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Sample records for humpback whales megaptera

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25728778

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) annually undertake the longest migrations between seasonal feeding and breeding grounds of any mammal. Despite this dispersal potential, discontinuous seasonal distributions and migratory patterns suggest that humpbacks form discrete regional populations within each ocean. To better understand the worldwide population history of humpbacks, and the interplay of this species with the oceanic environment through geological time, we assembled mitochondrial DNA control region sequences representing approximately 2700 individuals (465 bp, 219 haplotypes) and eight nuclear intronic sequences representing approximately 70 individuals (3700 bp, 140 alleles) from the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere. Bayesian divergence time reconstructions date the origin of humpback mtDNA lineages to the Pleistocene (880 ka, 95% posterior intervals 550-1320 ka) and estimate radiation of current Northern Hemisphere lineages between 50 and 200 ka, indicating colonization of the northern oceans prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. Coalescent analyses reveal restricted gene flow between ocean basins, with long-term migration rates (individual migrants per generation) of less than 3.3 for mtDNA and less than 2 for nuclear genomic DNA. Genetic evidence suggests that humpbacks in the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere are on independent evolutionary trajectories, supporting taxonomic revision of M. novaeangliae to three subspecies. PMID:24850919

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Aquatic mammals underwent morphological and physiological adaptations due to the transition from terrestrial to aquatic environment. One of the morphological changes regards their vision since cetaceans' eyes are able to withstand mechanical, chemical, osmotic, and optical water conditions. Due to insufficient information about these animals, especially regarding their sense organs, this study aimed to describe the morphology of the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) eyeball. Three newborn females, stranded dead on the coast of Sergipe and Bahia, Brazil, were used. Samples were fixed in a 10% formalin solution, dissected, photographed, collected, and evaluated through light and electron microscopy techniques. The Humpback whale sclera was thick and had an irregular surface with mechanoreceptors in its lamina propria. Lens was dense, transparent, and ellipsoidal, consisting of three layers, and the vascularized choroid contains melanocytes, mechanoreceptors, and a fibrous tapetum lucidum. The Humpback whale eyeball is similar to other cetaceans and suggests an adaptation to diving and migration, contributing to the perception of differences in temperature, pressure, and lighting. PMID:24644104

  4. Leading-edge tubercles delay stall on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) flippers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miklosovic, D. S.; Murray, M. M.; Howle, L. E.; Fish, F. E.

    2004-05-01

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is exceptional among the baleen whales in its ability to undertake acrobatic underwater maneuvers to catch prey. In order to execute these banking and turning maneuvers, humpback whales utilize extremely mobile flippers. The humpback whale flipper is unique because of the presence of large protuberances or tubercles located on the leading edge which gives this surface a scalloped appearance. We show, through wind tunnel measurements, that the addition of leading-edge tubercles to a scale model of an idealized humpback whale flipper delays the stall angle by approximately 40%, while increasing lift and decreasing drag.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in intestines of a baleen whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Contents of its gastrointestinal tract were sieved, dissolved in 10% potassium hydroxide and washed. From the remaining dried material, potential synthetic polymer particles were selected based on density and appearance, and analysed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Several polymer types (polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon) were found, in varying particle shapes: sheets, fragments and threads with a size of 1mm to 17cm. This diversity in polymer types and particle shapes, can be interpreted as a representation of the varying characteristics of marine plastic and the unselective way of ingestion by M. novaeangliae. PMID:25916197

  6. Recurring patterns in the songs of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    PubMed

    Green, Sean R; Mercado, Eduardo; Pack, Adam A; Herman, Louis M

    2011-02-01

    Humpback whales, unlike most mammalian species, learn new songs as adults. Populations of singers progressively and collectively change the sounds and patterns within their songs throughout their lives and across generations. In this study, humpback whale songs recorded in Hawaii from 1985 to 1995 were analyzed using self-organizing maps (SOMs) to classify the sounds within songs, and to identify sound patterns that were present across multiple years. These analyses supported the hypothesis that recurring, persistent patterns exist within whale songs, and that these patterns are defined at least in part by acoustic relationships between adjacent sounds within songs. Sound classification based on acoustic differences between adjacent sounds yielded patterns within songs that were more consistent from year to year than classifications based on the properties of single sounds. Maintenance of fixed ratios of acoustic modulation across sounds, despite large variations in individual sounds, suggests intrinsic constraints on how sounds change within songs. Such acoustically invariant cues may enable whales to recognize and assess variations in songs despite propagation-related distortion of individual sounds and yearly changes in songs. PMID:21215306

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanser, Sean Frederick Thurman

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

  8. The effect of depth on the target strength of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    PubMed

    Bernasconi, M; Patel, R; Nøttestad, L; Pedersen, G; Brierley, A S

    2013-12-01

    Marine mammals are very seldom detected and tracked acoustically at different depths. The air contained in body cavities, such as lungs or swimbladders, has a significant effect on the acoustic energy backscattered from whale and fish species. Target strength data were obtained while a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) swam at the surface and dove underneath a research vessel, providing valuable multi-frequency echosounder recordings of its scattering characteristics from near surface to a depth of about 240 m. Increasing depth dramatically influenced the backscattered energy coming from the large cetacean. This study is tightly linked to the ultimate goal of developing an automated whale detection system for mitigation purposes. PMID:25669243

  9. Evidence of a Lombard response in migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Rebecca A; Cato, Douglas H; Noad, Michael J

    2014-07-01

    The Lombard reflex is an increase in the subject's vocal levels in response to increased noise levels. This functions to maintain an adequate signal-to-noise ratio at the position of the receiver when noise levels vary. While it has been demonstrated in a small number of mammals and birds including some whales, it has not yet been shown to occur in one of the most vocal species of baleen whale, the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Humpback whales were simultaneously visually and acoustically tracked (using an array of calibrated hydrophone buoys) as they migrated southward. Source levels of social vocalizations were estimated from measured received levels and a site-specific empirical sound propagation model developed. In total, 226 social vocalizations from 16 passing groups of whales were selected for final analysis. Noise levels were predominantly wind-dependent (from sea surface motion) and ranged from 81 to 108 dB re 1 μPa in the 36 Hz-2.8 kHz band. Vocalization source levels increased by 0.9 dB for every 1 dB increase in wind-dependent background noise levels, with source levels (at 1 m) being maintained ∼60 dB above the noise level. PMID:24993227

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvin, C.

    2006-12-01

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

  11. Passive Acoustic Tracking of Singing Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on a Northwest Atlantic Feeding Ground

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Passive acoustic tracking provides an unobtrusive method of studying the movement of sound-producing animals in the marine environment where traditional tracking methods may be costly or infeasible. We used passive acoustic tracking to characterize the fine-scale movements of singing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on a northwest Atlantic feeding ground. Male humpback whales produce complex songs, a phenomenon that is well documented in tropical regions during the winter breeding season, but also occurs at higher latitudes during other times of year. Acoustic recordings were made throughout 2009 using an array of autonomous recording units deployed in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Song was recorded during spring and fall, and individual singing whales were localized and tracked throughout the array using a correlation sum estimation method on the time-synchronized recordings. Tracks were constructed for forty-three song sessions, revealing a high level of variation in movement patterns in both the spring and fall seasons, ranging from slow meandering to faster directional movement. Tracks were 30 min to 8 h in duration, and singers traveled distances ranging from 0.9 to 20.1 km. Mean swimming speed was 2.06 km/h (SD 0.95). Patterns and rates of movement indicated that most singers were actively swimming. In one case, two singers were tracked simultaneously, revealing a potential acoustic interaction. Our results provide a first description of the movements of singers on a northwest Atlantic feeding ground, and demonstrate the utility of passive acoustic tracking for studying the fine-scale movements of cetaceans within the behavioral context of their calls. These methods have further applications for conservation and management purposes, particularly by enhancing our ability to estimate cetacean densities using passive acoustic monitoring. PMID:23593447

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Repertoire and classification of non-song calls in Southeast Alaskan humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    PubMed

    Fournet, Michelle E; Szabo, Andy; Mellinger, David K

    2015-01-01

    On low-latitude breeding grounds, humpback whales produce complex and highly stereotyped songs as well as a range of non-song sounds associated with breeding behaviors. While on their Southeast Alaskan foraging grounds, humpback whales produce a range of previously unclassified non-song vocalizations. This study investigates the vocal repertoire of Southeast Alaskan humpback whales from a sample of 299 non-song vocalizations collected over a 3-month period on foraging grounds in Frederick Sound, Southeast Alaska. Three classification systems were used, including aural spectrogram analysis, statistical cluster analysis, and discriminant function analysis, to describe and classify vocalizations. A hierarchical acoustic structure was identified; vocalizations were classified into 16 individual call types nested within four vocal classes. The combined classification method shows promise for identifying variability in call stereotypy between vocal groupings and is recommended for future classification of broad vocal repertoires. PMID:25618033

  14. Calling in the Cold: Pervasive Acoustic Presence of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Antarctic Coastal Waters

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Humpback whales migrate between relatively unproductive tropical or temperate breeding grounds and productive high latitude feeding areas. However, not all individuals of a population undertake the annual migration to the breeding grounds; instead some are thought to remain on the feeding grounds year-round, presumably to avoid the energetic demands of migration. In the Southern Hemisphere, ice and inclement weather conditions restrict investigations of humpback whale presence on feeding grounds as well as the extent of their southern range. Two years of near-continuous recordings from the PerenniAL Acoustic Observatory in the Antarctic Ocean (PALAOA, Ekström Iceshelf, 70°31’S, 8°13’W) are used to explore the acoustic presence of humpback whales in an Antarctic coastal area. Humpback whale calls were present during nine and eleven months of 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2008, calls were present in January through April, June through August, November and December, whereas in 2009, calls were present throughout the year, except in September. Calls occurred in un-patterned sequences, representing non-song sound production. Typically, calls occurred in bouts, ranging from 2 to 42 consecutive days with February, March and April having the highest daily occurrence of calls in 2008. In 2009, February, March, April and May had the highest daily occurrence of calls. Whales were estimated to be within a 100 km radius off PALAOA. Calls were also present during austral winter when ice cover within this radius was >90%. These results demonstrate that coastal areas near the Antarctic continent are likely of greater importance to humpback whales than previously assumed, presumably providing food resources year-round and open water in winter where animals can breathe. PMID:24039844

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Humpback whales migrate between relatively unproductive tropical or temperate breeding grounds and productive high latitude feeding areas. However, not all individuals of a population undertake the annual migration to the breeding grounds; instead some are thought to remain on the feeding grounds year-round, presumably to avoid the energetic demands of migration. In the Southern Hemisphere, ice and inclement weather conditions restrict investigations of humpback whale presence on feeding grounds as well as the extent of their southern range. Two years of near-continuous recordings from the PerenniAL Acoustic Observatory in the Antarctic Ocean (PALAOA, Ekström Iceshelf, 70°31'S, 8°13'W) are used to explore the acoustic presence of humpback whales in an Antarctic coastal area. Humpback whale calls were present during nine and eleven months of 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2008, calls were present in January through April, June through August, November and December, whereas in 2009, calls were present throughout the year, except in September. Calls occurred in un-patterned sequences, representing non-song sound production. Typically, calls occurred in bouts, ranging from 2 to 42 consecutive days with February, March and April having the highest daily occurrence of calls in 2008. In 2009, February, March, April and May had the highest daily occurrence of calls. Whales were estimated to be within a 100 km radius off PALAOA. Calls were also present during austral winter when ice cover within this radius was >90%. These results demonstrate that coastal areas near the Antarctic continent are likely of greater importance to humpback whales than previously assumed, presumably providing food resources year-round and open water in winter where animals can breathe. PMID:24039844

  16. Molecular analysis of paternity shows promiscuous mating in female humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, Borowski).

    PubMed Central

    Clapham, P J; Palsbøll, P J

    1997-01-01

    It is widely assumed that the mating system of the humpback whale. Magaptera novaeangliae, is similar to that of most mammals in that it represents some form of polygyny or promiscuity, but this cannot be tested without observations of copulation or data on paternity of offspring. Microsatellite DNA markers were used to examine the paternity of calves born to individually identified mature female humpback whales from the Gulf of Maine. Skin biopsies were obtained from three females, and several (range: three to five) of their known offspring. Multiple paternity of offspring, indicated by the presence of at least three different paternal alleles, was evident in all three females at either three or four of the six microsatellite loci surveyed. Such promiscuous mating is expected given current knowledge of the social ecology of this species. It is also consistent with resightings of individually identified female humpbacks with different male associates during two or more breeding seasons. PMID:9061965

  17. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song unit and phrase repertoire progression on a subarctic feeding ground.

    PubMed

    Magnúsdóttir, Edda E; Miller, Patrick J O; Lim, Rangyn; Rasmussen, Marianne H; Lammers, Marc O; Svavarsson, Jörundur

    2015-11-01

    The songs of the male humpback whales have traditionally been associated with breeding activities at low latitude breeding grounds during winter. This study provides the first detailed analysis of humpback whale songs recorded in the subarctic waters of Iceland using passive acoustic recorders. Recordings were collected during three winter seasons: 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2011 during which singing was detected in all seasons. Peak song occurrence was during January-February in all years; this coincides with the timing of the peak breeding season of humpback whales in the Northern hemisphere. A total of 2810 song units from all years were measured and statistically divided into 14 groups, which constructed 25 phrases. The song unit repertoires included stable song unit types that occurred frequently in songs during all years while the occurrence of other song unit types varied more between years. Around 60% of the phrases were conserved between the first two study seasons, while the majority of phrases found during the last study season had not been observed before. This study indicates the importance of a subarctic feeding ground for song progression and song exchange and possibly as an opportunistic mating ground for migrating or overwintering humpback whales. PMID:26627808

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Behavioral responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to full-scale ATOC signals.

    PubMed

    Frankel, A S; Clark, C W

    2000-10-01

    Loud (195 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m) 75-Hz signals were broadcast with an ATOC projector to measure ocean temperature. Respiratory and movement behaviors of humpback whales off North Kauai, Hawaii, were examined for potential changes in response to these transmissions and to vessels. Few vessel effects were observed, but there were fewer vessels operating during this study than in previous years. No overt responses to ATOC were observed for received levels of 98-109 dB re 1 microPa. An analysis of covariance, using the no-sound behavioral rate as a covariate to control for interpod variation, found that the distance and time between successive surfacings of humpbacks increased slightly with an increase in estimated received ATOC sound level. These responses are very similar to those observed in response to scaled-amplitude playbacks of ATOC signals [Frankel and Clark, Can. J. Zool. 76, 521-535 (1998)]. These similar results were obtained with different sound projectors, in different years and locations, and at different ranges creating a different sound field. The repeatability of the findings for these two different studies indicates that these effects, while small, are robust. This suggests that at least for the ATOC signal, the received sound level is a good predictor of response. PMID:11051519

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The Au'au Channel between the islands of Maui and Lanai, Hawaii comprises critical breeding habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) of the Central North Pacific stock. However, like many regions where marine mega-fauna gather, these waters are also the focus of a flourishing local eco-tourism and whale watching industry. Our aim was to establish current trends in habitat preference in female-calf humpback whale pairs within this region, focusing specifically on the busy, eastern portions of the channel. We used an equally-spaced zigzag transect survey design, compiled our results in a GIS model to identify spatial trends and calculated Neu's Indices to quantify levels of habitat use. Our study revealed that while mysticete female-calf pairs on breeding grounds typically favor shallow, inshore waters, female-calf pairs in the Au'au Channel avoided shallow waters (<20 m) and regions within 2 km of the shoreline. Preferred regions for female-calf pairs comprised water depths between 40–60 m, regions of rugged bottom topography and regions that lay between 4 and 6 km from a small boat harbor (Lahaina Harbor) that fell within the study area. In contrast to other humpback whale breeding grounds, there was only minimal evidence of typical patterns of stratification or segregation according to group composition. A review of habitat use by maternal females across Hawaiian waters indicates that maternal habitat choice varies between localities within the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting that maternal females alter their use of habitat according to locally varying pressures. This ability to respond to varying environments may be the key that allows wildlife species to persist in regions where human activity and critical habitat overlap. PMID:22666432

  3. Vertical distribution of lipids, fatty acids and organochlorine contaminants in the blubber of southern hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    PubMed

    Waugh, Courtney A; Nichols, Peter D; Schlabach, Martin; Noad, Michael; Bengtson Nash, Susan

    2014-03-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as toxic lipophilic organochlorine (OC) compounds, accumulate in the blubber tissue of marine mammals. Toxicological sampling methods most frequently target only the superficial blubber layer. Vertical distribution of these contaminants through the blubber mantle may, however, not be homogenous and could reflect any dissemination of lipids and fatty acids (FAs). It is therefore critical to assess stratification patterns in a species of interest as a quality control measure for interpretation of toxicological data. Here, we analysed and compared the distribution of lipids, FAs, and OCs in the outermost and innermost blubber layer of southern hemisphere humpback whales. FA stratification was evident for short-chain (≤18) monounsaturated fatty acids (SC-MUFA), which were concentrated in the outer layer, consistent with the thermoregulatory role of this blubber layer. This stratification was, however, not reflected in OC distribution, which was similar in the inner and outer blubber layers of male humpback whales. By comparison, a noticeable gradient in total blubber lipid from the outer to the inner layer was observed in two lactating females, which coincided with higher lipid normalised contaminant levels in the inner layer. This study contains the most comprehensive assessment of humpback whale blubber stratification to date, however, further investigation of biological and ecological influencing factors is required. PMID:24315760

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    The present study documents the morphology of neurons in several regions of the neocortex from the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the North Atlantic minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Golgi-stained neurons (n = 210) were analyzed in the frontal and temporal neocortex as well as in the primary visual and primary motor areas. Qualitatively, all three species exhibited a diversity of neuronal morphologies, with spiny neurons including typical pyramidal types, similar to those observed in primates and rodents, as well as other spiny neuron types that had more variable morphology and/or orientation. Five neuron types, with a vertical apical dendrite, approximated the general pyramidal neuron morphology (i.e., typical pyramidal, extraverted, magnopyramidal, multiapical, and bitufted neurons), with a predominance of typical and extraverted pyramidal neurons. In what may represent a cetacean morphological apomorphy, both typical pyramidal and magnopyramidal neurons frequently exhibited a tri-tufted variant. In the humpback whale, there were also large, star-like neurons with no discernable apical dendrite. Aspiny bipolar and multipolar interneurons were morphologically consistent with those reported previously in other mammals. Quantitative analyses showed that neuronal size and dendritic extent increased in association with body size and brain mass (bottlenose dolphin < minke whale < humpback whale). The present data thus suggest that certain spiny neuron morphologies may be apomorphies in the neocortex of cetaceans as compared to other mammals and that neuronal dendritic extent covaries with brain and body size. PMID:25100560

  5. Response of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to ramp-up of a small experimental air gun array.

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; McCauley, Robert D; Kniest, Eric; Slade, Robert; Paton, David; Cato, Douglas H

    2016-02-15

    'Ramp-up', or 'soft start', is a mitigation measure used in seismic surveys and involves increasing the radiated sound level over 20-40 min. This study compared the behavioural response in migrating humpback whales to the first stages of ramp-up with the response to a 'constant' source, 'controls' (in which the array was towed but not operated) with groups in the absence of the source vessel used as the 'baseline'. Although the behavioural response, in most groups, resulted in an increase in distance from the source (potential avoidance), there was no evidence that either 'ramp-up' or the constant source at a higher level was superior for triggering whales to move away from the source vessel. 'Control' groups also responded suggesting the presence of the source vessel had some effect. However, the majority of groups appeared to avoid the source vessel at distances greater than the radius of most mitigation zones. PMID:26781958

  6. Your attention please: increasing ambient noise levels elicits a change in communication behaviour in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Rebecca A; Cato, Douglas H; Noad, Michael J

    2010-08-22

    High background noise is an important obstacle in successful signal detection and perception of an intended acoustic signal. To overcome this problem, many animals modify their acoustic signal by increasing the repetition rate, duration, amplitude or frequency range of the signal. An alternative method to ensure successful signal reception, yet to be tested in animals, involves the use of two different types of signal, where one signal type may enhance the other in periods of high background noise. Humpback whale communication signals comprise two different types: vocal signals, and surface-generated signals such as 'breaching' or 'pectoral slapping'. We found that humpback whales gradually switched from primarily vocal to primarily surface-generated communication in increasing wind speeds and background noise levels, though kept both signal types in their repertoire. Vocal signals have the advantage of having higher information content but may have the disadvantage of loosing this information in a noisy environment. Surface-generated sounds have energy distributed over a greater frequency range and may be less likely to become confused in periods of high wind-generated noise but have less information content when compared with vocal sounds. Therefore, surface-generated sounds may improve detection or enhance the perception of vocal signals in a noisy environment. PMID:20392731

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-07-01

    Numerous (84) acoustic detections of singing humpback whales were made during a spring (08 March-09 June 1997) research cruise to study sperm whales in the central and eastern North Pacific. Over 15,000 km of track-line was surveyed acoustically using a towed hydrophone array. Additionally, 83 sonobuoys were deployed throughout the study area. Detection rates were greatest in late March, near the Hawaiian Islands, and in early April, northeast of the islands. Only one detection was made after April. Detection rates for sonobuoys were unequal in three equally divided longitudinal regions of the study area. Two high density clusters of detections occurred approximately 1200-2000 km northeast of the Hawaiian Islands and were attributed to a large aggregation of migrating animals. The distribution of these detections corroborates findings of previous studies. It is possible that these animals were maintaining acoustic contact during migration. Two unexpected clusters of singing whales were detected approximately 900 to 1000 km west of central and southern California. The location of these detections may indicate a previously undocumented migration route between an offshore breeding area, such as the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico, and possible feeding areas in the western North Pacific or Bering Sea. PMID:10420640

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-12-01

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

  9. Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), a mysticete with a cosmopolitan distribution, demonstrate marked behavioural plasticity. Recent studies show evidence of social learning in the transmission of specific population level traits ranging from complex singing to stereotyped prey capturing behaviour. Humpback whales have been observed to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate behaviour in these groups is challenging to obtain. This study investigates the role of a novel broadband patterned pulsed sound produced by humpback whales engaged in bottom-feeding behaviours, referred to here as a ‘paired burst' sound. Data collected from 56 archival acoustic tag deployments were investigated to determine the functional significance of these signals. Paired burst sound production was associated exclusively with bottom feeding under low-light conditions, predominantly with evidence of associated conspecifics nearby suggesting that the sound likely serves either as a communicative signal to conspecifics, a signal to affect prey behaviour, or possibly both. This study provides additional evidence for individual variation and phenotypic plasticity of foraging behaviours in humpback whales and provides important evidence for the use of acoustic signals among foraging individuals in this species. PMID:25512188

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), a mysticete with a cosmopolitan distribution, demonstrate marked behavioural plasticity. Recent studies show evidence of social learning in the transmission of specific population level traits ranging from complex singing to stereotyped prey capturing behaviour. Humpback whales have been observed to employ group foraging techniques, however details on how individuals coordinate behaviour in these groups is challenging to obtain. This study investigates the role of a novel broadband patterned pulsed sound produced by humpback whales engaged in bottom-feeding behaviours, referred to here as a 'paired burst' sound. Data collected from 56 archival acoustic tag deployments were investigated to determine the functional significance of these signals. Paired burst sound production was associated exclusively with bottom feeding under low-light conditions, predominantly with evidence of associated conspecifics nearby suggesting that the sound likely serves either as a communicative signal to conspecifics, a signal to affect prey behaviour, or possibly both. This study provides additional evidence for individual variation and phenotypic plasticity of foraging behaviours in humpback whales and provides important evidence for the use of acoustic signals among foraging individuals in this species. PMID:25512188

  11. Reaction of three species of whales Balaenoptera physalus, Megaptera novaeangliae, and Balaenoptera edeni to implanted radio tags

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watkins, William A.

    1981-06-01

    Radio tags were implanted in Balaenoptera physalus (finback) and Megaptera novaeangliae (humpback) during June 1978 in Prince William Sound, Alaska and during October and November 1979 Balaenoptera edeni were tagged with the same system near Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. There was little visible response to the implantation of the whale tag, but there was reaction to the maneuvering of the boat and to sudden underwater sounds. There was no evidence that the whales recognized the tagging boat.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. Abundant mitochondrial DNA variation and world-wide population structure in humpback whales.

    PubMed

    Baker, C S; Perry, A; Bannister, J L; Weinrich, M T; Abernethy, R B; Calambokidis, J; Lien, J; Lambertsen, R H; Ramírez, J U; Vasquez, O

    1993-09-01

    Hunting during the last 200 years reduced many populations of mysticete whales to near extinction. To evaluate potential genetic bottlenecks in these exploited populations, we examined mitochondrial DNA control region sequences from 90 individual humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) representing six subpopulations in three ocean basins. Comparisons of relative nucleotide and nucleotype diversity reveal an abundance of genetic variation in all but one of the oceanic subpopulations. Phylogenetic reconstruction of nucleotypes and analysis of maternal gene flow show that current genetic variation is not due to postexploitation migration between oceans but is a relic of past population variability. Calibration of the rate of control region evolution across three families of whales suggests that existing humpback whale lineages are of ancient origin. Preservation of preexploitation variation in humpback whales may be attributed to their long life-span and overlapping generations and to an effective, though perhaps not timely, international prohibition against hunting. PMID:8367488

  14. The temporal characteristics of humpback whale songs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, Whitlow W. L.; Lammers, Marc O.; Stimpert, Alison; Schotten, Michiel

    2005-09-01

    Songs sung by male humpback whales consist of distinct, pulsed sounds that are designated as units. Units are produced in some sequence to form a phrase, a repeated set of phrases forms a theme, and repeated themes form a song. A song can last from minutes to hours. The songs of eight humpback whales were recorded with a vertical array of five hydrophones spaced 7 m apart with the array located within 100 m of the whales. At least seven distinct units were identified aurally from this data set obtained during the 2002 winter humpback whale session in Hawaii. Four distinct recurring themes were found in the songs, and for each whale at least two themes were recorded. The average duration of each unit sampled and the silent interval following the unit were determined in order to describe the temporal characteristics of the songs. From the data the temporal consistency and cadence control of unit production by each humpback whale and between whales were determined. Understanding the temporal and spectral characteristics of units within songs and how these units vary between whales could ultimately help in the design of computer algorithms to automatically identify individual whales.

  15. Sound production by singing humpback whales.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20370048

  16. Epigenetic estimation of age in humpback whales.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Our current understanding of Southern hemisphere humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) ecology assumes high-fidelity feeding on Antarctic krill in Antarctic waters during summer, followed by fasting during their annual migration to and from equatorial breeding grounds. An increase in the number of reported departures from this feeding/fasting model suggests that the current model may be oversimplified or, alternatively, undergoing contemporary change. Information about the feeding and fasting cycles of the two Australian breeding populations of humpback whales were obtained through stable isotope analysis of baleen plates from stranded adult individuals. Comparison of isotope profiles showed that individuals from the West Australian breeding population strongly adhered to the classical feeding model. By contrast, East Australian population individuals demonstrated greater heterogeneity in their feeding. On a spectrum from exclusive Antarctic feeding to exclusive feeding in temperate waters, three different strategies were assigned and discussed: classical feeders, supplemental feeders, and temperate zone feeders. Diversity in the inter-annual feeding strategies of humpback whales demonstrates the feeding plasticity of the species, but could also be indicative of changing dynamics within the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. This study presents the first investigation of trophodynamics in Southern hemisphere humpback whales derived from baleen plates, and further provides the first estimates of baleen plate elongation rates in the species. PMID:27244081

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

    PubMed Central

    Holyoake, Carly; Coughran, Douglas; Nicol, Steve

    2016-01-01

    Our current understanding of Southern hemisphere humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) ecology assumes high-fidelity feeding on Antarctic krill in Antarctic waters during summer, followed by fasting during their annual migration to and from equatorial breeding grounds. An increase in the number of reported departures from this feeding/fasting model suggests that the current model may be oversimplified or, alternatively, undergoing contemporary change. Information about the feeding and fasting cycles of the two Australian breeding populations of humpback whales were obtained through stable isotope analysis of baleen plates from stranded adult individuals. Comparison of isotope profiles showed that individuals from the West Australian breeding population strongly adhered to the classical feeding model. By contrast, East Australian population individuals demonstrated greater heterogeneity in their feeding. On a spectrum from exclusive Antarctic feeding to exclusive feeding in temperate waters, three different strategies were assigned and discussed: classical feeders, supplemental feeders, and temperate zone feeders. Diversity in the inter-annual feeding strategies of humpback whales demonstrates the feeding plasticity of the species, but could also be indicative of changing dynamics within the Antarctic sea-ice ecosystem. This study presents the first investigation of trophodynamics in Southern hemisphere humpback whales derived from baleen plates, and further provides the first estimates of baleen plate elongation rates in the species. PMID:27244081

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  1. Performance of hydrofoils with humpback whale-like leading edge protuberances.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levshin, Alexandra; Henoch, Charles; Johari, Hamid

    2005-11-01

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is extremely maneuverable, compared to other whale species, despite its large size and rigid body. Turning maneuvers are especially evident during pursuit of prey. The agility of humpback whale has been attributed to their use of pectoral flippers. The thick flippers have large aspect ratios, and large scale protuberances are present on the leading edge. The flippers do not flap during turning maneuvers. The cross-section of the flipper has a profile similar to a NACA 634-021 airfoil. The amplitude of leading edge protuberances ranges from 2.5 to 12% of the chord, with a spanwise extent of 10 to 50% the chord depending on the location along the span. It has been hypothesized that the `bumpy' leading edge is used for flow control. To examine the effects of protuberances on the leading edge of hydrofoils, a series of rectangular foils with bumpy leading edges were manufactured. The leading edge is sinusoidal in the spanwise direction with amplitudes and wavelengths comparable to that of humpback whale's flippers. The forces and moments on these bumpy foils were measured in a water tunnel and compared with a smooth leading edge foil.

  2. Mimicking the humpback whale: An aerodynamic perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  3. 77 FR 27185 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-09

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

    Lunge feeding in rorqual whales is a drag-based feeding mechanism that is thought to entail a high energetic cost and consequently limit the maximum dive time of these extraordinarily large predators. Although the kinematics of lunge feeding in fin whales supports this hypothesis, it is unclear whether respiratory compensation occurs as a consequence of lunge-feeding activity. We used high-resolution digital tags on foraging humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) to determine the number of lunges executed per dive as well as respiratory frequency between dives. Data from two whales are reported, which together performed 58 foraging dives and 451 lunges. During one study, we tracked one tagged whale for approximately 2 h and examined the spatial distribution of prey using a digital echosounder. These data were integrated with the dive profile to reveal that lunges are directed toward the upper boundary of dense krill aggregations. Foraging dives were characterized by a gliding descent, up to 15 lunges at depth, and an ascent powered by steady swimming. Longer dives were required to perform more lunges at depth and these extended apneas were followed by an increase in the number of breaths taken after a dive. Maximum dive durations during foraging were approximately half of those previously reported for singing (i.e. non-feeding) humpback whales. At the highest lunge frequencies (10 to 15 lunges per dive), respiratory rate was at least threefold higher than that of singing humpback whales that underwent a similar degree of apnea. These data suggest that the high energetic cost associated with lunge feeding in blue and fin whales also occurs in intermediate sized rorquals. PMID:19011211

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  6. Humpback whale song: A new review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frankel, Adam S.

    2003-04-01

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

  7. Patterns of Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Humpback Whales at the Southern Limit of the Southeast Pacific Breeding Area

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the patterns of spatial and temporal distribution in threshold habitats of highly migratory and endangered species is important for understanding their habitat requirements and recovery trends. Herein, we present new data about the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in neritic waters off the northern coast of Peru: an area that constitutes a transitional path from cold, upwelling waters to warm equatorial waters where the breeding habitat is located. Data was collected during four consecutive austral winter/spring seasons from 2010 to 2013, using whale-watching boats as platforms for research. A total of 1048 whales distributed between 487 groups were sighted. The spatial distribution of humpbacks resembled the characteristic segregation of whale groups according to their size/age class and social context in breeding habitats; mother and calf pairs were present in very shallow waters close to the coast, while dyads, trios or more whales were widely distributed from shallow to moderate depths over the continental shelf break. Sea surface temperatures (range: 18.2–25.9°C) in coastal waters were slightly colder than those closer to the oceanic realm, likely due to the influence of cold upwelled waters from the Humboldt Current system. Our results provide new evidence of the southward extension of the breeding region of humpback whales in the Southeast Pacific. Integrating this information with the knowledge from the rest of the breeding region and foraging grounds would enhance our current understanding of population dynamics and recovery trends of this species. PMID:25391137

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the patterns of spatial and temporal distribution in threshold habitats of highly migratory and endangered species is important for understanding their habitat requirements and recovery trends. Herein, we present new data about the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in neritic waters off the northern coast of Peru: an area that constitutes a transitional path from cold, upwelling waters to warm equatorial waters where the breeding habitat is located. Data was collected during four consecutive austral winter/spring seasons from 2010 to 2013, using whale-watching boats as platforms for research. A total of 1048 whales distributed between 487 groups were sighted. The spatial distribution of humpbacks resembled the characteristic segregation of whale groups according to their size/age class and social context in breeding habitats; mother and calf pairs were present in very shallow waters close to the coast, while dyads, trios or more whales were widely distributed from shallow to moderate depths over the continental shelf break. Sea surface temperatures (range: 18.2-25.9°C) in coastal waters were slightly colder than those closer to the oceanic realm, likely due to the influence of cold upwelled waters from the Humboldt Current system. Our results provide new evidence of the southward extension of the breeding region of humpback whales in the Southeast Pacific. Integrating this information with the knowledge from the rest of the breeding region and foraging grounds would enhance our current understanding of population dynamics and recovery trends of this species. PMID:25391137

  9. Spatial Pattern Analysis of Cruise Ship-Humpback Whale Interactions in and Near Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Changes in Humpback Whale Song Occurrence in Response to an Acoustic Source 200 km Away

    PubMed Central

    Risch, Denise; Corkeron, Peter J.; Ellison, William T.; Van Parijs, Sofie M.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of underwater anthropogenic sound on marine mammals is of increasing concern. Here we show that humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) was reduced, concurrent with transmissions of an Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) experiment approximately 200 km away. We detected the OAWRS experiment in SBNMS during an 11 day period in autumn 2006. We compared the occurrence of song for 11 days before, during and after the experiment with song over the same 33 calendar days in two later years. Using a quasi-Poisson generalized linear model (GLM), we demonstrate a significant difference in the number of minutes with detected song between periods and years. The lack of humpback whale song during the OAWRS experiment was the most substantial signal in the data. Our findings demonstrate the greatest published distance over which anthropogenic sound has been shown to affect vocalizing baleen whales, and the first time that active acoustic fisheries technology has been shown to have this effect. The suitability of Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing technology for in-situ, long term monitoring of marine ecosystems should be considered, bearing in mind its possible effects on non-target species, in particular protected species. PMID:22253769

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is exceptional among the large baleen whales in its ability to undertake aquabatic maneuvers to catch prey. Humpback whales utilize extremely mobile, wing-like flippers for banking and turning. Large rounded tubercles along the leading edge of the flipper are morphological structures that are unique in nature. The tubercles on the leading edge act as passive-flow control devices that improve performance and maneuverability of the flipper. Experimental analysis of finite wing models has demonstrated that the presence of tubercles produces a delay in the angle of attack until stall, thereby increasing maximum lift and decreasing drag. Possible fluid-dynamic mechanisms for improved performance include delay of stall through generation of a vortex and modification of the boundary layer, and increase in effective span by reduction of both spanwise flow and strength of the tip vortex. The tubercles provide a bio-inspired design that has commercial viability for wing-like structures. Control of passive flow has the advantages of eliminating complex, costly, high-maintenance, and heavy control mechanisms, while improving performance for lifting bodies in air and water. The tubercles on the leading edge can be applied to the design of watercraft, aircraft, ventilation fans, and windmills. PMID:21576119

  12. Changes in humpback whale song occurrence in response to an acoustic source 200 km away.

    PubMed

    Risch, Denise; Corkeron, Peter J; Ellison, William T; Parijs, Sofie M Van

    2012-01-01

    The effect of underwater anthropogenic sound on marine mammals is of increasing concern. Here we show that humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) was reduced, concurrent with transmissions of an Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) experiment approximately 200 km away. We detected the OAWRS experiment in SBNMS during an 11 day period in autumn 2006. We compared the occurrence of song for 11 days before, during and after the experiment with song over the same 33 calendar days in two later years. Using a quasi-Poisson generalized linear model (GLM), we demonstrate a significant difference in the number of minutes with detected song between periods and years. The lack of humpback whale song during the OAWRS experiment was the most substantial signal in the data. Our findings demonstrate the greatest published distance over which anthropogenic sound has been shown to affect vocalizing baleen whales, and the first time that active acoustic fisheries technology has been shown to have this effect. The suitability of Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing technology for in-situ, long term monitoring of marine ecosystems should be considered, bearing in mind its possible effects on non-target species, in particular protected species. PMID:22253769

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  14. Environmental constraints on sound transmission by humpback whales.

    PubMed

    Mercado, E; Frazer, L N

    1999-11-01

    Singing humpback whales in Hawaii produce a variety of sounds at high source levels (ca. 185 dB re: 1 microPa), in coastal waters 15-500 m deep. These sounds are attenuated and distorted as they propagate away from a singer, limiting the utilizable range of the sounds. In the current study, simulations based on normal-mode theory were used to investigate how the effects of shallow-water propagation constrain humpback whales' use of sound. It is shown that humpbacks can greatly affect transmission range by adjusting their positions and sounds in response to environmental factors. Source depth, in particular, is shown to be a major determinant of which frequencies propagate the farthest. A preliminary analysis of range-dependent distortion suggests that spectral cues can potentially provide listening whales with information about how far a sound has traveled. PMID:10573910

  15. Super-Aggregations of Krill and Humpback Whales in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Ecological relationships of krill and whales have not been explored in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), and have only rarely been studied elsewhere in the Southern Ocean. In the austral autumn we observed an extremely high density (5.1 whales per km2) of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding on a super-aggregation of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in Wilhelmina Bay. The krill biomass was approximately 2 million tons, distributed over an area of 100 km2 at densities of up to 2000 individuals m−3; reports of such ‘super-aggregations’ of krill have been absent in the scientific literature for >20 years. Retentive circulation patterns in the Bay entrained phytoplankton and meso-zooplankton that were grazed by the krill. Tagged whales rested during daylight hours and fed intensively throughout the night as krill migrated toward the surface. We infer that the previously unstudied WAP embayments are important foraging areas for whales during autumn and, furthermore, that meso-scale variation in the distribution of whales and their prey are important features of this system. Recent decreases in the abundance of Antarctic krill around the WAP have been linked to reductions in sea ice, mediated by rapid climate change in this area. At the same time, baleen whale populations in the Southern Ocean, which feed primarily on krill, are recovering from past exploitation. Consideration of these features and the effects of climate change on krill dynamics are critical to managing both krill harvests and the recovery of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean. PMID:21556153

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Ecological relationships of krill and whales have not been explored in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), and have only rarely been studied elsewhere in the Southern Ocean. In the austral autumn we observed an extremely high density (5.1 whales per km(2)) of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding on a super-aggregation of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in Wilhelmina Bay. The krill biomass was approximately 2 million tons, distributed over an area of 100 km(2) at densities of up to 2000 individuals m(-3); reports of such 'super-aggregations' of krill have been absent in the scientific literature for >20 years. Retentive circulation patterns in the Bay entrained phytoplankton and meso-zooplankton that were grazed by the krill. Tagged whales rested during daylight hours and fed intensively throughout the night as krill migrated toward the surface. We infer that the previously unstudied WAP embayments are important foraging areas for whales during autumn and, furthermore, that meso-scale variation in the distribution of whales and their prey are important features of this system. Recent decreases in the abundance of Antarctic krill around the WAP have been linked to reductions in sea ice, mediated by rapid climate change in this area. At the same time, baleen whale populations in the Southern Ocean, which feed primarily on krill, are recovering from past exploitation. Consideration of these features and the effects of climate change on krill dynamics are critical to managing both krill harvests and the recovery of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean. PMID:21556153

  17. 75 FR 57441 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-21

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

  18. 75 FR 77615 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-13

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

  19. Humpback whales harbour a combination of specific and variable skin bacteria.

    PubMed

    Apprill, Amy; Mooney, T Aran; Lyman, Edward; Stimpert, Alison K; Rappé, Michael S

    2011-04-01

    Investigations of marine mammal skin-associated microbiota are limited to cultivation-based studies of lesioned individuals, resulting in a lack of understanding about the composition of 'normal' skin-associated microbial communities, their variation among individuals, and whether or not the microbial communities change with host health or environmental exposures. In this study, bacterial communities associated with the skin of 19 North Pacific humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), including skin from three health-compromised individuals, were examined using small subunit ribosomal RNA gene-based culture-independent techniques. These analyses revealed that the skin-associated bacteria were significantly different from free-living bacterial communities in the surrounding seawater. Two novel groups within the Flavobacteriaceae family of the Bacteroidetes phylum were found to be associated with multiple whales, including a species within the Tenacibaculum genus that associated with 95% of the individuals. Statistical analyses revealed that a group of eight 'healthy' whales harboured similar microbial communities, while the health-compromised and other 'healthy' animals harboured communities that were unique to the specific animal. These results describe two components of the whale skin bacterial community: a specific and potentially co-evolved fraction, and a more variable microbial community fraction that may offer a diagnostic-type tool for investigating the health and life-related events of these endangered animals. PMID:23761254

  20. 75 FR 970 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-07

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

  1. Hydrodynamics of a Digitized Adult Humpback Whale Flipper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  2. Effect of Leading Edge Tubercles on Swept Humpback Whale Flipper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Mark; Miklosovic, David; Fish, Frank; Howle, Laurens

    2004-11-01

    The effect of leading edge tubercles on the performance of idealized humpback whale flipper models at sweep angles of 15 and 30 degrees is analyzed. We present the experimental results based on precision wind tunnel testing, comparing the data obtained on idealized model sets with and without leading edge tubercles. We have found a significant difference in the lift and drag coefficients over a large range of angle of attack.

  3. Stall Delay by Leading Edge Tubercles on Humpback Whale Flipper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Mark; Miklosovic, David; Fish, Frank; Howle, Laurens

    2003-11-01

    The effect of leading edge tubercles on the performance of idealized humpback whale flipper models is analyzed. We present the experimental results based on precision wind tunnel testing, comparing the data obtained on idealized model sets with and without leading edge tubercles. We have found a significant increase in the angle of attack required for stall on the flipper with tubercles and a smaller drag coefficient at these higher angles of attack.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Aerodynamic Design of Wing based on Humpback Whale Flipper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akram, Saif; Baig, Faisal

    2013-11-01

    The tubercles provide a bio-inspired design that has commercial viability for wing-like structures. Wind tunnel tests at low speeds of model humpback flippers with leading-edge tubercles have demonstrated improvements tubercles make, such as a staggering 32% reduction in drag, 8% improvement in lift, and a 40% increase in angle of attack over smooth flippers before stalling. The tubercles on the leading edge act as a passive-flow control device that improves the performance and maneuverability of the flipper. Possible fluid-dynamic mechanisms for improved performance include delay of stall through generation of a vortex and modification of the boundary layer, and increase in effective span by reduction of both spanwise flow and strength of the tip vortex. In the present work, numerical investigation of a 3D wing with scalloped leading edge inspired by the humpback whale flipper is carried out at high subsonic speeds with variation in angle of attack from 0 to 25 degrees. The effect of using different turbulence models is also investigated in order to attain a better understanding of mechanism(s) responsible for improved aerodynamic performance. This new understanding of humpback whale flipper aerodynamics has strong implications for wing design.

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

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, R; Mattila, D K; Clapham, P J; Palsbøll, P J

    2001-01-01

    We present a new method for paternity analysis in natural populations that is based on genotypic data that can take the sampling fraction of putative parents into account. The method allows paternity assignment to be performed in a decision theoretic framework. Simulations are performed to evaluate the utility and robustness of the method and to assess how many loci are necessary for reliable paternity inference. In addition we present a method for testing hypotheses regarding relative reproductive success of different ecologically or behaviorally defined groups as well as a new method for estimating the current population size of males from genotypic data. This method is an extension of the fractional paternity method to the case where only a proportion of all putative fathers have been sampled. It can also be applied to provide abundance estimates of the number of breeding males from genetic data. Throughout, the methods were applied to genotypic data collected from North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to test if the males that appear dominant during the mating season have a higher reproductive success than the subdominant males. PMID:11290722

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Fidelity of individual animals to breeding sites is a primary determinant of population structure. The degree and scale of philopatry in a population reflect the fitness effects of social facilitation, ecological adaptation and optimal inbreeding. Patterns of breeding-site movement and fidelity are functions of social structure and are frequently sex biased. We report on a female humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) first identified by natural markings off Brazil that subsequently was photographed off Madagascar. The minimum travel distance between these locations is greater than 9800 km, approximately 4000 km longer than any previously reported movement between breeding grounds, more than twice the species' typical seasonal migratory distance and the longest documented movement by a mammal. It is unexpected to find this exceptional long-distance movement between breeding groups by a female, as models of philopatry suggest that male mammals move more frequently or over longer distances in search of mating opportunities. While such movement may be advantageous, especially in changeable or unpredictable circumstances, it is not possible to unambiguously ascribe causality to this rare observation. This finding illustrates the behavioural flexibility in movement patterns that may be demonstrated within a typically philopatric species. PMID:20943678

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Site fidelity is common among migratory cetaceans, including humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). In the Northern Hemisphere it has been found that fidelity to humpback whale feeding grounds is transferred maternally but this has never been shown for the species in the Southern Hemisphere. We examined this in a unique feeding area off west South Africa using resighting data of 68 individually identified humpback whales by means of photographic (tail flukes and dorsal fins) and/or molecular methods (microsatellite genotyping) over an 18 year span. We found short-term association patterns and recurrent visits typical of other feeding grounds. Males and females had different seasonality of attendance. Significant female-dominated presence corresponded to timing of an expected influx of females on their southward migration from the breeding ground: firstly non-nursing (possibly pregnant) females in mid-spring, and mothers and calves in mid-to late summer. The potential benefit of this mid-latitude feeding area for females is illustrated by a record of a cow with known age of at least 23 years that produced calves in three consecutive years, each of which survived to at least six months of age: the first record of successful post-partum ovulation for this species in the Southern Hemisphere. We recorded association of a weaned calf with its mother, and a recurring association between a non-lactating female and male over more than two years. Moreover, three animals first identified as calves returned to the same area in subsequent years, sometimes on the same day as their mothers. This, together with numerous Parent-Offspring relations detected genetically among and between resighted and non-resighted whales is strongly suggestive of maternally derived site fidelity at a small spatial scale by a small sub-population of humpback whales. PMID:24349047

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25470144

  11. The World's Most Isolated and Distinct Whale Population? Humpback Whales of the Arabian Sea

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25470144

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-22

    We report on a wintering area off the Pacific coast of Central America for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrating from feeding areas off Antarctica. We document seven individuals, including a mother/calf pair, that made this migration (approx. 8300km), the longest movement undertaken by any mammal. Whales were observed as far north as 11 degrees N off Costa Rica, in an area also used by a boreal population during the opposite winter season, resulting in unique spatial overlap between Northern and Southern Hemisphere populations. The occurrence of such a northerly wintering area is coincident with the development of an equatorial tongue of cold water in the eastern South Pacific, a pattern that is repeated in the eastern South Atlantic. A survey of location and water temperature at the wintering areas worldwide indicates that they are found in warm waters (21.1-28.3 degrees C), irrespective of latitude. We contend that while availability of suitable reproductive habitat in the wintering areas is important at the fine scale, water temperature influences whale distribution at the basin scale. Calf development in warm water may lead to larger adult size and increased reproductive success, a strategy that supports the energy conservation hypothesis as a reason for migration. PMID:17412669

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Review of information bearing upon the conservation and protection of humpback whales in hawaii. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Tinney, R.T.

    1988-03-01

    Humpback whales wintering in Hawaii may be affected by human activities in the nearshore waters apparently favored by the whales. The report reviews available information on the number, age/sex composition, reproductive status, distribution, movements, and essential habitats of the whales in Hawaii. It then identifies human activities that may be affecting the whales or their habitats and describes their nature, magnitude, and significance. This is followed by: a review of existing local, state, and Federal laws and regulations and their adequacy for avoiding or mitigating the effects of human activities on the whales; an identification of critical information gaps regarding the whales and the human activities.

  15. Non-song social call bouts of migrating humpback whales

    PubMed Central

    Rekdahl, Melinda L.; Dunlop, Rebecca A.; Goldizen, Anne W.; Garland, Ellen C.; Biassoni, Nicoletta; Miller, Patrick; Noad, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    The use of stereotyped calls within structured bouts has been described for a number of species and may increase the information potential of call repertoires. Humpback whales produce a repertoire of social calls, although little is known about the complexity or function of these calls. In this study, digital acoustic tag recordings were used to investigate social call use within bouts, the use of bouts across different social contexts, and whether particular call type combinations were favored. Call order within bouts was investigated using call transition frequencies and information theory techniques. Call bouts were defined through analysis of inter-call intervals, as any calls within 3.9 s of each other. Bouts were produced significantly more when new whales joined a group compared to groups that did not change membership, and in groups containing multiple adults escorting a female and calf compared to adult only groups. Although social calls tended to be produced in bouts, there were few repeated bout types. However, the order in which most call types were produced within bouts was non-random and dependent on the preceding call type. These bouts appear to be at least partially governed by rules for how individual components are combined. PMID:26093396

  16. Non-song social call bouts of migrating humpback whales.

    PubMed

    Rekdahl, Melinda L; Dunlop, Rebecca A; Goldizen, Anne W; Garland, Ellen C; Biassoni, Nicoletta; Miller, Patrick; Noad, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    The use of stereotyped calls within structured bouts has been described for a number of species and may increase the information potential of call repertoires. Humpback whales produce a repertoire of social calls, although little is known about the complexity or function of these calls. In this study, digital acoustic tag recordings were used to investigate social call use within bouts, the use of bouts across different social contexts, and whether particular call type combinations were favored. Call order within bouts was investigated using call transition frequencies and information theory techniques. Call bouts were defined through analysis of inter-call intervals, as any calls within 3.9 s of each other. Bouts were produced significantly more when new whales joined a group compared to groups that did not change membership, and in groups containing multiple adults escorting a female and calf compared to adult only groups. Although social calls tended to be produced in bouts, there were few repeated bout types. However, the order in which most call types were produced within bouts was non-random and dependent on the preceding call type. These bouts appear to be at least partially governed by rules for how individual components are combined. PMID:26093396

  17. 75 FR 40759 - Initiation of Review of Management Plan/Regulations of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    The activities of glutathione-s-transferase (GST) and cytochrome P-450 1A1 (CYP1A1) enzymes were measured in freshly extracted epidermis of live-biopsied, migrating, southern hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). The two quantified enzyme activities did not correlate strongly with each other. Similarly, neither correlated strongly with any of the organochlorine compound groups previously measured in the superficial blubber of the sample biopsy core, likely reflecting the anticipated low levels of typical aryl-hydrocarbon receptor ligands. GST activity did not differ significantly between genders or between northward (early migration) or southward (late migration) migrating cohorts. Indeed, the inter-individual variability in GST measurements was relatively low. This observation raises the possibility that measured activities were basal activities and that GST function was inherently impacted by the fasting state of the sampled animals, as seen in other species. These results do not support the implementation of CYP1A1 or GST as effective biomarkers of organochlorine contaminant burdens in southern hemisphere populations of humpback whales as advocated for other cetacean species. Further investigation of GST activity in feeding versus fasting cohorts may, however, provide some insight into the fasting metabolism of these behaviourally adapted populations. PMID:25058559

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-23

    Fidelity of individual animals to breeding sites is a primary determinant of population structure. The degree and scale of philopatry in a population reflect the fitness effects of social facilitation, ecological adaptation and optimal inbreeding. Patterns of breeding-site movement and fidelity are functions of social structure and are frequently sex biased. We report on a female humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) first identified by natural markings off Brazil that subsequently was photographed off Madagascar. The minimum travel distance between these locations is greater than 9800 km, approximately 4000 km longer than any previously reported movement between breeding grounds, more than twice the species' typical seasonal migratory distance and the longest documented movement by a mammal. It is unexpected to find this exceptional long-distance movement between breeding groups by a female, as models of philopatry suggest that male mammals move more frequently or over longer distances in search of mating opportunities. While such movement may be advantageous, especially in changeable or unpredictable circumstances, it is not possible to unambiguously ascribe causality to this rare observation. This finding illustrates the behavioural flexibility in movement patterns that may be demonstrated within a typically philopatric species. PMID:20943678

  20. Humpback whale diets respond to variance in ocean climate and ecosystem conditions in the California Current.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Alyson H; Clark, Casey T; Calambokidis, John; Barlow, Jay

    2016-03-01

    Large, migratory predators are often cited as sentinel species for ecosystem processes and climate-related changes, but their utility as indicators is dependent upon an understanding of their response to environmental variability. Documentation of the links between climate variability, ecosystem change and predator dynamics is absent for most top predators. Identifying species that may be useful indicators and elucidating these mechanistic links provides insight into current ecological dynamics and may inform predictions of future ecosystem responses to climatic change. We examine humpback whale response to environmental variability through stable isotope analysis of diet over a dynamic 20-year period (1993-2012) in the California Current System (CCS). Humpback whale diets captured two major shifts in oceanographic and ecological conditions in the CCS. Isotopic signatures reflect a diet dominated by krill during periods characterized by positive phases of the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO), cool sea surface temperature (SST), strong upwelling and high krill biomass. In contrast, humpback whale diets are dominated by schooling fish when the NPGO is negative, SST is warmer, seasonal upwelling is delayed and anchovy and sardine populations display increased biomass and range expansion. These findings demonstrate that humpback whales trophically respond to ecosystem shifts, and as a result, their foraging behavior is a synoptic indicator of oceanographic and ecological conditions across the CCS. Multi-decadal examination of these sentinel species thus provides insight into biological consequences of interannual climate fluctuations, fundamental to advancing ecosystem predictions related to global climate change. PMID:26599719

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  3. Population structure of humpback whales from their breeding grounds in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Howard C; Pomilla, Cristina; Mendez, Martin; Leslie, Matthew S; Best, Peter B; Findlay, Ken P; Minton, Gianna; Ersts, Peter J; Collins, Timothy; Engel, Marcia H; Bonatto, Sandro L; Kotze, Deon P G H; Meÿer, Mike; Barendse, Jaco; Thornton, Meredith; Razafindrakoto, Yvette; Ngouessono, Solange; Vely, Michel; Kiszka, Jeremy

    2009-01-01

    Although humpback whales are among the best-studied of the large whales, population boundaries in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) have remained largely untested. We assess population structure of SH humpback whales using 1,527 samples collected from whales at fourteen sampling sites within the Southwestern and Southeastern Atlantic, the Southwestern Indian Ocean, and Northern Indian Ocean (Breeding Stocks A, B, C and X, respectively). Evaluation of mtDNA population structure and migration rates was carried out under different statistical frameworks. Using all genetic evidence, the results suggest significant degrees of population structure between all ocean basins, with the Southwestern and Northern Indian Ocean most differentiated from each other. Effective migration rates were highest between the Southeastern Atlantic and the Southwestern Indian Ocean, followed by rates within the Southeastern Atlantic, and the lowest between the Southwestern and Northern Indian Ocean. At finer scales, very low gene flow was detected between the two neighbouring sub-regions in the Southeastern Atlantic, compared to high gene flow for whales within the Southwestern Indian Ocean. Our genetic results support the current management designations proposed by the International Whaling Commission of Breeding Stocks A, B, C, and X as four strongly structured populations. The population structure patterns found in this study are likely to have been influenced by a combination of long-term maternally directed fidelity of migratory destinations, along with other ecological and oceanographic features in the region. PMID:19812698

  4. Population Structure of Humpback Whales from Their Breeding Grounds in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, Howard C.; Pomilla, Cristina; Mendez, Martin; Leslie, Matthew S.; Best, Peter B.; Findlay, Ken P.; Minton, Gianna; Ersts, Peter J.; Collins, Timothy; Engel, Marcia H.; Bonatto, Sandro L.; Kotze, Deon P. G. H.; Meÿer, Mike; Barendse, Jaco; Thornton, Meredith; Razafindrakoto, Yvette; Ngouessono, Solange; Vely, Michel; Kiszka, Jeremy

    2009-01-01

    Although humpback whales are among the best-studied of the large whales, population boundaries in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) have remained largely untested. We assess population structure of SH humpback whales using 1,527 samples collected from whales at fourteen sampling sites within the Southwestern and Southeastern Atlantic, the Southwestern Indian Ocean, and Northern Indian Ocean (Breeding Stocks A, B, C and X, respectively). Evaluation of mtDNA population structure and migration rates was carried out under different statistical frameworks. Using all genetic evidence, the results suggest significant degrees of population structure between all ocean basins, with the Southwestern and Northern Indian Ocean most differentiated from each other. Effective migration rates were highest between the Southeastern Atlantic and the Southwestern Indian Ocean, followed by rates within the Southeastern Atlantic, and the lowest between the Southwestern and Northern Indian Ocean. At finer scales, very low gene flow was detected between the two neighbouring sub-regions in the Southeastern Atlantic, compared to high gene flow for whales within the Southwestern Indian Ocean. Our genetic results support the current management designations proposed by the International Whaling Commission of Breeding Stocks A, B, C, and X as four strongly structured populations. The population structure patterns found in this study are likely to have been influenced by a combination of long-term maternally directed fidelity of migratory destinations, along with other ecological and oceanographic features in the region. PMID:19812698

  5. Receiver operating characteristic for a spectrogram correlator-based humpback whale detector-classifier.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

    This paper presents recent experimental results and a discussion of system enhancements made to the real-time autonomous humpback whale detector-classifier algorithm first presented by Abbot et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 127, 2894-2903 (2010)]. In February 2010, a second-generation system was deployed in an experiment conducted off of leeward Kauai during which 26 h of humpback vocalizations were recorded via sonobuoy and processed in real time. These data have been analyzed along with 40 h of humpbacks-absent data collected from the same location during July-August 2009. The extensive whales-absent data set in particular has enabled the quantification of system false alarm rates and the measurement of receiver operating characteristic curves. The performance impact of three enhancements incorporated into the second-generation system are discussed, including (1) a method to eliminate redundancy in the kernel library, (2) increased use of contextual analysis, and (3) the augmentation of the training data with more recent humpback vocalizations. It will be shown that the performance of the real-time system was improved to yield a probability of correct classification of 0.93 and a probability of false alarm of 0.004 over the 66 h of independent test data. PMID:22978879

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    This paper reports the first successful derivation and characterization of humpback whale fibroblast cell lines. Primary fibroblasts were isolated from the dermal connective tissue of skin biopsies, cultured at 37 °C and 5% CO2 in the standard mammalian medium DMEM/F12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Of nine initial biopsies, two cell lines were established from two different animals and designated HuWa1 and HuWa2. The cells have a stable karyotype with 2n=44, which has commonly been observed in other baleen whale species. Cells were verified as being fibroblasts based on their spindle-shaped morphology, adherence to plastic and positive immunoreaction to vimentin. Population doubling time was determined to be ∼41 h and cells were successfully cryopreserved and thawed. To date, HuWa1 cells have been propagated 30 times. Cells proliferate at the tested temperatures, 30, 33.5 and 37 °C, but show the highest rate of proliferation at 37 °C. Short-term exposure to para,para'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE), a priority compound accumulating in southern hemisphere humpback whales, resulted in a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability. The effective concentration which caused a 50% reduction in HuWa1 cell viability (EC50 value) was approximately six times greater than the EC50 value for the same chemical measured with human dermal fibroblasts. HuWa1 exposed to a natural, p,p'-DDE-containing, chemical mixture extracted from whale blubber showed distinctively higher sensitivity than to p,p'-DDE alone. Thus, we provide the first cytotoxicological data for humpback whales and with establishment of the HuWa cell lines, a unique in vitro model for the study of the whales' sensitivity and cellular response to chemicals and other environmental stressors. PMID:26363275

  7. The acoustic field of singing humpback whales in the vertical plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, Whitlow W. L.; Pack, Adam A.; Lammers, Marc O.; Herman, Louis; Andrews, Kimberly; Deakos, Mark

    2003-04-01

    A vertical array of five hydrophones was used to measure the acoustic field of singing humpback whales. Once a singer was located, two swimmers with snorkel gear were deployed to determine the orientation of the whale and to position the boat so that the array could be deployed in front of the whale at a minimum standoff distance of 10 m. The spacing of the hydrophones was 7 m with the deepest hydrophone deployed at depth of 35 m. An 8-channel TASCAM recorder having a bandwidth of 24 kHz was used to record the hydrophone signals. The location of the singer was determined by computing the time of arrival differences between the hydrophone signals. The maximum source level varied between individual units in a song, with values between 180 and 190 dB. The acoustic field determined by considering the relative intensity of higher frequency harmonics in the signals indicate that the sounds are projected in the horizontal direction with the singer's head canted downward 45 to 60°. High-frequency harmonics extended beyond 24 kHz, suggesting that humpback whales may have an upper frequency limit of hearing as high as 24 kHz.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Whales migrate long distances and reproduce on a finite store of energy. Budgeting the use of this limited energy reserve is an important factor to ensure survival over the period of migration and to maximize reproductive investment. For some whales, migration routes are closely associated with coastal areas, exposing animals to high levels of human activity. It is currently unclear how various forms of human activity may disturb whales during migration, how this might impact their energy balance and how this could translate into long-term demographic changes. Here, we develop a theoretical bioenergetic model for migrating humpback whales to investigate the optimal migration strategy that minimizes energy use. The average migration velocity was an important driver of the total energy used by a whale, and an optimal velocity of 1.1 m s(-1) was determined. This optimal velocity is comparable to documented observed migration speeds, suggesting that whales migrate at a speed that conserves energy. Furthermore, the amount of resting time during migration was influenced by both transport costs and feeding rates. We simulated hypothetical disturbances to the optimal migration strategy in two ways, by altering average velocity to represent changes in behavioural activity and by increasing total travelled distance to represent displacement along the migration route. In both cases, disturbance increased overall energy use, with implications for the growth potential of calves. PMID:27293686

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Whales migrate long distances and reproduce on a finite store of energy. Budgeting the use of this limited energy reserve is an important factor to ensure survival over the period of migration and to maximize reproductive investment. For some whales, migration routes are closely associated with coastal areas, exposing animals to high levels of human activity. It is currently unclear how various forms of human activity may disturb whales during migration, how this might impact their energy balance and how this could translate into long-term demographic changes. Here, we develop a theoretical bioenergetic model for migrating humpback whales to investigate the optimal migration strategy that minimizes energy use. The average migration velocity was an important driver of the total energy used by a whale, and an optimal velocity of 1.1 m s−1 was determined. This optimal velocity is comparable to documented observed migration speeds, suggesting that whales migrate at a speed that conserves energy. Furthermore, the amount of resting time during migration was influenced by both transport costs and feeding rates. We simulated hypothetical disturbances to the optimal migration strategy in two ways, by altering average velocity to represent changes in behavioural activity and by increasing total travelled distance to represent displacement along the migration route. In both cases, disturbance increased overall energy use, with implications for the growth potential of calves. PMID:27293686

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates of the Lateral Boundary Closures and Excluded Areas. A Appendix A to Subpart Q of Part 922 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating to Commerce and Foreign Trade (Continued)...

  12. 15 CFR Appendix A to Subpart Q of... - Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates of the Lateral Boundary Closures and Excluded Areas. A Appendix A to Subpart Q of Part 922 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating to Commerce and Foreign Trade (Continued)...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helble, Tyler Adam

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-06-01

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

  15. Seismic Surveys Negatively Affect Humpback Whale Singing Activity off Northern Angola

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Passive acoustic monitoring was used to document the presence of singing humpback whales off the coast of Northern Angola, and opportunistically test for the effect of seismic survey activity in the vicinity on the number of singing whales. Two Marine Autonomous Recording Units (MARUs) were deployed between March and December 2008 in the offshore environment. Song was first heard in mid June and continued through the remaining duration of the study. Seismic survey activity was heard regularly during two separate periods, consistently throughout July and intermittently in mid-October/November. Numbers of singers were counted during the first ten minutes of every hour for the period from 24 May to 1 December, and Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) were used to assess the effect of survey day (seasonality), hour (diel variation), moon phase and received levels of seismic survey pulses (measured from a single pulse during each ten-minute sampled period) on singer number. Application of GAMMs indicated significant seasonal variation, which was the most pronounced effect when assessing the full dataset across the entire season (p<0.001); however seasonality almost entirely dropped out of top-ranked models when applied to a reduced dataset during the July period of seismic survey activity. Diel variation was significant in both the full and reduced datasets (from p<0.01 to p<0.05) and often included in the top-ranked models. The number of singers significantly decreased with increasing received level of seismic survey pulses (from p<0.01 to p<0.05); this explanatory variable was included among the top ranked models for one MARU in the full dataset and both MARUs in the reduced dataset. This suggests that the breeding display of humpback whales is disrupted by seismic survey activity, and thus merits further attention and study, and potentially conservation action in the case of sensitive breeding populations. PMID:24618836

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Passive acoustic monitoring was used to document the presence of singing humpback whales off the coast of Northern Angola, and opportunistically test for the effect of seismic survey activity in the vicinity on the number of singing whales. Two Marine Autonomous Recording Units (MARUs) were deployed between March and December 2008 in the offshore environment. Song was first heard in mid June and continued through the remaining duration of the study. Seismic survey activity was heard regularly during two separate periods, consistently throughout July and intermittently in mid-October/November. Numbers of singers were counted during the first ten minutes of every hour for the period from 24 May to 1 December, and Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) were used to assess the effect of survey day (seasonality), hour (diel variation), moon phase and received levels of seismic survey pulses (measured from a single pulse during each ten-minute sampled period) on singer number. Application of GAMMs indicated significant seasonal variation, which was the most pronounced effect when assessing the full dataset across the entire season (p<0.001); however seasonality almost entirely dropped out of top-ranked models when applied to a reduced dataset during the July period of seismic survey activity. Diel variation was significant in both the full and reduced datasets (from p<0.01 to p<0.05) and often included in the top-ranked models. The number of singers significantly decreased with increasing received level of seismic survey pulses (from p<0.01 to p<0.05); this explanatory variable was included among the top ranked models for one MARU in the full dataset and both MARUs in the reduced dataset. This suggests that the breeding display of humpback whales is disrupted by seismic survey activity, and thus merits further attention and study, and potentially conservation action in the case of sensitive breeding populations. PMID:24618836

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-20

    Southern hemisphere humpback whales undertake the longest migrations and associated periods of fasting of any mammal. Fluctuations in lipid energy stores are known to profoundly affect the toxicokinetics of lipophilic organochlorine compound (OC) burdens. Results from blubber biopsy sampling of adult, male humpback whales at two time points of the annual migration journey revealed dramatic concentration effects for the majority of OC compounds. The observed concentration effect was, however, not linear with measured average blubber lipid loss indicating significant redistribution of OCs and hence the importance of alternate lipid depots for meeting the energetic demands of the migration journey. Applying lipophilic OC burdens as novel tracers of whole-body lipid dynamics, the observed average concentration index suggests an average individual weight loss of 13% over 4 months of the migration journey. This value is based upon lipid derived energy and is in good agreement with previous weight prediction formulas. Notably, however, these estimates may greatly underestimate individual weight loss if significant protein catabolism occurs. Biomagnification factors between migrating southern hemisphere humpback whales and their principal prey item, Antarctic krill, closely resembled those of baleen whales feeding on herbivorous zooplankton in the Arctic. This study emphasizes the importance of considering prolonged periods of food deprivation when assessing chemical risks posed to wildlife. This is of particular importance for Polar biota adapted to extremes in ecosystem productivity. PMID:23859482

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

    PubMed

    Darling, James D

    2015-11-01

    During studies of humpback whale song and social sounds in Hawaii, bouts of low frequency (ca. 40 Hz) pulses were periodically recorded. One example was made near an active group of eight adults (included 22 bouts, 2-13 s long, over 90 min); another close to an adult male-female pair (12 bouts, 9-93 s long, over 22 min). The mean peak and center frequencies (39 to 40 Hz) and bandwidth (13 Hz) were similar in both, but the organization of the pulses differed. Song components, social sounds, bubble trains, or other species do not provide a ready explanation for this sound. PMID:26627813

  19. Site specific probability of passive acoustic detection of humpback whale calls from single fixed hydrophones.

    PubMed

    Helble, Tyler A; D'Spain, Gerald L; Hildebrand, John A; Campbell, Gregory S; Campbell, Richard L; Heaney, Kevin D

    2013-09-01

    Passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammal calls is an increasingly important method for assessing population numbers, distribution, and behavior. A common mistake in the analysis of marine mammal acoustic data is formulating conclusions about these animals without first understanding how environmental properties such as bathymetry, sediment properties, water column sound speed, and ocean acoustic noise influence the detection and character of vocalizations in the acoustic data. The approach in this paper is to use Monte Carlo simulations with a full wave field acoustic propagation model to characterize the site specific probability of detection of six types of humpback whale calls at three passive acoustic monitoring locations off the California coast. Results show that the probability of detection can vary by factors greater than ten when comparing detections across locations, or comparing detections at the same location over time, due to environmental effects. Effects of uncertainties in the inputs to the propagation model are also quantified, and the model accuracy is assessed by comparing calling statistics amassed from 24,690 humpback units recorded in the month of October 2008. Under certain conditions, the probability of detection can be estimated with uncertainties sufficiently small to allow for accurate density estimates. PMID:23968053

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Ecosystem Scale Acoustic Sensing Reveals Humpback Whale Behavior Synchronous with Herring Spawning Processes and Re-Evaluation Finds No Effect of Sonar on Humpback Song Occurrence in the Gulf of Maine in Fall 2006

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mahanty, Madan M; Latha, G; Thirunavukkarasu, A

    2015-06-01

    The primary objective of this work was to present the acoustical identification of humpback whales, detected by using an autonomous ambient noise measurement system, deployed in the shallow waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) during the period January to May 2011. Seven types of sounds were detected. These were characteristically upsweeps and downsweeps along with harmonics. Sounds produced repeatedly in a specific pattern were referred to as phrases (PQRS and ABC). Repeated phrases in a particular pattern were referred to as themes, and from the spectrographic analysis, two themes (I and II) were identified. The variation in the acoustic characteristics such as fundamental frequency, range, duration of the sound unit, and the structure of the phrases and themes are discussed. Sound units were recorded from mid-January to mid-March, with a peak in February, when the mean SST is approx. 28 degree C, and no presence was recorded after mid-March. The temporal and thematic structures strongly determine the functions of the humpback whale song form. Given the use of song in the SEAS, this area is possibly used as an active breeding habitat by humpback whales during the winter season. PMID:25963267

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    The humpback whale population of New Caledonia appears to display a novel migratory pattern characterized by multiple directions, long migratory paths and frequent pauses over seamounts and other shallow geographical features. Using satellite-monitored radio tags, we tracked 34 whales for between 5 and 110 days, travelling between 270 and 8540 km on their southward migration from a breeding ground in southern New Caledonia. Mean migration speed was 3.53±2.22 km h(-1), while movements within the breeding ground averaged 2.01±1.63 km h(-1). The tag data demonstrate that seamounts play an important role as offshore habitats for this species. Whales displayed an intensive use of oceanic seamounts both in the breeding season and on migration. Seamounts probably serve multiple and important roles as breeding locations, resting areas, navigational landmarks or even supplemental feeding grounds for this species, which can be viewed as a transient component of the seamount communities. Satellite telemetry suggests that seamounts represent an overlooked cryptic habitat for the species. The frequent use by humpback whales of such remote locations has important implications for conservation and management. PMID:26716006

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The humpback whale population of New Caledonia appears to display a novel migratory pattern characterized by multiple directions, long migratory paths and frequent pauses over seamounts and other shallow geographical features. Using satellite-monitored radio tags, we tracked 34 whales for between 5 and 110 days, travelling between 270 and 8540 km on their southward migration from a breeding ground in southern New Caledonia. Mean migration speed was 3.53±2.22 km h−1, while movements within the breeding ground averaged 2.01±1.63 km h−1. The tag data demonstrate that seamounts play an important role as offshore habitats for this species. Whales displayed an intensive use of oceanic seamounts both in the breeding season and on migration. Seamounts probably serve multiple and important roles as breeding locations, resting areas, navigational landmarks or even supplemental feeding grounds for this species, which can be viewed as a transient component of the seamount communities. Satellite telemetry suggests that seamounts represent an overlooked cryptic habitat for the species. The frequent use by humpback whales of such remote locations has important implications for conservation and management. PMID:26716006

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

    The population structure of variation in a nuclear actin intron and the control region of mitochondrial DNA is described for humpback whales from eight regions in the North Pacific Ocean: central California, Baja Peninsula, nearshore Mexico (Bahia Banderas), offshore Mexico (Socorro Island), southeastern Alaska, central Alaska (Prince Williams Sound), Hawaii and Japan (Ogasawara Islands). Primary mtDNA haplotypes and intron alleles were identified using selected restriction fragment length polymorphisms of target sequences amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR-RFLP). There was little evidence of heterogeneity in the frequencies of mtDNA haplotypes or actin intron alleles due to the year or sex composition of the sample. However, frequencies of four mtDNA haplotypes showed marked regional differences in their distributions (phi ST = 0.277; P < 0.001; n = 205 individuals) while the two alleles showed significant, but less marked, regional differences (phi ST = 0.033; P < 0.013; n = 400 chromosomes). An hierarchical analysis of variance in frequencies of haplotypes and alleles supported the grouping of six regions into a central and eastern stock with further partitioning of variance among regions within stocks for haplotypes but not for alleles. Based on available genetic and demographic evidence, the southeastern Alaska and central California feeding grounds were selected for additional analyses of nuclear differentiation using allelic variation at four microsatellite loci. All four loci showed significant differences in allele frequencies (overall FST = 0.043; P < 0.001; average n = 139 chromosomes per locus), indicating at least partial reproductive isolation between the two regions as well as the segregation of mtDNA lineages. Although the two feeding grounds were not panmictic for nuclear or mitochondrial loci, estimates of long-term migration rates suggested that male-mediated gene flow was several-fold greater than female gene flow. These results

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

    PubMed

    Oviedo, L; Solís, M

    2008-06-01

    Migrating humpback whales from northern and southern feeding grounds come to the tropical waters near Osa Peninsula, Pacific of Costa Rica, to reproduce and raise their calves. Planning effective marine protected areas that encompass humpback critical habitats require data about which oceanographic features influence distribution during the breeding period. This study examines the relationship between water depth and ocean floor slope with humpback whale distribution, based on sightings during two breeding seasons (2005 and 2006). Data are from the Southern and Northern subpopulations in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). Analysis followed the basic principles of the Ecological Niche Factors Analysis (ENFA), where indices of Marginality and Tolerance provide insights on the restrictiveness of habitat use. At a fine scale, physical factors such as water depth and slope define the critical breeding and nursing habitat for M. novaeangliae. Divergence in the subsamples means of depths and slope distribution, with the global mean of the study area in both eco-geographical variables, determine habitat requirements restricted by topographic features such as depths (< 100 m) and slope (< 10%), and locate the key breeding and nursing habitat of the species within the continental shelf domains. Proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) network plans should consider connectivity of Cafio Island-Drake Bay and the extension of Corcovado National Park maritime borders. PMID:19256430

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

    PubMed Central

    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 18th to early 20th 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. PMID:22558102

  9. Humpback Whale Song on the Southern Ocean Feeding Grounds: Implications for Cultural Transmission

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Male humpback whales produce a long, complex, and stereotyped song on low-latitude breeding grounds; they also sing while migrating to and from these locations, and occasionally in high-latitude summer feeding areas. All males in a population sing the current version of the constantly evolving display and, within an ocean basin, populations sing similar songs; however, this sharing can be complex. In the western and central South Pacific region there is repeated cultural transmission of song types from eastern Australia to other populations eastward. Song sharing is hypothesized to occur through several possible mechanisms. Here, we present the first example of feeding ground song from the Southern Ocean Antarctic Area V and compare it to song from the two closest breeding populations. The early 2010 song contained at least four distinct themes; these matched four themes from the eastern Australian 2009 song, and the same four themes from the New Caledonian 2010 song recorded later in the year. This provides evidence for at least one of the hypothesized mechanisms of song transmission between these two populations, singing while on shared summer feeding grounds. In addition, the feeding grounds may provide a point of acoustic contact to allow the rapid horizontal cultural transmission of song within the western and central South Pacific region and the wider Southern Ocean. PMID:24278134

  10. Effects of leading edge tubercles on the flow over a humpback whale flipper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Heesu; Kim, Jooha; Choi, Haecheon

    2013-11-01

    In the present study, we conduct a laboratory experiment for the effect of tubercles on the hydrodynamic performance of a humpback whale flipper. The shape of the flipper used is the same as that of Miklosovic et al. (2004, 2007), and the Reynolds number considered is 100,000 based on the free-stream velocity and mean chord length. The lift and drag forces on the flipper with and without tubercles are measured by varying the angle of attack, and PIV measurements are conducted in several cross-flow planes at a few different angles of attack. As observed in previous studies, the stall angle is delayed and the maximum lift coefficient is increased. Without tubercles, the cross flow above the flipper does not show large-scale vortical motions except tip vortex. With tubercles, however, strong streamwise vortices having negative streamwise vorticity are observed along the tubercles, but the vortices with positive streamwise vorticity are either relatively weak or unobserved. This result is very different from those found in a two-dimensional wing with tubercles with which strong counter-rotating streamwise vortex pair were observed. Those vortical motions reattach the flow on the flipper and delay the separation. Supported by the NRF Programs (NRF-2011-0028032, NRF-2012K001368).

  11. The Performance of Finite-span Hydrofoils with Humpback Whale-like Leading Edge Protuberances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Custodio, Derrick; Henoch, Charles; Johari, Hamid

    2010-11-01

    The effects of leading edge protuberances on the lift and drag performance of finite-span hydrofoils were examined in a series of water tunnel experiments. The leading edge protuberances are analogous to the tubercles on humpback whale pectoral flippers. The hydrofoils have a rectangular planform and an aspect ratio of 4. The hydrofoil section profile is based on NACA 63(4)-021, and the leading edge has a sinusoidal geometry with constant amplitude and wavelength. The hydrofoil angle of attack was varied up to 30 , and the freestream velocity ranged from 1.8 to 5.4 m/s. Results indicate that the hydrofoils with leading edge protuberances do not stall in the traditional manner. Below 12 lift increased linearly with angle of attack. Beyond this angle, the lift either attained a nearly constant value or increased slowly up to 30 depending on the Reynolds number. Drag increased continuously with the angle of attack, and was not dependent on the Reynolds number. These observations are consistent with our previous infinite span hydrofoil data, and may be explained in terms of the flow modifications created by the leading edge protuberances.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    This paper demonstrates the importance of accounting for environmental effects on passive underwater acoustic monitoring results. The situation considered is the reduction in shipping off the California coast between 2008-2010 due to the recession and environmental legislation. The resulting variations in ocean noise change the probability of detecting marine mammal vocalizations. An acoustic model was used to calculate the time-varying probability of detecting humpback whale vocalizations under best-guess environmental conditions and varying noise. The uncorrected call counts suggest a diel pattern and an increase in calling over a two-year period; the corrected call counts show minimal evidence of these features. PMID:24181982

  13. Automated acoustic localization and call association for vocalizing humpback whales on the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility.

    PubMed

    Helble, Tyler A; Ierley, Glenn R; D'Spain, Gerald L; Martin, Stephen W

    2015-01-01

    Time difference of arrival (TDOA) methods for acoustically localizing multiple marine mammals have been applied to recorded data from the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in order to localize and track humpback whales. Modifications to established methods were necessary in order to simultaneously track multiple animals on the range faster than real-time and in a fully automated way, while minimizing the number of incorrect localizations. The resulting algorithms were run with no human intervention at computational speeds faster than the data recording speed on over forty days of acoustic recordings from the range, spanning multiple years. Spatial localizations based on correlating sequences of units originating from within the range produce estimates having a standard deviation typically 10 m or less (due primarily to TDOA measurement errors), and a bias of 20 m or less (due primarily to sound speed mismatch). An automated method for associating units to individual whales is presented, enabling automated humpback song analyses to be performed. PMID:25618034

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

    Feeding behavior, prey type, and habitat appear to be associated with the morphological design of body, fluke, and flippers in baleen whales. Morphometric data from whaling records and recent stranding events were compiled, and morphometric parameters describing the body length, and fluke and flipper dimensions for an "average" blue whale Balaenoptera musculus, humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae, gray whale Eschrichtius robustus, and right whale Eubalaena glacialis were determined. Body mass, body volume, body surface area, and fluke and flipper surface areas were estimated. The resultant morphological configurations lent themselves to the following classifications based on hydrodynamic principles: fast cruiser, slow cruiser, fast maneuverer, and slow maneuverer. Blue whales have highly streamlined bodies with small, high aspect ratio flippers and flukes for fast efficient cruising in the open ocean. On the other hand, the rotund right whale has large, high aspect ratio flukes for efficient slow speed cruising that is optimal for their continuous filter feeding technique. Humpbacks have large, high aspect ratio flippers and a large, low aspect ratio tail for quick acceleration and high-speed maneuvering which would help them catch their elusive prey, while gray whales have large, low aspect ratio flippers and flukes for enhanced low-speed maneuvering in complex coastal water habitats. PMID:17051544

  15. A generalized power-law detection algorithm for humpback whale vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Helble, Tyler A; Ierley, Glenn R; D'Spain, Gerald L; Roch, Marie A; Hildebrand, John A

    2012-04-01

    Conventional detection of humpback vocalizations is often based on frequency summation of band-limited spectrograms under the assumption that energy (square of the Fourier amplitude) is the appropriate metric. Power-law detectors allow for a higher power of the Fourier amplitude, appropriate when the signal occupies a limited but unknown subset of these frequencies. Shipping noise is non-stationary and colored and problematic for many marine mammal detection algorithms. Modifications to the standard power-law form are introduced to minimize the effects of this noise. These same modifications also allow for a fixed detection threshold, applicable to broadly varying ocean acoustic environments. The detection algorithm is general enough to detect all types of humpback vocalizations. Tests presented in this paper show this algorithm matches human detection performance with an acceptably small probability of false alarms (P(FA) < 6%) for even the noisiest environments. The detector outperforms energy detection techniques, providing a probability of detection P(D) = 95% for P(FA) < 5% for three acoustic deployments, compared to P(FA) > 40% for two energy-based techniques. The generalized power-law detector also can be used for basic parameter estimation and can be adapted for other types of transient sounds. PMID:22501048

  16. Control of the separated flow around an airfoil using a wavy leading edge inspired by humpback whale flippers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favier, Julien; Pinelli, Alfredo; Piomelli, Ugo

    2012-01-01

    The influence of spanwise geometrical undulations of the leading edge of an infinite wing is investigated numerically at low Reynolds number, in the context of passive separation control and focusing on the physical mechanisms involved. Inspired by the tubercles of the humpback whale flippers, the wavy leading edge is modeled using a spanwise sinusoidal function whose amplitude and wavelength constitute the parameters of control. A direct numerical simulation is performed on a NACA0020 wing profile in a deep stall configuration ( α=20°), with and without the presence of the leading edge waviness. The complex solid boundaries obtained by varying the sinusoidal shape of the leading edge are modeled using an immersed boundary method (IBM) recently developed by the authors [Pinelli et al., J. Comput. Phys. 229 (2010) 9073-9091]. A particular set of wave parameters is found to change drastically the topology of the separated zone, which becomes dominated by streamwise vortices generated from the sides of the leading edge bumps. A physical analysis is carried out to explain the mechanism leading to the generation of these coherent vortical structures. The role they play in the control of boundary layer separation is also investigated, in the context of the modifications of the hydrodynamic performances which have been put forward in the literature in the last decade.

  17. Bowhead whale springtime song off West Greenland.

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

  18. Morphology and size of stem cells from mouse and whale: observational study

    PubMed Central

    van den Beukel, Johanna C; Wiersma, Lidewij C M; Ijzer, Jooske

    2013-01-01

    Objective To compare the morphology and size of stem cells from two mammals of noticeably different body size. Design Observational study. Setting The Netherlands. Participants A humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and a laboratory mouse (Mus musculus). Main outcome measures Morphology and size of mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue. Results Morphologically, mesenchymal stem cells of the mouse and whale are indistinguishable. The average diameter of 50 mesenchymal stem cells from the mouse was 28 (SD 0.86) µm and 50 from the whale was 29 (SD 0.71) µm. The difference in cell size between the species was not statistically significant. Although the difference in bodyweight between the species is close to two million-fold, the mesenchymal stem cells of each were of similar size. Conclusions The mesenchymal stem cells of whales and mice are alike, in both morphology and size. PMID:24336001

  19. Baleen whale infrasonic sounds: Natural variability and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Christopher W.

    2001-05-01

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

  20. Crassicaudosis: a parasitic disease threatening the health and population recovery of large baleen whales.

    PubMed

    Lambertsen, R H

    1992-12-01

    This communication briefly reviews knowledge of the systemic disease caused by Crassicauda boopis in blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (B. physalus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Infections with this giant nematode characteristically incite a chronic inflammatory reaction of the blood vessels which drain the kidneys. In this critical location, the parasite-induced lesion can cause complete vascular occlusion and kidney failure. Whale calves and juveniles typically suffer the heaviest parasite burdens following transplacental infection of the developing whale foetus. There is also probable whale-to-whale transmission post-partum, involving urinary contamination of the environment with C. boopis eggs and larvae. The frequency of the infection can exceed 95%. Haematological findings suggest that systemic pathological effects are typical at the population level. Gradual development of occlusive lesions in the renal veins appears to correlate with a major peak in natural mortality at about one year of age. To date, all findings support the conclusion that premature death caused by C. boopis infection is potentially a major impediment to population recovery of affected whale species. This suggests the interesting possibility of actively encouraging the population recovery of three species of large baleen whales. Such a restoration effort would entail remotely-deployed anthelminthic therapy administered, at sea, to infected whale cows and calves. PMID:1305859

  1. Seasonal variability and detection range modeling of baleen whale calls in the Gulf of Alaska, 1999-2002.

    PubMed

    Stafford, Kathleen M; Mellinger, David K; Moore, Sue E; Fox, Christopher G

    2007-12-01

    Five species of large whales, including the blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (B. physalus), sei (B. borealis), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), and North Pacific right (Eubalaena japonica), were the target of commercial harvests in the Gulf of Alaska (GoA) during the 19th through mid-20th Centuries. Since this time, there have been a few summer time visual surveys for these species, but no overview of year-round use of these waters by endangered whales primarily because standard visual survey data are difficult and costly. From October 1999-May 2002, moored hydrophones were deployed in six locations in the GoA to record whale calls. Reception of calls from fin, humpback, and blue whales and an unknown source, called Watkins' whale, showed seasonal and geographic variation. Calls were detected more often during the winter than during the summer, suggesting that animals inhabit the GoA year-round. To estimate the distance at which species-diagnostic calls could be heard, parabolic equation propagation loss models for frequencies characteristic of each of each call type were run. Maximum detection ranges in the subarctic North Pacific ranged from 45 to 250 km among three species (fin, humpback, blue), although modeled detection ranges varied greatly with input parameters and choice of ambient noise level. PMID:18247747

  2. Assessing responses of humpback whales to North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory (NPAL) transmissions: results of 2001--2003 aerial surveys north of Kauai.

    PubMed

    Mobley, Joseph R

    2005-03-01

    Eight aerial surveys were flown north of the Hawaiian island of Kauai during 2001 when the North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory (NPAL) source was not transmitting, and during 2002 and 2003 when it was. All surveys were performed during the period of peak residency of humpback whales (Feb-Mar). During 2002 and 2003, surveys commenced immediately upon cessation of a 24-h cycle of transmissions. Numbers and distribution of whales observed within 40 km of the NPAL source during 2001 (source off) were compared with those observed during 2002 and 2003 (source on). A total of 75 sightings was noted during 2001, as compared with 81 and 55 during 2002 and 2003, respectively. Differences in sighting rates (sightings/km) across years were not statistically significant. Assessment of distributional changes relied upon comparisons of three measures: (a) location depths; (b) distance from the NPAL source; and (c) distance offshore. None of the distributional comparisons revealed statistically significant differences across years. Several possible interpretations are examined: (a) whales have habituated to the NPAL signal; (b) insufficient statistical power exists in the present design to detect any effects; and (c) the effects are short-lived and become undetectable shortly after the cessation of transmissions. PMID:15810697

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    Marine spatial planning provides a comprehensive framework for managing multiple uses of the marine environment and has the potential to minimize environmental impacts and reduce conflicts among users. Spatially explicit assessments of the risks to key marine species from human activities are a requirement of marine spatial planning. We assessed the risk of ships striking humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), blue (Balaenoptera musculus), and fin (Balaenoptera physalus) whales in alternative shipping routes derived from patterns of shipping traffic off Southern California (U.S.A.). Specifically, we developed whale-habitat models and assumed ship-strike risk for the alternative shipping routes was proportional to the number of whales predicted by the models to occur within each route. This definition of risk assumes all ships travel within a single route. We also calculated risk assuming ships travel via multiple routes. We estimated the potential for conflict between shipping and other uses (military training and fishing) due to overlap with the routes. We also estimated the overlap between shipping routes and protected areas. The route with the lowest risk for humpback whales had the highest risk for fin whales and vice versa. Risk to both species may be ameliorated by creating a new route south of the northern Channel Islands and spreading traffic between this new route and the existing route in the Santa Barbara Channel. Creating a longer route may reduce the overlap between shipping and other uses by concentrating shipping traffic. Blue whales are distributed more evenly across our study area than humpback and fin whales; thus, risk could not be ameliorated by concentrating shipping traffic in any of the routes we considered. Reducing ship-strike risk for blue whales may be necessary because our estimate of the potential number of strikes suggests that they are likely to exceed allowable levels of anthropogenic impacts established under U.S. laws. PMID:23521668

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

    PubMed

    Moore, Sue E

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Telomeres, the protective cap of chromosomes, have emerged as powerful markers of biological age and life history in model and non-model species. The qPCR method for telomere length estimation is one of the most common methods for telomere length estimation, but has received recent critique for being too error-prone and yielding unreliable results. This critique coincides with an increasing awareness of the potentials and limitations of the qPCR technique in general and the proposal of a general set of guidelines (MIQE) for standardization of experimental, analytical, and reporting steps of qPCR. In order to evaluate the utility of the qPCR method for telomere length estimation in non-model species, we carried out four different qPCR assays directed at humpback whale telomeres, and subsequently performed a rigorous quality control to evaluate the performance of each assay. Results Performance differed substantially among assays and only one assay was found useful for telomere length estimation in humpback whales. The most notable factors causing these inter-assay differences were primer design and choice of using singleplex or multiplex assays. Inferred amplification efficiencies differed by up to 40% depending on assay and quantification method, however this variation only affected telomere length estimates in the worst performing assays. Conclusion Our results suggest that seemingly well performing qPCR assays may contain biases that will only be detected by extensive quality control. Moreover, we show that the qPCR method for telomere length estimation can be highly precise and accurate, and thus suitable for telomere measurement in non-model species, if effort is devoted to optimization at all experimental and analytical steps. We conclude by highlighting a set of quality controls which may serve for further standardization of the qPCR method for telomere length estimation, and discuss some of the factors that may cause variation in qPCR experiments

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Entanglement in fixed fishing gear affects whales worldwide. In the United States, deaths of North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have exceeded management limits for decades. We examined live and dead whales entangled in fishing gear along the U.S. East Coast and the Canadian Maritimes from 1994 to 2010. We recorded whale species, age, and injury severity and determined rope polymer type, breaking strength, and diameter of the fishing gear. For the 132 retrieved ropes from 70 cases, tested breaking strength range was 0.80-39.63 kN (kiloNewtons) and the mean was 11.64 kN (SD 8.29), which is 26% lower than strength at manufacture (range 2.89-53.38 kN, mean = 15.70 kN [9.89]). Median rope diameter was 9.5 mm. Right and humpback whales were found in ropes with significantly stronger breaking strengths at time of manufacture than minke whales (Balaenoptera acuturostrata) (19.30, 17.13, and 10.47 mean kN, respectively). Adult right whales were found in stronger ropes (mean 34.09 kN) than juvenile right whales (mean 15.33 kN) and than all humpback whale age classes (mean 17.37 kN). For right whales, severity of injuries increased since the mid 1980s, possibly due to changes in rope manufacturing in the mid 1990s that resulted in production of stronger ropes at the same diameter. Our results suggest that broad adoption of ropes with breaking strengths of ≤ 7.56 kN (≤ 1700 lbsf) could reduce the number of life-threatening entanglements for large whales by at least 72%, and yet could provide sufficient strength to withstand the routine forces involved in many fishing operations. A reduction of this magnitude would achieve nearly all the mitigation legally required for U.S. stocks of North Atlantic right and humpback whales. Ropes with reduced breaking strength should be developed and tested to determine the feasibility of their use in a variety of fisheries. PMID:26183819

  7. Deep-sea and pelagic rod visual pigments identified in the mysticete whales.

    PubMed

    Bischoff, Nicole; Nickle, Benjamin; Cronin, Thomas W; Velasquez, Stephani; Fasick, Jeffry I

    2012-03-01

    Our current understanding of the spectral sensitivities of the mysticete whale rod-based visual pigments is based on two species, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) possessing absorbance maxima determined from difference spectra to be 492 and 497 nm, respectively. These absorbance maxima values are blueshifted relative to those from typical terrestrial mammals (≈500 nm) but are redshifted when compared to those identified in the odontocetes (479-484 nm). Although these mysticete species represent two of the four mysticete families, they do not fully represent the mysticete whales in terms of foraging strategy and underwater photic environments where foraging occurs. In order to better understand the spectral sensitivities of the mysticete whale rod visual pigments, we have examined the rod opsin genes from 11 mysticete species and their associated amino acid substitutions. Based on the amino acids occurring at positions 83, 292, and 299 along with the directly determined dark spectra from expressed odontocete and mysticete rod visual pigments, we have determined that the majority of mysticete whales possess deep-sea and pelagic like rod visual pigments with absorbance maxima between 479 and 484 nm. Finally, we have defined the five amino acid substitution events that determine the resulting absorbance spectra and associated absorbance maxima for the mysticete whale rod visual pigments examined here. PMID:22414424

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Based on strandings and captures, 9 cetacean species, including 6 odontocetes and 3 mysticetes, are documented (photos and specimens) in Togo's coastal waters (newly-recorded species marked with an asterisk): Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis*), Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera brydei or B. edeni), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps*), short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus*), pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata*), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and common dolphin Delphinus sp. An anecdotal sighting record for killer whale (Orcinus orca) is considered reliable. The lack of Sousa teuszii records in Togo is consistent with its apparent contemporaneous absence in Ghana. The B. bonaerensis specimen, entangled in a purse seine set on small pelagics, is a first record for the Gulf of Guinea. The occurrence of this Southern Ocean species north of the equator underscores the severe gaps in our understanding of cetacean distribution off western Africa. The majority of artisanal fishermen operating in Togolese coastal waters are of Ghanaian origin and are thought to promote trade and consumption of cetacean bushmeat. Because captures are illegal, enforced with some success in the main fishing centers, covert landings of cetaceans are exceedingly difficult to monitor, quantify or sample. Concern is expressed about pollution of Togo's coastal waters with heavy metals due to phosphorite mining and export from the coastal basin near Hahotoé and Kpogamé. PMID:24447657

  9. 76 FR 51001 - Marine Mammals; File Nos. 16109 and 15575

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-17

    ... 44 species to be targeted for research are listed as threatened or endangered: blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whale (B. physalus), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), sei whale (B. borealis), sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), green...

  10. 50 CFR 224.101 - Enumeration of endangered marine and anadromous species.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer); Cochito (Phocoena sinus); Fin or finback whale (Balaenoptera physalus); Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi); Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae); Indus River...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) song consists of down-swept pulses arranged into stereotypic sequences that can be characterized according to the interval between successive pulses. As in blue (B. musculus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), these song sequences may be geographically distinct and may correlate with population boundaries in some regions. We measured inter-pulse intervals of fin whale songs within year-round acoustic datasets collected between 2000 and 2006 in three regions of the eastern North Pacific: Southern California, the Bering Sea, and Hawaii. A distinctive song type that was recorded in all three regions is characterized by singlet and doublet inter-pulse intervals that increase seasonally, then annually reset to the same shorter intervals at the beginning of each season. This song type was recorded in the Bering Sea and off Southern California from September through May and off Hawaii from December through April, with the song interval generally synchronized across all monitoring locations. The broad geographic and seasonal occurrence of this particular fin whale song type may represent a single population broadly distributed throughout the eastern Pacific with no clear seasonal migratory pattern. Previous studies attempting to infer population structure of fin whales in the North Pacific using synchronous individual song samples have been unsuccessful, likely because they did not account for the seasonal lengthening in song intervals observed here. PMID:25521493

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) song consists of down-swept pulses arranged into stereotypic sequences that can be characterized according to the interval between successive pulses. As in blue (B. musculus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), these song sequences may be geographically distinct and may correlate with population boundaries in some regions. We measured inter-pulse intervals of fin whale songs within year-round acoustic datasets collected between 2000 and 2006 in three regions of the eastern North Pacific: Southern California, the Bering Sea, and Hawaii. A distinctive song type that was recorded in all three regions is characterized by singlet and doublet inter-pulse intervals that increase seasonally, then annually reset to the same shorter intervals at the beginning of each season. This song type was recorded in the Bering Sea and off Southern California from September through May and off Hawaii from December through April, with the song interval generally synchronized across all monitoring locations. The broad geographic and seasonal occurrence of this particular fin whale song type may represent a single population broadly distributed throughout the eastern Pacific with no clear seasonal migratory pattern. Previous studies attempting to infer population structure of fin whales in the North Pacific using synchronous individual song samples have been unsuccessful, likely because they did not account for the seasonal lengthening in song intervals observed here. PMID:25521493

  13. Biotically constrained palaeoenvironmental conditions of a mid-Holocene intertidal lagoon on the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf: evidence associated with a whale skeleton at Musaffah, Abu Dhabi, UAE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, J. R.; Aspinall, S.; Beech, M.; Fenberg, P.; Hellyer, P.; Larkin, N.; Lokier, S. W.; Marx, F. G.; Meyer, M.; Miller, R.; Rainbow, P. S.; Taylor, J. D.; Whittaker, J. E.; Al-Mehsin, K.; Strohmenger, C. J.

    2011-12-01

    Whale remains (a left and right mandible, scapula, humerus and fragmentary radius and ulna as well as parts of the cranium and rostrum) belonging to a probable humpback whale ( Megaptera cf. novaeangliae) were found in the well-described sabkha sequence exposed in the Musaffah Industrial Channel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. More precisely, the whale remains were found in a series of sediments representing a range of lagoonal facies. The sediments surrounding the whale bones were age-dated at approximately 5200 14C yrs BP and are therefore interpreted to correspond to the previously documented late Flandrian sea-level peak, preceding a fall in sea-level which culminated in the supratidal sabkha overprint of the carbonates. Associated with the whale remains is an assemblage of molluscs, foraminifera and ostracods. Together with the inferred presence of sea grass and algae, these facies are interpreted to indicate a very shallow subtidal to intertidal lagoonal environment. Cirripede remains found associated with the skeleton were identified as those of the whale barnacle Coronula diadema and hence had their origins with the whale. Significantly, the low species diversity of microfossils suggests that higher salinities existed in the mid-Holocene lagoon than are present in modern counterparts. This is here inferred to be related to the onset of continental aridity in Arabia during the mid-Holocene.

  14. Whale Identification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

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

  15. 77 FR 29966 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17157

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-21

    ... anthropogenic and physiological data from whale earplugs and determine individual- through population-level exposure and stress. Up to 25 earplugs each of blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), sei whale (B. borealis), minke whale (B. acutorostrata), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and gray whale...

  16. 76 FR 72389 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16479

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-23

    .... ACTION: Notice; receipt of application. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that The Pacific Whale Foundation..., Wailuku, HI 96793, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera... proposed permit would authorize vessel based research on humpback whales in Maui County waters, Hawaii...

  17. 77 FR 27717 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16919

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-11

    .... ACTION: Notice; receipt of application. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that Eye of the Whale (Olga von... in due form for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). DATES... continue a long-term census of humpback whales in Prince William Sound and adjacent waters of Alaska. Up...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Global warming poses particular challenges to migratory species, which face changes to the multiple environments occupied during migration. For many species, the timing of migration between summer and winter grounds and also within-season movements are crucial to maximise exploitation of temporarily abundant prey resources in feeding areas, themselves adapting to the warming planet. We investigated the temporal variation in the occurrence of fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in a North Atlantic summer feeding ground, the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Canada), from 1984 to 2010 using a long-term study of individually identifiable animals. These two sympatric species both shifted their date of arrival at a previously undocumented rate of more than 1 day per year earlier over the study period thus maintaining the approximate 2-week difference in arrival of the two species and enabling the maintenance of temporal niche separation. However, the departure date of both species also shifted earlier but at different rates resulting in increasing temporal overlap over the study period indicating that this separation may be starting to erode. Our analysis revealed that the trend in arrival was strongly related to earlier ice break-up and rising sea surface temperature, likely triggering earlier primary production. The observed changes in phenology in response to ocean warming are a remarkable example of phenotypic plasticity and may partly explain how baleen whales were able to survive a number of changes in climate over the last several million years. However, it is questionable whether the observed rate of change in timing can be maintained. Substantial modification to the distribution or annual life cycle of these species might be required to keep up with the ongoing warming of the oceans. PMID:25785462

  19. Automated extraction and classification of time-frequency contours in humpback vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Ou, Hui; Au, Whitlow W L; Zurk, Lisa M; Lammers, Marc O

    2013-01-01

    A time-frequency contour extraction and classification algorithm was created to analyze humpback whale vocalizations. The algorithm automatically extracted contours of whale vocalization units by searching for gray-level discontinuities in the spectrogram images. The unit-to-unit similarity was quantified by cross-correlating the contour lines. A library of distinctive humpback units was then generated by applying an unsupervised, cluster-based learning algorithm. The purpose of this study was to provide a fast and automated feature selection tool to describe the vocal signatures of animal groups. This approach could benefit a variety of applications such as species description, identification, and evolution of song structures. The algorithm was tested on humpback whale song data recorded at various locations in Hawaii from 2002 to 2003. Results presented in this paper showed low probability of false alarm (0%-4%) under noisy environments with small boat vessels and snapping shrimp. The classification algorithm was tested on a controlled set of 30 units forming six unit types, and all the units were correctly classified. In a case study on humpback data collected in the Auau Chanel, Hawaii, in 2002, the algorithm extracted 951 units, which were classified into 12 distinctive types. PMID:23297903

  20. Time synchronization and geoacoustic inversion using baleen whale sounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thode, Aaron; Gerstoft, Peter; Stokes, Dale; Noad, Mike; Burgess, William; Cato, Doug

    2005-09-01

    In 1996 matched-field processing (MFP) and geoacoustic inversion methods were used to invert for range, depth, and source levels of blue whale vocalizations. [A. M. Thode, G. L. D'Spain, and W. A. Kuperman, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 1286-1300 (2000)]. Humpback whales also produce broadband sequences of sounds that contain significant energy between 50 Hz to over 1 kHz. In Oct. 2003 and 2004 samples of humpback whale song were collected on vertical and titled arrays in 24-m-deep water in conjunction with the Humpback Acoustic Research Collaboration (HARC). The arrays consisted of autonomous recorders attached to a rope, and were time synchronized by extending standard geoacoustic inversion methods to invert for clock offset as well as whale location. The diffuse ambient noise background field was then used to correct for subsequent clock drift. Independent measurements of the local bathymetry and transmission loss were also obtained in the area. Preliminary results are presented for geoacoustic inversions of the ocean floor composition and humpback whale locations and source levels. [Work supported by ONR Ocean Acoustic Entry Level Faculty Award and Marine Mammals Program.

  1. 77 FR 59594 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16479

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-28

    ... published in the Federal Register (76 FR 72389) that a request for a permit to conduct research on humpback... The Pacific Whale Foundation , 300 Maalaea Road, Suite 211, Wailuku, HI 96793 to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). ADDRESSES: The permit and related documents are available...

  2. 36 CFR 13.1102 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... capable of free flotation and a seaplane while operating on the water. Whale means any humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Whale waters means any portion of Glacier Bay, designated by the superintendent, having a high probability of whale occupancy, based upon recent sighting and/or past patterns...

  3. 36 CFR 13.1102 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... capable of free flotation and a seaplane while operating on the water. Whale means any humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Whale waters means any portion of Glacier Bay, designated by the superintendent, having a high probability of whale occupancy, based upon recent sighting and/or past patterns...

  4. 36 CFR 13.1102 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... capable of free flotation and a seaplane while operating on the water. Whale means any humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Whale waters means any portion of Glacier Bay, designated by the superintendent, having a high probability of whale occupancy, based upon recent sighting and/or past patterns...

  5. 36 CFR 13.1102 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... capable of free flotation and a seaplane while operating on the water. Whale means any humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Whale waters means any portion of Glacier Bay, designated by the superintendent, having a high probability of whale occupancy, based upon recent sighting and/or past patterns...

  6. 36 CFR 13.1102 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... capable of free flotation and a seaplane while operating on the water. Whale means any humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Whale waters means any portion of Glacier Bay, designated by the superintendent, having a high probability of whale occupancy, based upon recent sighting and/or past patterns...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-08-01

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

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-18

    ... of Fisheries (75 FR 68468, November 8, 2010) identifies several other species or stocks of marine... from commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on CNP humpback whales (75 FR 29984, May 28, 2010... January 19, 2010 (75 FR 2853), and selected team members according to guidance provided in MMPA...

  9. Rationalizing the bumps on whale flippers using basic aerodynamic theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Nierop, Ernst; Alben, Silas; Brenner, Michael

    2006-11-01

    Recent experiments and numerics demonstrated that bumps on the leading edge of humpback whale flippers can lead to an increase in the lift/drag ratio and an increase in the stall angle, as compared to smooth flippers. Using basic aerodynamic theory (potential flow around a Joukowski profile, combined with lifting-line theory) we attempt to rationalize the experimental and numerical findings. We use this basic theory to find perturbations which could lead to an increase in stall angle.

  10. 78 FR 15669 - Marine Mammals: Alaska Harbor Seal Habitats

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-12

    ...) approach limit for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Hawaii (60 FR 3775, January 19, 1995). In... right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) closer than 500 yards (457 m) (62 FR 6729, February 13, 1997). In 2001, NMFS published a final rule (66 FR 29502, May 31, 2001) establishing a 100-yard (91-m)...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, Ann Nichole

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

  12. Killer whales and whaling: the scavenging hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, Hal; Reeves, Randall

    2005-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) frequently scavenged from the carcasses produced by whalers. This practice became especially prominent with large-scale mechanical whaling in the twentieth century, which provided temporally and spatially clustered floating carcasses associated with loud acoustic signals. The carcasses were often of species of large whale preferred by killer whales but that normally sink beyond their diving range. In the middle years of the twentieth century floating whaled 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. PMID:17148221

  13. Grand Canyon Humpback Chub Population Improving

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andersen, Matthew E.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Whales are unique among vertebrates because of the enormous oil reserves held in their soft tissue and bone. These 'biofuel' stores have been used by humans from prehistoric times to more recent industrial-scale whaling. Deep-sea biologists have now discovered that the oily bones of dead whales on the seabed are also used by specialist and generalist scavenging communities, including many unique organisms recently described as new to science. In the context of both cetacean and deep-sea invertebrate biology, we review scientific knowledge on the oil content of bone from several of the great whale species: Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eschrichtius robustus, Physeter macrocephalus and the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba. We show that data collected by scientists over 50 years ago during the heyday of industrial whaling explain several interesting phenomena with regard to the decay of whale remains. Variations in the lipid content of bones from different parts of a whale correspond closely with recently observed differences in the taphonomy of deep-sea whale carcasses and observed biases in the frequency of whale bones at archaeological sites. PMID:20702457

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Whales are unique among vertebrates because of the enormous oil reserves held in their soft tissue and bone. These ‘biofuel’ stores have been used by humans from prehistoric times to more recent industrial-scale whaling. Deep-sea biologists have now discovered that the oily bones of dead whales on the seabed are also used by specialist and generalist scavenging communities, including many unique organisms recently described as new to science. In the context of both cetacean and deep-sea invertebrate biology, we review scientific knowledge on the oil content of bone from several of the great whale species: Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eschrichtius robustus, Physeter macrocephalus and the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba. We show that data collected by scientists over 50 years ago during the heyday of industrial whaling explain several interesting phenomena with regard to the decay of whale remains. Variations in the lipid content of bones from different parts of a whale correspond closely with recently observed differences in the taphonomy of deep-sea whale carcasses and observed biases in the frequency of whale bones at archaeological sites. PMID:20702457

  16. The Biogeochemical Role of Antarctic Krill and Baleen Whales in Southern Ocean Nutrient Cycling.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratnarajah, L.

    2015-12-01

    Iron limits primary productivity in large areas of the Southern Ocean. It has been suggested that baleen whales form a crucial part of biogeochemical cycling processes through the consumption of nutrient-rich krill and subsequent defecation, but evidence on their contribution is scarce. We analysed the concentration of iron in Antarctic krill and baleen whale faeces and muscle. Iron concentrations in Antarctic krill were over 1 million times higher, and whale faecal matter were almost 10 million times higher than typical Southern Ocean High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll seawater concentrations. This suggests that Antarctic krill act as a reservoir of in in Southern Ocean surface waters, and that baleen whales play an important role in converting this fixed iron into a liquid form in their faeces. We developed an exploratory model to examine potential contribution of blue, fin and humpback whales to the Southern Ocean iron cycle to explore the effect of the recovery of great whales to historical levels. Our results suggest that pre-exploitation populations of blue whales and, to a lesser extent fin and humpback whales, could have contributed to the more effective recycling of iron in surface waters, resulting in enhanced phytoplankton production. This enhanced primary productivity is estimated to be: 8.3 x 10-5 to 15 g C m-2 yr-1 (blue whales), 7 x 10-5 to 9 g C m-2 yr-1 (fin whales), and 10-5 to 1.7 g C m-2 yr-1 (humpback whales). To put these into perspective, current estimates of primary production in the Southern Ocean from remotely sensed ocean colour are in the order of 57 g C m-2 yr-1 (south of 50°). The high degree of uncertainty around the magnitude of these increases in primary productivity is mainly due to our limited quantitative understanding of key biogeochemical processes including iron content in krill, krill consumption rates by whales, persistence of iron in the photic zone, bioavailability of retained iron, and carbon-to-iron ratio of phytoplankton

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-08-01

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

  18. Addressing Challenges in Studies of Behavioral Responses of Whales to Noise.

    PubMed

    Cato, Douglas H; Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; McCauley, Robert D; Kniest, Eric; Paton, David; Kavanagh, Ailbhe S

    2016-01-01

    Studying the behavioral response of whales to noise presents numerous challenges. In addition to the characteristics of the noise exposure, many factors may affect the response and these must be measured and accounted for in the analysis. An adequate sample size that includes matching controls is crucial if meaningful results are to be obtained. Field work is thus complicated, logistically difficult, and expensive. This paper discusses some of the challenges and how they are being met in a large-scale multiplatform project in which humpback whales are exposed to the noise of seismic air guns. PMID:26610954

  19. How Bumps on Whale Flippers Delay Stall: An Aerodynamic Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Nierop, Ernst A.; Alben, Silas; Brenner, Michael P.

    2008-02-01

    Wind tunnel experiments have shown that bumps on the leading edge of model humpback whale flippers cause them to “stall” (i.e., lose lift dramatically) more gradually and at a higher angle of attack. Here we develop an aerodynamic model which explains the observed increase in stall angle. The model predicts that as the amplitude of the bumps is increased, the lift curve flattens out, leading to potentially desirable control properties. We find that stall delay is insensitive to the wavelength of the bumps, in accordance with experimental observations.

  20. 75 FR 43150 - Marine Mammals; File Nos. 10018, 13846, 14451, 14585, 14599, 14122, 14296, and 14353

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-23

    ... INFORMATION: On November 12, 2009, notice was published in the Federal Register (74 FR 58243) that requests... amendment to Permit No. 10018, originally issued on June 18, 2008 (73 FR 36042). Permit No. 10018 authorized Dr. Cartwright to conduct humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) research, consisting of...

  1. Polychlorinated biphenyls and their hydroxylated metabolites (OH-PCBs) in the blood of toothed and baleen whales stranded along Japanese coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Nomiyama, Kei; Murata, Satoko; Kunisue, Tatsuya; Yamada, Tadasu K; Mizukawa, Hazuki; Takahashi, Shin; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2010-05-15

    In this study, we determined the residue levels and patterns of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hydroxylated PCBs (OH-PCBs) in the blood from eight species of toothed whales and three species of baleen whales stranded along the Japanese coast during 1999-2007. Penta- through hepta-chlorinated PCB congeners were the dominant homologue groups in all cetaceans. In contrast, specific differences in the distribution of dominant OH-PCB isomers and homologues were found among the cetacean species. In five species of toothed whales (melon-headed whale, Stejneger's beaked whale, Pacific white-sided dolphin, Blainville's beaked whale, and killer whale), the predominant homologues were OH-penta-PCBs followed by OH-tetra-PCBs and OH-tri-PCBs. The predominant homologues of finless porpoise and beluga whale were OH-penta-PCBs followed by OH-hexa-PCBs and OH-tri-PCBs. The predominant OH-PCB isomers were para-OH-PCBs such as 4OH-CB26, 4'OH-CB25/4'OH-CB26/4OH-CB31, 4OH-CB70, 4'OH-CB72, 4'OH-CB97, 4'OH-CB101/4'OH-CB120, and 4OH-CB107/4'OH-CB108 in toothed whales. In three baleen whales (common minke whale, Bryde's whale, and humpback whale) and in sperm whale (which is a toothed whale), OH-octa-PCB (4OH-CB202) was the predominant homologue group accounting for 40-80% of the total OH-PCB concentrations. The differences in concentrations and profiles of OH-PCBs may suggest species-specific diets, metabolic capability, and the transthyretin (TTR) binding specificity. These results reveal that the accumulation profiles of OH-PCBs in cetacean blood are entirely different from the profiles found in pinnipeds, polar bear, and humans. PMID:20426459

  2. Some methods of computing platform transmitter terminal location estimates. [ARGOS system; whale tracking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoisington, C. M.

    1984-01-01

    A position estimation algorithm was developed to track a humpback whale tagged with an ARGOS platform after a transmitter deployment failure and the whale's diving behavior precluded standard methods. The algorithm is especially useful where a transmitter location program exists; it determines the classical keplarian elements from the ARGOS spacecraft position vectors included with the probationary file messages. A minimum of three distinct messages are required. Once the spacecraft orbit is determined, the whale is located using standard least squares regression techniques. Experience suggests that in instances where circumstances inherent in the experiment yield message data unsuitable for the standard ARGOS reduction, (message data may be too sparse, span an insufficient period, or include variable-length messages). System ARGOS can still provide much valuable location information if the user is willing to accept the increased location uncertainties.

  3. Whale Teaching Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peninsula Humane Society, San Mateo, CA.

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

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-26

    ... Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; notification of quota for bowhead whales. SUMMARY: NMFS notifies the public of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to the... regulations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). For 2013, the quota is 75 bowhead whales...

  5. Whales and Whaling--An Interdisciplinary Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  6. Species identification using genetic tools: the value of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences in whale conservation.

    PubMed

    Palumbi, S R; Cipriano, F

    1998-01-01

    DNA sequence analysis is a powerful tool for identifying the source of samples thought to be derived from threatened or endangered species. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from retail whale meat markets has shown consistently that the expected baleen whale in these markets, the minke whale, makes up only about half the products analyzed. The other products are either unregulated small toothed whales like dolphins or are protected baleen whales such as humpback, Bryde's, fin, or blue whales. Independent verification of such mtDNA identifications requires analysis of nuclear genetic loci, but this is technically more difficult than standard mtDNA sequencing. In addition, evolution of species-specific sequences (i.e., fixation of sequence differences to produce reciprocally monophyletic gene trees) is slower in nuclear than in mitochondrial genes primarily because genetic drift is slower at nuclear loci. When will use of nuclear sequences allow forensic DNA identification? Comparison of neutral theories of coalescence of mitochondrial and nuclear loci suggests a simple rule of thumb. The "three-times rule" suggests that phylogenetic sorting at nuclear loci is likely to produce species-specific sequences when mitochondrial alleles are reciprocally monophyletic and the branches leading to the mtDNA sequences of a species are three times longer than the average difference observed within species. A preliminary test of the three-times rule, which depends on many assumptions about the species and genes involved, suggests that blue and fin whales should have species-specific sequences at most neutral nuclear loci, whereas humpback and fin whales should show species-specific sequences at fewer nuclear loci. Partial sequences of actin introns from these species confirm the predictions of the three-times rule and show that blue and fin whales are reciprocally monophyletic at this locus. These intron sequences are thus good tools for the identification of these species

  7. WhaleNet/environet

    SciTech Connect

    Williamson, J.M.

    1994-12-31

    WhaleNet has established a network where students, educators, and scientists can interact and share data for use in interdisciplinary curricular and student research activities in classrooms around the world by utilizing telecommunication. This program enables students to participate in marine/whale research programs in real-time with WhaleNet data and supplementary curriculum materials regardless of their geographic location. Systems have been established with research organizations and whale watch companies whereby research data is posted by scientists and students participating in whale watches on the WhaleNet bulletin board and shared with participating classrooms. WhaleNet presently has contacts with classrooms across the nation, and with research groups, whale watch organizations, science museums, and universities from Alaska to North Carolina, Hawaii to Maine, and Belize to Norway. WhaleNet has plans to make existing whale and fisheries research databases available for classroom use and to have research data from satellite tagging programs on various species of whales available for classroom access in real-time.

  8. 75 FR 10223 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-05

    ... Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; notification of quota for bowhead whales. SUMMARY: NMFS provides notification of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to the Alaska... Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). For 2010, the quota is 75 bowhead...

  9. 77 FR 21540 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-10

    ... Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; notification of quota for bowhead whales. SUMMARY: NMFS notifies the public of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to the... quota is 75 bowhead whales struck. This quota and other applicable limitations govern the harvest...

  10. 76 FR 16388 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-23

    ... Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; notification of quota for bowhead whales. SUMMARY: NMFS provides notification of the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that it has assigned to the Alaska... Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). For 2011, the quota is 75 bowhead...

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

    PubMed

    Piwetz, Sarah; Lundquist, David; Würsig, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) use shallow, near-shore waters throughout their range. This coastal distribution makes them vulnerable to recreational and commercial disturbances, especially near heavily populated and industrialized areas. Most research focusing on Sousa and human activities has emphasized direct impacts and threats, involving injury and death, with relatively little focus on indirect effects on dolphins, such as changes in behaviour that may lead to deleterious effects. Understanding behaviour is important in resolving human-wildlife conflict and is an important component of conservation. This chapter gives an overview of animal behavioural responses to human activity with examples from diverse taxa; reviews the scientific literature on behavioural responses of humpback dolphins to human activity throughout their range, including marine vessel traffic, dolphin tourism, cetacean-fishery interactions, noise pollution, and habitat alteration; and highlights information and data gaps for future humpback dolphin research to better inform behaviour-based management decisions that contribute to conservation efforts. PMID:26555621

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

    PubMed

    Tervo, Outi M; Christoffersen, Mads F; Simon, Malene; Miller, Lee A; Jensen, Frants H; Parks, Susan E; Madsen, Peter T

    2012-01-01

    The low-frequency, powerful vocalizations of blue and fin whales may potentially be detected by conspecifics across entire ocean basins. In contrast, humpback and bowhead whales produce equally powerful, but more complex broadband vocalizations composed of higher frequencies that suffer from higher attenuation. Here we evaluate the active space of high frequency song notes of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Western Greenland using measurements of song source levels and ambient noise. Four independent, GPS-synchronized hydrophones were deployed through holes in the ice to localize vocalizing bowhead whales, estimate source levels and measure ambient noise. The song had a mean apparent source level of 185±2 dB rms re 1 µPa @ 1 m and a high mean centroid frequency of 444±48 Hz. Using measured ambient noise levels in the area and Arctic sound spreading models, the estimated active space of these song notes is between 40 and 130 km, an order of magnitude smaller than the estimated active space of low frequency blue and fin whale songs produced at similar source levels and for similar noise conditions. We propose that bowhead whales spatially compensate for their smaller communication range through mating aggregations that co-evolved with broadband song to form a complex and dynamic acoustically mediated sexual display. PMID:23300591

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

    PubMed Central

    Tervo, Outi M.; Christoffersen, Mads F.; Simon, Malene; Miller, Lee A.; Jensen, Frants H.; Parks, Susan E.; Madsen, Peter T.

    2012-01-01

    The low-frequency, powerful vocalizations of blue and fin whales may potentially be detected by conspecifics across entire ocean basins. In contrast, humpback and bowhead whales produce equally powerful, but more complex broadband vocalizations composed of higher frequencies that suffer from higher attenuation. Here we evaluate the active space of high frequency song notes of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in Western Greenland using measurements of song source levels and ambient noise. Four independent, GPS-synchronized hydrophones were deployed through holes in the ice to localize vocalizing bowhead whales, estimate source levels and measure ambient noise. The song had a mean apparent source level of 185±2 dB rms re 1 µPa @ 1 m and a high mean centroid frequency of 444±48 Hz. Using measured ambient noise levels in the area and Arctic sound spreading models, the estimated active space of these song notes is between 40 and 130 km, an order of magnitude smaller than the estimated active space of low frequency blue and fin whale songs produced at similar source levels and for similar noise conditions. We propose that bowhead whales spatially compensate for their smaller communication range through mating aggregations that co-evolved with broadband song to form a complex and dynamic acoustically mediated sexual display. PMID:23300591

  14. Echolocation parameters of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the wild.

    PubMed

    de Freitas, Mafalda; Jensen, Frants H; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Madsen, Peter T

    2015-06-01

    Echolocation is a key sensory modality for toothed whale orientation, navigation, and foraging. However, a more comparative understanding of the biosonar properties of toothed whales is necessary to understand behavioral and evolutionary adaptions. To address this, two free-ranging sympatric delphinid species, Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), were studied. Biosonar clicks from both species were recorded within the same stretch of coastal habitat in Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, using a vertical seven element hydrophone array. S. sahulensis used biosonar clicks with a mean source level of 199 ± 3 dB re 1 μPa peak-peak (pp), mean centroid frequency of 106 ± 11 kHz, and emitted at interclick intervals (ICIs) of 79 ± 33 ms. These parameters were similar to click parameters of sympatric T. aduncus, characterized by mean source levels of 204 ± 4 dB re 1 μPa pp, centroid frequency of 112 ± 9 kHz, and ICIs of 73 ± 29 ms. These properties are comparable to those of other similar sized delphinids and suggest that biosonar parameters are independent of sympatric delphinids and possibly driven by body size. The dynamic biosonar behavior of these delphinids may have, consequently, allowed for adaptations to local environments through high levels of control over sonar beam properties. PMID:26093395

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) is a causative factor in epizootics that have resulted in thousands of deaths throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean since 1987, but less is known of its presence and significance in the Pacific. The first case of CeMV reported in Hawai'i was in a Longman's beaked whale that stranded in 2010. The initial CeMV sequence from this individual indicated the possibility of a novel strain. To address this, archived samples from cetaceans that stranded in Hawai'i between 1997 and 2014 were screened for CeMV. The beaked whale morbillivirus (BWMV) was detected in 15 individuals representing 12 different species (24% of Code 1 and 2 stranded cetaceans). The earliest detected case was a humpback whale that stranded in 1998. Sequence comparisons of a 2.2 kb sequence spanning the phosphoprotein (P) and nucleocapsid (N) genes strongly suggest that the BWMV represents a novel strain of CeMV present in Hawai'i and the Central Pacific. In contrast to recently reported isolates from Brazil and Australia that may represent a distinct clade, BWMV appears to be more closely related to known strains of CeMV (dolphin morbillivirus; porpoise morbillivirus; and pilot whale morbillivirus). Detection rates with repeat sampling of positive lymph nodes were between 2 and 61%, illustrating the extreme heterogeneity that can occur in affected tissues. Taken together, these results suggest that BWMV may be common and established in Hawaiian cetacean populations. BWMV will be important for understanding CeMV and health threats in the relatively understudied cetaceans of the Pacific. PMID:26758655

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

    PubMed

    Jefferson, Thomas A; Curry, Barbara E

    2015-01-01

    The delphinid genus Sousa has recently undergone a major revision, and currently contains four species, the Atlantic humpback (Sousa teuszii), Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea), Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis), and Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis) dolphins. Recent molecular evidence suggests that humpback dolphins in the Bay of Bengal may comprise a fifth species. These moderate-sized dolphin species are found in shallow (<30m), coastal waters of the eastern Atlantic, Indian, and western Pacific oceans. Abundance and trends have only been studied in a few areas, mostly in eastern Africa, China, and northern Australia. No global, empirically derived abundance estimates exist for any of the four species, but none appear to number more than about 20,000 individuals. Humpback dolphins feed mostly on small fishes, and sometimes shrimps; occur for the most part in small groups (mostly 12 or less); have limited nearshore movements; and in most parts of their range exhibit a fission/fusion type of social organization. Major threats that affect all the species are entanglement in fishing gear, and habitat degradation/destruction from various forms of coastal development. Impacts from vessel traffic (including behavioural disturbance and displacement, as well as mortality and morbidity from collisions with vessels) appear to be significant in most areas. Several other threats are apparently significant only in particular parts of the range of some species (e.g. high levels of organochlorine contaminants affecting Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Hong Kong). Direct hunting only occurs in limited areas and primarily on a small scale. Conservation actions so far have been limited, with most populations receiving little study and almost no management attention. Much more work is needed on humpback dolphin population status, threats, and how the major threats can be reduced or eliminated. Extinction risks for the four species and some populations are

  17. Predicted decline of protected whales based on molecular genetic monitoring of Japanese and Korean markets.

    PubMed Central

    Baker, C S; Lento, G M; Cipriano, F; Palumbi, S R

    2000-01-01

    We present a two-tiered analysis of molecular genetic variation in order to determine the origins of whale' products purchased from retail markets in Japan and the Republic of (South) Korea during 1993-1999. This approach combined phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences for identification of protected species with a statistical comparison of intraspecific haplotype frequencies for distinguishing regional subpopulations or 'stocks' hunted for scientific research by the Japanese and killed incidentally in coastal fisheries by the Koreans. The phylogenetic identification of 655 products included eight species or subspecies of baleen whales, sperm whales, a pygmy sperm whale, two species of beaked whales, porpoises, killer whales and numerous species of dolphins as well as domestic sheep and horses. Six of the baleen whale species (the fin, sei, common-form and small-form Bryde's, blue or blue/fin hybrid, and humpback) and the sperm whale are protected by international agreements dating back to at least 1989 for all species and 1966 for some species. We compared the haplotype frequencies from the Japanese market sample to those reported from scientific hunting in the western North Pacific stock for products derived from the exploited North Pacific minke whale. The market sample differed significantly from the scientific catch (p < 0.001), showing a greater than expected frequency of haplotypes characteristic of the protected Sea of Japan stock. We used a 'mixed-stock' analysis and maximum-likelihood methods to estimate that 31% (95% confidence interval 19-43%) of the market for this species originated from the Sea of Japan stock. The source of these products was assumed to be undocumented 'incidental takes' from fisheries' by-catch, although we cannot exclude the possibility of illegal hunting or smuggling. The demographic impact of this undocumented exploitation was evaluated using the model of population dynamics adopted by the Scientific Committee of

  18. Predicted decline of protected whales based on molecular genetic monitoring of Japanese and Korean markets.

    PubMed

    Baker, C S; Lento, G M; Cipriano, F; Palumbi, S R

    2000-06-22

    We present a two-tiered analysis of molecular genetic variation in order to determine the origins of whale' products purchased from retail markets in Japan and the Republic of (South) Korea during 1993-1999. This approach combined phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences for identification of protected species with a statistical comparison of intraspecific haplotype frequencies for distinguishing regional subpopulations or 'stocks' hunted for scientific research by the Japanese and killed incidentally in coastal fisheries by the Koreans. The phylogenetic identification of 655 products included eight species or subspecies of baleen whales, sperm whales, a pygmy sperm whale, two species of beaked whales, porpoises, killer whales and numerous species of dolphins as well as domestic sheep and horses. Six of the baleen whale species (the fin, sei, common-form and small-form Bryde's, blue or blue/fin hybrid, and humpback) and the sperm whale are protected by international agreements dating back to at least 1989 for all species and 1966 for some species. We compared the haplotype frequencies from the Japanese market sample to those reported from scientific hunting in the western North Pacific stock for products derived from the exploited North Pacific minke whale. The market sample differed significantly from the scientific catch (p < 0.001), showing a greater than expected frequency of haplotypes characteristic of the protected Sea of Japan stock. We used a 'mixed-stock' analysis and maximum-likelihood methods to estimate that 31% (95% confidence interval 19-43%) of the market for this species originated from the Sea of Japan stock. The source of these products was assumed to be undocumented 'incidental takes' from fisheries' by-catch, although we cannot exclude the possibility of illegal hunting or smuggling. The demographic impact of this undocumented exploitation was evaluated using the model of population dynamics adopted by the Scientific Committee of

  19. 156. Humpback Mountain Viaduct. View shows the stone faced abutment. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    156. Humpback Mountain Viaduct. View shows the stone faced abutment. Due to the skew of the abutment, it doubles as a foundation for one of the piers. Looking south. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  20. Twelve years of tracking 52-Hz whale calls from a unique source in the North Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watkins, William A.; Daher, Mary Ann; George, Joseph E.; Rodriguez, David

    2004-12-01

    A unique whale call with 50-52 Hz emphasis from a single source has been tracked over 12 years in the central and eastern North Pacific. These calls, referred to as 52-Hz calls, were monitored and analyzed from acoustic data recorded by hydrophones of the US Navy Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) and other arrays. The calls were noticed first in 1989, and have been detected and tracked since 1992. No other calls with similar characteristics have been identified in the acoustic data from any hydrophone system in the North Pacific basin. Only one series of these 52-Hz calls has been recorded at a time, with no call overlap, suggesting that a single whale produced the calls. The calls were recorded from August to February with most in December and January. The species producing these calls is unknown. The tracks of the 52-Hz whale were different each year, and varied in length from 708 to 11,062 km with travel speeds ranging from 0.7 to 3.8 km/h. Tracks included (A) meandering over short ranges, (B) predominantly west-to-east movement, and (C) mostly north-to-south travel. These tracks consistently appeared to be unrelated to the presence or movement of other whale species (blue, fin and humpback) monitored year-round with the same hydrophones.

  1. Detection of baleen whales on an ocean-bottom seismometer array in the Lau Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brodie, D.; Dunn, R.

    2011-12-01

    Long-term deployment of ocean-bottom seismometer arrays provides a unique opportunity for identifying and tracking whales in a manner not usually possible in biological studies. Large baleen whales emit low frequency (>5Hz) sounds called 'calls' or 'songs' that can be detected on either the hydrophone or vertical channel of the instrument at distances in excess of 50 km. The calls are distinct to individual species and even geographical groups among species, and are thought to serve a variety of purposes. Distinct repeating calls can be automatically identified using matched-filter processing, and whales can be located in a manner similar to that of earthquakes. Many baleen whale species are endangered, and little is known about their geographic distribution, population dynamics, and basic behaviors. The Lau back-arc basin, a tectonically active, elongated basin bounded by volcanic shallows, lies in the southwestern Pacific Ocean between Fiji and Tonga. Although whales are known to exist around Fiji and Tonga, little is understood about the population dynamics and migration patterns throughout the basin. Twenty-nine broadband ocean-bottom seismometers deployed in the basin recorded data for approximately ten months during the years 2009-2010. To date, four species of whales have been identified in the data: Blue (one call type), Humpback (two call types, including long-lasting 'songs'), Bryde's (one call type), and Fin whales (three call types). Three as-yet-unknown call types have also been identified. After the calls were identified, idealized spectrograms of the known calls were matched against the entire data set using an auto-detection algorithm. The auto-detection output provides the number of calls and times of year when each call type was recorded. Based on the results, whales migrate seasonally through the basin with some overlapping of species. Initial results also indicate that different species of whales are more common in some parts of the basin than

  2. Whale song analyses using bioinformatics sequence analysis approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  4. Cetacean records along a coastal-offshore gradient in the Vitória-Trindade Chain, western South Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Wedekin, L L; Rossi-Santos, M R; Baracho, C; Cypriano-Souza, A L; Simões-Lopes, P C

    2014-02-01

    Oceanic waters are difficult to assess, and there are many gaps in knowledge regarding cetacean occurrence. To fill some of these gaps, this article provides important cetacean records obtained in the winter of 2010 during a dedicated expedition to collect visual and acoustic information in the Vitória-Trindade seamounts. We observed 19 groups of cetaceans along a 1300-km search trajectory, with six species being identified: the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, N = 9 groups), the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus, N = 1), the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis, N = 1), the rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis, N = 1), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, N = 2), and the killer whale (Orcinus orca, N = 1). Most humpback whale groups (N = 7; 78%) were observed in the Vitória-Trindade seamounts, especially the mounts close to the Abrolhos Bank. Only one lone humpback whale was observed near Trindade Island after a search effort encompassing more than 520 km. From a total of 28 acoustic stations, humpback whale songs were only detected near the seamounts close to the Abrolhos Bank, where most groups of this species were visually detected (including a competitive group and groups with calves). The presence of humpback whales at the Trindade Island and surroundings is most likely occasional, with few sightings and low density. Finally, we observed a significant number of humpback whales along the seamounts close to the Abrolhos Bank, which may function as a breeding habitat for this species. We also added important records regarding the occurrence of cetaceans in these mounts and in the Western South Atlantic, including the endangered fin whale. PMID:25055095

  5. 50 CFR 230.4 - Aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... whale accompanied by a calf. (d) No whaling captain shall engage in whaling without an adequate crew or... subsistence whaling. (f) No person may sell or offer for sale whale products from whales taken in an... sale. (g) No whaling captain shall continue to whale after: (1) The quota set for his/her village...

  6. 50 CFR 230.4 - Aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... whale accompanied by a calf. (d) No whaling captain shall engage in whaling without an adequate crew or... subsistence whaling. (f) No person may sell or offer for sale whale products from whales taken in an... sale. (g) No whaling captain shall continue to whale after: (1) The quota set for his/her village...

  7. 50 CFR 230.4 - Aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... whale accompanied by a calf. (d) No whaling captain shall engage in whaling without an adequate crew or... subsistence whaling. (f) No person may sell or offer for sale whale products from whales taken in an... sale. (g) No whaling captain shall continue to whale after: (1) The quota set for his/her village...

  8. 50 CFR 230.4 - Aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... whale accompanied by a calf. (d) No whaling captain shall engage in whaling without an adequate crew or... subsistence whaling. (f) No person may sell or offer for sale whale products from whales taken in an... sale. (g) No whaling captain shall continue to whale after: (1) The quota set for his/her village...

  9. 50 CFR 230.4 - Aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... whale accompanied by a calf. (d) No whaling captain shall engage in whaling without an adequate crew or... subsistence whaling. (f) No person may sell or offer for sale whale products from whales taken in an... sale. (g) No whaling captain shall continue to whale after: (1) The quota set for his/her village...

  10. 2. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. Original was constructed in 1955 ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. Original was constructed in 1955 and opened 19 May 1956. Destroyed by arson in 1981, it was rebuilt as an expanded facility and opened the following year. In the foreground is a post-and-rail fence and a tower of truth. In the background to the right is a buck or Yankee Fence the view is west-northwest. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  11. 50 CFR 218.81 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... concern: beaked whale of any species, Kogia spp., Risso's dolphin, melon-headed whale, pilot whale, North Atlantic right whale, humpback whale, sperm whale, blue whale, fin whale, or sei whale. (iii) A group...

  12. Whale-Watching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lande, Rivian

    1973-01-01

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

  13. Whales: Incredible Ocean Mammals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  14. Listening to Whales

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allchin, Douglas

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Whales Are Big With Little People.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dommers, John J.

    1981-01-01

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

  16. Marine mammal strandings in the New Caledonia region, Southwest Pacific.

    PubMed

    Borsa, Philippe

    2006-04-01

    Four hundred twenty three marine mammals, in 72 stranding events, were recorded between 1877 and 2005 in New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, and Vanuatu in the southwest Pacific. Sixteen species were represented in this count, including: minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata (1 single stranding), sei whale, B. borealis (1 single stranding), blue whale, B. musculus (1 single stranding), humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae (2 single strandings), giant sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus (18 single strandings, 2 pair strandings), pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps (5 single strandings), dwarf sperm whale, K. sima (2 single strandings, 1 triple stranding), Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon densirostris (2 single strandings), short-finned pilot whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus (4 strandings, 56 individuals), melon-headed whale, Peponocephala electra (1 single stranding and 2 mass strandings totalling 231 individuals), common dolphin, Delphinus delphis (1 single stranding), spinner dolphin, Stenella longirostris (1 pair stranding and 2 mass strandings of groups of approximately 30 individuals each), Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus (2 single strandings), dugong, Dugong dugon (14 single strandings), and New Zealand fur seal, Arctocephalus forsteri (3 single strandings). A stranded rorqual identified as an Antarctic minke whale (B. bonaerensis), with coloration patterns that did not match known descriptions, was also reported. Sei whale was recorded for the first time in the tropical Southwest Pacific region and Antarctic minke whale, melon-headed whale, and Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin were recorded for the first time in New Caledonia. Strandings of sperm whales were most frequent in the spring, but also occurred in autumn months, suggesting a seasonal pattern of occurrence possibly related to seasonal migration. One stranded humpback whale bore the scars of a killer whale's attack and one dugong was injured by a shark. Scars left by

  17. Whales from Space: Counting Southern Right Whales by Satellite

    PubMed Central

    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 20th 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. PMID:24533131

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24533131

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    This chapter aims to collate recent work done by different research teams along the Indian coast and presents research plans for the conservation and management of the genus Sousa in Indian waters. Humpback dolphins are the most common nearshore cetaceans found along the Indian coast. The taxonomy is confused, but two or more species of humpback dolphins may be present in India. Dedicated research on humpback dolphins and other cetaceans has been initiated only in the past few years and vast gaps in the ecology and conservation of the genus from the region remain. Dedicated and opportunistic research indicates that humpback dolphin presence is continuous along the west coast of India, owing to the contiguous favourable habitat of shallow nearshore waters, while along the east coast humpback dolphins are apparently found in pockets. Humpback dolphins are also the most numerous in incidental catch records from the coast, owing to the large overlap in space use with nearshore fisheries like small gillnets, trawls, shore seines and purse seines. Along many coastal sites, humpback dolphins are known to cause damage and depredation of fish catch of certain fishing gears, making them unpopular. At the same time, many fishers along the west coast have developed local dolphin-watching programmes as an alternate source of livelihood, providing positive impetus for conservation. However, research on the long-term effects of dolphin watching and its management is required. Some recommendations for more effective management of this species are made. PMID:26555628

  20. Does acoustic testing strand whales?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frantzis, A.

    1998-03-01

    Mass strandings of live whales have been explained by proposing many `natural' or human-related causes. I found that a recent stranding of Cuvier's beaked whale coincided closely in time and location with military tests of an acoustic system for submarine detection being carried out by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

  1. The Origin(s) of Whales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhen, Mark D.

    2010-05-01

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

  2. Hippopotamus and whale phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Geisler, Jonathan H; Theodor, Jessica M

    2009-03-19

    Thewissen et al. describe new fossils from India that apparently support a phylogeny that places Cetacea (that is, whales, dolphins, porpoises) as the sister group to the extinct family Raoellidae, and Hippopotamidae as more closely related to pigs and peccaries (that is, Suina) than to cetaceans. However, our reanalysis of a modified version of the data set they used differs in retaining molecular characters and demonstrates that Hippopotamidae is the closest extant family to Cetacea and that raoellids are the closest extinct group, consistent with previous phylogenetic studies. This topology supports the view that the aquatic adaptations in hippopotamids and cetaceans are inherited from their common ancestor. PMID:19295550

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-06-01

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

  4. A whale of a problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-01

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern. PMID:27503913

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Among the many cetacean species that occupy Australian coastal waters, Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, are one of the most vulnerable to extirpation due to human activities. This review summarises the existing knowledge, presently occurring and planned research projects, and current conservation measures for humpback dolphins in Western Australia (WA). Rapid and wide-scale coastal development along the northern WA coastline has occurred despite a lack of baseline data for inshore dolphins and, therefore, without a precautionary approach to their conservation. The distribution, abundance, habitat use, and population structure of humpback dolphins remain poorly understood. Less than 1% of their inferred distribution has so far been studied to understand local population demography. The sparse data available suggest that WA humpback dolphins occur as localised populations in low numbers within a range of inshore habitats, including both clear and turbid coastal waters. Marine protected areas cover a third of their inferred distribution in WA, but the efficacy of these reserves in protecting local cetacean populations is unknown. There is a pressing need for coordination and collaboration among scientists, government agencies, industry bodies, Traditional Owners, and local community groups to fill in the gaps of information on humpback dolphins in WA. The recently developed strategies and sampling guidelines developed by state and federal governments should serve as a best practise standard for collection of data aimed at assessing the conservation status of humpback dolphins in WA and Australia. PMID:26790893

  7. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Echolocation in wild toothed whales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

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

  9. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

  10. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Techniques development for whale migration tracking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-01-01

    Culture is increasingly being understood as a driver of mammalian phenotypes. Defined as group-specific behaviour transmitted by social learning, culture is shaped by social structure. However, culture can itself affect social structure if individuals preferentially interact with others whose behaviour is similar, or cultural symbols are used to mark groups. Using network formalism, this interplay can be depicted by the coevolution of nodes and edges together with the coevolution of network topology and transmission patterns. We review attempts to model the links between the spread, persistence and diversity of culture and the network topology of non-human societies. We illustrate these processes using cetaceans. The spread of socially learned begging behaviour within a population of bottlenose dolphins followed the topology of the social network, as did the evolution of the song of the humpback whale between breeding areas. In three bottlenose dolphin populations, individuals preferentially associated with animals using the same socially learned foraging behaviour. Homogeneous behaviour within the tight, nearly permanent social structures of the large matrilineal whales seems to result from transmission bias, with cultural symbols marking social structures. We recommend the integration of studies of culture and society in species for which social learning is an important determinant of behaviour. PMID:23569288

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

    PubMed

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-05-19

    Culture is increasingly being understood as a driver of mammalian phenotypes. Defined as group-specific behaviour transmitted by social learning, culture is shaped by social structure. However, culture can itself affect social structure if individuals preferentially interact with others whose behaviour is similar, or cultural symbols are used to mark groups. Using network formalism, this interplay can be depicted by the coevolution of nodes and edges together with the coevolution of network topology and transmission patterns. We review attempts to model the links between the spread, persistence and diversity of culture and the network topology of non-human societies. We illustrate these processes using cetaceans. The spread of socially learned begging behaviour within a population of bottlenose dolphins followed the topology of the social network, as did the evolution of the song of the humpback whale between breeding areas. In three bottlenose dolphin populations, individuals preferentially associated with animals using the same socially learned foraging behaviour. Homogeneous behaviour within the tight, nearly permanent social structures of the large matrilineal whales seems to result from transmission bias, with cultural symbols marking social structures. We recommend the integration of studies of culture and society in species for which social learning is an important determinant of behaviour. PMID:23569288

  15. Building Whales in Sand and Mind.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warner, Carolyn

    1980-01-01

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

  16. Whaling: will the Phoenix rise again?

    PubMed

    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. The world's smallest whale population?

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-23

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

  18. The world's smallest whale population?

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Movement, habitat use, and diet of adult humpback chub

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valdez, Richard A.; Hoffnagle, Timothy L.

    The humpback chub (Gila cypha) is a big-river cyprinid fish endemic to the Colorado River, where river regulation has contributed to its endangerment. Flooding is essential to reshaping its habitat, redistributing nutrients, flushing terrestrial insects for food, and, in the post-dam river, controlling non-native competitors and predators. Effects of the 1996 controlled flood on movement and habitat use of adults were monitored with radiotelemetry, and diet was evaluated with a non-lethal stomach pump. Movement of 9 radio-tagged adults during the flood (mean, 0.40 km; range, 0-1.24 km) was not significantly different (P≤0.05) from movement in the month preceding the flood (mean, 1.26 km; range, 0.1-2.95 km), indicating no unusual movement or displacement of fish by the flood. Habitat used during the flood, as a percentage of radio-contacts (i.e., 73% eddies, 19% runs, 8% tributary inflows), was similar to that used under normal operations by 69 fish tracked during 1990-1992 (i.e., 74% eddies, 12% runs, 7% backwaters, 6% tributary inflows, 1% pools, <1% riffles). Diet of 43 adults showed dramatic shifts to items scoured by the flood. Simuliidae (68% ash-free dry weight) and Chironomidae (15%) dominated pre-flood diets; Amphipoda (31%), Simuliidae (25%), and terrestrial insects (i.e., beetles, ants, grasshoppers, 20%) were ingested during the flood; and Simuliidae (62%) and Amphipoda (18%) were eaten post-flood. While composition of the diet changed, biomass consumed was not significantly affected by the flood (P = 0.9157). The controlled flood had no detrimental effects on movement, habitat use, or diet of adult humpback chub. Effects of habitat reshaping and nutrient redistribution can only be evaluated through long-term monitoring. Floods of higher magnitude or at a different time of year may have different effects on this endangered species and should be investigated before implementing controlled floods as an element of dam operations.

  20. Cetaceans of the Atlantic Frontier, north and west of Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weir, C. R.; Pollock, C.; Cronin, C.; Taylor, S.

    2001-05-01

    Surveys carried out to the north and west of Scotland have recorded 15 species of cetacean between 1979 and 1998. These were fin whale ( Balaenoptera physalus) , sei whale ( B. borealis) , minke whale ( B. acutorostrata) , humpback whale ( Megaptera novaeangliae) , sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus) , northern bottlenose whale ( Hyperoodon ampullatus) , Sowerby's beaked whale ( Mesoplodon bidens) , killer whale ( Orcinus orca) , long-finned pilot whale ( Globicephala melas) , Atlantic white-sided dolphin ( Lagenorhynchus acutus) , white-beaked dolphin ( L. albirostris) , Risso's dolphin ( Grampus griseus) , bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus) , common dolphin ( Delphinus delphis) and harbour porpoise ( Phocoena phocoena) . Atlantic white-sided dolphin was the most abundant species in the region with a total of 6317 animals recorded. Harbour porpoise was the most frequently sighted cetacean species. The geographical distribution of sightings indicate that cetacean species have varying ecological requirements, with species such as sperm whale, pilot whale and white-sided dolphin favouring deep water off the continental shelf edge, while minke whale, white-beaked dolphin and harbour porpoise were apparently limited to the continental shelf. The diversity of species recorded in the region suggests that the Atlantic Frontier is an important habitat for cetaceans.

  1. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    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...

  2. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 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...

  3. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 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...

  4. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 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...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ridgway, Sam H; Hanson, Alicia C

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 15 CFR Appendix A to Subpart Q of... - Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... (Big Island) 2 20°16′5.3″20°17′59.9″ −155°51′0.5″−155°51′17.2″ 13 Keahole Pt., Hawaii (Big Island) 2 19...). ER29NO99.002 Bound No. (Fig.2) Geographic Name No. of Points Latitude Longitude 14 Kawaihae Harbor,...

  8. 15 CFR Appendix A to Subpart Q of... - Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... (Big Island) 2 20°16′5.3″20°17′59.9″ −155°51′0.5″−155°51′17.2″ 13 Keahole Pt., Hawaii (Big Island) 2 19...). ER29NO99.002 Bound No. (Fig.2) Geographic Name No. of Points Latitude Longitude 14 Kawaihae Harbor,...

  9. 15 CFR Appendix A to Subpart Q of... - Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... (Big Island) 2 20°16′5.3″20°17′59.9″ −155°51′0.5″−155°51′17.2″ 13 Keahole Pt., Hawaii (Big Island) 2 19...). ER29NO99.002 Bound No. (Fig.2) Geographic Name No. of Points Latitude Longitude 14 Kawaihae Harbor,...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  11. Development of a bioenergetics model for humpback chub and evaluation of water temperature changes in the Grand Canyon, Colorado River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petersen, J.H.; Paukert, C.P.

    2005-01-01

    The construction of Glen Canyon Dam above the Grand Canyon (Arizona) has reduced the water temperature in the Colorado River and altered the growth rate and feeding patterns of the federally endangered humpback chub Gila cypha. A bioenergetics model for humpback chub was developed and used to examine how warmer water temperatures in the lower Colorado River (achieved through a temperature control device [TCD] at Glen Canyon Dam) might influence their growth rate and food requirements. Parameter values for humpback chub were developed by Monte Carlo filtering and fitting to laboratory growth. Parameter bounds were established from the literature for Gila species, random parameter sets were selected within these bounds, and the growth of modeled humpback chub was compared with criteria from a laboratory growth experiment at 24??C. This method of parameter estimation could be applied to other imperiled fishes where physiological studies are impractical. Final parameter values were corroborated by comparison with the growth rates of humpback chub from independent field and laboratory studies. Simulations indicated that increasing water temperatures from approximately 9??C to 16??C during summer and fall, the change expected from the TCD, may have a minimal effect on humpback chub growth rate unless food availability also increases with temperature. To evaluate the effects of increased temperatures on humpback chub in the lower Colorado River, it will be essential to monitor their growth rate, the invertebrate community, and the predators of humpback chub, which are also influenced by temperature changes. Bioenergetics models for humpback chub and their predators should be helpful tools for identifying potential scenarios and evaluating the complex interactions resulting from a TCD. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) was studied during controlled exposures to naval sonar [low frequency active sonar (LFAS): 1-2 kHz and mid frequency active sonar (MFAS): 6-7 kHz] during three field seasons (2006-2009). Diving behavior was monitored before, during and after sonar exposure using an archival tag placed on the animal with suction cups. The tag recorded the animal's vertical movement, and additional data on horizontal movement and vocalizations were used to determine behavioral modes. Killer whales that were conducting deep dives at sonar onset changed abruptly to shallow diving (ShD) during LFAS, while killer whales conducting deep dives at the onset of MFAS did not alter dive mode. When in ShD mode at sonar onset, killer whales did not change their diving behavior. Pilot and sperm whales performed normal deep dives (NDD) during MFAS exposure. During LFAS exposures, long-finned pilot whales mostly performed fewer deep dives and some sperm whales performed shallower and shorter dives. Acoustic recording data presented previously indicates that deep diving (DD) is associated with feeding. Therefore, the observed changes in dive behavior of the three species could potentially reduce the foraging efficiency of the affected animals. PMID:23087648

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis, has recently been described to occur in northern Australian coastal waters. However, its distribution in adjacent waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea remains largely unknown. Although there have been few studies conducted on inshore dolphins in these regions, the available information records humpback dolphins primarily from the Kikori Delta in Papua New Guinea, and Bird's Head Seascape in West Papua. Research in southern Papua New Guinea indicates that humpback dolphins are indeed S. sahulensis, based on cranial and external morphometrics, external colouration and the preliminary genetic analysis presented here. A similar situation exists for the Australian snubfin dolphin, Orcaella heinsohni, where it is assumed that the species also occurs along the Sahul Shelf coastal waters of northern Australia and New Guinea. There are anecdotal reports of direct catch of Australian humpback dolphins for use as shark bait, coastal development is increasing, and anthropogenic impacts will continue to escalate as human populations expand into previously uninhabited regions. Future research and management priorities for the Governments of the Pacific Islands and Indonesia will need to focus on inshore dolphins in known regional hotspots, as current bycatch levels appear unsustainable. PMID:26790894

  14. Studying Fin Whales with Seafloor Seismic Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-10-05

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

  16. 76 FR 5338 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15274

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-31

    ... sloughed skin to study humpback whales, Hawaiian Insular false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), and... killer whales could be harassed each year during photo- identification surveys. Additionally, false killer whales, killer whales (Orcinus orca), short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala...

  17. Inter-annual and seasonal trends in cetacean distribution, density and abundance off southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Gregory S.; Thomas, Len; Whitaker, Katherine; Douglas, Annie B.; Calambokidis, John; Hildebrand, John A.

    2015-02-01

    Trends in cetacean density and distribution off southern California were assessed through visual line-transect surveys during thirty-seven California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) cruises from July 2004-November 2013. From sightings of the six most commonly encountered cetacean species, seasonal, annual and overall density estimates were calculated. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were the most frequently sighted baleen whales with overall densities of 0.91/1000 km2 (CV=0.27), 2.73/1000 km2 (CV=0.19), and 1.17/1000 km2 (CV=0.21) respectively. Species specific density estimates, stratified by cruise, were analyzed using a generalized additive model to estimate long-term trends and correct for seasonal imbalances. Variances were estimated using a non-parametric bootstrap with one day of effort as the sampling unit. Blue whales were primarily observed during summer and fall while fin and humpback whales were observed year-round with peaks in density during summer and spring respectively. Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) and Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoidesdalli) were the most frequently encountered small cetaceans with overall densities of 705.83/1000 km2 (CV=0.22), 51.98/1000 km2 (CV=0.27), and 21.37/1000 km2 (CV=0.19) respectively. Seasonally, short-beaked common dolphins were most abundant in winter whereas Pacific white-sided dolphins and Dall's porpoise were most abundant during spring. There were no significant long-term changes in blue whale, fin whale, humpback whale, short-beaked common dolphin or Dall's porpoise densities while Pacific white-sided dolphins exhibited a significant decrease in density across the ten-year study. The results from this study were fundamentally consistent with earlier studies, but provide greater temporal and seasonal resolution.

  18. Baird's beaked whale echolocation signals.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23742381

  19. Can whales mix the ocean?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavery, T. J.; Roudnew, B.; Seuront, L.; Mitchell, J. G.; Middleton, J.

    2012-07-01

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

  20. Saving Whales and Dolphins through Petroglyphs and Activist Artworks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bae, Jaehan

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Whale water restrictions. 13... Vessel Operating Restrictions § 13.1174 Whale water restrictions. (a) May 15 through September 30, the... designated as temporary whale waters in accordance with § 1.7 of this chapter. (c) Violation of a whale...

  2. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Whale water restrictions. 13... Vessel Operating Restrictions § 13.1174 Whale water restrictions. (a) May 15 through September 30, the... designated as temporary whale waters in accordance with § 1.7 of this chapter. (c) Violation of a whale...

  3. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Whale water restrictions. 13... Vessel Operating Restrictions § 13.1174 Whale water restrictions. (a) May 15 through September 30, the... designated as temporary whale waters in accordance with § 1.7 of this chapter. (c) Violation of a whale...

  4. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Whale water restrictions. 13... Vessel Operating Restrictions § 13.1174 Whale water restrictions. (a) May 15 through September 30, the... designated as temporary whale waters in accordance with § 1.7 of this chapter. (c) Violation of a whale...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. Morbillivirus and Pilot Whale Deaths, Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Esperón, Fernando; Herraéz, Pedro; de los Monteros, Antonio Espinosa; Clavel, Cristina; Bernabé, Antonio; Sánchez-Vizcaino, J. Manuel; Verborgh, Philippe; DeStephanis, Renaud; Toledano, Francisco; Bayón, Alejandro

    2008-01-01

    An outbreak of a lethal morbillivirus infection of long-finned pilot whales occurred in the Mediterranean Sea from the end of October 2006 through April 2007. Sequence analysis of a 426-bp conserved fragment of the morbillivirus phosphoprotein gene indicates that the virus is more closely related to dolphin morbillivirus than to pilot whale morbillivirus. PMID:18439363

  7. Whale Watching in the Gulf of Maine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carkin, Clayton A.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  9. Detection and Classification of Whale Acoustic Signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xian, Yin

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

  10. Distribution and movement of humpback chub in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, based on recaptures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paukert, C.P.; Coggins, L.G., Jr.; Flaccus, C.E.

    2006-01-01

    Mark-recapture data from the federally endangered humpback chub Gila cypha in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, were analyzed from 1989 to 2002 to determine large-scale movement patterns and distribution. A total of 14,674 recaptures from 7,127 unique fish were documented; 87% of the recaptures occurred in the same main-stem river reach or tributary as the original captures, suggesting restricted distribution by most fish. A total of 99% of all recaptures were from in and around the Little Colorado River (LCR), a tributary of the Colorado River and primary aggregation and spawning location of humpback chub in Grand Canyon. Time at liberty averaged 394 d, but some fish were recaptured near their main-stem capture location over 10 years later. Proportionally fewer large (>300-mm) humpback chub exhibited restricted distribution than small (<200-mm) fish. However, several fish did move more than 154 km throughout Grand Canyon between capture and recapture, suggesting that limited movement occurs throughout Grand Canyon. The majority of the recaptured fish remained in or returned to the LCR or the Colorado River near the LCR. Although many large-river fishes exhibit extensive migrations to fulfill their life history requirements, most of the humpback chub in Grand Canyon appear to remain in or come back to the LCR and LCR confluence across multiple sizes and time scales. Detecting trends in the overall abundance of this endangered fish in Grand Canyon can probably be accomplished by monitoring the area in and around the LCR.

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

    PubMed

    Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) were recently described as a new species endemic to northern Australia and potentially southern New Guinea. We assessed the species conservation status against IUCN Red List Criteria using available information on their biology, ecology and threatening processes. Knowledge of population sizes and trends across the species range is lacking. Recent genetic studies indicate Australian humpback dolphins live in small and relatively isolated populations with limited gene flow among them. The available abundance estimates range from 14 to 207 individuals and no population studied to date is estimated to contain more than 104 mature individuals. The Potential Biological Removal method indicates populations are vulnerable to even low rates of anthropogenic mortality. Habitat degradation and loss is ongoing and expected to increase across the species range in Australia, and a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals is anticipated. Considering the available evidence and following a precautionary approach, we considered this species as Vulnerable under IUCN criterion C2a(i) because the total number of mature individuals is plausibly fewer than 10,000, an inferred continuing decline due to cumulative impacts, and each of the populations studied to date is estimated to contain fewer than 1000 mature individuals. Ongoing research efforts and recently developed research strategies and priorities will provide valuable information towards the future conservation and management of Australian humpback dolphins. PMID:26790892

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins co-occur throughout most of their range in coastal waters of tropical Australia. Little is known of their ecology or acoustic repertoires. Vocalizations from humpback and snubfin dolphins were recorded in two locations along the Queensland coast during 2008 and 2010 to describe their vocalizations and evaluate the acoustic differences between these two species. Broad vocalization types were categorized qualitatively. Both species produced click trains burst pulses and whistles. Principal component analysis of the nine acoustic variables extracted from the whistles produced nine principal components that were input into discriminant function analyses to classify 96% of humpback dolphin whistles and about 78% of snubfin dolphin calls correctly. Results indicate clear acoustic differences between the vocal whistle repertoires of these two species. A stepwise routine identified two principal components as significantly distinguishable between whistles of each species: frequency parameters and frequency trend ratio. The capacity to identify these species using acoustic monitoring techniques has the potential to provide information on presence/absence, habitat use and relative abundance for each species. PMID:25096127

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. A laboratory evaluation of tagging-related mortality and tag loss in juvenile humpback chub

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, David L.; Persons, William R.; Young, Kirk; Stone, Dennis M.; Van Haverbeke, Randy; Knight, William R.

    2015-01-01

    We quantified tag retention, survival, and growth in juvenile, captive-reared Humpback Chub Gila cypha marked with three different tag types: (1) Biomark 12.5-mm, 134.2-kHz, full duplex PIT tags injected into the body cavity with a 12-gauge needle; (2) Biomark 8.4-mm, 134.2-kHz, full duplex PIT tags injected with a 16-gauge needle; and (3) Northwest Marine Technology visible implant elastomer (VIE) tags injected under the skin with a 29-gauge needle. Estimates of tag loss, tagging-induced mortality, and growth were evaluated for 60 d with each tag type for four different size-groups of fish: 40–49 mm, 50–59 mm, 60–69 mm, and 70–79 mm TL. Total length was a significant predictor of the probability of PIT tag retention and mortality for both 8-mm and 12-mm PIT tags, and the smallest fish had the highest rates of tag loss (12.5–30.0%) and mortality (7.5–20.0%). Humpback Chub of sizes 40–49 mm TL and tagged with VIE tags had no mortality but did have a 17.5% tag loss. Growth rates of all tagged fish were similar to controls. Our data indicate Humpback Chub can be effectively tagged using either 8-mm or 12-mm PIT tags with little tag loss or mortality at sizes as low as 65 mm TL.

  15. Species-specific beaked whale echolocation signals.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23967959

  16. The Northwest Passage opens for bowhead whales.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-23

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

  17. Bowhead whale, balaena mysticetus bibliography. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Setzler-Hamilton, E.M.; Oliver, G.W.

    1987-01-01

    This report categorizes the research literature on bowhead whales according to major research topics, issues of concern to Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas development, and geographic areas. The report has an extensive cross index.

  18. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2014-09-01

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

  19. Having a Whale of a Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    du Feu, Chris

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ...)), or of any regulation issued under the Act (50 CFR part 351) is unlawful. Customs officers and... OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  1. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ...)), or of any regulation issued under the Act (50 CFR part 351) is unlawful. Customs officers and... OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  2. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ...)), or of any regulation issued under the Act (50 CFR part 351) is unlawful. Customs officers and... OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  3. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ...)), or of any regulation issued under the Act (50 CFR part 351) is unlawful. Customs officers and... OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  4. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ...)), or of any regulation issued under the Act (50 CFR part 351) is unlawful. Customs officers and... OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  5. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2014-08-01

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

  6. The Northwest Passage opens for bowhead whales

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic noise may significantly impact exposed marine mammals. This work studied the vocalization response of endangered blue whales to anthropogenic noise sources in the mid-frequency range using passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern California Bight. Blue whales were less likely to produce calls when mid-frequency active sonar was present. This reduction was more pronounced when the sonar source was closer to the animal, at higher sound levels. The animals were equally likely to stop calling at any time of day, showing no diel pattern in their sensitivity to sonar. Conversely, the likelihood of whales emitting calls increased when ship sounds were nearby. Whales did not show a differential response to ship noise as a function of the time of the day either. These results demonstrate that anthropogenic noise, even at frequencies well above the blue whales' sound production range, has a strong probability of eliciting changes in vocal behavior. The long-term implications of disruption in call production to blue whale foraging and other behaviors are currently not well understood. PMID:22393434

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20025655

  9. Comparative anatomy of the foramen ovale in the hearts of cetaceans.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, Alastair A; Carr, Peter A; Currie, Richard J W

    2007-07-01

    The structure of the cardiac foramen ovale from 17 species representing six cetacean families, the Monodontidae, Phocoenidae, Delphinidae, Ziphiidae, Balaenidae and the Balaenopteridae, was studied using the scanning electron microscope. Eight white whale fetuses (Delphinapterus leucas) and a narwhal fetus (Monodon monoceros) represented the Monodontidae; one fetal and nine neonatal harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and a finless porpoise fetus (Neophocoena phocoenoides) represented the Phocoenidae; two white-beaked dolphin fetuses (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), four fetal and one neonatal Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus), a Risso's dolphin fetus (Grampus griseus), two common bottle-nosed dolphin neonates (Tursiops truncatus), a female short-beaked common dolphin fetus (Delphinus delphis), four killer whale fetuses (Orcinus orca) and two long-finned pilot whale fetuses (Globicephala melas) represented the Delphinidae; two northern bottlenose whale fetuses (Hyperoodon ampullatus) represented the Ziphiidae; one bowhead whale fetus (Balaena mysticetus) represented the Balaenidae and five Common minke whale fetuses (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), one blue whale fetus (Balaenoptera musculus), nine fin whale fetuses (Balaenoptera physalus) and four humpback whale fetuses (Megaptera novaeangliae) represented the Balaenopteridae. The hearts of an additional two incompletely identified toothed and four baleen whale fetuses were also studied. In each species the fold of tissue derived from the cardiac septum primum and subtended by the foramen ovale had the appearance of a short tunnel or sleeve which was fenestrated at its distal end. In the toothed whales the tissue fold was tunnel-shaped with the interatrial septum as the floor whereas in baleen whales it was more sleeve-like. In toothed whales thin threads extended from the fold to insert into the interatrial septum whereas a network of threads covered the distal end of the sleeve in the baleen

  10. Comparative anatomy of the foramen ovale in the hearts of cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    Macdonald, Alastair A; Carr, Peter A; Currie, Richard J W

    2007-01-01

    The structure of the cardiac foramen ovale from 17 species representing six cetacean families, the Monodontidae, Phocoenidae, Delphinidae, Ziphiidae, Balaenidae and the Balaenopteridae, was studied using the scanning electron microscope. Eight white whale fetuses (Delphinapterus leucas) and a narwhal fetus (Monodon monoceros) represented the Monodontidae; one fetal and nine neonatal harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and a finless porpoise fetus (Neophocoena phocoenoides) represented the Phocoenidae; two white-beaked dolphin fetuses (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), four fetal and one neonatal Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus), a Risso's dolphin fetus (Grampus griseus), two common bottle-nosed dolphin neonates (Tursiops truncatus), a female short-beaked common dolphin fetus (Delphinus delphis), four killer whale fetuses (Orcinus orca) and two long-finned pilot whale fetuses (Globicephala melas) represented the Delphinidae; two northern bottlenose whale fetuses (Hyperoodon ampullatus) represented the Ziphiidae; one bowhead whale fetus (Balaena mysticetus) represented the Balaenidae and five Common minke whale fetuses (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), one blue whale fetus (Balaenoptera musculus), nine fin whale fetuses (Balaenoptera physalus) and four humpback whale fetuses (Megaptera novaeangliae) represented the Balaenopteridae. The hearts of an additional two incompletely identified toothed and four baleen whale fetuses were also studied. In each species the fold of tissue derived from the cardiac septum primum and subtended by the foramen ovale had the appearance of a short tunnel or sleeve which was fenestrated at its distal end. In the toothed whales the tissue fold was tunnel-shaped with the interatrial septum as the floor whereas in baleen whales it was more sleeve-like. In toothed whales thin threads extended from the fold to insert into the interatrial septum whereas a network of threads covered the distal end of the sleeve in the baleen

  11. A Whale of a Panorama

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for A Whale of a Panorama (QTVR)

    More than 1.5 years into their exploration of Mars, both of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers continue to send a cornucopia of images to Earth. The results are so spectacular that Deputy Project Manager John Callas recently described them as 'an embarrassment of riches.' Spirit produced this image mosaic, nicknamed the 'Whale Panorama,' two-thirds of the way to the summit of 'Husband Hill,' where the rover investigated martian rocks. On the right side of the panorama is a tilted layer of rocks dubbed 'Larry's Outcrop,' one of several tilted outcrops that scientists examined in April, 2005. They used spatial information to create geologic maps showing the compass orientation and degree of tilting of rock formations in the vicinity. Such information is key to geologic fieldwork because it helps establish if rock layers have been warped since they formed. In this case, scientists have also been studying the mineral and chemical differences, which show that some rocks have been more highly altered than others.

    In the foreground, in the middle of the image mosaic, Spirit is shown with the scientific instruments at the end of its robotic arm positioned on a rock target known as 'Ahab.' The rover was busy collecting elemental chemistry and mineralogy data on the rock at the same time that it was taking 50 individual snapshots with its five panoramic camera filters to create this stunning view of the martian scenery. The twin tracks of the rover's all-terrain wheels are clearly visible on the left.

    This mosaic of images spans about 220 degrees from left to right and is an approximate true-color rendering of the Mars terrain acquired through the panoramic camera's 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filters. Spirit collected these images from its 497th martian day, or sol, through its 500th sol (May 27 through May 30, 2005).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. A Review of the Geographical Distribution and Habitat of the Atlantic Humpback Dolphin (Sousa teuszii).

    PubMed

    Weir, Caroline R; Collins, Tim

    2015-01-01

    Understanding of the distributional ecology of the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii) has been hampered by a lack of systematic and consistent sampling effort. The only comprehensive species distribution review was published in 2004; since then a considerable amount of novel information has emerged. We compiled 853 sighting, capture and specimen records of the species, and produced global and regional distribution maps. Of the 830 records where year was available, 63.1% dated from ≥2005 and confirm a contemporary occurrence in six marine ecoregions and 11 countries: Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Republic and Angola. Additionally, Togo is a recently confirmed range state. Group sizes ranged from 1 to 45 animals, with small groups of 1 to 10 animals comprising 65% of the sightings. Similarities were noted in the regions inhabited by Atlantic humpback dolphins across their range, particularly an occurrence in relatively shallow (predominantly ≤20 m) depths, in warm waters (average SSTs of 15.8-31.8°C) and in dynamic habitat strongly influenced by tidal patterns. These conditions occur in various habitats occupied by the species, including estuarine systems, open coasts, archipelagos, tidal mud-flats and sheltered bays. Sightings were recorded at distances of 13 m to 12.8 km (mean of 573 m) from land, indicating that the species occurs several kilometres from shore when suitable shallow habitat is present. The Atlantic humpback dolphin may be a 'nearshore' species based on oceanographic definitions incorporating water depth, wave action and sedimentation rather than on spatial distance from the coast. PMID:26555623

  14. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 11 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Licenses for aboriginal subsistence 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...

  15. 50 CFR 230.8 - Reporting by whaling captains.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... activities including but not limited to the striking, attempted striking, or landing of a whale and, where possible, specimens from landed whales. The Assistant Administrator is authorized to provide technological assistance to facilitate prompt reporting and collection of specimens from landed whales, including but...

  16. 50 CFR 230.8 - Reporting by whaling captains.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... activities including but not limited to the striking, attempted striking, or landing of a whale and, where possible, specimens from landed whales. The Assistant Administrator is authorized to provide technological assistance to facilitate prompt reporting and collection of specimens from landed whales, including but...

  17. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-24

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

  18. 50 CFR 230.8 - Reporting by whaling captains.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... activities including but not limited to the striking, attempted striking, or landing of a whale and, where possible, specimens from landed whales. The Assistant Administrator is authorized to provide technological assistance to facilitate prompt reporting and collection of specimens from landed whales, including but...

  19. 50 CFR 230.8 - Reporting by whaling captains.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... activities including but not limited to the striking, attempted striking, or landing of a whale and, where possible, specimens from landed whales. The Assistant Administrator is authorized to provide technological assistance to facilitate prompt reporting and collection of specimens from landed whales, including but...

  20. 50 CFR 230.8 - Reporting by whaling captains.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... activities including but not limited to the striking, attempted striking, or landing of a whale and, where possible, specimens from landed whales. The Assistant Administrator is authorized to provide technological assistance to facilitate prompt reporting and collection of specimens from landed whales, including but...

  1. 75 FR 7254 - International Whaling Commission; 2010 Intersessional Meetings; Nominations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    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....

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24690918

  3. Two Intense Decades of 19th Century Whaling Precipitated Rapid Decline of Right Whales around New Zealand and East Australia

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24690918

  4. A Whale of a Tale: Creating Spacecraft Telemetry Data Analysis Products for the Deep Impact Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturdevant, Kathryn

    2006-01-01

    A description of the Whale product generation utility and its means of analyzing project data for Deep Impact Missions is presented. The topics include: 1) Whale Definition; 2) Whale Overview; 3) Whale Challenges; 4) Network Configuration; 5) Network Diagram; 6) Whale Data Flow: Design Decisions; 7) Whale Data Flow Diagram; 8) Whale Data Flow; 9) Whale Team and Users; 10) Creeping Requirements; 11) Whale Competition; 12) Statistics: Processing Time; 13) CPU and Disk Usage; 14) The Ripple Effect of More Data; and 15) Data Validation and the Automation Challenge.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, David L.; Morton-Starner, Rylan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    While the low-frequency communication sounds of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) have been reported in a number of papers, the high-frequency echolocation signals of Sousa chinensis, especially those living in the wild, have been less studied. In the current study, echolocation signals of humpback dolphins were recorded in Sanniang Bay, Guangxi Province, China, using a cross-type hydrophone array with five elements. In total, 77 candidate on-axis clicks from 77 scans were selected for analysis. The results showed that the varied peak-to-peak source levels ranged from 177.1 to 207.3 dB, with an average of 187.7 dB re: 1 μPa. The mean peak frequency was 109.0 kHz with a -3-dB bandwidth of 50.3 kHz and 95% energy duration of 22 μs. The -3-dB bandwidth was much broader than the root mean square bandwidth and exhibited a bimodal distribution. The center frequency exhibited a positive relationship with the peak-to-peak source level. The clicks of the wild Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were short-duration, broadband, ultrasonic pulses, similar to those produced by other whistling dolphins of similar body size. However, the click source levels of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin appear to be lower than those of other whistling dolphins. PMID:26428773

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) are documented from various locations along Borneo's coast, including three sites in Sarawak, Malaysia, three sites in Sabah, Malaysia, three locations in Kalimantan, Indonesia and the limited coastal waters of the Sultanate of Brunei. Observations in all these areas indicate a similar external morphology, which seems to fall somewhere between that documented for Chinese populations known as S. chinensis, and that of Sousa sahulensis in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Sightings occur in shallow nearshore waters, often near estuaries and river mouths, and associations with Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are frequently documented. Population estimates exist for only two locations and sightings information throughout Borneo indicates that frequency of occurrence is rare and group size is usually small. Threats from fisheries by-catch and coastal development are present in many locations and there are concerns over the ability of these small and fragmented populations to survive. The conservation and taxonomic status of humpback dolphins in Borneo remain unclear, and there are intriguing questions as to where these populations fit in our evolving understanding of the taxonomy of the genus. PMID:26790891

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Ontogenesis of endangered humpback chub (Gila cypha) in the Little Colorado River, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, Dennis M.; Gorman, Owen T.

    2006-01-01

    The largest population of endangered humpback chub Gila cypha inhabits the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam and the lower 14 km of the Little Colorado River (LCR), Arizona. Currently, adults from both rivers spawn and their progenies grow and recruit to adulthood primarily within the LCR, where we studied G. cypha's life history using hoop net capture data. Humpback chub undergo an ontogenesis from diurnally active, vulnerable, nearshore-reliant young-of-the-year (YOY; 30-90 mm total length) into nocturnally active, large-bodied adults (a?Y180 mm TL). During the day, adults primarily resided in deep midchannel pools; however, at night they dispersed inshore amongst the higher densities of YOY conspecifics. Many YOY G. cypha shifted to nocturnal habitats that provided greater cover, possibly, to avoid inshore invading adults. These findings mirror predator-prey scenarios described in other freshwater assemblages, but do not refute other plausible hypotheses. Gila cypha piscivorous activity may escalate in hoop nets, which can confine fish of disparate sizes together; adults were significantly associated with YOY conspecifics and small dead fish in hoop nets at night and eight G. cypha (156-372 mm TL) regurgitated and/or defecated other fish body parts during handling following capture. Gila cypha can definitely be piscivorous given the opportunity, but the magnitude of their piscivorous activity in the wild is debatable.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    In coastal waters of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is thought to number approximately 2500 individuals. Given these figures, the putative PRD population may appear strong enough to resist demographic stochasticity and environmental pressures. However, living in close proximity to the world's busiest seaport/airport and several densely populated urban centres with major coastal infrastructural developments comes with challenges to the long-term survival of these animals. There are few other small cetacean populations that face the range and intensity of human-induced pressures as those present in the PRD and current protection measures are severely inadequate. Recent mark-recapture analyses of the animals in Hong Kong waters indicate that in the past two decades the population parameters have not been well understood, and spatial analyses show that only a very small proportion of the dolphins' key habitats are given any form of protection. All current marine protected areas within the PRD fail to meet a minimum habitat requirement that could facilitate the population's long-term persistence. Demographic models indicate a continuous decline of 2.5% per annum, a rate at which the population is likely to drop below the demographic threshold within two generations and lose 74% of the current numbers within the lifespan of three generations. In Hong Kong, the case of humpback dolphins represents a particularly explicit example of inadequate management where a complete revision of the fundamental approach to conservation management is urgently needed. PMID:26790887

  11. Pathology: whales, sonar and decompression sickness.

    PubMed

    Piantadosi, Claude A; Thalmann, Edward D

    2004-04-15

    We do not yet know why whales occasionally strand after sonar has been deployed nearby, but such information is important for both naval undersea activities and the protection of marine mammals. Jepson et al. suggest that a peculiar gas-forming disease afflicting some stranded cetaceans could be a type of decompression sickness (DCS) resulting from exposure to mid-range sonar. However, neither decompression theory nor observation support the existence of a naturally occurring DCS in whales that is characterized by encapsulated, gas-filled cavities in the liver. Although gas-bubble formation may be aggravated by acoustic energy, more rigorous investigation is needed before sonar can be firmly linked to bubble formation in whales. PMID:15085881

  12. Sound production in neonate sperm whales (L)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, P. T.; Carder, D. A.; Au, W. W. L.; Nachtigall, P. E.; Møhl, B.; Ridgway, S. H.

    2003-06-01

    Acoustic data from two sperm whale neonates (Physeter macrocephalus) in rehabilitation are presented and implications for sound production and function are discussed. The clicks of neonate sperm whale are very different from usual clicks of adult specimens in that neonate clicks are of low directionality [SL anomaly (0°-90°) <8 dB], long duration (2-12 ms), and low frequency (centroid frequency between 300 and 1700 Hz) with estimated SLs between 140 and 162 dB//1 μPa (rms). Such neonate clicks are unsuited for biosonar, but can potentially convey homing information between calves and submerged conspecifics in open ocean waters at ranges of some 2 km. Moreover, it is demonstrated that sperm whale clicks are produced at the anterior placed monkey lips, thereby substantiating a key point in the modified Norris and Harvey theory and supporting the unifying theory of sound production in odontocetes.

  13. How Large Should Whales Be?

    PubMed Central

    Clauset, Aaron

    2013-01-01

    The evolution and distribution of species body sizes for terrestrial mammals is well-explained by a macroevolutionary tradeoff between short-term selective advantages and long-term extinction risks from increased species body size, unfolding above the 2 g minimum size induced by thermoregulation in air. Here, we consider whether this same tradeoff, formalized as a constrained convection-reaction-diffusion system, can also explain the sizes of fully aquatic mammals, which have not previously been considered. By replacing the terrestrial minimum with a pelagic one, at roughly 7000 g, the terrestrial mammal tradeoff model accurately predicts, with no tunable parameters, the observed body masses of all extant cetacean species, including the 175,000,000 g Blue Whale. This strong agreement between theory and data suggests that a universal macroevolutionary tradeoff governs body size evolution for all mammals, regardless of their habitat. The dramatic sizes of cetaceans can thus be attributed mainly to the increased convective heat loss is water, which shifts the species size distribution upward and pushes its right tail into ranges inaccessible to terrestrial mammals. Under this macroevolutionary tradeoff, the largest expected species occurs where the rate at which smaller-bodied species move up into large-bodied niches approximately equals the rate at which extinction removes them. PMID:23342050

  14. How large should whales be?

    PubMed

    Clauset, Aaron

    2013-01-01

    The evolution and distribution of species body sizes for terrestrial mammals is well-explained by a macroevolutionary tradeoff between short-term selective advantages and long-term extinction risks from increased species body size, unfolding above the 2 g minimum size induced by thermoregulation in air. Here, we consider whether this same tradeoff, formalized as a constrained convection-reaction-diffusion system, can also explain the sizes of fully aquatic mammals, which have not previously been considered. By replacing the terrestrial minimum with a pelagic one, at roughly 7000 g, the terrestrial mammal tradeoff model accurately predicts, with no tunable parameters, the observed body masses of all extant cetacean species, including the 175,000,000 g Blue Whale. This strong agreement between theory and data suggests that a universal macroevolutionary tradeoff governs body size evolution for all mammals, regardless of their habitat. The dramatic sizes of cetaceans can thus be attributed mainly to the increased convective heat loss is water, which shifts the species size distribution upward and pushes its right tail into ranges inaccessible to terrestrial mammals. Under this macroevolutionary tradeoff, the largest expected species occurs where the rate at which smaller-bodied species move up into large-bodied niches approximately equals the rate at which extinction removes them. PMID:23342050

  15. Minke whale genome and aquatic adaptation in cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    Yim, Hyung-Soon; Cho, Yun Sung; Guang, Xuanmin; Kang, Sung Gyun; Jeong, Jae-Yeon; Cha, Sun-Shin; Oh, Hyun-Myung; Lee, Jae-Hak; Yang, Eun Chan; Kwon, Kae Kyoung; Kim, Yun Jae; Kim, Tae Wan; Kim, Wonduck; Jeon, Jeong Ho; Kim, Sang-Jin; Choi, Dong Han; Jho, Sungwoong; Kim, Hak-Min; Ko, Junsu; Kim, Hyunmin; Shin, Young-Ah; Jung, Hyun-Ju; Zheng, Yuan; Wang, Zhuo; Chen, Yan

    2014-01-01

    The shift from terrestrial to aquatic life by whales was a substantial evolutionary event. Here we report the whole-genome sequencing and de novo assembly of the minke whale genome, as well as the whole-genome sequences of three minke whales, a fin whale, a bottlenose dolphin and a finless porpoise. Our comparative genomic analysis identified an expansion in the whale lineage of gene families associated with stress-responsive proteins and anaerobic metabolism, whereas gene families related to body hair and sensory receptors were contracted. Our analysis also identified whale-specific mutations in genes encoding antioxidants and enzymes controlling blood pressure and salt concentration. Overall the whale-genome sequences exhibited distinct features that are associated with the physiological and morphological changes needed for life in an aquatic environment, marked by resistance to physiological stresses caused by a lack of oxygen, increased amounts of reactive oxygen species and high salt levels. PMID:24270359

  16. Minke whale genome and aquatic adaptation in cetaceans.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The shift from terrestrial to aquatic life by whales was a substantial evolutionary event. Here we report the whole-genome sequencing and de novo assembly of the minke whale genome, as well as the whole-genome sequences of three minke whales, a fin whale, a bottlenose dolphin and a finless porpoise. Our comparative genomic analysis identified an expansion in the whale lineage of gene families associated with stress-responsive proteins and anaerobic metabolism, whereas gene families related to body hair and sensory receptors were contracted. Our analysis also identified whale-specific mutations in genes encoding antioxidants and enzymes controlling blood pressure and salt concentration. Overall the whale-genome sequences exhibited distinct features that are associated with the physiological and morphological changes needed for life in an aquatic environment, marked by resistance to physiological stresses caused by a lack of oxygen, increased amounts of reactive oxygen species and high salt levels. PMID:24270359

  17. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) produce ultrasonic whistles.

    PubMed

    Samarra, Filipa I P; Deecke, Volker B; Vinding, Katja; Rasmussen, Marianne H; Swift, René J; Miller, Patrick J O

    2010-11-01

    This study reports that killer whales, the largest dolphin, produce whistles with the highest fundamental frequencies ever reported in a delphinid. Using wide-band acoustic sampling from both animal-attached (Dtag) and remotely deployed hydrophone arrays, ultrasonic whistles were detected in three Northeast Atlantic populations but not in two Northeast Pacific populations. These results are inconsistent with analyses suggesting a correlation of maximum frequency of whistles with body size in delphinids, indicate substantial intraspecific variation in whistle production in killer whales, and highlight the importance of appropriate acoustic sampling techniques when conducting comparative analyses of sound repertoires. PMID:21110527

  18. Beaked Whales Respond to Simulated and Actual Navy Sonar

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    1991-01-01

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

  20. Comparative growth and consumption potential of rainbow trout and humpback chub in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona, under different temperature scenarios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paukert, C.P.; Petersen, J.H.

    2007-01-01

    We used bioenergetics models for humpback chub, Gila cypha, and rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, to examine how warmer water temperatures in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona, through a proposed selective withdrawal system (SWS) at Glen Canyon Dam, would affect growth, consumption, and predation rates. Consumption by the rainbow trout population was at least 10 times higher than by the smaller humpback chub population. Water temperature increases of 6??C during autumn increased growth of humpback chub and likely increased their survival by reducing the time vulnerable to predation. Water temperature increases caused by drought in 2005 did not alter humpback chub growth as much as the SWS. Increased temperatures might cause changes to the invertebrate community and the distribution and abundance of other warmwater nonnative fishes. The implications on the entire aquatic community need to be considered before any management action that includes increasing water temperatures is implemented.

  1. Separating underwater ambient noise from flow noise recorded on stereo acoustic tags attached to marine mammals.

    PubMed

    von Benda-Beckmann, Alexander M; Wensveen, Paul J; Samarra, Filipa I P; Beerens, S Peter; Miller, Patrick J O

    2016-08-01

    Sound-recording acoustic tags attached to marine animals are commonly used in behavioural studies. Measuring ambient noise is of interest to efforts to understand responses of marine mammals to anthropogenic underwater sound, or to assess their communication space. Noise of water flowing around the tag reflects the speed of the animal, but hinders ambient noise measurement. Here, we describe a correlation-based method for stereo acoustic tags to separate the relative contributions of flow and ambient noise. The uncorrelated part of the noise measured in digital acoustic recording tag (DTAG) recordings related well to swim speed of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), thus providing a robust measure of flow noise over a wide frequency bandwidth. By removing measurements affected by flow noise, consistent ambient noise estimates were made for two killer whales (Orcinus orca) with DTAGs attached simultaneously. The method is applicable to any multi-channel acoustic tag, enabling application to a wide range of marine species. PMID:27229472

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23300613

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23300613

  4. Cetacean distribution and abundance in relation to oceanographic domains on the eastern Bering Sea shelf: 1999-2004

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friday, Nancy A.; Waite, Janice M.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Moore, Sue E.

    2012-06-01

    Visual line transect surveys for cetaceans were conducted on the eastern Bering Sea shelf in association with pollock stock assessment surveys aboard the NOAA ship Miller Freeman in June and July of 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004. Transect survey effort ranged from 1188 km in 1999 to 3761 km in 2002. Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) were the most common large whale in all years except 2004 when humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were more abundant. Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) were the most common small cetacean in all years. Abundance estimates were calculated by year for each oceanographic domain: coastal, middle, and outer/slope. The middle and outer/slope domains were divided into two strata ("north" and "south") because of variable survey effort. The distribution and abundance of baleen whales changed between the earlier (colder) and later (warmer) survey years. Fin whales consistently occupied the outer shelf and secondarily the middle shelf, and their abundance was an order of magnitude greater in cold compared to warm years. Humpback whales "lived on the margin" of the northern Alaska Peninsula, eastern Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay; their preferred habitat is possibly associated with areas of high prey availability due to nutrient upwelling and aggregation mechanisms. Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) occur shoreward of fin whales in the outer and middle shelf and in coastal habitats along the Alaska Peninsula. The highest abundance for this species was observed in a cold (1999) year. No clear relationship emerged for odontocetes with regard to warm and cold years. Dall's porpoise occupied both outer and middle domains and harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) were more common in middle and coastal domains. This study provided a unique, broad-scale assessment of cetacean distribution and abundance on the eastern Bering Sea shelf and a baseline for future comparisons.

  5. 77 FR 12244 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Report of Whaling Operations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Whale Preservation. Grades Five to Nine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Racicot, Darlene

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

  8. The monopulsed nature of sperm whale clicks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Møhl, Bertel; Wahlberg, Magnus; Madsen, Peter T.; Heerfordt, Anders; Lund, Anders

    2003-08-01

    Traditionally, sperm whale clicks have been described as multipulsed, long duration, nondirectional signals of moderate intensity and with a spectrum peaking below 10 kHz. Such properties are counterindicative of a sonar function, and quite different from the properties of dolphin sonar clicks. Here, data are presented suggesting that the traditional view of sperm whale clicks is incomplete and derived from off-axis recordings of a highly directional source. A limited number of assumed on-axis clicks were recorded and found to be essentially monopulsed clicks, with durations of 100 μs, with a composite directionality index of 27 dB, with source levels up to 236 dB re: 1 μPa (rms), and with centroid frequencies of 15 kHz. Such clicks meet the requirements for long-range biosonar purposes. Data were obtained with a large-aperture, GPS-synchronized array in July 2000 in the Bleik Canyon off Vestera˚len, Norway (69°28' N, 15°40' E). A total of 14 h of sound recordings was collected from five to ten independent, simultaneously operating recording units. The sound levels measured make sperm whale clicks by far the loudest of sounds recorded from any biological source. On-axis click properties support previous work proposing the nose of sperm whales to operate as a generator of sound.

  9. Sei whale sounds recorded in the Antarctic.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Mark A; Hildebrand, John A; Wiggins, Sean M; Thiele, Deborah; Glasgow, Deb; Moore, Sue E

    2005-12-01

    Sei whales are the least well known acoustically of all the rorquals, with only two brief descriptions of their calls previously reported. Recordings of low-frequency tonal and frequency swept calls were made near a group of four or five sei whales in waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula on 19 February 2003. These whales also produced broadband sounds which can be described as growls or whooshes. Many of the tonal and frequency swept calls (30 out of 68) consist of multiple parts with a frequency step between the two parts, this being the most unique characteristic of the calls, allowing them to be distinguished from the calls of other whale species. The average duration of the tonal calls is 0.45 +/- 0.3 s and the average frequency is 433 +/- 192 Hz. Using a calibrated seafloor recorder to determine the absolute calibration of a sonobuoy system, the maximum source level of the tonal calls was 156 +/- 3.6 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m. Each call had different character and there was no temporal pattern in the calling. PMID:16419837

  10. Sei whale sounds recorded in the Antarctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Mark A.; Hildebrand, John A.; Wiggins, Sean M.; Thiele, Deborah; Glasgow, Deb; Moore, Sue E.

    2005-12-01

    Sei whales are the least well known acoustically of all the rorquals, with only two brief descriptions of their calls previously reported. Recordings of low-frequency tonal and frequency swept calls were made near a group of four or five sei whales in waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula on 19 February 2003. These whales also produced broadband sounds which can be described as growls or whooshes. Many of the tonal and frequency swept calls (30 out of 68) consist of multiple parts with a frequency step between the two parts, this being the most unique characteristic of the calls, allowing them to be distinguished from the calls of other whale species. The average duration of the tonal calls is 0.45+/-0.3 s and the average frequency is 433+/-192 Hz. Using a calibrated seafloor recorder to determine the absolute calibration of a sonobuoy system, the maximum source level of the tonal calls was 156+/-3.6 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m. Each call had different character and there was no temporal pattern in the calling.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23636808

  12. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23103570

  13. Blast-induced neurotrauma in whales.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, Siri K; Øen, Egil O

    2003-07-01

    A majority of investigations on primary blast injuries have focused on gas-containing organs, while the likelihood of blast-induced neurotrauma remains underrated. In Norway minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) are hunted using small fishing boats rigged with harpoon guns, which fire harpoons tipped with a grenade containing a charge of 30-g penthrite. The grenade detonates 60-70 cm inside the animal. The present study was undertaken to characterize the neuropathological changes caused by the penthrite blast and evaluate its role in the loss of consciousness and death in hunted whales. The study included 37 minke whales that were examined shipboard. The brains were later subjected to gross and light microscopy examination. The results showed that intra-body detonation of the grenade in near vicinity of the brain resulted in trauma similar to severe traumatic brain injury associated with a direct blow to the head. Detonation in more distant areas of the body resulted in injuries resembling acceleration-induced diffuse traumatic brain injury. The authors conclude that even if several vital organs were fatally injured in most whales, the neurotrauma induced by the blast-generated pressure waves were the primary cause for the immediate or very rapid loss of consciousness and death. PMID:12804799

  14. Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, bibliography. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Setzler-Hamilton, E.; Oliver, G.W.

    1987-01-01

    The report categorizes the research literature on gray whales according to major research topics, issues of concern to Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas development, and geographic areas. The report has an extensive cross-index. Selected references are depicted on an accompanying poster.

  15. Right whale, Balaena glacialis, bibliography. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Setzler-Hamilton, E.M.; Oliver, G.W.

    1989-12-01

    The report categorizes the research literature on right whales according to major research topics, issues of concern to Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas development, and geographic areas. The report has an extensive cross index. Selected references are depicted on an accompanying poster.

  16. Whales of New England. Secondary Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New England Aquarium, Boston, MA.

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

  17. A Radio Tag for Big Whales

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watkins, William A.

    1978-01-01

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

  18. Automated detection of Antarctic blue whale calls.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  19. Tales of whales: Whalewatching as environmental education?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, Constance Lorraine

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

  20. Expression and Purification of Sperm Whale Myoglobin

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Stephen; Indivero, Virginia; Burkhard, Caroline

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 15 CFR 922.181 - Boundary.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.181... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary consists of the submerged lands and waters off the coast of...

  4. 15 CFR 922.181 - Boundary.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.181... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary consists of the submerged lands and waters off the coast of...

  5. 15 CFR 922.181 - Boundary.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.181... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary consists of the submerged lands and waters off the coast of...

  6. 15 CFR 922.181 - Boundary.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.181... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary consists of the submerged lands and waters off the coast of...

  7. 15 CFR 922.181 - Boundary.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.181... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary consists of the submerged lands and waters off the coast of...

  8. Sexual Dimorphism and Geographic Variation in Dorsal Fin Features of Australian Humpback Dolphins, Sousa sahulensis.

    PubMed

    Brown, Alexander M; Bejder, Lars; Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Hunt, Tim; Smith, Jennifer L; Allen, Simon J

    2016-01-01

    Determining the sex of free-ranging cetaceans can be challenging. Sexual dimorphism among external features may allow inferences on sex, but such patterns may be difficult to detect and are often confounded by age and geographic variation. Dorsal fin images of 107 female and 54 male Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, from Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (QLD) were used to investigate sex, age and geographic differences in colouration, height/length quotient and number of notches. Adult males exhibited more dorsal fin notches (p<0.001) and a significantly greater loss of pigmentation on the upper half of their dorsal fins (p<0.001) than did adult females. These differences likely reflect that males experience a higher frequency and/or intensity of intraspecific aggression than females. In QLD, heavily spotted dorsal fins were more frequent among females than males (p<0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that dorsal fin spotting and loss of pigmentation on the upper half of the dorsal fin provided the best model parameters for predicting the sex of sampled adults, with 97% accuracy. This technique offers a rapid, non-invasive method for predicting sex in Australian humpback dolphins, which could potentially be applied to populations throughout their range. In contrast to adults, presumed immature animals showed little or no loss of pigmentation or spotting; however, the rate of development of these features remains unknown. There were pronounced differences between QLD and WA in the intensity of spotting on dorsal fins and the extent of pigmentation loss around the posterior insertion and trailing edge of the dorsal fin. While based on a limited sample size, these geographic differences may have conservation implications in terms of population subdivision and should be investigated further. PMID:26790895

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Fewer than 200 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) occur in Hong Kong waters (though these are part of a much larger population in the Pearl River Estuary), with a decrease in the past about 10 years. They have partially overlapping individual ranges (mean=100km(2)), and two partially overlapping communities. Seasonal occurrence is higher in June-November than December-May, approximate wet and dry monsoon seasons, respectively. Group sizes tend to average three dolphins, a decrease from the past decade. Feeding often occurs in abruptly changing water depths and off rocky natural shores. The area immediately north of Hong Kong International Airport is largely used for travelling between locations to the west, east and further north. The area around Lung Kwu Chau Island in northwest Hong Kong is a "hot spot" for foraging and socializing. The area off Fan Lau, southwest Lantau Island, is largely used for foraging. A former foraging "hot spot" was located around the Brothers Islands east of the airport, now reduced, possibly due to increases in high-speed ferries (HSFs) and other activities. Sound recordings of dolphins from bottom-mounted hydrophones suggest that northwestern Hong Kong waters are used more at night than in daytime. Sexual activity and calving occur throughout the year, with a peak in late spring to autumn (wet monsoon season). Humpback dolphins communicate acoustically with each other and probably passively listen to prey in murky waters, and anthropogenic noises may be masking communication and affecting prey location. Increasing sounds of shipping, HSFs and industrial activities are likely to alter dolphin habitat use patterns and overall behaviours beyond the present already affected status. PMID:26790888

  10. Screening of organic and metal contaminants in Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) inhabiting an urbanised embayment.

    PubMed

    Weijs, Liesbeth; Vijayasarathy, Soumini; Villa, C Alexander; Neugebauer, Frank; Meager, Justin J; Gaus, Caroline

    2016-05-01

    As a marine mammal species that inhabits shallow nearshore waters, humpback dolphins are likely exposed to a wide range of pollutants from adjacent land-based activities. Increased mortality rates of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) in waters off a major urbanised centre triggered investigations into the threats to these species, including their contaminant exposure. The present study utilised archived tissues from 6 stranded animals to screen for a range of pollutants (PCDD/Fs, PBDEs, PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, PAHs, organotins, essential and non-essential elements) to inform future biopsy based biomonitoring strategies. Concentrations of PCBs and DDXs in blubber of some of these animals were remarkably high, at levels near or above toxicological thresholds associated with immune- and reproductive toxicity or population declines in other marine mammals. PBDEs, PAHs, HCB, organotins, 'drins' as well as other organic pesticides were not detected, or present at relatively low concentrations. Profiles of elements were similar in epidermis compared to other tissues, and apart from some exceptions (e.g. Fe, Cr, Co, Cu) their concentrations fell within 25th-75th percentiles of cetacean baselines in four of the five animals. Non-essential elements (Al, V, Pb, Ba, Ni, Cd) were notably elevated in one specimen which may have experienced poor health or nutritional status. These data provide a first insight into the contaminant status of a rare and poorly studied population inhabiting an urbanised area. The results highlight a need for future biomonitoring of live populations, and inform on priorities in the typically limited blubber and skin sample volumes obtained through biopsies. PMID:26945241

  11. Estimating Cetacean Carrying Capacity Based on Spacing Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Braithwaite, Janelle E.; Meeuwig, Jessica J.; Jenner, K. Curt S.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation of large ocean wildlife requires an understanding of how they use space. In Western Australia, the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) population is growing at a minimum rate of 10% per year. An important consideration for conservation based management in space-limited environments, such as coastal resting areas, is the potential expansion in area use by humpback whales if the carrying capacity of existing areas is exceeded. Here we determined the theoretical carrying capacity of a known humpback resting area based on the spacing behaviour of pods, where a resting area is defined as a sheltered embayment along the coast. Two separate approaches were taken to estimate this distance. The first used the median nearest neighbour distance between pods in relatively dense areas, giving a spacing distance of 2.16 km (±0.94). The second estimated the spacing distance as the radius at which 50% of the population included no other pods, and was calculated as 1.93 km (range: 1.62–2.50 km). Using these values, the maximum number of pods able to fit into the resting area was 698 and 872 pods, respectively. Given an average observed pod size of 1.7 whales, this equates to a carrying capacity estimate of between 1187 and 1482 whales at any given point in time. This study demonstrates that whale pods do maintain a distance from each other, which may determine the number of animals that can occupy aggregation areas where space is limited. This requirement for space has implications when considering boundaries for protected areas or competition for space with the fishing and resources sectors. PMID:23236479

  12. The ARGOS system used for tracking gray whales

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  13. 75 FR 2853 - False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-19

    ... under the ESA is warranted (75 FR 316, January 5, 2010). Based on the overlap between the Insular and... Abundance, and Status of Humpbacks (SPLASH) project indicate stock abundance has increased by 5.5-6.0% per...)(C) requires that members of TRTs have expertise regarding the conservation or biology of the...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Differences in the acoustic variables of whistles emitted by Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from two coastal locations along western Peninsular Malaysia were investigated. Duration, frequency, and frequency modulation variables were extracted from and used to characterize recordings of free-ranging humpback dolphins that were made using a broadband towed hydrophone. A total of 960 whistles from Matang Mangroves and 823 whistles from Langkawi Island were used in analyses. The whistles of Malaysian humpback dolphins covered frequencies from 1231 to 27 120 Hz with durations from 0.010-1.575 s. Significant multivariate differences were found in whistles emitted between locations. Significant differences were also found between dolphins of the two locations in their whistle duration, frequency modulation, and all frequency variables except for minimum frequency, which is likely under morphological constraints. The differences in whistles may be related to adaptations to the local acoustic habitat or unique whistles may have developed due to social interactions within each location, or broader scale differences resulting from geographic separation between the locations. PMID:26627759

  17. A Stellar Stream Surrounds the Whale Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-10-01

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

  18. 15 CFR 922.180 - Purpose.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.180... Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary by regulating activities affecting the resources... compatible with the primary objective of protecting the humpback whale and its habitat, all public...

  19. 15 CFR 922.184 - Prohibited activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine... to approach, within the Sanctuary, by any means, within 100 yards of any humpback whale except as... Sanctuary within 1,000 feet of any humpback whale except as necessary for takeoff or landing from an...

  20. 15 CFR 922.180 - Purpose.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.180... Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary by regulating activities affecting the resources... compatible with the primary objective of protecting the humpback whale and its habitat, all public...

  1. 15 CFR 922.180 - Purpose.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.180... Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary by regulating activities affecting the resources... compatible with the primary objective of protecting the humpback whale and its habitat, all public...

  2. 15 CFR 922.184 - Prohibited activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine... to approach, within the Sanctuary, by any means, within 100 yards of any humpback whale except as... Sanctuary within 1,000 feet of any humpback whale except as necessary for takeoff or landing from an...

  3. 15 CFR 922.184 - Prohibited activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine... to approach, within the Sanctuary, by any means, within 100 yards of any humpback whale except as... Sanctuary within 1,000 feet of any humpback whale except as necessary for takeoff or landing from an...

  4. 15 CFR 922.184 - Prohibited activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine... to approach, within the Sanctuary, by any means, within 100 yards of any humpback whale except as... Sanctuary within 1,000 feet of any humpback whale except as necessary for takeoff or landing from an...

  5. 15 CFR 922.184 - Prohibited activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine... to approach, within the Sanctuary, by any means, within 100 yards of any humpback whale except as... Sanctuary within 1,000 feet of any humpback whale except as necessary for takeoff or landing from an...

  6. 15 CFR 922.180 - Purpose.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.180... Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary by regulating activities affecting the resources... compatible with the primary objective of protecting the humpback whale and its habitat, all public...

  7. 76 FR 30919 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15844

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-27

    ... novaeangliae), killer whales (Orcinus orca) and minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). DATES: Written... collect sloughed skin and/or feces to study humpback whales, killer whales and minke whale. Research would... whales, 500 killer whales, and 20 minke whales could be harassed each year during...

  8. Is killer whale dialect evolution random?

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    The killer whale is among the few species in which cultural change accumulates over many generations, leading to cumulative cultural evolution. Killer whales have group-specific vocal repertoires which are thought to be learned rather than being genetically coded. It is supposed that divergence between vocal repertoires of sister groups increases gradually over time due to random learning mistakes and innovations. In this case, the similarity of calls across groups must be correlated with pod relatedness and, consequently, with each other. In this study we tested this prediction by comparing the patterns of call similarity between matrilines of resident killer whales from Eastern Kamchatka. We calculated the similarity of seven components from three call types across 14 matrilines. In contrast to the theoretical predictions, matrilines formed different clusters on the dendrograms made by different calls and even by different components of the same call. We suggest three possible explanations for this phenomenon. First, the lack of agreement between similarity patterns of different components may be the result of constraints in the call structure. Second, it is possible that call components change in time with different speed and/or in different directions. Third, horizontal cultural transmission of call features may occur between matrilines. PMID:23796775

  9. Parasitism and body condition in humpback chub from the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffnagle, T.; Choudhury, Anindo; Cole, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Glen Canyon Dam has greatly altered the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. The Little Colorado River (LCR) provides a small refuge of seasonally warm and turbid water that is thought to be more suitable than the Colorado River for endangered humpback chub Gila cypha. However, the LCR has low productivity and contains nonnative fishes and parasites, which pose a threat to humpback chub. The Colorado River hosts a different suite of nonnative fishes and is cold and clear but more productive. We compared condition factor (K), abdominal fat index (AFI), and presence and number of two introduced pathogenic parasites (Lernaea cyprinacea and Bothriocephalus acheilognathi) between juvenile (<150 mm total length) humpback chub from the LCR and those from the Colorado River during 1996a??1999. Both K and AFI were lower and L. cyprinacea prevalence and B. acheilognathi prevalence were higher in LCR fish than in Colorado River fish for all years. Mean K and AFI were 0.622 and 0.48, respectively, in the LCR and 0.735 and 2.02, respectively, in the Colorado River, indicating that fish in the Colorado River were more robust. Mean prevalence of L. cyprinacea was 23.9% and mean intensity was 1.73 L. cyprinacea/infected fish in the LCR, whereas prevalence was 3.2% and intensity was 1.0 L. cyprinacea/infected fish in the Colorado River. Mean prevalence of B. acheilognathi was 51.0% and mean intensity was 25.0 B. acheilognathi/infected fish in the LCR, whereas prevalence was 15.8% and intensity was 12.0 B. acheilognathi/infected fish in the Colorado River. Increased parasitism and poorer body condition in humpback chub from the LCR challenge the paradigm that warmer LCR waters are more suitable for humpback chub than the colder Colorado River and indicate the need to consider the importance and benefits of all available habitats, as well as biotic and abiotic factors, when managing endangered species and their environment.

  10. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Coosaw River (Whale Branch). 117.927 Section 117.927 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY... (Whale Branch). The draw of the Seaboard System Railroad bridge, mile 5.3 at Seabrook, and the draw...

  11. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Coosaw River (Whale Branch). 117.927 Section 117.927 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY... (Whale Branch). The draw of the Seaboard System Railroad bridge, mile 5.3 at Seabrook, and the draw...

  12. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Coosaw River (Whale Branch). 117.927 Section 117.927 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY... (Whale Branch). The draw of the Seaboard System Railroad bridge, mile 5.3 at Seabrook, and the draw...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Coosaw River (Whale Branch). 117.927 Section 117.927 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY... (Whale Branch). The draw of the Seaboard System Railroad bridge, mile 5.3 at Seabrook, and the draw...

  14. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. Marine Subsistence--Case of the Bowhead Whale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Camerino, Vicki

    1977-01-01

    The International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted to impose a moratorium on Eskimo bowhead whale hunting. Since the U.S. did not exercise its option to object, had previously avowed support for Alaskan subsistence lifestyles, and had previously maintained legal exemption for the Eskimo, there is currently great Alaskan resentment. (JC)

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

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Hal

    2015-03-16

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  19. Design and testing of a new radio-tag for instrumenting large whales. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Follmann, E.H.; Miller, G.O.

    1981-03-01

    In 1978, Project Whales was initiated to investigate the occurrence, ecology, and biology of bowhead and gray whales in areas of the Beaufort Sea under consideration for offshore oil and gas leasing. One aspect of the study was to develop radio tags to monitor the movement and behavior of whales. It was considered important to test the radio tag design in more favorable environments than arctic waters. The test called for tagging of gray whales in Mexico with the objective to determine (1) effectiveness of the attachment procedure for tagging large whales (2) length of time the radio tag will remain attached to a whale, and (3) range of reception from tagged whales.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. Whales Use Distinct Strategies to Counteract Solar Ultraviolet Radiation

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    A current threat to the marine ecosystem is the high level of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV). Large whales have recently been shown to suffer sun-induced skin damage from continuous UV exposure. Genotoxic consequences of such exposure remain unknown for these long-lived marine species, as does their capacity to counteract UV-induced insults. We show that UV exposure induces mitochondrial DNA damage in the skin of seasonally sympatric fin, sperm, and blue whales and that this damage accumulates with age. However, counteractive molecular mechanisms are markedly different between species. For example, sperm whales, a species that remains for long periods at the sea surface, activate genotoxic stress pathways in response to UV exposure whereas the paler blue whale relies on increased pigmentation as the season progresses. Our study also shows that whales can modulate their responses to fluctuating levels of UV, and that different evolutionary constraints may have shaped their response strategies. PMID:23989080

  2. The biogeography of the North Pacific right whale ( Eubalaena japonica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregr, Edward J.; Coyle, Kenneth O.

    2009-03-01

    The eastern North Pacific population of right whales ( Eubalaena japonica) is among the most endangered whale populations, with an estimated size of only 10s of individuals. The effectiveness of measures (e.g., protected areas, abundance surveys) intended to promote recovery of this population will be enhanced by understanding its distribution, habitat use, and habitat characteristics. In order to facilitate such understanding, we summarized relevant right whale biology, reviewed the life history of their zooplankton prey species, and related North Pacific oceanography to the production, distribution, and concentration of these prey at three scales of variability. We discuss how ocean processes may drive zooplankton distribution and concentration, and present hypotheses about how prey patches suitable for right whale foraging might be formed. Such hypotheses, combined with available distributional data and descriptions of the ocean environment, would be suitable for predicting potential right whale foraging habitat.

  3. Whales use distinct strategies to counteract solar ultraviolet radiation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    A current threat to the marine ecosystem is the high level of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV). Large whales have recently been shown to suffer sun-induced skin damage from continuous UV exposure. Genotoxic consequences of such exposure remain unknown for these long-lived marine species, as does their capacity to counteract UV-induced insults. We show that UV exposure induces mitochondrial DNA damage in the skin of seasonally sympatric fin, sperm, and blue whales and that this damage accumulates with age. However, counteractive molecular mechanisms are markedly different between species. For example, sperm whales, a species that remains for long periods at the sea surface, activate genotoxic stress pathways in response to UV exposure whereas the paler blue whale relies on increased pigmentation as the season progresses. Our study also shows that whales can modulate their responses to fluctuating levels of UV, and that different evolutionary constraints may have shaped their response strategies. PMID:23989080

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-21

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26587276

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ivashchenko, Yulia V.; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2015-01-01

    The failure of international efforts to manage commercial whaling was exemplified by revelations of large-scale illegal whale catches by the USSR over a 30 year period following World War II. Falsifications of catch data have also been reported for Japanese coastal whaling, but to date there has been no investigation of the reliability of catch statistics for Japanese pelagic (factory fleet) whaling operations. Here, we use data of known reliability from Soviet whaling industry reports to 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. PMID:26587276

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The humpback dolphins of the eastern Taiwan Strait were first discovered scientifically in 2002 and since then have received much research attention. We reviewed all information published in peer-reviewed scientific journals on these dolphins and where appropriate and available, peer-reviewed scientific workshop reports and graduate theses were also examined. Recent evidence demonstrated that this population warranted recognition as a subspecies, Sousa chinensis taiwanensis. It is found in a highly restricted and linear strip of coastal waters along central western Taiwan. Numbering fewer than 80 individuals and declining, five main threats (fisheries interactions, habitat loss and degradation, loss of freshwater to estuaries within their habitat, air and water pollution, and noise) threaten the future existence of this subspecies. These dolphins have cultural and religious importance and boast the highest level of legal protection for wildlife in Taiwan. However, despite enormous efforts by local and international non-governmental groups urging immediate conservation actions, there have been no real government efforts to mitigate any existing threats; instead, some of these threats have worsened. Based on recent studies, we suggest the IUCN Red List status be revised to Critically Endangered CR 2a(ii); D for the subspecies. PMID:26790889

  11. Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) respond to navy training.

    PubMed

    Martin, Stephen W; Martin, Cameron R; Matsuyama, Brian M; Henderson, E Elizabeth

    2015-05-01

    Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) were acoustically detected and localized via their boing calls using 766 h of recorded data from 24 hydrophones at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility located off Kauai, Hawaii. Data were collected before, during, and after naval undersea warfare training events, which occurred in February over three consecutive years (2011-2013). Data collection in the during periods were further categorized as phase A and phase B with the latter being the only period with naval surface ship activities (e.g., frigate and destroyer maneuvers including the use of mid-frequency active sonar). Minimum minke whale densities were estimated for all data periods based upon the numbers of whales acoustically localized within the 3780 km(2) study area. The 2011 minimum densities in the study area were: 3.64 whales [confidence interval (CI) 3.31-4.01] before the training activity, 2.81 whales (CI 2.31-3.42) for phase A, 0.69 whales (CI 0.27-1.8) for phase B and 4.44 whales (CI 4.04-4.88) after. The minimum densities for the phase B periods were highly statistically significantly lower (p < 0.001) from all other periods within each year, suggesting a clear response to the phase B training. The phase A period results were mixed when compared to other non-training periods. PMID:25994686

  12. Demography of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:11734852

  13. The role of infrasounds in maintaining whale herds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Roger S.

    2001-05-01

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

  14. Evidence that ship noise increases stress in right whales

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Baleen whales (Mysticeti) communicate using low-frequency acoustic signals. These long-wavelength sounds can be detected over hundreds of kilometres, potentially allowing contact over large distances. Low-frequency noise from large ships (20–200 Hz) overlaps acoustic signals used by baleen whales, and increased levels of underwater noise have been documented in areas with high shipping traffic. Reported responses of whales to increased noise include: habitat displacement, behavioural changes 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. PMID:22319129

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22319129

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24770341

  17. Of Travertine and Time: Otolith Chemistry and Microstructure Detect Provenance and Demography of Endangered Humpback Chub in Grand Canyon, USA

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    We developed a geochemical atlas of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon and in its tributary, the Little Colorado River, and used it to identify provenance and habitat use by Federally Endangered humpback chub, Gila cypha.  Carbon stable isotope ratios (δ13C) discriminate best between the two rivers, but fine scale analysis in otoliths requires rare, expensive instrumentation. We therefore correlated other tracers (SrSr, Ba, and Se in ratio to Ca) to δ13C that are easier to quantify in otoliths with other microchemical techniques. Although the Little Colorado River’s water chemistry varies with major storm events, at base flow or near base flow (conditions occurring 84% of the time in our study) its chemistry differs sufficiently from the mainstem to discriminate one from the other. Additionally, when fish egress from the natal Little Colorado River to the mainstem, they encounter cold water which causes the otolith daily growth increments to decrease in size markedly. Combining otolith growth increment analysis and microchemistry permitted estimation of size and age at first egress; size at first birthday was also estimated. Emigrants < 1 year old averaged 51.2 ± 4.4 (SE) days and 35.5 ± 3.6 mm at egress; older fish that had recruited to the population averaged 100 ± 7.8 days old and 51.0 ± 2.2 mm at egress, suggesting that larger, older emigrants recruit better. Back-calculated size at age 1 was unimodal and large (78.2 ± 3.3 mm) in Little Colorado caught fish but was bimodally distributed in Colorado mainstem caught fish (49.9 ± 3.6 and 79 ± 4.9 mm) suggesting that humpback chub can also rear in the mainstem. The study demonstrates the coupled usage of the two rivers by this fish and highlights the need to consider both rivers when making management decisions for humpback chub recovery. PMID:24358346

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    The marine mammalian Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, once widely lived in waters of the Indian to western Pacific oceans, has become an endangered species. The individual number of this dolphin has significantly declined in recent decades, which raises the concern of extinction. Direct concentration on laboratorial conservation of the genetic and cell resources should be paid to this marine species. Here, we report the successful derivation of cell lines form the skin of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. The cell cultures displayed the characteristics of fibroblast in morphology and grew rapidly at early passages, but showed obvious growth arrest at higher passages. The karyotype of the cells consisted of 42 autosomes and sex chromosomes X and Y. The immortalized cell lines obtained by forced expression of the SV40 large T-antigen were capable of proliferation at high rate in long-term culture. Immortalization and long-term culture did not cause cytogenetically observable abnormality in the karyotype. The cell type of the primary cultures and immortalized cell lines were further characterized as fibroblasts by the specific expression of vimentin. Gene transfer experiments showed that exogenetic genes could be efficiently delivered into the cells by both plasmid transfection and lentivirus infection. The cells derived from the skin of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin may serve as a useful in vitro system for studies on the effects of environmental pollutants and pathogens in habitats on the dolphin animals. More importantly, because of their high proliferation rate and susceptibility to lentivirus, these cells are potential ideal materials for generation of induced pluripotent stem cells. PMID:23661087

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    We developed a geochemical atlas of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon and in its tributary, the Little Colorado River, and used it to identify provenance and habitat use by Federally Endangered humpback chub, Gila cypha. Carbon stable isotope ratios (δ(13)C) discriminate best between the two rivers, but fine scale analysis in otoliths requires rare, expensive instrumentation. We therefore correlated other tracers (SrSr, Ba, and Se in ratio to Ca) to δ(13)C that are easier to quantify in otoliths with other microchemical techniques. Although the Little Colorado River's water chemistry varies with major storm events, at base flow or near base flow (conditions occurring 84% of the time in our study) its chemistry differs sufficiently from the mainstem to discriminate one from the other. Additionally, when fish egress from the natal Little Colorado River to the mainstem, they encounter cold water which causes the otolith daily growth increments to decrease in size markedly. Combining otolith growth increment analysis and microchemistry permitted estimation of size and age at first egress; size at first birthday was also estimated. Emigrants < 1 year old averaged 51.2 ± 4.4 (SE) days and 35.5 ± 3.6 mm at egress; older fish that had recruited to the population averaged 100 ± 7.8 days old and 51.0 ± 2.2 mm at egress, suggesting that larger, older emigrants recruit better. Back-calculated size at age 1 was unimodal and large (78.2 ± 3.3 mm) in Little Colorado caught fish but was bimodally distributed in Colorado mainstem caught fish (49.9 ± 3.6 and 79 ± 4.9 mm) suggesting that humpback chub can also rear in the mainstem. The study demonstrates the coupled usage of the two rivers by this fish and highlights the need to consider both rivers when making management decisions for humpback chub recovery. PMID:24358346

  1. Techniques and instrumentation effort for whale migration tracking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

    The following aspects of a research program concerned with tracking gray whales were documented: (1) design, fabrication and testing of a girdle-type harness and associated gear (release mechanism, tracking transmitter, xenon flasher), (2) design, fabrication and testing of instrumentation packs (subminiature recorder, sensor, electronics), (3) field preparations for the January-February 1974 expedition off Mexico, (4) travel arrangements, (5) preliminary field report (capture and handling of juvenile whales, instrumentation and housing tests, harness abrasion and chafing, respiration measurements, sea tracking, distribution, number, and behavior of whales at Lopez Mateos), (6) review, data reduction, and analysis of results.

  2. Click production during breathing in a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahlberg, Magnus; Frantzis, Alexandros; Alexiadou, Paraskevi; Madsen, Peter T.; Møhl, Bertel

    2005-12-01

    A sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) was observed at the surface with above- and underwater video and synchronized underwater sound recordings. During seven instances the whale ventilated its lungs while clicking. From this observation it is inferred that click production is achieved by pressurizing air in the right nasal passage, pneumatically disconnected from the lungs and the left nasal passage, and that air flows anterior through the phonic lips into the distal air sac. The capability of breathing and clicking at the same time is unique among studied odontocetes and relates to the extreme asymmetry of the sperm whale sound-producing forehead.

  3. Sperm whale identification using self-organizing maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ioup, Juliette W.; Ioup, George E.

    2001-05-01

    Self-organizing maps (SOMs) are a neural network technique for clustering data with similar features. Sperm whale phonations are among the many sounds that can be heard in the Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center underwater acoustic data from three bottom-mounted hydrophones in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2001. When more than one whale is present, it would be useful to associate particular clicks or click trains with specific whales. SOMs are employed using various features including the time series itself, Fourier transform coefficients, and wavelet transform coefficients. Preliminary results with a relatively small data set will be presented. [Research supported by ONR.

  4. Radio tracking of a fin whale /Balaenoptera physalus/

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, G. C.; Wartzok, D.; Mitchell, E. D.; Kozicki, V. M.; Maiefski, R.

    1978-01-01

    Tracking of a fin whale tagged with an implantable beacon transmitter (IBT) is described. The IBT, which was fired from a modified 12-gauge shotgun, weighs 517 g and is 70 cm long, including a 46-cm antenna. Data on whale movement and breathing are presented. Contact was lost after 27.8 hours of intermittent tracking, presumably as a result of battery leakage. Potential range and duration of IBT transmission are considered, and the significance of transmitter location and orientation in the whale blubber is considered.

  5. How few whales were there after whaling? Inference from contemporary mtDNA diversity.

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of a stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in Zhuhai, China, was measured. The age of this animal was estimated to be ~40 years. The animal's hearing was measured using a noninvasive auditory evoked potential (AEP) method. The results showed that the high-frequency hearing cutoff frequency of the studied dolphin was ~30-40 kHz lower than that of a conspecific younger individual ~13 year old. The lower high-frequency hearing range in the older dolphin was explained as a likely result of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis). PMID:26611012

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Brucella ceti is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that has been recovered from several species of cetaceans in the world's oceans over the past 20 yr. We report the recovery of B. ceti from a Sowerby's beaked whale (Mesoploden bidens) and a long-finned pilot whale (Globicehala melas). Recovery from the testis of a long-finned pilot whale provides further evidence of potential for B. ceti infection to impact the reproductive success of cetaceans, many of which are threatened species. The addition of another two cetacean species to the growing number from which B. ceti has been recovered also further emphasizes the concern for human infections with this organism. PMID:26285099

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

    PubMed

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Andrianarivelo, Norbert; Andrianantenaina, Boris

    2015-01-01

    The Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea) has been studied in several range states in the Southwest Indian Ocean, however little information exists on populations in Madagascar. Here, we review available literature and describe a study on S. plumbea conducted between 2004 and 2013 on the west coast of Madagascar, involving boat-based field surveys in the southwest and northwest regions, and interview surveys with local fishers from villages along most of the west coast. Field surveys in the southwest region of Anakao/St. Augustine Bay revealed low encounter rates and mean group size, and markedly declining trends in both from 1999 to 2013. Conversely, in the northwest region around Nosy Be and Nosy Iranja, encounter rates were higher, as were mean group sizes, suggesting an apparently more abundant and less impacted population. Interview surveys revealed by-catch of coastal dolphins along the entire west coast, including S. plumbea, as well as other species. Directed hunting, including drive hunts of groups of dolphins, was reported primarily in the southern regions, in the range of the Vezo Malagasy ethnicity; however, there was evidence of hunting starting in one area in the northwest, where hunting dolphins is normally considered taboo for the predominant Sakalava ethnicity. Thus, the conservation status of S. plumbea in Madagascar appears to be spatially heterogeneous, with some areas where the local population is apparently more impacted than others. Conservation measures are recommended to mitigate further decline in the southwest of Madagascar, while protecting habitat and ensuring resilience in the northwest. PMID:26555626

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

    PubMed

    Kiani, Muhammad Shoaib; Van Waerebeek, Koen

    2015-01-01

    Limited historical and new information on Indian Ocean humpback dolphins, Sousa plumbea, in Pakistan are reviewed. Although present along most of the coast, S. plumbea concentrates in the mangrove-lined creek system of the Indus Delta (Sindh), Miani Hor (Sonmiani Bay), Kalmat Lagoon, Gwadar and the Dasht River estuary (Gwater Bay, Jiwani). Other areas of distribution comprise the Karachi coast, Kund Malir, Ormara and Pasni. In the Indus Delta, 46 small-boat surveys conducted monthly (minus July and October) in 2005-2009, documented 112 sightings (439 individuals) in major creeks, smaller channels and nearshore waters. Group sizes ranged from 1-35 animals (mean=3.92±4.60). Groups of 1-10 animals composed 91% of total (27.9% single animals). An encounter rate of 0.07-0.17 dolphins km(-1) lacked a significant trend across survey years. A discovery curve remained steep after 87 dolphins were photo-identified, suggesting the population is vastly larger. In Sonmiani Bay, Balochistan, during 9 survey days in 2011-2012, group sizes ranged from 1-68 animals (mean=11.9±13.59; n=36), totalling 428 dolphins. Incidental entanglements, primarily in gillnets, pollution (especially around Karachi), overfishing and the ship breaking industry in Gaddani, pose major threats. Incidental catches occur along the entire Pakistani coast. Of 106 stranded cetaceans, 24.5% were S. plumbea. Directed takes in Balochistan, driven by demand for bait in shark fisheries, have reportedly declined following dwindling shark stocks. Habitat degradation threats include depletion of prey and increased maritime traffic. Domestic sewage and solid waste pollution are predominant on the Balochistan coast, especially at Miani Hor, Kund Malir, Ormara, Kalmat Lagoon, Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani. An exhaustive habitat assessment combined with appropriate fishery management is the only way to safeguard the future of S. plumbea in Pakistan. PMID:26555627

  10. Baleen whales: preliminary evidence for forestomach microbial fermentation.

    PubMed Central

    Herwig, R P; Staley, J T; Nerini, M K; Braham, H W

    1984-01-01

    Baleen whales have a multichambered stomach divided into three distinct compartments. The forestomach (first compartment) consists of noncornified and nonglandular tissue and appears to be analogous to the tissue of the rumen. The exact function of the forestomach is unknown; however, we have detected volatile fatty acids in forestomach samples from seven bowhead (Balaena mysticetus) and four gray (Escherichtius robustus) whales. Acetic, propionic, and butyric acids were found in all samples. Seven whale samples also contained valeric, isobutyric, isovaleric, and isocaproic acids. Bacterial counts in 10 of the samples ranged from 5 X 10(8) to 630 X 10(8)/ml of fluid. The types, concentrations, and relative proportions of volatile fatty acids, the presence of significant levels of bacteria, and the morphology of the digestive tract support the hypothesis that a microbial forestomach fermentation occurs in these two species of baleen whales. PMID:6712212

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

    PubMed

    Di Iorio, Lucia; Clark, Christopher W

    2010-02-23

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

  12. Exposure to seismic survey alters blue whale acoustic communication

    PubMed Central

    Di Iorio, Lucia; Clark, Christopher W.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Killer whale ecotypes: is there a global model?

    PubMed

    de Bruyn, P J N; Tosh, Cheryl A; Terauds, Aleks

    2013-02-01

    Killer whales, Orcinus orca, are top predators occupying key ecological roles in a variety of ecosystems and are one of the most widely distributed mammals on the planet. In consequence, there has been significant interest in understanding their basic biology and ecology. Long-term studies of Northern Hemisphere killer whales, particularly in the eastern North Pacific (ENP), have identified three ecologically distinct communities or ecotypes in that region. The success of these prominent ENP studies has led to similar efforts at clarifying the role of killer whale ecology in other regions, including Antarctica. In the Southern Hemisphere, killer whales present a range of behavioural, social and morphological characteristics to biologists, who often interpret this as evidence to categorize individuals or groups, and draw general ecological conclusions about these super-predators. Morphologically distinct forms (Type A, B, C, and D) occur in the Southern Ocean and studies of these different forms are often presented in conjunction with evidence for specialised ecology and behaviours. Here we review current knowledge of killer whale ecology and ecotyping globally and present a synthesis of existing knowledge. In particular, we highlight the complexity of killer whale ecology in the Southern Hemisphere and examine this in the context of comparatively well-studied Northern Hemisphere populations. We suggest that assigning erroneous or prefatory ecotypic status in the Southern Hemisphere could be detrimental to subsequent killer whale studies, because unsubstantiated characteristics may be assumed as a result of such classification. On this basis, we also recommend that ecotypic status classification for Southern Ocean killer whale morphotypes be reserved until more evidence-based ecological and taxonomic data are obtained. PMID:22882545

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. Modelling effects of discharge on habitat quality and dispersal of juvenile humpback chub (Gila cypha) in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korman, J.; Wiele, S.M.; Torizzo, M.

    2004-01-01

    A two-dimensional hydrodynamic model was applied to seven study reaches in the Colorado River within Grand Canyon to examine how operation of Glen Canyon Dam has affected availability of suitable shoreline habitat and dispersal of juvenile humpback chub (Gila cypha). Suitable shoreline habitat typically declined with increasing discharges above 226-425 m3/s, although the response varied among modelled reaches and was strongly dependent on local morphology. The area of suitable shoreline habitat over cover types that are preferred by juvenile humpback chub, however, stayed constant, and in some reaches, actually increased with discharge. In general, changes in discharge caused by impoundment tended to decrease availability of suitable shoreline habitat from September to February, but increased habitat availability in spring (May-June). Hourly variation in discharge from Glen Canyon Dam substantially reduced the amount of persistent shoreline habitat at all reaches. Changes in suitable shoreline habitat with discharge were shown to potentially bias historical catch per unit effort indices of native fish abundance up to fourfold. Physical retention of randomly placed particles simulating the movement of juvenile humpback chub in the study reaches tended to decline with increasing discharge, but the pattern varied considerably due to differences in the local morphology among reaches and the type of swimming behaviour modelled. Implications of these results to current hypotheses about the effects of Glen Canyon Dam on juvenile humpback chub survival in the mainstern Colorado River are discussed. ?? 2004 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) are obligate shallow-water dolphins that occur exclusively in the near-shore waters of the Indian Ocean, from South Africa to the Bay of Bengal. They have a narrow habitat preference, restricted distribution and do not appear very abundant across any part of their range. There is no estimate of total species abundance; all populations that have been quantitatively evaluated have been small in size, usually fewer than 200 individuals. Fishing, dredging, land reclamation, construction blasting, port and harbour construction, pollution, boat traffic and other coastal development activities all occur, or are concentrated within, humpback dolphin habitat and threaten their survival. Although data are far from sufficient to make a rigorous quantitative assessment of population trends for this species, the scale of threats is large enough over a significant enough portion of the range to suspect or infer a decline of at least 50% over three generations, which qualifies it for listing on the IUCN Red List as Endangered. The issue primarily responsible is incidental mortality in fisheries, but the loss and degradation of habitat is likely a contributing factor. None of the threats have been adequately addressed in any part of the species' range, even though threat levels are increasing virtually everywhere. PMID:26555624

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

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, M; Subramaniam, A; Collins, T; Minton, G; Baldwin, R; Berggren, P; Särnblad, A; Amir, O A; Peddemors, V M; Karczmarski, L; Guissamulo, A; Rosenbaum, H C

    2011-01-01

    Genetic analyses of population structure can be placed in explicit environmental contexts if appropriate environmental data are available. Here, we use high-coverage and high-resolution oceanographic and genetic sequence data to assess population structure patterns and their potential environmental influences for humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA data from 94 dolphins from the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Oman, employing frequency-based and maximum-likelihood algorithms to assess population structure and migration patterns. The genetic data were combined with 13 years of remote sensing oceanographic data of variables known to influence cetacean dispersal and population structure. Our analyses show strong and highly significant genetic structure between all putative populations, except for those in South Africa and Mozambique. Interestingly, the oceanographic data display marked environmental heterogeneity between all sampling areas and a degree of overlap between South Africa and Mozambique. Our combined analyses therefore suggest the occurrence of genetically isolated populations of humpback dolphins in areas that are environmentally distinct. This study highlights the utility of molecular tools in combination with high-resolution and high-coverage environmental data to address questions not only pertaining to genetic population structure, but also to relevant ecological processes in marine species. PMID:21427750

  18. Mid- to high-frequency noise from high-speed boats and its potential impacts on humpback dolphins.

    PubMed

    Li, Songhai; Wu, Haiping; Xu, Youhou; Peng, Chongwei; Fang, Liang; Lin, Mingli; Xing, Luru; Zhang, Peijun

    2015-08-01

    The impact of noise made by vessels on marine animals has come under increased concern. However, most measurements on noise from vessels have only taken into account the low-frequency components. For cetaceans operating in the mid- and high-frequencies, such as the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis), mid- to high-frequency noise components may be of more concern, in terms of their potential impacts. In this study, noise made by a small high-speed boat was recorded using a broadband recording system in a dolphin watching area focusing on the effects on humpback dolphins in Sanniang Bay, China. The high-speed boat produced substantial mid- to high-frequency noise components with frequencies to >100 kHz, measured at three speeds: ∼40, 30, and 15 km/h. The noise from the boat raised the ambient noise levels from ∼5 to 47 decibels (dB) root-mean-square (rms) across frequency bands ranging from 1 to 125 kHz at a distance of 20 to 85 m, with louder levels recorded at higher speeds and at closer distances. To conclude, the noise produced by the small high-speed boat could be heard by Sousa chinensis and therefore potentially had adverse effects on the dolphins. PMID:26328710

  19. Cetacean distribution and abundance in relation to oceanographic domains on the eastern Bering Sea shelf, June and July of 2002, 2008, and 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friday, Nancy A.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Waite, Janice M.; Moore, Sue E.; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2013-10-01

    As part of the Bering Sea Project, cetacean surveys were conducted to describe distribution and estimate abundance on the eastern Bering Sea shelf. Three marine mammal observers conducted visual surveys along transect lines sampled during the Alaska Fisheries Science Center walleye pollock assessment survey in June and July of 2008 and 2010. Distribution and abundance in 2008 and 2010 (cold years) are compared with results from a similar survey conducted in 2002 (a warm year), as the only three years that the entire survey area was sampled; patterns largely match those previously observed. Abundance estimates for comparable areas in 2002, 2008 and 2010 were as follows: humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): 231 (CV=0.63), 436 (CV=0.45), and 675 (CV=0.80); fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus): 419 (CV=0.33), 1368 (CV=0.34), and 1061 (CV=0.38); minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata): 389 (CV=0.52), 517 (CV=0.69), and 2020 (CV=0.73); Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli): 35,303 (CV=0.53), 14,543 (CV=0.32), and 11,143 (CV=0.32); and harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena): 1971 (CV=0.46), 4056 (CV=0.40), and 833 (CV=0.66). It should be noted that these abundance estimates are not corrected for biases due to perception, availability, or responsive movement. Estimates for humpback, fin and minke whales increased from 2002 to 2010, while those for harbor and Dall's porpoise decreased; trends were significant for fin whales. It is likely that changes in estimated abundance are due at least in part to shifts in distribution and not just changes in overall population size. Annual abundance estimates were examined by oceanographic domain. Humpback whales were consistently concentrated in coastal waters north of Unimak Pass. Fin whales were broadly distributed in the outer domain and slope in 2008 and 2010, but sightings were sparse in 2002. Minke whales were distributed throughout the study area in 2002 and 2008, but in 2010 they were concentrated in the outer domain and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

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

  1. The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  3. Localization and visual verification of a complex minke whale vocalization.

    PubMed

    Gedamke, J; Costa, D P; Dunstan, A

    2001-06-01

    A recently described population of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) offered a unique opportunity to study its acoustic behavior. The often-inquisitive dwarf minke whale is seen on the Great Barrier Reef nearly coincident with its suspected calving and breeding seasons. During drifting encounters with whales, a towed hydrophone array was used to record sounds for subsequent localization of sound sources. Shipboard and in-water observers linked these sounds to the closely circling minke whale. A complex and stereotyped sound sequence, the "star-wars" (SW) vocalization, was recorded during a series of visual and acoustic observations. The SW vocalization spanned a wide frequency range (50 Hz-9.4 kHz) and was composed of distinct and stereotypically repeated units with both amplitude and frequency-modulated components. Broadband source levels between 150 and 165 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m were calculated. Passive acoustic studies can utilize this distinct vocalization to help determine the behavior, distribution, and movements of this animal. While the SW vocalization's function remains unknown, the regularly repeated and complex sound sequence was common in low latitude, winter month aggregations of minke whales. At this early stage, the SW vocalization appears similar to the songs of other whale species and has characteristics consistent with those of reproductive advertisement displays. PMID:11425146

  4. Geostatistical Analyses of Interactions between Minke Whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and Whale-Watching Boats in Skjalfandi Bay, Northeast Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cummings, Joshua I.

    The Icelandic whale-watching industry has experienced rapid growth since its inception in 1991, and today represents the fastest growing economic activity of the country. Skjalfandi Bay in Northeast Iceland has become the epicenter of whale-watching in Iceland, yet little is known about the local effects of the whale-watching industry on cetaceans. I used theodolite techniques and GIS to examine boat effects on the swimming speed, directionality, inter-breath intervals, and surface feeding events of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in Skjalfandi Bay. The proximity and number of vessels did not have a statistically significant effect on any aspect of minke behavior. These results contradict a previous study from Faxafloi Bay, suggesting that differences exist between the two locations, and that management strategies may need to be location-specific.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Measuring Hearing in Wild Beluga Whales.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Positive selection on the killer whale mitogenome.

    PubMed

    Foote, Andrew D; Morin, Phillip A; Durban, John W; Pitman, Robert L; Wade, Paul; Willerslev, Eske; Gilbert, M Thomas P; da Fonseca, Rute R

    2011-02-23

    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-synonymous amino acid changes were found; one in each of two ecotypes that inhabit the Antarctic pack ice. Both substitutions were associated with changes in local polarity, increased steric constraints and α-helical tendencies that could influence overall metabolic performance, suggesting a functional change. PMID:20810427

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23545484

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23545484

  13. Biomimetics and Tubercles on Flippers for Hydrodynamic Flow Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fish, Frank E.

    2011-11-01

    The biomimetic approach seeks to incorporate designs based on biological organisms into engineered technologies. Biomimetics can be used to engineer machines that emulate the performance of organisms, particularly in instances where the organism's performance exceeds current mechanical technology or provides new directions to solve existing problems. The ability to control the flow of water around the body dictates the performance of marine mammals in the aquatic environment. Morphological specializations of marine mammals afford mechanisms for passive flow control. Aside from the design of the body, which minimizes drag, the morphology of the appendages provide hydrodynamic advantages with respect to drag, lift, thrust, and stall. Of particular interest are the pectoral flippers of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). These flippers act as wing-like structures to provide hydrodynamic lift for maneuvering. The use of any such wing-like structure in making small radius turns to enhance both agility and maneuverability is constrained by performance associated with stall. Delay of stall can be accomplished passively by modification of the flipper leading edge. The design of the flippers includes prominent leading edge bumps or tubercles. Such a design is exhibited by the leading edge tubercles on the flippers of humpback whales. These novel morphological structures induce a spanwise flow field of separated vortices alternating with regions of accelerated flow. The coupled flow regions maintain areas of attached flow and delay stall to high angles of attack. The morphological features of humpback whales for flow control can be utilized in the biomimetic design of engineered structures and commercial products for increased hydrodynamic performance. Nature retains a store of untouched knowledge, which would be beneficial in advancing technology.

  14. Male sperm whale acoustic behavior observed from multipaths at a single hydrophone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laplanche, Christophe; Adam, Olivier; Lopatka, Maciej; Motsch, Jean-François

    2005-10-01

    Sperm whales generate transient sounds (clicks) when foraging. These clicks have been described as echolocation sounds, a result of having measured the source level and the directionality of these signals and having extrapolated results from biosonar tests made on some small odontocetes. The authors propose a passive acoustic technique requiring only one hydrophone to investigate the acoustic behavior of free-ranging sperm whales. They estimate whale pitch angles from the multipath distribution of click energy. They emphasize the close bond between the sperm whale's physical and acoustic activity, leading to the hypothesis that sperm whales might, like some small odontocetes, control click level and rhythm. An echolocation model estimating the range of the sperm whale's targets from the interclick interval is computed and tested during different stages of the whale's dive. Such a hypothesis on the echolocation process would indicate that sperm whales echolocate their prey layer when initiating their dives and follow a methodic technique when foraging.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Killingley, J.S.

    1980-02-15

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

  16. The Natural History and Conservation of Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in South African Waters.

    PubMed

    Plön, Stephanie; Cockcroft, Victor G; Froneman, William P

    2015-01-01

    Although most knowledge on the biology of Sousa plumbea has primarily come from South African waters, a number of research gaps remain on the natural history and status of the species in the region. Research on two populations in South African waters for which some historical data exist may aid in highlighting long-term changes in the biology and natural history of this little known coastal delphinid. Recent studies on the age, growth and reproduction of animals incidentally caught in shark nets in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, yielded a lower maximum age estimate of 24 (previously 46) growth-layer-groups (GLGs), sexual maturity of 7.5 and 8 GLGs in males and females (previously 12-13 and 10 GLGs, respectively), an ovulation rate of 0.2 and a 5-year calving interval (previously 0.3 and 3-year calving interval) than previously reported. These differences may be due to a difference in the interpretation of GLGs between observers or a predominance of young males being caught in the shark nets. Stomach content analysis revealed a change in the relative proportions of the main prey items over the past 25 years, but no difference in species richness or diversity was found between the sexes. No change in trophic level was recorded between 1972 and 2009. Field studies in Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, conducted 16 years apart indicated a decline in the mean group size (from 7 to 3 animals), a decline in the maximum group size (from 24 to 13 animals), an increase in solitary individuals (15.4-36%), and a change in behaviour from predominantly foraging (64-18%) to mainly travelling (24-49%). The observed changes are suggestive of a change in food availability, resulting in a range shift or a potential decline in numbers. These studies indicate the importance of long-term studies to monitor population changes and their possible causes. A number of threats, such as shark nets, pollution (noise and chemical), and coastal development and disturbance, to the humpback dolphin populations

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23393275

  18. 76 FR 20179 - Endangered and Threatened Species: Designation of Critical Habitat for Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-11

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

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-03

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

  20. 75 FR 68756 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-09

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  2. 50 CFR 229.37 - False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 11 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan... § 229.37 False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan. (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to implement the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan to reduce mortality and serious injury of...

  3. 77 FR 19646 - International Whaling Commission; 64th Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-02

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

  4. 76 FR 34209 - International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    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...

  5. 76 FR 30921 - International Whaling Commission; 63rd Annual Meeting; Announcement of Public Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    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...

  6. 75 FR 23247 - International Whaling Commission; 62nd Annual Meeting; Nominations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Hearing Loss in Stranded Odontocete Dolphins and Whales

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-22

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

  11. Passive acoustic detection of deep-diving beaked whales.

    PubMed

    Zimmer, Walter M X; Harwood, John; Tyack, Peter L; Johnson, Mark P; Madsen, Peter T

    2008-11-01

    Beaked whales can remain submerged for an hour or more and are difficult to sight when they come to the surface to breathe. Passive acoustic detection (PAD) not only complements traditional visual-based methods for detecting these species but also can be more effective because beaked whales produce clicks regularly to echolocate on prey during deep foraging dives. The effectiveness of PAD for beaked whales depends not only on the acoustic behavior and output of the animals but also on environmental conditions and the quality of the passive sonar implemented. A primary constraint on the range at which beaked whale clicks can be detected involves their high frequencies, which attenuate rapidly, resulting in limited ranges of detection, especially in adverse environmental conditions. Given current knowledge of source parameters and in good conditions, for example, with a wind speed of 2 ms, a receiver close to the surface should be able to detect acoustically Cuvier's beaked whales with a high probability at distances up to 0.7 km, provided the listening duration exceeds the deep dive interval, about 2.5 h on average. Detection ranges beyond 4 km are unlikely and would require low ambient noise or special sound propagation conditions. PMID:19045770

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  13. The Impact of Whaling on the Ocean Carbon Cycle: Why Bigger Was Better

    PubMed Central

    Pershing, Andrew J.; Christensen, Line B.; Record, Nicholas R.; Sherwood, Graham D.; Stetson, Peter B.

    2010-01-01

    Background Humans have reduced the abundance of many large marine vertebrates, including whales, large fish, and sharks, to only a small percentage of their pre-exploitation levels. Industrial fishing and whaling also tended to preferentially harvest the largest species and largest individuals within a population. We consider the consequences of removing these animals on the ocean's ability to store carbon. Methodology/Principal Findings Because body size is critical to our arguments, our analysis focuses on populations of baleen whales. Using reconstructions of pre-whaling and modern abundances, we consider the impact of whaling on the amount of carbon stored in living whales and on the amount of carbon exported to the deep sea by sinking whale carcasses. Populations of large baleen whales now store 9.1×106 tons less carbon than before whaling. Some of the lost storage has been offset by increases in smaller competitors; however, due to the relative metabolic efficiency of larger organisms, a shift toward smaller animals could decrease the total community biomass by 30% or more. Because of their large size and few predators, whales and other large marine vertebrates can efficiently export carbon from the surface waters to the deep sea. We estimate that rebuilding whale populations would remove 1.6×105 tons of carbon each year through sinking whale carcasses. Conclusions/Significance Even though fish and whales are only a small portion of the ocean's overall biomass, fishing and whaling have altered the ocean's ability to store and sequester carbon. Although these changes are small relative to the total ocean carbon sink, rebuilding populations of fish and whales would be comparable to other carbon management schemes, including ocean iron fertilization. PMID:20865156

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

    Sperm whales have learned to depredate black cod (Anoplopoma fimbria) from longline deployments in the Gulf of Alaska. On May 31, 2006, simultaneous acoustic and visual recordings were made of a depredation attempt by a sperm whale at 108 m depth. Because the whale was oriented perpendicularly to the camera as it contacted the longline at a known distance from the camera, the distance from the nose to the hinge of the jaw could be estimated. Allometric relationships obtained from whaling data and skeleton measurements could then be used to estimate both the spermaceti organ length and total length of the animal. An acoustic estimate of animal length was obtained by measuring the inter-pulse interval (IPI) of clicks detected from the animal and using empirical formulas to convert this interval into a length estimate. Two distinct IPIs were extracted from the clicks, one yielding a length estimate that matches the visually-derived length to within experimental error. However, acoustic estimates of spermaceti organ size, derived from standard sound production theories, are inconsistent with the visual estimates, and the derived size of the junk is smaller than that of the spermaceti organ, in contradiction with known anatomical relationships. PMID:19425683

  15. Abundance Trends and Status of the Little Colorado River Population of Humpback Chub: An Update Considering 1989-2006 Data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coggins,, Lewis G., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In 1967, the humpback chub (Gila cypha) (HBC) was added to the federal list of endangered species and is today protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Only six populations of humpback chub are currently known to exist, five in the Colorado River Basin above Lees Ferry, Arizona, and one in Grand Canyon, Arizona. The majority of Grand Canyon humpback chub are found in the Little Colorado River (LCR)-the largest tributary to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon-and the Colorado River near its confluence with the Little Colorado River. Monitoring and research of the Grand Canyon humpback chub population is overseen by the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC) under the auspices of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP), a Federal initiative to protect and improve resources downstream of Glen Canyon Dam. This report provides updated information on the status and trends of the LCR population in light of new information and refined assessment methodology. An earlier assessment of the LCR population (Coggins and others, 2006a) used data collected during 1989?2002; the assessment provided here includes that data and additional data collected through 2006. Catch-rate indices, closed population mark-recapture model abundance estimates, results from the original age-structured mark recapture (ASMR) model (Coggins and others, 2006b), and a newly refined ASMR model are presented. This report also seeks to (1) formally evaluate alternative stock assessment models using Pearson residual analyses and information theoretic procedures, (2) use mark-recapture data to estimate the relationship between HBC age and length, (3) translate uncertainty in the assignment of individual fish age to resulting estimates of recruitment and abundance from the ASMR model, and (4) evaluate past and present stock assessments considering the available data sources and analyses, recognizing the limitations

  16. Side-scan sonar assessment of gray whale feeding in the Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, K.R.; Nelson, C.H.

    1984-01-01

    Side-scan sonar was used to map and measure feeding pits of the California gray whale over 22,000 square kilometers of the northeastern Bering Sea floor. The distribution of pits, feeding whales, ampeliscid amphipods (whale prey), and a fine-sand substrate bearing the amphipods were all closely correlated. The central Chirikov Basin and nearshore areas of Saint Lawrence Island supply at least 6.5 percent of the total gray whale food resource in summer. While feeding, the whales resuspend at least 1.2 x 108 cubic meters of sediment annually; this significantly affects the geology and biology of the region.

  17. Ultrasonic whistles of killer whales (Orcinus orca) recorded in the North Pacific (L).

    PubMed

    Filatova, Olga A; Ford, John K B; Matkin, Craig O; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G; Burdin, Alexander M; Hoyt, Erich

    2012-12-01

    Ultrasonic whistles were previously found in North Atlantic killer whales and were suggested to occur in eastern North Pacific killer whales based on the data from autonomous recorders. In this study ultrasonic whistles were found in the recordings from two encounters with the eastern North Pacific offshore ecotype killer whales and one encounter with the western North Pacific killer whales of unknown ecotype. All ultrasonic whistles were highly stereotyped and all but two had downsweep contours. These results demonstrate that specific sound categories can be shared by killer whales from different ocean basins. PMID:23231094

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Marine annelid worms of the genus Osedax exploit sunken vertebrate bones for food. To date, the named species occur on whale or other mammalian bones, and it is argued that Osedax is a whale-fall specialist. To assess whether extant Osedax species could obtain nutrition from non-mammalian resources, we deployed teleost bones and calcified shark cartilage at approximately 1000 m depth for five months. Although the evidence from shark cartilage was inconclusive, the teleost bones hosted three species of Osedax, each of which also lives off whalebones. This suggests that rather than being a whale-fall specialist, Osedax has exploited and continues to exploit a variety of food sources. The ability of Osedax to colonize and to grow on fishbone lends credibility to a hypothesis that it might have split from its siboglinid relatives to assume the bone-eating lifestyle during the Cretaceous, well before the origin of marine mammals. PMID:21490008

  20. Pleistocene survival of an archaic dwarf baleen whale (Mysticeti: Cetotheriidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boessenecker, Robert W.

    2013-04-01

    Pliocene baleen whale assemblages are characterized by a mix of early records of extant mysticetes, extinct genera within modern families, and late surviving members of the extinct family Cetotheriidae. Although Pleistocene baleen whales are poorly known, thus far they include only fossils of extant genera, indicating Late Pliocene extinctions of numerous mysticetes alongside other marine mammals. Here a new fossil of the Late Neogene cetotheriid mysticete Herpetocetus is reported from the Lower to Middle Pleistocene Falor Formation of Northern California. This find demonstrates that at least one archaic mysticete survived well into the Quaternary Period, indicating a recent loss of a unique niche and a more complex pattern of Plio-Pleistocene faunal overturn for marine mammals than has been previously acknowledged. This discovery also lends indirect support to the hypothesis that the pygmy right whale ( Caperea marginata) is an extant cetotheriid, as it documents another cetotheriid nearly surviving to modern times.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-23

    Marine annelid worms of the genus Osedax exploit sunken vertebrate bones for food. To date, the named species occur on whale or other mammalian bones, and it is argued that Osedax is a whale-fall specialist. To assess whether extant Osedax species could obtain nutrition from non-mammalian resources, we deployed teleost bones and calcified shark cartilage at approximately 1000 m depth for five months. Although the evidence from shark cartilage was inconclusive, the teleost bones hosted three species of Osedax, each of which also lives off whalebones. This suggests that rather than being a whale-fall specialist, Osedax has exploited and continues to exploit a variety of food sources. The ability of Osedax to colonize and to grow on fishbone lends credibility to a hypothesis that it might have split from its siboglinid relatives to assume the bone-eating lifestyle during the Cretaceous, well before the origin of marine mammals. PMID:21490008

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Leone, Angelique; Dark, Michael; Kondo, Hirotaka; Rotstein, David S; Kiupel, Matti; Walsh, Michael T; Erlacher-Reid, Claire; Gordon, Nadia; Conway, Julia A

    2013-09-01

    An adult male pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) was stranded within a tidal pool on Fernandina Beach on the north Florida Atlantic coast (USA) and expired soon after discovery. Necropsy findings included a small intestinal mass markedly expanding the intestinal wall and partially obstructing the lumen. This finding likely led to the malnutrition and ultimately the stranding of this whale. The differential diagnoses for the mass based on gross evaluation included a duodenal adenocarcinoma, leiomyoma/sarcoma, gastrointestinal stroma tumor, and benign/malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, previously referred to as neurofibromas or schwannomas. The mass was presumptively diagnosed as a leiomyosarcoma via routine histopathology and confirmed by immunoreactivity for desmin and smooth actin (SMA). KIT, a gene name for CD 117, was negative, excluding a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Leiomyosarcomas have been reported within numerous wild and domestic species, although this is the first reported case of any neoplasm in a pygmy sperm whale (K. breviceps). PMID:24063105

  6. Analysis of the C4 genes in baleen whales using a human cDNA probe.

    PubMed

    Spilliaert, R; Palsdottir, A; Arnason, A

    1990-01-01

    We have used a human C4 cDNA probe to investigate the complement component C4 gene in four members of the family Balaenopteridae: fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), sei whale (B. borealis), minke whale (B. acutorostrata), and bryde's whale (B. edeni). Restriction mapping of genomic DNA from the first three species suggests the presence of only one locus in these species, and also shows that the C4 genes in the three species are very similar. We have used 14 restriction endonucleases to investigate the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of fin whales, 13 enzymes for sei whales, and 8 enzymes for the minke whale. No polymorphism was seen in DNA from the five minke whale samples, but Rsa I and Taq I restriction enzymes gave polymorphism in fin and sei whales whereas Hind III and Msp I restriction enzymes showed polymorphism in sei whales only. Only one bryde's whale sample was available for investigation. The study of DNA available from mother-fetus pairs from the two polymorphic species demonstrated a simple, two-allele transmission of RFLP alleles. PMID:1975799

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432–917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420–990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347–1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (<400 cm) whale sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species. PMID:25870776

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432-917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420-990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347-1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (<400 cm) whale sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species. PMID:25870776

  9. A false killer whale adjusts its hearing when it echolocates.

    PubMed

    Nachtigall, Paul E; Supin, Alexander Y

    2008-06-01

    The use of auditory evoked potential (AEP) measurements has added considerably to knowledge of the hearing mechanisms of marine mammals. We have recently measured the hearing of a stranded infant Risso's dolphin, the audiograms of white-beaked dolphins temporarily caught and released, and the hearing of anaesthetized polar bears. Most small toothed whales echolocate and hear very high frequency sounds underwater. While much has previously been learned about the echolocation performance and characteristics of the outgoing signals of echolocating dolphins and small whales, the hearing processes occurring while these animals actively echolocate have not previously been examined. Working with a well-trained echolocating false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) wearing latex surface suction cup electrodes, we have measured echolocation hearing AEPs in response to outgoing echolocation clicks, returning echoes, and comparable simulated whale clicks and echoes in a variety of situations. We have found that: (1) the whale may hear her loud outgoing clicks and much quieter returning echoes at comparable levels, (2) the whale has protective mechanisms that dampen the intensity of her outgoing signals - she hears her outgoing signals at a level about 40 dB lower than similar signals presented directly in front of her, (3) when echo return levels are lowered either by making the targets smaller or by placing the targets farther away - without changing the levels of her outgoing signals - the hearing of these echoes remains at almost the same level, (4) if targets are made much smaller and harder to echolocate, the animal will modify what she hears of her outgoing signal - as if to heighten overall hearing sensitivity to keep the echo level hearable, (5) the animal has an active 'automatic gain control' mechanism in her hearing based on both forward masking that balances outgoing pulse intensity and time between pulse and echo, and active hearing control. Overall, hearing

  10. Dynamics of whale shark occurrence at their fringe oceanic habitat.

    PubMed

    Afonso, Pedro; McGinty, Niall; Machete, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), a vulnerable large filter feeder, seasonally aggregates at highly productive coastal sites and that individuals can perform large, trans-boundary migrations to reach these locations. Yet, the whereabouts of the whale shark when absent from these sites and the potential oceanographic and biological drivers involved in shaping their present and future habitat use, including that located at the fringes of their suitable oceanic habitat, are largely unknown. We analysed a 16-year (1998-2013) observer dataset from the pole-and-line tuna fishery across the Azores (mid-North Atlantic) and used GAM models to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of whale shark occurrence in relation to oceanographic features. Across this period, the whale shark became a regular summer visitor to the archipelago after a sharp increase in sighting frequency seen in 2008. We found that SST helps predicting their occurrence in the region associated to the position of the seasonal 22°C isotherm, showing that the Azores are at a thermal boundary for this species and providing an explanation for the post 2007 increase. Within the region, whale shark detections were also higher in areas of increased bathymetric slope and closer to the seamounts, coinciding with higher chl-a biomass, a behaviour most probably associated to increased feeding opportunities. They also showed a tendency to be clustered around the southernmost island of Santa Maria. This study shows that the region integrates the oceanic habitat of adult whale shark and suggests that an increase in its relative importance for the Atlantic population might be expected in face of climate change. PMID:25028929

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

    PubMed Central

    Afonso, Pedro; McGinty, Niall; Machete, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), a vulnerable large filter feeder, seasonally aggregates at highly productive coastal sites and that individuals can perform large, trans-boundary migrations to reach these locations. Yet, the whereabouts of the whale shark when absent from these sites and the potential oceanographic and biological drivers involved in shaping their present and future habitat use, including that located at the fringes of their suitable oceanic habitat, are largely unknown. We analysed a 16-year (1998–2013) observer dataset from the pole-and-line tuna fishery across the Azores (mid-North Atlantic) and used GAM models to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of whale shark occurrence in relation to oceanographic features. Across this period, the whale shark became a regular summer visitor to the archipelago after a sharp increase in sighting frequency seen in 2008. We found that SST helps predicting their occurrence in the region associated to the position of the seasonal 22°C isotherm, showing that the Azores are at a thermal boundary for this species and providing an explanation for the post 2007 increase. Within the region, whale shark detections were also higher in areas of increased bathymetric slope and closer to the seamounts, coinciding with higher chl-a biomass, a behaviour most probably associated to increased feeding opportunities. They also showed a tendency to be clustered around the southernmost island of Santa Maria. This study shows that the region integrates the oceanic habitat of adult whale shark and suggests that an increase in its relative importance for the Atlantic population might be expected in face of climate change. PMID:25028929

  12. 76 FR 68161 - Marine Mammals; File Nos. 16163, 16160, and 15569

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-03

    ... are listed as endangered or have a stock listed as endangered: blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), fin... species that are listed as endangered include the blue whale, fin whale, sei whale, humpback whale, and...], 2725 Montlake Blvd. East, Seattle, WA 98112-2097; The Whale Museum (Jenny Atkinson, Responsible...

  13. A multi-hypothesis tracker for clicking whales.

    PubMed

    Baggenstoss, Paul M

    2015-05-01

    This paper describes a tracker specially designed to track clicking beaked whales using widely spaced bottom-mounted hydrophones, although it can be adapted to different species and sensors. The input to the tracker is a sequence of static localization solutions obtained using time difference of arrival information at widely spaced hydrophones. To effectively handle input localizations with high ambiguity, the tracker is based on multi-hypothesis tracker concepts, so it considers all potential association hypotheses and keeps a large number of potential tracks in memory. The method is demonstrated on actual data and shown to successfully track multiple beaked whales at depth. PMID:25994688

  14. Modeling the unknown: how to make a perfect whale.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Michael

    2008-06-01

    Making a life-sized model of a blue whale is difficult. Making one to the exacting standards of 'scientific accuracy' is backbreaking. When, in the early 1960s, the American Museum of Natural History in New York undertook to fabricate a replica of the largest animal that ever lived, little was known about how blue whales really looked and behaved in the wild. Exhibitors like Richard Van Gelder guided themselves by old photographs, illustrations, tables of measurements and the experience of other institutions--as well as their own educated guesswork, and ideas of beauty, value and pride. PMID:18538398

  15. Adaptive prolonged postreproductive life span in killer whales.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22984064

  16. A preliminary risk assessment of organochlorines accumulated in fish to the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in the Northwestern waters of Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Hung, C L H; Xu, Y; Lam, J C W; Connell, D W; Lam, M H W; Nicholson, S; Richardson, B J; Lam, P K S

    2006-11-01

    The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is considered threatened due to several factors including pollution in Hong Kong and the risks due to consumption of fish tainted with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides were assessed. Six species of fish Collichthys lucida, Pseudosciaena crocea, Johnius sp., Thryssa sp., Mugil sp. and Trichiurus sp., which comprise the main prey species of humpback dolphins were collected for analyses. Risks due to total PCBs, total TEQs, PCB 118 and the pesticides were assessed with the use of toxicity reference values as the threshold reference benchmarks. The calculated risk quotients (RQs) showed that the risks associated with organochlorines were generally low. The highest RQ was associated with total TEQs suggesting that dioxin-like PCBs may pose the highest risk to the dolphins. The HCHs, total PCBs and heptachlor had comparatively high RQs and thus they should also be the priority organochlorines that would require further investigation. PMID:16516360

  17. Chemical characterization of the oligosaccharides in Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni) and Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis lesson) milk.

    PubMed

    Urashima, Tadasu; Kobayashi, Mami; Asakuma, Sadaki; Uemura, Yusuke; Arai, Ikichi; Fukuda, Kenji; Saito, Tadao; Mogoe, Toshihiro; Ishikawa, Hajime; Fukui, Yutaka

    2007-02-01

    Samples of milk from a Bryde's whale and a Sei whale contained 2.7 g/100 mL and 1.7 g/100 mL of hexose, respectively. Both contained lactose as the dominant saccharide along with small amounts of Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (3'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose), Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (6'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose) and Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc (LST c). The dominance of lactose in the carbohydrate of these milks is similar to that of Minke whale milk and bottlenose dolphin colostrum, but the oligosaccharide patterns are different from those of these two species, illustrating the heterogeneity of milk oligosaccharides among the Cetacea. PMID:17113803

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Directional frequency analysis and recording (DIFAR) sonobuoys can allow real-time acoustic localization of baleen whales for underwater tracking and remote sensing, but limited availability of hardware and software has prevented wider usage. These software limitations were addressed by developing a module in the open-source software PAMGuard. A case study is presented demonstrating that this software provides greater efficiency and accessibility than previous methods for detecting, localizing, and tracking Antarctic blue whales in real time. Additionally, this software can easily be extended to track other low and mid frequency sounds including those from other cetaceans, pinnipeds, icebergs, shipping, and seismic airguns. PMID:27036292

  19. Affects of Changes in Sea Ice Cover on Bowhead Whales and Subsistence Whaling in the Western Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, S.; Suydam, R.; Overland, J.; Laidre, K.; George, J.; Demaster, D.

    2004-12-01

    Global warming may disproportionately affect Arctic marine mammals and disrupt traditional subsistence hunting activities. Based upon analyses of a 24-year time series (1979-2002) of satellite-derived sea ice cover, we identified significant positive trends in the amount of open-water in three large and five small-scale regions in the western Arctic, including habitats where bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) feed or are suspected to feed. Bowheads are the only mysticete whale endemic to the Arctic and a cultural keystone species for Native peoples from northwestern Alaska and Chukotka, Russia. While copepods (Calanus spp.) are a mainstay of the bowhead diet, prey sampling conducted in the offshore region of northern Chukotka and stomach contents from whales harvested offshore of the northern Alaskan coast indicate that euphausiids (Thysanoessa spp.) advected from the Bering Sea are also common prey in autumn. Early departure of sea ice has been posited to control availability of zooplankton in the southeastern Bering Sea and in the Cape Bathurst polynya in the southeastern Canadian Beaufort Sea, with maximum secondary production associated with a late phytoplankton bloom in insolatoin-stratified open water. While it is unclear if declining sea-ice has directly affected production or advection of bowhead prey, an extension of the open-water season increases opportunities for Native subsistence whaling in autumn. Therefore, bowhead whales may provide a nexus for simultaneous exploration of the effects sea ice reduction on pagophillic marine mammals and on the social systems of the subsistence hunting community in the western Arctic. The NOAA/Alaska Fisheries Science Center and NSB/Department of Wildlife Management will investigate bowhead whale stock identity, seasonal distribution and subsistence use patterns during the International Polar Year, as an extension of research planned for 2005-06. This research is in response to recommendations from the Scientific

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Cetacean karyotypes possess exceptionally stable diploid numbers and highly conserved chromosomes. To date, only toothed whales (Odontoceti) have been analyzed by comparative chromosome painting. Here, we studied the karyotype of a representative of baleen whales, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus, Mysticeti), by Zoo-FISH with dromedary camel and human chromosome-specific probes. We confirmed a high degree of karyotype conservation and found an identical order of syntenic segments in both branches of cetaceans. Yet, whale chromosomes harbor variable heterochromatic regions constituting up to a third of the genome due to the presence of several types of repeats. To investigate the cause of this variability, several classes of repeated DNA sequences were mapped onto chromosomes of whale species from both Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We uncovered extensive intrapopulation variability in the size of heterochromatic blocks present in homologous chromosomes among 3 individuals of the gray whale by 2-step differential chromosome staining. We show that some of the heteromorphisms observed in the gray whale karyotype are due to distinct amplification of a complex of common cetacean repeat and heavy satellite repeat on homologous autosomes. Furthermore, we demonstrate localization of the telomeric repeat in the heterochromatin of both gray and pilot whale (Globicephala melas, Odontoceti). Heterochromatic blocks in the pilot whale represent a composite of telomeric and common repeats, while heavy satellite repeat is lacking in the toothed whale consistent with previous studies. PMID:27088853

  1. Classification of large acoustic datasets using machine learning and crowdsourcing: application to whale calls.

    PubMed

    Shamir, Lior; Yerby, Carol; Simpson, Robert; von Benda-Beckmann, Alexander M; Tyack, Peter; Samarra, Filipa; Miller, Patrick; Wallin, John

    2014-02-01

    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 recorded by audio sensors carried by ten killer whales and eight pilot whales close to the coasts of Norway, Iceland, and the Bahamas were analyzed using computer methods and citizen scientists as part of the Whale FM project. Results show that the computer analysis automatically separated the killer whales into Icelandic and Norwegian whales, and the pilot whales were separated into Norwegian long-finned and Bahamas short-finned pilot whales, showing that at least some whales from these two locations have different acoustic repertoires that can be sensed by the computer analysis. The citizen science analysis was also able to separate the whales to locations by their sounds, but the separation was somewhat less accurate compared to the computer method. PMID:25234903

  2. Seasonal and geographic variation of southern blue whale subspecies in the Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Samaran, Flore; Stafford, Kathleen M; Branch, Trevor A; Gedamke, Jason; Royer, Jean-Yves; Dziak, Robert P; Guinet, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the seasonal movements and distribution patterns of migratory species over ocean basin scales is vital for appropriate conservation and management measures. However, assessing populations over remote regions is challenging, particularly if they are rare. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp) are an endangered species found in the Southern and Indian Oceans. Here two recognized subspecies of blue whales and, based on passive acoustic monitoring, four "acoustic populations" occur. Three of these are pygmy blue whale (B.m. brevicauda) populations while the fourth is the Antarctic blue whale (B.m. intermedia). Past whaling catches have dramatically reduced their numbers but recent acoustic recordings show that these oceans are still important habitat for blue whales. Presently little is known about the seasonal movements and degree of overlap of these four populations, particularly in the central Indian Ocean. We examined the geographic and seasonal occurrence of different blue whale acoustic populations using one year of passive acoustic recording from three sites located at different latitudes in the Indian Ocean. The vocalizations of the different blue whale subspecies and acoustic populations were recorded seasonally in different regions. For some call types and locations, there was spatial and temporal overlap, particularly between Antarctic and different pygmy blue whale acoustic populations. Except on the southernmost hydrophone, all three pygmy blue whale acoustic populations were found at different sites or during different seasons, which further suggests that these populations are generally geographically distinct. This unusual blue whale diversity in sub-Antarctic and sub-tropical waters indicates the importance of the area for blue whales in these former whaling grounds. PMID:23967221

  3. Functional convergence in bat and toothed whale biosonars.

    PubMed

    Madsen, P T; Surlykke, A

    2013-09-01

    Echolocating bats and toothed whales hunt and navigate by emission of sound pulses and analysis of returning echoes to form a self-generated auditory scene. Here, we demonstrate a striking functional convergence in the way these two groups of mammals independently evolved the capability to sense with sound in air and water. PMID:23997187

  4. Mercury-induced micronuclei in skin fibroblasts of beluga whales

    SciTech Connect

    Gauthier, J.M.; Dubeau, H.; Rassart, E.

    1998-12-01

    Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) inhabiting the St. Lawrence estuary are highly contaminated with environmental pollutants and have a high incidence of cancer. Environmental contaminants may be partly responsible for the high incidence of cancer observed in this population. DNA damage plays an important role in the development of cancer. The micronuclei assay was used to test the genotoxic potential of mercury compounds in skin fibroblasts of an Arctic beluga whale. Both mercuric chloride (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) induced a highly significant dose-response increase of micronucleated cells. Statistically significant increases in micronucleated cells were observed for 0.5, 5, and 20 {micro}g/ml Hg and 0.05, 0.5, and 2 {micro}g/ml MeHg when compared to control cultures. Concentrations of 0.5, 5, and 20 {micro}g/ml Hg induced a two-, three- and fourfold increase of micronucleated cells, respectively. Treatment with MeHg was one order of magnitude more potent in inducing micronuclei and in inhibiting cell proliferation than Hg. Although results of this in vitro study do not imply that mercury compounds are involved in the etiology of cancer in St. Lawrence beluga whales, significant increases in micronuclei frequency were found at low concentrations of MeHg that are believed to be comparable to concentrations present in certain whales of this population.

  5. Declining survival probability threatens the North Atlantic right whale.

    PubMed

    Caswell, H; Fujiwara, M; Brault, S

    1999-03-16

    The North Atlantic northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is considered the most endangered large whale species. Its population has recovered only slowly since the cessation of commercial whaling and numbers about 300 individuals. We applied mark-recapture statistics to a catalog of photographically identified individuals to obtain the first statistically rigorous estimates of survival probability for this population. Crude survival decreased from about 0.99 per year in 1980 to about 0.94 in 1994. We combined this survival trend with a reported decrease in reproductive rate into a branching process model to compute population growth rate and extinction probability. Population growth rate declined from about 1. 053 in 1980 to about 0.976 in 1994. Under current conditions the population is doomed to extinction; an upper bound on the expected time to extinction is 191 years. The most effective way to improve the prospects of the population is to reduce mortality. The right whale is at risk from entanglement in fishing gear and from collisions with ships. Reducing this human-caused mortality is essential to the viability of this population. PMID:10077680

  6. Long Lake Whale Watch: Outdoor Education Comes Alive.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Briggs, James N.

    1993-01-01

    Promotes the experiential learning benefits of outdoor education. Describes the experiences of students in grades 4-6 who planned, raised funds for, and participated in a field trip that included a visit to the New England Aquarium, a whale watch cruise, and camping on Cape Cod during a tropical storm. (LP)

  7. Passive acoustic monitoring of Cook Inlet beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas).

    PubMed

    Lammers, Marc O; Castellote, Manuel; Small, Robert J; Atkinson, Shannon; Jenniges, Justin; Rosinski, Anne; Oswald, Julie N; Garner, Chris

    2013-09-01

    The endangered beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) population in Cook Inlet, AK faces threats from a variety of anthropogenic factors, including coastal development, oil and gas exploration, vessel traffic, and military activities. To address existing gaps in understanding about the occurrence of belugas in Cook Inlet, a project was developed to use passive acoustic monitoring to document the year-round distribution of belugas, as well as killer whales (Orcinus orca), which prey on belugas. Beginning in June 2009, ten moorings were deployed throughout the Inlet and refurbished every two to eight months. Despite challenging conditions consisting of strong tidal currents carrying debris and seasonal ice cover, 83% of mooring deployments were successfully recovered. Noise from water flow, vessel traffic, and/or industrial activities was present at several sites, potentially masking some signals. However, belugas were successfully detected at multiple locations. Detections were relatively common in the upper inlet and less common or absent at middle and lower inlet locations. Killer whale signals were also recorded. Some seasonal variability in the occurrence of both belugas and killer whales was evident. PMID:23968047

  8. Echolocation signals of foraging killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-05-01

    Fish eating resident killer whales that frequent the coastal waters of Vancouver Island, Canada have a strong preference for chinook salmon. The whales in Johnston Strait often forage along the steep cliffs that extend into the water, echolocating their prey. Echolocation signals were measured with a four hydrophone symmetrical star array and the signals were simultaneous digitized at a sample rate of 500 kHz using a lunch-box PC. A portable VCR recorded the images from an underwater camera located close to the array center. Only signals emanated from close to the beam axis (1185 total) were chosen for a detailed analysis. Killer whales project very broad band echolocation signals (Q 1.3 to 1.5) that tend to have a bimodal frequency structure. Ninety seven percent of the signals had center frequencies between 45 and 80 kHz with a band-width between 35 and 50 kHz. The peak-to-peak source level of the echolocation signal decreased as a function of the one way transmission loss to the array. Source levels varied between 200 and 225 dB re 1 μPa. Using a model of target strength for chinook salmons, the echo levels from the echolocation signals are estimated for different ranges between whale and salmon.

  9. Acoustically invisible feeding blue whales in Northern Icelandic waters.

    PubMed

    Akamatsu, Tomonari; Rasmussen, Marianne Helene; Iversen, Maria

    2014-08-01

    Fixed passive acoustic monitoring can be used for long-term recording of vocalizing cetaceans. Both presence monitoring and animal density estimation requires the call rates and sound source levels of vocalizations produced by single animals. In this study, blue whale calls were recorded using acoustic bio-logging systems in Skjálfandi Bay off Húsavík, Northeast Iceland, in June 2012. An accelerometer was attached to individual whales to monitor diving behavior. During 21 h recording two individuals, 8 h 45 min and 13 h 2 min, respectively, 105 and 104 lunge feeding events and four calls were recorded. All recorded calls were down-sweep calls ranging from 105 to 48 Hz. The sound duration was 1-2 s. The source level was estimated to be between 158 and 169 dB re 1μPa rms, assuming spherical sound propagation from the possible sound source location to the tag. The observed sound production rates and source levels of individual blue whales during feeding were extremely small compared with those observed previously in breeding grounds. The feeding whales were nearly acoustically invisible. The function of calls during feeding remains unknown. PMID:25096128

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  11. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Whale water restrictions. 13.1174 Section 13.1174 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM UNITS IN ALASKA Special Regulations-Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Vessel Operating Restrictions § 13.1174...

  12. West Nile virus infection in killer whale, Texas, USA, 2007.

    PubMed

    St Leger, Judy; Wu, Guang; Anderson, Mark; Dalton, Les; Nilson, Erika; Wang, David

    2011-08-01

    In 2007, nonsuppurative encephalitis was identified in a killer whale at a Texas, USA, marine park. Panviral DNA microarray of brain tissue suggested West Nile virus (WNV); WNV was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR and sequencing. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated WNV antigen within neurons. WNV should be considered in cases of encephalitis in cetaceans. PMID:21801643

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19045672

  14. Bowhead whale localization using asynchronous hydrophones in the Chukchi Sea.

    PubMed

    Warner, Graham A; Dosso, Stan E; Hannay, David E; Dettmer, Jan

    2016-07-01

    This paper estimates bowhead whale locations and uncertainties using non-linear Bayesian inversion of their modally-dispersed calls recorded on asynchronous recorders in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska. Bowhead calls were recorded on a cluster of 7 asynchronous ocean-bottom hydrophones that were separated by 0.5-9.2 km. A warping time-frequency analysis is used to extract relative mode arrival times as a function of frequency for nine frequency-modulated whale calls that dispersed in the shallow water environment. Each call was recorded on multiple hydrophones and the mode arrival times are inverted for: the whale location in the horizontal plane, source instantaneous frequency (IF), water sound-speed profile, seabed geoacoustic parameters, relative recorder clock drifts, and residual error standard deviations, all with estimated uncertainties. A simulation study shows that accurate prior environmental knowledge is not required for accurate localization as long as the inversion treats the environment as unknown. Joint inversion of multiple recorded calls is shown to substantially reduce uncertainties in location, source IF, and relative clock drift. Whale location uncertainties are estimated to be 30-160 m and relative clock drift uncertainties are 3-26 ms. PMID:27475129

  15. Calling behavior of blue and fin whales off California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oleson, Erin Marie

    Passive acoustic monitoring is an effective means for evaluating cetacean presence in remote regions and over long time periods, and may become an important component of cetacean abundance surveys. To use passive acoustic recordings for abundance estimation, an understanding of the behavioral ecology of cetacean calling is crucial. In this dissertation, I develop a better understanding of how blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin (B. physalus ) whales use sound with the goal of evaluating passive acoustic techniques for studying their populations. Both blue and fin whales produce several different call types, though the behavioral and environmental context of these calls have not been widely investigated. To better understand how calling is used by these whales off California I have employed both new technologies and traditional techniques, including acoustic recording tags, continuous long-term autonomous acoustic recordings, and simultaneous shipboard acoustic and visual surveys. The outcome of these investigations has led to several conclusions. The production of blue whale calls varies with sex, behavior, season, location, and time of day. Each blue whale call type has a distinct behavioral context, including a male-only bias in the production of song, a call type thought to function in reproduction, and the production of some calls by both sexes. Long-term acoustic records, when interpreted using all call types, provide a more accurate measure of the local seasonal presence of whales, and how they use the region annually, seasonally and daily. The relative occurrence of different call types may indicate prime foraging habitat and the presence of different segments of the population. The proportion of animals heard calling changes seasonally and geographically relative to the number seen, indicating the calibration of acoustic and visual surveys is complex and requires further study on the motivations behind call production and the behavior of calling whales

  16. Specific features of vowel-like signals of white whales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bel'Kovich, V. M.; Kreichi, S. A.

    2004-05-01

    The set of acoustic signals of White-Sea white whales comprises about 70 types of signals. Six of them occur most often and constitute 75% of the total number of signals produced by these animals. According to behavioral reactions, white whales distinguish each other by acoustic signals, which is also typical of other animal species and humans. To investigate this phenomenon, signals perceived as vowel-like sounds of speech, including sounds perceived as a “bleat,” were chosen A sample of 480 signals recorded in June and July, 2000, in the White Sea within a reproductive assemblage of white whales near the Large Solovetskii Island was studied. Signals were recorded on a digital data carrier (a SONY minidisk) in the frequency range of 0.06 20 kHz. The purpose of the study was to reveal the perceptive and acoustic features specific to individual animals. The study was carried out using the methods of structural analysis of vocal speech that are employed in lingual criminalistics to identify a speaking person. It was demonstrated that this approach allows one to group the signals by coincident perceptive and acoustic parameters with assigning individual attributes to single parameters. This provided an opportunity to separate conditionally about 40 different sources of acoustic signals according to the totality of coincidences, which corresponded to the number of white whales observed visually. Thus, the application of this method proves to be very promising for the acoustic identification of white whales and other marine mammals, this possibility being very important for biology.

  17. Model-based passive acoustic tracking of sperm whale foraging behavior in the Gulf of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiemann, Christopher; Thode, Aaron; Straley, Jan; Folkert, Kendall; O'Connell, Victoria

    2005-09-01

    In 2004, the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project (SEASWAP) introduced the use of passive acoustics to help monitor the behavior of sperm whales depredating longline fishing operations. Acoustic data from autonomous recorders mounted on longlines provide the opportunity to demonstrate a tracking algorithm based on acoustic propagation modeling while providing insight into whales' foraging behavior. With knowledge of azimuthally dependent bathymetry, a 3D track of whale motion can be obtained using data from just one hydrophone by exploiting multipath arrival information from recorded sperm whale clicks. The evolution of multipath arrival patterns is matched to range-, depth-, and azimuth-dependent modeled arrival patterns to generate an estimate of whale motion. This technique does not require acoustic ray identification (i.e., direct path, surface reflected, etc.) while still utilizing individual ray arrival information, and it can also account for all waveguide propagation physics such as interaction with range-dependent bathymetry and ray refraction.

  18. Diving behaviour of whale sharks in relation to a predictable food pulse

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Rachel T; Roberts, Callum M; Smart, James C.R

    2005-01-01

    We present diving data for four whale sharks in relation to a predictable food pulse (reef fish spawn) and an analysis of the longest continuous fine-resolution diving record for a planktivorous shark. Fine-resolution pressure data from a recovered pop-up archival satellite tag deployed for 206 days on a whale shark were analysed using the fast Fourier Transform method for frequency domain analysis of time-series. The results demonstrated that a free-ranging whale shark displays ultradian, diel and circa-lunar rhythmicity of diving behaviour. Whale sharks dive to over 979.5 m and can tolerate a temperature range of 26.4 °C. The whale sharks made primarily diurnal deep dives and remained in relatively shallow waters at night. Whale shark diving patterns are influenced by a seasonally predictable food source, with shallower dives made during fish spawning periods. PMID:16849222

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrin, Christopher; Elbing, Brian

    2015-11-01

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

  20. Swimming in the deep end of the gene pool: global population structure of an oceanic giant.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2007-12-01

    Despite the impression held by some that few biological mysteries remain, even evocative species such as humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have poorly documented movement patterns, reproductive strategies and population dynamics despite years of dedicated research. This is largely due to the difficulty of observing wide-ranging marine species over the majority of their life cycle. The advent of powerful tracking devices has certainly improved our understanding, but it is usually only with molecular tools that the nature of population structure becomes apparent. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Castro and colleagues have provided the first global-scale assessment of population structure for the largest fish--whale sharks (Rhincodon typus). Whale sharks can reach lengths > 12 m and are a popular tourist attraction at places where they aggregate, yet for most of their life cycle, we know little indeed of where they go and how they interact with other populations. Previous tracking studies imply a high dispersal capacity, but only now have Castro and colleagues demonstrated high gene flow and haplotype diversity among the major ocean basins where they are found. PMID:17944855

  1. Endoparasite survey of free-swimming baleen whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, B. borealis) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using non/minimally invasive methods.

    PubMed

    Hermosilla, Carlos; Silva, Liliana M R; Kleinertz, Sonja; Prieto, Rui; Silva, Monica A; Taubert, Anja

    2016-02-01

    A number of parasitic diseases have gained importance as neozoan opportunistic infections in the marine environment. Here, we report on the gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna of three baleen whale species and one toothed whale: blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) from the Azores Islands, Portugal. In total, 17 individual whale fecal samples [n = 10 (B. physalus); n = 4 (P. macrocephalus); n = 2 (B. musculus); n = 1 (B. borealis)] were collected from free-swimming animals as part of ongoing studies on behavioral ecology. Furthermore, skin biopsies were collected from sperm whales (n = 5) using minimally invasive biopsy darting and tested for the presence of Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Besnoitia besnoiti DNA via PCR. Overall, more than ten taxa were detected in whale fecal samples. Within protozoan parasites, Entamoeba spp. occurred most frequently (64.7%), followed by Giardia spp. (17.6%) and Balantidium spp. (5.9%). The most prevalent metazoan parasites were Ascaridida indet. spp. (41.2%), followed by trematodes (17.7%), acanthocephalan spp., strongyles (11.8%), Diphyllobotrium spp. (5.9%), and spirurids (5.9%). Helminths were mainly found in sperm whales, while enteric protozoan parasites were exclusively detected in baleen whales, which might be related to dietary differences. No T. gondii, N. caninum, or B. besnoiti DNA was detected in any skin sample. This is the first record on Giardia and Balantidium infections in large baleen whales. PMID:26593736

  2. Belukha whale (delphinapterus leucas) responses to industrial noise in Nushagak Bay, Alaska: 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Stewart, B.S.; Awbrey, F.T.; Evans, W.E.

    1983-01-01

    Between 15 June and 14 July 1983 the authors conducted playback experiments with belukha whales in the Snake River, Alaska, using sounds recorded near an operating oil-drilling rig. The objectives of these experiments were to quantify behavioral responses of belukha whales to oil drilling noise in an area where foreign acoustic stimuli were absent, and to test the hypothesis that beluhka whales would not approach a source of loud sound.

  3. Wintering habitat model for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

    The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS) are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales) were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment. PMID:24740091

  4. Science should not be abandoned in a bid to resolve whaling disputes.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Justin; Leaper, Russell; Papastavrou, Vassili

    2009-10-23

    The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is currently engaged in an intensive negotiating process in an attempt to resolve international disputes about whaling. The IWC has pioneered and agreed a management procedure approach for setting catch limits for commercial whaling that was unanimously recommended by its Scientific Committee. It is disturbing that current negotiations are moving towards discarding this agreed and carefully developed scientific procedure in favour of ad hoc catch allowances based on political expediency. PMID:19515654

  5. Wintering Habitat Model for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Gowan, Timothy A.; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G.

    2014-01-01

    The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS) are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales) were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment. PMID:24740091

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lagerquist, Barbara; Winsor, Martha; Mate, Bruce

    2012-12-31

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

  7. Inter-basin movements of Mediterranean sperm whales provide insight into their population structure and conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frantzis, A.; Airoldi, S.; Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G.; Johnson, C.; Mazzariol, S.

    2011-04-01

    The sperm whale is one of the very few deep diving mammal species in the Mediterranean Sea. Following a rare mass stranding of male sperm whales in the Adriatic Sea in December 2009, photo-identification methods were used in order to investigate previous sightings of the stranded whales in the region. Fluke photos of the stranded whales were compared with those of 153 and 128 free-ranging individuals photographed in the western and eastern Mediterranean basins, respectively. Three out of the seven stranded whales had been previously photo-identified and some of them more than once. To reach the stranding place, two of these re-identified whales performed long-range inter-basin movements of about 1600-2100 km (in a straight line) either through the Strait of Sicily or the Strait of Messina. In addition, comparisons among all whales photographed in the two Mediterranean basins revealed that one more individual first photographed in the western basin (1991) was re-identified 13 years later in the eastern basin (2004). These three cases provide the first conclusive evidence of inter-basin movement of sperm whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Inter-basin gene flow is important for the survival of the small and endangered Mediterranean sperm whale population. Mitigating the disturbance created by human activities in the straits area is crucial for its conservation.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19173379

  9. Passive acoustic location of bowhead whales in a population census off Point Barrow, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Cummings, W C; Holliday, D V

    1985-10-01

    A sonobuoy array placed in the nearshore lead was used for locating bowhead whale sounds to determine if whales migrated past census stations beyond visual range and were uncounted. Based on a sample of 182 whale sounds (over 48 h) from closest point of approach (CPA) distances out to more than 10 km, 68% originated beyond 2 km (CPA), where only 1% of the 242 whales were sighted. No whales were sighted beyond 3 km during this time, but 53% of the located sounds originated that far and beyond. Thirty-seven other bowhead sounds over 15 h were distributed out to 6 km. Two tracked whales moved at average speeds of 1.5 and 1.8 kn. Maximum location error was 1%-25% in a sector of 120 degrees X 5-10 km, depending upon bearing and range. Most whale sounds were low-frequency moans, trumpeting roars, and repetitive sequences (songs) with peak spectrum source level up to 189 dB re: 1 microPa, 1 m. Lack of correlations between numbers of sounds and sighted whales precluded using bowhead sounds to count individuals or even to extrapolate ratios of unseen to observed whales. PMID:4056210

  10. Fin whale vocalizations observed with ocean bottom seismometers of cabled observatories off east Japan Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwase, Ryoichi

    2015-07-01

    Fin whale vocalizations were found in the archived waveform data from both hydrophones and ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) of a cabled observatory off Kushiro-Tokachi in Hokkaido. A fin whale was localized on the basis of the incident orientation estimated with a single OBS and the time difference of multipath arrival of sound pressure data from a hydrophone. Furthermore, several fin whale vocalizations were found in the archived OBS waveform data from other cabled observatories off east Japan Pacific Ocean. These findings suggest that the cabled OBSs would be significant apparatuses for real-time monitoring of the presence of baleen whales around Japan.

  11. Microsomal enzyme activities in beluga whales from the Mackenzie River Delta, Northwest Territories, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Lockhart, L.; Metner, D.; Muir, D.; Delorme, P.; Dahlke, L.

    1995-12-31

    On two occasions the authors have obtained samples of liver from freshly killed beluga whales harvested by Inuit hunters. The first samples were obtained from whales trapped in the Husky Lakes; with the onset of winter, ice restricted these whales to small breathing holes where they were taken by hunters. They were found to be starving, with body weights about 200 kg less than those expected for whales of their length. Liver mixed-function oxygenase activities, ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase and aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase, correlated closely with blubber residues of polychlorinated biphenyls. A second group of whales was taken in the summer hunt in Kugmallit Bay and showed no sign of starvation. The enzyme activities in these whales had weaker statistical relationships to PCB residues. These observations suggested that mobilization of blubber by the starving whales may have released PCBs to act pharmacologically. The authors could not test this hypothesis directly on whales, but an experiment was carried out on laboratory fish to try to examine it. Arctic char were given low dosages of PCB congener 126 and then maintained on diets of full normal ration, half-ration and quarter-ration over a period of 48 weeks, with sub-sampling at intervals. Fish receiving less than maintenance rations responded with decreases in body fat and increases in EROD activities. These laboratory results suggest that correlations between enzymatic activities and PCBs in the starving whales may indeed have been the result of the loss of blubber and concomitant release of PCBs.

  12. Computer simulation of the probability that endangered whales will interact with oil spills, Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Reed, M.; Jayko, K.; Bowles, A.; Anderson, E.; Leatherwood, S.

    1986-10-01

    A numerical model system was developed to assess quantitatively the probability that endangered bowhead and gray whales will encounter spilled oil in Alaskan waters. Bowhead and gray whale migration diving-surfacing models, and an oil-spill-trajectory model comprise the system. The migration models were developed from conceptual considerations, then calibrated with and tested against observations. The distribution of animals is represented in space and time by discrete points, each of which may represent one or more whales. The movement of a whale point is governed by a random-walk algorithm which stochastically follows a migratory pathway.

  13. Differences in acoustic features of vocalizations produced by killer whales cross-socialized with bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    Musser, Whitney B; Bowles, Ann E; Grebner, Dawn M; Crance, Jessica L

    2014-10-01

    Limited previous evidence suggests that killer whales (Orcinus orca) are capable of vocal production learning. However, vocal contextual learning has not been studied, nor the factors promoting learning. Vocalizations were collected from three killer whales with a history of exposure to bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and compared with data from seven killer whales held with conspecifics and nine bottlenose dolphins. The three whales' repertoires were distinguishable by a higher proportion of click trains and whistles. Time-domain features of click trains were intermediate between those of whales held with conspecifics and dolphins. These differences provided evidence for contextual learning. One killer whale spontaneously learned to produce artificial chirps taught to dolphins; acoustic features fell within the range of inter-individual differences among the dolphins. This whale also produced whistles similar to a stereotyped whistle produced by one dolphin. Thus, results provide further support for vocal production learning and show that killer whales are capable of contextual learning. That killer whales produce similar repertoires when associated with another species suggests substantial vocal plasticity and motivation for vocal conformity with social associates. PMID:25324098

  14. Shifts in frequency-modulated pulses recorded during an encounter with Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris).

    PubMed

    Keating, Jennifer L; Barlow, Jay; Rankin, Shannon

    2016-08-01

    Echolocation signals produced by beaked whales (family: Ziphiidae) include frequency-modulated (FM) pulses that appear to have species-specific characteristics. To date there has been no established evidence that a single species of beaked whale might produce more than one type of FM pulse. In 2014 a group of Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) were sighted off of Southern California; recordings included FM pulses with significant increases in peak frequency, center frequency, and -10 dB bandwidth relative to FM pulses previously attributed to this species. This research suggests there may be greater variation in received beaked whale FM pulses than previously understood. PMID:27586775

  15. Using passive acoustics to model blue whale habitat off the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Širović, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.

    2011-07-01

    Habitat preferences of calling blue whales were investigated using data from two multidisciplinary oceanographic cruises conducted off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) during the austral falls of 2001 and 2002. Data were collected on depth, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl- a) concentration, krill biomass, zooplankton abundance, and blue whale call presence. In 2001, the study area was sea ice free, high Chl- a concentrations occurred over a small area, krill biomass and zooplankton abundance were high, and few blue whale calls were detected. In 2002 the sea ice covered the southern part of the survey area, Chl- a was high over a large area, krill and zooplankton were low, and there were more blue whale calls. Logistic regression analysis revealed blue whale calls were positively correlated with depth and SST, and negatively correlated with the mean zooplankton abundance from 101 to 300 m and the mean krill biomass in the top 100 m. The negative correlation between blue whale calls and zooplankton could occur if feeding animals do not produce calls. Our survey area did not cover the full range of blue whale habitat off the WAP, as blue whales probably follow the melting and freezing ice edge through this region. Passive acoustics can provide insight to mesoscale habitat use by blue whales in the Southern Ocean where visual sightings are rare, but the ability to localize on the calling animals would greatly improve the ability to model at a finer scale.

  16. Atypical calling by a blue whale in the Gulf of Alaska (L)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stafford, Kathleen M.; Moore, Sue E.

    2005-05-01

    Worldwide, calls from blue whales share the characteristics of being long (>20 s), low-frequency (<100 Hz) signals that often exhibit amplitude and frequency modulation. Despite sharing these basic features, the calls of blue whales recorded in different ocean basins are distinct from one another, leading to the suggestion that populations and/or subspecies may be identified based on call characteristics. An example of anomalous calling behavior by a blue whale in the Gulf of Alaska is reported that may complicate this approach, and that suggests that blue whales can mimic each other's calls. .

  17. Mortality rate acceleration and post-reproductive lifespan in matrilineal whale species.

    PubMed

    Foote, Andrew D

    2008-04-23

    The strength of selection to increase the span of a life stage is dependent upon individuals at that stage being able to contribute towards individual fitness and the probability of their surviving to that stage. Complete reproductive cessation and a long post-reproductive female lifespan as found in humans are also found in killer whale (Orcinus orca) and short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), but not in the long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melaena). Each species forms kin-based, stable matrilineal groups and exhibits kin-directed behaviours that could increase inclusive fitness. Here, the initial mortality rate and mortality rate-doubling time of females of these three closely related whale species are compared. The initial mortality rate shows little variation among pilot whale species; however mortality rate accelerates almost twice as fast in the long-finned pilot whale as it does in killer whale and short-finned pilot whale. Selection for a long post-reproductive female lifespan in matrilineal whales may therefore be determined by the proportion of females surviving past the point of reproductive cessation. PMID:18252662

  18. Hybrids between common and Antarctic minke whales are fertile and can back-cross

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Minke whales are separated into two genetically distinct species: the Antarctic minke whale found in the southern hemisphere, and the common minke whale which is cosmopolitan. The common minke whale is further divided into three allopatric sub-species found in the North Pacific, southern hemisphere, and the North Atlantic. Here, we aimed to identify the genetic ancestry of a pregnant female minke whale captured in the North Atlantic in 2010, and her fetus, using data from the mtDNA control region, 11 microsatellite loci and a sex determining marker. Results All statistical parameters demonstrated that the mother was a hybrid displaying maternal and paternal contribution from North Atlantic common and Antarctic minke whales respectively. Her female fetus displayed greater genetic similarity to North Atlantic common minke whales than herself, strongly suggesting that the hybrid mother had paired with a North Atlantic common minke whale. Conclusion This study clearly demonstrates, for the first time, that hybrids between minke whale species may be fertile, and that they can back-cross. Whether contact between these species represents a contemporary event linked with documented recent changes in the Antarctic ecosystem, or has occurred at a low frequency over many years, remains open. PMID:23586609

  19. Biomass and energy transfer to baleen whales in the South Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reilly, S.; Hedley, S.; Borberg, J.; Hewitt, R.; Thiele, D.; Watkins, J.; Naganobu, M.

    2004-06-01

    Baleen whales are an important group of predators on Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean. During the CCAMLR 2000 Survey to estimate the biomass and distribution of Antarctic krill, International Whaling Commission observers carried out a visual line transect survey to estimate the number of baleen whales occurring in the survey area. This paper reviews techniques used to estimate krill consumption by baleen whales and in combination with estimates of whale abundance estimates of krill consumption are generated for the South Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. This survey estimates that the present populations of whales feeding in this region are likely to consume approximately 1.6 million tonnes, but possibly up to as much as 2.7 million tonnes of krill within the summer season. Although this only represents 4-6% of the estimated krill biomass in the region (and probably less than this percentage of the total annual krill production), the depleted numbers of baleen whales resulting from past or current whaling activities should be taken into account when setting quotas for the commercial exploitation of krill if there is to be a recovery to pre-exploitation biomass levels of baleen whales.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    There has been very little previous research on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the Beibu Gulf of southern China. Here, we report on the population size, habitat and ecology, threats, and overall conservation status of this putative population. 'Population size' was estimated based on photo-identification mark/recapture analysis. It was estimated to number a total of 398-444 individuals (95% CI: 393-506), with two apparently distinct groups in the Dafengjiang-Nanliujiang Estuary and at Shatian-Caotan. Movements of dolphins in the Beibu Gulf appear to be limited, with high site fidelity. These dolphins were found to occur mainly in shallow coastal waters near estuaries. The main threats are fisheries interactions (including by-catch), vessel traffic, mariculture operations, dolphin-watching tourism, and habitat degradation (including marine construction activities and large-scale land reclamation). Although the conservation status of this putative population has been considered to be better than that of other populations of the species in more northern areas of China, there is still reason for strong concern about its future, and several management recommendations are made. PMID:26790890