? Nature 392:29 Jochens AD, Biggs DC, Benoit-Bird KJ, Engelhaupt D, Gordon J, Hu C, Jaquet N, Johnson MP, Leben RR, Mate BR

  5. A Review of the Status of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa plumbea) in Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiani, Muhammad Shoaib; Van Waerebeek, Koen

    2015-01-01

    Limited historical and new information on Indian Ocean humpback dolphins, Sousa plumbea, in Pakistan are reviewed. Although present along most of the coast, S. plumbea concentrates in the mangrove-lined creek system of the Indus Delta (Sindh), Miani Hor (Sonmiani Bay), Kalmat Lagoon, Gwadar and the Dasht River estuary (Gwater Bay, Jiwani). Other areas of distribution comprise the Karachi coast, Kund Malir, Ormara and Pasni. In the Indus Delta, 46 small-boat surveys conducted monthly (minus July and October) in 2005-2009, documented 112 sightings (439 individuals) in major creeks, smaller channels and nearshore waters. Group sizes ranged from 1-35 animals (mean=3.92±4.60). Groups of 1-10 animals composed 91% of total (27.9% single animals). An encounter rate of 0.07-0.17 dolphins km(-1) lacked a significant trend across survey years. A discovery curve remained steep after 87 dolphins were photo-identified, suggesting the population is vastly larger. In Sonmiani Bay, Balochistan, during 9 survey days in 2011-2012, group sizes ranged from 1-68 animals (mean=11.9±13.59; n=36), totalling 428 dolphins. Incidental entanglements, primarily in gillnets, pollution (especially around Karachi), overfishing and the ship breaking industry in Gaddani, pose major threats. Incidental catches occur along the entire Pakistani coast. Of 106 stranded cetaceans, 24.5% were S. plumbea. Directed takes in Balochistan, driven by demand for bait in shark fisheries, have reportedly declined following dwindling shark stocks. Habitat degradation threats include depletion of prey and increased maritime traffic. Domestic sewage and solid waste pollution are predominant on the Balochistan coast, especially at Miani Hor, Kund Malir, Ormara, Kalmat Lagoon, Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani. An exhaustive habitat assessment combined with appropriate fishery management is the only way to safeguard the future of S. plumbea in Pakistan. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  6. Ecology and Conservation Status of Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Andrianarivelo, Norbert; Andrianantenaina, Boris

    2015-01-01

    The Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea) has been studied in several range states in the Southwest Indian Ocean, however little information exists on populations in Madagascar. Here, we review available literature and describe a study on S. plumbea conducted between 2004 and 2013 on the west coast of Madagascar, involving boat-based field surveys in the southwest and northwest regions, and interview surveys with local fishers from villages along most of the west coast. Field surveys in the southwest region of Anakao/St. Augustine Bay revealed low encounter rates and mean group size, and markedly declining trends in both from 1999 to 2013. Conversely, in the northwest region around Nosy Be and Nosy Iranja, encounter rates were higher, as were mean group sizes, suggesting an apparently more abundant and less impacted population. Interview surveys revealed by-catch of coastal dolphins along the entire west coast, including S. plumbea, as well as other species. Directed hunting, including drive hunts of groups of dolphins, was reported primarily in the southern regions, in the range of the Vezo Malagasy ethnicity; however, there was evidence of hunting starting in one area in the northwest, where hunting dolphins is normally considered taboo for the predominant Sakalava ethnicity. Thus, the conservation status of S. plumbea in Madagascar appears to be spatially heterogeneous, with some areas where the local population is apparently more impacted than others. Conservation measures are recommended to mitigate further decline in the southwest of Madagascar, while protecting habitat and ensuring resilience in the northwest. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dehn, Larissa-A. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States)]. E-mail: ftld@uaf.edu; Follmann, Erich H. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Rosa, Cheryl [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Duffy, Lawrence K. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Thomas, Dana L. [Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6660 (United States); Bratton, Gerald R. [Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); Taylor, Robert J. [Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); O' Hara, Todd M. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough, Barrow, AK 99725 (United States)

    2006-03-15

    Tissues of bowhead, beluga, and gray whales were analyzed for Ag, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, THg and MeHg (belugas only). {delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C in muscle were used to estimate trophic position and feeding habitat, respectively. Trace element concentrations in tissues were significantly different among whale species. Hepatic Ag was higher in belugas than bowheads and gray whales. Gray whales had lower Cd concentrations in liver and kidney than bowhead and belugas and a sigmoid correlation of Cd with length was noted for all whales. Renal and hepatic Se and THg were higher in belugas than in baleen whales. The hepatic molar ratio of Se:THg exceeded 1:1 in all species and was negatively correlated to body length. Hepatic and renal Zn in subsistence-harvested gray whales was lower than concentrations for stranded whales. Se:THg molar ratios and tissue concentrations of Zn may show promise as potential indicators of immune status and animal health.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dehn, Larissa-A.; Follmann, Erich H.; Rosa, Cheryl; Duffy, Lawrence K.; Thomas, Dana L.; Bratton, Gerald R.; Taylor, Robert J.; O'Hara, Todd M.

    2006-01-01

    Tissues of bowhead, beluga, and gray whales were analyzed for Ag, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, THg and MeHg (belugas only). δ 15 N and δ 13 C in muscle were used to estimate trophic position and feeding habitat, respectively. Trace element concentrations in tissues were significantly different among whale species. Hepatic Ag was higher in belugas than bowheads and gray whales. Gray whales had lower Cd concentrations in liver and kidney than bowhead and belugas and a sigmoid correlation of Cd with length was noted for all whales. Renal and hepatic Se and THg were higher in belugas than in baleen whales. The hepatic molar ratio of Se:THg exceeded 1:1 in all species and was negatively correlated to body length. Hepatic and renal Zn in subsistence-harvested gray whales was lower than concentrations for stranded whales. Se:THg molar ratios and tissue concentrations of Zn may show promise as potential indicators of immune status and animal health

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432–917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420–990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347–1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species. PMID:25870776

  10. 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

  11. The auditory anatomy of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata): a potential fatty sound reception pathway in a baleen whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamato, Maya; Ketten, Darlene R; Arruda, Julie; Cramer, Scott; Moore, Kathleen

    2012-06-01

    Cetaceans possess highly derived auditory systems adapted for underwater hearing. Odontoceti (toothed whales) are thought to receive sound through specialized fat bodies that contact the tympanoperiotic complex, the bones housing the middle and inner ears. However, sound reception pathways remain unknown in Mysticeti (baleen whales), which have very different cranial anatomies compared to odontocetes. Here, we report a potential fatty sound reception pathway in the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), a mysticete of the balaenopterid family. The cephalic anatomy of seven minke whales was investigated using computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, verified through dissections. Findings include a large, well-formed fat body lateral, dorsal, and posterior to the mandibular ramus and lateral to the tympanoperiotic complex. This fat body inserts into the tympanoperiotic complex at the lateral aperture between the tympanic and periotic bones and is in contact with the ossicles. There is also a second, smaller body of fat found within the tympanic bone, which contacts the ossicles as well. This is the first analysis of these fatty tissues' association with the auditory structures in a mysticete, providing anatomical evidence that fatty sound reception pathways may not be a unique feature of odontocete cetaceans. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Assessment of the Conservation Status of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa plumbea) Using the IUCN Red List Criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braulik, Gill T; Findlay, Ken; Cerchio, Salvatore; Baldwin, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) are obligate shallow-water dolphins that occur exclusively in the near-shore waters of the Indian Ocean, from South Africa to the Bay of Bengal. They have a narrow habitat preference, restricted distribution and do not appear very abundant across any part of their range. There is no estimate of total species abundance; all populations that have been quantitatively evaluated have been small in size, usually fewer than 200 individuals. Fishing, dredging, land reclamation, construction blasting, port and harbour construction, pollution, boat traffic and other coastal development activities all occur, or are concentrated within, humpback dolphin habitat and threaten their survival. Although data are far from sufficient to make a rigorous quantitative assessment of population trends for this species, the scale of threats is large enough over a significant enough portion of the range to suspect or infer a decline of at least 50% over three generations, which qualifies it for listing on the IUCN Red List as Endangered. The issue primarily responsible is incidental mortality in fisheries, but the loss and degradation of habitat is likely a contributing factor. None of the threats have been adequately addressed in any part of the species' range, even though threat levels are increasing virtually everywhere. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  13. Population Differentiation and Hybridisation of Australian Snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific Humpback (Sousa chinensis) Dolphins in North-Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Alexander M.; Kopps, Anna M.; Allen, Simon J.; Bejder, Lars; Littleford-Colquhoun, Bethan; Parra, Guido J.; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Thiele, Deborah; Palmer, Carol; Frère, Celine H.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins (‘snubfin’ and ‘humpback dolphins’, hereafter) of north-western Australia. While both species are listed as ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN, data deficiencies are impeding rigorous assessment of their conservation status across Australia. Understanding the genetic structure of populations, including levels of gene flow among populations, is important for the assessment of conservation status and the effective management of a species. Using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, we assessed population genetic diversity and differentiation between snubfin dolphins from Cygnet (n = 32) and Roebuck Bays (n = 25), and humpback dolphins from the Dampier Archipelago (n = 19) and the North West Cape (n = 18). All sampling locations were separated by geographic distances >200 km. For each species, we found significant genetic differentiation between sampling locations based on 12 (for snubfin dolphins) and 13 (for humpback dolphins) microsatellite loci (F ST = 0.05–0.09; P<0.001) and a 422 bp sequence of the mitochondrial control region (F ST = 0.50–0.70; P<0.001). The estimated proportion of migrants in a population ranged from 0.01 (95% CI 0.00–0.06) to 0.13 (0.03–0.24). These are the first estimates of genetic diversity and differentiation for snubfin and humpback dolphins in Western Australia, providing valuable information towards the assessment of their conservation status in this rapidly developing region. Our results suggest that north-western Australian snubfin and humpback dolphins may exist as metapopulations of small, largely isolated population fragments, and should be managed accordingly. Management plans should seek to maintain effective population size and gene flow. Additionally, while interactions of a socio-sexual nature between these two species have been observed previously, here we provide

  14. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis dolphins in north-western Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M Brown

    Full Text Available Little is known about the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis dolphins ('snubfin' and 'humpback dolphins', hereafter of north-western Australia. While both species are listed as 'near threatened' by the IUCN, data deficiencies are impeding rigorous assessment of their conservation status across Australia. Understanding the genetic structure of populations, including levels of gene flow among populations, is important for the assessment of conservation status and the effective management of a species. Using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, we assessed population genetic diversity and differentiation between snubfin dolphins from Cygnet (n = 32 and Roebuck Bays (n = 25, and humpback dolphins from the Dampier Archipelago (n = 19 and the North West Cape (n = 18. All sampling locations were separated by geographic distances >200 km. For each species, we found significant genetic differentiation between sampling locations based on 12 (for snubfin dolphins and 13 (for humpback dolphins microsatellite loci (FST = 0.05-0.09; P<0.001 and a 422 bp sequence of the mitochondrial control region (FST = 0.50-0.70; P<0.001. The estimated proportion of migrants in a population ranged from 0.01 (95% CI 0.00-0.06 to 0.13 (0.03-0.24. These are the first estimates of genetic diversity and differentiation for snubfin and humpback dolphins in Western Australia, providing valuable information towards the assessment of their conservation status in this rapidly developing region. Our results suggest that north-western Australian snubfin and humpback dolphins may exist as metapopulations of small, largely isolated population fragments, and should be managed accordingly. Management plans should seek to maintain effective population size and gene flow. Additionally, while interactions of a socio-sexual nature between these two species have been observed previously, here we provide strong evidence for

  15. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    In February 2014 two male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded at Henne Strand, Denmark. One whale (MCE 1644) was found dead, while the other (MCE 1645) was still alive, but drowned during the high tide. To increase our knowledge of sperm whales, conduct forage investigations, post......-mortem and diagnostic examinations were carried out. The decay of the carcasses progressed quickly. The whales had large (MCE 1644) or moderate (MCE 1645) numbers of squid beaks (Gonatus fabricii) in the stomachventricles, but no evidence of recentfresh feeding. Both whales had acute dermatitis probably due to trauma...... severe localized or systemic infections. The finding of large volumes of bloody pleural fluid with large quantities of C. septicum suggests that MCE 1644 died of infection. However, reservations must be taken due to the pronounced decay of the carcass. Sperm whales have strong social bonds where...

  17. Modelling the effects of environmental conditions on the acoustic occurrence and behaviour of Antarctic blue whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fannie W Shabangu

    Full Text Available Harvested to perilously low numbers by commercial whaling during the past century, the large scale response of Antarctic blue whales Balaenoptera musculus intermedia to environmental variability is poorly understood. This study uses acoustic data collected from 586 sonobuoys deployed in the austral summers of 1997 through 2009, south of 38°S, coupled with visual observations of blue whales during the IWC SOWER line-transect surveys. The characteristic Z-call and D-call of Antarctic blue whales were detected using an automated detection template and visual verification method. Using a random forest model, we showed the environmental preferences pattern, spatial occurrence and acoustic behaviour of Antarctic blue whales. Distance to the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (SBACC, latitude and distance from the nearest Antarctic shores were the main geographic predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Satellite-derived sea surface height, sea surface temperature, and productivity (chlorophyll-a were the most important environmental predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Call rates of D-calls were strongly predicted by the location of the SBACC, latitude and visually detected number of whales in an area while call rates of Z-call were predicted by the SBACC, latitude and longitude. Satellite-derived sea surface height, wind stress, wind direction, water depth, sea surface temperatures, chlorophyll-a and wind speed were important environmental predictors of blue whale call rates in the Southern Ocean. Blue whale call occurrence and call rates varied significantly in response to inter-annual and long term variability of those environmental predictors. Our results identify the response of Antarctic blue whales to inter-annual variability in environmental conditions and highlighted potential suitable habitats for this population. Such emerging knowledge about the acoustic behaviour, environmental and habitat preferences of

  18. Stable isotopes provide insight into population structure and segregation in eastern North Atlantic sperm whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borrell, Asunción; Velásquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly......, use of habitat and/or migratory destinations are dissimilar between whales from the two regions and suggest that the North Atlantic population of sperm whales is more structured than traditionally accepted....

  19. 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.

  20. Modelling the effects of environmental conditions on the acoustic occurrence and behaviour of Antarctic blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shabangu, Fannie W; Yemane, Dawit; Stafford, Kathleen M; Ensor, Paul; Findlay, Ken P

    2017-01-01

    Harvested to perilously low numbers by commercial whaling during the past century, the large scale response of Antarctic blue whales Balaenoptera musculus intermedia to environmental variability is poorly understood. This study uses acoustic data collected from 586 sonobuoys deployed in the austral summers of 1997 through 2009, south of 38°S, coupled with visual observations of blue whales during the IWC SOWER line-transect surveys. The characteristic Z-call and D-call of Antarctic blue whales were detected using an automated detection template and visual verification method. Using a random forest model, we showed the environmental preferences pattern, spatial occurrence and acoustic behaviour of Antarctic blue whales. Distance to the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (SBACC), latitude and distance from the nearest Antarctic shores were the main geographic predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Satellite-derived sea surface height, sea surface temperature, and productivity (chlorophyll-a) were the most important environmental predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Call rates of D-calls were strongly predicted by the location of the SBACC, latitude and visually detected number of whales in an area while call rates of Z-call were predicted by the SBACC, latitude and longitude. Satellite-derived sea surface height, wind stress, wind direction, water depth, sea surface temperatures, chlorophyll-a and wind speed were important environmental predictors of blue whale call rates in the Southern Ocean. Blue whale call occurrence and call rates varied significantly in response to inter-annual and long term variability of those environmental predictors. Our results identify the response of Antarctic blue whales to inter-annual variability in environmental conditions and highlighted potential suitable habitats for this population. Such emerging knowledge about the acoustic behaviour, environmental and habitat preferences of Antarctic blue whales is

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Praca, Emilie; Laran, Sophie; Lepoint, Gilles; Thome, Jean-Pierre; Quetglas, Antoni; Belcari, Paola; Sartor, Paolo; Dhermain, Frank; Ody, Denis; Tapie, Nathalie

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: →δ 15 N highlights significant different trophic levels. → Similar δ 13 C indicate a habitat superposition or corroborate seasonal migrations. → Congener 180 and tDDT/tPCB show wider migrations for sperm whales. - Abstract: Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales rarely strand in the northwestern Mediterranean. Thus, their feeding ecology, through the analysis of stomach contents, is poorly known. The aim of this study was to gain further insight into the segregation/superposition of the diet and habitat of Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales using chemical tracers, namely, stable isotopes (δ 13 C, δ 15 N) and organochlorines. Significantly different δ 15 N values were obtained in Risso's dolphins (11.7 ± 0.7 per mille ), sperm whales (10.8 ± 0.3 per mille ) and pilot whales (9.8 ± 0.3 per mille ), revealing different trophic levels. These differences are presumably due to various proportions of Histioteuthidae cephalopods in each toothed whale's diet. Similar δ 13 C contents between species indicated long-term habitat superposition or corroborated important seasonal migrations. Lower congener 180 concentrations (8.20 vs. 21.73 μg.g -1 lw) and higher tDDT/tPCB ratios (0.93 vs. 0.42) were observed in sperm whales compared with Risso's dolphins and may indicate wider migrations for the former. Therefore, competition between these species seems to depend on different trophic levels and migration patterns.

  2. 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.

  3. Recording and quantification of ultrasonic echolocation clicks from free-ranging toothed whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Peter Teglberg; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2007-01-01

    Toothed whales produce short, ultrasonic clicks of high directionality and source level to probe their environment acoustically. This process, termed echolocation, is to a large part governed by the properties of the emitted clicks. Therefore derivation of click source parameters from free......-ranging animals is of increasing importance to understand both how toothed whales use echolocation in the wild and how they may be monitored acoustically. This paper addresses how source parameters can be derived from free-ranging toothed whales in the wild using calibrated multi-hydrophone arrays and digital...... of discrete versions of toothed whale clicks that are meaningful in a biosonar context....

  4. Minimally destructive DNA extraction from archaeological artefacts made from whale baleen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sinding, Mikkel Holger Strander; Gilbert, Tom; Grønnow, Bjarne

    2012-01-01

    Here we demonstrate the successful extraction and amplification of target species DNA from artefacts made of whale baleen collected from excavations of past palaeo-Eskimo and Inuit cultures in Greenland. DNA was successfully extracted and amplified from a single baleen bristle of 1.5 cm length...... genetic studies. We conclude that genetic investigation of historical baleen collections can contribute to our knowledge of the prehistoric population genetics of baleen whales, for example by quantifying the impact of modern whaling on the genetic diversity of bowhead whales....

  5. Testing the effectiveness of an acoustic deterrent for gray whales along the Oregon coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lagerquist, Barbara [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute; Winsor, Martha [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute; Mate, Bruce [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute

    2012-12-31

    This study was conducted to determine whether a low-powered sound source could be effective at deterring gray whales from areas that may prove harmful to them. With increased interest in the development of marine renewal energy along the Oregon coast the concern that such development may pose a collision or entanglement risk for gray whales. A successful acoustic deterrent could act as a mitigation tool to prevent harm to whales from such risks. In this study, an acoustic device was moored on the seafloor in the pathway of migrating gray whales off Yaquina Head on the central Oregon coast. Shore-based observers tracked whales with a theodolite (surveyor’s tool) to accurately locate whales as they passed the headland. Individual locations of different whales/whale groups as well as tracklines of the same whale/whale groups were obtained and compared between times with the acoustic device was transmitting and when it was off. Observations were conducted on 51 d between January 1 and April 15, 2012. A total of 143 individual whale locations were collected for a total of 243 whales, as well as 57 tracklines for a total of 142 whales. Inclement weather and equipment problems resulted in very small sample sizes, especially during experimental periods, when the device was transmitting. Because of this, the results of this study were inconclusive. We feel that another season of field testing is warranted to successfully test the effectiveness of the deterrent, but recommend increasing the zone of influence to 3 km to ensure the collection of adequate sample sizes. Steps have been taken to acquire the necessary federal research permit modification to authorize the increased zone of influence and to modify the acoustic device for the increased power. With these changes we are confident we will be able to determine whether the deterrent is effective at deflecting gray whales. A successful deterrent device may serve as a valuable mitigation tool to protect gray whales, and

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Lateral and vertical facies relationships of bedforms deposited by aggrading supercritical flows: From cyclic steps to humpback dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Jörg; Winsemann, Jutta

    2013-10-01

    The preservation of bedforms related to supercritical flows and hydraulic jumps is commonly considered to be rare in the geologic record, although these bedforms are known from a variety of depositional environments. This field-based study presents a detailed analysis of the sedimentary facies and stacking pattern of deposits of cyclic steps, chutes-and-pools, antidunes and humpback dunes from three-dimensional outcrops. The well exposed Middle Pleistocene successions from northern Germany comprise glacilacustrine ice-contact subaqueous fan and glacial lake-outburst flood deposits. The studied successions give new insights into the depositional architecture of bedforms related to supercritical flows and may serve as an analogue for other high-energy depositional environments such as fluvial settings, coarse-grained deltas or turbidite systems. Deposits of cyclic steps occur within the glacial lake-outburst flood succession and are characterised by lenticular scours infilled by gently to steeply dipping backsets. Cyclic steps formed due to acceleration and flow thinning when the glacial lake-outburst flood spilled over a push-moraine ridge. These bedforms are commonly laterally and vertically truncated and alternate with deposits of chutes-and-pools and antidunes. The subaqueous fan successions are dominated by laterally extensive sinusoidal waveforms, which are interpreted as deposits of aggrading stationary antidunes, which require quasi-steady flows at the lower limit of the supercritical flow stage and high rates of sedimentation. Humpback dunes are characterised by downflow divergent cross-stratification, displaying differentiation into topsets, foresets and bottomsets, and are interpreted as deposited at the transition from subcritical to supercritical flow conditions or vice versa. Gradual lateral and vertical transitions between humpback dunes and antidune deposits are very common. The absence of planar-parallel stratification in all studied successions

  9. Archaeocete-like jaws in a baleen whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.

    2012-01-01

    The titanic baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) have a bizarre skull morphology, including an elastic mandibular symphysis, which permits dynamic oral cavity expansion during bulk feeding. How this key innovation evolved from the sutured symphysis of archaeocetes has remained unclear. Now, mandibles of the Oligocene toothed mysticete Janjucetus hunderi show that basal mysticetes had an archaeocete-like sutured symphysis. This archaic morphology was paired with a wide rostrum typical of later-diverging baleen whales. This demonstrates that increased oral capacity via rostral widening preceded the evolution of mandibular innovations for filter feeding. Thus, the initial evolution of the mysticetes' unique cranial form and huge mouths was perhaps not linked to filtering plankton, but to enhancing suction feeding on individual prey. PMID:21849306

  10. Conservation markets for wildlife management with case studies from whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Leah R; Costello, Christopher; Gaines, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    Although market-based incentives have helped resolve many environmental challenges, conservation markets still play a relatively minor role in wildlife management. Establishing property rights for environmental goods and allowing trade between resource extractors and resource conservationists may offer a path forward in conserving charismatic species like whales, wolves, turtles, and sharks. In this paper, we provide a conceptual model for implementing a conservation market for wildlife and evaluate how such a market could be applied to three case studies for whales (minke [Balaenoptera acutorostrata], bowhead [Balaena mysticetus], and gray [Eschrictius robustus]). We show that, if designed and operated properly, such a market could ensure persistence of imperiled populations, while simultaneously improving the welfare of resource harvesters.

  11. Sensory Hairs in the Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus (Cetacea, Mammalia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Summer E; Crish, Samuel D; George, John C; Stimmelmayr, Raphaella; Thewissen, J G M

    2015-07-01

    We studied the histology and morphometrics of the hairs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). These whales are hairless except for two patches of more than 300 hairs on the rostral tip of the lower lip and chin, the rostral tip of the upper lip, and a bilateral row of approximately ten hairs caudal to the blowhole. Histological data indicate that hairs in all three of these areas are vibrissae: they show an outermost connective tissue capsule, a circumferential blood sinus system surrounding the hair shaft, and dense innervation to the follicle. Morphometric data were collected on hair diameters, epidermal recess diameters, hair follicle length, and external hair lengths. The main difference between the hairs in the different regions is that blowhole hairs have larger diameters than the hairs in the chin and rostrum regions. We speculate that the hair shaft thickness patterns in bowheads reflect functional specializations. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Properties and architecture of the sperm whale skull amphitheatre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Parvez; Amini, Shahrouz; Tadayon, Maryam; Miserez, Ali; Chinsamy, Anusuya

    2016-02-01

    The sperm whale skull amphitheatre cradles an enormous two-tonne spermaceti organ. The amphitheatre separates this organ from the cranium and the cervical vertebrae that lie in close proximity to the base of the skull. Here, we elucidate that this skull amphitheatre is an elastic, flexible, triple-layered structure with mechanical properties that are conjointly guided by bone histology and the characteristics of pore space. We contend that the amphitheatre will flex elastically to equilibrate forces transmitted via the spermaceti organ that arise through diving. We find that collisions from sperm whale aggression do not cause the amphitheatre to bend, but rather localise stress to the base of the amphitheatre on its anterior face. We consider, therefore, that the uniquely thin and extended construction of the amphitheatre, has relevance as an energy absorptive structure in diving. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. The Genome of the Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J. M. Jones

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The beluga whale is a cetacean that inhabits arctic and subarctic regions, and is the only living member of the genus Delphinapterus. The genome of the beluga whale was determined using DNA sequencing approaches that employed both microfluidic partitioning library and non-partitioned library construction. The former allowed for the construction of a highly contiguous assembly with a scaffold N50 length of over 19 Mbp and total reconstruction of 2.32 Gbp. To aid our understanding of the functional elements, transcriptome data was also derived from brain, duodenum, heart, lung, spleen, and liver tissue. Assembled sequence and all of the underlying sequence data are available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI under the Bioproject accession number PRJNA360851A.

  14. Omura's whales (Balaenoptera omurai) off northwest Madagascar: ecology, behaviour and conservation needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Andrianantenaina, Boris; Lindsay, Alec; Rekdahl, Melinda; Andrianarivelo, Norbert; Rasoloarijao, Tahina

    2015-10-01

    The Omura's whale (Balaenoptera omurai) was described as a new species in 2003 and then soon after as an ancient lineage basal to a Bryde's/sei whale clade. Currently known only from whaling and stranding specimens primarily from the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, there exist no confirmed field observations or ecological/behavioural data. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first genetically confirmed documentation of living Omura's whales including descriptions of basic ecology and behaviour from northwestern Madagascar. Species identification was confirmed through molecular phylogenetic analyses of biopsies collected from 18 adult animals. All individuals shared a single haplotype in a 402 bp sequence of mtDNA control region, suggesting low diversity and a potentially small population. Sightings of 44 groups indicated preference for shallow-water shelf habitat with sea surface temperature between 27.4°C and 30.2°C. Frequent observations were made of lunge feeding, possibly on zooplankton. Observations of four mothers with young calves, and recordings of a song-like vocalization probably indicate reproductive behaviour. Social organization consisted of loose aggregations of predominantly unassociated single individuals spatially and temporally clustered. Photographic recapture of a female re-sighted the following year with a young calf suggests site fidelity or a resident population. Our results demonstrate that the species is a tropical whale without segregation of feeding and breeding habitat, and is probably non-migratory; our data extend the range of this poorly studied whale into the western Indian Ocean. Exclusive range restriction to tropical waters is rare among baleen whale species, except for the various forms of Bryde's whales and Omura's whales. Thus, the discovery of a tractable population of Omura's whales in the tropics presents an opportunity for understanding the ecological factors driving potential convergence of life

  15. Ocean Connections with the Historic Whaling Ship Charles W. Morgan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, M. M.

    2016-02-01

    This scientific outreach project involved the Charles W. Morgan, Mystic Seaport's historic whaling ship. We educated K-2 students, trained undergraduate and graduate students, and informed the general public about oceanographic data collection, pathways from coastal to ocean waters, and connections in marine ecosystems. I was aboard the Charles W. Morgan for the Provincetown to Stellwagen Bank leg of the historic 38th voyage in summer 2014. While at sea, our voyager team released several GPS-tracked surface drifters to reveal important flow pathways and how the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is connected to other ocean areas. These drifters were built by graduate and undergraduate students and the drifter artwork was designed by elementary school students. Surface currents dispersed the drifters and carried them much farther offshore than the Charles W. Morgan itself. Many drifters reached Georges Bank, another important biologically productive area. The Charles W. Morgan encountered whales for the first time in decades. Some of the food-chain connections that may explain the abundance of whales at Stellwagen bank that summer are described. This outreach project has been presented in lectures to high school teachers and the general public and also featured in an online interview, a television news story, and a newspaper article. K-2 students at an elementary school math and science day first painted drifters in advance of the voyage, viewed real-time updates in the months following drifter release, and engaged in activities illustrating ocean connectivity and marine habitats at the end of the following academic year. We aimed to convey how sensitive whales are to human activities (on land and water) and to changes in the marine environment. Successes and lessons learned will be discussed. ED003: Creative Ways to Connect Ocean Sciences to the Public

  16. Building a Virtual Model of a Baleen Whale: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    skiff. This allows us to tow the whale tail-first without hydrodynamic “porpoising” or spinning, etc., and, very importantly, without involving...peduncle. This part of the process helps to preclude any unmanageable hydrodynamic effects from allowing the pectoral fins to trail freely in the...and shear stresses, dissipated energy and heating effects, excessive strains or displacements due to resonance, potential to induce cavitation , and

  17. Population Parameters of Blainvilles and Cuviers Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    cetacean populations. Long-term monitoring of beaked whale populations in El Hierro , a nearly pristine habitat far from areas of sonar testing or...marine industry, enables valuable studies of demographic trends and life history dictated mainly by natural parameters. El Hierro is in process of...functioning (expected in 2018-2019), it is essential to continue monitoring the populations in El Hierro to obtain an uninterrupted long-term dataset of

  18. 75 FR 1582 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-12

    ... Cook Inlet Beluga Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and... designate critical habitat for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale, Delphinapterus leucas, under the... the Cook Inlet beluga whale can be found on our Web site at: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ FOR FURTHER...

  19. 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

    ... and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale and the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric...: NMFS announces a 5-year review of North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and North Pacific...

  20. 75 FR 70903 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period on Marine Mammal...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-19

    ... North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period on Marine Mammal Protection Act... whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as a depleted stock under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and... report for Eastern North Pacific gray whales is available on the Internet at the following address: http...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  2. Distance estimation experiment for aerial minke whale surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Witting

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available A comparative study between aerial cue–counting and digital photography surveys for minke whales conducted in Faxaflói Bay in September 2003 is used to check the perpendicular distances estimated by the cue-counting observers. The study involved 2 aircraft with the photo plane at 1,700 feet flying above the cue–counting plane at 750 feet. The observer–based distance estimates were calculated from head angles estimated by angle-boards and declination angles estimated by declinometers. These distances were checked against image–based estimates of the perpendicular distance to the same whale. The 2 independent distance estimates were obtained for 21 sightings of minke whale, and there was a good agreement between the 2 types of estimates. The relative absolute deviations between the 2 estimates were on average 23% (se: 6%, with the errors in the observer–based distance estimates resembling that of a log-normal distribution. The linear regression of the observer–based estimates (obs on the image–based estimates (img was Obs=1.1Img (R2=0.85 with an intercept fixed at zero. There was no evidence of a distance estimation bias that could generate a positive bias in the absolute abundance estimated by cue–counting.

  3. Modification of the wake behind a bat ear with and without tubercles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrin, Christopher; Elbing, Brian

    2015-11-01

    The Mexican Free-Tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) is a highly aerobatic bat, known to dive from altitudes of several thousand feet into their home caves, reaching estimated speeds of 27 m/s (Davis et al., Ecological Monographs, 32, 1962). A series of small tubercles have been observed on the leading edge of the bat's ear, which mimic the pattern of tubercles found on the fins of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). The tubercles on the whale fins have been proven to delay stall on the fin and allow the whale to retain better control during dives. The goal of the current study is to assess whether the bat ear tubercles fulfill a similar purpose of improving flow control, particularly at high angles of attack. This was accomplished by acquiring PIV measurements of the bat ear wake with and without the tubercles. The velocity profiles were used to assess the drag and lift as a function of angle of attack. These results will be presented and the impact of the tubercles assessed.

  4. A simulation of temperature influence on echolocation click beams of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhongchang; Zhang, Yu; Wang, Xianyan; Wei, Chong

    2017-10-01

    A finite element method was used to investigate the temperature influence on sound beams of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. The numerical models of a dolphin, which originated from previous computed tomography (CT) scanning and physical measurement results, were used to investigate sound beam patterns of the dolphin in temperatures from 21 °C to 39 °C, in increments of 2 °C. The -3 dB beam widths across the temperatures ranged from 9.3° to 12.6°, and main beam angle ranged from 4.7° to 7.2° for these temperatures. The subsequent simulation suggested that the dolphin's sound beam patterns, side lobes in particular, were influenced by temperature.

  5. Prevalence of Epidermal Conditions in Critically Endangered Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis from the Waters of Western Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Cheng Yang1, Wei-Lung Chang2, Ka-Hei Kwong1, Yi-Ting Yao1 and Lien-Siang Chou2*

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of epidermal conditions in a small critically endangered population (<100 individuals of coastal Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis from the waters of western Taiwan was assessed during a photo-identification study conducted between 2006 and 2010. Of 97 individuals photographically examined, 37% were affected by one or multiple conditions. Besides, mature individuals had significantly higher prevalence than immature ones. Five different skin condition categories were considered, including pox-like lesion, pale lesion, orange film, prolonged ulcer lesion, and nodule on body. This first study to investigate epidermal conditions on S. chinensis in the world offers data for comparison with other studies in the future and new ground for discussion on the health of these animals and the potential impact of anthropogenic activities.

  6. Low diversity in the mitogenome of sperm whales revealed by next-generation sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alana Alexander; Debbie Steel; Beth Slikas; Kendra Hoekzema; Colm Carraher; Matthew Parks; Richard Cronn; C. Scott Baker

    2012-01-01

    Large population sizes and global distributions generally associate with high mitochondrial DNA control region (CR) diversity. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is an exception, showing low CR diversity relative to other cetaceans; however, diversity levels throughout the remainder of the sperm whale mitogenome are unknown. We sequenced 20...

  7. Fin whales and microplastics: The Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Baini, Matteo; Giannetti, Matteo; Coppola, Daniele; Guerranti, Cristiana; Caliani, Ilaria; Minutoli, Roberta; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Finoia, Maria Grazia; Rubegni, Fabrizio; Panigada, Simone; Bérubé, Martine; Urbán Ramírez, Jorge; Panti, Cristina

    2016-02-01

    The impact that microplastics have on baleen whales is a question that remains largely unexplored. This study examined the interaction between free-ranging fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and microplastics by comparing populations living in two semi-enclosed basins, the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California, Mexico). The results indicate that a considerable abundance of microplastics and plastic additives exists in the neustonic samples from Pelagos Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea, and that pelagic areas containing high densities of microplastics overlap with whale feeding grounds, suggesting that whales are exposed to microplastics during foraging; this was confirmed by the observation of a temporal increase in toxicological stress in whales. Given the abundance of microplastics in the Mediterranean environment, along with the high concentrations of Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemicals, plastic additives and biomarker responses detected in the biopsies of Mediterranean whales as compared to those in whales inhabiting the Sea of Cortez, we believe that exposure to microplastics because of direct ingestion and consumption of contaminated prey poses a major threat to the health of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 77 FR 71259 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-29

    ... (i.e., straighten with less force) than the Japanese-style tuna hooks used by a portion of the... the affected false killer whale stocks, describe the final FKWTRP management measures, summarize the... Report (SAR), there are five Pacific Islands Region management stocks of false killer whales: (1) The...

  9. 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

  10. The biogeochemical role of baleen whales and krill in Southern Ocean nutrient cycling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lavenia Ratnarajah

    Full Text Available The availability of micronutrients is a key factor that affects primary productivity in High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (HNLC regions of the Southern Ocean. Nutrient supply is governed by a range of physical, chemical and biological processes, and there are significant feedbacks within the ecosystem. It has been suggested that baleen whales form a crucial part of biogeochemical cycling processes through the consumption of nutrient-rich krill and subsequent defecation, but data on their contribution are scarce. We analysed the concentration of iron, cadmium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, phosphorus and carbon in baleen whale faeces and muscle, and krill tissue using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Metal concentrations in krill tissue were between 20 thousand and 4.8 million times higher than typical Southern Ocean HNLC seawater concentrations, while whale faecal matter was between 276 thousand and 10 million times higher. These findings suggest that krill act as a mechanism for concentrating and retaining elements in the surface layer, which are subsequently released back into the ocean, once eaten by whales, through defecation. Trace metal to carbon ratios were also higher in whale faeces compared to whale muscle indicating that whales are concentrating carbon and actively defecating trace elements. Consequently, recovery of the great whales may facilitate the recycling of nutrients via defecation, which may affect productivity in HNLC areas.

  11. Passive acoustic monitoring of beaked whale densities in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, John A; Baumann-Pickering, Simone; Frasier, Kaitlin E; Trickey, Jennifer S; Merkens, Karlina P; Wiggins, Sean M; McDonald, Mark A; Garrison, Lance P; Harris, Danielle; Marques, Tiago A; Thomas, Len

    2015-11-12

    Beaked whales are deep diving elusive animals, difficult to census with conventional visual surveys. Methods are presented for the density estimation of beaked whales, using passive acoustic monitoring data collected at sites in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) from the period during and following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010-2013). Beaked whale species detected include: Gervais' (Mesoplodon europaeus), Cuvier's (Ziphius cavirostris), Blainville's (Mesoplodon densirostris) and an unknown species of Mesoplodon sp. (designated as Beaked Whale Gulf - BWG). For Gervais' and Cuvier's beaked whales, we estimated weekly animal density using two methods, one based on the number of echolocation clicks, and another based on the detection of animal groups during 5 min time-bins. Density estimates derived from these two methods were in good general agreement. At two sites in the western GOM, Gervais' beaked whales were present throughout the monitoring period, but Cuvier's beaked whales were present only seasonally, with periods of low density during the summer and higher density in the winter. At an eastern GOM site, both Gervais' and Cuvier's beaked whales had a high density throughout the monitoring period.

  12. De novo assembling and primary analysis of genome and transcriptome of gray whale Eschrichtius robustus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskalev, Alexey А; Kudryavtseva, Anna V; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Serdyukova, Natalya A; Krutovsky, Konstantin V; Sharov, Vadim V; Kulakovskiy, Ivan V; Lando, Andrey S; Kasianov, Artem S; Kuzmin, Dmitry A; Putintseva, Yuliya A; Feranchuk, Sergey I; Shaposhnikov, Mikhail V; Fraifeld, Vadim E; Toren, Dmitri; Snezhkina, Anastasia V; Sitnik, Vasily V

    2017-12-28

    Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus (E. robustus), is a single member of the family Eschrichtiidae, which is considered to be the most primitive in the class Cetacea. Gray whale is often described as a "living fossil". It is adapted to extreme marine conditions and has a high life expectancy (77 years). The assembly of a gray whale genome and transcriptome will allow to carry out further studies of whale evolution, longevity, and resistance to extreme environment. In this work, we report the first de novo assembly and primary analysis of the E. robustus genome and transcriptome based on kidney and liver samples. The presented draft genome assembly is complete by 55% in terms of a total genome length, but only by 24% in terms of the BUSCO complete gene groups, although 10,895 genes were identified. Transcriptome annotation and comparison with other whale species revealed robust expression of DNA repair and hypoxia-response genes, which is expected for whales. This preliminary study of the gray whale genome and transcriptome provides new data to better understand the whale evolution and the mechanisms of their adaptation to the hypoxic conditions.

  13. Gray whale distribution relative to benthic invertebrate biomass and abundance: Northeastern Chukchi Sea 2009-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brower, Amelia A.; Ferguson, Megan C.; Schonberg, Susan V.; Jewett, Stephen C.; Clarke, Janet T.

    2017-10-01

    The shallow continental shelf waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas are the northernmost foraging grounds of North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Benthic amphipods are considered the primary prey of gray whales in these waters, although no comprehensive quantitative analysis has been performed to support this assumption. Gray whale relative abundance, distribution, and behavior in the northeastern Chukchi Sea (69°-72°N, 155-169°W) were documented during aerial surveys in June-October 2009-2012. Concurrently, vessel-based benthic infaunal sampling was conducted in the area in July-August 2009-10, September 2011, and August 2012. Gray whales were seen in the study area each month that surveys were conducted, with the majority of whales feeding. Statistical analyses confirm that the highest densities of feeding gray whales were associated with high benthic amphipod abundance, primarily within 70 km of shore from Point Barrow to Icy Cape, in water whales were not seen in 40-km×40-km cells containing benthic sampling stations with 85 m-2 or fewer amphipods. Continuing broad-scale aerial surveys in the Chukchi Sea and prey sampling near feeding gray whales will be an important means to monitor and document ongoing and predicted ecosystem changes.

  14. Mediterranean Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by Dolphin MorbilliVirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzariol, Sandro; Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Povinelli, Michele; Terracciano, Giuliana; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Pintore, Antonio; Denurra, Daniele; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-02-01

    During 2011-2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006-2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales.

  15. 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 ...

  16. Observations on the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debrot, A.O.; Leon, R.; Esteban, N.; Meesters, H.W.G.

    2013-01-01

    Records of whale sharks in the Caribbean are relatively sparse. Here we document 24 records of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus Smith 1882) for the Dutch Caribbean, four for the windward islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten, and twenty for the southern Caribbean leeward islands of Aruba,

  17. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Panagiotopoulou

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L. sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the “spermaceti organ” and “junk,” that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the

  18. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L.) sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the "spermaceti organ" and "junk," that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the spermaceti organ would

  19. 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.

  20. Calling under pressure: Short-finned pilot whales make social calls during deep foraging dives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand; Marrero Perez, Jacobo; Johnson, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Toothed whales rely on sound to echolocate prey and communicate with conspecifics, but little is known about how extreme pressure affects pneumatic sound production in deep-diving species with a limited air supply. The short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a highly social species...... among the deep-diving toothed whales, in which individuals socialize at the surface but leave their social group in pursuit of prey at depths of up to 1000 m. To investigate if these animals communicate acoustically at depth and test whether hydrostatic pressure affects communication signals, acoustic...... DTAGs logging sound, depth and orientation were attached to 12 pilot whales. Tagged whales produced tonal calls during deep foraging dives at depths of up to 800 m. Mean call output and duration decreased with depth despite the increased distance to conspecifics at the surface. This shows...

  1. Development of the nervus terminalis in mammals including toothed whales and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oelschläger, H A; Buhl, E H; Dann, J F

    1987-01-01

    The early ontogenesis and topography of the mammalian terminalis system was investigated in 43 microslide series of toothed whale and human embryos and fetuses. In early embryonal stages the development of the nasal pit, the olfacto-terminalis placode, and the olfactory bulb anlage is rather similar in toothed whales and humans. However, toothed whales do not show any trace of the vomeronasalis complex. In early fetal stages the olfactory bulb anlage in toothed whales is reduced and leaves the isolated future terminalis ganglion (ganglia) which contains the greatest number of cells within Mammalia. The ganglion is connected with the nasal mucosa via peripheral fiber bundles and with the telencephalon via central terminalis rootlets. The functional implications of the terminalis system in mammals and its evolution in toothed whales are discussed. Obviously, the autonomic component has been enlarged in the course of perfect adaptation to an aquatic environment.

  2. Acoustic Monitoring of a Previously Unstudied Whale Shark Aggregation in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2012-01-01

    The whale shark (Rhincodon, typus), is a large, pelagic, filter feeder for which the available information is limited. The Red Sea populations in particular are practically unstudied. An aggregation site was recently discovered off the western coast of Saudi Arabia. We report the use of passive acoustic monitoring to assess the spatial and temporal behavior patterns of whale sharks in this new site. The aggregation occurs in the spring and peaks in April/ May. Whale sharks showed a preference for a single near shore reef and even a specific area within it. There is no evidence of sexual segregation as the genders were present in roughly equal proportion and used the same habitat at similar times. This information can be used to guide future studies in the area and to inform local management. Continued study will add to the collective knowledge on Red Sea whale sharks, including the population dynamics within the region and how they interact with the global whale shark community.

  3. Identifying the "demon whale-biter": Patterns of scarring on large whales attributed to a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Peter B; Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

    The presence of crater-like wounds on cetaceans and other large marine vertebrates and invertebrates has been attributed to various organisms. We review the evidence for the identity of the biting agent responsible for crater wounds on large whales, using data collected from sei (Balaenoptera borealis), fin (B. physalus), inshore and offshore Bryde's (B. brydeii sp) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) examined at the Donkergat whaling station, Saldanha Bay, South Africa between March and October 1963. We then analyse the intensity and trends in its predation on large whales. Despite the scarcity of local records, we conclude that a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp is the most likely candidate. We make inferences about the trends in (1) total counts of unhealed bitemarks, and (2) the proportion of unhealed bitemarks that were recent. We use day of the year; reproductive class, social grouping or sex; depth interval and body length as candidate covariates. The models with highest support for total counts of unhealed bitemarks involve the day of the year in all species. Depth was an important predictor in all species except offshore Bryde's whales. Models for the proportion of recent bites were only informative for sei and fin whales. We conclude that temporal scarring patterns support what is currently hypothesized about the distribution and movements of these whale species, given that Isistius does not occur in the Antarctic and has an oceanic habitat. The incidence of fresh bites confirms the presence of Isistius in the region. The lower numbers of unhealed bites on medium-sized sperm whales suggests that this group spends more time outside the area in which bites are incurred, providing a clue to one of the biggest gaps in our understanding of the movements of mature and maturing sperm males.

  4. Identifying the “demon whale-biter”: Patterns of scarring on large whales attributed to a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

    The presence of crater-like wounds on cetaceans and other large marine vertebrates and invertebrates has been attributed to various organisms. We review the evidence for the identity of the biting agent responsible for crater wounds on large whales, using data collected from sei (Balaenoptera borealis), fin (B. physalus), inshore and offshore Bryde’s (B. brydeii sp) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) examined at the Donkergat whaling station, Saldanha Bay, South Africa between March and October 1963. We then analyse the intensity and trends in its predation on large whales. Despite the scarcity of local records, we conclude that a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp is the most likely candidate. We make inferences about the trends in (1) total counts of unhealed bitemarks, and (2) the proportion of unhealed bitemarks that were recent. We use day of the year; reproductive class, social grouping or sex; depth interval and body length as candidate covariates. The models with highest support for total counts of unhealed bitemarks involve the day of the year in all species. Depth was an important predictor in all species except offshore Bryde’s whales. Models for the proportion of recent bites were only informative for sei and fin whales. We conclude that temporal scarring patterns support what is currently hypothesized about the distribution and movements of these whale species, given that Isistius does not occur in the Antarctic and has an oceanic habitat. The incidence of fresh bites confirms the presence of Isistius in the region. The lower numbers of unhealed bites on medium-sized sperm whales suggests that this group spends more time outside the area in which bites are incurred, providing a clue to one of the biggest gaps in our understanding of the movements of mature and maturing sperm males. PMID:27055057

  5. Spatial distribution of common Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) as an indication of a biological hotspot in the East Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dasom; An, Yong Rock; Park, Kyum Joon; Kim, Hyun Woo; Lee, Dabin; Joo, Hui Tae; Oh, Young Geun; Kim, Su Min; Kang, Chang Keun; Lee, Sang Heon

    2017-09-01

    The minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is the most common baleen whale among several marine mammal species observed in Korea. Since a high concentrated condition of prey to whales can be obtained by physical structures, the foraging whale distribution can be an indicator of biological hotspot. Our main objective is verifying the coastal upwelling-southwestern East Sea as a productive biological hotspot based on the geographical distribution of minke whales. Among the cetacean research surveys of the National Institute of Fisheries Science since 1999, 9 years data for the minke whales available in the East Sea were used for this study. The regional primary productivity derived from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) was used for a proxy of biological productivity. Minke whales observed during the sighting surveys were mostly concentrated in May and found mostly (approximately 70%) in the southwestern coastal areas (whales was found in recent years, which indicate that the major habitats of mink whales have been shifted into the north of the common coastal upwelling regions. This is consistent with the recently reported unprecedented coastal upwelling in the mid-eastern coast of Korea. Based on high phytoplankton productivity and high distribution of minke whales, the southwestern coastal regions can be considered as one of biological hotspots in the East Sea. These regions are important for ecosystem dynamics and the population biology of top marine predators, especially migratory whales and needed to be carefully managed from a resource management perspective.

  6. Re-assessment of the Conservation Status of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis) Using the IUCN Red List Criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Thomas A; Smith, Brian D

    2016-01-01

    The IUCN Red List designation of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is re-assessed in light of its newly recognized taxonomic status (it has recently been separated into three species) and findings that humpback dolphins along the coast of Bangladesh, and possibly eastern India, are phylogenetically distinct from other members of the Sousa genus. Sousa chinensis is found in Southeast/South Asia (in both the Indian and Pacific oceans), from at least the southeastern Bay of Bengal east to central China, and then south to the Indo-Malay Archipelago. There are no global population estimates, and the sum of available abundance estimates add up to about 5700 individuals, although only a portion of the range has been covered by surveys. This species occurs in shallow (Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins to stop apparent declines, and to lower the species' extinction risk. Sousa chinensis meets the IUCN Red List requirements for Vulnerable (under criteria A4cd), with fisheries bycatch and habitat loss/degradation being the main pervasive threats. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. De novo assembly of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin leucocyte transcriptome to identify putative genes involved in the aquatic adaptation and immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gui, Duan; Jia, Kuntong; Xia, Jia; Yang, Lili; Chen, Jialin; Wu, Yuping; Yi, Meisheng

    2013-01-01

    The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis), a marine mammal species inhabited in the waters of Southeast Asia, South Africa and Australia, has attracted much attention because of the dramatic decline in population size in the past decades, which raises the concern of extinction. So far, this species is poorly characterized at molecular level due to little sequence information available in public databases. Recent advances in large-scale RNA sequencing provide an efficient approach to generate abundant sequences for functional genomic analyses in the species with un-sequenced genomes. We performed a de novo assembly of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin leucocyte transcriptome by Illumina sequencing. 108,751 high quality sequences from 47,840,388 paired-end reads were generated, and 48,868 and 46,587 unigenes were functionally annotated by BLAST search against the NCBI non-redundant and Swiss-Prot protein databases (E-valueIndo-Pacific humpback dolphin, an endangered species. The de novo transcriptome analysis of the unique transcripts will provide valuable sequence information for discovery of new genes, characterization of gene expression, investigation of various pathways and adaptive evolution, as well as identification of genetic markers.

  8. Endangered Right Whales Enhance Primary Productivity in the Bay of Fundy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe Roman

    Full Text Available Marine mammals have recently been documented as important facilitators of rapid and efficient nutrient recycling in coastal and offshore waters. Whales enhance phytoplankton nutrition by releasing fecal plumes near the surface after feeding and by migrating from highly productive, high-latitude feeding areas to low-latitude nutrient-poor calving areas. In this study, we measured NH4+ and PO43- release rates from the feces of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis, a highly endangered baleen whale. Samples for this species were primarily collected by locating aggregations of whales in surface-active groups (SAGs, which typically consist of a central female surrounded by males competing for sexual activity. When freshly collected feces were incubated in seawater, high initial rates of N release were generally observed, which decreased to near zero within 24 hours of sampling, a pattern that is consistent with the active role of gut microflora on fecal particles. We estimate that at least 10% of particulate N in whale feces becomes available as NH4+ within 24 hours of defecation. Phosphorous was also abundant in fecal samples: initial release rates of PO43- were higher than for NH4+, yielding low N/P nutrient ratios over the course of our experiments. The rate of PO43- release was thus more than sufficient to preclude the possibility that nitrogenous nutrients supplied by whales would lead to phytoplankton production limited by P availability. Phytoplankton growth experiments indicated that NH4+ released from whale feces enhance productivity, as would be expected, with no evidence that fecal metabolites suppress growth. Although North Atlantic right whales are currently rare (approximately 450 individuals, they once numbered about 14,000 and likely played a substantial role in recycling nutrients in areas where they gathered to feed and mate. Even though the NH4+ released from fresh whale fecal material is a small fraction of total whale

  9. 15 CFR 922.182 - Definitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE OCEAN AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATIONAL... space for individual and population growth and normal behavior of humpback whales, and include sites...

  10. 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.

  11. As main meal for sperm whales: plastics debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Stephanis, Renaud; Giménez, Joan; Carpinelli, Eva; Gutierrez-Exposito, Carlos; Cañadas, Ana

    2013-04-15

    Marine debris has been found in marine animals since the early 20th century, but little is known about the impacts of the ingestion of debris in large marine mammals. In this study we describe a case of mortality of a sperm whale related to the ingestion of large amounts of marine debris in the Mediterranean Sea (4th published case worldwide to our knowledge), and discuss it within the context of the spatial distribution of the species and the presence of anthropogenic activities in the area that could be the source of the plastic debris found inside the sperm whale. The spatial distribution modelled for the species in the region shows that these animals can be seen in two distinct areas: near the waters of Almería, Granada and Murcia and in waters near the Strait of Gibraltar. The results shows how these animals feed in waters near an area completely flooded by the greenhouse industry, making them vulnerable to its waste products if adequate treatment of this industry's debris is not in place. Most types of these plastic materials have been found in the individual examined and cause of death was presumed to be gastric rupture following impaction with debris, which added to a previous problem of starvation. The problem of plastics arising from greenhouse agriculture should have a relevant section in the conservation plans and should be a recommendation from ACCOBAMS due to these plastics' and sperm whales' high mobility in the Mediterranean Sea. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. From whales to tritium; Du cachalot au tritium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonnemains, J. [Robin des Bois, Association de Protection de l' Homme et de l' Environnement, 75 - Paris (France)

    2007-02-15

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

  13. Mercury speciation and selenium in toothed-whale muscles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi, E-mail: sakamoto@nimd.go.jp [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Itai, Takaaki [Ehime University, Bunkyo 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8755 (Japan); Yasutake, Akira [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Iwasaki, Toshihide [Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, 25-259 Shimomekurakubo, Aomori 031-0841 (Japan); Yasunaga, Genta; Fujise, Yoshihiro [Institute of Cetacean Research, 4-5 Toyomi, Tokyo 104-0055 (Japan); Nakamura, Masaaki [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Murata, Katsuyuki [Akita University School of Medicine, Hondo 1-1-1, Akita 010-8543 (Japan); Man Chan, Hing [University of Ottawa, Marie-Curie, Ottawa, ON, Canada KIN 6N5 (Canada); Domingo, José L. [School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat “Rovira i Virgili”, Reus (Spain); Marumoto, Masumi [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan)

    2015-11-15

    Mercury accumulates at high levels in marine mammal tissues. However, its speciation is poorly understood. The main goal of this investigation was to establish the relationships among mercury species and selenium (Se) concentrations in toothed-whale muscles at different mercury levels. The concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), inorganic mercury (I-Hg) and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whale species: bottlenose dolphins (n=31), Risso's dolphins (n=30), striped dolphins (n=29), and short-finned pilot whales (n=30). In each species, the MeHg concentration increased with increasing T-Hg concentration, tending to reach a plateau. In contrast, the proportion of MeHg in T-Hg decreased from 90–100% to 20–40%. The levels of T-Hg and Se showed strong positive correlations. Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with the increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1 in all species. These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg immediately formed Se/I-Hg equimolar complex of mercury selenide (HgSe) in their muscles. In addition, an X-ray absorption fine structure analysis (XAFS) of a bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that the dominant chemical form of the Se/I-Hg equimolar complex was HgSe. HgSe was mainly localized in cells near the endomysium using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg finally deposits within muscle cells of bottlenose dolphin as an inert HgSe. - Highlights: • T-Hg, MeHg, I-Hg and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whales. • MeHg increased with increasing T-Hg and tended to reach a plateau in all species. • Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1. • XAFS of bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that HgSe was dominant chemical form. • EPMA of bottlenose dolphin muscle showed that HgSe deposited in muscle cells.

  14. Mercury speciation and selenium in toothed-whale muscles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Itai, Takaaki; Yasutake, Akira; Iwasaki, Toshihide; Yasunaga, Genta; Fujise, Yoshihiro; Nakamura, Masaaki; Murata, Katsuyuki; Man Chan, Hing; Domingo, José L.; Marumoto, Masumi

    2015-01-01

    Mercury accumulates at high levels in marine mammal tissues. However, its speciation is poorly understood. The main goal of this investigation was to establish the relationships among mercury species and selenium (Se) concentrations in toothed-whale muscles at different mercury levels. The concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), inorganic mercury (I-Hg) and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whale species: bottlenose dolphins (n=31), Risso's dolphins (n=30), striped dolphins (n=29), and short-finned pilot whales (n=30). In each species, the MeHg concentration increased with increasing T-Hg concentration, tending to reach a plateau. In contrast, the proportion of MeHg in T-Hg decreased from 90–100% to 20–40%. The levels of T-Hg and Se showed strong positive correlations. Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with the increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1 in all species. These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg immediately formed Se/I-Hg equimolar complex of mercury selenide (HgSe) in their muscles. In addition, an X-ray absorption fine structure analysis (XAFS) of a bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that the dominant chemical form of the Se/I-Hg equimolar complex was HgSe. HgSe was mainly localized in cells near the endomysium using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg finally deposits within muscle cells of bottlenose dolphin as an inert HgSe. - Highlights: • T-Hg, MeHg, I-Hg and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whales. • MeHg increased with increasing T-Hg and tended to reach a plateau in all species. • Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1. • XAFS of bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that HgSe was dominant chemical form. • EPMA of bottlenose dolphin muscle showed that HgSe deposited in muscle cells.

  15. Taxonomy Icon Data: North Pacific right whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available North Pacific right whale Eubalaena japonica Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eu...theria/Cetacea Eubalaena_japonica_L.png Eubalaena_japonica_NL.png Eubalaena_japonica_S.png Eubalaena_japonic...a_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/tax...onomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_ic...on/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=NS ...

  16. Click rates and silences of sperm whales at Kaikoura, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Lesley A.; Dawson, Stephen M.; Jaquet, Nathalie

    2005-07-01

    Analysis of the usual click rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) at Kaikoura, New Zealand, confirms the potential for assessing abundance via ``click counting.'' Usual click rates over three dive cycles each of three photographically identified whales showed that 5 min averages of usual click rate did not differ significantly within dives, among dives of the same whale or among whales. Over the nine dives (n=13 728 clicks) mean usual click rate was 1.272 clicks s-1 (95% CI=0.151). On average, individual sperm whales at Kaikoura spent 60% of their time usual clicking in winter and in summer. There was no evidence that whale identity or stage of the dive recorded affects significantly the percentage of time spent usual clicking. Differences in vocal behavior among sperm whale populations worldwide indicate that estimates of abundance that are based on click rates need to based on data from the population of interest, rather than from another population or some global average.

  17. 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.

  18. The transcriptome of the bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus reveals adaptations of the longest-lived mammal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seim, Inge; Ma, Siming; Zhou, Xuming; Gerashchenko, Maxim V.; Lee, Sang-Goo; Suydam, Robert; George, John C.; Bickham, John W.; Gladyshev, Vadim N.

    2014-01-01

    Mammals vary dramatically in lifespan, by at least two-orders of magnitude, but the molecular basis for this difference remains largely unknown. The bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus is the longest-lived mammal known, with an estimated maximal lifespan in excess of two hundred years. It is also one of the two largest animals and the most cold-adapted baleen whale species. Here, we report the first genome-wide gene expression analyses of the bowhead whale, based on the de novo assembly of its transcriptome. Bowhead whale or cetacean-specific changes in gene expression were identified in the liver, kidney and heart, and complemented with analyses of positively selected genes. Changes associated with altered insulin signaling and other gene expression patterns could help explain the remarkable longevity of bowhead whales as well as their adaptation to a lipid-rich diet. The data also reveal parallels in candidate longevity adaptations of the bowhead whale, naked mole rat and Brandt's bat. The bowhead whale transcriptome is a valuable resource for the study of this remarkable animal, including the evolution of longevity and its important correlates such as resistance to cancer and other diseases. PMID:25411232

  19. 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

  20. 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......-eating ecotype than the more phylogenetically distant Pacific mammal-eating ecotype. Our study suggests that sociality in killer whales is to some extent plastic and can be adapted to the local ecological conditions. Key words: ecology, killer whale, orca, orcinus, sociality....

  1. Ancestor–descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor–descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR—the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea–Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium. PMID:25589485

  2. Directionality of sperm whale sonar clicks and its relation to piston radiation theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beedholm, K.; Møhl, Bertel

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the applicability to sperm whales of the theory of sound radiating from a piston. The theory is applied to a physical model and to a series of sperm whale clicks. Results show that wave forms of off-axis signals can be reproduced by convolving an on-axis signal...... with the spatial impulse response of a piston. The angle of a recorded click can be estimated as the angle producing the spatial impulse response that gives the best match with the observation when convolved with the on-axis wave form. It is concluded that piston theory applies to sperm whale sonar click emission....

  3. Metabolic expenditures of lunge feeding rorquals across scale: implications for the evolution of filter feeding and the limits to maximum body size.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean Potvin

    Full Text Available Bulk-filter feeding is an energetically efficient strategy for resource acquisition and assimilation, and facilitates the maintenance of extreme body size as exemplified by baleen whales (Mysticeti and multiple lineages of bony and cartilaginous fishes. Among mysticetes, rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae exhibit an intermittent ram filter feeding mode, lunge feeding, which requires the abandonment of body-streamlining in favor of a high-drag, mouth-open configuration aimed at engulfing a very large amount of prey-laden water. Particularly while lunge feeding on krill (the most widespread prey preference among rorquals, the effort required during engulfment involve short bouts of high-intensity muscle activity that demand high metabolic output. We used computational modeling together with morphological and kinematic data on humpback (Megaptera noveaangliae, fin (Balaenoptera physalus, blue (Balaenoptera musculus and minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata whales to estimate engulfment power output in comparison with standard metrics of metabolic rate. The simulations reveal that engulfment metabolism increases across the full body size of the larger rorqual species to nearly 50 times the basal metabolic rate of terrestrial mammals of the same body mass. Moreover, they suggest that the metabolism of the largest body sizes runs with significant oxygen deficits during mouth opening, namely, 20% over maximum VO2 at the size of the largest blue whales, thus requiring significant contributions from anaerobic catabolism during a lunge and significant recovery after a lunge. Our analyses show that engulfment metabolism is also significantly lower for smaller adults, typically one-tenth to one-half VO2|max. These results not only point to a physiological limit on maximum body size in this lineage, but also have major implications for the ontogeny of extant rorquals as well as the evolutionary pathways used by ancestral toothed whales to transition from hunting

  4. Getting it right for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaenaglacialis): A last opportunity for effective marine spatial planning?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petruny, Loren M.; Wright, Andrew J.; Smith, Courtney E.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Placement of shipping routes and offshore wind farms are mutually exclusive. • Shipping likely has greater impacts on right whales than operating wind farms. • Siting by Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) would consider impacts of both on whales. • Placing wind farms in right whale migration corridors would exclude shipping. • Effective MSP would benefit right whales, wind energy development and ship safety. - Abstract: The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) faces increasing pressure from commercial shipping traffic and proposed marine renewable energy developments. Drawing upon the successful Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary model, we propose a multi-stakeholder marine spatial planning process that considers both appropriate positioning of offshore wind farms and redefining commercial shipping lanes relative to whale migration routes: placement of wind turbines within certain right whale habitats may prove beneficial for the species. To that end, it may be advisable to initially relocate the shipping lanes for the benefit of the whales prior to selecting wind energy areas. The optimal end-state is the commercial viability of renewable energy, as well as a safe shipping infrastructure, with minimal risk of collision and exposure to shipping noise for the whales. This opportunity to manage impacts on right whales could serve as a model for other problematic interactions between marine life and commercial activities

  5. Crowdsourcing modern and historical data identifies sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus habitat offshore of south-western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Michael Johnson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and use of pelagic habitat by sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus is poorly understood in the south-eastern Indian Ocean off Western Australia. However, a variety of data are available via online portals where records of historical expeditions, commercial whaling operations, and modern scientific research voyages can now be accessed. Crowdsourcing these online data allows collation of presence-only information of animals and provides a valuable tool to help augment areas of low research effort. Four data sources were examined, the primary one being the Voyage of the Odyssey expedition, a five-year global study of sperm whales and ocean pollution. From December 2001-May 2002, acoustic surveys were conducted along 5,200 nautical miles of transects off Western Australia including the Perth Canyon and historical whaling grounds off Albany; 60 tissue biopsy samples were also collected. To augment areas not surveyed by the RV Odyssey, historical Yankee whaling data (1712-1920, commercial whaling data (1904-1999, and citizen science reports of sperm whale sightings (1990-2003 were used. Using Maxent, a species distribution modeling tool, we found that the submarine canyons off Albany and Perth provide important habitat for sperm whales. Current technology, along with current understanding of sperm whale bioacoustics and habitat preferences, provides strong motivation for undertaking long-term passive acoustic studies that can monitor the sperm whale population within Australia’s EEZ waters (Perth and Albany canyons as a way of informing future marine management and policy decisions.

  6. The Great Whale review and the federal government's disappearing act

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fenge, T.

    1991-01-01

    After considerable political and legal pressure, the Canadian and Quebec governments, plus the electric utility Hydro-Quebec, agreed to a global review and environmental assessment of the Great Whale hydroelectric project in northern Quebec. The assessment is being handled by five committees, each covering distinct areas of geography and responsibility. The initial task of the review committees was to determine the scope of the assessment, and 23 days of public hearings were held in northern and southern Quebec and on the Belcher Islands. The federal government's absence from the scoping hearings was a curious development, since federal agencies normally participate actively in such hearings. A federal guidelines order upheld recently by the Canadian Supreme Court requires federal participation in environmental assessment processes. The Great Whale project affects areas of federal jurisdiction as well as areas outside Quebec, and federal expertise in such matters as the marine environment is crucial in airing environmental issues related to the project. Interviews with federal officials on the reasons for federal absence are summarized. It is concluded that the federal agencies did not really regard scoping hearings as part of the public review, and that this review does not start until hearings begin on the environmental impact statement

  7. Vocalization Source Level Distributions and Pulse Compression Gains of Diverse Baleen Whale Species in the Gulf of Maine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delin Wang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The vocalization source level distributions and pulse compression gains are estimated for four distinct baleen whale species in the Gulf of Maine: fin, sei, minke and an unidentified baleen whale species. The vocalizations were received on a large-aperture densely-sampled coherent hydrophone array system useful for monitoring marine mammals over instantaneous wide areas via the passive ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing technique. For each baleen whale species, between 125 and over 1400 measured vocalizations with significantly high Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNR > 10 dB after coherent beamforming and localized with high accuracies (<10% localization errors over ranges spanning roughly 1 km–30 km are included in the analysis. The whale vocalization received pressure levels are corrected for broadband transmission losses modeled using a calibrated parabolic equation-based acoustic propagation model for a random range-dependent ocean waveguide. The whale vocalization source level distributions are characterized by the following means and standard deviations, in units of dB re 1 μ Pa at 1 m: 181.9 ± 5.2 for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 173.5 ± 3.2 for sei whale downsweep chirps, 177.7 ± 5.4 for minke whale pulse trains and 169.6 ± 3.5 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls. The broadband vocalization equivalent pulse-compression gains are found to be 2.5 ± 1.1 for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 24 ± 10 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls and 69 ± 23 for sei whale downsweep chirps. These pulse compression gains are found to be roughly proportional to the inter-pulse intervals of the vocalizations, which are 11 ± 5 s for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 29 ± 18 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls and 52 ± 33 for sei whale downsweep chirps. The source level distributions and pulse compression gains are essential for determining signal-to-noise ratios and hence detection regions for baleen whale

  8. On the olfactory anatomy in an archaic whale (Protocetidae, Cetacea) and the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Balaenopteridae, Cetacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, Stephen J; Geisler, Jonathan; Fitzgerald, Erich M G

    2013-02-01

    The structure of the olfactory apparatus is not well known in both archaic and extant whales; the result of poor preservation in most fossils and locational isolation deep within the skulls in both fossil and Recent taxa. Several specimens now shed additional light on the subject. A partial skull of an archaic cetacean is reported from the Pamunkey River, Virginia, USA. The specimen probably derives from the upper middle Eocene (Piney Point Formation) and is tentatively assigned to the Protocetidae. Uncrushed cranial cavities associated with the olfactory apparatus were devoid of sediment. CT scans clearly reveal the dorsal nasal meatus, ethmoturbinates within the olfactory recess, the cribriform plate, the area occupied by the olfactory bulbs, and the olfactory nerve tract. Several sectioned skulls of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) were also examined, and olfactory structures are remarkably similar to those observed in the fossil skull from the Pamunkey River. One important difference between the two is that the fossil specimen has an elongate olfactory nerve tract. The more forward position of the external nares in extant balaenopterids when compared with those of extant odontocetes is interpreted to be the result of the need to retain a functional olfactory apparatus and the forward position of the supraoccipital/cranial vertex. An increase in the distance between the occipital condyles and the vertex in balaenopterids enhances the mechanical advantage of the epaxial musculature that inserts on the occiput, a specialization that likely stabilizes the head of these enormous mammals during lunge feeding. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Spatiotemporal Trends of Heavy Metals in Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from the Western Pearl River Estuary, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gui, Duan; Yu, Ri-Qing; Karczmarski, Leszek; Ding, Yulong; Zhang, Haifei; Sun, Yong; Zhang, Mei; Wu, Yuping

    2017-02-07

    We assessed the spatiotemporal trends of the concentrations of 11 heavy metals (HMs) in the liver and kidney of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from western Pearl River Estuary (PRE) during 2004-2015. The hepatic levels of Cr, As, and Cu in these dolphins were among the highest reported for cetaceans globally, and the levels of Zn, Cu, and Hg were sufficiently high to cause toxicological effects in some of the animals. Between same age-sex groups, dolphins from Lingdingyang were significantly more contaminated with Hg, Se, and V than those from the West-four region, while the opposite was true for Cd. Generalized additive mixed models showed that most metals had significant but dissimilar temporal trends over a 10-year period. The concentrations of Cu and Zn increased significantly in recent years, corresponding to the high input of these metals in the region. Body-length-adjusted Cd levels peaked in 2012, accompanied by the highest annual number of dolphin stranding events. In contrast to the significant decrease in HM levels in the dolphins in Hong Kong waters (the eastern reaches of the PRE), the elevated metal exposure in the western PRE raises serious concerns.

  10. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in Hong Kong: Modelling demographic parameters with mark-recapture techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Stephen C Y; Karczmarski, Leszek

    2017-01-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) inhabiting Hong Kong waters are thought to be among the world's most anthropogenically impacted coastal delphinids. We have conducted a 5-year (2010-2014) photo-ID study and performed the first in this region comprehensive mark-recapture analysis applying a suite of open population models and robust design models. Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) models suggested a significant transient effect and seasonal variation in apparent survival probabilities as result of a fluid movement beyond the study area. Given the spatial restrictions of our study, limited by an administrative border, if emigration was to be considered negligible the estimated survival rate of adults was 0.980. Super-population estimates indicated that at least 368 dolphins used Hong Kong waters as part of their range. Closed robust design models suggested an influx of dolphins from winter to summer and increased site fidelity in summer; and outflux, although less prominent, during summer-winter intervals. Abundance estimates in summer (N = 144-231) were higher than that in winter (N = 87-111), corresponding to the availability of prey resources which in Hong Kong waters peaks during summer months. We point out that the current population monitoring strategy used by the Hong Kong authorities is ill-suited for a timely detection of a population change and should be revised.

  11. Conservation Status of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Northern Beibu Gulf, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bingyao; Xu, Xinrong; Jefferson, Thomas A; Olson, Paula A; Qin, Qiurong; Zhang, Hongke; He, Liwen; Yang, Guang

    2016-01-01

    There has been very little previous research on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the Beibu Gulf of southern China. Here, we report on the population size, habitat and ecology, threats, and overall conservation status of this putative population. 'Population size' was estimated based on photo-identification mark/recapture analysis. It was estimated to number a total of 398-444 individuals (95% CI: 393-506), with two apparently distinct groups in the Dafengjiang-Nanliujiang Estuary and at Shatian-Caotan. Movements of dolphins in the Beibu Gulf appear to be limited, with high site fidelity. These dolphins were found to occur mainly in shallow coastal waters near estuaries. The main threats are fisheries interactions (including by-catch), vessel traffic, mariculture operations, dolphin-watching tourism, and habitat degradation (including marine construction activities and large-scale land reclamation). Although the conservation status of this putative population has been considered to be better than that of other populations of the species in more northern areas of China, there is still reason for strong concern about its future, and several management recommendations are made. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Anthropogenic contaminants in Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins from the central and southern Great Barrier Reef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cagnazzi, Daniele; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Parra, Guido J.; Harrison, Peter L.; Maltese, Silvia; Coppola, Daniele; Soccodato, Alice; Bent, Michael; Marsili, Letizia

    2013-01-01

    We present the first evidence of accumulation of organochlorine compounds (DDTs, PCBs, HCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins from the central and southern Great Barrier Reef. These dolphins are considered by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority to be high priority species for management. Analyses of biopsy samples, collected from free ranging individuals, showed PAHs levels comparable to those reported from highly industrialized countries. DDTs and HCB were found at low levels, while in some individuals, PCBs were above thresholds over which immunosuppression and reproductive anomalies occur. These results highlight the need for ongoing monitoring of these and other contaminants, and their potential adverse effects on dolphins and other marine fauna. This is particularly important given the current strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area being undertaken by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government. -- Potentially hazardous levels of some coastal contaminants were found in two species of dolphins inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park coastal region

  13. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis in Hong Kong: Modelling demographic parameters with mark-recapture techniques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen C Y Chan

    Full Text Available Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis inhabiting Hong Kong waters are thought to be among the world's most anthropogenically impacted coastal delphinids. We have conducted a 5-year (2010-2014 photo-ID study and performed the first in this region comprehensive mark-recapture analysis applying a suite of open population models and robust design models. Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS models suggested a significant transient effect and seasonal variation in apparent survival probabilities as result of a fluid movement beyond the study area. Given the spatial restrictions of our study, limited by an administrative border, if emigration was to be considered negligible the estimated survival rate of adults was 0.980. Super-population estimates indicated that at least 368 dolphins used Hong Kong waters as part of their range. Closed robust design models suggested an influx of dolphins from winter to summer and increased site fidelity in summer; and outflux, although less prominent, during summer-winter intervals. Abundance estimates in summer (N = 144-231 were higher than that in winter (N = 87-111, corresponding to the availability of prey resources which in Hong Kong waters peaks during summer months. We point out that the current population monitoring strategy used by the Hong Kong authorities is ill-suited for a timely detection of a population change and should be revised.

  14. AFSC/NMML: North Pacific Right Whale Vessel Surveys in the Southeastern Bering Sea, 2007 - 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The North Pacific right whale (NPRW) was heavily hunted between the 17th and the 20th centuries. Protection was supposedly afforded by international treaties in the...

  15. 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.

  16. SWFSC/MMTD: Collaborative Large Whale Survey (CLaWS) 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Collaborative Large Whale Survey is a joint field effort by Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) and Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC). The 4-month...

  17. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.; Collins, Neal; Hancock, James; Rees, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize

  18. Body size shifts and early warning signals precede the historic collapse of whale stocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Christopher F; Blanchard, Julia L; Nash, Kirsty L; Hindell, Mark A; Ozgul, Arpat

    2017-06-22

    Predicting population declines is a key challenge in the face of global environmental change. Abundance-based early warning signals have been shown to precede population collapses; however, such signals are sensitive to the low reliability of abundance estimates. Here, using historical data on whales harvested during the 20th century, we demonstrate that early warning signals can be present not only in the abundance data, but also in the more reliable body size data of wild populations. We show that during the period of commercial whaling, the mean body size of caught whales declined dramatically (by up to 4 m over a 70-year period), leading to early warning signals being detectable up to 40 years before the global collapse of whale stocks. Combining abundance and body size data can reduce the length of the time series required to predict collapse, and decrease the chances of false positive early warning signals.

  19. Fossil traces of the bone-eating worm Osedax in early Oligocene whale bones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Steffen; Goedert, James L; Kahl, Wolf-Achim; Rouse, Greg W

    2010-05-11

    Osedax is a recently discovered group of siboglinid annelids that consume bones on the seafloor and whose evolutionary origins have been linked with Cretaceous marine reptiles or to the post-Cretaceous rise of whales. Here we present whale bones from early Oligocene bathyal sediments exposed in Washington State, which show traces similar to those made by Osedax today. The geologic age of these trace fossils ( approximately 30 million years) coincides with the first major radiation of whales, consistent with the hypothesis of an evolutionary link between Osedax and its main food source, although older fossils should certainly be studied. Osedax has been destroying bones for most of the evolutionary history of whales and the possible significance of this "Osedax effect" in relation to the quality and quantity of their fossils is only now recognized.

  20. On the communicative significance of whistles in wild killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Frank; Franck, Dierk; Ford, John

    2002-08-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) use pulsed calls and whistles in underwater communication. Unlike pulsed calls, whistles have received little study and thus their function is poorly known. In this study, whistle activities of groups of individually known killer whales were compared quantitatively across behavioural categories. Acoustic recordings and simultaneous behavioural observations were made of northern resident killer whales off Vancouver Island in 1996 and 1997. Whistles were produced at greater rates than discrete calls during close-range behavioural activities than during long-range activities. They were the predominant sound-type recorded during socializing. The number of whistles per animal per minute was significantly higher during close-range behavioural activities than during long-range activities. Evidently, whistles play an important role in the close-range acoustic communication in northern resident killer whales.

  1. 78 FR 42653 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-16

    ... defines a strategic stock of marine mammals as a stock: (1) For which the level of direct human-caused... Whales, Eubalaena australis. Behaviour 88(1/2):42-60. BILLING CODE 3510-22-P [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED...

  2. Movement patterns of juvenile whale sharks tagged at an aggregation site in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.; Braun, Camrin D.; Cochran, Jesse; Skomal, Gregory B.; Thorrold, Simon R.

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns. Here we report

  3. Acoustic Ecology and Remote Acoustic Monitoring of a Minke Whale Population

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gedamke, Jason

    2000-01-01

    Sound is the most effective means of communication in the ocean. A uniquely inquisitive minke whale population on the northern Great Barrier Reef presents an unprecedented research opportunity to study minke acoustics...

  4. An Assessment of Gray Whale Movements in Acoustically Changing Nearshore Environments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mate, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    This grant helped fluid six field seasons over four years. The initial objective was to investigate the movements of gray whales in environments with varying levels of development and acoustic stimuli...

  5. Analysis of Sperm Whale Acoustic Signals in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Thode, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    The objectives of the program was to develop and demonstrate an automated procedure for passively tracking sperm whales in three-dimensions, using natural vocalizations recorded on two towed arrays...

  6. The Effects of Ambient Noise Field on the Behavior of Baleen Whales - Pilot Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stokes, M

    2003-01-01

    .... The work was a Pilot Study for a Main Study in 2003 and 2004 concerning the setting to work of a system for passive acoustic and visual tracking of whales, as well as collecting acoustic and remotely...

  7. PCB contamination and effects on benthic invertebrate communities at the Irving Whale salvage site

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ernst, W

    2000-01-01

    In June of 1998 and 1999, two and three years after the raising of the Irving Whale, sediment sampling was conducted at the site where the barge was recovered to determine the extent and distribution...

  8. Brucella ceti Infection in a Common Minke Whale ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) with Associated Pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davison, Nicholas J; Perrett, Lorraine L; Dawson, Claire; Dagleish, Mark P; Haskins, Gary; Muchowski, Jakub; Whatmore, Adrian M

    2017-07-01

    There are three major lineages of marine mammal strains of Brucella spp.: Brucella ceti ST23, found predominantly in porpoises; B. ceti ST26, in pelagic delphinids and ziphiids; and Brucella pinnipedialis ST24/25, predominantly in seals. The isolation of Brucella spp. in mysticetes has been described only in common minke whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) in Norway and Scotland. We report a third case of Brucella infection and isolation in a minke whale associated with a large abscess. In contrast to the two previous reports that involved isolates of B. pinnipedialis ST24 or the porpoise-associated B. ceti complex ST23, this case was associated with the dolphin-associated B. ceti ST26. Thus, minke whales can be infected naturally with members of all the distinct major lineages of Brucella associated with marine mammals. This report is unique in that the B. ceti ST26 did not originate from a pelagic delphinid or a beaked whale.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. Demographics and feeding ecology of whale sharks at Mafia Island, Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.; Cochran, Jesse; Rohner, Chris; Igulu, Mathias M; Rubens, Jason; Pierce, Simon J; Berumen, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    . The size range and gender distribution of whale sharks at Mafia Island is similar to other coastal aggregations in the Indian Ocean, but the relatively high site fidelity and residency time stands in contrast.

  11. AFSC/NMML: Bowhead whale aerial surveys and photography near Barrow, Alaska, from 1979-1992

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Bowhead whales were documented during their spring migration most years from 1979 to 1992 by biologists from NMML. This documentation consisted of flying aerial...

  12. PCB contamination and effects on benthic invertebrate communities at the Irving Whale salvage site

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ernst, W

    2000-01-01

    ... patterns of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination. In addition, snow crab tissue sampling, toxicity testing of sediments as well as analysis of the integrity of benthic biological communities was conducted around the Irving Whale footprint...

  13. AFSC/NMML: Bowhead Whale Aerial Abundance Survey off Barrow, Alaska, Spring 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Aerial photographic surveys for bowhead whales were conducted near Point Barrow, Alaska, from 19 April to 6 June in 2011. Approximately 4,594 photographs containing...

  14. Monitoring and Mitigation Alternatives for Protection of North Atlantic Right Whales during Offshore Wind Farm Installation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlson, Thomas J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Halvorsen, Michele B. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Matzner, Shari [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Copping, Andrea E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Stavole, Jessica [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2012-09-01

    Progress report on defining and determining monitoring and mitigation measures for protecting North Atlantic Right Whales from the effects of pile driving and other activities associated with installation of offshore wind farms.

  15. Steroid hormones and persistent organic pollutants in plasma from North-eastern Atlantic pilot whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoydal, Katrin S; Styrishave, Bjarne; Ciesielski, Tomasz M

    2017-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are known to have endocrine disruptive effects, interfering with endogenous steroid hormones. The present study examined nine steroid hormones and their relationships with the concentrations of selected POPs in pilot whales (Globicephala melas) from the Faroe...

  16. A large-aperture low-cost hydrophone array for tracking whales from small boats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, B; Dawson, S

    2009-11-01

    A passive sonar array designed for tracking diving sperm whales in three dimensions from a single small vessel is presented, and the advantages and limitations of operating this array from a 6 m boat are described. The system consists of four free floating buoys, each with a hydrophone, built-in recorder, and global positioning system receiver (GPS), and one vertical stereo hydrophone array deployed from the boat. Array recordings are post-processed onshore to obtain diving profiles of vocalizing sperm whales. Recordings are synchronized using a GPS timing pulse recorded onto each track. Sensitivity analysis based on hyperbolic localization methods is used to obtain probability distributions for the whale's three-dimensional location for vocalizations received by at least four hydrophones. These localizations are compared to those obtained via isodiachronic sequential bound estimation. Results from deployment of the system around a sperm whale in the Kaikoura Canyon in New Zealand are shown.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Hawaii ESI: M_MAMMAL (Marine Mammal Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for endangered Hawaiian monk seals, endangered humpback whales, and other whales and dolphins in coastal...

  19. Getting it right for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaenaglacialis): a last opportunity for effective marine spatial planning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruny, Loren M; Wright, Andrew J; Smith, Courtney E

    2014-08-15

    The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) faces increasing pressure from commercial shipping traffic and proposed marine renewable energy developments. Drawing upon the successful Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary model, we propose a multi-stakeholder marine spatial planning process that considers both appropriate positioning of offshore wind farms and redefining commercial shipping lanes relative to whale migration routes: placement of wind turbines within certain right whale habitats may prove beneficial for the species. To that end, it may be advisable to initially relocate the shipping lanes for the benefit of the whales prior to selecting wind energy areas. The optimal end-state is the commercial viability of renewable energy, as well as a safe shipping infrastructure, with minimal risk of collision and exposure to shipping noise for the whales. This opportunity to manage impacts on right whales could serve as a model for other problematic interactions between marine life and commercial activities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Whole-genome sequencing of the blue whale and other rorquals finds signatures for introgressive gene flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Árnason, Úlfur; Kumar, Vikas

    2018-01-01

    Reconstructing the evolution of baleen whales (Mysticeti) has been problematic because morphological and genetic analyses have produced different scenarios. This might be caused by genomic admixture that may have taken place among some rorquals. We present the genomes of six whales, including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), to reconstruct a species tree of baleen whales and to identify phylogenetic conflicts. Evolutionary multilocus analyses of 34,192 genome fragments reveal a fast radiation of rorquals at 10.5 to 7.5 million years ago coinciding with oceanic circulation shifts. The evolutionarily enigmatic gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is placed among rorquals, and the blue whale genome shows a high degree of heterozygosity. The nearly equal frequency of conflicting gene trees suggests that speciation of rorqual evolution occurred under gene flow, which is best depicted by evolutionary networks. Especially in marine environments, sympatric speciation might be common; our results raise questions about how genetic divergence can be established. PMID:29632892

  1. Detection and Classification of Baleen Whale Foraging Calls Combining Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    for a call is also a time- consuming task. None of these chores bothers the analyst when applying the selection algorithm. With help from the...1365- 2907.2007.00106.x. Castellote, M., C. W. Clark, and M. O. Lammers, 2012: Acoustic and behavioural changes by fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus...separation of blue whale call types on a southern California feeding ground. Animal Behaviour , 74, 881–894, doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.01.022. Rocha, R

  2. Inter-Annual Variability in Blue Whale Distribution off Southern Sri Lanka between 2011 and 2012

    OpenAIRE

    Vos, Asha de; Pattiaratchi, Charitha; Harcourt, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) movements are often driven by the availability of their prey in space and time. While globally blue whale populations undertake long-range migrations between feeding and breeding grounds, those in the northern Indian Ocean remain in low latitude waters throughout the year with the implication that the productivity of these waters is sufficient to support their energy needs. A part of this population remains around Sri Lanka where they are usually recorded cl...

  3. The Population Consequences of Disturbance Model Application to North Atlantic Right Whales (Eubalaena glacialis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    physiology, and the revised approach is called PCOD (Population Consequences Of Disturbance). In North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis...acoustic disturbance and prey variability into the PCOD model. OBJECTIVES The objectives for this study are to: 1) develop a Hierarchical...the model to assessing the effects of acoustics on the population. We have refined and applied the PCOD model developed for right whales (Schick et

  4. DNA evidence of bowhead whale exploitation by Greenlandic Paleo-Inuit 4,000 years ago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seersholm, Frederik Valeur; Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Søe, Martin Jensen

    2016-01-01

    -described midden deposits. Our results confirm that the species found in the fossil record, like harp seal and ringed seal, were a vital part of Inuit subsistence, but also add a new dimension with evidence that caribou, walrus and whale species played a more prominent role for the survival of Paleo-Inuit cultures...... than previously reported. Most notably, we report evidence of bowhead whale exploitation by the Saqqaq culture 4,000 years ago....

  5. 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.

  6. Multispecies functional response of the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata based on small-scale foraging studies

    OpenAIRE

    Smout, Sophie; Lindstrøm, Ulf

    2007-01-01

    Atlantic minke whales are important predators in the Barents Sea ecosystem; capelin Mallotus villosus, krill Thysanoessa sp. and Meganyctephanes norvegica and herring Clupea harengus are their major prey. Their consumption of commercial species may present an economic problem for the local fishery. In order to estimate this consumption and understand the potential consequences for prey dynamics, it is essential to determine the multispecies functional response of the whales. The parameterisat...

  7. A bizarre new toothed mysticete (Cetacea) from Australia and the early evolution of baleen whales

    OpenAIRE

    Fitzgerald, Erich M.G

    2006-01-01

    Extant baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) are all large filter-feeding marine mammals that lack teeth as adults, instead possessing baleen, and feed on small marine animals in bulk. The early evolution of these superlative mammals, and their unique feeding method, has hitherto remained enigmatic. Here, I report a new toothed mysticete from the Late Oligocene of Australia that is more archaic than any previously described. Unlike all other mysticetes, this new whale was small, had enormous eye...

  8. Recreational valuation of whale watching safaris, a case study from the Andøy region

    OpenAIRE

    Robertsen, Liv Tone Olsen

    2014-01-01

    Due to increased activity level along the Norwegian coast and ocean, there is an increasing need of estimating the non-market values from potentially affected marine ecosystem services. One activity that might be impacted from marine activities and regulations is whale watching. The demand of whale watching has increased rapidly the past decades, and generates remarkable economic and recreational benefits to the society. The recreational benefits are not directly obtained through the market p...

  9. Observation of a Whale Shark Rhincodon typus (Orectolobiformes: Rhincodontidae in the offshore waters of Rushikulya, Orissa, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. John

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available A Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus was sighted on the water surface, three km offshore and 12 km north of Rushikulya river mouth on 22 February 2009. The length of the whale shark indicates that it is likely to be a juvenile. Some physico-chemical parameters along with previous sighting records of the Whale Shark from this region as well as from other coastal states of the country are also mentioned.

  10. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Rohner, C. A.; Armstrong, A. J.; Pierce, S. J.; Prebble, C. E. M.; Cagua, E. F.; Cochran, J. E. M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Richardson, A. J.

    2015-01-01

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m-3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  11. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, M.; Caballé, A.; van der Schaar, M.; Solsona, A.; Houégnigan, L.; Zaugg, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Castell, J. V.; Solé, M.; Vila, F.; Djokic, D.; Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M. C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Fehn, K.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L. A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A. J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J. J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Păvălaş, G. E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zuñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    Despite dedicated research has been carried out to adequately map the distribution of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike other regions of the world, the species population status is still presently uncertain. The analysis of two years of continuous acoustic data provided by the ANTARES neutrino telescope revealed the year-round presence of sperm whales in the Ligurian Sea, probably associated with the availability of cephalopods in the region. The presence of the Ligurian Sea sperm whales was demonstrated through the real-time analysis of audio data streamed from a cabled-to-shore deep-sea observatory that allowed the hourly tracking of their long-range echolocation behaviour on the Internet. Interestingly, the same acoustic analysis indicated that the occurrence of surface shipping noise would apparently not condition the foraging behaviour of the sperm whale in the area, since shipping noise was almost always present when sperm whales were acoustically detected. The continuous presence of the sperm whale in the region confirms the ecological value of the Ligurian sea and the importance of ANTARES to help monitoring its ecosystems. PMID:28401960

  12. Calling under pressure: short-finned pilot whales make social calls during deep foraging dives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Frants H; Perez, Jacobo Marrero; Johnson, Mark; Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T

    2011-10-22

    Toothed whales rely on sound to echolocate prey and communicate with conspecifics, but little is known about how extreme pressure affects pneumatic sound production in deep-diving species with a limited air supply. The short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a highly social species among the deep-diving toothed whales, in which individuals socialize at the surface but leave their social group in pursuit of prey at depths of up to 1000 m. To investigate if these animals communicate acoustically at depth and test whether hydrostatic pressure affects communication signals, acoustic DTAGs logging sound, depth and orientation were attached to 12 pilot whales. Tagged whales produced tonal calls during deep foraging dives at depths of up to 800 m. Mean call output and duration decreased with depth despite the increased distance to conspecifics at the surface. This shows that the energy content of calls is lower at depths where lungs are collapsed and where the air volume available for sound generation is limited by ambient pressure. Frequency content was unaffected, providing a possible cue for group or species identification of diving whales. Social calls may be important to maintain social ties for foraging animals, but may be impacted adversely by vessel noise.

  13. Organization and distribution of glomeruli in the bowhead whale olfactory bulb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takushi Kishida

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Although modern baleen whales (Mysticeti retain a functional olfactory system that includes olfactory bulbs, cranial nerve I and olfactory receptor genes, their olfactory capabilities have been reduced to a great degree. This reduction likely occurred as a selective response to their fully aquatic lifestyle. The glomeruli that occur in the olfactory bulb can be divided into two non-overlapping domains, a dorsal domain and a ventral domain. Recent molecular studies revealed that all modern whales have lost olfactory receptor genes and marker genes that are specific to the dorsal domain. Here we show that olfactory bulbs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus lack glomeruli on the dorsal side, consistent with the molecular data. In addition, we estimate that there are more than 4,000 glomeruli elsewhere in the bowhead whale olfactory bulb, which is surprising given that bowhead whales possess only 80 intact olfactory receptor genes. Olfactory sensory neurons that express the same olfactory receptors in rodents generally project to two specific glomeruli in an olfactory bulb, implying an approximate 1:2 ratio of the number of olfactory receptors to the number of glomeruli. Here we show that this ratio does not apply to bowhead whales, reiterating the conceptual limits of using rodents as model organisms for understanding the initial coding of odor information among mammals.

  14. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, M.; Caballé, A.; van der Schaar, M.; Solsona, A.; Houégnigan, L.; Zaugg, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Castell, J. V.; Solé, M.; Vila, F.; Djokic, D.; Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M. C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; de Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Fehn, K.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L. A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A. J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J. J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Păvălaş, G. E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zuñiga, J.

    2017-04-01

    Despite dedicated research has been carried out to adequately map the distribution of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike other regions of the world, the species population status is still presently uncertain. The analysis of two years of continuous acoustic data provided by the ANTARES neutrino telescope revealed the year-round presence of sperm whales in the Ligurian Sea, probably associated with the availability of cephalopods in the region. The presence of the Ligurian Sea sperm whales was demonstrated through the real-time analysis of audio data streamed from a cabled-to-shore deep-sea observatory that allowed the hourly tracking of their long-range echolocation behaviour on the Internet. Interestingly, the same acoustic analysis indicated that the occurrence of surface shipping noise would apparently not condition the foraging behaviour of the sperm whale in the area, since shipping noise was almost always present when sperm whales were acoustically detected. The continuous presence of the sperm whale in the region confirms the ecological value of the Ligurian sea and the importance of ANTARES to help monitoring its ecosystems.

  15. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Beaufort Sea, Fall 1989. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Treacy, S.D.

    1990-11-01

    The OCSLA Amendments of 1978 (43 U.S.C. 1802) established a policy for the management of oil and natural gas in the OCS and for protection of the marine and coastal environments. The amended OCSLA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct studies in areas or regions of sales to ascertain the environmental impacts on the marine and coastal environments of the outer Continental Shelf and the coastal areas which may be affected by oil and gas development (43 U.S.C. 1346). The report describes field activities and data analyses for aerial surveys of bowhead whales conducted between 1 September 1989 and 20 October 1989 in the Beaufort Sea, primarily between 140 W. and 154 W. longitudes south of 72 N. latitude. Ice cover during September and October 1989 was exceptionally light. A total of 215 bowhead whales, 104 belukha whales, 9 bearded seals, 84 ringed seals, and 32 unidentified pinnipeds were observed in 1989 during 98.70 hours of survey effort that included 38.10 hours on randomized transects. The last sighting of a bowhead whale made during the survey occurred in open water on 19 October 1989. No whales were sighted during a subsequent flight on 20 October 1989. Estimated median and mean water depths were shallower than for previous surveys (1982-1989). This is consistent with a trend for whales to be located in shallower water during years of generally light ice cover

  16. Dietary recommendations regarding pilot whale meat and blubber in the Faroe Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pál Weihe

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available For centuries the pilot whale has been an important part Faroese life – both in regard to food and culture. However, studies dating back to 1977 have shown an increase in contamination of the meat, blubber, liver and kidneys of pilot whales. Several birth cohorts have been established in the Faroes in order to discover the health effects related to mercury and organchlorine exposure. In short the results have so far shown that: mercury from pilot whale meat adversely affects the foetal development of the nervous system; the mercury effect is still detectable during adolescence; the mercury from the maternal diet affects the blood pressure of the children; the contaminants of the blubber adversely affect the immune system so that the children react more poorly to immunizations; contaminants in pilot whales appear to increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease in those who often eat pilot whale; the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis of the carotid arteries is increased in adults who have an increased exposure to mercury; septuagenarians with type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glycaemia tended to have higher PCB concentrations and higher past intake of traditional foods, especially during childhood and adolescence. Also impaired insulin secretion appears to constitute an important part of the type 2 diabetes pathogenesis associated with exposure to persistent lipophilic food contaminants. From the latest research results, the authors consider that the conclusion from a human health perspective must be to recommend that pilot whale is no longer used for human consumption.

  17. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Rohner, C. A.

    2015-03-17

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m-3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  18. Gonadal Morphology, Histology, and Endocrinological Characteristics of Immature Female Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozu, Ryo; Murakumo, Kiyomi; Matsumoto, Rui; Nakamura, Masaru; Ueda, Keiichi; Sato, Keiichi

    2015-10-01

    Captive breeding of whale sharks is one of the great challenges for aquariums. However, there is limited information available related to reproductive physiology due to the difficulty of sampling and long-term observation. In the present report, we provide information on the reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, which were incidentally captured as bycatch in a set-net off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Total lengths of three captured female whale sharks were 403, 665, and 761 cm, respectively, at the time of their death. Collected paired ovaries differed in size between right and left. However, it seems not to determine which side of ovary becomes developed. Histological observations revealed that oocytes surrounded by follicle cell layers localized in the developed ovary, and most developed oocytes exhibited yolk vesicle stage. Additionally, in the largest specimen, there were low levels of three steroid hormones (Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, and Estradiol-17ß) that did not show seasonal variation. The present results indicate that even the whale shark over 7 m in TL are still histologically and endocrinologically immature. We expect that the present data will provide fundamental information related to reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, and will contribute to protection activities and increased success in captive breeding of whale sharks.

  19. 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

  20. ADDITION OF ADJUVANTS IN RECOMBINANT SUBUNIT VACCINES FOR THE PREVENTION OF GROUPER SLEEPY DISEASE IRIDOVIRUS (GSDIV INFECTION IN HUMPBACK GROUPER, Cromileptes altivelis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ketut Mahardika

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Infection of grouper sleepy disease iridovirus (GSDIV which is a member of Megalocytivirus causes mass mortalities in marine fish in Indonesia. This study was conducted to know the effectiveness of recombinant subunit vaccine of GSDIV with an addition of adjuvants against GSDIV infection. Inactive bacteria Eschericia coli containing recombinant MCP-GSDIV protein was added with montanide ISA adjuvant at a ratio of 3:7. The vaccine was administered to humpback grouper, Cromileptes altivelis by intramuscular and intraperitoneal injection at a dose of 0.1 mL/fish. Test of the vaccine in humpback grouper was performed in four replicates (four trials. Results of the vaccination showed that the recombinant protein vaccine added with the adjuvant increased immunity of humpback grouper, indicated by higher relative percent survival (RPS= 77.78% compared to negative control (PBS and 50% higher compared to protein control (pET Sumo CAT at two weeks post vaccination. The RPS values of the recombinant protein vaccine were still higher (53.57%-72.73% than those of the control vaccine and 25%-53.33% of the protein control in the 4th week post vaccination. GSDIV detection by PCR showed that MCP-GSDIV-DNA and pET Sumo CAT-DNA were not detected in the vaccinated fish after one, two, three, and four weeks post vaccination. The fish died in both of vaccinated and control groups after experimental challenge with GSDIV were found to be infected with GSDIV. It can be stated that recombinant subunit vaccine of GSDIV with the addition of montanide ISA adjuvant could be used to prevent and diminish mortalities of grouper against GSDIV infection.

  1. De novo assembly of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin leucocyte transcriptome to identify putative genes involved in the aquatic adaptation and immune response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duan Gui

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis, a marine mammal species inhabited in the waters of Southeast Asia, South Africa and Australia, has attracted much attention because of the dramatic decline in population size in the past decades, which raises the concern of extinction. So far, this species is poorly characterized at molecular level due to little sequence information available in public databases. Recent advances in large-scale RNA sequencing provide an efficient approach to generate abundant sequences for functional genomic analyses in the species with un-sequenced genomes. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a de novo assembly of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin leucocyte transcriptome by Illumina sequencing. 108,751 high quality sequences from 47,840,388 paired-end reads were generated, and 48,868 and 46,587 unigenes were functionally annotated by BLAST search against the NCBI non-redundant and Swiss-Prot protein databases (E-value<10(-5, respectively. In total, 16,467 unigenes were clustered into 25 functional categories by searching against the COG database, and BLAST2GO search assigned 37,976 unigenes to 61 GO terms. In addition, 36,345 unigenes were grouped into 258 KEGG pathways. We also identified 9,906 simple sequence repeats and 3,681 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms as potential molecular markers in our assembled sequences. A large number of unigenes were predicted to be involved in immune response, and many genes were predicted to be relevant to adaptive evolution and cetacean-specific traits. CONCLUSION: This study represented the first transcriptome analysis of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, an endangered species. The de novo transcriptome analysis of the unique transcripts will provide valuable sequence information for discovery of new genes, characterization of gene expression, investigation of various pathways and adaptive evolution, as well as identification of genetic markers.

  2. 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.

  3. The use of sperm whale ivory in Chalcolithic Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schuhmacher, Thomas X.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Scientific analysis were undertaken within a research project concerning ivory objects from the Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age of the Iberian Peninsula. In several of the analyses of objects from Portuguese Estremadura, especially V-perforated buttons, we could detect for the first time the presence of sperm whale ivory. This highlights the advantage and necessity of scientific analysis of ivory. It also clearly demonstrates that not all ivory used was ivory from African or Asian elephants, but we also did find ivory from the extinct Elephas antiquus, the hippopotamus and in this case sperm-whale. Thus, already in the Chalcolithic the raw material provenience was highly diverse, which in the absence of scientific analysis might lead to an erroneous interpretation of prehistoric exchange networks. Different methods, including optical microscopy, measurement of hardness and specific gravity, Micro-Raman Spectroscopy, elemental analysis and Isotopic Ratio Mass Spectrometry have been applied. In this paper we present these methods and the results, and we discuss about the implications of these results for the reconstruction of prehistoric economy and life in this region. Finally, taking into account the natural conditions as well as prehistoric and historic data of whale hunting and scavenging of beached animals, we conclude that the most plausible explanation for the presence of sperm whale ivory in Chalcolithic Portugal is the use of the teeth obtained from stranded animals. This interpretation is possible because of the human populations using this ivory are those living close to the sea and exploiting – among others– marine resources.En el marco de un proyecto de investigación sobre objetos de marfil del Calcolítico al Bronce Antiguo en la Península Ibérica efectuamos análisis científicos. En varios de los objetos de la Estremadura portuguesa, en especial en los botones con perforación en V, detectamos por primera vez la presencia

  4. Gigantism Precedes Filter Feeding in Baleen Whale Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fordyce, R Ewan; Marx, Felix G

    2018-05-21

    Baleen whales (Mysticeti) are the largest animals on Earth, thanks to their ability to filter huge volumes of small prey from seawater. Mysticetes appeared during the Late Eocene, but evidence of their early evolution remains both sparse and controversial [1, 2], with several models competing to explain the origin of baleen-based bulk feeding [3-6]. Here, we describe a virtually complete skull of Llanocetus denticrenatus, the second-oldest (ca. 34 Ma) mysticete known. The new material represents the same individual as the type and only specimen, a fragmentary mandible. Phylogenetic analysis groups Llanocetus with the oldest mysticete, Mystacodon selenensis [2], into the basal family Llanocetidae. Llanocetus is gigantic (body length ∼8 m) compared to other early mysticetes [7-9]. The broad rostrum has sharp, widely spaced teeth with marked dental abrasion and attrition, suggesting biting and occlusal shearing. As in extant mysticetes, the palate bears many sulci, commonly interpreted as osteological correlates of baleen [3]. Unexpectedly, these sulci converge on the upper alveoli, suggesting a peri-dental blood supply to well-developed gums, rather than to inter-alveolar racks of baleen. We interpret Llanocetus as a raptorial or suction feeder, revealing that whales evolved gigantism well before the emergence of filter feeding. Rather than driving the origin of mysticetes, baleen and filtering most likely only arose after an initial phase of suction-assisted raptorial feeding [2, 4, 5]. This scenario differs strikingly from that proposed for odontocetes, whose defining adaptation-echolocation-was present even in their earliest representatives [10]. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. QUANTITATIVE HISTOPATHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF ENLARGED CELLS DERIVED FROM HUMPBACK GROUPER, Cromileptes altivelis INFECTED WITH GROUPER SLEEPY DISEASE IRIDOVIRUS (GSDIV

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indah Mastuti

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Pathognomonic sign of grouper sleepy disease iridovirus (GSDIV was proposed to be the formation of enlarged cells and necrotic cells, in which under electron microscope, it is revealed to be the inclusion body bearing cells (IBCs and necrotic cells containing GSDIV viral particles. Spleen and kidney tissues are the major sites for formation of enlarged cells. This paper described the result of histopatological analysis of enlarged cells found in the spleen and kidney of moribund fish after GSDIV challenge. A pathogenicity test was conducted on fish stocked in two tanks for infected groups and the other two tanks for uninfected control groups (15 fish per tank. The infected groups were injected intramuscularly with 0.1 ml of the viral inoculum. The uninfected groups were injected with the same amount of EMEM-2. The GSDIV-infected humpback grouper began to die after 6 days post infection and all died after 7 dpi, excluding one fish which had survived until the end of experimental infection periods (93% to 100% mortality. All of the diseased fish showed massive formation of enlarged cells in their spleen, head kidney and trunk kidney. The largest number of enlarged cells was observed on head kidneys and subsequently followed by spleens, trunk kidney (2.0-200.3/field of view. This result suggested that the number of enlarged cells in the affected organs was not the direct factor that led to the mortality of fish.

  6. Mercury and selenium in stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and implications for their trophic transfer in food chains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duan Gui

    Full Text Available As top predators in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE of China, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis are bioindicators for examining regional trends of environmental contaminants in the PRE. We examined samples from stranded S. chinensis in the PRE, collected since 2004, to study the distribution and fate of total mercury (THg, methylmercury (MeHg and selenium (Se in the major tissues, in individuals at different ages and their prey fishes from the PRE. This study also investigated the potential protective effects of Se against the toxicities of accumulated THg. Dolphin livers contained the highest concentrations of THg (32.34±58.98 µg g(-1 dw and Se (15.16±3.66 µg g(-1 dw, which were significantly different from those found in kidneys and muscles, whereas the highest residue of MeHg (1.02±1.11 µg g(-1 dw was found in dolphin muscles. Concentrations of both THg and MeHg in the liver, kidney and muscle of dolphins showed a significantly positive correlation with age. The biomagnification factors (BMFs of inorganic mercury (Hginorg in dolphin livers (350× and MeHg in muscles (18.7× through the prey fishes were the highest among all three dolphin tissues, whereas the BMFs of Se were much lower in all dolphin tissues. The lower proportion of MeHg in THg and higher Se/THg ratios in tissues were demonstrated. Our studies suggested that S. chinensis might have the potential to detoxify Hg via the demethylation of MeHg and the formation of tiemannite (HgSe in the liver and kidney. The lower threshold of hepatic THg concentrations for the equimolar accumulation of Se and Hg in S. chinensis suggests that this species has a greater sensitivity to THg concentrations than is found in striped dolphins and Dall's porpoises.

  7. Mercury and Selenium in Stranded Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins and Implications for Their Trophic Transfer in Food Chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gui, Duan; Yu, Ri-Qing; Sun, Yong; Chen, Laiguo; Tu, Qin; Mo, Hui; Wu, Yuping

    2014-01-01

    As top predators in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) of China, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) are bioindicators for examining regional trends of environmental contaminants in the PRE. We examined samples from stranded S. chinensis in the PRE, collected since 2004, to study the distribution and fate of total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg) and selenium (Se) in the major tissues, in individuals at different ages and their prey fishes from the PRE. This study also investigated the potential protective effects of Se against the toxicities of accumulated THg. Dolphin livers contained the highest concentrations of THg (32.34±58.98 µg g−1 dw) and Se (15.16±3.66 µg g−1 dw), which were significantly different from those found in kidneys and muscles, whereas the highest residue of MeHg (1.02±1.11 µg g−1 dw) was found in dolphin muscles. Concentrations of both THg and MeHg in the liver, kidney and muscle of dolphins showed a significantly positive correlation with age. The biomagnification factors (BMFs) of inorganic mercury (Hginorg) in dolphin livers (350×) and MeHg in muscles (18.7×) through the prey fishes were the highest among all three dolphin tissues, whereas the BMFs of Se were much lower in all dolphin tissues. The lower proportion of MeHg in THg and higher Se/THg ratios in tissues were demonstrated. Our studies suggested that S. chinensis might have the potential to detoxify Hg via the demethylation of MeHg and the formation of tiemannite (HgSe) in the liver and kidney. The lower threshold of hepatic THg concentrations for the equimolar accumulation of Se and Hg in S. chinensis suggests that this species has a greater sensitivity to THg concentrations than is found in striped dolphins and Dall’s porpoises. PMID:25310100

  8. Hierarchical temporal structure in music, speech and animal vocalizations: jazz is like a conversation, humpbacks sing like hermit thrushes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kello, Christopher T; Bella, Simone Dalla; Médé, Butovens; Balasubramaniam, Ramesh

    2017-10-01

    Humans talk, sing and play music. Some species of birds and whales sing long and complex songs. All these behaviours and sounds exhibit hierarchical structure-syllables and notes are positioned within words and musical phrases, words and motives in sentences and musical phrases, and so on. We developed a new method to measure and compare hierarchical temporal structures in speech, song and music. The method identifies temporal events as peaks in the sound amplitude envelope, and quantifies event clustering across a range of timescales using Allan factor (AF) variance. AF variances were analysed and compared for over 200 different recordings from more than 16 different categories of signals, including recordings of speech in different contexts and languages, musical compositions and performances from different genres. Non-human vocalizations from two bird species and two types of marine mammals were also analysed for comparison. The resulting patterns of AF variance across timescales were distinct to each of four natural categories of complex sound: speech, popular music, classical music and complex animal vocalizations. Comparisons within and across categories indicated that nested clustering in longer timescales was more prominent when prosodic variation was greater, and when sounds came from interactions among individuals, including interactions between speakers, musicians, and even killer whales. Nested clustering also was more prominent for music compared with speech, and reflected beat structure for popular music and self-similarity across timescales for classical music. In summary, hierarchical temporal structures reflect the behavioural and social processes underlying complex vocalizations and musical performances. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Following a Foraging Fish-Finder: Diel Habitat Use of Blainville's Beaked Whales Revealed by Echolocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz, Patricia; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T.; Brito, Alberto; Bordes, Fernando; Johnson, Mark P.

    2011-01-01

    Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9) hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL) or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974) of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h) between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean. PMID:22163295

  10. 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

  11. Following a foraging fish-finder: diel habitat use of Blainville's beaked whales revealed by echolocation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Arranz

    Full Text Available Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9 hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974 of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean.

  12. Annual Acoustic Presence of Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Offshore Eastern Sicily, Central Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciacca, Virginia; Caruso, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Chierici, Francesco; De Domenico, Emilio; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Larosa, Giuseppina; Marinaro, Giuditta; Papale, Elena; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Simeone, Francesco; Viola, Salvatore; Riccobene, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of surveys have definitively confirmed the seasonal presence of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in highly productive regions of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, very little is yet known about the routes that the species seasonally follows within the Mediterranean basin and, particularly, in the Ionian area. The present study assesses for the first time fin whale acoustic presence offshore Eastern Sicily (Ionian Sea), throughout the processing of about 10 months of continuous acoustic monitoring. The recording of fin whale vocalizations was made possible by the cabled deep-sea multidisciplinary observatory, “NEMO-SN1”, deployed 25 km off the Catania harbor at a depth of about 2,100 meters. NEMO-SN1 is an operational node of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) Research Infrastructure. The observatory was equipped with a low-frequency hydrophone (bandwidth: 0.05 Hz–1 kHz, sampling rate: 2 kHz) which continuously acquired data from July 2012 to May 2013. About 7,200 hours of acoustic data were analyzed by means of spectrogram display. Calls with the typical structure and patterns associated to the Mediterranean fin whale population were identified and monitored in the area for the first time. Furthermore, a background noise analysis within the fin whale communication frequency band (17.9–22.5 Hz) was conducted to investigate possible detection-masking effects. The study confirms the hypothesis that fin whales are present in the Ionian Sea throughout all seasons, with peaks in call detection rate during spring and summer months. The analysis also demonstrates that calls were more frequently detected in low background noise conditions. Further analysis will be performed to understand whether observed levels of noise limit the acoustic detection of the fin whales vocalizations, or whether the animals vocalize less in the presence of high background noise. PMID:26581104

  13. Underwater Ambient Noise in a Baleen Whale Migratory Habitat Off the Azores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Romagosa

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of underwater noise is of particular interest given the increase in noise-generating human activities and the potential negative effects on marine mammals which depend on sound for many vital processes. The Azores archipelago is an important migratory and feeding habitat for blue (Balaenoptera musculus, fin (Balaenoptera physalus and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis en route to summering grounds in northern Atlantic waters. High levels of low frequency noise in this area could displace whales or interfere with foraging behavior, impacting energy intake during a critical stage of their annual cycle. In this study, bottom-mounted Ecological Acoustic Recorders were deployed at three Azorean seamounts (Condor, Açores, and Gigante to measure temporal variations in background noise levels and ship noise in the 18–1,000 Hz frequency band, used by baleen whales to emit and receive sounds. Monthly average noise levels ranged from 90.3 dB re 1 μPa (Açores seamount to 103.1 dB re 1 μPa (Condor seamount and local ship noise was present up to 13% of the recording time in Condor. At this location, average contribution of local boat noise to background noise levels is almost 10 dB higher than wind contribution, which might temporally affect detection ranges for baleen whale calls and difficult communication at long ranges. Given the low time percentatge with noise levels above 120 dB re 1 μPa found here (3.3% at Condor, we woud expect limited behavioral responses to ships from baleen whales. Sound pressure levels measured in the Azores are lower than those reported for the Mediterranean basin and the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the currently unknown effects of baleen whale vocalization masking and the increasing presence of boats at the monitored sites underline the need for continuous monitoring to understand any long-term impacts on whales.

  14. A preliminary risk assessment of organochlorines accumulated in fish to the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Northwestern waters of Hong Kong

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hung, C.L.H.; Xu, Y.; Lam, J.C.W.; Connell, D.W.; Lam, M.H.W.; Nicholson, S.; Richardson, B.J.; Lam, P.K.S.

    2006-01-01

    The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is considered threatened due to several factors including pollution in Hong Kong and the risks due to consumption of fish tainted with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides were assessed. Six species of fish Collichthys lucida, Pseudosciaena crocea, Johnius sp., Thryssa sp., Mugil sp. and Trichiurus sp., which comprise the main prey species of humpback dolphins were collected for analyses. Risks due to total PCBs, total TEQs, PCB 118 and the pesticides were assessed with the use of toxicity reference values as the threshold reference benchmarks. The calculated risk quotients (RQs) showed that the risks associated with organochlorines were generally low. The highest RQ was associated with total TEQs suggesting that dioxin-like PCBs may pose the highest risk to the dolphins. The HCHs, total PCBs and heptachlor had comparatively high RQs and thus they should also be the priority organochlorines that would require further investigation. - Fish tainted with dioxin-like PCBs might pose a risk to Hong Kong dolphins

  15. A preliminary risk assessment of organochlorines accumulated in fish to the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Northwestern waters of Hong Kong

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hung, C.L.H. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Xu, Y. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Lam, J.C.W. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Connell, D.W. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); School of Public Health, Griffith University, Logan Campus, University Drive, Meadowbrook, QLD 4131 (Australia); Lam, M.H.W. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Nicholson, S. [Meinhardt Mouchel Limited, 12/F, MLC Tower, 248 Queen' s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong (China); Richardson, B.J. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Lam, P.K.S. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China)]. E-mail: bhpksl@cityu.edu.hk

    2006-11-15

    The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is considered threatened due to several factors including pollution in Hong Kong and the risks due to consumption of fish tainted with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides were assessed. Six species of fish Collichthys lucida, Pseudosciaena crocea, Johnius sp., Thryssa sp., Mugil sp. and Trichiurus sp., which comprise the main prey species of humpback dolphins were collected for analyses. Risks due to total PCBs, total TEQs, PCB 118 and the pesticides were assessed with the use of toxicity reference values as the threshold reference benchmarks. The calculated risk quotients (RQs) showed that the risks associated with organochlorines were generally low. The highest RQ was associated with total TEQs suggesting that dioxin-like PCBs may pose the highest risk to the dolphins. The HCHs, total PCBs and heptachlor had comparatively high RQs and thus they should also be the priority organochlorines that would require further investigation. - Fish tainted with dioxin-like PCBs might pose a risk to Hong Kong dolphins.

  16. 75 FR 39916 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ... Fisheries Service (NMFS) is announcing its intent to prepare a recovery plan for the Sei Whale (Balaenoptera... the fax comments as ``Sei Whale Recovery Plan Information'' 3. Mail: National Marine Fisheries Service... under the ESA. The recovery planning process is guided by the statutory language of Section 4(f) of the...

  17. Monitoring and impact mitigation during a 4D seismic survey near a population of gray whales off Sakhalin Island, Russia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bröker, Koen Cornelis Arthur; Gailey, Glenn; Muir, Judy; Racca, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    A 4D seismic survey was conducted in 2010 near the feeding grounds of gray whales off Sakhalin Island, Russia. To minimize disruptions to the whales’ feeding activity and enhance understanding of the potential impacts of seismic surveys on gray whales Eschrichtius robustus, an extensive monitoring

  18. Genetic identification of a small and highly isolated population of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berube, M; Urban, J; Dizon, AE; Brownell, RL; Palsboll, PJ

    2002-01-01

    For many years, researchers have speculated that fin whales are year-round residents in the Sea of Cortez (= Gulf of California). Previous work by Berube and co-workers has shown that the degree of genetic diversity among fin whales in the Sea of Cortez at nuclear and mitochondrial loci is highly

  19. Generalised additive models to investigate environmental drivers of Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) spatial density in austral summer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beekmans, B.W.P.M.; Forcada, J.; Murphy, E.J.; Baar, H.J.W.; Bathmann, U.V.; Fleming, A.H.

    2010-01-01

    There is a need to characterise the physical environment associated with Antarctic minke whale density in order to understand long-term changes in minke whale distribution and density in open waters of the Southern Ocean during austral summer months. To investigate environmental drivers of Antarctic

  20. Eye, nose, hair, and throat: external anatomy of the head of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berta, Annalisa; Ekdale, Eric G; Zellmer, Nicholas T; Deméré, Thomas A; Kienle, Sarah S; Smallcomb, Meghan

    2015-04-01

    Information is scarce on gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) anatomy and that of mysticetes in general. Dissection of the head of a neonatal gray whale revealed novel anatomical details of the eye, blowhole, incisive papilla with associated nasopalatine ducts, sensory hairs, and throat grooves. Compared to a similar sized right whale calf, the gray whale eyeball is nearly twice as long. The nasal cartilages of the gray whale, located between the blowholes, differ from the bowhead in having accessory cartilages. A small, fleshy incisive papilla bordered by two blind nasopalatine pits near the palate's rostral tip, previously undescribed in gray whales, may be associated with the vomeronasal organ, although histological evidence is needed for definitive identification. Less well known among mysticetes are the numerous elongated, stiff sensory hairs (vibrissae) observed on the gray whale rostrum from the ventral tip to the blowhole and on the mandible. These hairs are concentrated on the chin, and those on the lower jaw are arranged in a V-shaped pattern. We confirm the presence of two primary, anteriorly converging throat grooves, confined to the throat region similar to those of ziphiid and physeteroid odontocetes. A third, shorter groove occurs lateral to the left primary groove. The throat grooves in the gray whale have been implicated in gular expansion during suction feeding. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Passive acoustic monitoring using a towed hydrophone array results in identification of a previously unknown beaked whale habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yack, Tina M; Barlow, Jay; Calambokidis, John; Southall, Brandon; Coates, Shannon

    2013-09-01

    Beaked whales are diverse and species rich taxa. They spend the vast majority of their time submerged, regularly diving to depths of hundreds to thousands of meters, typically occur in small groups, and behave inconspicuously at the surface. These factors make them extremely difficult to detect using standard visual survey methods. However, recent advancements in acoustic detection capabilities have made passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) a viable alternative. Beaked whales can be discriminated from other odontocetes by the unique characteristics of their echolocation clicks. In 2009 and 2010, PAM methods using towed hydrophone arrays were tested. These methods proved highly effective for real-time detection of beaked whales in the Southern California Bight (SCB) and were subsequently implemented in 2011 to successfully detect and track beaked whales during the ongoing Southern California Behavioral Response Study. The three year field effort has resulted in (1) the successful classification and tracking of Cuvier's (Ziphius cavirostris), Baird's (Berardius bairdii), and unidentified Mesoplodon beaked whale species and (2) the identification of areas of previously unknown beaked whale habitat use. Identification of habitat use areas will contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between beaked whale distribution, occurrence, and preferred habitat characteristics on a relatively small spatial scale. These findings will also provide information that can be used to promote more effective management and conservation of beaked whales in the SCB, a heavily used Naval operation and training region.

  2. 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 q...

  3. Preliminary Assessment of Cetacean Incidental Mortality in Artisanal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Three dolphin species and humpback whales were reported accidentally caught in fishing gear meant to catch sharks. Dolphins were mostly reported as to be entangled in gillnets; conversely longlines were only described to incidentally catch humpback whales. Bottlenose and spinner dolphins were respectively 48.10% ...

  4. 75 FR 68767 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

    ... fluctuation in the central and western portions with a possible increase in the eastern portion likely related... Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and the Eastern U.S. stock of Steller sea lions. The impacts on... Central North Pacific (CNP) stock of humpback whales, Western North Pacific (WNP) stock of humpback whales...

  5. Winter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to prey

    KAUST Repository

    Heide-Jørgensen, Mads

    2013-10-23

    Background Little is known about bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) foraging behavior and what concentrations of prey are required to balance the energetic trade-offs of feeding. We used satellite telemetry, archival depth recorders, and water column echo sounding data to study bowhead whale diving behavior relative to prey depth and concentration in Disko Bay, West Greenland. Results Between March and May 2008 to 2011, nine bowhead whales were tagged in Disko Bay, West Greenland with instruments that collected data on location and diving over a period of 1 to 33 days. The frequency of U-dives (presumed to be foraging dives) was low during winter months but more than doubled in spring concurrent with a decrease in diving depth. The mean speed of the horizontal bottom phase of the U-dives was 0.9 ms-1 and on average, whales spent 37% of their time at the bottom phase of the dive. In March, bowhead whales presumably fed on copepods (Calanus spp.) close to the seabed (between 100 and 400 m). In April and May, after the copepods ascended to shallower depths, bowhead whales also dove to shallower depths (approximately 30 m) more often. However, echo sounding surveys in the vicinity of feeding whales in early May indicated that patches of copepods could still be found close to the seabed. Conclusions There was a marked change in diving behavior from winter through spring and this was likely in response to the changes in sea ice conditions, primary production and potential copepod abundance in the upper part of the water column. Depth and duration of dives changed significantly during this period; however, other dive parameters (for example the proportion of time spent feeding on the bottom of U-dives) remained fairly constant indicating a constant feeding effort. Bowhead whales target copepods at or close to the seabed in winter months in Disko Bay and continue feeding on copepods when they migrate to the surface. However, bowhead whales leave West Greenland before peak

  6. An unprecedented aggregation of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael de la Parra Venegas

    Full Text Available Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed "the Afuera" that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km(2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts.

  7. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.

    2014-08-12

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize conservation or implement effective management plans. We used empirical recreational data and generalized mixed statistical models to conduct the first economic valuation (with direct spend as the primary proxy) of whale shark tourism in Maldives. We estimated that direct expenditures for whale shark focused tourism in the South Ari Marine Protected Area for 2012 and 2013 accounted for US$7.6 and $9.4 million respectively. These expenditures are based on an estimate of 72,000-78,000 tourists who are involved in whale shark excursions annually. That substantial amount of income to resort owners and operators, and tourism businesses in a relatively small area highlights the need to implement regulations and management that safeguard the sustainability of the industry through ensuring guest satisfaction and whale shark conservation. © 2014 Cagua et al.

  8. An Unprecedented Aggregation of Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican Coastal Waters of the Caribbean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Parra Venegas, Rafael; Hueter, Robert; González Cano, Jaime; Tyminski, John; Gregorio Remolina, José; Maslanka, Mike; Ormos, Andrea; Weigt, Lee; Carlson, Bruce; Dove, Alistair

    2011-01-01

    Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed “the Afuera”) that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts. PMID:21559508

  9. Behaviour and kinematics of continuous ram filtration in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, Malene Juul; Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2009-01-01

    Balaenid whales perform long breath-hold foraging dives despite a high drag from their ram filtration of zooplankton. To maximize the volume of prey acquired in a dive with limited oxygen supplies, balaenids must either filter feed only occasionally when prey density is particularly high, or they......Balaenid whales perform long breath-hold foraging dives despite a high drag from their ram filtration of zooplankton. To maximize the volume of prey acquired in a dive with limited oxygen supplies, balaenids must either filter feed only occasionally when prey density is particularly high......, or they must swim at slow speeds while filtering to reduce drag and oxygen consumption. Using digital tags with three-axis accelerometers, we studied bowhead whales feeding off West Greenland and present here, to our knowledge, the first detailed data on the kinematics and swimming behaviour of a balaenid...... whale filter feeding at depth. Bowhead whales employ a continuous fluking gait throughout the bottom phase of foraging dives, moving at very slow speeds (less than 1 m s-1), allowing them to filter feed continuously at depth. Despite the slow speeds, the large mouth aperture provides a water filtration...

  10. Heavy metals in tissues of stranded short-finned pilot whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoneburner, D.L.

    1978-01-01

    Selected tissues from four short-finned pilot whales that stranded at Cumberland Island National Seashore were analyzed for total cadmium, mercury and selenium by neutron activation. Cadmium reached a maximum mean wet weight concentration of 31.4 ppm in the kidney tissues. Maximum mean wet weight concentrations of mercury, 230.9 ppm, and selenium, 44.2 ppm, were found in the liver tissues. The lowest concentration of each metal was found in the blubber. Postmortem examination showed that the whales had no food in their stomachs. The whales must have been utilizing metabolic reserves, contaminated with residual concentrations of heavy metals, prior to beaching. This utilization of reserves probably resulted in the high concentrations of cadmium, mercury and selenium found in the liver and kidney tissues. Since the heavy metal concentrations were three to four times greater in the stranded whales, as compared to apparently healthy whales of the same species, it is suggested that heavy metal toxicosis may have been a factor contributing to this particular stranding. (Auth.)

  11. Tongue and hyoid musculature and functional morphology of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtius robustus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kienle, Sarah S; Ekdale, Eric G; Reidenberg, Joy S; Deméré, Tom A

    2015-04-01

    Little is known about the anatomy and musculature of the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), especially related to the anatomy of the tongue and hyoid region. The recovery of an extremely fresh head of a neonatal female gray whale provided an opportunity to conduct the first in-depth investigation of the musculoskeletal features of the tongue and hyoid apparatus. Unlike other mysticetes, the gray whale tongue is strong, muscular, and freely mobile inside the buccal cavity. In particular, the genioglossus and hyoglossus muscles are extremely large and robust making up the majority of the body of the tongue. In addition, the genioglossus had a unique position and fiber orientation in the tongue compared to other mammals. The structure of the hyoid apparatus differs between E. robustus and other mysticete species, although there are similarities among individual elements. We provide the first documentation of fungiform papillae that may be associated with taste buds in Mysticeti. The highly mobile, robust tongue and the presence of well-defined tongue and hyoid musculature are in keeping with observations of gray whale feeding that suggest this group of whales utilize oral suction to draw benthic prey into the buccal cavity. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. 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.

  13. A MIDDLE MIOCENE BALEEN WHALE FROM BELE VODE IN BELGRADE, SERBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAVEL GOL’DIN

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available There was a fauna of baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti in the Central Paratethys, a Miocene water body which covered the area of present-day Central Europe. Most of the fossil baleen whales from the Central Paratethys have been found in strata assigned to the regional Badenian age and comprise endemic forms, known only from this region. Here a new description is provided for a fragmentary skeleton of a whale found in Belgrade, Serbia, and its age context and biological aspects are discussed. This specimen, consisting of a fragmentary horizontal ramus of the mandible and eight caudal vertebrae, is tentatively identified as ?Parietobalaena sp., a globally known Miocene taxon, with related forms having been recorded earlier from the Eastern Paratethys. An early Sarmatian age (i.e., about 12.7-12.4 Ma is proposed for the specimen. Based on epiphyseal fusion of caudal vertebrae, the specimen’s age is identified as a subadult, with a body length of around 2.5 m and an estimated adult body length around 3-3.5 m, which is extremely small for baleen whales. This find represents one of the latest records of baleen whales in the Central Paratethys and one of the latest published records of Parietobalaena-like taxa in the world.

  14. Shallow food for deep divers: Dynamic foraging behavior of male sperm whales in a high latitude habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teloni, Valeria; Johnson, M.P.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2008-01-01

    Groups of female and immature sperm whales live at low latitudes and show a stereotypical diving and foraging behavior with dives lasting about 45 min to depths of between 400 and 1200 m. In comparison, physically mature male sperm whales migrate to high latitudes where little is known about...... their foraging behavior and ecology. Here we use acoustic recording tags to study the diving and acoustic behavior of male sperm whales foraging off northern Norway. Sixty-five hours of tag data provide detailed information about the movements and sound repertoire of four male sperm whales performing 83 dives...... epipelagic prey, is consistent with the hypothesis that male sperm whales may migrate to high latitudes to access a productive, multi-layered foraging habitat....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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-directed interviews conducted in 11 eastern Nunavut communities (Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk regions) from 2007-2010. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:22520955

  16. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios and mercury concentration in the scalp hair of residents from Taiji, a whaling town

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Endo, Tetsuya; Hayasaka, Moriaki; Hisamichi, Yohsuke; Kimura, Osamu; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► We analyzed δ 13 C, δ 15 N and Hg in hair from Japanese whale meat-eaters and non-eaters. ► The δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in whale meat-eaters were higher than those in non-eaters. ► The Hg concentration in whale meat-eaters was higher than that in non-eaters. ► A positive correlation was seen between δ 15 N and Hg in whale meat-eaters. ► Consumption of whale meat may increase δ 15 N, δ 13 C and Hg in the scalp hair. -- Abstract: We analyzed stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ 13 C) and nitrogen (δ 15 N) as well as mercury (Hg) concentration in the scalp hair of Japanese who consumed whale meat and those who did not, and investigated the relationships among the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values and Hg concentration. The average δ 15 N and δ 13 C values of whale meat-eaters (10.11‰ and −18.5‰) were significantly higher than those of non-eaters (9.28‰ and −18.9‰), respectively. The average Hg concentration of whale meat-eaters (20.6 μg/g) was significantly higher than that of non-eaters (2.20 μg/g). Significant positive correlations were found between the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values and between the δ 15 N value and Hg concentration in the hair of whale meat-eaters, while the correlation between the δ 15 N value and Hg concentration was not statistically significant in the non-eaters. The consumption of whale meat may increase Hg concentration as well as δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in scalp hair

  17. 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

  18. 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...... 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...

  19. Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fais, Andrea; Johnson, M.; Wilson, Maria

    2016-01-01

    The sperm whale carries a hypertrophied nose that generates powerful clicks for long-range echolocation. However, it remains a conundrum how this bizarrely shaped apex predator catches its prey. Several hypotheses have been advanced to propose both active and passive means to acquire prey......, including acoustic debilitation of prey with very powerful clicks. Here we test these hypotheses by using sound and movement recording tags in a fine-scale study of buzz sequences to relate the acoustic behaviour of sperm whales with changes in acceleration in their head region during prey capture attempts....... We show that in the terminal buzz phase, sperm whales reduce inter-click intervals and estimated source levels by 1-2 orders of magnitude. As a result, received levels at the prey are more than an order of magnitude below levels required for debilitation, precluding acoustic stunning to facilitate...

  20. Halogenated organic compounds in archived whale oil: A pre-industrial record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teuten, Emma L.; Reddy, Christopher M.

    2007-01-01

    To provide additional evidence that several halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) found in environmental samples are natural and not industrially produced, we analyzed an archived whale oil sample collected in 1921 from the last voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. This sample, which pre-dates large-scale industrial manufacture of HOCs, contained two methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), five halogenated methyl bipyrroles (MBPs), one halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (DMBP), and tentatively one dimethoxylated polybrominated biphenyl (diMeO-PBB). This result indicates, at least in part, a natural source of the latter compounds. - Nine halogenated organic compounds have been detected in archived whale oil from the early 1920s

  1. Ancestor-descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor-descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR-the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea-Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  2. X-ray and neutron tomography on the bony inner ear of baleen whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arlt, Tobias; Wieder, Frank; Hampe, Oliver; Manke, Ingo; Ritsche, Indira; Fahlke, Julia M.

    2018-01-01

    During their evolution whales and dolphins developed a highly specialized hearing organ for orientation in their deep sea territory covering a broad acoustic spectrum. The internal anatomy of the periotic bone, especially the morphology of the cochlea, has a significant influence on the hearing capability of mammals. The bony and fossilized cochleae of several fossil representatives of extinct baleen whales (e.g., Cetotheriidae) and modern rorquals (Balaenopteridae) and right whales, as well as cochleae of an archaeocete and some land mammals are investigated by X-ray and neutron tomography in order to record morphological changes that may be responsible for the development of low frequency hearing. Differences in the cochlear morphology have been determined by means of morphometric parameters, such as the number of turns, the length of the cochlea, and the curvature of the cochlear canal. In particular, X-ray tomography enables a high resolution display of the bony inner ear.

  3. Halogenated organic compounds in archived whale oil: A pre-industrial record

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teuten, Emma L. [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 360 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States)]. E-mail: emma.teuten@plymouth.ac.uk; Reddy, Christopher M. [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 360 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States)]. E-mail: creddy@whoi.edu

    2007-02-15

    To provide additional evidence that several halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) found in environmental samples are natural and not industrially produced, we analyzed an archived whale oil sample collected in 1921 from the last voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. This sample, which pre-dates large-scale industrial manufacture of HOCs, contained two methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), five halogenated methyl bipyrroles (MBPs), one halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (DMBP), and tentatively one dimethoxylated polybrominated biphenyl (diMeO-PBB). This result indicates, at least in part, a natural source of the latter compounds. - Nine halogenated organic compounds have been detected in archived whale oil from the early 1920s.

  4. FPGA Implementation of Blue Whale Calls Classifier Using High-Level Programming Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Bahoura

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose a hardware-based architecture for automatic blue whale calls classification based on short-time Fourier transform and multilayer perceptron neural network. The proposed architecture is implemented on field programmable gate array (FPGA using Xilinx System Generator (XSG and the Nexys-4 Artix-7 FPGA board. This high-level programming tool allows us to design, simulate and execute the compiled design in Matlab/Simulink environment quickly and easily. Intermediate signals obtained at various steps of the proposed system are presented for typical blue whale calls. Classification performances based on the fixed-point XSG/FPGA implementation are compared to those obtained by the floating-point Matlab simulation, using a representative database of the blue whale calls.

  5. Actor-networking ceta-sociality, or, what is sociological about contemporary whales?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2007-01-01

    theory (ANT) allows for the inclusion of non-human ‘actants' (like whales) into the fabric of sociality. In the ontology of ANT, sociality emerges as semiotic-material configurations of humans, animals and technologies. Starting from a critical review of the work by Adrian Franklin on growing......In contemporary urban Euro-American societies, whales have become hugely popular and iconic creatures, arousing controversies more intense than most other instances of animal politics. How to account sociologically, however, for the dramatic social transformation of whales, from natural resource...... to near-sacrosanct agent, is far from self-evident. This article advocates a change of theoretical perspective, inspired by the work of actor-network theorists Bruno Latour and Michel Callon. Rather than focussing solely on the ‘humanity' of human-animal relations, as does most of sociology, actor-network...

  6. The Painful Side of Trap and Fixed Net Fisheries: Chronic Entanglement of Large Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Moore

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Concern over the well-being of marine mammals at sea has focused on intentional harvests, both in terms of individual welfare and population sustainability. Unintentional mortalities from fishing gear entanglement are primarily seen as a risk to population viability. Additionally, larger whales breaking free of, and subsequently carrying, fixed trap and net gear are subject to a very slow demise, averaging 6 months in the case of the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis. Chronic cases can involve impaired foraging, increased drag, infection, hemorrhage, and severe tissue damage. The individual suffering of these cases appears to be extreme. Thus management measures should go beyond legally mandated conservation measures to include avoidance of such scenarios. Seafood consumers could succeed, where laws have failed, to demand fishing practices that do not kill whales in this manner. The effective absence of such demands would seem to reflect the cryptic nature of these cases to most consumers.

  7. 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.

  8. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagua, E Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E M; Rohner, Christoph A; Prebble, Clare E M; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H; Pierce, Simon J; Berumen, Michael L

    2015-04-01

    Although whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have been documented to move thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long 'off-seasons' at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged individuals. Sightings revealed a clear seasonal pattern with a peak between October and February and no sharks observed at other times. By contrast, acoustic telemetry demonstrated year-round residency of R. typus. The sharks use a different habitat in the off-season, swimming deeper and further away from shore, presumably in response to prey distributions. This behavioural change reduces the sharks' visibility, giving the false impression that they have left the area. We demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, year-round residency of unprovisioned, individual R. typus at an aggregation site, and highlight the importance of using multiple techniques to study the movement ecology of marine megafauna. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Estimates of Abundance and Trend of Chilean Blue Whales off Isla de Chiloé, Chile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Galletti Vernazzani

    Full Text Available Since 1970, blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus have been seen feeding in the waters off southern Chile during the summer and autumn (December to May. Investigation of the genetic, acoustic and morphological characteristics of these blue whales shows that they are a distinct but unnamed subspecies, called the Chilean blue whales. Photo-identification surveys have been conducted in the waters off northwestern Isla Grande de Chiloé, southern Chile from 2004-2012 and Isla Chañaral, central Chile in 2012. Over this time, 1,070 blue whales were encountered yielding, after photo-quality control, 318 and 267 unique photographs of the left and right side of the flank respectively. Using mark-recapture analysis of left and right side photographs collected from Isla Grande de Chiloé (2004-2012, open population models estimate that ~570-760 whales are feeding seasonally in this region. POPAN superpopulation abundance estimates for the same feeding ground in 2012 are 762 (95% confidence intervals, CI = 638-933 and 570 (95% CI 475-705 for left and right side datasets respectively, very similar to results from closed population models. Estimates of trend revealed strong variation in abundance, peaking in 2009 and [suggesting] fluctuating use in the survey area over time, likely related to the density of their prey. High inter-annual return rates suggest a degree of site-fidelity of individuals to Isla Grande de Chiloé and that the number of whales using this feeding ground is relatively small.

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2002-07-01

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

  12. Adrenal responses of large whales: Integrating fecal aldosterone as a complementary biomarker to glucocorticoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Elizabeth A; Hunt, Kathleen E; Kraus, Scott D; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2017-10-01

    Until now, physiological stress assessment of large whales has predominantly focused on adrenal glucocorticoid (GC) measures. Elevated GC concentrations in feces (fGC) are known to reflect stressful disturbances, such as fishing gear entanglement and human-generated underwater noise, in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). However, there can be considerable variation in GC production as a function of sex and life history stage, which may confound the interpretation of fGC levels. Additionally, GC antibodies used in immunoassays can cross-react with other fecal metabolites (i.e., non-target steroids), potentially influencing fGC data. Here, aldosterone concentrations (fALD; aldosterone and related metabolites) were measured in fecal samples from right whales (total n=315 samples), including samples from identified individuals of known life history (n=82 individual whales), to evaluate its utility as a complementary biomarker to fGC for identifying adrenal activation. Concentrations of fALD were positively correlated with fGCs in right whales (r=0.59, Pwhales, fALD concentrations showed similar patterns to those reported for fGC, with higher levels in pregnant females (35.9±7.6ng/g) followed by reproductively mature males (9.5±0.9ng/g) (Pwhales. The addition of fALD measurement as a biomarker of adrenal activation may help distinguish between intrinsic and external causes of stress hormone elevations in large whales, as well as other free-living wildlife species, providing a more comprehensive approach for associating adrenal activation with specific natural and anthropogenic stressors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Structure and Steroidogenesis of the Placenta in the Antarctic Minke Whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    SASAKI, Motoki; AMANO, Yoko; HAYAKAWA, Daisuke; TSUBOTA, Toshio; ISHIKAWA, Hajime; MOGOE, Toshihiro; OHSUMI, Seiji; TETSUKA, Masafumi; MIYAMOTO, Akio; FUKUI, Yutaka; BUDIPITOJO, Teguh; KITAMURA, Nobuo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract There are few reports describing the structure and function of the whale placenta with the advance of pregnancy. In this study, therefore, the placenta and nonpregnant uterus of the Antarctic minke whale were observed morphologically and immunohistochemically. Placentas and nonpregnant uteri were collected from the 15th, 16th and 18th Japanese Whale Research Programme with Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA) and 1st JARPA II organized by the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, Japan. In the macro- and microscopic observations, the placenta of the Antarctic minke whale was a diffuse and epitheliochorial placenta. The chorion was interdigitated to the endometrium by primary, secondary and tertiary villi, which contained no specialized trophoblast cells such as binucleate cells, and the interdigitation became complicated with the progress of gestation. Furthermore, fetal and maternal blood vessels indented deeply into the trophoblast cells and endometrial epithelium respectively with fetal growth. The minke whale placenta showed a fold-like shape as opposed to a finger-like shape. In both nonpregnant and pregnant uteri, many uterine glands were distributed. The uterine glands in the superficial layer of the pregnant endometrium had a wide lumen and large epithelial cells as compared with those in the deep layer. On the other hand, in the nonpregnant endometrium, the uterine glands had a narrower lumen and smaller epithelial cells than in the pregnant endometrium. In immunohistochemical detection, immunoreactivity for P450scc was detected in most trophoblast cells, but not in nonpregnant uteri, suggesting that trophoblast epithelial cells synthesized and secreted the sex steroid hormones and/or their precursors to maintain the pregnancy in the Antarctic minke whale. PMID:23269486

  14. Fin whale sound reception mechanisms: skull vibration enables low-frequency hearing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted W Cranford

    Full Text Available Hearing mechanisms in baleen whales (Mysticeti are essentially unknown but their vocalization frequencies overlap with anthropogenic sound sources. Synthetic audiograms were generated for a fin whale by applying finite element modeling tools to X-ray computed tomography (CT scans. We CT scanned the head of a small fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus in a scanner designed for solid-fuel rocket motors. Our computer (finite element modeling toolkit allowed us to visualize what occurs when sounds interact with the anatomic geometry of the whale's head. Simulations reveal two mechanisms that excite both bony ear complexes, (1 the skull-vibration enabled bone conduction mechanism and (2 a pressure mechanism transmitted through soft tissues. Bone conduction is the predominant mechanism. The mass density of the bony ear complexes and their firmly embedded attachments to the skull are universal across the Mysticeti, suggesting that sound reception mechanisms are similar in all baleen whales. Interactions between incident sound waves and the skull cause deformations that induce motion in each bony ear complex, resulting in best hearing sensitivity for low-frequency sounds. This predominant low-frequency sensitivity has significant implications for assessing mysticete exposure levels to anthropogenic sounds. The din of man-made ocean noise has increased steadily over the past half century. Our results provide valuable data for U.S. regulatory agencies and concerned large-scale industrial users of the ocean environment. This study transforms our understanding of baleen whale hearing and provides a means to predict auditory sensitivity across a broad spectrum of sound frequencies.

  15. Entanglement is a costly life-history stage in large whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoop, Julie; Corkeron, Peter; Moore, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Individuals store energy to balance deficits in natural cycles; however, unnatural events can also lead to unbalanced energy budgets. Entanglement in fishing gear is one example of an unnatural but relatively common circumstance that imposes energetic demands of a similar order of magnitude and duration of life-history events such as migration and pregnancy in large whales. We present two complementary bioenergetic approaches to estimate the energy associated with entanglement in North Atlantic right whales, and compare these estimates to the natural energetic life history of individual whales. Differences in measured blubber thicknesses and estimated blubber volumes between normal and entangled, emaciated whales indicate between 7.4 × 10 10  J and 1.2 × 10 11  J of energy are consumed during the course to death of a lethal entanglement. Increased thrust power requirements to overcome drag forces suggest that when entangled, whales require 3.95 × 10 9 to 4.08 × 10 10  J more energy to swim. Individuals who died from their entanglements performed significantly more work (energy expenditure × time) than those that survived; entanglement duration is therefore critical in determining whales' survival. Significant sublethal energetic impacts also occur, especially in reproductive females. Drag from fishing gear contributes up to 8% of the 4-year female reproductive energy budget, delaying time of energetic equilibrium (to restore energy lost by a particular entanglement) for reproduction by months to years. In certain populations, chronic entanglement in fishing gear can be viewed as a costly unnatural life-history stage, rather than a rare or short-term incident.

  16. How large is the world's largest fish? Measuring whale sharks Rhincodon typus with laser photogrammetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, C A; Richardson, A J; Marshall, A D; Weeks, S J; Pierce, S J

    2011-01-01

    Laser photogrammetry was found to be a promising new cost-effective technique for measuring free-swimming whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Photogrammetric measurements were more precise than visual size estimates by experienced researchers, with results from the two methods differing by 9· 8 ± 1· 1% (mean ±s.e.). A new metric of total length and the length between the fifth gill and first dorsal fin (r² = 0· 93) is proposed to facilitate easy, accurate length measurements of whale sharks in the field. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  17. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-23

    sex and reproductive status (i.e. other physiologic influences) when interpreting levels of GCs as indicators of stress responses. 2.2 2.2 0 Adult... Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas" Please find attached final reports for the above referenced ONR award for the period ending...Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas Rosalind M. Rolland D.V.M., Kathleen E. Hunt Ph.D., Elizabeth A. Burgess M.Sc. Ph.D

  18. Maternal body size and condition determine calf growth rates in southern right whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Fredrik; Vivier, Fabien; Charlton, Claire

    2018-01-01

    The cost of reproduction is a key parameter determining a species' life history strategy. Despite exhibiting some of the fastest offspring growth rates among mammals, the cost of reproduction in baleen whales is largely unknown since standard field metabolic techniques cannot be applied. We...... quantified the cost of reproduction for southern right whales Eubalaena australis over a 3 mo breeding season. We did this by determining the relationship between calf growth rate and maternal rate of loss in energy reserves, using repeated measurements of body volume obtained from unmanned aerial vehicle...... period, and highlights the importance of sufficient maternal energy reserves for reproduction in this capital breeding species....

  19. Characteristics of fin whale vocalizations recorded on instruments in the northeast Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weirathmueller, Maria Michelle Josephine

    This thesis focuses on fin whale vocalizations recorded on ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, using data collected between 2003 and 2013. OBSs are a valuable, and largely untapped resource for the passive acoustic monitoring of large baleen whales. This dissertation is divided into three parts, each of which uses the recordings of fin whale vocalizations to better understand their calling behaviors and distributions. The first study describes the development of a technique to extract source levels of fin whale vocalizations from OBS recordings. Source levels were estimated using data collected on a network of eight OBSs in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The acoustic pressure levels measured at the instruments were adjusted for the propagation path between the calling whales and the instruments using the call location and estimating losses along the acoustic travel path. A total of 1241 calls were used to estimate an average source level of 189 +/-5.8 dB re 1uPa 1m. This variability is largely attributed to uncertainties in the horizontal and vertical position of the fin whale at the time of each call, and the effect of these uncertainties on subsequent calculations. The second study describes a semi-automated method for obtaining horizontal ranges to vocalizing fin whales using the timing and relative amplitude of multipath arrivals. A matched filter is used to detect fin whale calls and pick the relative times and amplitudes of multipath arrivals. Ray-based propagation models are used to predict multipath times and amplitudes as function of range. Because the direct and first multiple arrivals are not always observed, three hypotheses for the paths of the observed arrivals are considered; the solution is the hypothesis and range that optimizes the fit to the data. Ray-theoretical amplitudes are not accurate and solutions are improved by determining amplitudes from the observations using a bootstrap method. Data from ocean bottom

  20. Underwater behavior of sperm whales off Kaikoura, New Zealand, as revealed by a three-dimensional hydrophone array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian; Dawson, Stephen; Vennell, Ross

    2013-10-01

    Observations are presented of the vocal behavior and three dimensional (3D) underwater movements of sperm whales measured with a passive acoustic array off the coast of Kaikoura, New Zealand. Visual observations and vocal behaviors of whales were used to divide dive tracks into different phases, and depths and movements of whales are reported for each of these phases. Diving depths and movement information from 75 3D tracks of whales in Kaikoura are compared to one and two dimensional tracks of whales studied in other oceans. While diving, whales in Kaikoura had a mean swimming speed of 1.57 m/s, and, on average, dived to a depth of 427 m (SD = 117 m), spending most of their time at depths between 300 and 600 m. Creak vocalizations, assumed to be the prey capture phase of echolocation, occurred throughout the water column from sea surface to sea floor, but most occurred at depths of 400-550 m. Three dimensional measurement of tracking revealed several different "foraging" strategies, including active chasing of prey, lining up slow-moving or unsuspecting prey, and foraging on demersal or benthic prey. These movements provide the first 3D descriptions underwater behavior of whales at Kaikoura.