WorldWideScience

Sample records for resident killer whale

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-04-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  9. Killer whales and whaling: the scavenging hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal; Reeves, Randall

    2005-12-22

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) frequently scavenged from the carcasses produced by whalers. This practice became especially prominent with large-scale mechanical whaling in the twentieth century, which provided temporally and spatially clustered floating carcasses associated with loud acoustic signals. The carcasses were often of species of large whale preferred by killer whales but that normally sink beyond their diving range. In the middle years of the twentieth century floating whaled carcasses were much more abundant than those resulting from natural mortality of whales, and we propose that scavenging killer whales multiplied through diet shifts and reproduction. During the 1970s the numbers of available carcasses fell dramatically with the cessation of most whaling (in contrast to a reasonably stable abundance of living whales), and the scavenging killer whales needed an alternative source of nutrition. Diet shifts may have triggered declines in other prey species, potentially affecting ecosystems, as well as increasing direct predation on living whales.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-10-19

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel K Wasser

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Patrick J.; Tyack, Peter L.

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

  19. Seasonal and pod-specific differences in core use areas by resident killer whales in the Northern Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Daniel W.; Matkin, Craig O.; Andrews, Russel D.; Atkinson, Shannon

    2018-01-01

    The resident killer whale is a genetically and behaviorally distinct ecotype of killer whale (Orcinus orca) found in the North Pacific that feeds primarily on Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp .). Details regarding core use areas have been inferred by boat surveys, but are subject to effort bias and weather limitations. To investigate core use areas, 37 satellite tags were deployed from 2006 to 2014 on resident killer whales representing 12 pods in the Northern Gulf of Alaska, and transmissions were received during the months of June to January. Core use areas were identified through utilization distributions using a biased Brownian Bridge movement model. Distinct differences in these core use areas were revealed, and were highly specific to season and pod. In June, July, and August, the waters of Hinchinbrook Entrance and west of Kayak Island were primary areas used, mainly by 3 separate pods. These same pods shifted their focus to Montague Strait in August, September, and October. Port Gravina was a focal area for 2 other pods in June, July, and August, but this was not the case in later months. These pods were responsible for seven of eight documented trips into the deeper fjords of Prince William Sound, yet these fjords were not a focus for most groups of killer whales. The seasonal differences in core use may be a response to the seasonal returns of salmon, though details on specific migration routes and timing for the salmon are limited. We found strong seasonal and pod-specific shifts in patterns between core use areas. Future research should investigate pod differences in diet composition and relationships between core area use and bathymetry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-25

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-12-15

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

  2. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-02-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alava, Juan José; Gobas, Frank A.P.C.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alava, Juan José; Gobas, Frank A P C

    2016-02-15

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Deecke, Volker B.; Riesch, Rüdiger

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Williams

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  16. 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,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-07

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Wellard

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

  1. Positive selection on the killer whale mitogenome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondria produce up to 95 per cent of the eukaryotic cell's energy. The coding genes of the mitochondrial DNA may therefore evolve under selection owing to metabolic requirements. The killer whale, Orcinus orca, is polymorphic, has a global distribution and occupies a range of ecological niches....... It is therefore a suitable organism for testing this hypothesis. We compared a global dataset of the complete mitochondrial genomes of 139 individuals for amino acid changes that were associated with radical physico-chemical property changes and were influenced by positive selection. Two such selected non...

  2. Operational Performance Analysis of Passive Acoustic Monitoring for Killer Whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matzner, Shari; Fu, Tao; Ren, Huiying; Deng, Zhiqun; Sun, Yannan; Carlson, Thomas J.

    2011-09-30

    For the planned tidal turbine site in Puget Sound, WA, the main concern is to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) due to their Endangered Species Act status. A passive acoustic monitoring system is proposed because the whales emit vocalizations that can be detected by a passive system. The algorithm for detection is implemented in two stages. The first stage is an energy detector designed to detect candidate signals. The second stage is a spectral classifier that is designed to reduce false alarms. The evaluation presented here of the detection algorithm incorporates behavioral models of the species of interest, environmental models of noise levels and potential false alarm sources to provide a realistic characterization of expected operational performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-17

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam H

    1979-01-01

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

  8. 76 FR 42082 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-18

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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Sam H; Hanson, Alicia C

    2014-01-01

    Among cetaceans, killer whales and sperm whales have the widest distribution in the world's oceans. Both species use echolocation, are long-lived, and have the longest periods of gestation among whales. Sperm whales dive much deeper and much longer than killer whales. It has long been thought that sperm whales have the largest brains of all living things, but our brain mass evidence, from published sources and our own specimens, shows that big males of these two species share this distinction. Despite this, we also find that cerebellum size is very different between killer whales and sperm whales. The sperm whale cerebellum is only about 7% of the total brain mass, while the killer whale cerebellum is almost 14%. These results are significant because they contradict claims that the cerebellum scales proportionally with the rest of the brain in all mammals. They also correct the generalization that all cetaceans have enlarged cerebella. We suggest possible reasons for the existence of such a large cerebellar size difference between these two species. Cerebellar function is not fully understood, and comparing the abilities of animals with differently sized cerebella can help uncover functional roles of the cerebellum in humans and animals. Here we show that the large cerebellar difference likely relates to evolutionary history, diving, sensory capability, and ecology. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Offshore killer whale tracking using multiple hydrophone arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Adaptive prolonged postreproductive life span in killer whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Houghton

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-16

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of 5 killer whales (Orcinus orca), 7 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) and 4 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar (LFAS: 1-2 kHz and MFAS: 6-7 kHz) during three field seasons (2006-2009). Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after so...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebner, Dawn M.

    calls discussed in Chapter 6 showed that the higher frequency component (HFC) was always associated with sideband 7 (SB7) of the lower frequency component (LFC). Insight into Northern Resident killer whale intra-group vocal dynamics would aid our understanding of vocal behaviors of many other marine mammal species that rely on vocal exchanges for prey capture, group movement or survival. This is the first study to focus on killer whale vocal content and usage as it pertains to intra-group dynamics for (1) mother and offspring separations and (2) for all individuals prior to joining events, as well as (3) individual usage in a diverging pulsed call. It is also the first time the N04 call has been parsed into subtypes.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraker, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Hückstädt

    2004-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent G. Young

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-15

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-02-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could mediate predator-prey interactions. We explored the anti-predator behaviour of five typically-solitary male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Norwegian Sea by playing sounds of mammal-feeding killer whales and monitoring behavioural responses using multi-sensor tags. Our results suggest that, rather than taking advantage of their large aerobic capacities to dive away from the perceived predator, sperm whales responded to killer whale playbacks by interrupting their foraging or resting dives and returning to the surface, changing their vocal production, and initiating a surprising degree of social behaviour in these mostly solitary animals. Thus, the interception of predator vocalizations by male sperm whales disrupted functional behaviours and mediated previously unrecognized anti-predator responses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Judith C

    2008-05-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Similä, Tiu; Christensen, Ivar

    1992-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Suzanne; Kuningas, Sanna; Esteban, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    The persistence and size of social groups can be plastic and governed by ecological selection or be under greater genetic control and constrained by phylogenetic inertia. Comparing sociality of phylogenetically divergent populations under the same ecolog- ical conditions or between groups within ......-eating ecotype than the more phylogenetically distant Pacific mammal-eating ecotype. Our study suggests that sociality in killer whales is to some extent plastic and can be adapted to the local ecological conditions. Key words: ecology, killer whale, orca, orcinus, sociality....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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 (pwhale 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 consider the costs and benefits of depredation avoidance and alternative policy solutions.

  6. Getting to know you: Identification of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata and melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra under challenging conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Siciliano

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra and Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata are very poorly known species and are often confused with each other. We examined in detail Figure 3 in MARIGO and GIFFONI (2010 who reported that two melon-headed whales were taken in a surface driftnet about 90 nm off Santos, Brazil. We concluded they were in fact pygmy killer whales and explain our reasoning. To aid in future identifications, we illustrate and describe some of the main differences between these two species of small cetaceans. The incident reported by MARIGO and GIFFONI (2010 might represent the 'tip of the iceberg' regarding the incidental catches of cetaceans by pelagic drift nets off Brazil. Offshore driftnetting operating along the south-southeastern coast of Brazil may threaten pygmy killer whales.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are the most widely distributed cetacean, occurring in all oceans worldwide, and within ocean regions different ecotypes are defined based on prey preferences. Prey items are largely unknown in the eastern Canadian Arctic and therefore we conducted a survey of Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to provide information on the feeding ecology of killer whales. We compiled Inuit observations on killer whales and their prey items via 105 semi-directed interviews conducted in 11 eastern Nunavut communities (Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk regions) from 2007-2010. Results Results detail local knowledge of killer whale prey items, hunting behaviour, prey responses, distribution of predation events, and prey capture techniques. Inuit TEK and published literature agree that killer whales at times eat only certain parts of prey, particularly of large whales, that attacks on large whales entail relatively small groups of killer whales, and that they hunt cooperatively. Inuit observations suggest that there is little prey specialization beyond marine mammals and there are no definitive observations of fish in the diet. Inuit hunters and elders also documented the use of sea ice and shallow water as prey refugia. Conclusions By combining TEK and scientific approaches we provide a more holistic view of killer whale predation in the eastern Canadian Arctic relevant to management and policy. Continuing the long-term relationship between scientists and hunters will provide for successful knowledge integration and has resulted in considerable improvement in understanding of killer whale ecology relevant to management of prey species. Combining scientists and Inuit knowledge will assist in northerners adapting to the restructuring of the Arctic marine ecosystem associated with warming and loss of sea ice. PMID:22520955

  9. Evidence of Genetic Differentiation for Hawaii Insular False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    plausible than colonization by closely related haplotypes. The Atlantic Ocean is not well represented in this study, but the genetic differentiation...loci reveal genetic differentiation between temporally divergent migratory runs of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Mol. Ecol. 16: 4930...Schultz, Janet L. Thieleking and Daniel L. Webster EVIDENCE OF GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION FOR HAWAI I INSULAR FALSE KILLER WHALES ` (Pseudorca crassidens

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelsey, Elin

    1991-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eve Jourdain

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Wellard

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M. Hill

    2016-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robeck, Todd R; Nollens, Hendrik H

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higdon, Jeff W; Ferguson, Steven H

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Deborah Lynn

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Veirs

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    We describe the acoustic behaviour of piscivorous killer whales in Norwegian and Icelandic waters. Whales were assigned to one of three activities (feeding, travelling or other), and sound recordings were made in their proximity with a single hydrophone and a digital audiotape (DAT) recorder. A q...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-26

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-12-01

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

  13. Active echolocation beam focusing in the false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloepper, Laura N; Nachtigall, Paul E; Donahue, Megan J; Breese, Marlee

    2012-04-15

    The odontocete sound production system is highly complex and produces intense, directional signals that are thought to be focused by the melon and the air sacs. Because odontocete echolocation signals are variable and the emitted click frequency greatly affects the echolocation beam shape, investigations of beam focusing must account for frequency-related beam changes. In this study we tested whether the echolocation beam of a false killer whale changed depending on target difficulty and distance while also accounting for frequency-related changes in the echolocation beam. The data indicate that the false killer whale changes its beam size according to target distance and difficulty, which may be a strategy of maximizing the energy of the target echo. We propose that the animal is using a strategy of changing the focal region according to target distance and that this strategy is under active control.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios were measured from tissue samples of sympatric killer whale Orcinus orca lineages from the North Sea, spanning over 10 000 years. Isotopic r...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filatova, Olga A; Miller, Patrick J O

    2015-05-21

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine L Ayres

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

  17. 75 FR 2853 - False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-19

    ... members of TRTs have expertise regarding the conservation or biology of the marine mammal species that the... Mammal Commission; Paul Nachtigall, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology; David Nichols, State of Hawaii... Whale Take Reduction Team Meeting AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Olivier

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Adam

    2008-08-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durban, J W; Pitman, R L

    2012-04-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isojunno, Saana; Cure, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter Helgevold; Lam, Frans-Peter Alexander; Tyack, Peter Lloyd; Wensveen, Paul Jacobus; Miller, Patrick James O'Malley

    2016-01-01

    The time and energetic costs of behavioral responses to incidental and experimental sonar exposures, as well as control stimuli, were quantified using hidden state analysis of time series of acoustic and movement data recorded by tags (DTAG) attached to 12 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using suction cups. Behavioral state transition modeling showed that tagged whales switched to a non-foraging, non-resting state during both experimental transmissions of low-frequency active sonar from an approaching vessel (LFAS; 1-2 kHz, source level 214 dB re 1 µPa m, four tag records) and playbacks of potential predator (killer whale, Orcinus orca) sounds broadcast at naturally occurring sound levels as a positive control from a drifting boat (five tag records). Time spent in foraging states and the probability of prey capture attempts were reduced during these two types of exposures with little change in overall locomotion activity, suggesting an effect on energy intake with no immediate compensation. Whales switched to the active non-foraging state over received sound pressure levels of 131-165 dB re 1 µPa during LFAS exposure. In contrast, no changes in foraging behavior were detected in response to experimental negative controls (no-sonar ship approach or noise control playback) or to experimental medium-frequency active sonar exposures (MFAS; 6-7 kHz, source level 199 re 1 µPa m, received sound pressure level [SPL] = 73-158 dB re 1 µPa). Similarly, there was no reduction in foraging effort for three whales exposed to incidental, unidentified 4.7-5.1 kHz sonar signals received at lower levels (SPL = 89-133 dB re 1 µPa). These results demonstrate that similar to predation risk, exposure to sonar can affect functional behaviors, and indicate that increased perception of risk with higher source level or lower frequency may modulate how sperm whales respond to anthropogenic sound.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    promoting divergence. Here we use morphological traits, nitrogen stable isotope ratios and tooth wear to characterize two disparate types of North Atlantic killer whale. We find a highly specialist type, which reaches up to 8.5 m in length and a generalist type which reaches up to 6.6 m in length...... is more strongly influenced by between-individual variation rather than within-individual variation in the composition of the diet. This first step to divergent specialization on different ecological resources provides a rare example of the ecological conditions at the early stages of adaptive radiation....

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Assessment of current dietary intake of organochlorine contaminants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in killer whales (Orcinus orca) through direct determination in a group of whales in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formigaro, Costanza; Henríquez-Hernandez, Luis A; Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Garcia-Hartmann, Manuel; Camacho, María; Boada, Luis D; Zumbado, Manuel; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2014-02-15

    We determined the levels of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 19 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the plasma of captive adult killer whales and in their food. The goal of this research was the assessment of the dietary exposure of killer whales to these pollutants to gain insight on what is the actual magnitude of the exposure in this species, which is considered among the most contaminated in the planet. Plasma median ∑OCP and ∑PCB contents were 3150.3 and 7985.9 ng g(-1)l.w., respectively. A total of 78.9% of the PCBs were marker-PCBs, and 21.1% were dioxin-like PCBs (6688.7 pg g(-1)l.w. dioxin toxic equivalents). This is the first report of the blood levels of PAHs in killer whales, and their median value was 1023.1 ng g(-1)l.w. In parallel, we also determined the levels of these contaminants in the fish species that are used to feed these animals to estimate the orcas' average daily dietary intake of pollutants. All the contaminants in the fish were detected in the plasma of the killer whales, and proportionality between the intake and the blood levels was observed in all the animals. The calculated intake was extremely high for certain contaminants, which is a concern, giving a glimpse of what possibly occurs in the wild, where exposure to these contaminants can be even higher. Therefore, although many of these chemicals have been banned for decades, even today, the levels of these chemicals could reach very toxic concentrations in the tissues of these endangered animals because of their diet. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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...

  13. Change in echolocation signals with hearing loss in a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloepper, Laura N; Nachtigall, Paul E; Breese, Marlee

    2010-10-01

    The echolocation signals of a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) were collected during a wall thickness discrimination task and compared to clicks recorded during an identical experiment in 1992. During the sixteen year time period, the subject demonstrated a loss of high frequency hearing of about 70 kHz. Clicks between the two experiments were compared to investigate the effect of hearing loss on echolocation signals. There was a significant reduction in the peak frequency, center frequency and source level of clicks between the two time periods. Additionally, the subject currently produces more signals with low frequency peaks and fewer signals with high frequency peaks than she did in 1992. These results indicate the subject changed its echolocation signals to match its range of best hearing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  15. Decreased echolocation performance following high-frequency hearing loss in the false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloepper, L N; Nachtigall, P E; Gisiner, R; Breese, M

    2010-11-01

    Toothed whales and dolphins possess a hypertrophied auditory system that allows for the production and hearing of ultrasonic signals. Although the fossil record provides information on the evolution of the auditory structures found in extant odontocetes, it cannot provide information on the evolutionary pressures leading to the hypertrophied auditory system. Investigating the effect of hearing loss may provide evidence for the reason for the development of high-frequency hearing in echolocating animals by demonstrating how high-frequency hearing assists in the functioning echolocation system. The discrimination abilities of a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) were measured prior to and after documented high-frequency hearing loss. In 1992, the subject had good hearing and could hear at frequencies up to 100 kHz. In 2008, the subject had lost hearing at frequencies above 40 kHz. First in 1992, and then again in 2008, the subject performed an identical echolocation task, discriminating between machined hollow aluminum cylinder targets of differing wall thickness. Performances were recorded for individual target differences and compared between both experimental years. Performances on individual targets dropped between 1992 and 2008, with a maximum performance reduction of 36.1%. These data indicate that, with a loss in high-frequency hearing, there was a concomitant reduction in echolocation discrimination ability, and suggest that the development of a hypertrophied auditory system capable of hearing at ultrasonic frequencies evolved in response to pressures for fine-scale echolocation discrimination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dahlheim, M.E.

    1994-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) currently comprise a single, cosmopolitan species with a diverse diet. However, studies over the last 30 yr have revealed populations of sympatric "ecotypes" with discrete prey preferences, morphology, and behaviors. Although these ecotypes avoid social interactions...... as a case study, we have developed a method to readily sequence, assemble, and analyze complete mitochondrial genomes from large numbers of samples to more accurately assess phylogeography and estimate divergence times. This represents an important tool for wildlife management, not only for killer whales...... impacts and conservation needs of these important marine predators. We predict that phylogeographic mitogenomics will become an important tool for improved statistical phylogeography and more precise estimates of divergence times....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samarra, Filipa I P; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Patrick J O; Antunes, Ricardo N; Wensveen, Paul J; Samarra, Filipa I P; Alves, Ana Catarina; Tyack, Peter L; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Kleivane, Lars; Lam, Frans-Peter A; Ainslie, Michael A; Thomas, Len

    2014-02-01

    Eight experimentally controlled exposures to 1-2 kHz or 6-7 kHz sonar signals were conducted with four killer whale groups. The source level and proximity of the source were increased during each exposure in order to reveal response thresholds. Detailed inspection of movements during each exposure session revealed sustained changes in speed and travel direction judged to be avoidance responses during six of eight sessions. Following methods developed for Phase-I clinical trials in human medicine, response thresholds ranging from 94 to 164 dB re 1 μPa received sound pressure level (SPL) were fitted to Bayesian dose-response functions. Thresholds did not consistently differ by sonar frequency or whether a group had previously been exposed, with a mean SPL response threshold of 142 ± 15 dB (mean ± s.d.). High levels of between- and within-individual variability were identified, indicating that thresholds depended upon other undefined contextual variables. The dose-response functions indicate that some killer whales started to avoid sonar at received SPL below thresholds assumed by the U.S. Navy. The predicted extent of habitat over which avoidance reactions occur depends upon whether whales responded to proximity or received SPL of the sonar or both, but was large enough to raise concerns about biological consequences to the whales.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda L Bradford

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

  6. Effects of Polar Bear and Killer Whale Derived Contaminant Cocktails on Marine Mammal Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desforges, Jean-Pierre; Levin, Milton; Jasperse, Lindsay; De Guise, Sylvain; Eulaers, Igor; Letcher, Robert J; Acquarone, Mario; Nordøy, Erling; Folkow, Lars P; Hammer Jensen, Trine; Grøndahl, Carsten; Bertelsen, Mads F; St Leger, Judy; Almunia, Javier; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune

    2017-10-03

    Most controlled toxicity studies use single chemical exposures that do not represent the real world situation of complex mixtures of known and unknown natural and anthropogenic substances. In the present study, complex contaminant cocktails derived from the blubber of polar bears (PB; Ursus maritimus) and killer whales (KW; Orcinus orca) were used for in vitro concentration-response experiments with PB, cetacean and seal spp. immune cells to evaluate the effect of realistic contaminant mixtures on various immune functions. Cytotoxic effects of the PB cocktail occurred at lower concentrations than the KW cocktail (1 vs 16 μg/mL), likely due to differences in contaminant profiles in the mixtures derived from the adipose of each species. Similarly, significant reduction of lymphocyte proliferation occurred at much lower exposures in the PB cocktail (EC 50 : 0.94 vs 6.06 μg/mL; P < 0.01), whereas the KW cocktail caused a much faster decline in proliferation (slope: 2.9 vs 1.7; P = 0.04). Only the KW cocktail modulated natural killer (NK) cell activity and neutrophil and monocyte phagocytosis in a concentration- and species-dependent manner. No clear sensitivity differences emerged when comparing cetaceans, seals and PB. Our results showing lower effect levels for complex mixtures relative to single compounds suggest that previous risk assessments underestimate the effects of real world contaminant exposure on immunity. Our results using blubber-derived contaminant cocktails add realism to in vitro exposure experiments and confirm the immunotoxic risk marine mammals face from exposure to complex mixtures of environmental contaminants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-15

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

  8. Target distance-dependent variation of hearing sensitivity during echolocation in a false killer whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supin, Alexander Ya; Nachtigall, Paul E; Breese, Marlee

    2010-06-01

    Evidence of varying hearing sensitivity according to the target distance was obtained in a false killer whale Pseudorca crassidens during echolocation. Auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) triggered by echolocation clicks were recorded. The target distance varied from 1 to 6 m. The records contained AEPs to the self-heard emitted click and AEPs to the echoes. Mean level of echolocation clicks depended on distance (the longer the distance, the higher the click level), however, the effect of click level on AEP amplitude was eliminated by extracting AEPs to clicks of certain particular levels. The amplitude of the echo-provoked AEP was almost independent of distance, however, the amplitude of the AEP to the emitted click, did depend on distance within a range from 1 to 4 m: the longer the distance, the higher the amplitude. The latter result is interpreted as confirmational evidence that the animal is capable of varying hearing sensitivity according to target distance. The variation of hearing sensitivity may help to compensate for the echo attenuation with distance; as a secondary effect, this variation manifested itself in a variation of the amplitude of the AEP to emitted clicks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  11. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagua, E Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E M; Rohner, Christoph A; Prebble, Clare E M; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H; Pierce, Simon J; Berumen, Michael L

    2015-04-01

    Although whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have been documented to move thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long 'off-seasons' at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged individuals. Sightings revealed a clear seasonal pattern with a peak between October and February and no sharks observed at other times. By contrast, acoustic telemetry demonstrated year-round residency of R. typus. The sharks use a different habitat in the off-season, swimming deeper and further away from shore, presumably in response to prey distributions. This behavioural change reduces the sharks' visibility, giving the false impression that they have left the area. We demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, year-round residency of unprovisioned, individual R. typus at an aggregation site, and highlight the importance of using multiple techniques to study the movement ecology of marine megafauna. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  12. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagua, E. Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E. M.; Rohner, Christoph A.; Prebble, Clare E. M.; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H.; Pierce, Simon J.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Although whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have been documented to move thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long ‘off-seasons’ at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged individuals. Sightings revealed a clear seasonal pattern with a peak between October and February and no sharks observed at other times. By contrast, acoustic telemetry demonstrated year-round residency of R. typus. The sharks use a different habitat in the off-season, swimming deeper and further away from shore, presumably in response to prey distributions. This behavioural change reduces the sharks' visibility, giving the false impression that they have left the area. We demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, year-round residency of unprovisioned, individual R. typus at an aggregation site, and highlight the importance of using multiple techniques to study the movement ecology of marine megafauna. PMID:25832816

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morisaka, T; Connor, R C

    2007-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Ford

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D Foote

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McHugh, Brendan; Law, Robin J.; Allchin, Colin R.; Rogan, Emer; Murphy, Sinead; Foley, M. Barry; Glynn, Denise; McGovern, Evin

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-11-15

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

  4. High mercury levels in hair samples from residents of Taiji, a Japanese whaling town.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Tetsuya; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2010-05-01

    We investigated the mercury concentrations in red meat from pilot whales consumed by some residents of the Japanese whaling town, Taiji, and in hair samples from 50 residents for their maker of mercury burden. The methyl mercury (M-Hg) level in the red meat was 5.9 microg/wet g, markedly higher than the US FDA action level and Cordex Alimentarius guideline level for predatory fish (1.0 microg/wet g). The average level of total mercury (T-Hg) in the hair from residents who ate whale meat more than once a month was 24.6 microg/g, whereas the average from the residents who did not consume any whale meat was 4.3 microg/g. The T-Hg concentrations in the hair from three donors exceeded 50 microg/g, the level for NOAEL set by WHO. The T-Hg level found in the Taiji whale meat consumers was markedly higher than that observed in the Japanese population overall (about 2 microg/g). (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platto, Sara; Wang, Ding; Wang, Kexiong

    2016-11-01

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

  6. Strain-dependent susceptibility for hypertension in mice resides in the natural killer gene complex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Taherzadeh, Zhila; VanBavel, Ed; de Vos, Judith; Matlung, Hanke L.; van Montfrans, Gert; Brewster, Lizzy M.; Seghers, Leonard; Quax, Paul H. A.; Bakker, Erik N. T. P.

    2010-01-01

    Taherzadeh Z, VanBavel E, de Vos J, Matlung HL, van Montfrans G, Brewster LM, Seghers L, Quax PH, Bakker EN. Strain-dependent susceptibility for hypertension in mice resides in the natural killer gene complex. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 298: H1273-H1282, 2010. First published February 12, 2010;

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    P. 2004. Understanding culture across species. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 8, 341-346. Byrne, R. W. & Whiten, A. 1988. Macbiavellian Inteligence ...Spoken Language Processing. Sharpe, F. A. & Dill, L. M. 1997. The behavior of Pacific herring schools in response to artificial humpback whale bubbles...temporary. down towards the end. In this manuript. these signals will artificial restraint or voluntarily when they were free-ranging, be referred to as

  8. Killer whale nuclear genome and mtDNA reveal widespread population bottleneck during the last glacial maximum.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan R Reisinger

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

  14. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.

    2015-04-01

    Althoughwhale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have beendocumentedtomove thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long \\'off-seasons\\' at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged individuals. Sightings revealed a clear seasonal pattern with a peak between October and February and no sharks observed at other times. By contrast, acoustic telemetry demonstrated yearround residency of R. typus. The sharks use a different habitat in the offseason, swimming deeper and further away from shore, presumably in response to prey distributions. This behavioural change reduces the sharks\\' visibility, giving the false impression that they have left the area.We demonstrate, for the first timeto our knowledge, year-roundresidencyofunprovisioned, individual R. typus at an aggregation site, and highlight the importance of using multiple techniques to study the movement ecology of marine megafauna. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mindach, Debrah; Thomas, Jeanette

    2005-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-11-15

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 76 FR 20870 - Protective Regulations for Killer Whales in the Northwest Region Under the Endangered Species Act...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-14

    ... include stopping or reducing feeding, resting, and social interaction (Baker et al. 1983; Bauer and Herman..., and to remain on the outer side of the whales near shore. In 2008 a state law with similar language to... studies of customer attitudes that identify the features of the whale watching experience that are most...

  19. Environmental DNA (eDNA From the Wake of the Whales: Droplet Digital PCR for Detection and Species Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Scott Baker

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Genetic sampling for identification of species, subspecies or stock of whales, dolphins and porpoises at sea remains challenging. Most samples have been collected with some form of a biopsy dart requiring a close approach of a vessel while the individual is at the surface. Here we have adopted droplet digital (ddPCR technology for detection and species identification of cetaceans using environmental (eDNA collected from seawater. We conducted a series of eDNA sampling experiments during 25 encounters with killer whales, Orcinus orca, in Puget Sound (the Salish Sea. The regular habits of killer whales in these inshore waters allowed us to locate pods and collect seawater, at an initial distance of 200 m and at 15-min intervals, for up to 2 h after the passage of the whales. To optimize detection, we designed a set of oligonucleotide primers and probes to target short fragments of the mitochondrial (mtDNA control region, with a focus on identification of known killer whale ecotypes. We confirmed the potential to detect eDNA in the wake of the whales for up to 2 h, despite movement of the water mass by several kilometers due to tidal currents. Re-amplification and sequencing of the eDNA barcode confirmed that the ddPCR detection included the “southern resident community” of killer whales, consistent with the calls from hydrophone recordings and visual observations.

  20. In vivo generation of decidual natural killer cells from resident hematopoietic progenitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiossone, Laura; Vacca, Paola; Orecchia, Paola; Croxatto, Daniele; Damonte, Patrizia; Astigiano, Simonetta; Barbieri, Ottavia; Bottino, Cristina; Moretta, Lorenzo; Mingari, Maria Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Decidual natural killer cells accumulate at the fetal-maternal interface and play a key role in a successful pregnancy. However, their origin is still unknown. Do they derive from peripheral natural killer cells recruited in decidua or do they represent a distinct population that originates in situ? Here, we identified natural killer precursors in decidua and uterus of pregnant mice. These precursors underwent rapid in situ differentiation and large proportions of proliferating immature natural killer cells were present in decidua and uterus as early as gestation day 4.5. Here, we investigated the origin of decidua- and uterus-natural killer cells by performing transfer experiments of peripheral mature natural killer cells or precursors from EGFP+ mice. Results showed that mature natural killer cells did not migrate into decidua and uterus, while precursors were recruited in these organs and differentiated towards natural killer cells. Moreover, decidua- and uterus-natural killer cells displayed unique phenotypic and functional features. They expressed high levels of the activating Ly49D receptor in spite of their immature phenotype. In addition, decidua- and uterus-natural killer cells were poorly cytolytic and produced low amounts of IFN-γ, while they released factors (GM-CSF, VEGF, IP-10) involved in neo-angiogenesis and tissue remodeling. Our data reveal in situ generation of decidual natural killer cells and provide an important correlation between mouse and human decidual natural killer cells, allowing further studies to be carried out on their role in pregnancy-related diseases. PMID:24179150

  1. 50 CFR 226.206 - Critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ..., Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Island, Mason, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom. Critical.... marine waters in Whatcom and San Juan counties; and all marine waters in Skagit County west and north of...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Florencia Grandi

    2012-11-01

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

  3. Feeding the world's largest fish: highly variable whale shark residency patterns at a provisioning site in the Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Jordan A; Araujo, Gonzalo; Labaja, Jessica; McCoy, Emer; Murray, Ryan; Ponzo, Alessandro

    2017-09-01

    Provisioning wildlife for tourism is a controversial yet widespread practice. We analysed the residency patterns of juvenile whale sharks ( Rhincodon typus ) in Oslob, Philippines, where provisioning has facilitated a large shark-watching operation since 2011. We identified 208 individual sharks over three years, with an average of 18.6 (s.d. = 7.8, range = 6-43) individuals sighted per week. Weekly shark abundance varied seasonally and peak-season abundance (approx. May-November) increased across years. Whale sharks displayed diverse individual site visitation patterns ranging from a single visit to sporadic visits, seasonal residency and year-round residency. Nine individuals became year-round residents, which represents a clear response to provisioning. The timing of the seasonal peak at Oslob did not align with known non-provisioned seasonal aggregations elsewhere in the Philippines, which could suggest that seasonal residents at Oslob exploit this food source when prey availability at alternative sites is low. Since prolonged residency equates to less time foraging naturally, provisioning could influence foraging success, alter distributions and lead to dependency in later life stages. Such impacts must be carefully weighed against the benefits of provisioning (i.e. tourism revenue in a remote community) to facilitate informed management decisions.

  4. Whale shark (Rhincodon typus seasonal presence, residence time and habitat use at darwin island, galapagos marine reserve.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Acuña-Marrero

    Full Text Available The life history of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus, including its reproductive ecology, still remains largely unknown. Here, we present results from the first whale shark population study around Darwin Island, Galapagos Marine Reserve. Following a diversified approach we characterized seasonal occurrence, population structure and size, and described habitat use of whale sharks based on fine scale movements around the island. Whale shark presence at Darwin Island was negatively correlated with Sea Surface Temperature (SST, with highest abundance corresponding to a cool season between July and December over six years of monitoring. From 2011 to 2013 we photo-identified 82 whale sharks ranging from 4 to 13.1 m Total Length (TL. Size distribution was bimodal, with a great majority (91.5% of adult female individuals averaging 11.35 m±0.12 m (TL±SE, all but one showing signs of a potential pregnancy. Population dynamics models for apparently pregnant sharks estimated the presence of 3.76±0.90 (mean ± SE sharks in the study area per day with an individual residence time of 2.09±0.51 (mean ± SE days. Movement patterns analysis of four apparently pregnant individuals tracked with acoustic tags at Darwin Island revealed an intense use of Darwin's Arch, where no feeding or specific behavior has been recorded, together with periodic excursions around the island's vicinity. Sharks showed a preference for intermediate depths (20-30 m with occasional dives mostly to mid-water, remaining the majority of their time at water temperatures between 24-25°C. All of our results point to Darwin Island as an important stopover in a migration, possibly with reproductive purposes, rather than an aggregation site. Current studies carried out in this area to investigate regional scale movement patterns may provide essential information about possible pupping grounds for this enigmatic species.

  5. Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) Seasonal Presence, Residence Time and Habitat Use at Darwin Island, Galapagos Marine Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acuña-Marrero, David; Jiménez, Jesús; Smith, Franz; Doherty, Paul F.; Hearn, Alex; Green, Jonathan R.; Paredes-Jarrín, Jules; Salinas-de-León, Pelayo

    2014-01-01

    The life history of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), including its reproductive ecology, still remains largely unknown. Here, we present results from the first whale shark population study around Darwin Island, Galapagos Marine Reserve. Following a diversified approach we characterized seasonal occurrence, population structure and size, and described habitat use of whale sharks based on fine scale movements around the island. Whale shark presence at Darwin Island was negatively correlated with Sea Surface Temperature (SST), with highest abundance corresponding to a cool season between July and December over six years of monitoring. From 2011 to 2013 we photo-identified 82 whale sharks ranging from 4 to 13.1 m Total Length (TL). Size distribution was bimodal, with a great majority (91.5%) of adult female individuals averaging 11.35 m±0.12 m (TL±SE), all but one showing signs of a potential pregnancy. Population dynamics models for apparently pregnant sharks estimated the presence of 3.76±0.90 (mean ± SE) sharks in the study area per day with an individual residence time of 2.09±0.51 (mean ± SE) days. Movement patterns analysis of four apparently pregnant individuals tracked with acoustic tags at Darwin Island revealed an intense use of Darwin's Arch, where no feeding or specific behavior has been recorded, together with periodic excursions around the island's vicinity. Sharks showed a preference for intermediate depths (20–30 m) with occasional dives mostly to mid-water, remaining the majority of their time at water temperatures between 24–25°C. All of our results point to Darwin Island as an important stopover in a migration, possibly with reproductive purposes, rather than an aggregation site. Current studies carried out in this area to investigate regional scale movement patterns may provide essential information about possible pupping grounds for this enigmatic species. PMID:25551553

  6. Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) seasonal presence, residence time and habitat use at darwin island, galapagos marine reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acuña-Marrero, David; Jiménez, Jesús; Smith, Franz; Doherty, Paul F; Hearn, Alex; Green, Jonathan R; Paredes-Jarrín, Jules; Salinas-de-León, Pelayo

    2014-01-01

    The life history of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), including its reproductive ecology, still remains largely unknown. Here, we present results from the first whale shark population study around Darwin Island, Galapagos Marine Reserve. Following a diversified approach we characterized seasonal occurrence, population structure and size, and described habitat use of whale sharks based on fine scale movements around the island. Whale shark presence at Darwin Island was negatively correlated with Sea Surface Temperature (SST), with highest abundance corresponding to a cool season between July and December over six years of monitoring. From 2011 to 2013 we photo-identified 82 whale sharks ranging from 4 to 13.1 m Total Length (TL). Size distribution was bimodal, with a great majority (91.5%) of adult female individuals averaging 11.35 m±0.12 m (TL±SE), all but one showing signs of a potential pregnancy. Population dynamics models for apparently pregnant sharks estimated the presence of 3.76±0.90 (mean ± SE) sharks in the study area per day with an individual residence time of 2.09±0.51 (mean ± SE) days. Movement patterns analysis of four apparently pregnant individuals tracked with acoustic tags at Darwin Island revealed an intense use of Darwin's Arch, where no feeding or specific behavior has been recorded, together with periodic excursions around the island's vicinity. Sharks showed a preference for intermediate depths (20-30 m) with occasional dives mostly to mid-water, remaining the majority of their time at water temperatures between 24-25°C. All of our results point to Darwin Island as an important stopover in a migration, possibly with reproductive purposes, rather than an aggregation site. Current studies carried out in this area to investigate regional scale movement patterns may provide essential information about possible pupping grounds for this enigmatic species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Inés Zylber

    2002-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  9. Population structure and residency patterns of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, at a provisioning site in Cebu, Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonzalo Araujo

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study represents the first description of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, occurring at a provisioning site in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines. Frequent observations of sharks are often difficult, even at tourism sites, giving rise to provisioning activities to attract them. The present study provides repeated longitudinal data at a site where daily provisioning activities took place, and whale sharks were present every day. A total of 158 individual whale sharks were photographically identified between Mar 2012 and Dec 2013, with 129 males (82%, 19 females (12% and 10 (6% of undetermined sex. Mean estimated total length was 5.5 m (±1.3 m S.D.. Twenty individuals were measured with laser photogrammetry to validate researchers’ estimated sizes, yielding a good correlation (r2 = 0.83. Fifty-four (34% individuals were observed being hand-fed by local fishermen (provisioned, through in-water behavioural observations. Maximum likelihood methods were used to model mean residency time of 44.9 days (±20.6 days S.E. for provisioned R. typus contrasting with 22.4 days (±8.9 days S.E. for non-provisioned individuals. Propeller scars were observed in 47% of the animals. A mean of 12.7 (±4.3 S.D. R. typus were present in the survey area daily, with a maximum of 26 individuals (Aug 10 2013 and a minimum of 2 (Dec 6 2012. Twelve (8% individuals were seen on at least 50% of survey days (n = 621, with a maximum residency of 572 days for one individual (P-396. Twenty four individuals were photographically identified across regional hotsposts, highlighting the species’ migratory nature and distribution. Extended residency and differences in lagged identification rates suggest behavioural modification on provisioned individuals, underlying the necessity for proper management of this tourism activity.

  10. Population structure and residency patterns of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, at a provisioning site in Cebu, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araujo, Gonzalo; Lucey, Anna; Labaja, Jessica; So, Catherine Lee; Snow, Sally; Ponzo, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    This study represents the first description of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, occurring at a provisioning site in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines. Frequent observations of sharks are often difficult, even at tourism sites, giving rise to provisioning activities to attract them. The present study provides repeated longitudinal data at a site where daily provisioning activities took place, and whale sharks were present every day. A total of 158 individual whale sharks were photographically identified between Mar 2012 and Dec 2013, with 129 males (82%), 19 females (12%) and 10 (6%) of undetermined sex. Mean estimated total length was 5.5 m (±1.3 m S.D.). Twenty individuals were measured with laser photogrammetry to validate researchers' estimated sizes, yielding a good correlation (r (2) = 0.83). Fifty-four (34%) individuals were observed being hand-fed by local fishermen (provisioned), through in-water behavioural observations. Maximum likelihood methods were used to model mean residency time of 44.9 days (±20.6 days S.E.) for provisioned R. typus contrasting with 22.4 days (±8.9 days S.E.) for non-provisioned individuals. Propeller scars were observed in 47% of the animals. A mean of 12.7 (±4.3 S.D.) R. typus were present in the survey area daily, with a maximum of 26 individuals (Aug 10 2013) and a minimum of 2 (Dec 6 2012). Twelve (8%) individuals were seen on at least 50% of survey days (n = 621), with a maximum residency of 572 days for one individual (P-396). Twenty four individuals were photographically identified across regional hotsposts, highlighting the species' migratory nature and distribution. Extended residency and differences in lagged identification rates suggest behavioural modification on provisioned individuals, underlying the necessity for proper management of this tourism activity.

  11. Population structure and residency patterns of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, at a provisioning site in Cebu, Philippines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucey, Anna; Labaja, Jessica; So, Catherine Lee; Snow, Sally; Ponzo, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    This study represents the first description of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, occurring at a provisioning site in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines. Frequent observations of sharks are often difficult, even at tourism sites, giving rise to provisioning activities to attract them. The present study provides repeated longitudinal data at a site where daily provisioning activities took place, and whale sharks were present every day. A total of 158 individual whale sharks were photographically identified between Mar 2012 and Dec 2013, with 129 males (82%), 19 females (12%) and 10 (6%) of undetermined sex. Mean estimated total length was 5.5 m (±1.3 m S.D.). Twenty individuals were measured with laser photogrammetry to validate researchers’ estimated sizes, yielding a good correlation (r2 = 0.83). Fifty-four (34%) individuals were observed being hand-fed by local fishermen (provisioned), through in-water behavioural observations. Maximum likelihood methods were used to model mean residency time of 44.9 days (±20.6 days S.E.) for provisioned R. typus contrasting with 22.4 days (±8.9 days S.E.) for non-provisioned individuals. Propeller scars were observed in 47% of the animals. A mean of 12.7 (±4.3 S.D.) R. typus were present in the survey area daily, with a maximum of 26 individuals (Aug 10 2013) and a minimum of 2 (Dec 6 2012). Twelve (8%) individuals were seen on at least 50% of survey days (n = 621), with a maximum residency of 572 days for one individual (P-396). Twenty four individuals were photographically identified across regional hotsposts, highlighting the species’ migratory nature and distribution. Extended residency and differences in lagged identification rates suggest behavioural modification on provisioned individuals, underlying the necessity for proper management of this tourism activity. PMID:25279256

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-11-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. DTAGs SRKW - Using DTAGs to study vessel sound exposure & effects on behavior in southern resident killer whales

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Drs. Marla Holt, Brad Hanson, and Candice Emmons of the NWFSC, along with collaborators from Cascadia Research Collective and UC Davis, are currently conducting a...

  16. 75 FR 17377 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Southern Resident Killer Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-06

    ... list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plant species at 50 CFR 17.11 (for animals) and 17.12... endangered nor threatened for one or more of the following reasons: (1) the species is considered extinct; (2...

  17. Tissue-resident natural killer (NK) cells are cell lineages distinct from thymic and conventional splenic NK cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sojka, Dorothy K; Plougastel-Douglas, Beatrice; Yang, Liping; Pak-Wittel, Melissa A; Artyomov, Maxim N; Ivanova, Yulia; Zhong, Chao; Chase, Julie M; Rothman, Paul B; Yu, Jenny; Riley, Joan K; Zhu, Jinfang; Tian, Zhigang; Yokoyama, Wayne M

    2014-01-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells belong to the innate immune system; they can control virus infections and developing tumors by cytotoxicity and producing inflammatory cytokines. Most studies of mouse NK cells, however, have focused on conventional NK (cNK) cells in the spleen. Recently, we described two populations of liver NK cells, tissue-resident NK (trNK) cells and those resembling splenic cNK cells. However, their lineage relationship was unclear; trNK cells could be developing cNK cells, related to thymic NK cells, or a lineage distinct from both cNK and thymic NK cells. Herein we used detailed transcriptomic, flow cytometric, and functional analysis and transcription factor-deficient mice to determine that liver trNK cells form a distinct lineage from cNK and thymic NK cells. Taken together with analysis of trNK cells in other tissues, there are at least four distinct lineages of NK cells: cNK, thymic, liver (and skin) trNK, and uterine trNK cells. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01659.001 PMID:24714492

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seely, Elizabeth; Osborne, Richard W; Koski, Kari; Larson, Shawn

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Seely

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

  20. 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

  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. Tagging and Playback Studies to Toothed Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    stranding has not been elucidated. We now know that beaked whales react strongly to sonar, killer whale, and bandlimited noise by ceasing echolocation and...depths, where light is likely of little importance, this could be achieved through active echolocation or mediated through communication signals. A...doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00587.x [published, refereed] 9 Fenton BMB, Jensen FH, Kalko EKV, Tyack PL. (book chapter) Sonar Signals of Bats and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

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

  5. Cultural Hitchhiking in the Matrilineal Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal; Vachon, Felicia; Frasier, Timothy R

    2017-05-01

    Five species of whale with matrilineal social systems (daughters remain with mothers) have remarkably low levels of mitochondrial DNA diversity. Non-heritable matriline-level demography could reduce genetic diversity but the required conditions are not consistent with the natural histories of the matrilineal whales. The diversity of nuclear microsatellites is little reduced in the matrilineal whales arguing against bottlenecks. Selective sweeps of the mitochondrial genome are feasible causes but it is not clear why these only occurred in the matrilineal species. Cultural hitchhiking (cultural selection reducing diversity at neutral genetic loci transmitted in parallel to the culture) is supported in sperm whales which possess suitable matrilineal socio-cultural groups (coda clans). Killer whales are delineated into ecotypes which likely originated culturally. Culture, bottlenecks and selection, as well as their interactions, operating between- or within-ecotypes, may have reduced their mitochondrial diversity. The societies, cultures and genetics of false killer and two pilot whale species are insufficiently known to assess drivers of low mitochondrial diversity.

  6. Sound production by singing humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  7. 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.

    2011-01-01

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Whales before whaling in the North Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roman, Joe; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2003-07-25

    It is well known that hunting dramatically reduced all baleen whale populations, yet reliable estimates of former whale abundances are elusive. Based on coalescent models for mitochondrial DNA sequence variation, the genetic diversity of North Atlantic whales suggests population sizes of approximately 240,000 humpback, 360,000 fin, and 265,000 minke whales. Estimates for fin and humpback whales are far greater than those previously calculated for prewhaling populations and 6 to 20 times higher than present-day population estimates. Such discrepancies suggest the need for a quantitative reevaluation of historical whale populations and a fundamental revision in our conception of the natural state of the oceans.

  12. Estimating the Impact of Whaling on Global Whale Watching

    OpenAIRE

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

    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...

  13. 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...

  14. 75 FR 68757 - Marine Mammals; File No. 781-1824

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

    ... whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW, Orcinus orca... the abundance, distribution, movement patterns, habitat use, contaminant levels, prey, behavior...

  15. Gene-culture coevolution in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-07-24

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

  16. Gene–culture coevolution in whales and dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Quantifying the energy stores of capital breeding humpback whales and income breeding sperm whales using historical whaling records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, Lyn G; Thums, Michele; Hanson, Christine E; McMahon, Clive R; Hindell, Mark A

    2017-03-01

    Cetacean energy stores are known to vary according to life history, reproductive status and time of year; however, the opportunity to quantify these relationships is rare. Using a unique set of historical whaling records from Western Australia (1952-1963), we investigated energy stores of large cetaceans with differing life histories, and quantified the relationship between total body lipid and length for humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae) ( n  = 905) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) ( n  = 1961). We found that total body lipid increased with body length in both humpback and sperm whales, consistent with size-related energy stores. Male humpback whales stored 2.49 kl (15.6 barrels) (31.9-74.9%) more lipid than male sperm whales of equivalent length, to fuel their annual migration. Relative lipid stores of sperm whales (males) were constant throughout the year, while those of humpback whales varied with reproductive class and sampling date. Pregnant female humpback whales had higher relative energy stores than non-pregnant females and males (26.2% and 37.4%, respectively), to fuel the energy demands of gestation and lactation. Those that reached the sampling site later ( en route to their breeding grounds) carried higher lipid stores than those that arrived earlier, possibly reflecting individual variation in residency times in the Antarctic feeding grounds. Importantly, longer pregnant females had relatively larger energy stores than the shorter pregnant females, indicating that the smaller individuals may experience higher levels of energetic stress during the migration fast. The relationships we developed between body lipid and length can be used to inform bioenergetics and ecosystem models when such detailed information is not available.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Pirotta

    2017-12-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Seon Kim

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

  2. The assessment of cytotoxic T cell and natural killer cells activity in residents of high and ordinary background radiation areas of Ramsar-Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sajad Borzoueisileh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The effective radiation dose of human from natural sources is about 2.4 mSv/y and the dose limit for radiation workers is 20 mSv/y. Ramsar, a city in Iran, has been the subject of concern in the last forty years for a high level of radiation measured in some spots as high as 260 mSv/y. Carcinogenesis is one of the most studied effects of radiation especially in high doses. Recent studies showed that the high level of natural radiation received by inhabitants of this area, paradoxically don′t have significant health effect. Natural killer (NK cells and cytotoxic T cells are the most important cells in tumor immune surveillance and CD107a is a widely expressed intracellular protein located in the lysosomal/endosomal membrane. CD107a transiently located on the cell membrane can be used as a marker of CD8 + T cell degranulation following stimulation. It is also expressed, to a lower extent, on activated NK cells. In this study, 60 healthy people were selected randomly and their consent obtained and confounding factors such as sex, age, life-styles was matched then the count of activated NK and CD8 + cells was compared in high and normal background radiation areas inhabitants of Ramsar. After filling the questionnaire and measurement of background radiation, blood samples of 30 healthy people from each region were analyzed immediately by means of flowcytometry. The leukocytes and their subsets were not significantly different between two groups and the count of active cells was higher in control group. The result shows that the changes in immune system occur due to radiation and maybe it is as a result of higher radiosensitivity of activated cells.

  3. 77 FR 45508 - Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-01

    ... (Balaenoptera physalus); Sperm whales (Physter macrocephalus); Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca..., 2012. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, performing the functions and...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 77 FR 21540 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-10

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

  6. 75 FR 10223 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-05

    ...: 2010-4684] DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XN25 Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... whales. SUMMARY: NMFS provides notification of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead...

  7. 76 FR 16388 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-26

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

  9. Near-Real-Time Acoustic Monitoring of Beaked Whales and Other Cetaceans Using a Seaglider(TM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-18

    S, et al. (2008) Temporal patterns in the acoustic signals of beaked whales at Cross Seamount . Biology Letters 4: 208–211. 29. McDonald MA, Hildebrand...Satellite tracking reveals distinct movement patterns for Type B and Type C killer whales in the southern Ross Sea, Antarctica. Polar Biology 31: 1461...Volume 7 | Issue 5 | e36128 the 15th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. 10 p. 22. Aschettino JM

  10. Killer "Killer Examples" for Design Patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard; Alphonce, Carl; Decker, Adrienne

    2007-01-01

    Giving students an appreciation of the benefits of using design patterns and an ability to use them effectively in developing code presents several interesting pedagogical challenges. This paper discusses pedagogical lessons learned at the "Killer Examples" for Design Patterns and Objects First...... series of workshops held at the Object Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications (OOPSLA) conference over the past four years. It also showcases three "killer examples" which can be used to support the teaching of design patterns....

  11. 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...

  12. Hearing Loss in Stranded Odontocete Dolphins and Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, David; Hill-Cook, Mandy; Manire, Charles; Greenhow, Danielle; Montie, Eric; Powell, Jessica; Wells, Randall; Bauer, Gordon; Cunningham-Smith, Petra; Lingenfelser, Robert; DiGiovanni, Robert; Stone, Abigale; Brodsky, Micah; Stevens, Robert; Kieffer, George; Hoetjes, Paul

    2010-01-01

    The causes of dolphin and whale stranding can often be difficult to determine. Because toothed whales rely on echolocation for orientation and feeding, hearing deficits could lead to stranding. We report on the results of auditory evoked potential measurements from eight species of odontocete cetaceans that were found stranded or severely entangled in fishing gear during the period 2004 through 2009. Approximately 57% of the bottlenose dolphins and 36% of the rough-toothed dolphins had significant hearing deficits with a reduction in sensitivity equivalent to severe (70–90 dB) or profound (>90 dB) hearing loss in humans. The only stranded short-finned pilot whale examined had profound hearing loss. No impairments were detected in seven Risso's dolphins from three different stranding events, two pygmy killer whales, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, one spinner dolphin, or a juvenile Gervais' beaked whale. Hearing impairment could play a significant role in some cetacean stranding events, and the hearing of all cetaceans in rehabilitation should be tested. PMID:21072206

  13. Hearing loss in stranded odontocete dolphins and whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mann

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

  14. 76 FR 14299 - Listing Endangered and Threatened Species: Correction To Codify in the Code of Federal...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-16

    ... Federal Regulations to identify the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) distinct population... Sec. 224.101, paragraph (b), add ``Killer whale (Orcinus orca), Southern Resident distinct population... including Southern Resident killer whales placed in captivity prior to listing or their captive born progeny...

  15. Suicide in serial killers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, David; White, John

    2010-02-01

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

  16. The killer tides

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Devassy, V.P.; Bhat, S.R.

    Toxic red tide is a disastrous phenomenon causEd. by sudden blooming of certain killer microorganisms often encountered in the seas. Certain killer red tides have caused wide-spread losses to human life and to the fishing industry at several places...

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  1. The Gray whale: Eschrichtius robustus

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    1984-01-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. Killer whale at-sea density off California

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  4. The safety of bycatch: South Korean responses to the moratorium on commercial whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Tatar

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available When the global moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented in 1986, Korea prohibited whaling; however, there was no effort to build the capacity of social institutions to guide local residents to cooperate with the policy. Utilizing a social ecology approach, this research examines the practice of eating whale meat in Ulsan, South Korea, to illustrate the importance of culture for attaining the social acceptance of wildlife conservation policy. The cultural models which influence the consumption of whale meat are here classified as representing four distinct responses to the moratorium: opposition, resistance, evasion and support. The two most important changes are the public utilization of whale meat as a symbol of an endangered culture, and the reliance on meat procured legally from accidental entanglements of whales in fishing nets (cetacean bycatch. These cultural changes have a social function, which is to impart legitimacy and acceptance to the continued consumption of whale meat, from illegal as well as legal sources. Given the cultural acceptance of whale meat, I argue that it will not be possible to eradicate the illegal market through enforcement alone. Instead, the solution is to persuade local consumers of whale meat to cooperate with the moratorium.

  5. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Is it ‘boom times’ for baleen whales in the Pacific Arctic region?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The marine ecosystem in the Pacific Arctic region has experienced dramatic transformation, most obvious by the loss of sea ice volume (75%), late-summer areal extent (50%) and change in phenology (four to six weeks longer open-water period). This alteration has resulted in an opening of habitat for subarctic species of baleen whales, many of which are recovering in number from severe depletions from commercial whaling in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Specifically, humpback, fin and minke whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, Balaenoptera physalus and Balaenoptera acutorostrata) are now regularly reported during summer and autumn in the southern Chukchi Sea. These predators of zooplankton and forage fishes join the seasonally resident grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) and the arctic-endemic bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) in the expanding open-ocean habitat of the Pacific Arctic. Questions arising include: (i) what changes in whale-prey production and delivery mechanisms have accompanied the loss of sea ice, and (ii) how are these five baleen whale species partitioning the expanding ice-free habitat? While there has been no programme of research specifically focused on these questions, an examination of seasonal occurrence, foraging plasticity and (for bowhead whales) body condition suggests that the current state of Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem may be ‘boom times’ for baleen whales. These favourable conditions may be moderated, however, by future shifts in ecosystem structure and/or negative impacts to cetaceans related to increased commercial activities in the region. PMID:27601724

  7. Sperm whale clicks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Janet

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Grass and weed killer poisoning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Biology Myth-Killers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampert, Evan

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Acoustically derived growth rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in Kaikoura, New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Growcott, Abraham; Slooten, Elisabeth; Dawson, Stephen M

    2013-09-01

    A non-invasive acoustic method for measuring the growth of sperm whales was developed based on estimating the length of individuals by measuring the inter-pulse interval (IPI) of their clicks. Most prior knowledge of growth in male sperm whales has come from from fitting growth curves to length data gained from whaling. Recordings made at Kaikoura, New Zealand, were used to estimate the length and growth of 32 photographically identified, resident whales that have been recorded repeatedly between 1991 and 2009. All whales recorded more than six months apart (n = 30) showed an increase in IPI. Using established relationships between IPI and total length, it was found that the average growth rate in the Kaikoura population is lower, especially for smaller whales (13-14.5 m), than that derived from historical whaling data from other populations. This difference may be due to ecological differences among populations but might also reflect upward bias in measurements gained in whaling. The ability to track growth of individuals through time is only possible via non-lethal means and offers a fundamentally different kind of data because differences among individuals can be measured.

  15. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. A whale of a problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

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

  20. 50 CFR 230.8 - Reporting by whaling captains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Reporting by whaling captains. 230.8... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WHALING WHALING PROVISIONS § 230.8 Reporting by whaling captains. (a) The relevant Native American whaling organization shall require each whaling captain licensed pursuant to § 230...

  1. 50 CFR 230.4 - Aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  2. Photodynamic Treatment of Tumor with Bacteria Expressing KillerRed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Libo; Kanada, Masamitsu; Zhang, Jinyan; Okazaki, Shigetoshi; Terakawa, Susumu

    2015-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment modality in which a photosensitizing dye is administered and exposed to light to kill tumor cells via the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A fundamental obstacle for PDT is the low specificity for staining solid tumors with dyes. Recently, a tumor targeting system guided by anaerobic bacteria was proposed for tumor imaging and treatment. Here, we explore the feasibility of the genetically encoded photosensitizer KillerRed, which is expressed in Escherichia coli, to treat tumors. Using nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT), we detected a lengthy ROS diffusion from the bodies of KillerRed-expressing bacteria in vitro, which demonstrated the feasibility of using bacteria to eradicate cells in their surroundings. In nude mice, Escherichia coli (E. coli) expressing KillerRed (KR-E. coli) were subcutaneously injected into xenografts comprising CNE2 cells, a human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line, and HeLa cells, a human cervical carcinoma cell line. KR-E. coli seemed to proliferate rapidly in the tumors as observed under an imaging system. When the intensity of fluorescence increased and the fluorescent area became as large as the tumor one day after KR-E. coli injection, the KR-E. coli-bearing tumor was irradiated with an orange light (λ = 540-580 nm). In all cases, the tumors became necrotic the next day and were completely eliminated in a few days. No necrosis was observed after the irradiation of tumors injected with a vehicle solution or a vehicle carrying the E. coli without KillerRed. In successfully treated mice, no tumor recurrence was observed for more than two months. E. coli genetically engineered for KillerRed expression are highly promising for the diagnosis and treatment of tumors when the use of bacteria in patients is cleared for infection safety.

  3. Photodynamic Treatment of Tumor with Bacteria Expressing KillerRed.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Libo Yan

    Full Text Available Photodynamic therapy (PDT is a cancer treatment modality in which a photosensitizing dye is administered and exposed to light to kill tumor cells via the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS. A fundamental obstacle for PDT is the low specificity for staining solid tumors with dyes. Recently, a tumor targeting system guided by anaerobic bacteria was proposed for tumor imaging and treatment. Here, we explore the feasibility of the genetically encoded photosensitizer KillerRed, which is expressed in Escherichia coli, to treat tumors. Using nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT, we detected a lengthy ROS diffusion from the bodies of KillerRed-expressing bacteria in vitro, which demonstrated the feasibility of using bacteria to eradicate cells in their surroundings. In nude mice, Escherichia coli (E. coli expressing KillerRed (KR-E. coli were subcutaneously injected into xenografts comprising CNE2 cells, a human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line, and HeLa cells, a human cervical carcinoma cell line. KR-E. coli seemed to proliferate rapidly in the tumors as observed under an imaging system. When the intensity of fluorescence increased and the fluorescent area became as large as the tumor one day after KR-E. coli injection, the KR-E. coli-bearing tumor was irradiated with an orange light (λ = 540-580 nm. In all cases, the tumors became necrotic the next day and were completely eliminated in a few days. No necrosis was observed after the irradiation of tumors injected with a vehicle solution or a vehicle carrying the E. coli without KillerRed. In successfully treated mice, no tumor recurrence was observed for more than two months. E. coli genetically engineered for KillerRed expression are highly promising for the diagnosis and treatment of tumors when the use of bacteria in patients is cleared for infection safety.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cory JD Matthews

    2014-11-01

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

  5. Gray Whale Population Count Data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Objective 1 Costidis, A.M. and Rommel, S.A. (2016a) The Extracranial Arterial System in the Heads of Beaked Whales, with Implications on Diving Physiology ...Beaked Whales, with Implications on Diving Physiology and Pathogenesis (In press: Journal of Morphology). Objective 2 Owing to the preliminary nature...modeling (e.g. diving nitrogen kinetics) research can evolve. To conduct a preliminary histologic examination of tissues associated with the

  7. 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.

  8. Natural killer cells in psoriasis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Tobin, A M

    2012-02-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-13

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Whaling. 12.30 Section 12.30 Customs Duties U.S... OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation of... Regulation of Whaling signed at Washington under date of December 2, 1946 (Publication No. 3383, Department...

  16. 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

  17. Modelling the past and future of whales and whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott Baker, C; Clapham, Phillip J

    2004-07-01

    Historical reconstruction of the population dynamics of whales before, during and after exploitation is crucial to marine ecological restoration and for the consideration of future commercial whaling. Population dynamic models used by the International Whaling Commission require historical catch records, estimates of intrinsic rates of increase and current abundance, all of which are subject to considerable uncertainty. Population genetic parameters can be used for independent estimates of historical demography, but also have large uncertainty, particularly for rates of mutational substitution and gene flow. At present, demographic and genetic estimates of pre-exploitation abundance differ by an order of magnitude and, consequently, suggest vastly different baselines for judging recovery. Here, we review these two approaches and suggest the need for a synthetic analytical framework to evaluate uncertainty in key parameters. Such a framework could have broad application to modelling both historical and contemporary population dynamics in other exploited species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-15

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

  19. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  20. Behavioural effects of exposure to underwater explosions in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Todd, S.; Lien, J.; Marques, F. [Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland, St. John`s, NF (Canada); Stevick, P. [College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME (United States); Ketten, D. [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Medical School

    1996-09-01

    Findings of a study of high rate of entrapment in nets of humpback whales off the coast of northeastern Newfoundland in 1991-92 were reported. The entrapments took place in the southern portion of Trinity Bay, a site associated with construction operations, including explosions and drilling, that was assumed to have modified the underwater acoustic environment. Results indicated few behavioural reactions to detonations by the whales when measured in terms of decreased residency, overall movements, or general behaviour. However, there is tentative evidence that the increased entrapment rate may have been influenced by the long-term effects of exposure to abnormally high sound levels. 46 refs.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Arndt, Ursula Maria

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Characterization of 25 microsatellite loci in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huebinger, Ryan M; Patton, John C; George, J Craig; Suydam, Robert; Louis, Edward E; Bickham, John W

    2008-05-01

    Bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) experienced a severe demographic population bottleneck caused by commercial whaling that ceased in 1914. Aboriginal subsistence whale harvests have continued and are managed by the International Whaling Commission. In an effort to provide management advice for bowhead whales, 25 microsatellite loci were isolated from genomic DNA libraries. This panel of markers will be utilized to analyse stock structure hypotheses of current bowhead whale populations. © 2007 The Authors.

  3. British whaling policy in the 1970s

    OpenAIRE

    Sanada, Yasuhiro

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Studying Fin Whales with Seafloor Seismic Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  5. Tread-water feeding of Bryde's whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Takashi; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Thongsukdee, Surasak; Cherdsukjai, Phaothep; Adulyanukosol, Kanjana; Sato, Katsufumi

    2017-11-06

    Many previous studies have shown that rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae), including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whale (B. physalus), sei whale (B. borealis), Bryde's whale (B. edeni), minke whale (B. acutorostrata), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), employ a strategy called lunge feeding to capture a large amount of krill and/or fish for nourishment [1]. Lunge feeding entails a high energetic cost due to the drag created by an open mouth at high speeds [1,2]. In the upper Gulf of Thailand, Bryde's whales, which feed on small fish species [3], predominantly anchovies, demonstrated a range of feeding behaviors such as oblique, vertical, and lateral lunging. Moreover, they displayed a novel head-lifting feeding behavior characterized by holding the vertical posture for several seconds with an open mouth at the water surface. This study describes the head-lifting feeding by Bryde's whales, which is distinct from the typical lunge feeding of rorqual whales. Whales showing this behavior were observed on 58 occasions, involving 31 whales and including eight adult-calf pairs. Whales caught their prey using a series of coordinated movements: (i) lifting the head above the water with a closed mouth, (ii) opening the mouth until the lower jaw contacted the sea surface, which created a current of water flowing into the mouth, (iii) holding their position for several seconds, (iv) waiting for the prey to enter the mouth, and (v) closing the mouth and engulfing the prey underwater (Figure 1A-F, Movie S1 in Supplemental Information published with this article online). When a whale kept its upper jaw above the sea surface, many anchovies in the targeted shoal appeared to lose orientation and flowed passively into the mouth of the whale by the current created by the lower mandible breaking the surface of the water. We measured the duration of feeding events when the whales had a wide-open mouth mostly above the sea surface. The mean and maximum feeding

  6. The ecological connectivity of whale shark aggregations in the Indian Ocean: a photo-identification approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeuwig, Jessica; Rowat, David; Pierce, Simon; Davies, Tim; Fisher, Rebecca; Meekan, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Genetic and modelling studies suggest that seasonal aggregations of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) at coastal sites in the tropics may be linked by migration. Here, we used photo-identification (photo-ID) data collected by both citizen scientists and researchers to assess the connectedness of five whale shark aggregation sites across the entire Indian Ocean at timescales of up to a decade. We used the semi-automated program I3S (Individual Interactive Identification System) to compare photographs of the unique natural marking patterns of individual whale sharks collected from aggregations at Mozambique, the Seychelles, the Maldives, Christmas Island (Australia) and Ningaloo Reef (Australia). From a total of 6519 photos, we found no evidence of connectivity of whale shark aggregations at ocean-basin scales within the time frame of the study and evidence for only limited connectivity at regional (hundreds to thousands of kilometres) scales. A male whale shark photographed in January 2010 at Mozambique was resighted eight months later in the Seychelles and was the only one of 1724 individuals in the database to be photographed at more than one site. On average, 35% of individuals were resighted at the same site in more than one year. A Monte Carlo simulation study showed that the power of this photo-ID approach to document patterns of emigration and immigration was strongly dependent on both the number of individuals identified in aggregations and the size of resident populations. PMID:28018629

  7. Worldwide structure of mtDNA diversity among Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris): implications for threatened populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalebout, Merel L; Robertson, Kelly M; Frantzis, Alexandros; Engelhaupt, Dan; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A; Rosario-Delestre, Raul J; Baker, C Scott

    2005-10-01

    We present the first description of phylogeographic structure among Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) worldwide using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences obtained from strandings (n = 70), incidental fisheries takes (n = 11), biopsy (n = 1), and whale-meat markets (n = 5). Over a 290-base pair fragment, 23 variable sites defined 33 unique haplotypes among the total of 87 samples. Nucleotide diversity at the control region was relatively low (pi = 1.27%+/- 0.723%) compared to wide-ranging baleen whales, but higher than strongly matrifocal sperm, pilot and killer whales. Phylogenetic reconstruction using maximum likelihood revealed four distinct haplotype groups, each of which displayed strong frequency differences among ocean basins, but no reciprocal monophyly or fixed character differences. Consistent with this phylogeographic pattern, an analysis of molecular variance showed high levels of differentiation among ocean basins (F(ST) = 0.14, Phi ST = 0.42; P fisheries by-catch, direct hunting, and disturbance or mortality from anthropogenic sound.

  8. Mapping the Super-Whale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2010-01-01

    In empirical discussion on global connections, frequent allusions are made to Michael Burawoy's 'global' and George Marcus' 'multi-sited' ethnographies. While both have inspired transnational fieldwork, neither methodological approach has sufficiently analysed the local-global dichotomy embedded ...... and plural 'globalities' is outlined. These claims are developed drawing on the author's inquiries into Japanese whaling practices, showing how 'ethno-socio-cartography' can contribute to the mapping of global-scale micro-cosmoses....

  9. Baird's beaked whale echolocation signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann-Pickering, Simone; Yack, Tina M; Barlow, Jay; Wiggins, Sean M; Hildebrand, John A

    2013-06-01

    Echolocation signals from Baird's beaked whales were recorded during visual and acoustic shipboard surveys of cetaceans in the California Current ecosystem and with autonomous, long-term recorders in the Southern California Bight. The preliminary measurement of the visually validated Baird's beaked whale echolocation signals from towed array data were used as a basis for identifying Baird's signals in the autonomous recorder data. Two distinct signal types were found, one being a beaked whale-like frequency modulated (FM) pulse, the other being a dolphin-like broadband click. The median FM inter-pulse interval was 230 ms. Both signal types showed a consistent multi-peak structure in their spectra with peaks at ~9, 16, 25, and 40 kHz. Depending on signal type, as well as recording aspect and distance to the hydrophone, these peaks varied in relative amplitude. The description of Baird's echolocation signals will allow for studies of their distribution and abundance using towed array data without associated visual sightings and from autonomous seafloor hydrophones.

  10. 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…

  11. Characterization of Novel Whale Shark Aggregations at Shib Habil, Saudi Arabia and Mafia Island, Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2014-12-01

    Passive acoustic monitoring has been successfully used on many elasmobranch species, but no such study has yet been published for the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). In some ways this is surprising as the known whale shark aggregation sites would seem to be ideal targets for this method. For this dissertation, two acoustic studies were carried out in Saudi Arabia and Tanzania. Each was performed in parallel with visual surveys and the Saudi population was also studied using satellite telemetry. Sighting and acoustic data were compared at both sites, and the results were mixed. The acoustic monitoring largely confirmed the results of visual surveys for the Saudi Arabian sharks, including seasonality, residency and a degree of parity and integration between the sexes that is unique to this site. Satellite tracks of tagged Saudi sharks were used to confirm that some animals migrated away from the aggregation site before returning in subsequent seasons, confirming philopatric behavior in this species. In contrast, the acoustic results in Tanzania demonstrated year-round residency of whale sharks in the area, despite seasonal declines in visually estimated abundance. Seasonal changes in habitat selection render the sharks at this site temporarily cryptic to visual sampling. The differing results are compelling because both the philopatric behavior demonstrated in Saudi Arabia and the cryptic residency of the Tanzanian sharks could explain the seasonal patterns in whale shark abundances reported at other aggregation sites. Despite their differences, both sites in this study can be classified as secondary whale shark nurseries and each may be a vital feeding ground for its respective population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGillivary, P. A.; Tougher, B.

    2010-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Singarajah, K. V.

    1988-01-01

    Minke whales - the rorqual group of the family Balaenopteridae - are widely distributed and constitute an important major harvestable living resource of the sea. Recently, the Antarctic minke whale population has been estimated to be between 150,000 and 300,000. Populations being dynamic entities, the size of the minke whale population has been changing. Currently , the minke whale population in the Antarctic has been claimed to have increased considerably. However, the minke whale stock arri...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme A Bortolotto

    Full Text Available The western South Atlantic (WSA humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563-25,495 animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595-24,500 and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958-23,654 whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Species-specific beaked whale echolocation signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann-Pickering, Simone; McDonald, Mark A; Simonis, Anne E; Solsona Berga, Alba; Merkens, Karlina P B; Oleson, Erin M; Roch, Marie A; Wiggins, Sean M; Rankin, Shannon; Yack, Tina M; Hildebrand, John A

    2013-09-01

    Beaked whale echolocation signals are mostly frequency-modulated (FM) upsweep pulses and appear to be species specific. Evolutionary processes of niche separation may have driven differentiation of beaked whale signals used for spatial orientation and foraging. FM pulses of eight species of beaked whales were identified, as well as five distinct pulse types of unknown species, but presumed to be from beaked whales. Current evidence suggests these five distinct but unidentified FM pulse types are also species-specific and are each produced by a separate species. There may be a relationship between adult body length and center frequency with smaller whales producing higher frequency signals. This could be due to anatomical and physiological restraints or it could be an evolutionary adaption for detection of smaller prey for smaller whales with higher resolution using higher frequencies. The disadvantage of higher frequencies is a shorter detection range. Whales echolocating with the highest frequencies, or broadband, likely lower source level signals also use a higher repetition rate, which might compensate for the shorter detection range. Habitat modeling with acoustic detections should give further insights into how niches and prey may have shaped species-specific FM pulse types.

  20. Killer immunoglobulin receptor genes in spondyloarthritis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijpers, Taco W.; Vendelbosch, Sanne; van den Berg, Merlijn; Baeten, Dominique L. P.

    2016-01-01

    We focus on the role of killer immunoglobulin receptor (KIR) interactions with the human leukocyte antigens (HLA)-B27 ligand and the potential contribution of KIR-expressing natural killer and T cells in spondyloarthritis, more specifically in ankylosing spondylitis (AS). In AS strong

  1. Population Parameters of Blainville’s and Cuvier’s Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    waters, they are usually difficult to study. El Hierro (Canary Islands) holds resident populations of Blainville’s and Cuvier’s beaked whales in...surveys off El Hierro , according to plan. Four of these cruises took place since the last report in September 2013, summing 38 days of fieldwork performed...marks as to be individually recognizable. 3 Publication of results of the ONR funded cetacean research in El Hierro in 2014 Peer reviewed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-23

    North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) were found in an important nineteenth century whaling area east of southern Greenland, from which they were once thought to have been extirpated. In 2007-2008, a 1-year passive acoustic survey was conducted at five sites in and near the 'Cape Farewell Ground', the former whaling ground. Over 2000 right whale calls were recorded at these sites, primarily during July-November. Most calls were northwest of the historic ground, suggesting a broader range in this region than previously known. Geographical and temporal separation of calls confirms use of this area by multiple animals.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bortolotto, Guilherme A.; Danilewicz, Daniel; Andriolo, Artur; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to pres...

  4. Notorious Cases of Serial Killers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iosub Elena-Cătălina

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The reconstruction of a death scene provides an overall picture of the crime and will indicate the murder as an event or one of a series of events and also the criminal. But when the criminal is declared a serial killer, many questions are raised up. How could a person kill some else without a reason or why people react in such a disorganized way and become so brutal or what made them act like that and so many questions with also so many answers. This project explains the psychology of a murderer, his own way of thinking and acting by presuming that we may accurately discover what is in their minds when they kill. It is about a very complex issue regarding murder investigations, biological factors and psychological profile of a serial killer. Dealing with this problem we will at last reach to the question that could solve finally the puzzle: ―Are serial murderers distorted reflections of society's own values?

  5. Middle/late Miocene hoplocetine sperm whale remains (Odontoceti: Physeteridae of North Germany with an emended classification of the Hoplocetinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Hampe

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Hoplocetus ritzi n. sp. is a new hoplocetine physeterid from the Bolboforma fragori /subfragoris Zone of the middle/late Miocene mica-clay of Groß Pampau in Schleswig-Holstein, North Germany. The Hoplocetinae are known from the early Miocene to the Pliocene. Comparative studies of cranial characters and tooth morphology allow an emended diagnosis of the Hoplocetinae Cabrera, 1926. Four genera, Diaphorocetus, Idiorophus, Scaldicetus, and Hoplocetus are included in this subfamily. The pattern of functional tooth wear deduced from the described Hoplocetus ritzi n. sp. remains is reminescent of that known from Orcinus orca. The hoplocetine physeterids possibly occupied the killer whale niche before the killer whales appeared during the middle Pliocene. Mit Hoplocetusritzi n. sp. wird ein neuer hoplocetiner Physeteride beschrieben. Der Fund stammt aus der Bolboformafragori /subfragoris Zone des mittel-/obermiozänen Glimmertons von Groß Pampau in Schleswig-Holstein, Norddeutschland. Die Hoplocetinae sind vom unteren Miozän bis ins Pliozän nachgewiesen. Anhand vergleichender Untersuchungen an wenigen Schädelmerkmalen und der Zahnmorphologie gelingt eine Neudiagnose der Hoplocetinae Cabrera, 1926 und eine vorläufige Abgrenzung zwischen den als valid angesehenen Gattungen dieser Unterfamilie, Diaphorocetus, Idiorophus, Scaldicetus und Hoplocetus. Das Abkauungsmuster der Zähne von Hoplocetusritzi n. sp. erinnert an das des heutigen Orcinusorca. Möglicherweise sind die hoplocetinen Pottwale habituell den Schwertwalen, die erdgeschichtlich erstmals im mittleren Pliozän auftreten, vergleichbar. doi:10.1002/mmng.200600002

  6. Short Communication Observations of individual humpback whales ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Movements of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae among breeding regions within the southwestern Indian Ocean are poorly understood. Understanding the relationships among breeding regions is critical for effective conservation and management strategies. Through systematic comparisons of molecular ...

  7. Source levels of foraging humpback whale calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournet, Michelle E H; Matthews, Leanna P; Gabriele, Christine M; Mellinger, David K; Klinck, Holger

    2018-02-01

    Humpback whales produce a wide range of low- to mid-frequency vocalizations throughout their migratory range. Non-song "calls" dominate this species' vocal repertoire while on high-latitude foraging grounds. The source levels of 426 humpback whale calls in four vocal classes were estimated using a four-element planar array deployed in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Southeast Alaska. There was no significant difference in source levels between humpback whale vocal classes. The mean call source level was 137 dB RMS re 1 μPa @ 1 m in the bandwidth of the call (range 113-157 dB RMS re 1 μPa @ 1 m), where bandwidth is defined as the frequency range from the lowest to the highest frequency component of the call. These values represent a robust estimate of humpback whale source levels on foraging grounds and should append earlier estimates.

  8. Sonar Validation Study with Migrating Gray Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tyack, Peter L

    2005-01-01

    .... Due to a legal challenge to the process used by NMFS in issuing the research permit, testing of the whalefinding sonar was prevented, and the field team collected baseline data on the whale migration...

  9. 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...

  10. Satellite tagging highlights the importance of productive Mozambican coastal waters to the ecology and conservation of whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, Christoph A; Richardson, Anthony J; Jaine, Fabrice R A; Bennett, Michael B; Weeks, Scarla J; Cliff, Geremy; Robinson, David P; Reeve-Arnold, Katie E; Pierce, Simon J

    2018-01-01

    The whale shark Rhincodon typus is an endangered, highly migratory species with a wide, albeit patchy, distribution through tropical oceans. Ten aerial survey flights along the southern Mozambican coast, conducted between 2004-2008, documented a relatively high density of whale sharks along a 200 km stretch of the Inhambane Province, with a pronounced hotspot adjacent to Praia do Tofo. To examine the residency and movement of whale sharks in coastal areas around Praia do Tofo, where they may be more susceptible to gill net entanglement, we tagged 15 juveniles with SPOT5 satellite tags and tracked them for 2-88 days (mean = 27 days) as they dispersed from this area. Sharks travelled between 10 and 2,737 km (mean = 738 km) at a mean horizontal speed of 28 ± 17.1 SD km day -1 . While several individuals left shelf waters and travelled across international boundaries, most sharks stayed in Mozambican coastal waters over the tracking period. We tested for whale shark habitat preferences, using sea surface temperature, chlorophyll- a concentration and water depth as variables, by computing 100 random model tracks for each real shark based on their empirical movement characteristics. Whale sharks spent significantly more time in cooler, shallower water with higher chlorophyll- a concentrations than model sharks, suggesting that feeding in productive coastal waters is an important driver of their movements. To investigate what this coastal habitat choice means for their conservation in Mozambique, we mapped gill nets during two dedicated aerial surveys along the Inhambane coast and counted gill nets in 1,323 boat-based surveys near Praia do Tofo. Our results show that, while whale sharks are capable of long-distance oceanic movements, they can spend a disproportionate amount of time in specific areas, such as along the southern Mozambique coast. The increasing use of drifting gill nets in this coastal hotspot for whale sharks is likely to be a threat to regional

  11. 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.

  12. Deficient natural killer cell function in preeclampsia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alanen, A.; Lassila, O.

    1982-11-01

    Natural killer cell activity of peripheral blood lymphocytes was measured against K-562 target cells with a 4-hour /sup 51/Cr release assay in 15 primigravid women with preeclamptic symptoms. Nineteen primigravid women with an uncomplicated pregnancy and 18 nonpregnant women served as controls. The natural killer cell activity of preeclamptic women was observed to be significantly lower than that of both control groups. Natural killer cells in preeclamptic women responded normally to augmentation caused by interferon. These findings give further evidence for the participation of the maternal immune system in this pregnancy disorder.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. Nuclear and Mitochondrial Patterns of Population Structure in North Pacific False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-14

    Box 496, Palmerston, NT 0831, Australia (Palmer); Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina NT 0811...available upon request) written in R ( R Development Core Team 2011) to calculate the number of alleles per locus, as well as observed and expected...for the nucDNA data set. The χ2 test was implemented using custom code written in R (available upon request). Statistical significance was

  4. 77 FR 71259 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-29

    ... to deep-set longline fishing based, in part, on PBR and abundance estimates that would change as new... net productivity rate for this stock. NMFS proposed to list the Hawaiian Insular population of false... is calculated as the minimum population size (129) times one half the default maximum net growth rate...

  5. Movements and Spatial Use of False Killer Whales in Hawaii: Satellite Tagging Studies in 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-07

    External- electronics (LIMPET) configuration. The Limpet tag attaches with two 6.5 cm penetrating titanium darts with backward facing petals. Dimensions...with estimated error of between 500 and 1 500 m), as well as LC0, LCA , LCB, and LCZ locations (with no estimation of accuracy) were only retained...for each individual that passed the Douglas Argos-Filter, by location class (LC) ID # locations after filtering LC3 LC2 LC1 LC0 LCA LCB LCZ

  6. Range and Primary Habitats of Hawaiian Insular False Killer Whales: Informing Determination of Critical Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-20

    Transmitter Terminal in the Low-Impact Minimally-Percutaneous External- electronics Transmitter (LIM PET) configura- tion. The LIMPET tag attaches to the...tween 500 and 1500 m), as well as LC0, LCA , LCB, and LCZ locations (with no estimation of accuracy), were only retained if they passed the Douglas

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    One individual was tagged on Jaggar Seamount , 123.8 km west of the island of Hawai‘i, in a water depth of approximately 1460 m. This individual was...among locations. The offshore individual was tagged on Jaggar Seamount 21 April 2008, with the closest approach to land (62 km) documented on 22 April...functional anatomy and gen- eral biology of Pseudorca crassidens (Owen) with a review of the hydrodynamic and acoustics in Cetacea. Investig Cetacea 9:67–227

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Newton, Jason; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen

    2013-01-01

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales...

  9. AFSC/NMML: North Pacific Killer whale genetic dataset, 1990-2010

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. "Freshwater killer whales": beaching behavior of an alien fish to hunt land birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucherousset, Julien; Boulêtreau, Stéphanie; Azémar, Frédéric; Compin, Arthur; Guillaume, Mathieu; Santoul, Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    The behavioral strategies developed by predators to capture and kill their prey are fascinating, notably for predators that forage for prey at, or beyond, the boundaries of their ecosystem. We report here the occurrence of a beaching behavior used by an alien and large-bodied freshwater predatory fish (Silurus glanis) to capture birds on land (i.e. pigeons, Columbia livia). Among a total of 45 beaching behaviors observed and filmed, 28% were successful in bird capture. Stable isotope analyses (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) of predators and their putative prey revealed a highly variable dietary contribution of land birds among individuals. Since this extreme behavior has not been reported in the native range of the species, our results suggest that some individuals in introduced predator populations may adapt their behavior to forage on novel prey in new environments, leading to behavioral and trophic specialization to actively cross the water-land interface.

  11. "Freshwater killer whales": beaching behavior of an alien fish to hunt land birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Cucherousset

    Full Text Available The behavioral strategies developed by predators to capture and kill their prey are fascinating, notably for predators that forage for prey at, or beyond, the boundaries of their ecosystem. We report here the occurrence of a beaching behavior used by an alien and large-bodied freshwater predatory fish (Silurus glanis to capture birds on land (i.e. pigeons, Columbia livia. Among a total of 45 beaching behaviors observed and filmed, 28% were successful in bird capture. Stable isotope analyses (δ(13C and δ(15N of predators and their putative prey revealed a highly variable dietary contribution of land birds among individuals. Since this extreme behavior has not been reported in the native range of the species, our results suggest that some individuals in introduced predator populations may adapt their behavior to forage on novel prey in new environments, leading to behavioral and trophic specialization to actively cross the water-land interface.

  12. Peripheral Arterial Disease Can Be a Killer

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Bar Home Current Issue Past Issues Special Section Peripheral Arterial Disease Can Be a Killer Past Issues / ... Color changes in skin, paleness, or blueness Lower temperature in one leg compared to the other leg ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nurse, Angus

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Neuroglobin of seals and whales: evidence for a divergent role in the diving brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneuer, M; Flachsbarth, S; Czech-Damal, N U; Folkow, L P; Siebert, U; Burmester, T

    2012-10-25

    Although many physiological adaptations of diving mammals have been reported, little is known about how their brains sustain the high demands for metabolic energy and thus O(2) when submerged. A recent study revealed in the deep-diving hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) a unique shift of the oxidative energy metabolism and neuroglobin, a respiratory protein that is involved in neuronal hypoxia tolerance, from neurons to astrocytes. Here we have investigated neuroglobin in another pinniped species, the harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus), and in two cetaceans, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Neuroglobin sequences, expression levels and patterns were compared with those of terrestrial relatives, the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) and the cattle (Bos taurus), respectively. Neuroglobin sequences of whales and seals only differ in two or three amino acids from those of cattle and ferret, and are unlikely to confer functional differences, e.g. in O(2) affinity. Neuroglobin is expressed in the astrocytes also of P. groenlandicus, suggesting that the shift of neuroglobin and oxidative metabolism is a common adaptation in the brains of deep-diving phocid seals. In the cetacean brain neuroglobin resides in neurons, like in terrestrial mammals. However, neuroglobin mRNA expression levels were 4-15 times higher in the brains of harbor porpoises and minke whales than in terrestrial mammals or in seals. Thus neuroglobin appears to play a specific role in diving mammals, but seals and whales have evolved divergent strategies to cope with cerebral hypoxia. The specific function of neuroglobin that conveys hypoxia tolerance may either relate to oxygen supply or protection from reactive oxygen species. The different strategies in seals and whales resulted from a divergent evolution and an independent adaptation to diving. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. KillerRed protein based in vivo photodynamic therapy and corresponding tumor metabolic imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiaoya Lin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Photodynamic therapy (PDT gains wide attention as a useful therapeutic method for cancer. It is mediated by the oxygen and photosensitizer under the specific light irradiation to produce the reactive oxygen species (ROS, which induce cellular toxicity and regulate the redox potential in tumor cells. Nowadays, genetic photosensitizers of low toxicity and easy production are required to be developed. KillerRed, a unique red fluorescent protein exhibiting excellent phototoxic properties, has the potential to act as a photosensitizer in the application of tumor PDT. Meantime, the course of tumor redox metabolism during this treatment was rarely investigated so far. Thus here, we investigated the effects of KillerRed-based PDT on tumor growth in vivo and examined the subsequent tumor metabolic states including the changes of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen (NADH and flavoprotein (Fp, two important metabolic coenzymes of tumor cells. Results showed the tumor growth had been significantly inhibited by KillerRed-based PDT treatment compared to control groups. A home-made cryo-imaging redox scanner was used to measure intrinsic fluorescence and exogenous KillerRed fluorescence signals in tumors. The Fp signal was elevated by nearly 4.5-fold, while the NADH signal decreased by 66% after light irradiation, indicating that Fp and NADH were oxidized in the course of KillerRed-based PDT. Furthermore, we also observed correlation between the fluorescence distribution of KillerRed and NADH. It suggests that the KillerRed protein based PDT might provide a new approach for tumor therapy accompanied by altering tumor metabolism.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The population of blue whales Balaenoptera musculus inhabiting the South-East Atlantic (Gabon to South Africa) was heavily depleted by commercial whaling. We report four photographically-verified sightings, and one probable sighting, of blue whales in deep waters (>1 000 m) off central Angola (11° S to 12°30′S) ...

  19. 75 FR 7254 - International Whaling Commission; 2010 Intersessional Meetings; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-18

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

  20. How man-made interference might cause gas bubble emboli in deep diving whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eFahlman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent cetacean mass strandings in close temporal and spatial association with sonar activity has raised the concern that anthropogenic sound may harm breath-hold diving marine mammals. Necropsy results of the stranded whales have shown evidence of bubbles in the tissues, similar to those in human divers suffering from decompression sickness (DCS. It has been proposed that changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving could increase tissue and blood N2 levels, thereby increasing DCS risk. Dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville’s beaked and Cuvier’s beaked whales before and during exposure to low- (1-2 kHz and mid- (2-7 kHz frequency active sonar were used to estimate the changes in blood and tissue N2 tension (PN2. Our objectives were to determine if differences in 1 dive behavior or 2 physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors for bubble formation. The theoretical estimates indicate that all species may experience high N2 levels. However, unexpectedly, deep diving generally result in higher end-dive PN2 as compared with shallow diving. In this focused review we focus on three possible explanations: 1 We revisit an old hypothesis that CO2, because of its much higher diffusivity, form bubble precursors that continue to grow in N2 supersaturated tissues. Such a mechanism would be less dependent on the alveolar collapse depth but affected by elevated levels of CO2 following a burst of activity during sonar exposure. 2 During deep dives, a greater duration of time might be spent at depths where gas exchange continues as compared with shallow dives. The resulting elevated levels of N2 in deep diving whales might also make them more susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances. 3 Extended duration of dives even at depths beyond where the alveoli collapse could result in slow continuous accumulation of N2 in the adipose tissues that eventually becomes a liability.

  1. How man-made interference might cause gas bubble emboli in deep diving whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahlman, Andreas; Tyack, Peter L; Miller, Patrick J O; Kvadsheim, Petter H

    2014-01-01

    Recent cetacean mass strandings in close temporal and spatial association with sonar activity has raised the concern that anthropogenic sound may harm breath-hold diving marine mammals. Necropsy results of the stranded whales have shown evidence of bubbles in the tissues, similar to those in human divers suffering from decompression sickness (DCS). It has been proposed that changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving could increase tissue and blood N2 levels, thereby increasing DCS risk. Dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville's beaked and Cuvier's beaked whales before and during exposure to low- (1-2 kHz) and mid- (2-7 kHz) frequency active sonar were used to estimate the changes in blood and tissue N2 tension (PN2 ). Our objectives were to determine if differences in (1) dive behavior or (2) physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors for bubble formation. The theoretical estimates indicate that all species may experience high N2 levels. However, unexpectedly, deep diving generally result in higher end-dive PN2 as compared with shallow diving. In this focused review we focus on three possible explanations: (1) We revisit an old hypothesis that CO2, because of its much higher diffusivity, forms bubble precursors that continue to grow in N2 supersaturated tissues. Such a mechanism would be less dependent on the alveolar collapse depth but affected by elevated levels of CO2 following a burst of activity during sonar exposure. (2) During deep dives, a greater duration of time might be spent at depths where gas exchange continues as compared with shallow dives. The resulting elevated levels of N2 in deep diving whales might also make them more susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances. (3) Extended duration of dives even at depths beyond where the alveoli collapse could result in slow continuous accumulation of N2 in the adipose tissues that eventually becomes a liability.

  2. Acoustic effects of the ATOC signal (75 Hz, 195 dB) on dolphins and whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Au, W.W.; Nachtigall, P.E.; Pawloski, J.L. [Marine Mammal Research Program, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, P.O. Box 1106, Kailua, Hawaii 96734 (United States)

    1997-05-01

    The Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) program of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, will broadcast a low-frequency 75-Hz phase modulated acoustic signal over ocean basins in order to study ocean temperatures on a global scale and examine the effects of global warming. One of the major concerns is the possible effect of the ATOC signal on marine life, especially on dolphins and whales. In order to address this issue, the hearing sensitivity of a false killer whale ({ital Pseudorca crassidens}) and a Risso{close_quote}s dolphin ({ital Grampus griseus}) to the ATOC sound was measured behaviorally. A staircase procedure with the signal levels being changed in 1-dB steps was used to measure the animals{close_quote} threshold to the actual ATOC coded signal. The results indicate that small odontocetes such as the {ital Pseudorca} and {ital Grampus} swimming directly above the ATOC source will not hear the signal unless they dive to a depth of approximately 400 m. A sound propagation analysis suggests that the sound-pressure level at ranges greater than 0.5 km will be less than 130 dB for depths down to about 500 m. Several species of baleen whales produce sounds much greater than 170{endash}180 dB. With the ATOC source on the axis of the deep sound channel (greater than 800 m), the ATOC signal will probably have minimal physical and physiological effects on cetaceans. {copyright} {ital 1997 Acoustical Society of America.}

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi; Christoffersen, Mads; FØrasier, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    % males (n=1)). These data clearly demonstrate that female bowhead whales sing, however more samples are necessary to assess whether male bowhead whales also sing. The suggested functions of female song for other species include territorial defense, mate guarding, coordination of breeding activities......, and more rarely mate attraction. In the North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, a closely related species to the bowhead whale, the female produces simple calls during sexual interactions that attract other males to mating groups. We suggest that our results may indicate that the elaborate songs...... of female bowhead whales may function for mate attraction and represent a novel example of partial courtship role reversal in mammals....

  7. 77 FR 44218 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16111

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-27

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

  8. What happened to gray whales during the Pleistocene? The ecological impact of sea-level change on benthic feeding areas in the North Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyenson, Nicholas D; Lindberg, David R

    2011-01-01

    resident gray whales found between northern Washington State and Vancouver Island.

  9. What happened to gray whales during the Pleistocene? The ecological impact of sea-level change on benthic feeding areas in the North Pacific Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas D Pyenson

    , similar to the resident gray whales found between northern Washington State and Vancouver Island.

  10. Estimated Tissue and Blood N2 Levels and Risk of Decompression Sickness in Deep-, Intermediate-, and Shallow-Diving Toothed Whales during Exposure to Naval Sonar

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Naval sonar has been accused of causing whale stranding by a mechanism which increases formation of tissue N2 gas bubbles. Increased tissue and blood N2 levels, and thereby increased risk of decompression sickness (DCS), is thought to result from changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving. Previous theoretical studies have used hypothetical sonar-induced changes in both behavior and physiology to model blood and tissue N2 tension PN2, but this is the first attempt to estimate the changes during actual behavioral responses to sonar. We used an existing mathematical model to estimate blood and tissue N2 tension PN2 from dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville’s beaked, and Cuvier’s beaked whales before and during exposure to Low- (1–2 kHz) and Mid- (2–7 kHz) frequency active sonar. Our objectives were: (1) to determine if differences in dive behavior affects risk of bubble formation, and if (2) behavioral- or (3) physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors. Our results suggest that all species have natural high N2 levels, with deep diving generally resulting in higher end-dive PN2 as compared with shallow diving. Sonar exposure caused some changes in dive behavior in both killer whales, pilot whales and beaked whales, but this did not lead to any increased risk of DCS. However, in three of eight exposure session with sperm whales, the animal changed to shallower diving, and in all these cases this seem to result in an increased risk of DCS, although risk was still within the normal risk range of this species. When a hypothetical removal of the normal dive response (bradycardia and peripheral vasoconstriction), was added to the behavioral response during model simulations, this led to an increased variance in the estimated end-dive N2 levels, but no consistent change of risk. In conclusion, we cannot rule out the possibility that a combination of behavioral and physiological responses to sonar

  11. Estimated Tissue and Blood N(2) Levels and Risk of Decompression Sickness in Deep-, Intermediate-, and Shallow-Diving Toothed Whales during Exposure to Naval Sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Naval sonar has been accused of causing whale stranding by a mechanism which increases formation of tissue N(2) gas bubbles. Increased tissue and blood N(2) levels, and thereby increased risk of decompression sickness (DCS), is thought to result from changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving. Previous theoretical studies have used hypothetical sonar-induced changes in both behavior and physiology to model blood and tissue N(2) tension [Formula: see text], but this is the first attempt to estimate the changes during actual behavioral responses to sonar. We used an existing mathematical model to estimate blood and tissue N(2) tension [Formula: see text] from dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville's beaked, and Cuvier's beaked whales before and during exposure to Low- (1-2 kHz) and Mid- (2-7 kHz) frequency active sonar. Our objectives were: (1) to determine if differences in dive behavior affects risk of bubble formation, and if (2) behavioral- or (3) physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors. Our results suggest that all species have natural high N(2) levels, with deep diving generally resulting in higher end-dive [Formula: see text] as compared with shallow diving. Sonar exposure caused some changes in dive behavior in both killer whales, pilot whales and beaked whales, but this did not lead to any increased risk of DCS. However, in three of eight exposure session with sperm whales, the animal changed to shallower diving, and in all these cases this seem to result in an increased risk of DCS, although risk was still within the normal risk range of this species. When a hypothetical removal of the normal dive response (bradycardia and peripheral vasoconstriction), was added to the behavioral response during model simulations, this led to an increased variance in the estimated end-dive N(2) levels, but no consistent change of risk. In conclusion, we cannot rule out the possibility that a combination

  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. Whales of the rainforest: habitat use strategies of sympatric rorqual whales within a fjord system

    OpenAIRE

    Keen, Eric

    2017-01-01

    The energy needs of rorqual whales (f. Balaenopteridae) govern their relationship to marine habitats during the foraging season. However, their cryptic foraging strategies and extreme feeding behaviors complicate our effort to identify and protect habitats “critical” for rorquals. What is the relationship between rorquals and their habitat, and how must that shape conservation strategies? I addressed this question in the case of sympatric humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and fin whales (Bala...

  14. Resident resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, J L; Cleary, B

    1999-01-01

    Clearly, faculty must work hard with residents to explore the nature of their resistance to a program's learning and growth opportunities. Initial steps to a deeper, more effective, and longer-lasting change process must be pursued. If resident resistance is mishandled or misunderstood, then learning and professional growth may be sidetracked and the purposes of residency training defeated. Listening to the whole person of the resident and avoiding the trap of getting caught up in merely responding to select resident behaviors that irritate us is critical. Every faculty member in the family practice residency program must recognize resistance as a form of defense that cannot immediately be torn down or taken away. Resident defenses have important purposes to play in stress reduction even if they are not always healthy. Residents, especially interns, use resistance to avoid a deeper and more truthful look at themselves as physicians. A family practice residency program that sees whole persons in their residents and that respects resident defenses will effectively manage the stress and disharmony inherent to the resistant resident.

  15. 77 FR 12244 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Report of Whaling Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-29

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

  16. Naval sonar disrupts foraging in humpback whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Modern long-range naval sonars are a potential disturbance for marine mammals and can cause disruption of feeding in cetaceans. We examined the lunge-feeding behaviour of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae before, during and after controlled exposure experiments with naval sonar by use of

  17. Tissue Biomechanics: Whales Have Some Nerve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Sameer B

    2017-03-06

    Nerves in the mouth of the rorqual whale can double in length during feeding, without incurring damage. Several clever structural features underlie this amazing phenomenon. Such neuroprotective architectural strategies may be conserved, to a lesser extreme, across the organismal spectrum. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Short Communication Pygmy right whale Caperea marginata ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... younger animals may cause them to become 'entrapped' in the bay. These data contribute substantially to the limited information on pygmy right whale distribution worldwide and the cetacean fauna of Namibia. Keywords: Benguela Current, strandings, Walvis Bay African Journal of Marine Science 2013, 35(1): 133–139 ...

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ABSTRACT. A key feature of humpback whale behavior, documented primarily on the breeding grounds, is the repertoire of the males' song. Song is made up of single units combined together into phrases, which are repeated to make up themes. A song consists of several themes sung in succession. This study ...

  3. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

    ... the population was dramatically reduced by extensive commercial whaling, now prohibited by the International Whaling Commission. Scientists estimate that less than 1,000 individuals remain. Of the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Jesús; Starczak, Victoria; da 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.

  9. Natural killer cells in chronic hepatitis B

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.T.T.L. Tjwa (Eric)

    2012-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Natural killer (NK) cells play a major role in anti-viral immunity as first line defense and regulation of virus-specific T cell responses. OBJECTIVE: To investigate phenotype and function of NK cells in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and

  10. Killer plasma ready to devour the Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Uhlig, R; Highfield, R

    2001-01-01

    A chance fluctuation of the 'vacuum universe' could disintegrate all atoms, according to CERN associate, Dr Allanach. Alternatively, so-called killer strangelets could "eat up the universe from the inside out". Should either of these scenarios occur, the most likely starting point is the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Long Island, New York state (1 page).

  11. Hydrodynamic Performance of the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera Acutorostrata) Flipper

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-01

    2005). Gulping behavior in rorqual whales : underwater observations and functional interpretation. Mem. Queensl. Mus. 51, 309-332. Ashenberg, J. and Weihs...Exploitation of the Minke Whale . Boca Raton: CRC Press. Howell, A. (1930). Aquatic Mammals. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas. Kot, B. W. (2005). Rorqual ...1859 INTRODUCTION Cetaceans ( whales , dolphins and porpoises) are exceptional mammals that have adapted to life in a marine environment. They are the

  12. The Development and Testing of a Radio Whale Tag

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-09-01

    penetrated straighter and better than others we tried. With 1977 modifications, the radio whale tag aplkars to be ready for field trials on rorquals ...contributed to erratic penetration. Conclusions The radio whale tag appears to be ready for field trials on rorquals . The 1977 modifications wore all...WHO 1-77-58 o Ton ¢ / / , 4In-stituti’on ,’ O / 4 /.,𔃺- 1930 THE DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF A RADIO WHALE TAG by William A. Watkins William E

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Humpback whales feed on hatchery-released juvenile salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenoweth, Ellen M; Straley, Janice M; McPhee, Megan V; Atkinson, Shannon; Reifenstuhl, Steve

    2017-07-01

    Humpback whales are remarkable for the behavioural plasticity of their feeding tactics and the diversity of their diets. Within the last decade at hatchery release sites in Southeast Alaska, humpback whales have begun exploiting juvenile salmon, a previously undocumented prey. The anthropogenic source of these salmon and their important contribution to local fisheries makes the emergence of humpback whale predation a concern for the Southeast Alaska economy. Here, we describe the frequency of observing humpback whales, examine the role of temporal and spatial variables affecting the probability of sighting humpback whales and describe prey capture behaviours at five hatchery release sites. We coordinated twice-daily 15 min observations during the spring release seasons 2010-2015. Using logistic regression, we determined that the probability of occurrence of humpback whales increased after releases began and decreased after releases concluded. The probability of whale occurrence varied among release sites but did not increase significantly over the 6 year study period. Whales were reported to be feeding on juvenile chum, Chinook and coho salmon, with photographic and video records of whales feeding on coho salmon. The ability to adapt to new prey sources may be key to sustaining their population in a changing ocean.

  17. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Commercial whaling decimated many whale populations, including the eastern Pacific gray whale, but little is known about how population dynamics or ecology differed prior to these removals. Of particular interest is the possibility of a large population decline prior to whaling, as such a decline could explain the ∼5-fold difference between genetic estimates of prior abundance and estimates based on historical records. We analyzed genetic (mitochondrial control region) and isotopic 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. PMID:22590499

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  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. Beluga whale summer habitat associations in the Nelson River estuary, western Hudson Bay, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander J Smith

    Full Text Available To understand beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas estuarine use in the Nelson River estuary, southwest Hudson Bay, we recorded and examined beluga movements and habitat associations for the July through August period in 2002-2005. We compared locations of belugas fitted with satellite transmitters ("tags" (2002-2005 and aerial-surveyed (2003 and 2005 belugas for years of differing freshwater flow from the Nelson River which is influenced by hydroelectric activity. Using the beluga telemetry location data, we estimated an early August behavioral shift in beluga distribution patterns from local estuarine use to a progressively more migratory behavior away from the estuary. The timing of this shift in behavior was also apparent in results of beluga aerial surveys from the 1940s-1960s, despite environmental changes including later freeze-up and warming ocean temperatures. Overall, during the higher than average discharge ("wet" year of 2005, the three tagged belugas ranged farther from the Nelson River but not farther from the nearest shore along southwestern Hudson Bay, compared to the 10 tagged belugas tracked during the "dry" years of 2002-2004 with below average discharges. Aerial survey data for 2003 and 2005 display a similar dry vs. wet year shift in spatial patterns, with no significant change in overall density of belugas within the study area. In the Nelson estuary, proximity to the fresh-salt water mixing area may be more important than the shallow waters of the upper estuary. Killer whales (Orcinus orca were observed in the Churchill area (200 km northwest during each year of study, 2002-05, and belugas may benefit from the proximity to shallow estuary waters that provide protection from the larger-bodied predator. Study results contribute to an understanding of the influence of environmental variation on how and why belugas use estuaries although considerable uncertainties exist and additional research is required.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Acoustic Environment of Haro Strait: Preliminary Propagation Modeling and Data Analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jones, Christopher D; Wolfson, Michael A

    2006-01-01

    .... Southern resident killer whales are of unique public concern in this area because of increasing anthropogenic noise levels that may interfere with the animal s foraging strategies and behavior...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Acoustic Environment of Haro Strait: Preliminary Propagation Modeling and Data Analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jones, Christopher D; Wolfson, Michael A

    2006-01-01

    Field measurements and acoustic propagation modeling for the frequency range 1 10 kHz are combined to analyze the acoustic environment of Haro Strait of Puget Sound, home to the southern resident killer whales...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-11

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.

    2013-10-17

    Background. The Western Indian Ocean is a globally important region for the whale shark Rhincodon typus, with well-studied coastal aggregation sites in southern Mozambique, Seychelles and Djibouti. Here we present an overview of a new study at Mafia Island, Tanzania. Methods. We monitored whale shark abundances on 103 boat trips from October 2012–March 2013. We also used passive acoustic telemetry (VEMCO® V16 tags) and photographic identification to monitor the residency times and local movements of 29 tagged individuals. Shark sizes were estimated using laser photogrammetry. Results. In total we observed 87 individual sharks with a mean of 5.1 ± 5.2 (± SD) per trip and a peak in December of 8.2 ± 6.3. Total length ranged from 4.1 to 9.7 m and almost all sharks were immature. After boat-based visual observations dropped to zero in March 2013 (with the same ongoing sampling effort), the acoustic array still detected 75% of tagged sharks. Tagged individuals were detected by the acoustic array for 73 ± 40 days on average. They showed a strong site fidelity to a 15 km2 area in the inner part of the bay and then progressively moved offshore at the end of the season, matching a decrease in plankton abundance. Sharks were mostly observed feeding on dense patches of the pelagic shrimp Lucifer hanseni, often in association with planktivorous fishes. Photo IDs from 2007-09 and 2012-13 indicate that a large proportion of the juvenile individuals return to Mafia Island each spring-summer. Conclusion. The size range and gender distribution of whale sharks at Mafia Island is similar to other coastal aggregations in the Indian Ocean, but the relatively high site fidelity and residency time stands in contrast.

  10. Satellite tagging highlights the importance of productive Mozambican coastal waters to the ecology and conservation of whale sharks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Anthony J.; Jaine, Fabrice R. A.; Bennett, Michael B.; Weeks, Scarla J.; Cliff, Geremy; Robinson, David P.; Reeve-Arnold, Katie E.; Pierce, Simon J.

    2018-01-01

    The whale shark Rhincodon typus is an endangered, highly migratory species with a wide, albeit patchy, distribution through tropical oceans. Ten aerial survey flights along the southern Mozambican coast, conducted between 2004–2008, documented a relatively high density of whale sharks along a 200 km stretch of the Inhambane Province, with a pronounced hotspot adjacent to Praia do Tofo. To examine the residency and movement of whale sharks in coastal areas around Praia do Tofo, where they may be more susceptible to gill net entanglement, we tagged 15 juveniles with SPOT5 satellite tags and tracked them for 2–88 days (mean = 27 days) as they dispersed from this area. Sharks travelled between 10 and 2,737 km (mean = 738 km) at a mean horizontal speed of 28 ± 17.1 SD km day−1. While several individuals left shelf waters and travelled across international boundaries, most sharks stayed in Mozambican coastal waters over the tracking period. We tested for whale shark habitat preferences, using sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a concentration and water depth as variables, by computing 100 random model tracks for each real shark based on their empirical movement characteristics. Whale sharks spent significantly more time in cooler, shallower water with higher chlorophyll-a concentrations than model sharks, suggesting that feeding in productive coastal waters is an important driver of their movements. To investigate what this coastal habitat choice means for their conservation in Mozambique, we mapped gill nets during two dedicated aerial surveys along the Inhambane coast and counted gill nets in 1,323 boat-based surveys near Praia do Tofo. Our results show that, while whale sharks are capable of long-distance oceanic movements, they can spend a disproportionate amount of time in specific areas, such as along the southern Mozambique coast. The increasing use of drifting gill nets in this coastal hotspot for whale sharks is likely to be a threat to regional

  11. Satellite tagging highlights the importance of productive Mozambican coastal waters to the ecology and conservation of whale sharks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph A. Rohner

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The whale shark Rhincodon typus is an endangered, highly migratory species with a wide, albeit patchy, distribution through tropical oceans. Ten aerial survey flights along the southern Mozambican coast, conducted between 2004–2008, documented a relatively high density of whale sharks along a 200 km stretch of the Inhambane Province, with a pronounced hotspot adjacent to Praia do Tofo. To examine the residency and movement of whale sharks in coastal areas around Praia do Tofo, where they may be more susceptible to gill net entanglement, we tagged 15 juveniles with SPOT5 satellite tags and tracked them for 2–88 days (mean = 27 days as they dispersed from this area. Sharks travelled between 10 and 2,737 km (mean = 738 km at a mean horizontal speed of 28 ± 17.1 SD km day−1. While several individuals left shelf waters and travelled across international boundaries, most sharks stayed in Mozambican coastal waters over the tracking period. We tested for whale shark habitat preferences, using sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a concentration and water depth as variables, by computing 100 random model tracks for each real shark based on their empirical movement characteristics. Whale sharks spent significantly more time in cooler, shallower water with higher chlorophyll-a concentrations than model sharks, suggesting that feeding in productive coastal waters is an important driver of their movements. To investigate what this coastal habitat choice means for their conservation in Mozambique, we mapped gill nets during two dedicated aerial surveys along the Inhambane coast and counted gill nets in 1,323 boat-based surveys near Praia do Tofo. Our results show that, while whale sharks are capable of long-distance oceanic movements, they can spend a disproportionate amount of time in specific areas, such as along the southern Mozambique coast. The increasing use of drifting gill nets in this coastal hotspot for whale sharks is likely to be a threat

  12. 'Killer' character of yeasts isolated from ethanolic fermentations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ceccato-Antonini Sandra Regina

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available The number of killer, neutral and sensitive yeasts was determined from strains isolated from substrates related to alcoholic fermentations. From 113 isolates, 24 showed killer activity against NCYC 1006 (standard sensitive strain, while 30 were sensitive to NCYC 738 (standard killer strain, and 59 had no reaction in assays at 25-27°C. Two wild yeast strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and one of Candida colliculosa were tested against 10 standard killer strains and one standard sensitive strain in a cell x cell and well-test assays at four different pHs. None of the isolates displayed strong killer activity or were sensitive to the standard strains. All belonged to the neutral type. It was concluded that although the number of killer strains was high, this character cannot be used to protect ethanol fermentation processes against yeast contaminants like those which form cell clusters.

  13. Migrations of humpback whales past Cape Vidal, South Africa, and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Shore-based surveys of migrating humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae were undertaken from Cape Vidal, northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, each year between 1988 and 1991, and in 2002. Daily observations of migrating whale groups were carried out from an approx. 60 m-high platform during all surveys.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Counts and photographs of right whales Eubalaena australis taken on aerial surveys of the southern coast of. South Africa between 1969 and 1998 have been used to examine patterns of coastal distribution between successive 20-minute bins of longitude. Some bins had consistently higher densities of whales than others,.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. V. Singarajah

    1988-07-01

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

  19. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  2. 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

  3. Passive acoustic detection of deep-diving beaked whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    Beaked whales can remain submerged for an hour or more and are difficult to sight when they come to the surface to breathe. Passive acoustic detection (PAD) not only complements traditional visual-based methods for detecting these species but also can be more effective because beaked whales produ...

  4. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    relative contribution to the diet by mass. Supple- mentary collections of complete ... for the first time in the diet of sperm whales caught off South Africa, and Todarodes filippovae, which has only previously been identified from whale stomachs to genus. .... ery good; some skin missing. U71/2099. 17/8/1971. 30°30. ′S, 31°07.

  6. Inshore occurrence of southern right whales ( Eubalaena australis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Opportunistic shore-based sightings of southern right whales Eubalaena australis for Marion Island (46°54'S, 37°45'E) were documented at five different times between 1974 and 2009. Whales were sighted between May and September and exclusively on the eastern lee side of the Island. Notwithstanding some observer ...

  7. Blue whales Balaenoptera musculus in offshore waters of Kenya ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Observations of blue whales were made in Kenyan offshore waters during a seismic survey from September 2014 to January 2015. These represent the first live at-sea sightings of blue whales reported from Kenyan waters. All 30 sightings occurred between September and October in waters ranging from 2 990 to 4 705 m ...

  8. Coastal distribution, movements and site fidelity of right whales ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Counts and photographs of right whales Eubalaena australis taken on aerial surveys of the southern coast of South Africa between 1969 and 1998 have been used to examine patterns of coastal distribution between successive 20-minute bins of longitude. Some bins had consistently higher densities of whales than others, ...

  9. Toxic compounds and health and reproductive effects in St. Lawrence Beluga Whales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beland, P.; Michaud, R. (St. Lawrence National Inst. of Ecotoxicology, Montreal, Quebec (Canada)); DeGuise, S. (St. Lawrence National Inst. of Ecotoxicology, Montreal, Quebec (Canada) Faculte de Medecine Veterinaire, St-Hyacinthe, Quebec (Canada)); Girard, C.; Lagace, A. (Faculte de Medecine Veterinaire, St-Hyacinthe, Quebec (Canada)); Martineau, D. (St. Lawrence National Inst. of Ecotoxicology, Montreal, Quebec (Canada) Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)); Muir, D.C.G. (Freshwater Inst., Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)); Norstorm, R.J. (National Wildlife Research Center, Hull, Quebec (Canada)); Pelletier, E. (INRS-Oceanologie, Rimouski, Quebec (Canada)); Ray, S. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. John' s, Newfoundland (Canada)) (and others)

    1993-01-01

    An epidemiologic study was carried out over a period of 9 years on an isolated population of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) residing in the St. Lawrence estuary (Quebec, Canada). More than 100 individual deaths were aged, and/or autopsied and analyzed for toxic compounds, and the population was surveyed for size and structure. Arctic belugas and other species of whales and seals from the St. Lawrence were used for comparison. Population dynamics: Population size appeared to be stable and modeling showed this stable pattern to result from low calf production and/or low survival to adulthood. Toxicology: St. Lawrence belugas had higher or much higher levels of mercury, lead, PCBs, DDT, Mirex, benzo[a]pyrene metabolites, equivalent levels of dioxins, furans, and PAH metabolites, and much lower levels of cadmium than Arctic belugas. In other St. Lawrence cetaceans, levels of PCBs and DDT were inversely related to body size, as resulting from differences in metabolic rate, diet, and trophic position, compounded by length of residence in the St. Lawrence basin. St. Lawrence belugas had much higher levels than predicted from body size alone; levels increased with age in both sexes, although unloading by females through the placenta and/or lactation was evidenced by overall lower levels in females and very high burdens in some calves. 45 refs., 4 figs., 5 tabs.

  10. 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.

  11. A psychological profile of a serial killer: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dogra, T D; Leenaars, Antoon A; Chadha, R K; Manju, Mehta; Lalwani, Sanjeev; Sood, Mamta; Lester, David; Raina, Anupuma; Behera, C

    2012-01-01

    Serial killers have always fascinated society. A serial killer is typically defined as a perpetrator who murders three or more people over a period of time. Most reported cases of serial killers come from the United States and Canada. In India, there are few reported cases. We present, to the best of our knowledge, the first Indian case in the literature. The present case is of a 28-year-old man, Surinder Koli. The Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delphi handled the forensic study. We present a most unique psychological investigation into the mind of a serial killer.

  12. Structure of the integument of southern right whales, Eubalaena australis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeb, Desray; Best, Peter Barrington; Kidson, Susan Hillary

    2007-06-01

    Skin (integument) anatomy reflects adaptations to particular environments. It is hypothesized that cetacean (whale) integument will show unique anatomical adaptations to an aquatic environment, particularly regarding differences in temperature, density, and pressure. In this study, the gross and histological structure of the southern right whale integument is described and compared with terrestrial mammals and previous descriptions of mysticete (baleen whale) and odontocete (toothed whale) species. Samples were taken of the integument of 98 free-swimming southern right whales, Eubalaena australis, and examined by both light and electron microscopy. Results show that three epidermal layers are present, with the stratum corneum being parakeratotic in nature. As in bowhead whales, southern right whales possess an acanthotic epidermis and a notably thick hypodermis, with epidermal rods and extensive papillomatosis. However, unlike bowhead whales, southern right whales possess an uninterrupted hypodermal layer. Surprisingly, the integument of balaenids (right and bowhead mysticetes) in general is more like that of odontocetes than that of the more closely related balaenopterids (rorqual mysticetes). Similarities to odontocetes were found specifically in the collagen fibers in a fat-free zone of the reticular dermal layer and the elastic fibers in the dermal and hypodermal layers. Callosities, a distinctive feature of this genus, have a slightly thicker stratum corneum and are usually associated with hairs that have innervated and vascularized follicles. These hairs may function as vibrissae, thus aiding in aquatic foraging by allowing rapid detection of changes in prey density. Although the thick insulatory integument makes right whales bulky and slow-moving, it is an adaptation for living in cold water. Epidermal thickness, presence of epidermal rods, and callosities may act as barriers against mechanical injury from bodily contact with conspecifics or hard surfaces in

  13. 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

  14. North Atlantic humpback whale abundance and rate of increase four decades after protection from whaling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

    Humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae in the North Atlantic Ocean were severely depleted by exploitation. With legal protection since 1955, substantial recovery is likely to have occurred, but information on abundance and rates of increase has been limited. We present an assessment of humpback

  15. History of polar whaling: insights into the physiology of the great whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellini, M

    2000-06-01

    The sheer size and pelagic nature of the great whales has effectively precluded detailed studies of most of their physiological processes. The vast majority of all data for these species have come from anatomical studies conducted on specimens that were caught in commercial and native whaling operations. In both the polar regions, an incredible number of whales were hunted, but anatomical studies were not usually conducted until relatively recent times. However, the anatomical data that do exist provide a valuable insight into some of the physiological demands placed on the animals by their marine habitat. These include information on blubber and nutrition; baleen and feeding ecology; contaminant chemistry and tissue samples; diving chemistry and acoustics. Taken together, these anatomical data provide the only substantial information on how these animals dive and hunt. Recent breakthroughs in chemical techniques however, are providing even greater details on function (for example, fatty acid signature methods). Coupled with advanced methods for tracking these whales at sea (acoustic and satellite), future studies should provide significant new information on the general physiology of these difficult to study species.

  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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivashchenko, Yulia V; Clapham, Phillip J

    2015-07-01

    The failure of international efforts to manage commercial whaling was exemplified by revelations of large-scale illegal whale catches by the USSR over a 30 year period following World War II. Falsifications of catch data have also been reported for Japanese coastal whaling, but to date there has been no investigation of the reliability of catch statistics for Japanese pelagic (factory fleet) whaling operations. Here, we use data of known reliability from Soviet whaling industry reports to show that body lengths reported to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) by Japanese factory fleets for female sperm whales caught in the North Pacific are not credible. In 1968/1969, Japanese whaling fleets in the North Pacific killed 1568 females, of which 1525 (97.3%) were reported as being at or above the IWC's minimum length of 11.6 m (legal-sized females, LSFs). By contrast, Soviet fleets operating during this period killed 12 578 females; only 824 (6.6%) were LSFs. Adjusting for effort, catches of LSFs were up to 9.1 times higher for Japan compared with the USSR, and even higher for very large females. Dramatic differences in body length statistics were evident when both nations operated in the same area. Significantly, the frequency of LSFs and very large females in the Japanese catch markedly declined after the IWC's International Observer Scheme in 1972 made illegal whaling more difficult. We conclude that the Japanese length data reflect systematic falsification of catch statistics submitted to the IWC, with serious implications for the reliability of data used in current population assessments. The apparent ease with which catch data were falsified in the past underscores the necessity of transparent and independent inspection procedures in any future commercial whaling.

  19. Permanent resident

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F. Fisher

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The training of physicians in the past century was based primarily on responsibility and the chain-of-command. Those with the bulk of that responsibility in the fields of pediatrics and internal medicine were residents. Residents trained the medical students and supervised them carefully in caring for patients. Most attending physicians supervised their teams at arm's length, primarily serving as teachers of the finer points of diagnosis and treatment during set periods of the day or week with a perfunctory signature on write-ups or progress notes. Residents endeavored to protect the attending physician from being heavily involved unless they were unsure about a clinical problem. Before contacting the attending physician, a more senior resident would be called. Responsibility was the ultimate teacher. The introduction of diagnosis-related groups by the federal government dramatically changed the health care delivery system, placing greater emphasis on attending physician visibility in the medical record, ultimately resulting in more attending physician involvement in day-to-day care of patients in academic institutions. Without specified content in attending notes, hospital revenues would decline. Although always in charge technically, attending physicians increasingly have assumed the role once dominated by the resident. Using biographical experiences of more than 40 years, the author acknowledges and praises the educational role of responsibility in his own training and laments its declining role in today's students and house staff.

  20. Permanent resident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, John F

    2016-01-01

    The training of physicians in the past century was based primarily on responsibility and the chain-of-command. Those with the bulk of that responsibility in the fields of pediatrics and internal medicine were residents. Residents trained the medical students and supervised them carefully in caring for patients. Most attending physicians supervised their teams at arm's length, primarily serving as teachers of the finer points of diagnosis and treatment during set periods of the day or week with a perfunctory signature on write-ups or progress notes. Residents endeavored to protect the attending physician from being heavily involved unless they were unsure about a clinical problem. Before contacting the attending physician, a more senior resident would be called. Responsibility was the ultimate teacher. The introduction of diagnosis-related groups by the federal government dramatically changed the health care delivery system, placing greater emphasis on attending physician visibility in the medical record, ultimately resulting in more attending physician involvement in day-to-day care of patients in academic institutions. Without specified content in attending notes, hospital revenues would decline. Although always in charge technically, attending physicians increasingly have assumed the role once dominated by the resident. Using biographical experiences of more than 40 years, the author acknowledges and praises the educational role of responsibility in his own training and laments its declining role in today's students and house staff.

  1. Immune competence of rats fed with beluga whale blubber from the contaminated St. Lawrence estuary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brousseau, P.; Lapierre, P.; Guise, S. De; Beland, P.; Martineau, D.; Fournier, M. [Univ. of Quebec, Montreal, Quebec (Canada)

    1995-12-31

    Over the last decades, high concentrations of environmental contaminants such as PCBs have been measured in the tissues of many species of marine mammals from different parts of the world. Even though many deleterious effects of these compounds have been reported in laboratory animals, the overall risk associated with these contaminants in wild animals is still not clearly understood. However, necropsy of St. Lawrence belugas showed numerous severe and disseminated infections with rather mildly pathogenic bacteria. Moreover, 37% of all the tumors reported in cetaceans were observed in St. Lawrence beluga whales. Indeed, both observations suggest immunosuppression. The aim of the study was to determine if contaminants present in fat tissues of belugas might provoke deleterious effect to their immune system if, under some circumstances, they are released into the circulation. To assess their immunotoxic potential, rats were fed for two months on a diet in which the lipids originated from the blubber of either highly polluted St. Lawrence belugas or relatively uncontaminated arctic belugas. Then, multiple immune responses were monitored. Those include phagocytosis, plaque forming cells, oxidative burst, natural killer cells, immunophenotyping and mitogenic assay. The results obtained show that only the humoral response of rats was impaired by the treatment. By combining all this information, the authors propose possible mechanisms of action to explain potential long-term consequences of environmental pollution.

  2. Taxonomy Icon Data: blue whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available blue whale Balaenoptera musculus Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/Cetacea Balaenoptera..._musculus_L.png Balaenoptera_musculus_NL.png Balaenoptera_musculus_S.png Balaenoptera_musculu...s_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Balaenoptera+musculus&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/...taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Balaenoptera+musculus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxon...omy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Balaenoptera+musculus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Balaenoptera+musculus&t=NS ...

  3. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Demography of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiwara, M; Caswell, H

    2001-11-29

    Northern right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) were formerly abundant in the northwestern Atlantic, but by 1900 they had been hunted to near extinction. After the end of commercial whaling the population was thought to be recovering slowly; however, evidence indicates that it has been declining since about 1990 (ref. 1). There are now fewer than 300 individuals, and the species may already be functionally extinct owing to demographic stochasticity or the difficulty of females locating mates in the vast Atlantic Ocean (Allee effect). Using a data set containing over 10,000 sightings of photographically identified individuals we estimated trends in right whale demographic parameters since 1980. Here we construct, using these estimates, matrix population models allowing us to analyse the causes of right whale imperilment. Mortality has increased, especially among mother whales, causing declines in population growth rate, life expectancy and the mean lifetime number of reproductive events between the period 1980-1995. Increased mortality of mother whales can explain the declining population size, suggesting that the population is not doomed to extinction as a result of the Allee effect. An analysis of extinction time shows that demographic stochasticity has only a small effect, but preventing the deaths of only two female right whales per year would increase the population growth rate to replacement level.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-22

    Baleen whales (Mysticeti) communicate using low-frequency acoustic signals. These long-wavelength sounds can be detected over hundreds of kilometres, potentially allowing contact over large distances. Low-frequency noise from large ships (20-200 Hz) overlaps acoustic signals used by baleen whales, and increased levels of underwater noise have been documented in areas with high shipping traffic. Reported responses of whales to increased noise include: habitat displacement, behavioural changes and alterations in the intensity, frequency and intervals of calls. However, it has been unclear whether exposure to noise results in physiological responses that may lead to significant consequences for individuals or populations. Here, we show that reduced ship traffic in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, following the events of 11 September 2001, resulted in a 6 dB decrease in underwater noise with a significant reduction below 150 Hz. This noise reduction was associated with decreased baseline levels of stress-related faecal hormone metabolites (glucocorticoids) in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). This is the first evidence that exposure to low-frequency ship noise may be associated with chronic stress in whales, and has implications for all baleen whales in heavy ship traffic areas, and for recovery of this endangered right whale population.

  7. Occurrence of Killer Yeasts in Leaf-Cutting Ant Nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carreiro, S.C.; Pagnocca, F.C.; Bacci Jr., M.; Bueno, O.C.; Hebling, M.J.A.; Middelhoven, W.J.

    2002-01-01

    Killer activity was screened in 99 yeast strains isolated from the nests of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens against 6 standard sensitive strains, as well as against each other. Among this yeast community killer activity was widespread since 77 strains (78 %) were able to kill or inhibit the growth

  8. An endometrial histomorphometric study of CD56 + natural killer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background. The number of peripheral blood and endometrial natural killer cells varies greatly during implantation and the first trimester of pregnancy and is thought to play a role in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. However, the role of endometrial CD56+ natural killer (NK) cells as an immunological mechanism in ...

  9. Natural killer cells enhance the immune surveillance of cancer

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Faisal Nouroz

    2015-09-11

    Sep 11, 2015 ... is carried out to treat cancer [6]. 3. Role of Natural killer cells. Natural killer (NK) cells were first discovered in humans and mice in 1975 and are large granular population of leukocytes, that can directly kill the virus infected or tumor cells [4]. NK cells of the immune system specially lyse the tumor cells and.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

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

  11. Correction: 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.

  12. How few whales were there after whaling? Inference from contemporary mtDNA diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, J A; Patenaude, N J; Carroll, E L; Baker, C Scott

    2008-01-01

    Reconstructing the history of exploited populations of whales requires fitting a trajectory through at least three points in time: (i) prior to exploitation, when abundance is assumed to be at the maximum allowed by environmental carrying capacity; (ii) the point of minimum abundance or 'bottleneck', usually near the time of protection or the abandonment of the hunt; and (iii) near the present, when protected populations are assumed to have undergone some recovery. As historical abundance is usually unknown, this trajectory must be extrapolated according to a population dynamic model using catch records, an assumed rate of increase and an estimate of current abundance, all of which have received considerable attention by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Relatively little attention has been given to estimating minimum abundance (N(min)), although it is clear that genetic and demographic forces at this point are critical to the potential for recovery or extinction of a local population. We present a general analytical framework to improve estimates of N(min) using the number of mtDNA haplotypes (maternal lineages) surviving in a contemporary population of whales or other exploited species. We demonstrate the informative potential of this parameter as an a posteriori constraint on Bayesian logistic population dynamic models based on the IWC Comprehensive Assessment of the intensively exploited southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) and published surveys of mtDNA diversity for this species. Estimated historical trajectories from all demographic scenarios suggested a substantial loss of mtDNA haplotype richness as a result of 19th century commercial whaling and 20th century illegal whaling by the Soviet Union. However, the relatively high rates of population increase used by the IWC assessment predicted a bottleneck that was implausibly narrow (median, 67 mature females), given our corrected estimates of N(min). Further, high levels of remnant sequence

  13. Viral Evasion of Natural Killer Cell Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yi; Li, Xiaojuan; Kuang, Ersheng

    2016-04-12

    Natural killer (NK) cells play a key role in antiviral innate defenses because of their abilities to kill infected cells and secrete regulatory cytokines. Additionally, NK cells exhibit adaptive memory-like antigen-specific responses, which represent a novel antiviral NK cell defense mechanism. Viruses have evolved various strategies to evade the recognition and destruction by NK cells through the downregulation of the NK cell activating receptors. Here, we review the recent findings on viral evasion of NK cells via the impairment of NK cell-activating receptors and ligands, which provide new insights on the relationship between NK cells and viral actions during persistent viral infections.

  14. Natural Killer T Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Shiny; Dhodapkar, Madhav V.

    2017-01-01

    Natural killer T (NKT) cells are specialized CD1d-restricted T cells that recognize lipid antigens. Following stimulation, NKT cells lead to downstream activation of both innate and adaptive immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. This has impelled the development of NKT cell-targeted immunotherapies for treating cancer. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the stimulatory and regulatory functions of NKT cells in tumor immunity as well as highlight preclinical and clinical studies based on NKT cells. Finally, we discuss future perspectives to better harness the potential of NKT cells for cancer therapy. PMID:29018445

  15. Review of welfare concerns relating to commercial and special permit (scientific) whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kestin, S C

    2001-03-10

    This paper reviews recent data relating to the efficiency and humaneness of the methods used to kill minke whales in commercial and special permit whaling operations. In the 1980s a grenade-headed harpoon was developed for minke whaling. Most recent results indicate that in the Norwegian industry approximately 60 per cent of whales were considered to be killed immediately by this harpoon, with 40 per cent being wounded. However, in Japanese whaling operations, generally only 30 per cent of whales were killed immediately, with 70 per cent being wounded. In both operations, more than six minutes elapsed before half the wounded whales were pronounced dead, with some whales surviving for more than an hour after being harpooned. Many of the long killing times were associated with a failure of a part of the whaling equipment

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Off-Range Beaked Whale Studies (ORBS): Baseline Data...and Tagging Development for Northern Bottlenose Whales (Hyperoodon ampulatus) off Jan Mayen, Norway Patrick Miller Sea Mammal Research Unit... whales are affected by naval sonar is important for the US Navy as information is required for accurate environmental assessments. A number of recent

  17. Overview of studies to determine injury caused by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill to marine mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loughlin, Thomas R.; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Wright, B.A.; Rice, S.D.; Spies, R.B.; Wolfe, D.A.; Wright, B.A.

    1996-01-01

    Marine mammal damage assessment studies after the Exxon Valdez oil spill concentrated on sea otters, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, killer whales, and humpback whales. Sea otter and harbor seals were the most affected marine mammal; it was estimated that several thousand otters and several hundred harbor seals died within months of the spill. Steller sea lion, harbor seal, and sea otter numbers were monitored using aerial surveys. Studies of humpback whales and killer whales used photoidentification techniques to determine changes in abundance, distribution, mortality, and natality. Tissues from animals found dead in spill and control areas were analyzed for hydrocarbon levels. Sea otters, sea lions and harbor seals had elevated hydrocarbon levels, but only sea otters and harbor seals showed population declines associated with the spill. Humpback whales were not severely affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Killer whale numbers in the resident AB pod declined after the spill. Coincidental evidence supports the oil spill as the causative agent.

  18. Killer immunoglobulin receptor genes in spondyloarthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuijpers, Taco W; Vendelbosch, Sanne; Berg, Merlijn van den; Baeten, Dominique L P

    2016-07-01

    We focus on the role of killer immunoglobulin receptor (KIR) interactions with the human leukocyte antigens (HLA)-B27 ligand and the potential contribution of KIR-expressing natural killer and T cells in spondyloarthritis, more specifically in ankylosing spondylitis (AS). In AS strong epidemiological evidence of significant genetic associations with the major histocompatibility complex was convincingly identified. HLA-B27-positive first-degree relatives of AS cases are 5-16 times more likely to develop disease than HLA-B27-positive carriers in the general community. The GWAS era has enabled rapid progress in identifying non-major histocompatibility complex associations of AS. These findings show a number of important pathways in AS pathogenesis, including the IL-23-IL-17 pathway, aminopeptidases, peptide presentation, and KIR-HLA-B27 interactions. Studies using genetic markers, including KIRs may be used for a risk assessment about whom may benefit most from the various treatment protocols in spondyloarthritis, now that alternative therapeutic options have become feasible.

  19. 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...cascadiaresearch.org Award Number: N00014-14-1-0412 LONG-TERM GOALS Knowledge of the diet of a species is crucial for understanding it’s behavior...activities. Assessing diet for many species of cetaceans is difficult, given that most foraging occurs far below the surface and that stomach

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. Behavioral Response of Blue Whales to Active Signals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aburto, A

    1997-01-01

    The effects of low frequency sound on marine mammals are not well understood. Although baleen whales are known to produce low frequency sounds, very little is known about their auditory sensitivity...

  2. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. New evidence for a South Atlantic stock of humpback whales ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    New evidence for a South Atlantic stock of humpback whales wintering on the Northwest African continental shelf. Koen Van Waerebeek, Abdoulaye Djiba, Jens-Otto Krakstad, Abdellahi Samba Ould Bilal, Idrissa L. Bamy, Amadeu Almeida, Ebou Mass Mbye ...

  4. Occurrence of Killer Yeast Strains in Fruit and Berry Wine Yeast Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gintare Gulbiniene

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Apple, cranberry, chokeberry and Lithuanian red grape wine yeast populations were used for the determination of killer yeast occurrence. According to the tests of the killer characteristics and immunity the isolated strains were divided into seven groups. In this work the activity of killer toxins purified from some typical strains was evaluated. The analysed strains produced different amounts of active killer toxin and some of them possessed new industrially significant killer properties. Total dsRNA extractions in 11 killer strains of yeast isolated from spontaneous fermentations revealed that the molecular basis of the killer phenomenon was not only dsRNAs, but also unidentified genetic determinants.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Cranford et al., 2008b; Cranford et al., 2014; Lancaster et al., 2014; Cranford and Krysl, 2015). The resulting simulations allow us to emulate, for...vibroacoustic toolkit (VTk), we constructed a finite element model of a fin whale head from CT scan data in our library . Our simulation results about...vibroacoustic toolkit (VATk), we constructed a finite element model of a fin whale head from CT scan data in our library . Our simulation results about

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    suspended in its chilled water bath, hopefully within hours of its death . This specimen will provide a unique window into the anatomy and physiology...using hand tools and draft animals with block and tackle, and from the whaling industry. It is a pity that the last published reference on systemic...New York), pp. 65-68. Malakoff, D. (2002). "Suit ties whale deaths to research cruise," in Science, pp. 722-723. McCarthy, E. (2005). International

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-03-01

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

  11. 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. © 2014 SETAC.

  12. 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. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. [Myeloid/natural killer cell precursor and myeloid/natural killer cell acute leukemia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Ming; Chen, Bao-An

    2014-04-01

    With the popularity of flow cytometry, the classification of leukemia become more detailed. Myeloid/natural killer cell precursor acute leukemia and myeloid/natural killer cell acute leukemias are generally recognized as two kinds of rare leukemias and have poor prognosis. The cells expressed both myeloid and lymphatic antigens in these two leukemia and can not be diagnosed by morphology. The only basis to make a definite diagnosis is their unique Immunophenotyping. The role of CD7 and CD56 in these two leukemia are compelling, in the other hand, as the progress of cell differentiation research, there are many new awareness of NK cell differentiation. In this article, the biological origin, clinical manifestation, diagnosis, treatment and the role of CD7 and CD56 in these two leukemia are briefly summarized.

  15. Cytokine-induced killer cells are type II natural killer T cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt-Wolf, Ingo G.H.

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Until now, cytokine-induced killer (CIK cells were assumed to be part of the type I natural killer T (NKT cell population, but it was not yet investigated if this is correct. Methods: For analysis, CIK cells were generated by various culture conditions. Human type I NKT cells express a T cell receptor (TCR composed of an invariant Vα24-JαQ chain combined with one of several Vβ chains. The Vα24 is a reliable marker for the presence of these TCRs. Results: While comparing cultures stimulated with different substances, we observed the lack of any Vα24 on the surface of CIK culture cells. Conclusion: We conclude that CIK cells do not belong to the type I NKT cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the degree of genetic exchange between subspecies and populations is vital for the appropriate management of endangered species. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) have two recognized Southern Hemisphere subspecies that show differences in geographic distribution, morphology, vocalizations and genetics. During the austral summer feeding season, the Antarctic blue whale (B. m. intermedia) is found in polar waters and the pygmy blue whale (B. m. brevicauda) in temperate waters. Here, we genetically analyzed samples collected during the feeding season to report on several cases of hybridization between the two recognized blue whale Southern Hemisphere subspecies in a previously unconfirmed sympatric area off Antarctica. This means the pygmy blue whales using waters off Antarctica may migrate and then breed during the austral winter with the Antarctic subspecies. Alternatively, the subspecies may interbreed off Antarctica outside the expected austral winter breeding season. The genetically estimated recent migration rates from the pygmy to Antarctic subspecies were greater than estimates of evolutionary migration rates and previous estimates based on morphology of whaling catches. This discrepancy may be due to differences in the methods or an increase in the proportion of pygmy blue whales off Antarctica within the last four decades. Potential causes for the latter are whaling, anthropogenic climate change or a combination of these and may have led to hybridization between the subspecies. Our findings challenge the current knowledge about the breeding behaviour of the world's largest animal and provide key information that can be incorporated into management and conservation practices for this endangered species. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. 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.

  18. Epigenetic estimation of age in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    Age is a fundamental aspect of animal ecology, but is difficult to determine in many species. Humpback whales exemplify this as they have a lifespan comparable to humans, mature sexually as early as 4 years and have no reliable visual age indicators after their first year. Current methods for estimating humpback age cannot be applied to all individuals and populations. Assays for human age have recently been developed based on age-induced changes in DNA methylation of specific genes. We used information on age-associated DNA methylation in human and mouse genes to identify homologous gene regions in humpbacks. Humpback skin samples were obtained from individuals with a known year of birth and employed to calibrate relationships between cytosine methylation and age. Seven of 37 cytosines assayed for methylation level in humpback skin had significant age-related profiles. The three most age-informative cytosine markers were selected for a humpback epigenetic age assay. The assay has an R(2) of 0.787 (P = 3.04e-16) and predicts age from skin samples with a standard deviation of 2.991 years. The epigenetic method correctly determined which of parent-offspring pairs is the parent in more than 93% of cases. To demonstrate the potential of this technique, we constructed the first modern age profile of humpback whales off eastern Australia and compared the results to population structure 5 decades earlier. This is the first epigenetic age estimation method for a wild animal species and the approach we took for developing it can be applied to many other nonmodel organisms. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. 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.

  20. Residency training program: Perceptions of residents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. Background: There is a phobia among doctors for the residency training program, since the establishment of ... Materials and Methods: Structured questionnaires were administered to residents at 3 training institutions in Nigeria. Results: ... Keywords: Decentralization, motivation, perception, remuneration, residents.

  1. 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...

  2. Responses of Whales to Experimental Playback of Low Frequency Sound from the Navy SURTASS LFA

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tyack, Peter

    1998-01-01

    .... The study involved three different field studies: the first phase involved fin and blue whales feeding in the Southern California Bight, the second phase involved gray whales migrating past the California coast and the third phase involved humpback...

  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. Boosting vaccine efficacy the natural (killer) way

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rydyznski, Carolyn E.; Waggoner, Stephen N.

    2015-01-01

    Coordination of the innate and adaptive immune systems is paramount to the development of protective humoral and cellular immunity following vaccination. Natural killer (NK) cells are front-line soldiers of the innate immune system, and recent studies have revealed functions for NK cells in long-lived immune memory and the regulation of adaptive immune responses. These findings suggest that NK cells may play important roles in the development of efficacious vaccines, as well as, in some contexts, failed immunizations. Here we review the current understanding of the immunomodulatory and memory differentiation capabilities of NK cells. We examine the context-dependency of the mechanisms and the nature NK cell-mediated modulation of the immune response, and discuss how these insights may impact immunization strategies and the development of next-generation vaccines. PMID:26272882

  5. Leveraging natural killer cells for cancer immunotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossenbacher, Steven K; Aguilar, Ethan G; Murphy, William J

    2017-05-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells are potent antitumor effector cells of the innate immune system. Based on their ability to eradicate tumors in vitro and in animal models, significant enthusiasm surrounds the prospect of leveraging human NK cells as vehicles for cancer immunotherapy. While interest in manipulating the effector functions of NK cells has existed for over 30 years, there is renewed optimism for this approach today. Although T cells receive much of the clinical and preclinical attention when it comes to cancer immunotherapy, new strategies are utilizing adoptive NK-cell immunotherapy and monoclonal antibodies and engineered molecules which have been developed to specifically activate NK cells against tumors. Despite the numerous challenges associated with the preclinical and clinical development of NK cell-based therapies for cancer, NK cells possess many unique immunological properties and hold the potential to provide an effective means for cancer immunotherapy.

  6. Assessing the effectiveness of ramp-up during sonar operations using exposure models – a killer whale case study. (abstract)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benda-Beckmann, A.M. von; Wensveen, P.J.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.A.; Miller, P.J.O.; Tyack, P.L.; Ainslie, M.A.

    2013-01-01

    Ramp-up (or soft-start) procedures are commonly used to mitigate the impact of sound on marine mammals. Although this procedure is often adopted as a common-sense approach, studies that quantify the effectiveness of ramp-up are currently lacking. The effectiveness of ramp-up is investigated by

  7. Interactions Among Behavioral Responses of Baleen Whales to Acoustic Stimuli, Oceanographic Features, and Prey Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-31

    obtain empirical synoptic measurements of the fine-scale prey distribution and whale diving and foraging behavior in order to understand baleeen whale...including military sonar, on these animals. OBJECTIVES The overall objectives of this multi-year study are to obtain empirical synoptic measurements of...whales and 1 fin whale in 2014 (including controls). Table 1. Species tagged and prey-mapping type through 2014. Largest data gaps include real Naw

  8. A Survey of Wood Protection Chemicals, Tree Killers and Sprayers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    chemicals used in wood protection (preservation) within Makurdi metropolis. A purposive, non-random sampling was undertaken in Makurdi metropolis to identify wood protection chemicals/tree-killers available in agrochemical stores, ...

  9. Antiproton cell experiment: antimatter is a better killer

    CERN Multimedia

    2006-01-01

    "European Organization for Nuclear Research is reporting that results from a three year study of antiprotons for neoplasm irrdiation showed a better cellular killer with a smaller lethal dose." (1,5 page)

  10. Towards PDT with Genetically Encoded Photosensitizer KillerRed: A Comparison of Continuous and Pulsed Laser Regimens in an Animal Tumor Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Shirmanova

    Full Text Available The strong phototoxicity of the red fluorescent protein KillerRed allows it to be considered as a potential genetically encoded photosensitizer for the photodynamic therapy (PDT of cancer. The advantages of KillerRed over chemical photosensitizers are its expression in tumor cells transduced with the appropriate gene and direct killing of cells through precise damage to any desired cell compartment. The ability of KillerRed to affect cell division and to induce cell death has already been demonstrated in cancer cell lines in vitro and HeLa tumor xenografts in vivo. However, the further development of this approach for PDT requires optimization of the method of treatment. In this study we tested the continuous wave (593 nm and pulsed laser (584 nm, 10 Hz, 18 ns modes to achieve an antitumor effect. The research was implemented on CT26 subcutaneous mouse tumors expressing KillerRed in fusion with histone H2B. The results showed that the pulsed mode provided a higher rate of photobleaching of KillerRed without any temperature increase on the tumor surface. PDT with the continuous wave laser was ineffective against CT26 tumors in mice, whereas the pulsed laser induced pronounced histopathological changes and inhibition of tumor growth. Therefore, we selected an effective regimen for PDT when using the genetically encoded photosensitizer KillerRed and pulsed laser irradiation.

  11. Thermal Imaging and Biometrical Thermography of Humpback Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis W. Horton

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natacha Aguilar de Soto

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-15

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

  14. Natural killer T cells in lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Getz, Godfrey S; VanderLaan, Paul A; Reardon, Catherine A

    2011-01-01

    Cells of both the innate and adaptive immune system participate in the development of atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disorder of medium and large arteries. Natural killer T (NKT) cells express surface markers characteristic of natural killer cells and conventional T cells and bridge the innate and adaptive immune systems. The development and activation of NKT cells is dependent upon CD1d, a MHC-class I-type molecule that presents lipids, especially glycolipids to the TCR on NKT cells...

  15. Interactions among Behavioral Responses of Baleen Whales to Acoustic Stimuli, Oceanographic Features, and Prey Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    whale feeding kinematics. Results from pitch and roll models indicate that whales are more acrobatic when foraging on less dense patches (Figure 6...R., and Tershy, B.R. 2005. From wind to whales: trophic links in a coastal upwelling system. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 289: 117– 130. Doniol-Valcroze

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Behavioral and physiological response of baleen whales to...and physiological response of baleen whales to ships and ship noise off California using a combination of opportunistic and controlled research. Ship...Our objectives include: 1. Determine behavioral response (avoidance and changes in dive behavior) of blue whales and other large mystecetes to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maine Univ., Orono. Coll. of Education.

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

  18. 75 FR 23247 - International Whaling Commission; 62nd Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-03

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

  19. 76 FR 34209 - International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-13

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

  20. 76 FR 30921 - International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-27

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