WorldWideScience

Sample records for humpback whale national

  1. 77 FR 27185 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-09

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

  2. 75 FR 77615 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-13

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

  3. 75 FR 970 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-07

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

  4. 75 FR 57441 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-21

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

  5. 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

    ..., National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates of the Lateral Boundary Closures and... 922—Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates of... longitude) coordinates. Sanctuary Boundary A. As defined by the specific lateral boundaries in B, and...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Humpback whale bioacoustics: From form to function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo, III

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

  9. 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...

  10. Photo-identification of Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in the Puerto Lopez part of Machalilla National Park in the Ecuadorian Coast - South America: 1996 - 2007

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro, C.; Forestell, P.; Kaufman, G.; Scheidat, M.; Gibson, Q.; Ferina, D.

    2008-01-01

    Between 1996 and 2007 a photo-identification study of Southeastern Pacific Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) was carried out off the coast of the Ecuadorian mainland (1°’S, 80°’W). During this 11 year period, 1,172 whales were identified. A total of 79 (6.74%) humpback whales were resighted

  11. Photo-identification of Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in the Puerto Lopez part of Machalilla National Park in the Ecuadorian Coast - South America: 1996 - 2007

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro, C.; Forestell, P.; Kaufman, G.; Scheidat, M.; Gibson, Q.; Ferina, D.

    2008-01-01

    Between 1996 and 2007 a photo-identification study of Southeastern Pacific Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) was carried out off the coast of the Ecuadorian mainland (1°’S, 80°’W). During this 11 year period, 1,172 whales were identified. A total of 79 (6.74%) humpback whales were resighted b

  12. Genetic tagging of humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palsbøll, P J; Allen, J; Bérubé, M; Clapham, P J; Feddersen, T P; Hammond, P S; Hudson, R R; Jørgensen, H; Katona, S; Larsen, A H; Larsen, F; Lien, J; Mattila, D K; Sigurjónsson, J; Sears, R; Smith, T; Sponer, R; Stevick, P; Oien, N

    1997-08-21

    The ability to recognize individual animals has substantially increased our knowledge of the biology and behaviour of many taxa. However, not all species lend themselves to this approach, either because of insufficient phenotypic variation or because tag attachment is not feasible. The use of genetic markers ('tags') represents a viable alternative to traditional methods of individual recognition, as they are permanent and exist in all individuals. We tested the use of genetic markers as the primary means of identifying individuals in a study of humpback whales in the North Atlantic Ocean. Analysis of six microsatellite loci among 3,060 skin samples collected throughout this ocean allowed the unequivocal identification of individuals. Analysis of 692 'recaptures', identified by their genotype, revealed individual local and migratory movements of up to 10,000 km, limited exchange among summer feeding grounds, and mixing in winter breeding areas, and also allowed the first estimates of animal abundance based solely on genotypic data. Our study demonstrates that genetic tagging is not only feasible, but generates data (for example, on sex) that can be valuable when interpreting the results of tagging experiments.

  13. 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...

  14. Hydrodynamic design of the humpback whale flipper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, F E; Battle, J M

    1995-07-01

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is reported to use its elongate pectoral flippers during swimming maneuvers. The morphology of the flipper from a 9.02-m whale was evaluated with regard to this hydrodynamic function. The flipper had a wing-like, high aspect ratio planform. Rounded tubercles were regularly interspersed along the flipper's leading edge. The flipper was cut into 71 2.5-cm cross-sections and photographed. Except for sections near the distal tip, flipper sections were symmetrical with no camber. Flipper sections had a blunt, rounded leading edge and a highly tapered trailing edge. Placement of the maximum thickness placement for each cross-section varied from 49% of chord at the tip to 19% at mid-span. Section thickness ratio averaged 0.23 with a range of 0.20-0.28. The humpback whale flipper had a cross-sectional design typical of manufactured aerodynamic foils for lift generation. The morphology and placement of leading edge tubercles suggest that they function as enhanced lift devices to control flow over the flipper and maintain lift at high angles of attack. The morphology of the humpback whale flipper suggests that it is adapted for high maneuverability associated with the whale's unique feeding behavior.

  15. 75 FR 40759 - Initiation of Review of Management Plan/Regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-14

    ... regulations that became effective December 29, 1999 (64 FR 63262). NOAA anticipates completion of the revised.../Regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Intent To Prepare Draft...) has initiated a review of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS...

  16. Mimicking the humpback whale: An aerodynamic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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....

  20. 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....

  1. The enigmatic whale: the North Atlantic humpback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available We know more about the North Atlantic humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae than we do for virtually any other cetacean, yet attempts to use this information to describe the status of the populations in this ocean basin have not proven satisfactory. The North Atlantic humpback has been the subject of extensive research over the past few decades, resulting in a substantial amount of knowledge about what has proven to be a species with a very complex life history and population structure. While several population models have been developed to integrate the available information, the data overall are not well described by any of the models. This has left considerable uncertainty about population status, and has raised questions about the interpretation of some of the data. We describe 7 specific areas where puzzling or ambiguous observations have been made; these require closer attention if population status is to be determined. These areas raise several fundamental questions, including: How many breeding populations are there? How much do the populations mix on the feeding grounds? How has the distribution of animals on both feeding and breeding grounds changed? We identify additional research needed to address the 7 areas and these questions in particular, so that population status might be determined.

  2. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    OpenAIRE

    Castro, C.; J. Acevedo; 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 into age and potential longevity of this species in the stock G. The resighting of whale EC1261 provides the earliest connection from Ecuador to Antarctica. and supports previous findings that Antar...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  5. How important are herring to humpback whales? The role of herring in meeting the energetic requirements of humpback whales in a British Columbian feeding ground

    OpenAIRE

    McMillan, Christie Jane

    2014-01-01

    Management of cetacean populations is a global conservation concern. The North Pacific humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Canada is listed as threatened under the Species At Risk Act, and prey reduction has been identified as a threat to this population. I used focal follows of humpback whales and underwater video of herring schools to estimate Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) consumption by humpback whales in eastern Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia. I combined these results ...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Aerodynamic assessment of humpback whale ventral fin shapes

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-16

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), a mysticete with a cosmopolitan distribution, demonstrate marked behavioural plasticity. Recent studies show evidence of social learning in the transmission of specific population level traits ranging from complex singing to stereotyped prey capturing behaviour. Humpback whales have been observed to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate behaviour in these groups is challenging to obtain. This study investigates the role of a novel broadband patterned pulsed sound produced by humpback whales engaged in bottom-feeding behaviours, referred to here as a 'paired burst' sound. Data collected from 56 archival acoustic tag deployments were investigated to determine the functional significance of these signals. Paired burst sound production was associated exclusively with bottom feeding under low-light conditions, predominantly with evidence of associated conspecifics nearby suggesting that the sound likely serves either as a communicative signal to conspecifics, a signal to affect prey behaviour, or possibly both. This study provides additional evidence for individual variation and phenotypic plasticity of foraging behaviours in humpback whales and provides important evidence for the use of acoustic signals among foraging individuals in this species.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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; P. J. O. Miller

    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 sonar transmis-sions, playbacks of killer whale vocalizations, and broadband noise were conducted as controls. Behavioural parameters such as horizontal movement, diving, social interactions, and v...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. Social structure in migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsecchi, Elena; Hale, Peter; Corkeron, Peter; Amos, William

    2002-03-01

    Although largely solitary, humpback whales exhibit a number of behaviours where individuals co-operate with one another, for example during bubble net feeding. Such cases could be due to reciprocal altruism brought on by exceptional circumstances, for example the presence of abundant shoaling fish. An alternative explanation is that these behaviours have evolved through kin selection. With little restriction to either communication or movement, diffuse groups of relatives could maintain some form of social organization without the need to travel in tight-nit units. To try to distinguish between these hypotheses, we took advantage of the fact that migrating humpback whales often swim together in small groups. If kin selection is important in humpback whale biology, these groups should be enriched for relatives. Consequently, we analysed biopsy samples from 57 groups of humpback whales migrating off Eastern Australia in 1992. A total of 142 whales were screened for eight microsatellite markers. Mitochondrial DNA sequences (371 bp) were also used to verify and assist kinship identification. Our data add support to the notion that mothers travel with their offspring for the first year of the calf's life. However, beyond the presence of mother-calf/yearling pairs, no obvious relatedness pattern was found among whales sampled either in the same pod or on the same day. Levels of relatedness did not vary between migratory phases (towards or away from the breeding ground), nor between the two sexes considered either overall or in the north or south migrations separately. These findings suggest that, if any social organization does exist, it is formed transiently when needed rather than being a constant feature of the population, and hence is more likely based on reciprocal altruism than kin selection.

  15. What do humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae (Cetartiodactyla: Balaenopteridae pairs do after tagging?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The social structure of humpback whales in their tropical wintering grounds is very fluid. To date, no information has been published for cases in which two whales were both satellite-tagged while in association. Here, we report the movements of four humpback whale pairs tagged together off the coast of Brazil. Fieldwork and satellite tagging of humpback whales was conducted between 2003 and 2008 along the eastern coast of Brazil, between 20°S and 8°S. Movement was monitored while whales were still in their breeding ground. A switching state space model was applied to the filtered data of each humpback whale to standardize telemetry data and allow direct comparison of each individual track. GIS was used to plot model-predicted locations and to visually compare animal movements. The results confirm the short-lived nature of associations between breeding humpback whales, and shows that individuals differ widely in their movements.

  16. Population characteristics of DNA fingerprints in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Gilbert, D A; Weinrich, M T; Lambertsen, R; Calambokidis, J; McArdle, B; Chambers, G K; O'Brien, S J

    1993-01-01

    Humpback whales exhibit a remarkable social organization that is characterized by seasonal long-distance migration (> 10,000 km/year) between summer feeding grounds in high latitudes and winter calving and breeding grounds in tropical or near-tropical waters. All populations are currently considered endangered as a result of intensive commercial exploitation during the last 200 years. Using three hypervariable minisatellite DNA probes (33.15, 3'HVR, and M13) originally developed for studies of human genetic variation, we examined genetic variation within and among three regional subpopulations of humpback whales from the North Pacific and one from the North Atlantic oceans. Analysis of DNA extracted from skin tissues collected by biopsy darting from free-ranging whales revealed considerable variation in each subpopulation. The extent of this variation argues against a recent history of inbreeding among humpback whales as a result of nineteenth- and twentieth-century hunting. A canonical variate analysis suggested a relationship between scaled genetic distance, based on similarities of DNA fingerprints, and geographic distance (i.e., longitude of regional subpopulation). Significant categorical differences were found between the two oceanic populations using a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) with a modification of the Mantel nonparametric permutation test. The relationship between DNA fingerprint similarities and geographic distance suggests that nuclear gene flow between regional subpopulations within the North Pacific is restricted by relatively low rates of migratory interchange between breeding grounds or assortative mating on common wintering grounds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Global diversity and oceanic divergence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jennifer A; Steel, Debbie J; Beerli, P; Congdon, Bradley C; Olavarría, Carlos; Leslie, Matthew S; Pomilla, Cristina; Rosenbaum, Howard; Baker, C Scott

    2014-07-07

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) annually undertake the longest migrations between seasonal feeding and breeding grounds of any mammal. Despite this dispersal potential, discontinuous seasonal distributions and migratory patterns suggest that humpbacks form discrete regional populations within each ocean. To better understand the worldwide population history of humpbacks, and the interplay of this species with the oceanic environment through geological time, we assembled mitochondrial DNA control region sequences representing approximately 2700 individuals (465 bp, 219 haplotypes) and eight nuclear intronic sequences representing approximately 70 individuals (3700 bp, 140 alleles) from the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere. Bayesian divergence time reconstructions date the origin of humpback mtDNA lineages to the Pleistocene (880 ka, 95% posterior intervals 550-1320 ka) and estimate radiation of current Northern Hemisphere lineages between 50 and 200 ka, indicating colonization of the northern oceans prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. Coalescent analyses reveal restricted gene flow between ocean basins, with long-term migration rates (individual migrants per generation) of less than 3.3 for mtDNA and less than 2 for nuclear genomic DNA. Genetic evidence suggests that humpbacks in the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere are on independent evolutionary trajectories, supporting taxonomic revision of M. novaeangliae to three subspecies.

  1. 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.

  2. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Their Wintering Grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:27736958

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Acoustic monitoring on a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding ground shows continual singing into late Spring.

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, Christopher W.; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2004-01-01

    Singing by males is a major feature of the mating system of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski). Although a few songs have been opportunistically recorded on the whales' high-latitude feeding grounds, singing in these regions was thought to be only sporadic. We report results from the first continuous acoustic monitoring of a humpback whale feeding ground (off Cape Cod, MA, USA) in spring. Using autonomous sea-floor recording systems, we found singing on a daily basis over the ...

  6. A real-time method for autonomous passive acoustic detection-classification of humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbot, Ted A; Premus, Vincent E; Abbot, Philip A

    2010-05-01

    This paper describes a method for real-time, autonomous, joint detection-classification of humpback whale vocalizations. The approach adapts the spectrogram correlation method used by Mellinger and Clark [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 3518-3529 (2000)] for bowhead whale endnote detection to the humpback whale problem. The objective is the implementation of a system to determine the presence or absence of humpback whales with passive acoustic methods and to perform this classification with low false alarm rate in real time. Multiple correlation kernels are used due to the diversity of humpback song. The approach also takes advantage of the fact that humpbacks tend to vocalize repeatedly for extended periods of time, and identification is declared only when multiple song units are detected within a fixed time interval. Humpback whale vocalizations from Alaska, Hawaii, and Stellwagen Bank were used to train the algorithm. It was then tested on independent data obtained off Kaena Point, Hawaii in February and March of 2009. Results show that the algorithm successfully classified humpback whales autonomously in real time, with a measured probability of correct classification in excess of 74% and a measured probability of false alarm below 1%.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    J. Ellen Blue; Taylor Bucci; Christopher Chyba; Sean F. Hanser; Brenda McCowan; Doyle, Laurance R.

    2008-01-01

    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 d...

  11. Common humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) sound types for passive acoustic monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpert, Alison K; Au, Whitlow W L; Parks, Susan E; Hurst, Thomas; Wiley, David N

    2011-01-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are one of several baleen whale species in the Northwest Atlantic that coexist with vessel traffic and anthropogenic noise. Passive acoustic monitoring strategies can be used in conservation management, but the first step toward understanding the acoustic behavior of a species is a good description of its acoustic repertoire. Digital acoustic tags (DTAGs) were placed on humpback whales in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to record and describe the non-song sounds being produced in conjunction with foraging activities. Peak frequencies of sounds were generally less than 1 kHz, but ranged as high as 6 kHz, and sounds were generally less than 1 s in duration. Cluster analysis distilled the dataset into eight groups of sounds with similar acoustic properties. The two most stereotyped and distinctive types ("wops" and "grunts") were also identified aurally as candidates for use in passive acoustic monitoring. This identification of two of the most common sound types will be useful for moving forward conservation efforts on this Northwest Atlantic feeding ground.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo S Pacheco

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Influence of seasonal migration on geographic distribution of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Palumbi, S R; Lambertsen, R H; Weinrich, M T; Calambokidis, J; O'Brien, S J

    1990-03-15

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate nearly 10,000 km each year between summer feeding grounds in temperate or near-polar waters and winter breeding grounds in shallow tropical waters. Observations of marked individuals suggest that major oceanic populations of humpback whales are divided into a number of distinct seasonal subpopulations which are not separated by obvious geographic barriers. To test whether these observed patterns of distribution and migration are reflected in the genetic structure of populations, we looked for variation in the mitochondrial DNA of 84 individual humpback whales on different feeding and wintering grounds of the North Pacific and western North Atlantic oceans. On the basis of restriction-fragment analysis, we now report a marked segregation of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes among subpopulations as well as between the two oceans. We interpret this segregation to be the consequence of maternally directed fidelity to migratory destinations.

  17. 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.

  18. Passive acoustic tracking of singing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on a northwest Atlantic feeding ground.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanistreet, Joy E; Risch, Denise; Van Parijs, Sofie M

    2013-01-01

    Passive acoustic tracking provides an unobtrusive method of studying the movement of sound-producing animals in the marine environment where traditional tracking methods may be costly or infeasible. We used passive acoustic tracking to characterize the fine-scale movements of singing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on a northwest Atlantic feeding ground. Male humpback whales produce complex songs, a phenomenon that is well documented in tropical regions during the winter breeding season, but also occurs at higher latitudes during other times of year. Acoustic recordings were made throughout 2009 using an array of autonomous recording units deployed in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Song was recorded during spring and fall, and individual singing whales were localized and tracked throughout the array using a correlation sum estimation method on the time-synchronized recordings. Tracks were constructed for forty-three song sessions, revealing a high level of variation in movement patterns in both the spring and fall seasons, ranging from slow meandering to faster directional movement. Tracks were 30 min to 8 h in duration, and singers traveled distances ranging from 0.9 to 20.1 km. Mean swimming speed was 2.06 km/h (SD 0.95). Patterns and rates of movement indicated that most singers were actively swimming. In one case, two singers were tracked simultaneously, revealing a potential acoustic interaction. Our results provide a first description of the movements of singers on a northwest Atlantic feeding ground, and demonstrate the utility of passive acoustic tracking for studying the fine-scale movements of cetaceans within the behavioral context of their calls. These methods have further applications for conservation and management purposes, particularly by enhancing our ability to estimate cetacean densities using passive acoustic monitoring.

  19. 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

    deployments of multiple tag types on blue, humpback, and gray whales in the eastern North Pacific John Calambokidis Cascadia Research Collective 218...large whales including blue, humpback, and gray whales by conducting long term follow up of previously tagged individuals in the eastern North Pacific...humpback, and gray whales in the eastern North Pacific and our extensive monitoring of these populations. Despite extensive use of implant tags for more

  20. Feeding Ecology of Humpback Whales in Continental Shelf Waters near Cordell Bank, California

    OpenAIRE

    1992-01-01

    Daytime feeding behavior of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Gulf of the Farallones, California, and adjacent waters was observed during autumn of 1988 to 1990. Bodega Canyon, Cordell Bank, and the Farallon Islands were the primary sites of feeding activity. Fecal samples of whales and zooplankton tows contained euphausiids exclusively, dominated by Thysanoessa spinifera (79%), with lesser amounts of Euphausia pacifica (14%), Nyctiphanes simplex (4%), and Nematoscelis difficilis (3...

  1. Calling in the cold: pervasive acoustic presence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Antarctic coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Opzeeland, Ilse; Van Parijs, Sofie; Kindermann, Lars; Burkhardt, Elke; Boebel, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    Humpback whales migrate between relatively unproductive tropical or temperate breeding grounds and productive high latitude feeding areas. However, not all individuals of a population undertake the annual migration to the breeding grounds; instead some are thought to remain on the feeding grounds year-round, presumably to avoid the energetic demands of migration. In the Southern Hemisphere, ice and inclement weather conditions restrict investigations of humpback whale presence on feeding grounds as well as the extent of their southern range. Two years of near-continuous recordings from the PerenniAL Acoustic Observatory in the Antarctic Ocean (PALAOA, Ekström Iceshelf, 70°31'S, 8°13'W) are used to explore the acoustic presence of humpback whales in an Antarctic coastal area. Humpback whale calls were present during nine and eleven months of 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2008, calls were present in January through April, June through August, November and December, whereas in 2009, calls were present throughout the year, except in September. Calls occurred in un-patterned sequences, representing non-song sound production. Typically, calls occurred in bouts, ranging from 2 to 42 consecutive days with February, March and April having the highest daily occurrence of calls in 2008. In 2009, February, March, April and May had the highest daily occurrence of calls. Whales were estimated to be within a 100 km radius off PALAOA. Calls were also present during austral winter when ice cover within this radius was >90%. These results demonstrate that coastal areas near the Antarctic continent are likely of greater importance to humpback whales than previously assumed, presumably providing food resources year-round and open water in winter where animals can breathe.

  2. Calling in the cold: pervasive acoustic presence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in Antarctic coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilse Van Opzeeland

    Full Text Available Humpback whales migrate between relatively unproductive tropical or temperate breeding grounds and productive high latitude feeding areas. However, not all individuals of a population undertake the annual migration to the breeding grounds; instead some are thought to remain on the feeding grounds year-round, presumably to avoid the energetic demands of migration. In the Southern Hemisphere, ice and inclement weather conditions restrict investigations of humpback whale presence on feeding grounds as well as the extent of their southern range. Two years of near-continuous recordings from the PerenniAL Acoustic Observatory in the Antarctic Ocean (PALAOA, Ekström Iceshelf, 70°31'S, 8°13'W are used to explore the acoustic presence of humpback whales in an Antarctic coastal area. Humpback whale calls were present during nine and eleven months of 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2008, calls were present in January through April, June through August, November and December, whereas in 2009, calls were present throughout the year, except in September. Calls occurred in un-patterned sequences, representing non-song sound production. Typically, calls occurred in bouts, ranging from 2 to 42 consecutive days with February, March and April having the highest daily occurrence of calls in 2008. In 2009, February, March, April and May had the highest daily occurrence of calls. Whales were estimated to be within a 100 km radius off PALAOA. Calls were also present during austral winter when ice cover within this radius was >90%. These results demonstrate that coastal areas near the Antarctic continent are likely of greater importance to humpback whales than previously assumed, presumably providing food resources year-round and open water in winter where animals can breathe.

  3. Toward the social and acoustic ecology of social foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanser, Sean Frederick Thurman

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is an endangered species of baleen whale found throughout the world. A subset of the Polynesian population of humpbacks that migrates to Southeast Alaska participates in the group foraging activity known as "bubble-net feeding." We applied social network analysis to eight years of observations of co-occurrence to understand the social organization of bubble-net feeding whales. Results indicate that there are two large communities in Southeast Alaska that inhabit geographically distinct areas. Among social foraging humpbacks, there is a high degree of preference for affiliating with individuals from the same community. There are three types of whales in the communities: (1) "core" members who eat herring consistently, (2) intermittent members that were observed participating irregularly, and (3) one-season participators. One of the specialized roles that some whales assume during bubble-net feeding is that of the whale who vocalizes to manipulate prey. We focused on the vocalizations produced by there task-specialists to see if we could classify distinct types of feeding calls. Classification and regression trees confirmed that most feeding calls were classifiable based on stable acoustic differences among the calls. The acoustic features that played the largest role in classifying calls were the mean and standard deviation of call formants, also known as harmonies. Formants are acoustic features that are stable within individual vocalizers. This indicates that the classification technique may provide a reliable method for identifying individual whales acoustically. Humpback vocal behavior is integral to bubble-net feeding and could be affected by vessel noise during social foraging. We subjected feeding humpbacks to moderate levels of vessel noise from small boats. The humpbacks increased the length of spaces between individual vocalizations but did rot increase the overall length of vocal bouts. Contrary to expectations

  4. 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

    1997-01-01

    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 microsatel

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Population spatial structuring on the feeding grounds in North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, P. T.; Allen, J.; Clapham, P. J.; Katona, S. K.; Larsen, F.; Lien, J.; Mattila, D. K.; Palsboll, P. J.; Sears, R.; Sigurjonsson, J.; Smith, T. D.; Vikingsson, G.; Oien, N.; Hammond, P. S.

    2006-01-01

    Population spatial structuring among North Atlantic humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae on the summer feeding grounds was investigated using movement patterns of identified individuals. We analysed the results from an intensive 2-year ocean-basin-scale investigation resulting in 1658 individuals

  8. Segregation of migration by feeding ground origin in North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, PT; Allen, J; Berube, M; Clapham, PJ; Katona, SK; Larsen, F; Lien, J; Mattila, DK; Palsboll, PJ; Robbins, J; Sigurjonsson, J; Smith, TD; Oien, N; Hammond, PS

    2003-01-01

    Results from a large-scale, capture-recapture study of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae in the North Atlantic show that migration timing is influenced by feeding ground origin. No significant differences were observed in the number of individuals from any feeding area that were re-sighted in t

  9. Underwater topography determines critical breeding habitat for humpback whales near Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: implications for marine protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oviedo, L; Solís, M

    2008-06-01

    Migrating humpback whales from northern and southern feeding grounds come to the tropical waters near Osa Peninsula, Pacific of Costa Rica, to reproduce and raise their calves. Planning effective marine protected areas that encompass humpback critical habitats require data about which oceanographic features influence distribution during the breeding period. This study examines the relationship between water depth and ocean floor slope with humpback whale distribution, based on sightings during two breeding seasons (2005 and 2006). Data are from the Southern and Northern subpopulations in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). Analysis followed the basic principles of the Ecological Niche Factors Analysis (ENFA), where indices of Marginality and Tolerance provide insights on the restrictiveness of habitat use. At a fine scale, physical factors such as water depth and slope define the critical breeding and nursing habitat for M. novaeangliae. Divergence in the subsamples means of depths and slope distribution, with the global mean of the study area in both eco-geographical variables, determine habitat requirements restricted by topographic features such as depths (< 100 m) and slope (< 10%), and locate the key breeding and nursing habitat of the species within the continental shelf domains. Proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) network plans should consider connectivity of Cafio Island-Drake Bay and the extension of Corcovado National Park maritime borders.

  10. Feeding grounds of the eastern South Pacific humpback whale population include the South Orkney Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Félix, Fernando; Stevick, Peter T.; Secchi,Eduardo R; Allen, Judith M; Chater, Kim; Martin, Anthony R.; Basso, Manuela

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on two photo-identified humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) that were sighted in different years in the proximity of the South Orkney Islands, at the boundary between the Scotia and Weddell seas (60o54.5’S – 46o40.4’W and 60o42.6’S – 45o33’W). One of the whales had been previously sighted off Ecuador, a breeding ground for the eastern South Pacific population. The other whale was subsequently resighted in Bransfield Strait, off the western Antarctic Peninsula, a well-d...

  11. Acoustic monitoring on a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding ground shows continual singing into late Spring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher W; Clapham, Phillip J

    2004-05-22

    Singing by males is a major feature of the mating system of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski). Although a few songs have been opportunistically recorded on the whales' high-latitude feeding grounds, singing in these regions was thought to be only sporadic. We report results from the first continuous acoustic monitoring of a humpback whale feeding ground (off Cape Cod, MA, USA) in spring. Using autonomous sea-floor recording systems, we found singing on a daily basis over the entire 25 day monitoring period, from 14 May to 7 June 2000. For much of the period, song was recorded 24 h per day. These results, combined with evidence for aseasonal conceptions in whaling catch data, suggest that the humpback whale breeding season should no longer be considered as confined to lower-latitude regions in winter. Rather, we suggest breeding extends geographically and temporally onto feeding grounds into at least spring and early summer. Singing at these times represents either low-cost opportunistic advertising by (perhaps relatively few) males to court females that failed to conceive during the winter, and/or possibly an intrasexual display.

  12. Evidence for a sex-segregated migration in the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M R; Corkeron, P J; Hale, P T; Schultz, K W; Bryden, M M

    1995-02-22

    Existing population models for humpback whales assume that all individuals within a population undertake the annual migration from feeding areas in high latitudes to breeding areas in tropical waters. An excess of males was recorded in the commercial whaling catches near breeding areas in the southern hemisphere, but no account of this was taken in developing population models, because it was believed that this bias was a result of whalers selecting against females with young calves. Here we demonstrate that the sex ratio of migrating humpback whales near a breeding area is highly skewed towards males. A biopsy study carried out in 1992 throughout the northward and southward migrations revealed a sex ratio of 2.4 males: 1 female in the population of humpback whales migrating along the east Australian coast (n = 180). A reanalysis of the catches made during commercial whaling in this and other areas of the southern hemisphere gave a sex ratio of the same order. The most plausible explanation, supported by some evidence, is that some females remain in the feeding areas throughout winter. The results reported here show that existing management models require major revision to take account of these findings.

  13. Heavy with child? Pregnancy status and stable isotope ratios as determined from biopsies of humpback whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Casey T.; Fleming, Alyson H.; Calambokidis, John; Kellar, Nicholas M.; Allen, Camryn D.; Catelani, Krista N.; Robbins, Michelle; Beaulieu, Nicole E.; Steel, Debbie; Harvey, James T.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding reproductive rates of wild animal populations is crucially important for management and conservation. Assessing pregnancy status of free-ranging cetaceans has historically been difficult; however, recent advances in analytical techniques have allowed the diagnosis of pregnancy from small samples of blubber tissue. The primary objectives of this study were as follows: (i) to test the efficacy of blubber progesterone assays as a tool for diagnosing pregnancy in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae); (ii) to estimate the pregnancy rate of humpback whales in Monterey Bay, California; and (iii) to investigate the relationship between stable isotopes and reproductive status of these whales. Progesterone concentrations of female whales fell into two distinct groups, allowing for diagnostic separation of pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. Pregnancy rate varied between years of the study (48.4%% in 2011 and 18.5% in 2012), but fell within the range of other estimates of reproductive success for this population. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were examined to investigate the impacts of pregnancy on these values. Neither δ15N nor δ13C varied in a consistent way among animals of different sex or reproductive status. The relationship between δ15N and δ13C was strongly positive for male and non-pregnant female humpbacks; however, no relationship existed for pregnant whales. This difference may be indicative of the effects of pregnancy on δ15N, resulting from tissue synthesis and reduced excretion of nitrogenous waste, as well as on δ13C through increased mobilization of lipid stores to meet the energetic demands of pregnancy. Ultimately, our results support the use of blubber progesterone assays for diagnosing pregnancy in humpback whales and indicate that, when paired with other approaches (e.g. stable isotope analysis), pregnancy status can be an informative tool for addressing questions about animal physiology, ecology and population

  14. Cultural change in the songs of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from Tonga

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksen, N.; Miller, L.A.; Tougaard, J.; Helweg, D.A.

    2005-01-01

    Some humpback whales migrate annually from Antarctic feeding grounds to the seas around the Tongan Islands to give birth and mate. The Tongan humpbacks are considered part of Southern Hemisphere Group V that splits during migration, some swimming to Eastern Australia and others to various Polynesian Islands. During this time long complex songs are produced. The song is thought to be a male breeding display and may serve either as an intra-sexual or an inter-sexual signal or both. It is in a constant state of change that occurs every season. Since these changes are directional they cannot be described by drift, and singers incorporate changes as they occur, thus song must be shared through cultural transmission. This investigation describes the cultural changes that occurred in 158 songs recorded from Tongan humpbacks through the 1990s. The rate of change differed within years, some themes were retained for as much as five years and others were lost after only two years. The farther apart the years the less similar are the songs, as in the humpback songs of the Northern Hemisphere. The largest number of changes seems to have occurred in the early 1990s where all themes seemed to have been lost and new ones originated. What initiates these changes remains speculative, but we assess some hypotheses in relation to humpback whale behaviour and cultural transmission in avian song. ?? Koninklijke Brill NV, 2005.

  15. Foraging behavior of humpback whales: kinematic and respiratory patterns suggest a high cost for a lunge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Calambokidis, John; Croll, Donald A; Harvey, James T; Newton, Kelly M; Oleson, Erin M; Schorr, Greg; Shadwick, Robert E

    2008-12-01

    Lunge feeding in rorqual whales is a drag-based feeding mechanism that is thought to entail a high energetic cost and consequently limit the maximum dive time of these extraordinarily large predators. Although the kinematics of lunge feeding in fin whales supports this hypothesis, it is unclear whether respiratory compensation occurs as a consequence of lunge-feeding activity. We used high-resolution digital tags on foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) to determine the number of lunges executed per dive as well as respiratory frequency between dives. Data from two whales are reported, which together performed 58 foraging dives and 451 lunges. During one study, we tracked one tagged whale for approximately 2 h and examined the spatial distribution of prey using a digital echosounder. These data were integrated with the dive profile to reveal that lunges are directed toward the upper boundary of dense krill aggregations. Foraging dives were characterized by a gliding descent, up to 15 lunges at depth, and an ascent powered by steady swimming. Longer dives were required to perform more lunges at depth and these extended apneas were followed by an increase in the number of breaths taken after a dive. Maximum dive durations during foraging were approximately half of those previously reported for singing (i.e. non-feeding) humpback whales. At the highest lunge frequencies (10 to 15 lunges per dive), respiratory rate was at least threefold higher than that of singing humpback whales that underwent a similar degree of apnea. These data suggest that the high energetic cost associated with lunge feeding in blue and fin whales also occurs in intermediate sized rorquals.

  16. Surface-Piercing Activities of the Humpback Whale, Megaptera, Related to Parasites and Mechanics}

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvin, C.

    2006-12-01

    Humpback whales leap out of the water (breach), strike the water surface with their long fins (flipper), strike the water surface with their tail (lobtail), and hold motionless in a vertical position with their heads above water (spyhop). These four surface-piercing activities were known to early whalers, but their explanations remain uncertain. A whale breaches by swimming from depth toward the water surface at an oblique angle, propelling himself into the air at an angle to the water's surface (0 to 70 degrees), rotating about his long axis, and landing on his back, belly up to the sky. Rotation requires applying angular momentum to the whale's trunk, which photographs suggest comes from flinging out the flipper on the side rotating upward, and keeping the downward-rotating flipper closer to the trunk. The humpback has unusually long flippers (long moment arms) up to 30 percent of trunk length. Its generic name, Megaptera, can translate as `long flipper'. Continued use of one flipper as the moment arm raises the possibility of right-handed or left-handed whales, but Whitehead's (1985) data do not support that result. Parasites as a cause of breaching is a hypothesis at least as old as Beale (1839), but in the last half of the 20th century, breaching, flippering, and lobtailing came to be understood as social activities of whales. Whitehead's work in the 1980s provides much data on humpback activities, as well as a prevailing social interpretation of the data. External parasites (loosely defined) include whale lice (fingernail-sized crablike animals) and barnacles (both fixed shell and flexible goosenecked species). Thousands of these animals may inhabit a single whale. Whale lice populate crevices of the jaws and eyes, the pleats in the throat pouch under the jaw, and shelter at fixed barnacles. Fixed barnacles thrive on exposed bumps on the whale's head and flippers. Gooseneck barnacles appear in photos attached to trailing edges of fins and tail. Some parasites

  17. Sound production patterns from humpback whales in a high latitude foraging area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpert, Alison K.; Wiley, David N.; Barton, Kira L.; Johnson, Mark P.; Lammers, Marc O.; Au, Whitlow W. L.

    2005-09-01

    Numerous studies have been conducted on humpback whale song, but substantially fewer have focused on the acoustic properties of non-song sound production (i.e., feeding and social sounds). Non-invasive digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGS) were attached to humpback whales on the western North Atlantics Great South Channel feeding grounds during July 2004. Acoustic records totaling 48.4 data hours from four of these attachments were aurally analyzed for temporal trends in whale signal production. A custom automatic detection function was also used to identify occurrences of specific signals and evaluate their temporal consistency. Patterns in sound usage varied by stage of foraging dive and by time of day. Amount of time with signals present was greater at the bottom of dives than during surface periods, indicating that sounds are probably related to foraging at depth. For the two tags that recorded at night, signals were present during a greater proportion of daylight hours than night hours. These results will be compared with previously published trends describing diel patterns in male humpback whale song chorusing on the breeding grounds. Data from the continuation of this research during the summer of 2005 will also be included.

  18. Intra- and inter-species differences in persistent organic contaminants in the blubber of blue whales and humpback whales from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, Chris; Koenig, Brenda; Metcalfe, Tracy; Paterson, Gordon; Sears, Richard

    2004-05-01

    Biopsy samples of blubber from adult male and female blue whales, and from female and young-of-the-year humpback whales were collected during the summers of 1992-1999 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. In blue whales, concentrations of 25 PCB congeners, DDT and metabolites and several other organochlorine compounds were present at higher concentrations in the blubber of males relative to females; reflecting maternal transfer of these persistent contaminants from females into young. Sex-related differences in concentrations were not observed with less persistent contaminants, such as HCHs. In humpback whale samples, there were no significant differences in the concentrations of PCBs and organochlorine compounds in the blubber of females and calves. These data indicate that calves quickly bioaccumulate contaminants by transplacental and lactational routes to concentrations that are in equilibrium with females. In comparisons between contaminant concentrations and patterns in the blubber of female blue and humpback whales, there were no significant differences in concentrations, but the proportions of some PCB congeners, HCH isomers, and DDT and its metabolites were different in the two baleen whale species. These may reflect differences in the diet of the two species, since fish comprise a large part of the diet of humpback whales and blue whales feed exclusively on euphausiid crustaceans (i.e. krill).

  19. Feeding grounds of the eastern South Pacific humpback whale population include the South Orkney Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano Dalla Rosa

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on two photo-identified humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae that were sighted in different years in the proximity of the South Orkney Islands, at the boundary between the Scotia and Weddell seas (60°54.5'S—46°40.4'W and 60°42.6'S—45°33'W. One of the whales had been previously sighted off Ecuador, a breeding ground for the eastern South Pacific population. The other whale was subsequently resighted in Bransfield Strait, off the western Antarctic Peninsula, a well-documented feeding ground for the same population. These matches give support to a hypothesis that the area south of the South Orkney Islands is occupied by whales from the eastern South Pacific breeding stock. Consequently, we propose 40°W as a new longitudinal boundary between the feeding grounds associated with the eastern South Pacific and western South Atlantic breeding stocks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-01

    Reynolds regime that coincides with a large array of engineered applications. Conventional airfoils and hydrofoils with straight leading edges generate...the use of tubercles under condi- tions in which the ends of a hydrofoil are bounded by walls or the hydrofoil is considered to be of an infinite span...Henoch C, Johari H. 2010. The performance of finite-span hydrofoils with humpback whale-like lead- ing edge protuberances. 63rd Ann Mtg APS Div Fluid

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpert, Alison K; Peavey, Lindsey E; Friedlaender, Ari S; Nowacek, Douglas P

    2012-01-01

    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.

  2. A study of vocal nonlinearities in humpback whale songs: from production mechanisms to acoustic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazau, Dorian; Adam, Olivier; Aubin, Thierry; Laitman, Jeffrey T.; Reidenberg, Joy S.

    2016-01-01

    Although mammalian vocalizations are predominantly harmonically structured, they can exhibit an acoustic complexity with nonlinear vocal sounds, including deterministic chaos and frequency jumps. Such sounds are normative events in mammalian vocalizations, and can be directly traceable to the nonlinear nature of vocal-fold dynamics underlying typical mammalian sound production. In this study, we give qualitative descriptions and quantitative analyses of nonlinearities in the song repertoire of humpback whales from the Ste Marie channel (Madagascar) to provide more insight into the potential communication functions and underlying production mechanisms of these features. A low-dimensional biomechanical modeling of the whale’s U-fold (vocal folds homolog) is used to relate specific vocal mechanisms to nonlinear vocal features. Recordings of living humpback whales were searched for occurrences of vocal nonlinearities (instabilities). Temporal distributions of nonlinearities were assessed within sound units, and between different songs. The anatomical production sources of vocal nonlinearities and the communication context of their occurrences in recordings are discussed. Our results show that vocal nonlinearities may be a communication strategy that conveys information about the whale’s body size and physical fitness, and thus may be an important component of humpback whale songs. PMID:27721476

  3. Temporal stability and change in the social call repertoire of migrating humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rekdahl, Melinda L; Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; Goldizen, Anne W

    2013-03-01

    Quantifying the stability of a species vocal repertoire is fundamental for further investigations into repertoire function and geographic variation. Changes to the repertoire of sounds used in the song displays of male humpback whales have been well studied. In contrast, little is known about the stability of this species' non-song vocal calls. The stability of the social call repertoire of east Australian humpback whales was investigated from 1997, 2003-2004, and 2008. Out of 46 qualitatively defined call types, 19 were classified as "song-unit calls" that tended to change with the song, and 15 were "inconsistent" and only found in one or two years. Twelve call types were "stable" and present in all years and were commonly produced (64.2% of calls). Stable calls tended to vary in some of the measured call parameters but there was no clear trend between years. This result could indicate that minor changes to calls are not permanent, but reflect individual differences in call production or the graded nature of calls within different social environments. This research has clearly identified stable calls in the call repertoire of humpback whales and while their function is not well understood, their stability suggests an important role in social interactions.

  4. A study of vocal nonlinearities in humpback whale songs: from production mechanisms to acoustic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazau, Dorian; Adam, Olivier; Aubin, Thierry; Laitman, Jeffrey T.; Reidenberg, Joy S.

    2016-10-01

    Although mammalian vocalizations are predominantly harmonically structured, they can exhibit an acoustic complexity with nonlinear vocal sounds, including deterministic chaos and frequency jumps. Such sounds are normative events in mammalian vocalizations, and can be directly traceable to the nonlinear nature of vocal-fold dynamics underlying typical mammalian sound production. In this study, we give qualitative descriptions and quantitative analyses of nonlinearities in the song repertoire of humpback whales from the Ste Marie channel (Madagascar) to provide more insight into the potential communication functions and underlying production mechanisms of these features. A low-dimensional biomechanical modeling of the whale’s U-fold (vocal folds homolog) is used to relate specific vocal mechanisms to nonlinear vocal features. Recordings of living humpback whales were searched for occurrences of vocal nonlinearities (instabilities). Temporal distributions of nonlinearities were assessed within sound units, and between different songs. The anatomical production sources of vocal nonlinearities and the communication context of their occurrences in recordings are discussed. Our results show that vocal nonlinearities may be a communication strategy that conveys information about the whale’s body size and physical fitness, and thus may be an important component of humpback whale songs.

  5. 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.

  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)

    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 in

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Linking pollutant exposure of humpback whales breeding in the Indian Ocean to their feeding habits and feeding areas off Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Krishna; Malarvannan, Govindan; Dirtu, Alin; Dulau, Violaine; Dumont, Magali; Lepoint, Gilles; Mongin, Philippe; Covaci, Adrian

    2017-01-01

    Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, breeding off la Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) undergo large-scale seasonal migrations between summer feeding grounds near Antarctica and their reproductive winter grounds in the Indian Ocean. The main scope of the current study was to investigate chemical exposure of humpback whales breeding in the Indian Ocean by providing the first published data on this breeding stock concerning persistent organic pollutants (POPs), namely polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), chlordane compounds (CHLs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs). Analyses of stable isotopes δ(13)C and δ(15)N in skin resulted in further insight in their feeding ecology, which was in agreement with a diet focused mainly on low trophic level prey species, such as krill from Antarctica. POPs were measured in all humpback whales in the order of HCB > DDTs > CHLs > HCHs > PCBs > PBDEs > MeO-BDEs. HCB (median: 24 ng g(-1) lw) and DDTs (median: 7.7 ng g(-1) lw) were the predominant compounds in all whale biopsies. Among DDT compounds, p,p'-DDE was the major organohalogenated pollutant, reflecting its long-term accumulation in humpback whales. Significantly lower concentrations of HCB and DDTs were found in females than in males (p  0.05). Differences in the HCB and DDTs suggested gender-specific transfer of some compounds to the offspring. POP concentrations were lower than previously reported results for humpback whales sampled near the Antarctic Peninsula, suggesting potential influence of their nutritional status and may indicate different exposures of the whales according to their feeding zones. Further investigations are required to assess exposure of southern humpback whales throughout their feeding zones. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Hierarchical structure of mitochondrial DNA gene flow among humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae, world-wide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Slade, R W; Bannister, J L; Abernethy, R B; Weinrich, M T; Lien, J; Urban, J; Corkeron, P; Calmabokidis, J; Vasquez, O

    1994-08-01

    The genetic structure of humpback whale populations and subpopulation divisions is described by restriction fragment length analysis of the mitochondrial (mt) DNA from samples of 230 whales collected by biopsy darting in 11 seasonal habitats representing six subpopulations, or 'stocks', world-wide. The hierarchical structure of mtDNA haplotype diversity among population subdivisions is described using the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) procedure, the analysis of gene identity, and the genealogical relationship of haplotypes as constructed by parsimony analysis and distance clustering. These analyses revealed: (i) significant partitioning of world-wide genetic variation among oceanic populations, among subpopulations or 'stocks' within oceanic populations and among seasonal habitats within stocks; (ii) fixed categorical segregation of haplotypes on the south-eastern Alaska and central California feeding grounds of the North Pacific; (iii) support for the division of the North Pacific population into a central stock which feeds in Alaska and winters in Hawaii, and an eastern or 'American' stock which feeds along the coast of California and winters near Mexico; (iv) evidence of genetic heterogeneity within the Gulf of Maine feeding grounds and among the sampled feeding and breeding grounds of the western North Atlantic; and (v) support for the historical division between the Group IV (Western Australia) and Group V (eastern Australia, New Zealand and Tonga) stocks in the Southern Oceans. Overall, our results demonstrate a striking degree of genetic structure both within and between oceanic populations of humpback whales, despite the nearly unlimited migratory potential of this species. We suggest that the humpback whale is a suitable demographic and genetic model for the management of less tractable species of baleen whales and for the general study of gene flow among long-lived, mobile vertebrates in the marine ecosystem.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Laurance R.; McCowan, Brenda; Hanser, Sean F.; Chyba, Christopher; Bucci, Taylor; Blue, J. E.

    2008-06-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Optimal migration energetics of humpback whales and the implications of disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braithwaite, Janelle E; Meeuwig, Jessica J; Hipsey, Matthew R

    2015-01-01

    Whales migrate long distances and reproduce on a finite store of energy. Budgeting the use of this limited energy reserve is an important factor to ensure survival over the period of migration and to maximize reproductive investment. For some whales, migration routes are closely associated with coastal areas, exposing animals to high levels of human activity. It is currently unclear how various forms of human activity may disturb whales during migration, how this might impact their energy balance and how this could translate into long-term demographic changes. Here, we develop a theoretical bioenergetic model for migrating humpback whales to investigate the optimal migration strategy that minimizes energy use. The average migration velocity was an important driver of the total energy used by a whale, and an optimal velocity of 1.1 m s(-1) was determined. This optimal velocity is comparable to documented observed migration speeds, suggesting that whales migrate at a speed that conserves energy. Furthermore, the amount of resting time during migration was influenced by both transport costs and feeding rates. We simulated hypothetical disturbances to the optimal migration strategy in two ways, by altering average velocity to represent changes in behavioural activity and by increasing total travelled distance to represent displacement along the migration route. In both cases, disturbance increased overall energy use, with implications for the growth potential of calves.

  17. 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.

  18. The tubercles on humpback whales' flippers: application of bio-inspired technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, Frank E; Weber, Paul W; Murray, Mark M; Howle, Laurens E

    2011-07-01

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is exceptional among the large baleen whales in its ability to undertake aquabatic maneuvers to catch prey. Humpback whales utilize extremely mobile, wing-like flippers for banking and turning. Large rounded tubercles along the leading edge of the flipper are morphological structures that are unique in nature. The tubercles on the leading edge act as passive-flow control devices that improve performance and maneuverability of the flipper. Experimental analysis of finite wing models has demonstrated that the presence of tubercles produces a delay in the angle of attack until stall, thereby increasing maximum lift and decreasing drag. Possible fluid-dynamic mechanisms for improved performance include delay of stall through generation of a vortex and modification of the boundary layer, and increase in effective span by reduction of both spanwise flow and strength of the tip vortex. The tubercles provide a bio-inspired design that has commercial viability for wing-like structures. Control of passive flow has the advantages of eliminating complex, costly, high-maintenance, and heavy control mechanisms, while improving performance for lifting bodies in air and water. The tubercles on the leading edge can be applied to the design of watercraft, aircraft, ventilation fans, and windmills.

  19. Distribution and relative abundance of humpback whales in relation to environmental variables in coastal British Columbia and adjacent waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Ford, John K. B.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2012-03-01

    Humpback whales are common in feeding areas off British Columbia (BC) from spring to fall, and are widely distributed along the coast. Climate change and the increase in population size of North Pacific humpback whales may lead to increased anthropogenic impact and require a better understanding of species-habitat relationships. We investigated the distribution and relative abundance of humpback whales in relation to environmental variables and processes in BC waters using GIS and generalized additive models (GAMs). Six non-systematic cetacean surveys were conducted between 2004 and 2006. Whale encounter rates and environmental variables (oceanographic and remote sensing data) were recorded along transects divided into 4 km segments. A combined 3-year model and individual year models (two surveys each) were fitted with the mgcv R package. Model selection was based primarily on GCV scores. The explained deviance of our models ranged from 39% for the 3-year model to 76% for the 2004 model. Humpback whales were strongly associated with latitude and bathymetric features, including depth, slope and distance to the 100-m isobath. Distance to sea-surface-temperature fronts and salinity (climatology) were also constantly selected by the models. The shapes of smooth functions estimated for variables based on chlorophyll concentration or net primary productivity with different temporal resolutions and time lags were not consistent, even though higher numbers of whales seemed to be associated with higher primary productivity for some models. These and other selected explanatory variables may reflect areas of higher biological productivity that favor top predators. Our study confirms the presence of at least three important regions for humpback whales along the BC coast: south Dixon Entrance, middle and southwestern Hecate Strait and the area between La Perouse Bank and the southern edge of Juan de Fuca Canyon.

  20. Super-aggregations of krill and humpback whales in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowacek, Douglas P; Friedlaender, Ari S; Halpin, Patrick N; Hazen, Elliott L; Johnston, David W; Read, Andrew J; Espinasse, Boris; Zhou, Meng; Zhu, Yiwu

    2011-04-27

    Ecological relationships of krill and whales have not been explored in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), and have only rarely been studied elsewhere in the Southern Ocean. In the austral autumn we observed an extremely high density (5.1 whales per km(2)) of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding on a super-aggregation of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in Wilhelmina Bay. The krill biomass was approximately 2 million tons, distributed over an area of 100 km(2) at densities of up to 2000 individuals m(-3); reports of such 'super-aggregations' of krill have been absent in the scientific literature for >20 years. Retentive circulation patterns in the Bay entrained phytoplankton and meso-zooplankton that were grazed by the krill. Tagged whales rested during daylight hours and fed intensively throughout the night as krill migrated toward the surface. We infer that the previously unstudied WAP embayments are important foraging areas for whales during autumn and, furthermore, that meso-scale variation in the distribution of whales and their prey are important features of this system. Recent decreases in the abundance of Antarctic krill around the WAP have been linked to reductions in sea ice, mediated by rapid climate change in this area. At the same time, baleen whale populations in the Southern Ocean, which feed primarily on krill, are recovering from past exploitation. Consideration of these features and the effects of climate change on krill dynamics are critical to managing both krill harvests and the recovery of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean.

  1. Super-aggregations of krill and humpback whales in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctic Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas P Nowacek

    Full Text Available Ecological relationships of krill and whales have not been explored in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP, and have only rarely been studied elsewhere in the Southern Ocean. In the austral autumn we observed an extremely high density (5.1 whales per km(2 of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae feeding on a super-aggregation of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba in Wilhelmina Bay. The krill biomass was approximately 2 million tons, distributed over an area of 100 km(2 at densities of up to 2000 individuals m(-3; reports of such 'super-aggregations' of krill have been absent in the scientific literature for >20 years. Retentive circulation patterns in the Bay entrained phytoplankton and meso-zooplankton that were grazed by the krill. Tagged whales rested during daylight hours and fed intensively throughout the night as krill migrated toward the surface. We infer that the previously unstudied WAP embayments are important foraging areas for whales during autumn and, furthermore, that meso-scale variation in the distribution of whales and their prey are important features of this system. Recent decreases in the abundance of Antarctic krill around the WAP have been linked to reductions in sea ice, mediated by rapid climate change in this area. At the same time, baleen whale populations in the Southern Ocean, which feed primarily on krill, are recovering from past exploitation. Consideration of these features and the effects of climate change on krill dynamics are critical to managing both krill harvests and the recovery of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean.

  2. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lydersen, Christian; Øien, Nils; Mikkelsen, Bjarni; Bober, Simon; Fisher, Dan; Kovacs, Kit M

    2013-01-01

    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’’, to...

  4. 'Megapclicks': acoustic click trains and buzzes produced during night-time foraging of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpert, Alison K; Wiley, David N; Au, Whitlow W L; Johnson, Mark P; Arsenault, Roland

    2007-10-22

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) exhibit a variety of foraging behaviours, but neither they nor any baleen whale are known to produce broadband clicks in association with feeding, as do many odontocetes. We recorded underwater behaviour of humpback whales in a northwest Atlantic feeding area using suction-cup attached, multi-sensor, acoustic tags (DTAGs). Here we describe the first recordings of click production associated with underwater lunges from baleen whales. Recordings of over 34000 'megapclicks' from two whales indicated relatively low received levels at the tag (between 143 and 154dB re 1 microPa pp), most energy below 2kHz, and interclick intervals often decreasing towards the end of click trains to form a buzz. All clicks were recorded during night-time hours. Sharp body rolls also occurred at the end of click bouts containing buzzes, suggesting feeding events. This acoustic behaviour seems to form part of a night-time feeding tactic for humpbacks and also expands the known acoustic repertoire of baleen whales in general.

  5. Keeping momentum with a mouthful of water: behavior and kinematics of humpback whale lunge feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Malene; Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T

    2012-11-01

    Rorqual baleen whales lunge feed by engulfment of tons of prey-laden water in a large and expandable buccal pouch. According to prior interpretations, feeding rorquals are brought to a near-halt at the end of each lunge by drag forces primarily generated by the open mouth. Accelerating the body from a standstill is energetically costly and is purported to be the key factor determining oxygen consumption in lunge-feeding rorquals, explaining the shorter dive times than expected given their sizes. Here, we use multi-sensor archival tags (DTAGs) sampling at high rates in a fine-scale kinematic study of lunge feeding to examine the sequence of events within lunges and how energy may be expended and conserved in the process of prey capture. Analysis of 479 lunges from five humpback whales reveals that the whales accelerate as they acquire prey, opening their gape in synchrony with strong fluke strokes. The high forward speed (mean depth rate: 2.0±0.32 m s(-1)) during engulfment serves both to corral active prey and to expand the ventral margin of the buccal pouch and so maximize the engulfed water volume. Deceleration begins after mouth opening when the pouch nears full expansion and momentum starts to be transferred to the engulfed water. Lunge-feeding humpback whales time fluke strokes throughout the lunge to impart momentum to the engulfed water mass and so avoid a near or complete stop, but instead continue to glide at ~1-1.5 m s(-1) after the lunge has ended. Subsequent filtration and prey handling appear to take an average of 46 s and are performed in parallel with re-positioning for the next lunge.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  7. 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

    1995-01-01

    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 as

  8. There and back again : multiple and return exchange of humpback whales between breeding habitats separated by an ocean basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, P. T.; Berrow, Simon D.; Berube, Martine; Bouveret, Laurent; Broms, Fredrik; Jann, Beatrice; Kennedy, Amy; Suarez, Pedro Lopez; Meunier, Marine; Ryan, Conor; Wenzel, Frederick

    2016-01-01

    In species that aggregate for reproduction, the social and fitness costs of movement between groups frequently lead to restricted exchange between breeding areas. We report on four individual humpback whales identified in both the Cape Verde Islands and Guadeloupe; locations separated by an ocean ba

  9. There and back again : Multiple and return exchange of humpback whales between breeding habitats separated by an ocean basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevick, P. T.; Berrow, Simon D.; Berube, Martine; Bouveret, Laurent; Broms, Fredrik; Jann, Beatrice; Kennedy, Amy; Suarez, Pedro Lopez; Meunier, Marine; Ryan, Conor; Wenzel, Frederick

    In species that aggregate for reproduction, the social and fitness costs of movement between groups frequently lead to restricted exchange between breeding areas. We report on four individual humpback whales identified in both the Cape Verde Islands and Guadeloupe; locations separated by an ocean

  10. Site specific passive acoustic detection and densities of humpback whale calls off the coast of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helble, Tyler Adam

    Passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammal calls is an increasingly important method for assessing population numbers, distribution, and behavior. Automated methods are needed to aid in the analyses of the recorded data. When a mammal vocalizes in the marine environment, the received signal is a filtered version of the original waveform emitted by the marine mammal. The waveform is reduced in amplitude and distorted due to propagation effects that are influenced by the bathymetry and environment. It is important to account for these effects to determine a site-specific probability of detection for marine mammal calls in a given study area. A knowledge of that probability function over a range of environmental and ocean noise conditions allows vocalization statistics from recordings of single, fixed, omnidirectional sensors to be compared across sensors and at the same sensor over time with less bias and uncertainty in the results than direct comparison of the raw statistics. This dissertation focuses on both the development of new tools needed to automatically detect humpback whale vocalizations from single-fixed omnidirectional sensors as well as the determination of the site-specific probability of detection for monitoring sites off the coast of California. Using these tools, detected humpback calls are "calibrated" for environmental properties using the site-specific probability of detection values, and presented as call densities (calls per square kilometer per time). A two-year monitoring effort using these calibrated call densities reveals important biological and ecological information on migrating humpback whales off the coast of California. Call density trends are compared between the monitoring sites and at the same monitoring site over time. Call densities also are compared to several natural and human-influenced variables including season, time of day, lunar illumination, and ocean noise. The results reveal substantial differences in call densities

  11. Population structure of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA variation among humpback whales in the North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, C S; Medrano-Gonzalez, L; Calambokidis, J; Perry, A; Pichler, F; Rosenbaum, H; Straley, J M; Urban-Ramirez, J; Yamaguchi, M; von Ziegesar, O

    1998-06-01

    The population structure of variation in a nuclear actin intron and the control region of mitochondrial DNA is described for humpback whales from eight regions in the North Pacific Ocean: central California, Baja Peninsula, nearshore Mexico (Bahia Banderas), offshore Mexico (Socorro Island), southeastern Alaska, central Alaska (Prince Williams Sound), Hawaii and Japan (Ogasawara Islands). Primary mtDNA haplotypes and intron alleles were identified using selected restriction fragment length polymorphisms of target sequences amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR-RFLP). There was little evidence of heterogeneity in the frequencies of mtDNA haplotypes or actin intron alleles due to the year or sex composition of the sample. However, frequencies of four mtDNA haplotypes showed marked regional differences in their distributions (phi ST = 0.277; P feeding grounds were selected for additional analyses of nuclear differentiation using allelic variation at four microsatellite loci. All four loci showed significant differences in allele frequencies (overall FST = 0.043; P feeding grounds were not panmictic for nuclear or mitochondrial loci, estimates of long-term migration rates suggested that male-mediated gene flow was several-fold greater than female gene flow. These results include and extend the range and sample size of previously published work, providing additional evidence for the significance of genetic management units within oceanic populations of humpback whales.

  12. Influence of environmental parameters on movements and habitat utilization of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Madagascar breeding ground.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trudelle, Laurène; Cerchio, Salvatore; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Geyer, Ygor; Mayer, François-Xavier; Jung, Jean-Luc; Hervé, Maxime R; Pous, Stephane; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Rosenbaum, Howard C; Adam, Olivier; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2016-12-01

    Assessing the movement patterns and key habitat features of breeding humpback whales is a prerequisite for the conservation management of this philopatric species. To investigate the interactions between humpback whale movements and environmental conditions off Madagascar, we deployed 25 satellite tags in the northeast and southwest coast of Madagascar. For each recorded position, we collated estimates of environmental variables and computed two behavioural metrics: behavioural state of 'transiting' (consistent/directional) versus 'localized' (variable/non-directional), and active swimming speed (i.e. speed relative to the current). On coastal habitats (i.e. bathymetry < 200 m and in adjacent areas), females showed localized behaviour in deep waters (191 ± 20 m) and at large distances (14 ± 0.6 km) from shore, suggesting that their breeding habitat extends beyond the shallowest waters available close to the coastline. Males' active swimming speed decreased in shallow waters, but environmental parameters did not influence their likelihood to exhibit localized movements, which was probably dominated by social factors instead. In oceanic habitats, both males and females showed localized behaviours in shallow waters and favoured high chlorophyll-a concentrations. Active swimming speed accounts for a large proportion of observed movement speed; however, breeding humpback whales probably exploit prevailing ocean currents to maximize displacement. This study provides evidence that coastal areas, generally subject to strong human pressure, remain the core habitat of humpback whales off Madagascar. Our results expand the knowledge of humpback whale habitat use in oceanic habitat and response to variability of environmental factors such as oceanic current and chlorophyll level.

  13. Effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on the abundance and distribution of humpback whales (`megaptera novaeangliae`) in Prince William Sound. Marine mammal study number 1. Exxon Valdez oil spill state/federal natural resource damage assessment final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dahlheim, M.E.; Von Ziegesar, O.

    1993-12-01

    Photo-identification studies of Prince William Sound humpback whales were conducted from May to September in 1989 and 1990 to assess the impact on the spill on humpback whale life history and ecology. In 1989, concurrent studies were conducted in Southeast Alaska on humpback whales to determine if whales avoided contaminated waters of Prince William Sound and moved to other northern feeding areas. In 1989, photographic analysis of Prince William Sound humpbacks resulted in the identification of 59 whales. In 1990, 66 whales were documented. The increase in whale sightings may have been due to the increase in effort during the 1989 and 1990 season. Because of the difference in survey effort before and after the spill, it is impossible to determine if there was a difference in the number of humpback whales using the Sound. Distribution varied among years and may be related to prey distribution.

  14. Investigation of the potential effects of underwater noise from petroleum-industry activities on feeding humpback whale behavior. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malme, C.I.; Miles, P.R.; Tyack, P.; Clark, C.W.; Bird, J.E.

    1985-06-01

    An investigation was made of the potential effects of underwater noise from petroleum-industry activities on the behavior of feeding humpback whales in Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage, Alaska in August, 1984. Test sounds were a 100 cu. in. air gun and playbacks of recorded drillship, drilling platform, production platform, semi-submersible drill rig, and helicopter fly-over noise. Sound source levels and acoustic propagation losses were measured. The movement patterns of whales were determined by observations of whale-surfacing positions.

  15. Seismic surveys negatively affect humpback whale singing activity off northern Angola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Strindberg, Samantha; Collins, Tim; Bennett, Chanda; Rosenbaum, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Passive acoustic monitoring was used to document the presence of singing humpback whales off the coast of Northern Angola, and opportunistically test for the effect of seismic survey activity in the vicinity on the number of singing whales. Two Marine Autonomous Recording Units (MARUs) were deployed between March and December 2008 in the offshore environment. Song was first heard in mid June and continued through the remaining duration of the study. Seismic survey activity was heard regularly during two separate periods, consistently throughout July and intermittently in mid-October/November. Numbers of singers were counted during the first ten minutes of every hour for the period from 24 May to 1 December, and Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) were used to assess the effect of survey day (seasonality), hour (diel variation), moon phase and received levels of seismic survey pulses (measured from a single pulse during each ten-minute sampled period) on singer number. Application of GAMMs indicated significant seasonal variation, which was the most pronounced effect when assessing the full dataset across the entire season (p<0.001); however seasonality almost entirely dropped out of top-ranked models when applied to a reduced dataset during the July period of seismic survey activity. Diel variation was significant in both the full and reduced datasets (from p<0.01 to p<0.05) and often included in the top-ranked models. The number of singers significantly decreased with increasing received level of seismic survey pulses (from p<0.01 to p<0.05); this explanatory variable was included among the top ranked models for one MARU in the full dataset and both MARUs in the reduced dataset. This suggests that the breeding display of humpback whales is disrupted by seismic survey activity, and thus merits further attention and study, and potentially conservation action in the case of sensitive breeding populations.

  16. Spatial analysis on the critical habitats of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica: Considerations for a marina construction project

    OpenAIRE

    Herra-Miranda, David; Pacheco-Polanco, Juan Diego; Oviedo, Lenin; Iñíguez, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Golfo Dulce harbors an important resident population of inshore bottlenose dolphins (T. truncatus) and migrating humpback whales (M. novaeangliae, Northern and Southern Pacific populations). The present study offers a detailed spatial analysis of the utilization distribution of bottlenose dolphins (2005-2014: n= 407) and humpback whales (2010-2014: n= 167), assessing the potential impacts due to coastal development by a marina project overlapping their critical habitats. Records yielding spat...

  17. 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,...

  18. Quantitative computed tomography of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mandibles: mechanical implications for rorqual lunge-feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Daniel J; Campbell-Malone, Regina; Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Shadwick, Robert E

    2010-07-01

    Rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae) lunge at high speed with mouth open to nearly 90 degrees to engulf large volumes of prey-laden water. This feeding process is enabled by extremely large skulls and mandibles that increase mouth area, thereby facilitating the flux of water into the mouth. When these mandibles are lowered during lunge-feeding, they are exposed to high drag, and therefore, may be subject to significant bending forces. We hypothesized that these mandibles exhibited a mechanical design (shape and density distribution) that enables these bones to accommodate high loads during lunge-feeding without exceeding their breaking strength. We used quantitative computed tomography (QCT) to determine the three-dimensional geometry and density distribution of a pair of subadult humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mandibles (length = 2.10 m). QCT data indicated highest bone density and cross-sectional area, and therefore, high resistance to bending and deflection, from the coronoid process to the middle of the dentary, which then decreased towards the anterior end of the mandible. These results differ from the caudorostral trends of increasing mandibular bone density in mammals, such as humans and the right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, indicating that adaptive bone remodeling is a significant contributing factor in establishing mandibular bone density distributions in rorquals.

  19. Sounds, source levels, and associated behavior of humpback whales, southeast Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, P O; Cummings, W C; Ha, S J

    1986-09-01

    Humpback whales in Southeast Alaskan waters produced five categories of sounds: moans, grunts, pulse trains, blowhole-associated sounds, and surface impacts. Frequencies (Hz) of moans and grunts were 20-1900. Major energy in low-frequency pulse trains was in a band of 25-80 Hz with pulse duration of 300-400 ms. Blowhole-associated sounds, recorded as transiting whales encountered one another, were of two types: shrieks, 555-2000 Hz, and trumpetlike horn blasts with fundamental at 414 Hz (median). Pulses and spread spectrum noise were associated with gas bubble formation and explosive bursts, respectively, in connection with spiral feeding maneuvers. Surface impacts resulted from fluke or flipper slaps in sequences of 3-21 sounds. Source levels ranged from 162 (low-frequency pulse trains) to 192 dB (surface impacts), re: 1 microPa, 1 m. Songs, commonly heard on winter breeding grounds, were absent from our recordings. Feeding and perhaps certain other whale activities can be monitored based on sound production.

  20. Metabolic concentration of lipid soluble organochlorine burdens in the blubber of southern hemisphere humpback whales through migration and fasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtson Nash, Susan M; Waugh, Courtney A; Schlabach, Martin

    2013-08-20

    Southern hemisphere humpback whales undertake the longest migrations and associated periods of fasting of any mammal. Fluctuations in lipid energy stores are known to profoundly affect the toxicokinetics of lipophilic organochlorine compound (OC) burdens. Results from blubber biopsy sampling of adult, male humpback whales at two time points of the annual migration journey revealed dramatic concentration effects for the majority of OC compounds. The observed concentration effect was, however, not linear with measured average blubber lipid loss indicating significant redistribution of OCs and hence the importance of alternate lipid depots for meeting the energetic demands of the migration journey. Applying lipophilic OC burdens as novel tracers of whole-body lipid dynamics, the observed average concentration index suggests an average individual weight loss of 13% over 4 months of the migration journey. This value is based upon lipid derived energy and is in good agreement with previous weight prediction formulas. Notably, however, these estimates may greatly underestimate individual weight loss if significant protein catabolism occurs. Biomagnification factors between migrating southern hemisphere humpback whales and their principal prey item, Antarctic krill, closely resembled those of baleen whales feeding on herbivorous zooplankton in the Arctic. This study emphasizes the importance of considering prolonged periods of food deprivation when assessing chemical risks posed to wildlife. This is of particular importance for Polar biota adapted to extremes in ecosystem productivity.

  1. Network-based diffusion analysis reveals cultural transmission of lobtail feeding in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Jenny; Weinrich, Mason; Hoppitt, Will; Rendell, Luke

    2013-04-26

    We used network-based diffusion analysis to reveal the cultural spread of a naturally occurring foraging innovation, lobtail feeding, through a population of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) over a period of 27 years. Support for models with a social transmission component was 6 to 23 orders of magnitude greater than for models without. The spatial and temporal distribution of sand lance, a prey species, was also important in predicting the rate of acquisition. Our results, coupled with existing knowledge about song traditions, show that this species can maintain multiple independently evolving traditions in its populations. These insights strengthen the case that cetaceans represent a peak in the evolution of nonhuman culture, independent of the primate lineage.

  2. Levels and profiles of chlorinated and brominated contaminants in Southern Hemisphere humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorneles, Paulo R; Lailson-Brito, José; Secchi, Eduardo R; Dirtu, Alin C; Weijs, Liesbeth; Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Bassoi, Manuela; Cunha, Haydée A; Azevedo, Alexandre F; Covaci, Adrian

    2015-04-01

    The study documents the levels and profiles of selected contaminants [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs)] in blubber biopsy samples collected from humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Antarctic Peninsula waters. In addition, we investigated year-to-year and sex-related differences in the bioaccumulation patterns. Except for hexachlorobenzene (HCB), whose concentrations were in the same range as those found in whales from the Northern Hemisphere, levels of all other compounds were lower in Southern Hemisphere whales compared to literature data on animals from the Arctic and subarctic region. The mean contribution to the sum of all anthropogenic organohalogen compounds (ΣOHC) decreased in the following order ΣPCBs (44%)>HCB (31%)>ΣDDXs (13%)>ΣCHLs (4.6%)>ΣHCHs (4.4%)>ΣPBDEs (0.9%). The predominant compounds within each chemical class were: PCBs 153, 149, 101 and 138; p,p'-DDE; γ-HCH; trans-nonachlor; PBDEs 99 and 47. The most dominant MeO-PBDE congener was 6-MeO-BDE 47. As samples were collected during three consecutive summer seasons, year-to-year trends could be assessed indicating a significant decrease from 2000 to 2003 for ΣCHL levels. Higher ΣPBDE concentrations and higher values of the ΣPBDE / ΣMeO-PBDE ratio, as well as higher ratios between the two MeO-BDEs (2'-MeO-BDE 68/6-MeO-BDE 47) were found in females compared to males. Higher ΣMeO-PBDE concentrations and higher values of the ratios between the lower chlorinated and the higher chlorinated PCBs were found in males than in females. In addition, five out of six significant differences found through discriminant function analysis were gender-related. The literature reports both feeding in mid- to low-latitudes and sex-related differences in migration patterns for humpback whales from the Southern Hemisphere, indicating that the hypothesis of dietary differences between males and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apprill, Amy; Robbins, Jooke; Eren, A Murat; Pack, Adam A; Reveillaud, Julie; Mattila, David; Moore, Michael; Niemeyer, Misty; Moore, Kathleen M T; Mincer, Tracy J

    2014-01-01

    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 possibly serve

  4. Humpback Whale Populations Share a Core Skin Bacterial Community: Towards a Health Index for Marine Mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apprill, Amy; Robbins, Jooke; Eren, A. Murat; Pack, Adam A.; Reveillaud, Julie; Mattila, David; Moore, Michael; Niemeyer, Misty; Moore, Kathleen M. T.; Mincer, Tracy J.

    2014-01-01

    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 possibly

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Zheng; Jain, Ankita D; Tran, Duong; Yi, Dong Hoon; Wu, Fan; Zorn, Alexander; Ratilal, Purnima; Makris, Nicholas C

    2014-01-01

    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 and lacks

  7. 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

  8. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Zheng; Jain, Ankita D.; Tran, Duong; Yi, Dong Hoon; Wu, Fan; Zorn, Alexander; Ratilal, Purnima; Makris, Nicholas C.

    2014-01-01

    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 and

  9. Return movement of a humpback whale between the Antarctic Peninsula and American Samoa: a seasonal migration record

    OpenAIRE

    Robbins, Jooke; Rosa, Luciano Dalla; Allen, Judith; Mattila, David; Secchi, Eduardo Resende; Friedlaender, Ari; Stevick, Peter; Nowacek, Douglas; Steel, Debbie

    2011-01-01

    Humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae are seasonal migrants that mate and calve at low latitudes and feed at mid- to high latitudes. Connections between most Southern Hemisphere breeding and feeding areas are not well understood, but are critical for assessing stock structure and human impacts. Photo-identification was performed to identify the feeding grounds of an Endangered sub-population that breeds in the central South Pacific Ocean (CSP). Identification photographs were obtained from 1...

  10. Analysis of humpback whale sounds in shallow waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea: An indication of breeding habitat

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madan M Mahanty; Latha G; Thirunavukkarasu A

    2015-06-01

    The primary objective of this work was to present the acoustical identification of humpback whales, detected by using an autonomous ambient noise measurement system, deployed in the shallow waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) during the period January to May 2011. Seven types of sounds were detected. These were characteristically upsweeps and downsweeps along with harmonics. Sounds produced repeatedly in a specific pattern were referred to as phrases (PQRS and ABC). Repeated phrases in a particular pattern were referred to as themes, and from the spectrographic analysis, two themes (I and II) were identified. The variation in the acoustic characteristics such as fundamental frequency, range, duration of the sound unit, and the structure of the phrases and themes are discussed. Sound units were recorded from mid-January to mid-March, with a peak in February, when the mean SST is ∼ 28°C, and no presence was recorded after mid-March. The temporal and thematic structures strongly determine the functions of the humpback whale song form. Given the use of song in the SEAS, this area is possibly used as an active breeding habitat by humpback whales during the winter season.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  12. Formal Comment to Gong et al.: 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

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng Gong; Jain, Ankita D.; Duong Tran; Dong Hoon Yi; Fan Wu; Alexander Zorn; Purnima Ratilal; Nicholas C Makris

    2014-01-01

    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, or...

  13. Humpback whale song on the Southern Ocean feeding grounds: implications for cultural transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen C Garland

    Full Text Available Male humpback whales produce a long, complex, and stereotyped song on low-latitude breeding grounds; they also sing while migrating to and from these locations, and occasionally in high-latitude summer feeding areas. All males in a population sing the current version of the constantly evolving display and, within an ocean basin, populations sing similar songs; however, this sharing can be complex. In the western and central South Pacific region there is repeated cultural transmission of song types from eastern Australia to other populations eastward. Song sharing is hypothesized to occur through several possible mechanisms. Here, we present the first example of feeding ground song from the Southern Ocean Antarctic Area V and compare it to song from the two closest breeding populations. The early 2010 song contained at least four distinct themes; these matched four themes from the eastern Australian 2009 song, and the same four themes from the New Caledonian 2010 song recorded later in the year. This provides evidence for at least one of the hypothesized mechanisms of song transmission between these two populations, singing while on shared summer feeding grounds. In addition, the feeding grounds may provide a point of acoustic contact to allow the rapid horizontal cultural transmission of song within the western and central South Pacific region and the wider Southern Ocean.

  14. Humpback whale song on the Southern Ocean feeding grounds: implications for cultural transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garland, Ellen C; Gedamke, Jason; Rekdahl, Melinda L; Noad, Michael J; Garrigue, Claire; Gales, Nick

    2013-01-01

    Male humpback whales produce a long, complex, and stereotyped song on low-latitude breeding grounds; they also sing while migrating to and from these locations, and occasionally in high-latitude summer feeding areas. All males in a population sing the current version of the constantly evolving display and, within an ocean basin, populations sing similar songs; however, this sharing can be complex. In the western and central South Pacific region there is repeated cultural transmission of song types from eastern Australia to other populations eastward. Song sharing is hypothesized to occur through several possible mechanisms. Here, we present the first example of feeding ground song from the Southern Ocean Antarctic Area V and compare it to song from the two closest breeding populations. The early 2010 song contained at least four distinct themes; these matched four themes from the eastern Australian 2009 song, and the same four themes from the New Caledonian 2010 song recorded later in the year. This provides evidence for at least one of the hypothesized mechanisms of song transmission between these two populations, singing while on shared summer feeding grounds. In addition, the feeding grounds may provide a point of acoustic contact to allow the rapid horizontal cultural transmission of song within the western and central South Pacific region and the wider Southern Ocean.

  15. Vortical structures responsible for delayed stall in an idealized humpback whale flipper model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Heesu; Kim, Jooha; Choi, Haecheon

    2016-11-01

    In this study, we investigate how the tubercles on the leading edge of an idealized humpback whale flipper model delay the stall. Oil-surface visualization is performed to see the surface flow pattern on the suction surface, and PIV is conducted in several streamwise and crossflow planes at different attack angles (α). Without tubercles, leading edge separation first occurs near the tip region and progresses inboard with increasing α. With tubercles, however, two types of vortical motions are observed at the mid-span. The first is streamwise vortex arrays which are dominant at α 9° , and these structures appear near the trailing edge. These two types of vortical motions delay flow separation at the peak regions of the mid-span, eliminating the spanwise stall progression and resulting in delayed stall. At α = 16° at which the tubercle model stalls, a large-scale streamwise vortex is originated from flow separation near the root region. This structure delays flow separation at the mid-span, leading to higher lift coefficient. Supported by NRF-2014M3C1B1033848.

  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. Calibrating passive acoustic monitoring: correcting humpback whale call detections for site-specific and time-dependent environmental characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helble, Tyler A; D'Spain, Gerald L; Campbell, Greg S; Hildebrand, John A

    2013-11-01

    This paper demonstrates the importance of accounting for environmental effects on passive underwater acoustic monitoring results. The situation considered is the reduction in shipping off the California coast between 2008-2010 due to the recession and environmental legislation. The resulting variations in ocean noise change the probability of detecting marine mammal vocalizations. An acoustic model was used to calculate the time-varying probability of detecting humpback whale vocalizations under best-guess environmental conditions and varying noise. The uncorrected call counts suggest a diel pattern and an increase in calling over a two-year period; the corrected call counts show minimal evidence of these features.

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-04-01

    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 microsatellite loci typed across samples from four major oceanic regions: the North Atlantic (two mitochondrially distinct populations), the North Pacific, and two widely separated Antarctic regions, East Australia and the Antarctic Peninsula. Allelic diversity is a little greater in the two Antarctic samples, probably indicating historically greater population sizes. Population subdivision was examined using a wide range of measures, including Fst, various alternative forms of Slatkin's Rst, Goldstein and colleagues' delta mu, and a Monte Carlo approximation to Fisher's exact test. The exact test revealed significant heterogeneity in all but one of the pairwise comparisons between geographically adjacent populations, including the comparison between the two North Atlantic populations, suggesting that gene flow between oceans is minimal and that dispersal patterns may sometimes be restricted even in the absence of obvious barriers, such as land masses, warm water belts, and antitropical migration behavior. The only comparison where heterogeneity was not detected was the one between the two Antarctic population samples. It is unclear whether failure to find a difference here reflects gene flow between the regions or merely lack of statistical power arising from the small size of the Antarctic Peninsula sample. Our comparison between measures of population subdivision revealed major discrepancies between methods, with little agreement about which populations were most and least separated. We suggest that unbiased Rst (URst, see Goodman 1995) is currently the most reliable statistic, probably because, unlike the other methods, it allows for unequal sample sizes. However, in view of

  20. High-latitude-area composition of humpback whale competitive groups in Samana Bay : Further evidence for panmixis in the North Atlantic population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clapham, PJ; Mattila, DK; Palsboll, PJ

    1993-01-01

    Competitive groups of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, were observed in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic, West Indies. Photographs of ventral fluke patterns were used to identify individuals, and skin biopsies were taken for molecular determination of sex. Nine groups contained two or more wha

  1. Southern Hemisphere humpback whales wintering off Central America: insights from water temperature into the longest mammalian migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Kristin; Palacios, Daniel M; Calambokidis, John; Saborío, Marco T; Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Secchi, Eduardo R; Steiger, Gretchen H; Allen, Judith M; Stone, Gregory S

    2007-06-22

    We report on a wintering area off the Pacific coast of Central America for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrating from feeding areas off Antarctica. We document seven individuals, including a mother/calf pair, that made this migration (approx. 8300km), the longest movement undertaken by any mammal. Whales were observed as far north as 11 degrees N off Costa Rica, in an area also used by a boreal population during the opposite winter season, resulting in unique spatial overlap between Northern and Southern Hemisphere populations. The occurrence of such a northerly wintering area is coincident with the development of an equatorial tongue of cold water in the eastern South Pacific, a pattern that is repeated in the eastern South Atlantic. A survey of location and water temperature at the wintering areas worldwide indicates that they are found in warm waters (21.1-28.3 degrees C), irrespective of latitude. We contend that while availability of suitable reproductive habitat in the wintering areas is important at the fine scale, water temperature influences whale distribution at the basin scale. Calf development in warm water may lead to larger adult size and increased reproductive success, a strategy that supports the energy conservation hypothesis as a reason for migration.

  2. Estimates of relatedness in groups of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on two wintering grounds of the Southern Hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomilla, Cristina; Rosenbaum, Howard C

    2006-08-01

    Group formation in humpback whales has been described in relation to different components of the migratory cycle, yet it is debated whether such groups represent real social bonding or ephemeral aggregations. Cooperative behaviours are exhibited during feeding activities, and it has been suggested that males may cooperate during competition for mates. Since most cooperative behaviours are expected to originate among kin, genetic relatedness represents a critical variable in the understanding of any social phenomenon, especially when cooperation cannot be confirmed unequivocally. Using an approach combining multi-locus microsatellite genotyping and several genetic relatedness estimators, we analyzed whale associations for two different wintering grounds in the Southern Hemisphere. The analyses included 648 whales sampled from 292 groups off the coast of Gabon and Northeast Madagascar, and screened for eleven microsatellite loci. Through simulations, we assessed the performance of three pairwise relatedness estimators. The individuals were molecularly sexed and their associations were investigated in the context of sex and group type. No significant association among relatives was found with the exception of mother-offspring pairs, supporting previous indications of extended maternal care. The analysis from the Gabon population also suggests that related males may avoid each other during competitive activities. Our results demonstrate that if cooperative behaviours occur on wintering grounds they are not favoured by kin selection.

  3. Acoustic detections of singing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the eastern North Pacific during their northbound migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, T F; McDonald, M; Barlow, J

    1999-07-01

    Numerous (84) acoustic detections of singing humpback whales were made during a spring (08 March-09 June 1997) research cruise to study sperm whales in the central and eastern North Pacific. Over 15,000 km of track-line was surveyed acoustically using a towed hydrophone array. Additionally, 83 sonobuoys were deployed throughout the study area. Detection rates were greatest in late March, near the Hawaiian Islands, and in early April, northeast of the islands. Only one detection was made after April. Detection rates for sonobuoys were unequal in three equally divided longitudinal regions of the study area. Two high density clusters of detections occurred approximately 1200-2000 km northeast of the Hawaiian Islands and were attributed to a large aggregation of migrating animals. The distribution of these detections corroborates findings of previous studies. It is possible that these animals were maintaining acoustic contact during migration. Two unexpected clusters of singing whales were detected approximately 900 to 1000 km west of central and southern California. The location of these detections may indicate a previously undocumented migration route between an offshore breeding area, such as the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico, and possible feeding areas in the western North Pacific or Bering Sea.

  4. Populations genetic analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial loci in skin biopsies collected from central and northeastern North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): population identity and migratory destinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, A H; Sigurjónsson, J; Oien, N; Vikingsson, G; Palsbøll, P

    1996-11-22

    It has been speculated that humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, from the northeastern North Atlantic breed in tropical waters off the coast of West Africa and therefore that they represent a separate breeding population from that which winters in the West Indies. We determined the genotype at six microsatellite loci as well as the sequence of the first 288 nucleotides in the mitochondrial control region of 133 skin biopsies collected from humpback whales in the central North Atlantic (Iceland and Jan Mayen) and the northeastern North Atlantic (Bear Island and the northern coast of Norway). We detected no significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg proportions nor any differences in genotype frequencies between localities at the nuclear loci. However, the mitochondrial analyses revealed two distinct matrilineal aggregations: the central and the northeastern North Atlantic. Our findings were not compatible with the idea of a separate eastern North Atlantic breeding ground unless one has been established recently. The proposed alternative hypothesis of a common North Atlantic panmictic population (wintering primarily in the West Indies) in which individual whales display maternally directed site-fidelity to specific feeding grounds was supported by re-sightings of two northeastern North Atlantic humpback whales in the West Indies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barendse, Jaco; Best, Peter B; Carvalho, Inês; Pomilla, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    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.

  6. Mother Knows Best: Occurrence and Associations of Resighted Humpback Whales Suggest Maternally Derived Fidelity to a Southern Hemisphere Coastal Feeding Ground

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barendse, Jaco; Best, Peter B.; Carvalho, Inês; Pomilla, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24349047

  7. 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.

  8. High mortality of blue, humpback and fin whales from modeling of vessel collisions on the U.S. West Coast suggests population impacts and insufficient protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockwood, R Cotton; Calambokidis, John; Jahncke, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Mortality from collisions with vessels is one of the main human causes of death for large whales. Ship strikes are rarely witnessed and the distribution of strike risk and estimates of mortality remain uncertain at best. We estimated ship strike mortality for blue humpback and fin whales in U.S. West Coast waters using a novel application of a naval encounter model. Mortality estimates from the model were far higher than current minimum estimates derived from stranding records and are closer to extrapolations adjusted for detection probabilities of dead whales. Our most conservative model estimated mortality to be 7.8x, 2.0x and 2.7x the U.S. recommended limit for blue, humpback and fin whales, respectively, suggesting that death from vessel collisions may be a significant impediment to population growth and recovery. Comparing across the study area, the majority of strike mortality occurs in waters off California, from Bodega Bay south and tends to be concentrated in a band approximately 24 Nm (44.5 km) offshore and in designated shipping lanes leading to and from major ports. While some mortality risk exists across nearly all West Coast waters, 74%, 82% and 65% of blue, humpback and fin whale mortality, respectively, occurs in just 10% of the study area, suggesting conservation efforts can be very effective if focused in these waters. Risk is highest in the shipping lanes off San Francisco and Long Beach, but only a fraction of total estimated mortality occurs in these proportionally small areas, making any conservation efforts exclusively within these areas insufficient to address overall strike mortality. We recommend combining shipping lane modifications and re-locations, ship speed reductions and creation of 'Areas to be Avoided' by vessels in ecologically important locations to address this significant source of whale mortality.

  9. Geographic variation of persistent organic pollutant levels in humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding areas of the North Pacific and North Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elfes, Cristiane T; Vanblaricom, Glenn R; Boyd, Daryle; Calambokidis, John; Clapham, Phillip J; Pearce, Ronald W; Robbins, Jooke; Salinas, Juan Carlos; Straley, Janice M; Wade, Paul R; Krahn, Margaret M

    2010-04-01

    Seasonal feeding behavior and high fidelity to feeding areas allow humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to be used as biological indicators of regional contamination. Biopsy blubber samples from male individuals (n = 67) were collected through SPLASH, a multinational research project, in eight North Pacific feeding grounds. Additional male samples (n = 20) were collected from one North Atlantic feeding ground. Persistent organic pollutants were measured in the samples and used to assess contaminant distribution in the study areas. North Atlantic (Gulf of Maine) whales were more contaminated than North Pacific whales, showing the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and chlordanes. The highest dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) levels were detected in whales feeding off southern California, USA. High-latitude regions were characterized by elevated levels of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) but generally nondetectable concentrations of PBDEs. Age was shown to have a positive relationship with SigmaPCBs, SigmaDDTs, Sigmachlordanes, and total percent lipid. Contaminant levels in humpback whales were comparable to other mysticetes and lower than those found in odontocete cetaceans and pinnipeds. Although these concentrations likely do not represent a significant conservation threat, levels in the Gulf of Maine and southern California may warrant further study.

  10. 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

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Generalized additive models (GAMs with spatially referenced covariates were fitted to data collected during the 1995 and 2001 Icelandic (shipboard and aerial and Faroese (shipboard only components of the North Atlantic Sightings Surveys (NASS-95 and NASS-2001. The shipboard surveys extended from the east coast of Greenland, around Iceland, down to an area along the west coast ofIreland (in 1995 and to the north of the United Kingdom (in 2001. In contrast, the aerial surveys were limited to Icelandic coastal waters only. The aim of the analysis was to predict density, and hence abundance, of humpback whales throughout the survey regions and also to establish if there was any evidence that humpback whale density was related to sea surface temperature or depth.Fitting GAMs to the 1995 data proved problematic and so various subsets of the data were used in an attempt to improve the model fitting. Such difficulties did not occur with the 2001 data. Confidence intervals (CIs for the abundance estimates were estimated using bootstrap sampling methods.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

  11. Location-only satellite telemetry data for North Pacific Humpback Whales in the Bering Sea collected by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 2007-08-11 to 2011-10-08 (NCEI Accession 0138946)

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Rachel; Gillespie, Blake; Labonte, Kristen; Mangold, Terence; Venema, Amy; Eden, Kevin; Sullivan, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    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 (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.

  13. 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.

  14. Underwater topography determines critical breeding habitat for humpback whales near Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: implications for Marine Protected Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Oviedo

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Migrating humpback whales from northern and southern feeding grounds come to the tropical waters near Osa Peninsula, Pacific of Costa Rica, to reproduce and raise their calves. Planning effective marine protected areas that encompass humpback critical habitats require data about which oceanographic features influence distribution during the breeding period. This study examines the relationship between water depth and ocean floor slope with humpback whale distribution, based on sightings during two breeding seasons (2005 and 2006. Data are from the Southern and Northern subpopulations in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP. Analysis followed the basic principles of the Ecological Niche Factors Analysis (ENFA, where indices of Marginality and Tolerance provide insights on the restrictiveness of habitat use. At a fine scale, physical factors such as water depth and slope define the critical breeding and nursing habitat for M. novaeangliae. Divergence in the subsamples means of depths and slope distribution, with the global mean of the study area in both eco-geographical variables, determine habitat requirements restricted by topographic features such as depths (Las ballenas jorobadas viajan a aguas tropicales para reproducirse y criar a sus ballenatos. Es importante entender las características oceanográficas que influencian su distribución para lograr una planificación efectiva de áreas marinas protegidas con hábitats críticos para estos cetáceos. Este estudio examina la relación entre la profundidad, la pendiente del suelo oceánico y la distribución de estas ballenas, usando avistamientos del 2005 y 2006 en la costa Pacífica de la Península de Osa, Costa Rica (temporada de reproducción del sur y norte en el Pacífico Tropical Oriental. Usamos Análisis de Factores de Nicho Ecológico (ENFA por sus siglas en inglés, donde los índices de Marginalidad y Tolerancia ilustran las restricciones en uso de hábitat. En una escala local

  15. A quarter of a world away: female humpback whale moves 10,000 km between breeding areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevick, Peter T; Neves, Mariana C; Johansen, Freddy; Engel, Marcia H; Allen, Judith; Marcondes, Milton C C; Carlson, Carole

    2011-04-23

    Fidelity of individual animals to breeding sites is a primary determinant of population structure. The degree and scale of philopatry in a population reflect the fitness effects of social facilitation, ecological adaptation and optimal inbreeding. Patterns of breeding-site movement and fidelity are functions of social structure and are frequently sex biased. We report on a female humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) first identified by natural markings off Brazil that subsequently was photographed off Madagascar. The minimum travel distance between these locations is greater than 9800 km, approximately 4000 km longer than any previously reported movement between breeding grounds, more than twice the species' typical seasonal migratory distance and the longest documented movement by a mammal. It is unexpected to find this exceptional long-distance movement between breeding groups by a female, as models of philopatry suggest that male mammals move more frequently or over longer distances in search of mating opportunities. While such movement may be advantageous, especially in changeable or unpredictable circumstances, it is not possible to unambiguously ascribe causality to this rare observation. This finding illustrates the behavioural flexibility in movement patterns that may be demonstrated within a typically philopatric species.

  16. Quantifying humpback whale song sequences to understand the dynamics of song exchange at the ocean basin scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Humpback whales have a continually evolving vocal sexual display, or "song," that appears to undergo both evolutionary and "revolutionary" change. All males within a population adhere to the current content and arrangement of the song. Populations within an ocean basin share similarities in their songs; this sharing is complex as multiple variations of the song (song types) may be present within a region at any one time. To quantitatively investigate the similarity of song types, songs were compared at both the individual singer and population level using the Levenshtein distance technique and cluster analysis. The highly stereotyped sequences of themes from the songs of 211 individuals from populations within the western and central South Pacific region from 1998 through 2008 were grouped together based on the percentage of song similarity, and compared to qualitatively assigned song types. The analysis produced clusters of highly similar songs that agreed with previous qualitative assignments. Each cluster contained songs from multiple populations and years, confirming the eastward spread of song types and their progressive evolution through the study region. Quantifying song similarity and exchange will assist in understanding broader song dynamics and contribute to the use of vocal displays as population identifiers.

  17. Predictive habitat modelling of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Antarctic minke (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) whales in the Southern Ocean as a planning tool for seismic surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombosch, Annette; Zitterbart, Daniel P.; Van Opzeeland, Ilse; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Burkhardt, Elke; Wisz, Mary S.; Boebel, Olaf

    2014-09-01

    Seismic surveys are frequently a matter of concern regarding their potentially negative impacts on marine mammals. In the Southern Ocean, which provides a critical habitat for several endangered cetacean species, seismic research activities are undertaken at a circumpolar scale. In order to minimize impacts of these surveys, pre-cruise planning requires detailed, spatio-temporally resolved knowledge on the likelihood of encountering these species in the survey area. In this publication we present predictive habitat modelling as a potential tool to support decisions for survey planning. We associated opportunistic sightings (2005-2011) of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae, N=93) and Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis, N=139) with a range of static and dynamic environmental variables. A maximum entropy algorithm (Maxent) was used to develop habitat models and to calculate daily basinwide/circumpolar prediction maps to evaluate how species-specific habitat conditions evolved throughout the spring and summer months. For both species, prediction maps revealed considerable changes in habitat suitability throughout the season. Suitable humpback whale habitat occurred predominantly in ice-free areas, expanding southwards with the retreating sea ice edge, whereas suitable Antarctic minke whale habitat was consistently predicted within sea ice covered areas. Daily, large-scale prediction maps provide a valuable tool to design layout and timing of seismic surveys as they allow the identification and consideration of potential spatio-temporal hotspots to minimize potential impacts of seismic surveys on Antarctic cetacean species.

  18. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Habitat Selection in Female-Calf Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Pairs on the Hawaiian Breeding Grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Rachel; Gillespie, Blake; LaBonte, Kristen; Mangold, Terence; Venema, Amy; Eden, Kevin; Sullivan, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    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 (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. PMID:22666432

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

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

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

  20. The neocortex of cetartiodactyls: I. A comparative Golgi analysis of neuronal morphology in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butti, Camilla; Janeway, Caroline M; Townshend, Courtney; Wicinski, Bridget A; Reidenberg, Joy S; Ridgway, Sam H; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Jacobs, Bob

    2015-11-01

    The present study documents the morphology of neurons in several regions of the neocortex from the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the North Atlantic minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Golgi-stained neurons (n = 210) were analyzed in the frontal and temporal neocortex as well as in the primary visual and primary motor areas. Qualitatively, all three species exhibited a diversity of neuronal morphologies, with spiny neurons including typical pyramidal types, similar to those observed in primates and rodents, as well as other spiny neuron types that had more variable morphology and/or orientation. Five neuron types, with a vertical apical dendrite, approximated the general pyramidal neuron morphology (i.e., typical pyramidal, extraverted, magnopyramidal, multiapical, and bitufted neurons), with a predominance of typical and extraverted pyramidal neurons. In what may represent a cetacean morphological apomorphy, both typical pyramidal and magnopyramidal neurons frequently exhibited a tri-tufted variant. In the humpback whale, there were also large, star-like neurons with no discernable apical dendrite. Aspiny bipolar and multipolar interneurons were morphologically consistent with those reported previously in other mammals. Quantitative analyses showed that neuronal size and dendritic extent increased in association with body size and brain mass (bottlenose dolphin neocortex of cetaceans as compared to other mammals and that neuronal dendritic extent covaries with brain and body size.

  1. Detoxification enzyme activities (CYP1A1 and GST) in the skin of humpback whales as a function of organochlorine burdens and migration status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtson Nash, S; Dawson, A; Burkhard, M; Waugh, C; Huston, W

    2014-10-01

    The activities of glutathione-s-transferase (GST) and cytochrome P-450 1A1 (CYP1A1) enzymes were measured in freshly extracted epidermis of live-biopsied, migrating, southern hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). The two quantified enzyme activities did not correlate strongly with each other. Similarly, neither correlated strongly with any of the organochlorine compound groups previously measured in the superficial blubber of the sample biopsy core, likely reflecting the anticipated low levels of typical aryl-hydrocarbon receptor ligands. GST activity did not differ significantly between genders or between northward (early migration) or southward (late migration) migrating cohorts. Indeed, the inter-individual variability in GST measurements was relatively low. This observation raises the possibility that measured activities were basal activities and that GST function was inherently impacted by the fasting state of the sampled animals, as seen in other species. These results do not support the implementation of CYP1A1 or GST as effective biomarkers of organochlorine contaminant burdens in southern hemisphere populations of humpback whales as advocated for other cetacean species. Further investigation of GST activity in feeding versus fasting cohorts may, however, provide some insight into the fasting metabolism of these behaviourally adapted populations.

  2. Considerable increase in bowhead, blue, humpback and fin whales numbers in the Greenland Sea and Fram Strait between 1979 and 2014

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Claude R.Joiris

    2016-01-01

    In the frame of our long-term study of cetacean abundance and distribution in polar marine ecosystems begun in 1979,a drastic increase in the bowhead Balaena mysticetus North Atlantic "stock" was observed from 2005 on,by a factor 30 and more:from 0.0002 per count between 1979 and 2003 (one individual,n=5430 counts) to 0.06 per count from 2005 to 2014 (34 individuals,n=6000 counts);the most significant part of the increase occurred from 2007 on.Other large whale species (Mysticeti) showed a similar pattern,mainly blue Balaenoptera musculus,humpback Megaptera novaeangliae and fin whales Balaenoptera physalus.This large and abrupt increase cannot logically be due to population growth,nor to survival of a hidden "relic" population,nor to a changing geographical distribution within the European Arctic,taking into account the importance of the coverage during this study.Our interpretation is that individuals passed through the Northwest and/or Northeast Passages from the larger Pacific stock into the almost depleted North Atlantic populations coinciding with a period of very low ice coverage — at the time the lowest ever recorded.In contrast,no clear evolution was detected neither for sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus nor for Minke whale Balaenoptera acusrostrata.

  3. Whale Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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; Berube, 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...... critique for being too error-prone and yielding unreliable results. This critique coincides with an increasing awareness of the potentials and limitations of the qPCR technique in general and the proposal of a general set of guidelines (MIQE) for standardization of experimental, analytical, and reporting...... 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...

  7. The influence of maternal lineages on social affiliations among humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on their feeding grounds in the southern gulf of Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinrich, Mason T; Rosenbaum, Howard; Scott Baker, C; Blackmer, Alexis L; Whitehead, Hal

    2006-01-01

    Humpback whales on their feeding grounds in the Gulf of Maine typically form fluid fission/fusion groups of two to three individuals characterized by noncompetitive and, at times, cooperative behavior. Here we test the hypothesis that, despite the apparent absence of close kinship bonds, the fluid associations between feeding whales are influenced by "maternal lineages" as represented by mtDNA haplotypes. Using skin samples collected with a biopsy dart, variation in the hypervariable segment of the mtDNA control region identified 17 unique haplotypes among 159 individually identified whales from the southern Gulf of Maine. The haplotypes of a further 143 individuals were inferred from known direct maternal (cow-calf) relationships. The frequencies of associations among these 302 individuals were calculated from 21,617 sighting records collected from 1980 to 1995, excluding associations between a cow and her dependent calf. For groups of two where the haplotypes of both individuals were known (n = 3,151), individuals with the same haplotype were together significantly more often (26%) than expected by random association (20%). To account for different group sizes and associations with individuals of unknown haplotype and sex, we used Monte Carlo simulations to test for nonrandom associations in the full data set, as well as known female-only (n = 1,512), male-only (n = 730), and mixed-sex (n = 2,745) groups. Within-haplotype associations were significantly more frequent than expected at random for all groups (P = .002) and female-only groups (P = .011) but not male-only groups, while mixed-sex groups approached significance (P = .062). A Mantel test of individual pairwise association indices and haplotype identity confirmed that within-haplotype associations were more frequent than expected for all sex combinations except male-male associations, with females forming within-haplotype associations 1.7 times more often than expected by random assortment. Partial matrix

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olsen Morten

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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 critique for being too error-prone and yielding unreliable results. This critique coincides with an increasing awareness of the potentials and limitations of the qPCR technique in general and the proposal of a general set of guidelines (MIQE for standardization of experimental, analytical, and reporting 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 Performance differed substantially among assays and only one assay was found useful for telomere length estimation in humpback whales. The most notable factors causing these inter-assay differences were primer design and choice of using singleplex or multiplex assays. Inferred amplification efficiencies differed by up 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. Moreover, we show that the qPCR method for telomere length estimation can be highly precise and accurate, and thus suitable for telomere measurement in non-model species, if effort is devoted to optimization at all experimental and analytical steps. We conclude by highlighting a set of quality controls which may serve for further standardization of the qPCR method for telomere length estimation, and discuss some of the factors that may cause

  9. Research on Humpback and Blue Whales off California, Oregon and Washington in 2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-12-01

    support for this work. We also thank John Hildebrand, Ed Bowlby , Robert Gisiner, and Jeff Laake for arranging support for portions of this research... John Calambokidis Todd Chandler Lisa Schlender Kristin Rasmussen Gretchen Steiger Cascadia Research 218½ W Fourth Ave. Olympia, WA 98501...the acoustic tag. Crittercam was developed by Greg Marshall of National Geographic. John Francis and Mehdi Baktiari were crucial to the successful

  10. 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.

  11. 78 FR 49728 - Availability of Seats for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-15

    ... they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and... Advisory Council: Fishing (primary member); Fishing (alternate); and Education (alternate). Florida Keys... Council: Education (primary member); and Education (alternate). Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National...

  12. Cruise NF-12-05-SBNMS (Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary) (EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The project will place synchronous motion, acoustic recording tags on humpback and fin whales, while concurrently measuring prey field size, shape and composition....

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Genetic tagging of humpback whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palsboll, PJ; Allen, J; Berube, M; Clapham, PJ; Feddersen, TP; Hammond, PS; Hudson, RR; Jorgensen, H; Katona, S; Larsen, AH; Larsen, F; Lien, J; Mattila, DK; Sigurjonsson, J; Sears, R; Smith, T; Sponer, R; Stevick, P; Oien, N

    1997-01-01

    The ability to recognize individual animals has substantially increased our knowledge of the biology and behaviour of many taxa(1). However, not all species lend themselves to this approach, either because of insufficient phenotypic variation or because tag attachment is not feasible. The use of gen

  16. Blue Whale Behavioral Response Study and Field Testing of the New Bioacoustic Probe

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    shipping routes into southern and central California ports with predictable blue whale feeding grounds makes this an ideal location of the study of...4.8 hrs., while maximum deployment duration was Although this project focused on blue whales , tags also were deployed on 3 humpback whales , one...of Cetacean Research and Management 7: 177-187. FRISTRUP, K. M., L. T. HATCH and C. W. CLARK. 2003. Variation in humpback whale (Megaptera

  17. Blue Whale Visual and Acoustic Encounter Rates in the Southern California Bight

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-07-01

    encounter rates. Dual-mode shipboard surveys of blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) whales reported higher acoustic than...2003. Acoustic and visual survey of humpback whale ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) distribution in the eastern and southern Caribbean Sea. Caribbean Journal...Comparison between visual and pas- sive acoustic detection of finless porpoises in the Yangtze River . Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Improved Satellite-Monitored Radio Tags for Large Whales: Dependable ARGOS Location-Only Tags and a GPS-Linked Tag to Reveal 3-Dimensional Body-Orientation and Surface Movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    Australia with humpback whales using industry seismic sources RELATED PROJECTS Additional taggings of Pacific Coast Feeding Group gray whales will...will also allow us to evaluate how consistent roles are in groups of foraging sperm whales , the way humpbacks seem to be during coordinated bubble...net feeding . We will also be able to determine if all whales in an affiliate group have the same relative response to variable prey densities (i.e

  1. Baleen Whale Acoustic Activity in the North Pacific: Historical Analysis and Current Occurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-12-01

    whales, including the blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (B. physalus), sei (B. borealis), humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae ), and North Pacific right...Research Collective Olympia, WA Julie Rivers Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific Pearl Harbor, HI Jenny Marshall Naval Facilities

  2. 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

  3. Population Structure of Melon-Headed Whales (Peponocephala electra) in the Hawaiian Archipelago: Evidence of Multiple Populations Based on Photo Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    resident population were seen associating with other species, the residents were only seen associating with humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) (n...acoustic patterns of melon-headed whales at Palmyra Atoll suggest that feeding is most likely occurring at night (Baumann-Pickering 2009). While...that humpback whales only occupy Hawaiian waters during the winter months (typically December through April), this association was seen in two of the

  4. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Tract and Boundary Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Park Service, Department of the Interior — These ESRI shape files are of National Park Service tract and boundary data that was created by the Land Resources Division. Tracts are numbered and created by the...

  5. Physical and Biological Controls of Copepod Aggregation and Baleen Whale Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    springtime feeding area for right, sei, humpback , and fin whales in the southwestern Gulf of Maine • Examine the relationship between these mechanisms and...behavior of top predators, including those that feed directly on zooplankton (e.g., basking sharks, manta rays, right whales ). While all marine mammals...DVM, whereas right whale abundance was unaffected by DVM behavior. Sei whales appear to be restricted to feeding only on surface aggregations of

  6. 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.

  7. Gray Whale Calf Production Data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. Kinematic Diversity in Rorqual Whale Feeding Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cade, David E; Friedlaender, Ari S; Calambokidis, John; Goldbogen, Jeremy A

    2016-10-10

    Rorqual whales exhibit an extreme lunge filter-feeding strategy characterized by acceleration to high speed and engulfment of a large volume of prey-laden water [1-4]. Although tagging studies have quantified the kinematics of lunge feeding, the timing of engulfment relative to body acceleration has been modeled conflictingly because it could never be directly measured [5-7]. The temporal coordination of these processes has a major impact on the hydrodynamics and energetics of this high-cost feeding strategy [5-9]. If engulfment and body acceleration are temporally distinct, the overall cost of this dynamic feeding event would be minimized. However, greater temporal overlap of these two phases would theoretically result in higher drag and greater energetic costs. To address this discrepancy, we used animal-borne synchronized video and 3D movement sensors to quantify the kinematics of both the skull and body during feeding events. Krill-feeding blue and humpback whales exhibited temporally distinct acceleration and engulfment phases, with humpback whales reaching maximum gape earlier than blue whales. In these whales, engulfment coincided largely with body deceleration; however, humpback whales pursuing more agile fish demonstrated highly variable coordination of skull and body kinematics in the context of complex prey-herding techniques. These data suggest that rorquals modulate the coordination of acceleration and engulfment to optimize foraging efficiency by minimizing locomotor costs and maximizing prey capture. Moreover, this newfound kinematic diversity observed among rorquals indicates that the energetic efficiency of foraging is driven both by the whale's engulfment capacity and the comparative locomotor capabilities of predator and prey. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

  10. Blue Whale Behavioral Response Study & Field Testing of the New Bioacoustic Probe

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    were to determine how blue whales respond to close approach of ships and exposure to high intensity ship noise including changes in diving, feeding ...central California ports with predictable blue whale feeding grounds makes this an ideal location of the study of the impact of intense low-frequency...L. T. HATCH and C. W. CLARK. 2003. Variation in humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song length in relation to low-frequency sound broadcasts

  11. Baleen whale spatial patterns in the Scotia Sea during January and February 2003

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    Different species of baleen whales display distinct spatial distribution patterns in the Scotia Sea during the austral summer. Passive acoustic and visual surveys for baleen whales were conducted aboard the RRS James Clark Ross in the Scotia Sea and around South Georgia in January and February 2003. Identified calls from four species were recorded during the acoustic survey including southern right (Eubalaena australis), blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (B. physalus) and humpback whales (Meg...

  12. A Whale of A Controversy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Bowhead whale aerial abundance survey conducted by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 2011-04-19 to 2011-06-11 (NCEI Accession 0133937)

    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. The 2010 Oil Spill: Minerals Management Service (MMS) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-04

    and fish habitat; sea turtles; coastal and seafloor habitats; areas of special concern; socio-economic impacts; archeological resources; tourism and...recreation; and land use.28 Some protected resources in the area include the following endangered species: • Northern Right Whale • Blue Whale ...Fin Whale • Sei WhaleHumpback Whale • Sperm Whale • West Indian Manatee • Leatherback turtle • Green turtle • Hawksbill turtle • Kemp’s

  15. The Emergency Alternative Arrangement Exception to the National Environmental Policy Act: What Constitutes an Emergency? Should the Navy Pin Its Hopes on Noah Webster?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-08-31

    environmental groups, the International Fund for Animal Welfare , the Cetacean Society International, the League for Coastal Protection, and Ocean Futures...health and welfare of man; [and] to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation .... ,,2 NEPA is...species, such as the blue and humpback whales, harbor seals, and common dolphins are either stable or improving?21 Strandings of small cetaceans and

  16. Larval development and settlement of a whale barnacle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogata, Yasuyuki; Matsumura, Kiyotaka

    2006-03-22

    Larval development and settlement of whale barnacles have not previously been described, unlike intertidal barnacles. Indeed, the mechanisms of the association between barnacles and whales have not been studied. Here we describe the larval development and settlement of the whale barnacle, Coronula diadema, and possible involvement of a cue from the host in inducing larval settlement. Eight-cell stage embryos were collected from C. diadema on a stranded humpback whale, incubated in filtered seawater for 7 days, and nauplius larvae hatched out. When fed with Chaetoceros gracilis, the nauplii developed to stage VI, and finally metamorphosed to the cypris stage. The larval development looked similar to that of intertidal barnacles with planktotrophic larval stages. The cyprids did not settle in normal seawater, but did settle in polystyrene Petri dishes when incubated in seawater with a small piece of skin tissue from the host whale. This strongly suggests the involvement of a chemical cue from the host whale tissue to induce larval settlement.

  17. Large whale incident database

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    the seasonal distribution of underwater calls from blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae ...of calling whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ). The 52-Hz whales in deep water, such as the 43-day, 3200-km tracks were compared with locations and...blue whale, Balaenoptera (33°N, 1 32°W). During the full track, calling was muvculuv, in the St. Lawrence River . Journal of Mammalogy recorded on (74

  20. The Whales: A Pharmacist's Story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, William R

    2007-01-01

    It is a daily occurrence for Grandpa's Compounding Pharmacy in Placerville, California, to compound preparations to meet the unique needs of individual human and animal patients. However, until May 2007, there had never been a request for compounded medications for patients weighing 12,500 pounds or 55,000 pounds! When two Eastern North Pacific humpback whales (mother and daughter) were traveling their instinctive route north to Oregon, they were for some unknown reason diverted into the San Fransico Bay and eventually up the Sacramento River Delta, where they became stranded. When it was determined by several government and volunteer agencies that the whales needed medical attention, Grandpa's Compounding Pharmacy was contacted to compound antibiotics in large quantitites to save these misguided sea occupants. The pharmacy rose to the challenge of what may have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and successfuly compounded lifesaving medications for these patients in crisis.

  1. 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...

  2. From sanddabs to blue whales: the pervasiveness of domoic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Kathi A; Bargu, Sibel; Kieckhefer, Tom; Silver, Mary W

    2002-07-01

    Domoic acid (DA) is a potent food web transferred algal toxin that has caused dramatic mortality events involving sea birds and sea lions. Although no confirmed DA toxicity events have been reported in whales, here we present data demonstrating that humpback and blue whales are exposed to the toxin and consume DA contaminated prey. Whale fecal samples were found to contain DA at levels ranging from 10 to 207microg DA g(-1) feces via HPLC-UV methods. SEM analysis of whale feces containing DA, collected from krill-feeding whales, revealed the presence of diatom frustules identified as Pseudo-nitzschia australis, a known DA producer. Humpback whales were observed feeding on anchovies and sardines that contained DA at levels ranging from 75 to 444microg DA g(-1) viscera. DA contamination of whale feces and fish occurred only during blooms of toxic Pseudo-nitzschia. Additionally, several novel fish species collected during a toxic diatom bloom were tested for DA. Fish as diverse as benthic sanddabs and pelagic albacore were found to contain the neurotoxin, suggesting that DA permeates benthic as well as pelagic communities.

  3. 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.

  4. Quantifying loss of acoustic communication space for right whales in and around a U.S. National Marine Sanctuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatch, Leila T; Clark, Christopher W; Van Parijs, Sofie M; Frankel, Adam S; Ponirakis, Dimitri W

    2012-12-01

    The effects of chronic exposure to increasing levels of human-induced underwater noise on marine animal populations reliant on sound for communication are poorly understood. We sought to further develop methods of quantifying the effects of communication masking associated with human-induced sound on contact-calling North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) in an ecologically relevant area (~10,000 km(2) ) and time period (peak feeding time). We used an array of temporary, bottom-mounted, autonomous acoustic recorders in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to monitor ambient noise levels, measure levels of sound associated with vessels, and detect and locate calling whales. We related wind speed, as recorded by regional oceanographic buoys, to ambient noise levels. We used vessel-tracking data from the Automatic Identification System to quantify acoustic signatures of large commercial vessels. On the basis of these integrated sound fields, median signal excess (the difference between the signal-to-noise ratio and the assumed recognition differential) for contact-calling right whales was negative (-1 dB) under current ambient noise levels and was further reduced (-2 dB) by the addition of noise from ships. Compared with potential communication space available under historically lower noise conditions, calling right whales may have lost, on average, 63-67% of their communication space. One or more of the 89 calling whales in the study area was exposed to noise levels ≥120 dB re 1 μPa by ships for 20% of the month, and a maximum of 11 whales were exposed to noise at or above this level during a single 10-min period. These results highlight the limitations of exposure-threshold (i.e., dose-response) metrics for assessing chronic anthropogenic noise effects on communication opportunities. Our methods can be used to integrate chronic and wide-ranging noise effects in emerging ocean-planning forums that seek to improve management of cumulative effects

  5. Threshold foraging behavior of baleen whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatt, John F.; Methven, David A.

    1992-01-01

    We conducted hydroacoustic surveys for capelin Mallotus villosus in Witless Bay, Newfoundland, Canada, on 61 days during the summers of 1983 to 1985. On 32 of those days in whlch capelin surveys were conducted, we observed a total of 129 baleen whales - Including 93 humpback Megaptera novaeangliae, 31 minke Balaenoptera acutorostrata and 5 fin whales B. phvsalus. Although a few whales were observed when capelin schools were scarce, the majority (96%) of whales were observed when mean daily capelin densities exceeded 5 schools per linear km surveyed (range of means over 3 yr: 0.0 to 14.0 schools km-1). Plots of daily whale abundance (no. h-1 surveyed) vs daily capelin school density (mean no. schools km-1 surveyed) in each summer revealed that baleen whales have a threshold foraging response to capelin density. Thresholds were estimated using a simple itterative step-function model. Foraging thresholds of baleen whales (7.3, 5.0, and 5.8 schools km-1) varied between years in relation to the overall abundance of capelin schools in the study area during summer (means of 7.2, 3.3, and 5.3 schools km-1, respectively).

  6. Blue whale habitat and prey in the California Channel Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, Paul C.; Reilly, Stephen B.; Hewitt, Roger P.; Demer, David; Philbrick, Valerie A.; Smith, Susan; Armstrong, Wesley; Croll, Donald A.; Tershy, Bernie R.; Mate, Bruce R.

    1998-08-01

    Whale Habitat and Prey Studies were conducted off southern California during August 1995 (WHAPS95) and July 1996 (WHAPS96) to (1) study the distribution and activities of blue whales and other large whales, (2) survey the distribution of prey organisms (krill), and (3) measure physical and biological habitat variables that influence the distribution of whales and prey. A total of 1307 cetacean sightings included 460 blue whale, 78 fin whale and 101 humpback whale sightings. Most blue whales were found in cold, well-mixed and productive water that had upwelled along the coast north of Point Conception and then advected south. They were aggregated in this water near San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands, where they fed on dense, subsurface layers of euphausiids both on the shelf and extending off the shelf edge. Two species of euphausiids were consumed by blue whales, Thysanoessa spinifera and Euphausia pacifica, with evidence of preference for the former, a larger and more coastal species. These krill patches on the Channel Island feeding grounds are a resource exploited during summer-fall by the world's largest stock of blue whales.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    detectability of foraging North Atlantic right and humpback whales. 160th ASA Meeting, Cancun , Mexico, 15-19 November 2010. • Lin, Y, Newhall, AE, Parks, SE...Sound propagation modeling of right whale calls in Cape Cod Bay. 160th ASA Meeting, Cancun , Mexico, 15-19 November 2010. • Warren, J.E., Parks...160th ASA Meeting, Cancun , Mexico, 15-19 November 2010. RESULTS A total of 18 humpbacks and 16 right whales were tagged over the three years of

  8. Morphological specializations of baleen whales associated with hydrodynamic performance and ecological niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Becky L; Winn, Jeremy P; Fish, Frank E

    2006-11-01

    Feeding behavior, prey type, and habitat appear to be associated with the morphological design of body, fluke, and flippers in baleen whales. Morphometric data from whaling records and recent stranding events were compiled, and morphometric parameters describing the body length, and fluke and flipper dimensions for an "average" blue whale Balaenoptera musculus, humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae, gray whale Eschrichtius robustus, and right whale Eubalaena glacialis were determined. Body mass, body volume, body surface area, and fluke and flipper surface areas were estimated. The resultant morphological configurations lent themselves to the following classifications based on hydrodynamic principles: fast cruiser, slow cruiser, fast maneuverer, and slow maneuverer. Blue whales have highly streamlined bodies with small, high aspect ratio flippers and flukes for fast efficient cruising in the open ocean. On the other hand, the rotund right whale has large, high aspect ratio flukes for efficient slow speed cruising that is optimal for their continuous filter feeding technique. Humpbacks have large, high aspect ratio flippers and a large, low aspect ratio tail for quick acceleration and high-speed maneuvering which would help them catch their elusive prey, while gray whales have large, low aspect ratio flippers and flukes for enhanced low-speed maneuvering in complex coastal water habitats.

  9. Gray whale survey and sightings ranging from California to Kodiak Island, Alaska conducted by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1993-07-05 to 2014-10-24 (NCEI Accession 0145636)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) survey and sightings data from 1993 - 2014 collected by the National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem...

  10. 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 an

  11. 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 an

  12. Baleen whale infrasonic sounds: Natural variability and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher W.

    2001-05-01

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

  13. Baleen whale infrasonic sounds: Natural variability and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher W.

    2004-05-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Gray Whale Population Count Data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. North pacific right whale surveys conducted in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 2007-08-01 to 2011-09-10 (NCEI Accession 0133935)

    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...

  20. Whaling: will the Phoenix rise again?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Sidney J

    2007-08-01

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

  1. Environmental assessment and viable interdependence: the Great Whale River case in northern Quebec (First Nations)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mulvihill, P. R.

    1997-12-31

    This study is based on the belief that environmental assessment (EA) can be supportive of viable interdependence between regions and cultures. The central focus is on the scoping stage of the EA conducted for the proposed Great Whale hydroelectric project in northern Quebec. The evaluative framework consists of 16 criteria divided into three interrelated categories, i.e. substantive, general process-oriented and specific process-oriented. The specific process-oriented criteria constitute the primary analytical focus and are the subject of five separate sub-analysis, which reveal various strengths and weaknesses in the performance of the case study. It was concluded that environmental assessment in an intercultural setting is largely within the control of EA panels and the key shortcoming of the process, namely the lack of dialogue between the proponents and the intervenors, could be addressed by making public hearings more dynamic and interactive.

  2. Assessing the risk of ships striking large whales in marine spatial planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redfern, J V; McKenna, M F; Moore, T J; Calambokidis, J; Deangelis, M L; Becker, E A; Barlow, J; Forney, K A; Fiedler, P C; Chivers, S J

    2013-04-01

    Marine spatial planning provides a comprehensive framework for managing multiple uses of the marine environment and has the potential to minimize environmental impacts and reduce conflicts among users. Spatially explicit assessments of the risks to key marine species from human activities are a requirement of marine spatial planning. We assessed the risk of ships striking humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), blue (Balaenoptera musculus), and fin (Balaenoptera physalus) whales in alternative shipping routes derived from patterns of shipping traffic off Southern California (U.S.A.). Specifically, we developed whale-habitat models and assumed ship-strike risk for the alternative shipping routes was proportional to the number of whales predicted by the models to occur within each route. This definition of risk assumes all ships travel within a single route. We also calculated risk assuming ships travel via multiple routes. We estimated the potential for conflict between shipping and other uses (military training and fishing) due to overlap with the routes. We also estimated the overlap between shipping routes and protected areas. The route with the lowest risk for humpback whales had the highest risk for fin whales and vice versa. Risk to both species may be ameliorated by creating a new route south of the northern Channel Islands and spreading traffic between this new route and the existing route in the Santa Barbara Channel. Creating a longer route may reduce the overlap between shipping and other uses by concentrating shipping traffic. Blue whales are distributed more evenly across our study area than humpback and fin whales; thus, risk could not be ameliorated by concentrating shipping traffic in any of the routes we considered. Reducing ship-strike risk for blue whales may be necessary because our estimate of the potential number of strikes suggests that they are likely to exceed allowable levels of anthropogenic impacts established under U.S. laws.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Is it 'boom times' for baleen whales in the Pacific Arctic region?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Sue E

    2016-09-01

    The marine ecosystem in the Pacific Arctic region has experienced dramatic transformation, most obvious by the loss of sea ice volume (75%), late-summer areal extent (50%) and change in phenology (four to six weeks longer open-water period). This alteration has resulted in an opening of habitat for subarctic species of baleen whales, many of which are recovering in number from severe depletions from commercial whaling in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Specifically, humpback, fin and minke whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, Balaenoptera physalus and Balaenoptera acutorostrata) are now regularly reported during summer and autumn in the southern Chukchi Sea. These predators of zooplankton and forage fishes join the seasonally resident grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) and the arctic-endemic bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) in the expanding open-ocean habitat of the Pacific Arctic. Questions arising include: (i) what changes in whale-prey production and delivery mechanisms have accompanied the loss of sea ice, and (ii) how are these five baleen whale species partitioning the expanding ice-free habitat? While there has been no programme of research specifically focused on these questions, an examination of seasonal occurrence, foraging plasticity and (for bowhead whales) body condition suggests that the current state of Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem may be 'boom times' for baleen whales. These favourable conditions may be moderated, however, by future shifts in ecosystem structure and/or negative impacts to cetaceans related to increased commercial activities in the region.

  11. 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.

  12. Grand Canyon Humpback Chub Population Improving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Matthew E.

    2007-01-01

    The humpback chub (Gila cypha) is a long-lived, freshwater fish found only in the Colorado River Basin. Physical adaptations-large adult body size, large predorsal hump, and small eyes-appear to have helped humpback chub evolve in the historically turbulent Colorado River. A variety of factors, including habitat alterations and the introduction of nonnative fishes, likely prompted the decline of native Colorado River fishes. Declining numbers propelled the humpback chub onto the Federal list of endangered species in 1967, and the species is today protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Only six populations of humpback chub are currently known to exist, five in the Colorado River Basin above Lees Ferry, Ariz., and one in Grand Canyon, Ariz. The U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center oversees monitoring and research activities for the Grand Canyon population under the auspices of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP). Analysis of data collected through 2006 suggests that the number of adult (age 4+ years) humpback chub in Grand Canyon increased to approximately 6,000 fish in 2006, following an approximate 40-50 percent decline between 1989 and 2001. Increasing numbers of adult fish appear to be the result of steadily increasing numbers of juvenile fish reaching adulthood beginning in the mid- to late-1990s and continuing through at least 2002.

  13. Seasonal variability in whale encounters in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiele, Deborah; Chester, Edwin T.; Moore, Sue E.; Širovic, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.; Friedlaender, Ari S.

    2004-08-01

    Cetacean sighting surveys were conducted as part of nine multidisciplinary research cruises over late summer, autumn and winter of 2 years (2001-2003) during the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems (SO GLOBEC) program. Sea-ice cover differed markedly between years, with apparent effects on cetacean distribution. No ice was present until late June in 2001, while the previous winter sea ice never fully retreated (>30% cover) during the 2002 or 2003 summer, thus increasing the proportion of thicker and more complex ice, including multi-year floes. Humpback (237 sightings; 537 individuals) and minke (103 sightings: 267 individuals) whales were the most commonly detected species. Data from seven comparable cruises were used to identify habitat for minke and humpback whales over five geographically distinct spatial divisions in the study area. In all years, both species were predominantly found in near coastal habitat, particularly in the fjords where complex habitat likely concentrated prey. In 2002 and 2003 the presence of sea ice provided additional feeding habitat, and the numbers of minkes (in winter) and humpbacks (late summer and autumn) in the area doubled compared with 2001. Humpbacks in particular were concentrated at the ice boundaries during late summer and autumn, while minke numbers increased in the winter that followed and occupied ice-covered areas along the entire shelf edge. Important resource sites for these species are mainly located in near-coastal areas and are used in all years, but when ice margins exist and intersect with resource sites they attract much larger numbers of animals due to the dynamics between sea ice and prey.

  14. Estimating the Impact of Whaling on Global Whale Watching

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Estimating the Impact of Whaling on Global Whale Watching

    OpenAIRE

    McAleer, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura González

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The archipelago of the Azores is like an oasis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by deep waters, those islands are a “must stop” place for every traveler, including, of course, cetaceans. Around the archipelago more than 24 different species of whales and dolphins can be seen. Some of them are resident such as the common dolphin or the emblematic sperm whale. But others are seasonal or sporadic, such as the spotted dolphin or the big baleen whales. The aim of this study is to assess the temporal distribution of the baleen whales sighted off Azores. We analyzed data gathered off the south coast of São Miguel (Azores from 2006 to 2013 from whale watching vessels. The whale watching company is located in Ponta Delgada and it works all throughout the year, always when the weather, the sea state and the number of tourists allow doing it. In Azores, whale watching companies use to locate cetaceans from land, with specialized lookouts spotting the animals from strategic points on the shore (as whalers did. These lookouts use powerful binoculars to locate the animals, and then give instructions to the boats to get to them. Once there, the boat registers date, hour, sea state, visibility, position (GPS, species, number of individuals, number of adults, juveniles and calves, behavior, association with other species and if there are other boats in the area. Photos are taken whenever it is possible and they are analyzed when the quality is good enough to distinguish natural marks and shapes. Most of the photos used in this study were taken in the last 5 years. Photo-Id catalogues were created for blue whales, fin whales and humpback whales. Data collected are more complete and frequent since 2009. In this case we have analyzed a total of 7691 sightings, belonging to 20 different species of cetaceans, 14 Odontoceti and 6 Mysticeti. In the latter group we recorded 491 sightings. The three most sighted Mysticeti species were the three great

  17. 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...

  18. 78 FR 4835 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-23

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

  19. 77 FR 5491 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Sei Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-03

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...... attenuation. Here we evaluate the active space of high-pitched song notes of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Western Greenland using measurements of song source levels and ambient noise. Four independent GPS-synchronized hydrophones were deployed through holes in the ice to localize vocalizing bowhead...... whales, estimate source levels and measure ambient noise. The song had a mean apparent source level of 185 ± 2 dB rms re 1µPa and a high mean centroid frequency of 444 ± 48 Hz. Using measured ambient noise levels in the area and Arctic sound spreading models, the estimated active space of these song...

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. Understanding the Impacts of Anthropogenic Sound on Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    de Veternaria, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. §§ Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West...the US Marine Mammal Commission in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 2 Diverse fields (marine mammal ecology , medicine, behaviour, physiology, pathobiology and...specific stranding events, behaviour and ecology of beaked whales, beaked whale distribution, abundance and habitat, beaked whale anatomy and

  10. Estimating the impact of whaling on global whale watching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Whales and Whaling--An Interdisciplinary Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Richard D.

    1978-01-01

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

  13. Whales and Whaling--An Interdisciplinary Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Richard D.

    1978-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 75 FR 68756 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

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

  16. Annotated checklist and fisheries interactions of cetaceans in Togo, with evidence of Antarctic minke whale in the Gulf of Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segniagbeto, Gabriel H; VAN Waerebeek, Koen; Bowessidjaou, Joseph E; Ketoh, Koffivi; Kpatcha, Takouda K; Okoumassou, Kotchikpa; Ahoedo, Kossi

    2014-01-01

    Based on strandings and captures, 9 cetacean species, including 6 odontocetes and 3 mysticetes, are documented (photos and specimens) in Togo's coastal waters (newly-recorded species marked with an asterisk): Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis*), Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera brydei or B. edeni), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps*), short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus*), pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata*), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and common dolphin Delphinus sp. An anecdotal sighting record for killer whale (Orcinus orca) is considered reliable. The lack of Sousa teuszii records in Togo is consistent with its apparent contemporaneous absence in Ghana. The B. bonaerensis specimen, entangled in a purse seine set on small pelagics, is a first record for the Gulf of Guinea. The occurrence of this Southern Ocean species north of the equator underscores the severe gaps in our understanding of cetacean distribution off western Africa. The majority of artisanal fishermen operating in Togolese coastal waters are of Ghanaian origin and are thought to promote trade and consumption of cetacean bushmeat. Because captures are illegal, enforced with some success in the main fishing centers, covert landings of cetaceans are exceedingly difficult to monitor, quantify or sample. Concern is expressed about pollution of Togo's coastal waters with heavy metals due to phosphorite mining and export from the coastal basin near Hahotoé and Kpogamé.

  17. 75 FR 39916 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ... Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... its intent to prepare a recovery plan for the Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis) and requests... ``Sei Whale Recovery Plan Information'' 3. Mail: National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of...

  18. 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...

  19. Final Critical Habitat for the Humpback chub (Gila cypha)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for Humpback chub (Gila cypha) occur based on the description provided in the Federal...

  20. 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.

  1. Synchronous Seasonal Change in Fin Whale Song in the North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Erin M.; Širović, Ana; Bayless, Alexandra R.; Hildebrand, John A.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25521493

  2. 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 h...

  3. 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 (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 IUCN Red List criteria in the current volume. The results suggest that all four species in the genus are threatened at some level (suggested Red List status ranges from Vulnerable for S. chinensis and S. sahulensis to Critically Endangered for S. teuszii).

  4. High source levels and small active space of high-pitched song in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Outi M Tervo

    Full Text Available 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 powerful, but more complex broadband vocalizations composed of higher frequencies that suffer from higher attenuation. Here we evaluate the active space of high frequency song notes of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus in Western Greenland using measurements of song source levels and ambient noise. Four independent, GPS-synchronized hydrophones were deployed through holes in the ice to localize vocalizing bowhead whales, estimate source levels and measure ambient noise. The song had a mean apparent source level of 185±2 dB rms re 1 µPa @ 1 m and a high mean centroid frequency of 444±48 Hz. Using measured ambient noise levels in the area and Arctic sound spreading models, the estimated active space of these song 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 mating aggregations that co-evolved with broadband song to form a complex and dynamic acoustically mediated sexual display.

  5. Gulf of Mexico killer whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. 75 FR 17377 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Southern Resident Killer Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-06

    ... of 5-Year Review for Southern Resident Killer Whales AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... whales (Orcinus orca) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). A 5-year review is a..., we are requesting submission of any such information on Southern Resident killer whales that has...

  7. Initial characterization of novel beaked whale morbillivirus in Hawaiian cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Jessica M; West, Kristi L; Levine, Gregg; Sanchez, Susan; Jensen, Brenda A

    2016-01-13

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) is a causative factor in epizootics that have resulted in thousands of deaths throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean since 1987, but less is known of its presence and significance in the Pacific. The first case of CeMV reported in Hawai'i was in a Longman's beaked whale that stranded in 2010. The initial CeMV sequence from this individual indicated the possibility of a novel strain. To address this, archived samples from cetaceans that stranded in Hawai'i between 1997 and 2014 were screened for CeMV. The beaked whale morbillivirus (BWMV) was detected in 15 individuals representing 12 different species (24% of Code 1 and 2 stranded cetaceans). The earliest detected case was a humpback whale that stranded in 1998. Sequence comparisons of a 2.2 kb sequence spanning the phosphoprotein (P) and nucleocapsid (N) genes strongly suggest that the BWMV represents a novel strain of CeMV present in Hawai'i and the Central Pacific. In contrast to recently reported isolates from Brazil and Australia that may represent a distinct clade, BWMV appears to be more closely related to known strains of CeMV (dolphin morbillivirus; porpoise morbillivirus; and pilot whale morbillivirus). Detection rates with repeat sampling of positive lymph nodes were between 2 and 61%, illustrating the extreme heterogeneity that can occur in affected tissues. Taken together, these results suggest that BWMV may be common and established in Hawaiian cetacean populations. BWMV will be important for understanding CeMV and health threats in the relatively understudied cetaceans of the Pacific.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 76 FR 43985 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... Plan for the Sei Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric... the sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis). NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all... actions. The ESA requires the development of recovery plans for each listed species unless such a...

  13. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

    ... Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and... Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Final Recovery Plan are... the development of recovery plans for each ] listed species unless such a plan would not promote...

  14. 50 CFR 226.203 - Critical habitat for northern right whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for northern right whales. 226.203 Section 226.203 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Critical habitat for northern right whales. (a) Great South Channel. The area bounded by 41°40′ N/69°45′ W...

  15. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  16. Whale song analyses using bioinformatics sequence analysis approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yian A.; Almeida, Jonas S.; Chou, Lien-Siang

    2005-04-01

    Animal songs are frequently analyzed using discrete hierarchical units, such as units, themes and songs. Because animal songs and bio-sequences may be understood as analogous, bioinformatics analysis tools DNA/protein sequence alignment and alignment-free methods are proposed to quantify the theme similarities of the songs of false killer whales recorded off northeast Taiwan. The eighteen themes with discrete units that were identified in an earlier study [Y. A. Chen, masters thesis, University of Charleston, 2001] were compared quantitatively using several distance metrics. These metrics included the scores calculated using the Smith-Waterman algorithm with the repeated procedure; the standardized Euclidian distance and the angle metrics based on word frequencies. The theme classifications based on different metrics were summarized and compared in dendrograms using cluster analyses. The results agree with earlier classifications derived by human observation qualitatively. These methods further quantify the similarities among themes. These methods could be applied to the analyses of other animal songs on a larger scale. For instance, these techniques could be used to investigate song evolution and cultural transmission quantifying the dissimilarities of humpback whale songs across different seasons, years, populations, and geographic regions. [Work supported by SC Sea Grant, and Ilan County Government, Taiwan.

  17. 3 CFR 8336 - Proclamation 8336 of January 6, 2009. Establishment of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... species: Sperm, Blue, Sei, Humpback, and North Pacific Right whales. Spinner dolphins are abundant, and... management plans and their implementing regulations shall impose no restrictions on innocent passage in the... reservations. The establishment of this monument is subject to valid existing rights. This proclamation is not...

  18. Scaling of lunge feeding in rorqual whales: an integrated model of engulfment duration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potvin, J; Goldbogen, J A; Shadwick, R E

    2010-12-07

    Rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae) obtain their food by lunge feeding, a dynamic process that involves the intermittent engulfment and filtering of large amounts of water and prey. During a lunge, whales accelerate to high speed and open their mouth wide, thereby exposing a highly distensible buccal cavity to the flow and facilitating its inflation. Unsteady hydrodynamic models suggest that the muscles associated with the ventral groove blubber undergo eccentric contraction in order to stiffen and control the inflation of the buccal cavity; in doing so the engulfed water mass is accelerated forward as the whale's body slows down. Although the basic mechanics of lunge feeding are relatively well known, the scaling of this process remains poorly understood, particularly with regards to its duration (from mouth opening to closure). Here we formulate a new theory of engulfment time which integrates prey escape behavior with the mechanics of the whale's body, including lunge speed and acceleration, gape angle dynamics, and the controlled inflation of the buccal cavity. Given that the complex interaction between these factors must be highly coordinated in order to maximize engulfment volume, the proposed formulation rests on the scenario of Synchronized Engulfment, whereby the filling of the cavity (posterior to the temporomandibular joint) coincides with the moment of maximum gape. When formulated specifically for large rorquals feeding on krill, our analysis predicts that engulfment time increases with body size, but in amounts dictated by the specifics of krill escape and avoidance kinematics. The predictions generated by the model are corroborated by limited empirical data on a species-specific basis, particularly for humpback and blue whales chasing krill. A sensitivity analysis applied to all possible sized fin whales also suggests that engulfment duration and lunge speed will increase intra-specifically with body size under a wide range of predator-prey scenarios

  19. Research on Humpback and Blue Whales off California, Oregon and Washington in 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-06-01

    Mammal Laboratory. A number of individuals helped arrange support for this work including Jay Barlow, Ed Bowlby , John Hildebrand, and Bob Gisiner...Prepared by John Calambokidis Todd Chandler Lisa Schlender Kristin Rasmussen Gretchen Steiger Cascadia Research 218½ W Fourth Ave. Olympia, WA...Ogino provided valuable support and assistance in the field. Erin Olesson and John Hildebrand organized the research trips aboard the Sproul. We thank

  20. Research on Humpback and Blue Whales Off California, Oregon and Washington in 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-08-01

    02 N2 TEC Moss Landing 7 CCA 7:06 16:30 9.4 86.7 7 13 9 1 1 1 21-Jul-02 N2 TEC Bodega 7 CCA 6:50 19:42 12.9 138.1 11 24 13 1 2 1 22-Jul-02 N2 TEC... Bodega 7 CCA 6:28 19:45 13.3 134.2 15 30 18 8 11 7 1 BP 27-Jul-02 N2 TEC Santa Barbara 7 CCA 6:30 18:58 12.5 129.0 1 1 0 24 33 20 28-Jul-02 N2 TEC Gaviota...Pr weather 8:08 14:17 6.2 66.2 18-Sep N2 JAC Monterey 9 CCA CC 8:55 19:30 10.6 63.2 1 3 1 4 5 1 19-Sep N1 TEC Bodega 9 CCA 7:30 19:16 11.8 115.1 30 67

  1. A study of vocal nonlinearities in humpback whale songs: from production mechanisms to acoustic analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Dorian Cazau; Olivier Adam; Thierry Aubin; Laitman, Jeffrey T.; Reidenberg, Joy S.

    2016-01-01

    International audience; Although mammalian vocalizations are predominantly harmonically structured, they can exhibit an acoustic complexity with nonlinear vocal sounds, including deterministic chaos and frequency jumps. Such sounds are normative events in mammalian vocalizations, and can be directly traceable to the nonlinear nature of vocal-fold dynamics underlying typical mammalian sound production. In this study, we give qualitative descriptions and quantitative analyses of nonlinearities ...

  2. Statistical approaches to paternity analysis in natural populations and applications to the North Atlantic humpback whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielsen, R; Mattila, DK; Clapham, PJ; Palsboll, PJ

    2001-01-01

    We present a new method for paternity analysis in natural populations that is based on genotypic data that can take the sampling fi action of putative parents into account. The method allows paternity assignment to be performed in a decision theoretic framework. Simulations at e performed to evaluat

  3. The whale footprint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benusiglio, Adrien; Clanet, Christophe

    2011-11-01

    In their wake whales leave patches of very calm water, with few waves, that can last for several minutes known as whale footprints. The same phenomenon of damping of waves appears near pears of bridges, in the turbulent wake of ships or in rivers re-emergences, thus it appears to be the result of the interaction of a turbulent flow with surface waves. To understand this phenomenon we study the interaction of a single vortex ring with surface waves. We investigate the influence of the size and circulation of the vortex ring. We measure the time of interaction and the size of the resulting patch of calm water. We then verify if our model can explain the whale footprint.

  4. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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)....

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. 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)

  8. Whales: Incredible Ocean Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devona, Henry

    1992-01-01

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

  9. Listening to Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allchin, Douglas

    2015-01-01

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

  10. The Whale That Walked

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1995-01-01

    Until about 55 million years ago,ancestors of whales and their kind, the cetaceans,were four-legged landlubbers. Gradually they evolved to take advantage of ocean resources and became the sea-dwelling mammals we know today. Now with the discovery of a skeleton in Pakistan,scientists are begin-

  11. Whales: Incredible Ocean Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devona, Henry

    1992-01-01

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

  12. Listening to Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allchin, Douglas

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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)

  14. 77 FR 6065 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-07

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

  15. 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...

  16. 50 CFR 224.105 - Speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic Right Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic Right Whales. 224.105 Section 224.105 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE... AND ANADROMOUS SPECIES § 224.105 Speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic Right Whales. (a) The...

  17. Whales Are Big With Little People.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dommers, John J.

    1981-01-01

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

  18. Whales Are Big With Little People.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dommers, John J.

    1981-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. The 3S2 experiments – studying the behavioral effects of naval sonar on northern bottlenose whales, humpback whales and minke whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.A.; Miller, P.; Sivle, L.D.; Wensveen, P.J.; Roos, M.; Tyack, P.L.; Kleivane, L.; Visser, F.; Cure, C.; IJsselmuide, S.P. van; Isojunno, S.; Benda-Beckmann, A.M. von; Nordlund, N.; Dekeling, R.P.A.

    2015-01-01

    In order to properly consider how behavioral responses to anthropogenic noise affect marine mammals and establish safety limits for sonar operations, there is a need to establish behavioral impact criteria. In order to achieve this, knowledge about how marine mammals might respond, thresholds and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter T Fretwell

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

  2. 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.

  3. Whale strandings: hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mawson, A R

    1978-01-01

    The hypothesis is presented that whales become stranded inadvertently as a consequence of seeking stimulation. The animals enter shallow water in order to roll over, bask, and rub themselves in the sand, and are trapped by the receding tide. It suggested that stimulation-seeking behavior (and stranding) reflects a general sympathetic nervous system response which may be due to a number of factors such as pain, discomfort, reproductive state, and other biorhythmic changes.

  4. 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

  5. Ecotourism between Theory and Practice: Empirical Analysis of the Tourism Industry of Whale Watching in Húsavík (Iceland)

    OpenAIRE

    Enrico Nicosia; Perini Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Whale watching is a dynamic industry and, in particular in a country like Iceland, where tourism is currently playing a leading role in the national economy and where nature – understood in a broad sense – represents the main attraction for visitors, whale watching, rapidly grown during the last years, shows an evident potential under an ecotouristic point of view. In recent times, an increasing need for the understanding of interactions between humans (tourists) and wildlife (whales) emerged...

  6. The Origin(s) of Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhen, Mark D.

    2010-05-01

    Whales are first found in the fossil record approximately 52.5 million years ago (Mya) during the early Eocene in Indo-Pakistan. Our knowledge of early and middle Eocene whales has increased dramatically during the past three decades to the point where hypotheses of whale origins can be supported with a great deal of evidence from paleontology, anatomy, stratigraphy, and molecular biology. Fossils also provide preserved evidence of behavior and habitats, allowing the reconstruction of the modes of life of these semiaquatic animals during their transition from land to sea. Modern whales originated from ancient whales at or near the Eocene/Oligocene boundary, approximately 33.7 Mya. During the Oligocene, ancient whales coexisted with early baleen whales and early toothed whales. By the end of the Miocene, most modern families had originated, and most archaic forms had gone extinct. Whale diversity peaked in the late middle Miocene and fell thereafter toward the Recent, yielding our depauperate modern whale fauna.

  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. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  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. Anchovies to Whales: tracking vertebrate biodiversity in Monterey Bay by metabarcoding environmental DNA (eDNA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Closek, C. J.; Starks, H.; Walz, K.; Boehm, A. B.; Chavez, F.

    2016-12-01

    The oscillation between the dominance of Sardinops sagax (pacific sardine) and Engraulis mordax (northern anchovy) has been documented in the California Coastal Ecosystem for more than 100 years. These two species are strong drivers of trophic interactions in the region. As part of the Marine Biodiversity Observational Network (MBON) initiative, we used archived filtered seawater samples collected late-summer to mid-fall over a span of 8 years from Monterey Bay, CA to examine the change in marine vertebrate environmental DNA (eDNA). Water samples were collected from a nearshore location in Monterey Bay (C1) during the years of 2008-15. The water was then filtered, and the filter was archived at -80°C. DNA was extracted from the filters, and the 12S rRNA gene present in mitochondrial DNA was PCR amplification using primers designed to amplify 12s rRNA genes from marine vertebrates. The amplicons were subsequently sequenced with an Illumina MiSeq and the data processed using an analysis pipeline for sequence annotation. More than 20 fish genera were noted in the sequences from 2008-12, with Engraulis the dominant fish genus from 2013-15. Anchovy and Megaptera novaeangliae (humpback whale) were present in temporal patterns similar to those noted during visual observations where anchovy and humpback whale were more abundant during the years of 2013-2015 than the other years. This study demonstrates our ability to detect megafauna and fish species that are important to the Monterey Bay ecosystem from coastal water samples and determine community structural differences over time.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. AFSC/NMML: Shore-based counts of the Eastern North Pacific gray whale stock from central California, 1967 - 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has conducted shore-based counts of the Eastern North Pacific stock of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) 26 years from...

  17. 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

    ... on the petition (75 FR 68756). That Federal Register notice began NMFS' 15-day public comment period... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA018 Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of... petition to designate the Eastern North Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as...

  18. 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.

  19. Ecotourism between Theory and Practice: Empirical Analysis of the Tourism Industry of Whale Watching in Húsavík (Iceland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Nicosia

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Whale watching is a dynamic industry and, in particular in a country like Iceland, where tourism is currently playing a leading role in the national economy and where nature – understood in a broad sense – represents the main attraction for visitors, whale watching, rapidly grown during the last years, shows an evident potential under an ecotouristic point of view. In recent times, an increasing need for the understanding of interactions between humans (tourists and wildlife (whales emerged, highlighting the interest towards environmental conservation, protection and preservation matters and towards the search for activities, and modalities, that could essentially contribute to the sustainability of tourism experiences, such as wildlife tourism ones. It is difficult to argue with the fact that whale watching uses the whale “asset” in a non-destructive way, unlike whaling, activity still commercially conducted in Iceland, but at the same time it can’t be considered ecotouristic and sustainable a priori. In fact, several studies point out how tourism has a disturbing effect on wildlife and negatively affects their ecology and short- to long-term behaviours. This article, after a general introduction on the main ecotourism principles, examines the whale watching industry of the “Whale Capital of Iceland”, Húsavík, and it mainly focuses on the results and data of two researches conducted in the field – respectively among whale watchers and among the local whale watching companies. The purpose of this work is to investigate if and how Húsavík whale watching is following an environmentally sustainable and ecotouristic path, and to bring into light its strengths and weaknesses as a whale watching destination.

  20. Echolocation in wild toothed whales

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-05-01

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

  1. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  2. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    Beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidea) of the genera Ziphius and Mesoplodon are so difficult to study that they are mostly known from strandings. How these elusive toothed whales use and react to sound is of concern because they mass strand during naval sonar exercises. A new non-invasive acoustic ording tag was attached to four beaked whales(two Mesoplodon densirostris and two Ziphius cavirostris) and recorded high-frequency clicks during deep dives. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m, down to a maximum depth of 1267 m. Both species produced a large number of short, directional, ultrasonic clicks with significant energy below 20 kHz. The tags recorded echoes from prey items; to our knowledge, a first for any animal echolocating in the wild. As far as we are aware, these echoes provide the first direct evidence on how free-ranging toothed whales use echolocation in foraging. The strength of these echoes suggests that the source level of Mesoplodon clicks is in the range of 200-220 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m.This paper presents conclusive data on the normal vocalizations of these beaked whale species, which may enable acoustic monitoring to mitigate exposure to sounds intense enough to harm them. PMID:15801582

  3. Humpback Whitefish Coregonus pidschian of the Upper Tanana River Drainage: Alaska Fisheries Technical Report Number 90

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Humpback whitefish (Coregonus pidschian) are the primary fishery resource in the upper Tanana River drainage. Subsistence users in the region have reported that...

  4. Colorado River fish monitoring in Grand Canyon, Arizona; 2002–14 humpback chub aggregations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, William R.; Van Haverbeke, David R.; Dodrill, Michael J.

    2017-01-31

    The humpback chub (Gila cypha) is an endangered cyprinid species endemic to the Colorado River. The largest remaining population of the species spawns and rears in the Little Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Construction and operation of Glen Canyon Dam has altered the main-stem Colorado River in Glen and Grand Canyons. Cold, clear water releases from the dam result in a river that is generally unsuitable for successful humpback chub reproduction. During the early 1990s, nine locations within the main-stem Colorado River were identified as humpback chub aggregations—areas with a consistent and disjunct group of fish with no significant exchange of individuals with other aggregations. We monitored main-stem Colorado River aggregations of humpback chub in Grand Canyon during 2010 to 2014 and compared our results to previous investigations. Relative abundance, as described by catch per unit effort (fish per hour) of adult humpback chub at most main-stem aggregations, generally increased from the 1990s to 2014. In addition, distribution of humpback chub in the main-stem Colorado River has increased since the 1990s. Movement of humpback chub between the Little Colorado River and other aggregations likely adds fish to those aggregations. There is clear evidence of reproduction near the 30-Mile aggregation, and reproduction at Middle Granite Gorge and downstream seems likely based on catches of gravid fish and captures of very young fish, especially during relatively warm water releases from Glen Canyon Dam, 2004 to 2011. Humpback chub relative abundance at Shinumo and Havasu Creek inflows increased following translocations of young humpback chub starting in 2009. In light of this information, we modify the original nine aggregations, combining two previously separate aggregations and dropping two locations to form six distinct aggregations of humpback chub. Trends in humpback chub abundance at main-stem aggregations, relative to management actions (for example

  5. Techniques development for whale migration tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, R. M.; Norris, K. S.; Gibson, R. J.; Gentry, R.; Dougherty, E.; Hobbs, L.

    1973-01-01

    Effort leading to the completion of development and fabrication of expansible whale harnesses and whale-carried instrument pods is described, along with details of the gear. Early preparative effort for a January-February 1974 field expedition is reported.

  6. Walrus and whale interactions: An eyewitness account

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23569288

  12. 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.

  13. Building Whales in Sand and Mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Carolyn

    1980-01-01

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

  14. Building Whales in Sand and Mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Carolyn

    1980-01-01

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

  15. 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 (< 300 m) where high chlorophyll concentrations and primary productivity were generally detected. Based on MODIS-derived primary productivity algorithm, the annual primary production (320 g C m-2 y-1) estimated in the southwestern coastal region of the East Sea belongs to the highly productive coastal upwelling regions in the world. A change in the main spatial distribution of minke 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. AFSC/NMML: Bowhead Whale Feeding Ecology Study (BOWFEST): Aerial Survey in Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, 2007-2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Bowhead Whale Feeding Ecology Study (BOWFEST) was initiated in May 2007 through an Interagency Agreement between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)...

  19. Virus and the whale: exploring evolution in a museum collaboration

    OpenAIRE

    Diamond, Judy; Spiegel, Amy; Meier, Debra; Disbrow, Sarah

    2005-01-01

    A major new collaboration of museums in the U.S. will teach the public about current research in evolutionary biology. This project, entitled Explore Evolution, combines the strength of interactive exhibits, Web activities and outreach programs for youth to feature seven influential research projects on organisms ranging in size from the smallest, Hiy to the largest, a whale. Launched in 2003 and funded by the Informal Science Education Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Explor...

  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. Population Parameters of Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    of deep diving cetaceans , their use of the habitat, and their sensitivity to human interactions . The results will facilitate improved regional...augment the sparse knowledge of beaked whale population biology, facilitating the assessment of possible population effects of human impacts...potential population effects of human impacts. Economic development Economic development is often related to increasing noise levels in the ocean

  2. Extreme diving of beaked whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  3. Lethal entanglement in baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-06

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

  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. Wandering whales?: Relationships between baleen whales and the sea ice environment in the Southern Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    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 understand the relationships between baleen whales, their prey and the physical environment. The spatial models in this thesis are based on visual observations by whale observers onboard ships in ope...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The Diet Composition of Beaked Whales and Melon-Headed... Whales from the North Pacific Kristi West College of Natural and Computational Science Hawaii Pacific University 45-045 Kamehameha Hwy...contents of stranded animals are rarely available. Very little information on food habits of most species of beaked whales or of melon-headed whales

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lise Doksæter Sivle

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of 5 killer whales (Orcinus orca, 7 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas and 4 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus were studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar (LFAS: 1-2 kHz and MFAS: 6-7 kHz during three field seasons (2006-2009. Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after sonar exposure using an archival tag placed on the animal with suction cups. The tag recorded the animal’s vertical movement, and additional data on horizontal movement and vocalizations were used to determine behavioral modes. Killer whales that were conducting deep dives at sonar onset changed abruptly to shallow diving during LFAS, while killer whales conducting deep dives at the onset of MFAS did not alter dive mode. When in shallow diving mode at sonar onset, killer whales did not change their diving behavior. Pilot and sperm whales performed normal deep dives during MFAS exposure. During LFAS exposures, long-finned pilot whales mostly performed fewer deep dives and some sperm whales performed shallower and shorter dives. Acoustic recording data presented previously indicates that deep diving is associated with feeding. Therefore, the observed changes in dive behavior of the three species could potentially reduce the foraging efficiency of the affected animals.

  11. Sex-specific survival in the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramp, Christian; Berube, Martine; Palsboll, Per; Hagen, Wilhelm; Sears, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Sex-biased adult mortality is commonly observed in the animal kingdom. In mammals, a predominantly male-biased mortality is found in species with a polygynous mating system, while in monogamous taxa, female-biased mortality prevails. In the largest of all mammals, the Mysticeti, no sex-specific mort

  12. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Megan J; Mueter, Franz; Criddle, Keith; Haynie, Alan C

    2014-01-01

    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 (pdepredation, 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 longline fishermen and managers

  14. 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

  15. Mapping the Super-Whale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2010-01-01

    at their core. Drawing on actor-network theory (ANT), this article suggests an alternative framework for mobile ethnography, better suited to a social world conceived in network-relational terms. Employing metaphors of mobility, scale-making, and cartography, an empirically driven approach to situated...... and plural 'globalities' is outlined. These claims are developed drawing on the author's inquiries into Japanese whaling practices, showing how 'ethno-socio-cartography' can contribute to the mapping of global-scale micro-cosmoses....

  16. Culture in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rendell, L; Whitehead, H

    2001-04-01

    Studies of animal culture have not normally included a consideration of cetaceans. However, with several long-term field studies now maturing, this situation should change. Animal culture is generally studied by either investigating transmission mechanisms experimentally, or observing patterns of behavioural variation in wild populations that cannot be explained by either genetic or environmental factors. Taking this second, ethnographic, approach, there is good evidence for cultural transmission in several cetacean species. However, only the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops) has been shown experimentally to possess sophisticated social learning abilities, including vocal and motor imitation; other species have not been studied. There is observational evidence for imitation and teaching in killer whales. For cetaceans and other large, wide-ranging animals, excessive reliance on experimental data for evidence of culture is not productive; we favour the ethnographic approach. The complex and stable vocal and behavioural cultures of sympatric groups of killer whales (Orcinus orca) appear to have no parallel outside humans, and represent an independent evolution of cultural faculties. The wide movements of cetaceans, the greater variability of the marine environment over large temporal scales relative to that on land, and the stable matrilineal social groups of some species are potentially important factors in the evolution of cetacean culture. There have been suggestions of gene-culture coevolution in cetaceans, and culture may be implicated in some unusual behavioural and life-history traits of whales and dolphins. We hope to stimulate discussion and research on culture in these animals.

  17. Can whales mix the ocean?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. J. Lavery

    2012-07-01

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

  18. 3S2 - Behavioral Response Studies of Cetaceans to Navy Sonar Signals in Norwegian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    whale sounds to pilot whales , sperm whales , and humpback whales . We have now conducted 8 playbacks of mammal- feeding ...reactions and the sound exposures required to elicit them of three species of whales : bottlenose whales , minke whales , and humpback whales to Naval...sounds; 2.) Conduct a directed study of the effectiveness of ramp-up as a mitigation method with abundant and relatively easy-to-study humpback whales

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  20. Saving Whales and Dolphins through Petroglyphs and Activist Artworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jaehan

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Saving Whales and Dolphins through Petroglyphs and Activist Artworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jaehan

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Fin 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...

  4. Blue 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...

  5. Sperm 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...

  6. Population Size of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis at Khanom, Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mullica JAROENSUTASINEE

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis were estimated with the Mark-Recapture Model from a boat-based photo-identification survey at Khanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand from July 2008 - June 2009. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were encountered at a water depth of 1.1 - 7.5 m, a distance off shore of 21 - 1,021 m and water transparency of 67 - 256 cm. Groups and solitary Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were sighted 39 times. They were extensively viewed in the coastal zone between Nang Kham bay to Thong Ching bay. There were 34 sightings of groups and five sightings of solitary individuals. A total of 49 individuals were identified and catalogued. There were 33 identified adults, eight juveniles and eight calves. The group size of humpback dolphins varied from 2 - 20 individuals. The group size of adults ranged between 2 - 12 dolphins. The juveniles group size ranged from 0 - 6 dolphins. There were no groups observed consisting solely of juveniles. Groups without juveniles were seen 8 times. The number of calves per group ranged between 0 - 4 individuals. The percentage and number of calves per group were significantly lower than the percentage and number of juveniles. The mean size of groups containing calves was larger than non-calf groups. The estimated abundance of this population from the Jolly-Seber method was 49 individuals.

  7. Observations on Australian Humpback Dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) in Waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beasley, Isabel; Jedensjö, Maria; Wijaya, Gede Mahendra; Anamiato, Jim; Kahn, Benjamin; Kreb, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    The Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis, has recently been described to occur in northern Australian coastal waters. However, its distribution in adjacent waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea remains largely unknown. Although there have been few studies conducted on inshore dolphins in these regions, the available information records humpback dolphins primarily from the Kikori Delta in Papua New Guinea, and Bird's Head Seascape in West Papua. Research in southern Papua New Guinea indicates that humpback dolphins are indeed S. sahulensis, based on cranial and external morphometrics, external colouration and the preliminary genetic analysis presented here. A similar situation exists for the Australian snubfin dolphin, Orcaella heinsohni, where it is assumed that the species also occurs along the Sahul Shelf coastal waters of northern Australia and New Guinea. There are anecdotal reports of direct catch of Australian humpback dolphins for use as shark bait, coastal development is increasing, and anthropogenic impacts will continue to escalate as human populations expand into previously uninhabited regions. Future research and management priorities for the Governments of the Pacific Islands and Indonesia will need to focus on inshore dolphins in known regional hotspots, as current bycatch levels appear unsustainable.

  8. REPRODUCTIVE ASPECTS OF CULTURED HUMPBACK GROUPER (Cromileptes altivelis FOR SUPPORTING SEED PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sari Budi Moria Sembiring

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Humpback grouper (Cromileptes altivelis has been successfully spawned in 2000 by IMRAD (Institute of Mariculture Research and Development and there are already the third generation (F3 currently. The reproductive aspects need to be studied to support the success of seed production. Humpback grouper reared in floating cage (F1 and F3 had matured (gonad stage 4 while F2 fish reared in concrete tanks has spawned. Gonadal maturity stage of 38 fishes from first generation (F1 and 35 fishes from the third generation were observed in June 2013 and compared to gonadal maturity stage of 18 fishes from the second generation observed in June 2009. Samples were measured in total length and body weight and gonads were taken for histology preparation to determine gonadal maturity stage and the sex. From the histological observation of the gonads, it showed that all female humpback grouper were in early maturity stage (stage I and II with gonadal maturity index between 0.12% and 5.45%. Further, it was observed that the same gonad was found in different maturity stage and concluded that humpback groupers were multiple spawners (asynchronous. By determining gonadal maturity level, it was also known the minimum size for grouper ready to spawn.

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramp, Christian; Delarue, Julien; Palsbøll, Per J; Sears, Richard; Hammond, Philip S

    2015-01-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-30

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

  18. 76 FR 30919 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15844

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-27

    ... feeding behaviors of humpback, killer, and minke whales, which would enhance information-based resource..., AK, 99826, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera... collect sloughed skin and/or feces to study humpback whales, killer whales and minke whale. Research...

  19. Periodic bowhead whale aerial surveys by the USDI/Minerals Management Service in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, April 1979 - October 2001 (NODC Accession 0001139)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Bowhead Whale Feeding Ecology Study (BOWFEST): Aerial Survey in Chukchi and Beaufort Seas conducted from 2007-08-23 to 2011-09-16 (NCEI Accession 0131425)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Bowhead Whale Feeding Ecology Study (BOWFEST) was initiated in May 2007 through an Interagency Agreement between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2010-10-01

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

  3. 75 FR 20565 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14610

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-20

    ... mysticetus), gray whale (Eschrictius robustus), and endangered humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae... animals annually). Research activities for humpback whales include tagging (up to 20 animals annually) and... population abundance, stock structure, feeding areas and other important habitats, migration routes,...

  4. 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.

  5. Sperm Whales Suffer the Bends

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michael; Hopkin; 席芳

    2005-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Sarah Jane

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Shore-based counts of the Eastern North Pacific gray whale stock from central California conducted from 1967-12-18 to 2007-02-22 (NCEI Accession 0138007)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has conducted shore-based counts of the Eastern North Pacific stock of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) 26 years from...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domenici, P

    2001-12-01

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

  9. Status and Trends of the Grand Canyon Population of Humpback Chub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Matthew E.

    2009-01-01

    The Colorado River Basin supports one of the most distinctive fish communities in North America, including the federally endangered humpback chub (Gila cypha). One of only six remaining populations of this fish is found in Grand Canyon, Arizona. U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their cooperators are responsible for monitoring the Grand Canyon population. Analysis of recently collected data indicates that the number of Grand Canyon adult humpback chub - fish 4 years old and older and capable of reproduction - increased approximately 50 percent between 2001 and 2008. When possible model error is considered, the estimated number of adult chub in the Grand Canyon population is between 6,000 and 10,000. The most likely number is estimated at 7,650 individuals.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Survival, growth, and movement of subadult humpback chub, Gila cypha, in the Little Colorado River, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzul, Maria C.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Stone, Dennis M.; Van Haverbeke, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Ecologists estimate vital rates, such as growth and survival, to better understand population dynamics and identify sensitive life history parameters for species or populations of concern. Here, we assess spatiotemporal variation in growth, movement, density, and survival of subadult humpback chub living in the Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon, AZ from 2001–2002 and 2009–2013. We divided the Little Colorado River into three reaches and used a multistate mark-recapture model to determine rates of movement and differences in survival and density between sites for different cohorts. Additionally, site-specific and year-specific effects on growth were evaluated using a linear model. Results indicate that summer growth was higher for upstream sites compared with downstream sites. In contrast, there was not a consistent spatial pattern across years in winter growth; however, river-wide winter growth was negatively related to the duration of floods from 1 October to 15 May. Apparent survival was estimated to be lower at the most downstream site compared with the upstream sites; however, this could be because in part of increased emigration into the Colorado River at downstream sites. Furthermore, the 2010 cohort (i.e. fish that are age 1 in 2010) exhibited high apparent survival relative to other years. Movement between reaches varied with year, and some years exhibited preferential upstream displacement. Improving understanding of spatiotemporal effects on age 1 humpback chub survival can help inform current management efforts to translocate humpback chub into new locations and give us a better understanding of the factors that may limit this tributary's carrying capacity for humpback chub.

  15. 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.

  16. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Discriminating between the vocalizations of Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins in Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg Soto, Alvaro; Marsh, Helene; Everingham, Yvette; Smith, Joshua N; Parra, Guido J; Noad, Michael

    2014-08-01

    Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins co-occur throughout most of their range in coastal waters of tropical Australia. Little is known of their ecology or acoustic repertoires. Vocalizations from humpback and snubfin dolphins were recorded in two locations along the Queensland coast during 2008 and 2010 to describe their vocalizations and evaluate the acoustic differences between these two species. Broad vocalization types were categorized qualitatively. Both species produced click trains burst pulses and whistles. Principal component analysis of the nine acoustic variables extracted from the whistles produced nine principal components that were input into discriminant function analyses to classify 96% of humpback dolphin whistles and about 78% of snubfin dolphin calls correctly. Results indicate clear acoustic differences between the vocal whistle repertoires of these two species. A stepwise routine identified two principal components as significantly distinguishable between whistles of each species: frequency parameters and frequency trend ratio. The capacity to identify these species using acoustic monitoring techniques has the potential to provide information on presence/absence, habitat use and relative abundance for each species.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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 un

  3. The causes of whale strandings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordes, D O

    1982-03-01

    Strandings of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) is probably the result of a sequence of events rather than a simple cause-and-effect relationship. Strandings of solitary animals are more common than massed and generally thought to be due to severe disease. Mass strandings (three to several hundred individuals) are less common, but very spectacular. Mass strandings are considered to be due to a complex of factors in which behavioural factors are probably important, severe disease making an unimportant, or negligible contribution. There may be interaction of physical conditions (weather, tides, currents, coastline) and biological conditions (predators, feeding, disturbance of echolocation and disease) which result in stranding. One postulated reason for stranding is that it is dependent on instinctive behaviour, deeply located in subcortical areas of the brain, which provokes cetaceans to seek refuge ashore when under stress.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Leslie Wearing

    2014-02-01

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

  5. 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).

  6. 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 as

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    for this species. Bowhead whale song has long been hypothesized to be produced by male whales as a reproductive advertisement; however, no data on the sex of singers has ever been reported. In this study, we determine the sex of singing bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus in Disko Bay, West Greenland, by localizing...... of female bowhead whales may function for mate attraction and represent a novel example of partial courtship role reversal in mammals....

  10. Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) vocalizations and call classification from the eastern Beaufort Sea population

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Funding was provided by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management under InterAgency Agreement M09PG00016. E.C.G. was supported by a National Research Council (National Academy of Sciences) Postdoctoral Fellowship. Beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, have a graded call system; call types exist on a continuum making classification challenging. A description of vocalizations from the eastern Beaufort Sea beluga population during its spring migration are presented here, using both a non-parametr...

  11. 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...

  12. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Emma L; Jackson, Jennifer A; Paton, David; Smith, Tim D

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hacquebord, L; Skreslet, S

    2004-01-01

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

  15. 3S2 - Behavioral Response Studies of Cetaceans to Naval Sonar Signals in Norwegian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    playbacks of mammal- feeding killer whale sounds to humpback whales , and early indications are that they respond more strongly and more consistently to...behavioral reactions and the sound exposures required to elicit them of three species of whales : bottlenose whales , minke whales , and humpback whales to Low...sounds; 2.) Conduct a directed study of the effectiveness of ramp-up as a mitigation method with abundant and relatively easy-to-study humpback whales

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 77 FR 64492 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; U.S. Navy Training in the Northwest Training Range Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-22

    ... detection of the following marine mammals: blue whale, fin whale, humpback whale, nine toothed whale species... of Fish and Wildlife. During the May 2011 to May 2012 reporting period, three fin whales and one humpback whale were tagged off the Washington Coast. Approximately 43 days of animal movement data was...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Minke whale genome and aquatic adaptation in cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yim, Hyung-Soon; Cho, Yun Sung; Guang, Xuanmin; Kang, Sung Gyun; Jeong, Jae-Yeon; Cha, Sun-Shin; Oh, Hyun-Myung; Lee, Jae-Hak; Yang, Eun Chan; Kwon, Kae Kyoung; Kim, Yun Jae; Kim, Tae Wan; Kim, Wonduck; Jeon, Jeong Ho; Kim, Sang-Jin; Choi, Dong Han; Jho, Sungwoong; Kim, Hak-Min; Ko, Junsu; Kim, Hyunmin; Shin, Young-Ah; Jung, Hyun-Ju; Zheng, Yuan; Wang, Zhuo; Chen, Yan; Chen, Ming; Jiang, Awei; Li, Erli; Zhang, Shu; Hou, Haolong; Kim, Tae Hyung; Yu, Lili; Liu, Sha; Ahn, Kung; Cooper, Jesse; Park, Sin-Gi; Hong, Chang Pyo; Jin, Wook; Kim, Heui-Soo; Park, Chankyu; Lee, Kyooyeol; Chun, Sung; Morin, Phillip A; O'Brien, Stephen J; Lee, Hang; Kimura, Jumpei; Moon, Dae Yeon; Manica, Andrea; Edwards, Jeremy; Kim, Byung Chul; Kim, Sangsoo; Wang, Jun; Bhak, Jong; Lee, Hyun Sook; Lee, Jung-Hyun

    2014-01-01

    The shift from terrestrial to aquatic life by whales was a substantial evolutionary event. Here we report the whole-genome sequencing and de novo assembly of the minke whale genome, as well as the whole-genome sequences of three minke whales, a fin whale, a bottlenose dolphin and a finless porpoise. Our comparative genomic analysis identified an expansion in the whale lineage of gene families associated with stress-responsive proteins and anaerobic metabolism, whereas gene families related to body hair and sensory receptors were contracted. Our analysis also identified whale-specific mutations in genes encoding antioxidants and enzymes controlling blood pressure and salt concentration. Overall the whale-genome sequences exhibited distinct features that are associated with the physiological and morphological changes needed for life in an aquatic environment, marked by resistance to physiological stresses caused by a lack of oxygen, increased amounts of reactive oxygen species and high salt levels.

  2. 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...

  3. Ontogenesis of the sperm whale brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oelschläger, H H; Kemp, B

    1998-09-21

    The development of the sperm whale brain (Physeter macrocephalus) was investigated in 12 embryos and early fetuses to obtain a better understanding of the morphological and physiological adaptations in this most exotic cetacean concerning locomotion, deep diving, and orientation. In male adult sperm whales, the average absolute brain mass and the relative size of the telencephalic hemisphere are the largest within the mammalia, whereas the ratio of the brain mass to the total body mass is one of the smallest. In the early sperm whale fetus, the rostral part of the olfactory system (olfactory nerves and bulbs) is lost, whereas the nervus terminalis seems to persist. Several components of the limbic system show signs of regression (hippocampus, fornix, mamillary body). In contrast, some components of the auditory system (trapezoid body, inferior colliculus) show marked enlargement in the early fetal period, thereby reflecting their dominant position in the adult. The cerebellum and pons grow slower than in most smaller toothed whales. The pyramidal tract develops poorly (reduction of the limbs), whereas marked growth of the striatum and inferior olive may be related to the animal's locomotion via trunk and tail. In the early fetal period, the trigeminal, vestibulocochlear, and facial nerves are the dominant cranial nerves (besides the vagus nerve). Whereas the number of axons in the vestibulocochlear nerve is high in adult, toothed whales and their diameters are considerable, the trigeminal nerve of the sperm whale may be the thickest of all cranial nerves and has the largest number of axons (innervation of the huge forehead region). A similar situation seems to exist for the facial nerve: It innervates the blowhole musculature that surrounds the very large spermaceti organ and melon (generation and emission of sonar clicks).

  4. How large should whales be?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Clauset

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

  5. How large should whales be?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clauset, Aaron

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Aerial sightings of bowhead whales and other marine mammals by the US Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service, 1979 - 2006, in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas (NODC Accession 0014906)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. AFSC/NMML/CCEP: Gray whale survey and sightings ranging from California to Kodiak Island, Alaska conducted by the Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1993-07-05 to 2014-10-24

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) survey and sightings data from 1993 - 2014 collected by the Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-14

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter L Tyack

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

  10. From cyclic steps to humpback dunes: bedforms created by glacial lake-outburst floods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winsemann, Jutta; Lang, Jörg; (Janrik) Van den Berg, Jan H.

    2015-04-01

    The largest known terrestrial floods, with immense geomorphological impacts, are linked to flood events from sub- and proglacial lakes. Flows are commonly unstable, turbulent and may be pulsed. The most commonly reported flood-related sedimentary landforms are large bars and (anti)dune fields deposited at sites of spatial flow deceleration. However, the facies architecture of these flood-related deposits has not yet been described in much detail. Reported field examples include sandy and gravelly bedforms that comprise laterally and vertically stacked deposits of cyclic steps, chutes-and-pools, breaking antidunes, stationary antidunes, plane beds and humpback dunes. The dimension and stacking pattern of described bedforms are often very similar and indicate deposition under highly aggradational flow conditions. Deposits of cyclic steps are characterised by shallow, lenticular scours infilled by gently dipping backsets, indicating erosion and re-deposition on the downstream side of the step, which is Froude-supercritical.The cyclic-step deposits are laterally and vertically truncated and unconformably overlain by deposits of chutes-and-pools and (breaking) antidunes. Deposits of chutes-and-pools and breaking antidunes comprise lenticular scours infilled by steeply dipping backsets, gently dipping sigmoidal foresets and concentric trough-fills. Bedforms of the relatively slow moving subcritical zone on the upstream side of cyclic steps are commonly not preserved. In contrast to the gravelly cross-stratification of cyclic steps, chutes-and-pools and breaking antidunes, the (sub)horizontal lamination of transcritical bedforms (plane beds, stationary waves and antidunes) generally consist almost completely of sand, due to gravel overpassing. Under waning flow conditions deposits of chutes-and-pools and antidunes form laterally more extensive bedsets that are interbedded with deposits of humpback dunes and 3D dunes. The gradual lateral and vertical facies changes between

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvadeo Christian J.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Curé

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation in North Atlantic Long-Finned Pilot Whales, Globicephala melas

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-06-01

    the rate of divergence of cetacean D-loops from sequences they determined for the killer whale (Orcinus orca ) and the minke whale (Balaenoptera...focused on Vancouver Island killer whales, Stevens et al. (1989) analyzed whole mtDNA from 20 captive killer whales. Ten of the whales were captured...along the southeastern coast of Iceland, one of the whales was captive - born offspring of an Iceland female, four came from the northern resident

  16. 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 nich...

  17. 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.

  18. Rows of small teeth in Ziphioid whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, H.

    1951-01-01

    In Ziphioid Whales the toothrows as a rule have been subject to pronounced reduction, so that the number of teeth of fairly large size is restricted to one pair in the lower jaw. Even these often are concealed in the gum and then must be regarded as functionless, though especially in old males the t

  19. 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…

  20. A Radio Tag for Big Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, William A.

    1978-01-01

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

  1. Echolocation in Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, P T; de Soto, N Aguilar; Arranz, P; Johnson, M

    2013-06-01

    Here we use sound and movement recording tags to study how deep-diving Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) use echolocation to forage in their natural mesopelagic habitat. These whales ensonify thousands of organisms per dive but select only about 25 prey for capture. They negotiate their cluttered environment by radiating sound in a narrow 20° field of view which they sample with 1.5-3 clicks per metre travelled requiring only some 60 clicks to locate, select and approach each prey. Sampling rates do not appear to be defined by the range to individual targets, but rather by the movement of the predator. Whales sample faster when they encounter patches of prey allowing them to search new water volumes while turning rapidly to stay within a patch. This implies that the Griffin search-approach-capture model of biosonar foraging must be expanded to account for sampling behaviours adapted to the overall prey distribution. Beaked whales can classify prey at more than 15 m range adopting stereotyped motor patterns when approaching some prey. This long detection range relative to swimming speed facilitates a deliberate mode of sensory-motor operation in which prey and capture tactics can be selected to optimize energy returns during long breath-hold dives.

  2. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  3. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Tales of whales: Whalewatching as environmental education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Constance Lorraine

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

  5. A Radio Tag for Big Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, William A.

    1978-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Abundance trends and status of the Little Colorado River population of humpback chub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coggins, L.G.; Pine, William E.; Walters, C.J.; Van Haverbeke, D. R.; Ward, D.; Johnstone, H.C.

    2006-01-01

    The abundance of the Little Colorado River population of federally listed humpback chub Gila cypha in Grand Canyon has been monitored since the late 1980s by means of catch rate indices and capture-recapture-based abundance estimators. Analyses of data from all sources using various methods are consistent and indicate that the adult population has declined since monitoring began. Intensive tagging led to a high proportion (>80%) of the adult population being marked by the mid-1990s. Analysis of these data using both closed and open abundance estimation models yields results that agree with catch rate indices about the extent of the decline. Survival rates for age-2 and older fish are age dependent but apparently not time dependent. Back-calculation of recruitment using the apparent 1990s population age structure implies periods of higher recruitment in the late 1970s to early 1980s than is now the case. Our analyses indicate that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recovery criterion of stable abundance is not being met for this population. Also, there is a critical need to develop new abundance indexing and tagging methods so that early, reliable, and rapid estimates of humpback chub recruitment can be obtained to evaluate population responses to management actions designed to facilitate the restoration of Colorado River native fish communities. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006.

  14. 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.

  15. North Pacific right whale aerial surveys conducted in the southeastern Bering Sea by the Alaska Fisheries Scientific Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 2008-07-24 to 2009-08-25 (NCEI Accession 0135767)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As part of an inter-agency agreement between the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, aerial surveys of the North Aleutian...

  16. The ARGOS system used for tracking gray whales

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  17. Large Scale Density Estimation of Blue and Fin Whales (LSD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Large Scale Density Estimation of Blue and Fin Whales ...sensors, or both. The goal of this research is to develop and implement a new method for estimating blue and fin whale density that is effective over...develop and implement a density estimation methodology for quantifying blue and fin whale abundance from passive acoustic data recorded on sparse

  18. Beaked Whale Group Deep Dive Behavior from Passive Acoustic Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Beaked Whale Group Deep Dive Behavior from Passive...described explicitly, beaked whales are one of the cetacean taxa more sensitive to use of Navy sonar (Moretti et al., 2014; Tyack et al., 2011). Despite...their vulnerability, Blainville’s beaked whale , Mesoplodon densirostris (Md), are routinely detected year-round on the AUTEC range, coincident with

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rohner, Christoph A.; Richardson, Anthony J.; Prebble, Clare E.M.; Marshall, Andrea D.; Bennett, Michael B.; Weeks, Scarla J.; Geremy Cliff; 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 ± 11...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. A Stellar Stream Surrounds the Whale Galaxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-10-01

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

  6. Beaked Whale Habitat Characterization and Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-30

    34Temporal and Spatial Patterns in the Distribution of Squid Loligo spp. in United Kingdom Waters," in Cephalopod Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolution ...published information on beaked whale diet indicates that they feed primarily on oceanic mesopelagic and benthic cephalopods , mostly squid, although...reflecting differences in prey 2 availability (Clarke, 1996). Many cephalopods congregate to spawn, presenting a concentrated resource for predators such as

  7. 76 FR 68718 - Marine Mammals and Endangered Species; File No. 16305

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-07

    ...: 270 sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), 30 blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), 30 Bryde's whale (B. edeni), 30 dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima), 30 false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens), 30 fin whale (B. physalus), 30 gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), 30 humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), 30 killer...

  8. The humpbacked species richness-curve: A contingent rule for community ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, John H.; Duda, Jeffrey J.

    2011-01-01

    Functional relationships involving species richness may be unimodal, monotonically increasing, monotonically decreasing, bimodal, multimodal, U-shaped, or with no discernable pattern. The unimodal relationships are the most interesting because they suggest dynamic, nonequilibrium community processes. For that reason, they are also contentious. In this paper, we provide a wide-ranging review of the literature on unimodal (humpbacked) species richness-relationships. Though not as widespread as previously thought, unimodal patterns of species richness are often associated with disturbance, predation and herbivory, productivity, spatial heterogeneity, environmental gradients, time, and latitude. These unimodal patterns are contingent on organism and environment; we examine unimodal species richness-curves involving plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, plankton, and microbes in marine, lacustrine, and terrestrial habitats. A goal of future research is to understand the contingent patterns and the complex, interacting processes that generate them.

  9. Is killer whale dialect evolution random?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  10. What makes Stellwagen Bank a whale feeding ground?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, X.; Flierl, G.; Lermusiaux, P. F. J.; Haley, P. J., Jr.; McCarthy, J. J.

    2016-12-01

    Stellwagen Bank lies at the Massachusetts Bay's eastern boundary with the Gulf of Maine (GoM) and is encompassed by the Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. It is a shoal with primarily sandy bottom and with water depth ranging from 20 meters to 40 meters. All across the Bank these waters are highly productive and support a large and diverse planktonic community and benthic community, a large fish diversity and fish biomass, and it is one of the most active whale feeding grounds in coastal waters of the United States makes. According to previous studies, several factors may contribute to the high biomass over sea banks and sea mounts, such as local enhancement due to high dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN = NH4 + NO3) and subsequent retention of productivity, plus the advection and local concentration of food produced elsewhere. In this research, the biological and physical processes which can cause the biomass patterns and accumulations over the Stellwagen Bank and its vicinity are investigated separately and together, using a 3D model which has been built in the MSEAS (Multidisciplinary simulation, estimation, and assimilation system) and a simple 2D cross-bank profile model. The study is focused on figuring out which are the dominant factors and processes that contribute to the abundant food in the Stellwagen Bank ecosystem and are responsible for sustaining the large biomass over the Bank, and how local or regional changes in climate and circulation might affect the food availability in this important whale feeding ground. The 2D model result shows that zooplankton diel migration can significantly affect the biological biomass and DIN concentration over the Bank. Both the 2D and 3D models show that upwelling induced by the Bank topography play an important role in nutrient and biomass enhancement.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-06-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. Quota disputes and subsistence whaling in Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tejsner, Pelle

    2014-01-01

    on locally varying environmental and ecological circumstances and that their negotiation of current regulations, in turn, suggests a further consideration of the social aspects as these inform local knowledge about whales and wider socio-economic circumstances governing whaling in Qeqertarsuaq. In reviewing...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2015-03-16

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

  20. North Pacific killer whale genetic studies conducted by Alaska Fisheries Scientific Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1990-10-26 to 2010-07-07 (NCEI Accession 0142202)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The difficulties associated with detecting population boundaries have long constrained the conservation and management of highly mobile marine species, especially...

  1. Killer whale surveys conducted in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, and western and central Gulf of Alaska by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 2001-07-01 to 2010-07-12 (NCEI Accession 0137766)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset is a compilation of line-transect data collected on surveys in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, and western and central Gulf of Alaska, 2001 - 2010....

  2. Location-only satellite telemetry data for gray whales in the Bering and Chukchi Sea collected by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 2012-08-25 to 2013-10-27 (NCEI Accession 0139361)

    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...

  3. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Haasl, David M

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    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 contaminant burden

  6. Bone fluoride concentrations in beluga whales from Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikaelian, I; Qualls, C W; De Guise, S; Whaley, M W; Martineau, D

    1999-04-01

    Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the St. Lawrence Estuary have been reported to have dental and bone abnormalities. To determine whether these lesions could be caused by high exposure to fluorides, we measured bone fluoride levels in eight beluga whales stranded on the shores of the St. Lawrence Estuary (Quebec, Canada), and in nine beluga whales killed by Inuit hunters in the Hudson Bay (North Western Territories, Canada). In both groups, fluoride concentrations were higher than those found in terrestrial mammals intoxicated by fluorides. Unexpectedly, fluoride concentration was significantly higher in beluga whales from the Hudson Bay (mean +/- SD: 10.365 +/- 1.098 ppm) than in beluga whales from the St. Lawrence Estuary (4.539 +/- 875 ppm) and was positively correlated with age in the latter population. Differences in diet might explain the differences in fluoride concentrations found between these two populations.

  7. How Baleen Whales Feed: The Biomechanics of Engulfment and Filtration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbogen, J. A.; Cade, D. E.; Calambokidis, J.; Friedlaender, A. S.; Potvin, J.; Segre, P. S.; Werth, A. J.

    2017-01-01

    Baleen whales are gigantic obligate filter feeders that exploit aggregations of small-bodied prey in littoral, epipelagic, and mesopelagic ecosystems. At the extreme of maximum body size observed among mammals, baleen whales exhibit a unique combination of high overall energetic demands and low mass-specific metabolic rates. As a result, most baleen whale species have evolved filter-feeding mechanisms and foraging strategies that take advantage of seasonally abundant yet patchily and ephemerally distributed prey resources. New methodologies consisting of multi-sensor tags, active acoustic prey mapping, and hydrodynamic modeling have revolutionized our ability to study the physiology and ecology of baleen whale feeding mechanisms. Here, we review the current state of the field by exploring several hypotheses that aim to explain how baleen whales feed. Despite significant advances, major questions remain about the processes that underlie these extreme feeding mechanisms, which enabled the evolution of the largest animals of all time.

  8. 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 cri...

  9. Photographic Identification of Humpback and Blue Whales off the US West Coast: Results and Updated Abundance Estimates from 2008 Field Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    Bay 9:45 14:55 5:10 General Photo ID 9/16/2008 N2 Half Moon Bay 13:55 19:15 5:20 46.5 General Photo ID 9/17/2008 N2 Bodega Bay 9:58 19:03 9:05 97.5...General Photo ID 9/18/2008 N2 Bodega Bay 9:17 18:52 9:35 96.6 General Photo ID 9/19/2008 N2 Half Moon Bay 9:38 15:34 5:56 62.2 General Photo ID 10/20...2008 ZIP Pt St George 10:45 18:50 8:05 100 General Photo ID 10/21/2008 ZIP Pt St George 9:20 16:00 6:40 61 General Photo ID 10/22/2008 ZIP Bodega Bay 8

  10. Empirical evaluation of humpback whale telomere length estimates : Quality control and factors causing variability in the singleplex and multiplex qPCR methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olsen, Morten Tange; Berube, Martine; Robbins, Jooke; Palsboll, Per J.

    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 criti

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olsen, Morten Tange; Berube, Martine; Robbins, Jooke; Palsboll, Per J.

    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 criti

  12. Sperm whale assessment in the Western Ionian Sea using acoustic data from deep sea observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Francesco; Bellia, Giorgio; Beranzoli, Laura; De Domenico, Emilio; Larosa, Giuseppina; Marinaro, Giuditta; Papale, Elena; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Riccobene, Giorgio; Scandura, Danila; Sciacca, Virginia; Viola, Salvatore

    2015-04-01

    The Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) operates two deep sea infrastructures: Capo Passero, Western Ionian Sea 3,600 meters of depth, and Catania Wester Ionian Sea 2,100 m depth. At the two sites, several research observatories have been run: OnDE, NEMO-SN1, SMO, KM3NeT-Italia most of them jointly operated between INFN and INGV. In all these observatories, passive acoustic sensors (hydrophones) have been installed. Passive Acoustics Monitoring (PAM) is nowadays the main tool of the bioacoustics to study marine mammals. In particular, receiving the sounds emitted by cetaceans from a multi-hydrophones array installed in a cabled seafloor observatory, a research about the ecological dynamics of the species may be performed. Data acquired with the hydrophones installed aboard the OnDE, SMO and KM3NeT-Italia observatories will be reported. Thanks to acquired data, the acoustic presence of the sperm whales was assessed and studied for several years (2005:2013). An "ad hoc" algorithm was also developed to allow the automatic identification of the "clicks" emitted by the sperm whales and measure the size of detected animals. According to the results obtained, the sperm whale population in the area is well-distributed in size, sex and sexual maturity. Although specimens more than 14 meters of length (old males) seem to be absent.

  13. Molecular ecology meets remote sensing: Environmental drivers to population structure of humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Genetic analyses of population structure can be placed in explicit environmental contexts if appropriate environmental data are available. Here, we use high-coverage and high-resolution oceanographic and genetic sequence data to assess population structure patterns and their potential environmental influences for humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA data from 94 dolphins from the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Oman, employing frequency...

  14. 77 FR 16538 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-21

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

  15. 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 o

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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