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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.

  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

    2014-07-07

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

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Clark, Christopher W; Clapham, Phillip J

    2004-05-22

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

  8. Acoustic Signaling by Singing Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): What Role Does Reverberation Play?

    PubMed Central

    Mercado, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    When humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) sing in coastal waters, the units they produce can generate reverberation. Traditionally, such reverberant acoustic energy has been viewed as an incidental side-effect of high-amplitude, long-distance, sound transmission in the ocean. An alternative possibility, however, is that reverberation actually contributes to the structure and function of songs. In the current study, this possibility was assessed by analyzing reverberation generated by humpback whale song units, as well as the spectral structure of unit sequences, produced by singers from different regions. Acoustical analyses revealed that: (1) a subset of units within songs generated narrowband reverberant energy that in some cases persisted for periods longer than the interval between units; (2) these highly reverberant units were regularly repeated throughout the production of songs; and (3) units occurring before and after these units often contained spectral energy peaks at non-overlapping, adjacent frequencies that were systematically related to the bands of reverberant energy generated by the units. These findings strongly suggest that some singing humpback whales not only produce sounds conducive to long-duration reverberation, but also may sequentially structure songs to avoid spectral overlap between units and ongoing reverberation. Singer-generated reverberant energy that is received simultaneously with directly transmitted song units can potentially provide listening whales with spatial cues that may enable them to more accurately determine a singer’s position. PMID:27907182

  9. Skeletal abnormalities in humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae stranded in the Brazilian breeding ground.

    PubMed

    Groch, Kátia R; Marcondes, Milton C C; Colosio, Adriana C; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2012-11-08

    Skeletal tissues of 49 humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae that stranded between 2002 and 2011 along the Abrolhos Bank seashore and its adjacent waters in Brazil were studied. Twelve (24.5%) animals presented pathological changes in one or more bones. Degenerative changes and developmental malformations were most frequent (10.2% each), followed by inflammatory/infectious and traumatic lesions (8.2% each). Infectious diseases led to severe lesions of the caudal vertebrae of 2 whales. In one of these individuals, the lesions involved 6 caudal vertebrae, leading to ankylosis of 3 vertebrae. Degenerative changes were observed in the vertebral columns of 3 animals, involving the joints of 13 ribs of 1 individual, and in the humerus of 1 whale. Traumatic lesions, such as osseous callus in the ribs, were observed in 4 animals. In 1 whale, the rib showed severe osteomyelitis, possibly resulting from the infection of multiple fractures. Developmental abnormalities such as spina bifida on 3 cervical vertebrae of 1 whale, fusion of spinal processes on thoracic vertebrae of 1 individual and fusion of the first 2 ribs unilaterally or bilaterally in 4 animals were found. Chronic infectious conditions found in the axial skeleton may have restrained spinal mobility and had detrimental effects on the general health of the animals, contributing to stranding and death. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic study on skeletal lesions in stranded humpback whales.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563–25,495) animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595–24,500) and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958–23,654) whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated. PMID:27736958

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-02-22

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

  6. 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.

  7. Variation in the tyrosinase gene associated with a white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    PubMed

    Polanowski, Andrea M; Robinson-Laverick, Sarah M; Paton, David; Jarman, Simon N

    2012-01-01

    Tyrosinase-negative oculocutaneous albinism (OCA1A) is characterized by lifelong white hair and skin, a phenotype that has been described in most mammalian species worldwide. Tyrosinase is the key enzyme in melanin biosynthesis, and mutations in the tyrosinase gene result in OCA1A. We examined sequence variation at exon 1 of the tyrosinase gene in 66 humpback whale samples collected from the east coast of Australia, including an anomalously white humpback whale known as "Migaloo." We identified 3 novel variants, including a cytosine deletion that results in a premature stop codon in exon 1. The deletion truncates the tyrosinase protein including the putative catalytic domains that are essential for tyrosinase enzymatic activity. Migaloo was homozygous for this deletion, suggesting that the albino phenotype is a consequence of inactive tyrosinase caused by the frameshift in the tyrosinase gene.

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY The behavioural response study (BRS) is an experimental design used by field biologists to determine the function and/or behavioural effects of conspecific, heterospecific or anthropogenic stimuli. When carrying out these studies in marine mammals it is difficult to make basic observations and achieve sufficient samples sizes because of the high cost and logistical difficulties. Rarely are other factors such as social context or the physical environment considered in the analysis because of these difficulties. This paper presents results of a BRS carried out in humpback whales to test the response of groups to one recording of conspecific social sounds and an artificially generated tone stimulus. Experiments were carried out in September/October 2004 and 2008 during the humpback whale southward migration along the east coast of Australia. In total, 13 ‘tone’ experiments, 15 ‘social sound’ experiments (using one recording of social sounds) and three silent controls were carried out over two field seasons. The results (using a mixed model statistical analysis) suggested that humpback whales responded differently to the two stimuli, measured by changes in course travelled and dive behaviour. Although the response to ‘tones’ was consistent, in that groups moved offshore and surfaced more often (suggesting an aversion to the stimulus), the response to ‘social sounds’ was highly variable and dependent upon the composition of the social group. The change in course and dive behaviour in response to ‘tones’ was found to be related to proximity to the source, the received signal level and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This study demonstrates that the behavioural responses of marine mammals to acoustic stimuli are complex. In order to tease out such multifaceted interactions, the number of replicates and factors measured must be sufficient for multivariate analysis. PMID:23155085

  10. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) singers in Hawaii are attracted to playback of similar song (L).

    PubMed

    Darling, James D; Jones, Meagan E; Nicklin, Charles P

    2012-11-01

    The use of playback experiments to study humpback whale song was assessed. Singers clearly detected playback song while singing and with other singers in the distance. Singers approached or joined song similar to their own from as far as 800 m but did not do so for a different (foreign) song. In one compound trial, on the playback of different song, the singer moved away and continued singing; when the playback was changed to similar song, it stopped singing and joined the playback speaker. Song playback experiments on the breeding grounds are viable and may provide insight into song function.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-11-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Assessing the movement patterns and key habitat features of breeding humpback whales is a prerequisite for the conservation management of this philopatric species. To investigate the interactions between humpback whale movements and environmental conditions off Madagascar, we deployed 25 satellite tags in the northeast and southwest coast of Madagascar. For each recorded position, we collated estimates of environmental variables and computed two behavioural metrics: behavioural state of ‘transiting’ (consistent/directional) versus ‘localized’ (variable/non-directional), and active swimming speed (i.e. speed relative to the current). On coastal habitats (i.e. bathymetry < 200 m and in adjacent areas), females showed localized behaviour in deep waters (191 ± 20 m) and at large distances (14 ± 0.6 km) from shore, suggesting that their breeding habitat extends beyond the shallowest waters available close to the coastline. Males' active swimming speed decreased in shallow waters, but environmental parameters did not influence their likelihood to exhibit localized movements, which was probably dominated by social factors instead. In oceanic habitats, both males and females showed localized behaviours in shallow waters and favoured high chlorophyll-a concentrations. Active swimming speed accounts for a large proportion of observed movement speed; however, breeding humpback whales probably exploit prevailing ocean currents to maximize displacement. This study provides evidence that coastal areas, generally subject to strong human pressure, remain the core habitat of humpback whales off Madagascar. Our results expand the knowledge of humpback whale habitat use in oceanic habitat and response to variability of environmental factors such as oceanic current and chlorophyll level. PMID:28083104

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

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Pomilla, Cristina; Rosenbaum, Howard C

    2006-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Vertebrates and Invertebrates Pacific Ocean Region. Report 2. Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-11-01

    musculus). The dorsal aspect of the head is distinctive with The relatively short baleen a number of fleshy knobs or tubercules plates number from 270... Farallon Islands off central Although humpback whales are California. In the Northern Hemis- infested with various ectoparasites phere the diet of humpback...Mariana Islands, Ryukyu 1988, resulting in a total of 20 iden- Islands, and Taiwan. 8 DISTRIBUTION McSweeney 1985; Baker et al. 1986), and the Farallon

  7. Hydrodynamic design of the humpback whale flipper.

    PubMed

    Fish, F E; Battle, J M

    1995-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  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

    2014-12-16

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    1993-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Thums, Michele; Hanson, Christine E.; McMahon, Clive R.; Hindell, Mark A.

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Humpback whale bioacoustics: From form to function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercado, Eduardo, III

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-03-15

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

  17. Genetic tagging of humpback whales.

    PubMed

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

    1997-08-21

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

  18. Acoustic interaction of humpback whales and whale-watching boats.

    PubMed

    Au, W W; Green, M

    2000-06-01

    The underwater acoustic noise of five representative whale-watching boats used in the waters of west Maui was measured in order to study the effects of boat noise on humpback whales. The first set of measurements were performed on 9 and 10 March, close to the peak of the whale season. The ambient noise was relatively high with the major contribution from many chorusing humpback whales. Measurements of boat sounds were contaminated by this high ambient background noise. A second set of measurements was performed on 28 and 29 April, towards the end of the humpback whale season. In both sets of measurements, two of the boats were inflatables with outboard engines, two were larger coastal boats with twin inboard diesel engines and the fifth was a small water plane area twin hull (SWATH) ship with inter-island cruise capabilities. The inflatable boats with outboard engines produced very complex sounds with many bands of tonal-like components. The boats with inboard engines produced less intense sounds with fewer tonal bands. One-third octave band measurements of ambient noise measured on 9 March indicated a maximum sound pressure level of about 123 dB re 1 microPa at 315 Hz. The maximum sound pressure level of 127 dB at 315 Hz was measured for the SWATH ship. One of the boats with outboard engines produced sounds between 2 and 4 kHz that were about 8-10 dB greater than the level of background humpback whale sounds at the peak of the whale season. We concluded that it is unlikely that the levels of sounds produced by the boats in our study would have any grave effects on the auditory system of humpback whales.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Acoustic properties of humpback whale songs.

    PubMed

    Au, Whitlow W L; Pack, Adam A; Lammers, Marc O; Herman, Louis M; Deakos, Mark H; Andrews, Kim

    2006-08-01

    A vertical array of five hydrophones was used to measure the acoustic field in the vertical plane of singing humpback whales. Once a singer was located, two swimmers with snorkel gear were deployed to determine the orientation of the whale and position the boat so that the array could be deployed in front of the whale at a minimum standoff distance of at least 10 m. The spacing of the hydrophones was 7 m with the deepest hydrophone deployed at a depth of 35 m. An eight-channel TASCAM recorder with a bandwidth of 24 kHz was used to record the hydrophone signals. The location (distance and depth) 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 151 and 173 dB re 1 microPa. One of the purposes of this study was to estimate potential sound exposure of nearby conspecifics. The acoustic field determined by considering the relative intensity of higher frequency harmonics in the signals indicated that the sounds are projected in the horizontal direction despite the singer being canted head downward anywhere from about 25 degrees to 90 degrees. High-frequency harmonics extended beyond 24 kHz, suggesting that humpback whales may have an upper frequency limit of hearing as high as 24 kHz.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-04-30

    whales . Figure 4. Diving behavior of an individual humpback whale a) during the night showing primarily bottom feeding and b) during the day showing...Ware.C, Wiley,D., Weinrich.M. Submitted. Population-level lateralized feeding behavior in North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae... humpback whales on their feeding grounds in the southern Gulf of Maine: Cooperation, Commensalism, or Parasitism?

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, breeding off la Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) undergo large-scale seasonal migrations between summer feeding grounds near Antarctica and their reproductive winter grounds in the Indian Ocean. The main scope of the current study was to investigate chemical exposure of humpback whales breeding in the Indian Ocean by providing the first published data on this breeding stock concerning persistent organic pollutants (POPs), namely polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), chlordane compounds (CHLs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs). Analyses of stable isotopes δ(13)C and δ(15)N in skin resulted in further insight in their feeding ecology, which was in agreement with a diet focused mainly on low trophic level prey species, such as krill from Antarctica. POPs were measured in all humpback whales in the order of HCB > DDTs > CHLs > HCHs > PCBs > PBDEs > MeO-BDEs. HCB (median: 24 ng g(-1) lw) and DDTs (median: 7.7 ng g(-1) lw) were the predominant compounds in all whale biopsies. Among DDT compounds, p,p'-DDE was the major organohalogenated pollutant, reflecting its long-term accumulation in humpback whales. Significantly lower concentrations of HCB and DDTs were found in females than in males (p < 0.001). Other compounds were similar between the two genders (p > 0.05). Differences in the HCB and DDTs suggested gender-specific transfer of some compounds to the offspring. POP concentrations were lower than previously reported results for humpback whales sampled near the Antarctic Peninsula, suggesting potential influence of their nutritional status and may indicate different exposures of the whales according to their feeding zones. Further investigations are required to assess exposure of southern humpback whales throughout their feeding zones.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    individual humpback whale a) during the night showing primarily bottom feeding and b) during the day showing primarily bottom feeding . This behavior made the...Ware, C., Wiley, D., Weinrich, M. 2011. Popultion-level lateralized feeding behaviour in North Atlantic humpback whales , Megaptera novaeangliae... humpback whales on their feeding grounds in the southern Gulf of Maine: Cooperation, Commensalism, or Parasitism?

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-26

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

  1. 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

    2011-04-27

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

  2. 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,...

  3. 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,...

  4. 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...

  5. Understanding auditory distance estimation by humpback whales: a computational approach.

    PubMed

    Mercado, E; Green, S R; Schneider, J N

    2008-02-01

    Ranging, the ability to judge the distance to a sound source, depends on the presence of predictable patterns of attenuation. We measured long-range sound propagation in coastal waters to assess whether humpback whales might use frequency degradation cues to range singing whales. Two types of neural networks, a multi-layer and a single-layer perceptron, were trained to classify recorded sounds by distance traveled based on their frequency content. The multi-layer network successfully classified received sounds, demonstrating that the distorting effects of underwater propagation on frequency content provide sufficient cues to estimate source distance. Normalizing received sounds with respect to ambient noise levels increased the accuracy of distance estimates by single-layer perceptrons, indicating that familiarity with background noise can potentially improve a listening whale's ability to range. To assess whether frequency patterns predictive of source distance were likely to be perceived by whales, recordings were pre-processed using a computational model of the humpback whale's peripheral auditory system. Although signals processed with this model contained less information than the original recordings, neural networks trained with these physiologically based representations estimated source distance more accurately, suggesting that listening whales should be able to range singers using distance-dependent changes in frequency content.

  6. 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.

  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

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale... Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Pt. 922, Subpt. Q, App. A Appendix A to Subpart Q of Part 922—Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

  8. 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... Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Pt. 922, Subpt. Q, App. A Appendix A to Subpart Q of Part 922—Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

  9. 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... Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Pt. 922, Subpt. Q, App. A Appendix A to Subpart Q of Part 922—Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

  10. 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

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale... Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Pt. 922, Subpt. Q, App. A Appendix A to Subpart Q of Part 922—Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

  11. 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 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 or... Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will be considered if received on or...

  12. 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

    ... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale... Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Pt. 922, Subpt. Q, App. A Appendix A to Subpart Q of Part 922—Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, National Marine Sanctuary Boundary Description and Coordinates...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 78 FR 42653 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-16

    ...NMFS proposes to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (Plan). This proposed rule revises the management measures for reducing the incidental mortality and serious injury to the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in commercial trap/pot and gillnet fisheries to......

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-04-01

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Straight as an arrow: humpback whales swim constant course tracks during long-distance migration

    PubMed Central

    Horton, Travis W.; Holdaway, Richard N.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Hauser, Nan; Garrigue, Claire; Andriolo, Artur; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2011-01-01

    Humpback whale seasonal migrations, spanning greater than 6500 km of open ocean, demonstrate remarkable navigational precision despite following spatially and temporally distinct migration routes. Satellite-monitored radio tag-derived humpback whale migration tracks in both the South Atlantic and South Pacific include constant course segments of greater than 200 km, each spanning several days of continuous movement. The whales studied here maintain these directed movements, often with better than 1° precision, despite the effects of variable sea-surface currents. Such remarkable directional precision is difficult to explain by established models of directional orientation, suggesting that alternative compass mechanisms should be explored. PMID:21508023

  9. The effect of differential reproductive success on population genetic structure: correlations of life history with matrilines in humpback whales of the gulf of maine.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, H C; Weinrich, M T; Stoleson, S A; Gibbs, J P; Baker, C S; DeSalle, R

    2002-01-01

    To examine whether demographic and life-history traits are correlated with genetic structure, we contrasted mtDNA lineages of individual humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) with sighting and reproductive histories of female humpback whales between 1979 and 1995. Maternal lineage haplotypes were obtained for 323 whales, either from direct sequencing of the mtDNA control region (n = 159) or inferred from known relationships along matrilines from the sequenced sample of individuals (n = 164). Sequence variation in the 550 bp of the control region defined a total of 19 maternal lineage haplotypes that formed two main clades. Fecundity increased significantly over the study period among females of several lineages among the two clades. Individual maternal lineages and other clades were characterized by significant variation in fecundity. The detected heterogeneity of reproductive success has the potential to substantially affect the frequency and distribution of maternal lineages found in this population over time. There were significant yearly effects on adult resighting rates and calf survivorship based on examination of sighting histories with varying capture-recapture probability models. These results indicate that population structure can be influenced by interactions or associations between reproductive success, genetic structure, and environmental factors in a natural population of long-lived mammals.

  10. Distribution and Local Movement of Humpback Whales in Okinawan Waters Depend on Sex and Reproductive Status.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Nozomi; Okabe, Haruna; Kawazu, Isao; Higashi, Naoto; Kato, Keisuke; Miyahara, Hirokazu; Nakamura, Gen; Kato, Hidehiro; Uchida, Senzo

    2017-02-01

    The distribution and local movement patterns of humpback whales in waters off the west coast of Okinawa Island, southwest Japan, were investigated using line transect and photo-identification methodologies. Line transect surveys were conducted from 2011 to 2014 and photo-identification survey from 2006 to 2012. During the surveys, humpback whales aggregated in the areas around Ie and Kerama Islands, and tended to travel along the inshore coast of Okinawa Island when they move locally between those two sites. A total of 496 humpback whales of the known sex were photo-identified (322 males, 75 females and 99 females with a calf). Of these, 24.8% were confirmed moving locally between the sites of Ie and Kerama Islands within the same season. Frequency rates of the local movement for males, females and females with a calf were 41.9, 25.0, and 15.1%, respectively; the frequency of local movement for males was significantly higher than that for females and females with a calf. These results indicate that male humpback whales tend to move more actively between the local breeding sites as compared to females and females with a calf. We speculate that the males search for more opportunities to mate, whereas females with a calf tend to remain in the same areas to nurse their calves. These findings extend our knowledge of the habitat use and reproductive ecology of humpback whales in Okinawan waters, which remain poorly understood.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-01

    derived from beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) (Buchanan et al., 1996), EV94t derived from humpback whales (Megaptera novaenglia) (Valsecchi and Amos...Buchanan, F. C., Friesen, M. K., Littlejohn, R. P., and Clayton, J. W. 1996. Microsatellites from the beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas. Mol. Ecol. 5:571...Schultz, Janet L. Thieleking and Daniel L. Webster EVIDENCE OF GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION FOR HAWAI I INSULAR FALSE KILLER WHALES ` (Pseudorca crassidens

  14. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

    1 Examination of health effects and long-term impacts of deployments of multiple tag types on blue, humpback , and gray whales in the eastern...blue, humpback , and gray whales by conducting long term follow up of previously tagged individuals in the eastern North Pacific. We examine the long...term impacts on health, reproduction, and mortality unitizing the past deployments of implant and suction cup tags on blue, humpback , and gray whales

  16. Examination of health effects and long-term impacts of deployments of multiple tag types on blue, humpback, and gray whales in the eastern North Pacific

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    1 Examination of health effects and long-term impacts of deployments of multiple tag types on blue, humpback , and gray whales in the eastern...insights into the long term consequences of different types of tags on several additional species of large whales including blue, humpback , and gray...reproduction, and mortality unitizing the past deployments of implant and suction cup tags on blue, humpback , and gray whales in the eastern North

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  8. Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whales Wintering Off Central America: Insights from Water Temperature into the Longest Mammalian Migration

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    include: a vestigial behaviour from when smaller ocean basins meant closer feeding and wintering areas (Evans 1987); the optimization of energy budgets...Discov. Rep. 17, 7–92. Medrano-González, L. et al. 2001 Trans-oceanic population genetic structure of humpback whales in the North and South Pacific. Mem

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1986-09-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Baleen whales and their prey in a coastal environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Tim D; Reeves, Randall R; Josephson, Elizabeth A; Lund, Judith N

    2012-01-01

    American whalemen sailed out of ports on the east coast of the United States and in California from the 18(th) to early 20(th) centuries, searching for whales throughout the world's oceans. From an initial focus on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and right whales (Eubalaena spp.), the array of targeted whales expanded to include bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Extensive records of American whaling in the form of daily entries in whaling voyage logbooks contain a great deal of information about where and when the whalemen found whales. We plotted daily locations where the several species of whales were observed, both those caught and those sighted but not caught, on world maps to illustrate the spatial and temporal distribution of both American whaling activity and the whales. The patterns shown on the maps provide the basis for various inferences concerning the historical distribution of the target whales prior to and during this episode of global whaling.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Heesu; Kim, Jooha; Choi, Haecheon

    2016-11-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Phylogenetic relationships among the baleen whales based on maternally and paternally inherited characters.

    PubMed

    Hatch, Leila T; Dopman, Erik B; Harrison, Richard G

    2006-10-01

    Phylogenetic relationships in the Cetacean suborder Mysticeti (baleen whales) have recently been the focus of increased attention. Here, we examine the evolutionary history of this group by comparing genealogies derived from Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA sequences. We generated topologies based on paternally and maternally inherited characters for males from nine baleen whale species, including representatives of three families (Balaenidae, Eschrichtiidae, and Balaenopteridae) and four genera (Balaena, Eschrichtius, Balaenoptera, and Megaptera). Divergence among species was fifteen times greater for mtDNA than for Y-specific DNA. Both mtDNA and yDNA topologies revealed the family Balaenopteridae to be paraphyletic, but this relationship was neither strongly supported nor consistent across phylogenetic analysis methodologies. Humpback and fin whales, representing different genera, were reciprocally monophyletic sister species according to mtDNA. Although the monophyly of fin whales decayed for yDNA, a close relationship between fin and humpback whales was retained in yDNA trees. The paraphyly of fin whales and the long branch leading to humpback whales for the yDNA marker may suggest life history differences between these species. Specifically, male humpback whales showed higher than average divergence from other baleen whales at yDNA, although not at mtDNA, suggesting a potential for smaller effective population sizes among male humpbacks on an evolutionary timescale. The observation that those species that have been found to hybridize in nature (blue/fin and blue/humpback) do not reveal evidence for paraphyly for either maternal or paternal markers suggests that introgressive hybridization has not historically been extensive and thus may not represent a substantial source of phylogenetic error for Mysticeti.

  11. 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.

  12. 77 FR 45592 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17157

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-01

    ... each of blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), sei whale (B. borealis), minke whale (B. acutorostrata), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) from museums worldwide...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Threshold foraging behavior of baleen whales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piatt, John F.; Methven, David A.

    1992-01-01

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

  15. Baleen whale infrasonic sounds: Natural variability and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Christopher W.

    2004-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Calling depths of baleen whales from single sensor data: development of an autocorrelation method using multipath localization.

    PubMed

    Valtierra, Robert D; Glynn Holt, R; Cholewiak, Danielle; Van Parijs, Sofie M

    2013-09-01

    Multipath localization techniques have not previously been applied to baleen whale vocalizations due to difficulties in application to tonal vocalizations. Here it is shown that an autocorrelation method coupled with the direct reflected time difference of arrival localization technique can successfully resolve location information. A derivation was made to model the autocorrelation of a direct signal and its overlapping reflections to illustrate that an autocorrelation may be used to extract reflection information from longer duration signals containing a frequency sweep, such as some calls produced by baleen whales. An analysis was performed to characterize the difference in behavior of the autocorrelation when applied to call types with varying parameters (sweep rate, call duration). The method's feasibility was tested using data from playback transmissions to localize an acoustic transducer at a known depth and location. The method was then used to estimate the depth and range of a single North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) from two separate experiments.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Whales before whaling in the North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Roman, Joe; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2003-07-25

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Dismay at Japan's new whaling targets.

    PubMed

    Williams, Nigel

    2007-12-18

    The fleet setting off last month for Japan's largest target for scientific whaling, including up to 50 humpback whales, the lucrative stars of whale-watching tourists worldwide, is set to face a battle with infuriated governments, researchers and conservationists.

  5. 77 FR 26517 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14118

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-04

    ...- and long- finned pilot whales (Globicephala spp.) and endangered humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) whales. Fin (B. physalus) and sei (B. borealis) whales may be incidentally harassed. ADDRESSES:...

  6. 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.

  7. 77 FR 12244 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16325

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-29

    ... permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), blue whales (B. musculus), sei whales (B. borealis), minke whales (B. acutorostrata), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and killer whales (Orcinus orca). DATES: Written, telefaxed, or email...

  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.

  9. 77 FR 33198 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16019

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-05

    ... 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 sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill sea...

  10. 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...

  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.

  12. 75 FR 68757 - Marine Mammals; File No. 781-1824

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-09

    ... and data log/time-depth tagging and tracking. The permit authorizes NWFSC to take endangered blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW, Orcinus...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-12-01

    population of blue whales that ranges as far north as the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Gulf of Alaska (Calambokidis et al. 2009) and as far south...and surveys conducted as part of collaborations with Channel Islands and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuaries. A number of collaborators...from our collaboration with the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps as well as whale watch operations out of Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay. 4

  14. 76 FR 30919 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15844

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-27

    ..., AK, 99826, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera 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...

  15. Enhancing AIS to Improve Whale-Ship Collision Avoidance and Maritime Security

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

    coast, and North Pacific Right Whales , Bowhead Whales , Humpback Whales , Blue Whales and Beluga Whales in west coast, Alaskan and Hawaiian waters. I...preferences which co-occur with shipping routes. The case of the Cook Inlet beluga whales , which remain resident in the spatially restricted area of fairly...as ships enter the Port of Seattle, and by ferries regularly traversing Puget Sound (c.f. Douglas, et al., 2008). Whale deaths in this area, as

  16. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    We examine the long term impacts on health, reproduction , and mortality unitizing the past deployments of implant and suction cup tags on blue...whales that have had tags deployed on them to examine site healing, health, and any long-term consequences of tag deployment on reproduction , health...history of this individual described above (Gendron et al. 2014). This swelling as a result of tagging appeared to impeded the health and reproduction of

  18. 76 FR 68718 - Marine Mammals and Endangered Species; File No. 16305

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-07

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

  19. 76 FR 18533 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15682

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-04

    ... humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) rsig]. DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments must be... research on humpback whales off Puerto Rico. The purpose of the research is to investigate the importance of smaller winter habitats used by humpback whales during the breeding/calving season. Each year,...

  20. 3S(expn 2): Behavioral Response Studies of Cetaceans to Navy Sonar Signals in Norwegian Waters

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    behavioral reactions and the sound exposures required to elicit them of three species of whales : bottlenose whales , minke whales , and humpback whales to Low... humpback whales . OBJECTIVES In this research project, our objectives are to: 1.) Expand our comparative experimental dataset to include species...and relatively easy-to-study humpback whales , Megaptera novaeangliae; 3.) Record sufficient no-sonar baseline data of all target species to adequately

  1. 3S2: Behavioral Response Studies of Cetaceans to Naval Sonar Signals in Norwegian Waters

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    species of whales : bottlenose whales , minke whales , and humpback whales to Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) and Mid Frequency Active Sonar (MFAS...our goal is to conduct experiments to test the effectiveness of ramp-up in humpback whales . OBJECTIVES In this research project, our...study of the effectiveness of ramp-up as a mitigation method with abundant and relatively easy-to-study humpback whales , Megaptera novaeangliae; 3

  2. 77 FR 31585 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16388

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-29

    ... form for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), blue whales (B. musculus), sei whales (B. borealis), bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), North Pacific right whales (E. japonica), and...

  3. 76 FR 5338 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15274

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-31

    ... Whale Research Foundation, 52 Cheshire Drive, Maryville, IL 62062, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail... sloughed skin to study humpback whales, Hawaiian Insular false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens),...

  4. Fine-Scale Focal DTAG Behavioral Study in the Gulf of Maine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    Several humpback whale stocks are showing stronger recovery than right whales , despite overlapping habitat usage on the feeding grounds in the...goal of this project is to obtain fine-scale behavior data from two endangered baleen whale species, the humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) and...tag data to: 1) determine the diel trends in dive profiles and horizontal movement patterns for tagged humpback and right whales on the Stellwagen

  5. 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...

  6. 77 FR 14352 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-09

    ...), Gustavus, AK 99826 to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), killer whales (Orcinus orca) and minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). ADDRESSES: The permit and related documents are... whales, killer whales, and minke whales had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The...

  7. 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.

  8. 76 FR 72389 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16479

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-23

    ...: Notice is hereby given that The Pacific Whale Foundation [Responsible Party: Gregory Kaufman; Principal... permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). DATES: Written, telefaxed, or... research on humpback whales in Maui County waters, Hawaii to quantify the potential for near misses...

  9. 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...

  10. 78 FR 21113 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17845

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-09

    ... research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). DATES: Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be... and B harassment of humpback whales during photo-identification, behavioral follows, and surface and... whales in Hawaii, 630 in Alaska and 480 in California each year. Short-term, non- invasive, suction...

  11. 50 CFR 224.103 - Special prohibitions for endangered marine mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... whales in Hawaii. Except as provided in part 222, subpart C, of this chapter (General Permit Procedures....4 km) of the Islands of Hawaii, any of the following acts with respect to humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): (1) Operate any aircraft within 1,000 feet (300 m) of any humpback whale; (2) Approach, by...

  12. 78 FR 3402 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16919

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-16

    ... of the Whale (Olga von Ziegesar, Responsible Party and Principal Investigator), P.O. Box 15191, Fitz Creek, AK 99603 to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). ADDRESSES: The permit... humpback whales had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit has been issued...

  13. Mitochondrial phylogenetics and evolution of mysticete whales.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takeshi; Nikaido, Masato; Hamilton, Healy; Goto, Mutsuo; Kato, Hidehiro; Kanda, Naohisa; Pastene, Luis; Cao, Ying; Fordyce, R; Hasegawa, Masami; Okada, Norihiro

    2005-02-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among baleen whales (Order: Cetacea) remain uncertain despite extensive research in cetacean molecular phylogenetics and a potential morphological sample size of over 2 million animals harvested. Questions remain regarding the number of species and the monophyly of genera, as well as higher order relationships. Here, we approach mysticete phylogeny with complete mitochondrial genome sequence analysis. We determined complete mtDNA sequences of 10 extant Mysticeti species, inferred their phylogenetic relationships, and estimated node divergence times. The mtDNA sequence analysis concurs with previous molecular studies in the ordering of the principal branches, with Balaenidae (right whales) as sister to all other mysticetes base, followed by Neobalaenidae (pygmy right whale), Eschrichtiidae (gray whale), and finally Balaenopteridae (rorquals + humpback whale). The mtDNA analysis further suggests that four lineages exist within the clade of Eschrichtiidae + Balaenopteridae, including a sister relationship between the humpback and fin whales, and a monophyletic group formed by the blue, sei, and Bryde's whales, each of which represents a newly recognized phylogenetic relationship in Mysticeti. We also estimated the divergence times of all extant mysticete species, accounting for evolutionary rate heterogeneity among lineages. When the mtDNA divergence estimates are compared with the mysticete fossil record, several lineages have molecular divergence estimates strikingly older than indicated by paleontological data. We suggest this discrepancy reflects both a large amount of ancestral polymorphism and long generation times of ancestral baleen whale populations.

  14. 77 FR 27719 - Marine Mammals; File Nos. 16109 and 15575

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-11

    ... 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... species to be targeted for research are listed as threatened or endangered: Blue whale, fin...

  15. 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.

  16. Kinematic Diversity in Rorqual Whale Feeding Mechanisms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-10

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

  17. Larval development and settlement of a whale barnacle.

    PubMed

    Nogata, Yasuyuki; Matsumura, Kiyotaka

    2006-03-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

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

  19. 77 FR 59594 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16479

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-28

    ... 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 for... whales had been submitted by the above- named applicant. The requested permit has been issued under...

  20. 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.

  1. Diversity and duplication of DQB and DRB-like genes of the MHC in baleen whales (suborder: Mysticeti).

    PubMed

    Baker, C S; Vant, M D; Dalebout, M L; Lento, G M; O'Brien, S J; Yuhki, N

    2006-05-01

    The molecular diversity and phylogenetic relationships of two class II genes of the baleen whale major histocompatibility complex were investigated and compared to toothed whales and out-groups. Amplification of the DQB exon 2 provided sequences showing high within-species and between-species nucleotide diversity and uninterrupted reading frames consistent with functional class II loci found in related mammals (e.g., ruminants). Cloning of amplified products indicated gene duplication in the humpback whale and triplication in the southern right whale, with average nucleotide diversity of 5.9 and 6.3%, respectively, for alleles of each species. Significantly higher nonsynonymous divergence at sites coding for peptide binding (32% for humpback and 40% for southern right) suggested that these loci were subject to positive (overdominant) selection. A population survey of humpback whales detected 23 alleles, differing by up to 21% of their inferred amino acid sequences. Amplification of the DRB exon 2 resulted in two groups of sequences. One was most similar to the DRB3 of the cow and present in all whales screened to date, including toothed whales. The second was most similar to the DRB2 of the cow and was found only in the bowhead and right whales. Both loci showed low diversity among species and apparent loss of function or altered function including interruption of reading frames. Finally, comparison of inferred protein sequence of the DRB3-like locus suggested convergence with the DQB, perhaps resulting from intergenic conversion or recombination.

  2. 50 CFR 229.32 - Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... mortality and serious injury of fin, humpback, and right whales in specific Category I and Category II... buoy lines greater than 4 feet (1.22 m) long must be marked within 2 feet (0.6 m) of the top of...

  3. 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

  4. Real-time reporting of baleen whale passive acoustic detections from ocean gliders.

    PubMed

    Baumgartner, Mark F; Fratantoni, David M; Hurst, Thomas P; Brown, Moira W; Cole, Tim V N; Van Parijs, Sofie M; Johnson, Mark

    2013-09-01

    In the past decade, much progress has been made in real-time passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammal occurrence and distribution from autonomous platforms (e.g., gliders, floats, buoys), but current systems focus primarily on a single call type produced by a single species, often from a single location. A hardware and software system was developed to detect, classify, and report 14 call types produced by 4 species of baleen whales in real time from ocean gliders. During a 3-week deployment in the central Gulf of Maine in late November and early December 2012, two gliders reported over 25,000 acoustic detections attributed to fin, humpback, sei, and right whales. The overall false detection rate for individual calls was 14%, and for right, humpback, and fin whales, false predictions of occurrence during 15-min reporting periods were 5% or less. Transmitted pitch tracks--compact representations of sounds--allowed unambiguous identification of both humpback and fin whale song. Of the ten cases when whales were sighted during aerial or shipboard surveys and a glider was within 20 km of the sighting location, nine were accompanied by real-time acoustic detections of the same species by the glider within ±12 h of the sighting time.

  5. 76 FR 66274 - Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Pier 36/Brannan Street Wharf...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-26

    ..., gray whale, harbor porpoise, humpback whale (Megaptera noveangliae), and sea otter (Enhydra lutris... present in the project vicinity during pile driving. Sea otters are managed by the United States Fish and... take, by Level B harassment, of small numbers of Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), California...

  6. 77 FR 47603 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Construction and Race Event...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-09

    ... lion, bottlenose dolphin, minke whale, humpback whale (Megaptera noveangliae), and sea otter (Enhydra... unlikely to be present in the action area, while sea otters are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and... requested for the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus),...

  7. 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

  8. Killer whales and whaling: the scavenging hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Hal; Reeves, Randall

    2005-12-22

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

  9. 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

    2011-01-07

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Environmental Assessment: Navy Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile (LEAP) Technology Demonstration

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    Squirrel Sciurus niger cinercus E E Whale Finback Balaeoptera physalus E E Whale, Sei Balaeoptera borealis E E Whale, Humpback Megaptera novaeangliae E...Particulates, Carbons Monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, and Lead) measured by the State Air Pollution Control Board in accordance with the...National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Sources of air pollution at the facility include operation of the central boiler plant, \\ cket

  15. 6. Humpback Gap Overlook. View of stone railandrider fences, commonly ...

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

    6. Humpback Gap Overlook. View of stone rail-and-rider fences, commonly referred to as hog fences. There were built by civilian public service employees in 1943. An original wall crossed the mountain just south of Humpback Gap just south of Humpback Gap, but the new section was provided to be more visible to visitors. View faces west-northwest. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  16. 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.

  17. Low frequency vocalizations attributed to sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis).

    PubMed

    Baumgartner, Mark F; Van Parijs, Sofie M; Wenzel, Frederick W; Tremblay, Christopher J; Carter Esch, H; Warde, Ann M

    2008-08-01

    Low frequency (<100 Hz) downsweep vocalizations were repeatedly recorded from ocean gliders east of Cape Cod, MA in May 2005. To identify the species responsible for this call, arrays of acoustic recorders were deployed in this same area during 2006 and 2007. 70 h of collocated visual observations at the center of each array were used to compare the localized occurrence of this call to the occurrence of three baleen whale species: right, humpback, and sei whales. The low frequency call was significantly associated only with the occurrence of sei whales. On average, the call swept from 82 to 34 Hz over 1.4 s and was most often produced as a single call, although pairs and (more rarely) triplets were occasionally detected. Individual calls comprising the pairs were localized to within tens of meters of one another and were more similar to one another than to contemporaneous calls by other whales, suggesting that paired calls may be produced by the same animal. A synthetic kernel was developed to facilitate automatic detection of this call using spectrogram-correlation methods. The optimal kernel missed 14% of calls, and of all the calls that were automatically detected, 15% were false positives.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. 3. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. View of the selfguided interpretive ...

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

    3. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. View of the self-guided interpretive mountain farm trail and a post-and-rail fence in the foreground with humpback rocks in the background. The view is looking south. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Singing whales generate high levels of particle motion: implications for acoustic communication and hearing?

    PubMed

    Mooney, T Aran; Kaplan, Maxwell B; Lammers, Marc O

    2016-11-01

    Acoustic signals are fundamental to animal communication, and cetaceans are often considered bioacoustic specialists. Nearly all studies of their acoustic communication focus on sound pressure measurements, overlooking the particle motion components of their communication signals. Here we characterized the levels of acoustic particle velocity (and pressure) of song produced by humpback whales. We demonstrate that whales generate acoustic fields that include significant particle velocity components that are detectable over relatively long distances sufficient to play a role in acoustic communication. We show that these signals attenuate predictably in a manner similar to pressure and that direct particle velocity measurements can provide bearings to singing whales. Whales could potentially use such information to determine the distance of signalling animals. Additionally, the vibratory nature of particle velocity may stimulate bone conduction, a hearing modality found in other low-frequency specialized mammals, offering a parsimonious mechanism of acoustic energy transduction into the massive ossicles of whale ears. With substantial concerns regarding the effects of increasing anthropogenic ocean noise and major uncertainties surrounding mysticete hearing, these results highlight both an unexplored pathway that may be available for whale acoustic communication and the need to better understand the biological role of acoustic particle motion.

  5. Proceedings of the SMBE Tri-National Young Investigators' Workshop 2005. Baleen whale phylogeny and a past extensive radiation event revealed by SINE insertion analysis.

    PubMed

    Nikaido, Masato; Hamilton, Healy; Makino, Hitomi; Sasaki, Takeshi; Takahashi, Kazuhiko; Goto, Mutsuo; Kanda, Naohisa; Pastene, Luis A; Okada, Norihiro

    2006-05-01

    Baleen whales (suborder Mysticeti) comprise 11 extant species that are classified into four families. Although several phylogenetic hypotheses about these taxa have been proposed, their phylogenetic relationships remain confused. We addressed this problem using short interspersed repetitive element (SINE) insertion data, which now are regarded as almost ideal shared, derived characters at the molecular level. We reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships of baleen whales by characterizing 36 informative SINE loci. One of the intriguing conclusions is that balaenopterids and eschrichtiids radiated very rapidly during a very short evolutionary period. During this period, speciation occurred in balaenopterids and eschrichtiids while newly inserted SINE loci remains polymorphic. Later on, these SINEs were sorted incompletely into each lineage. Thus, there are now inconsistencies among species regarding the presence or absence of a given SINE. This is in sharp contrast to the phylogeny of toothed whales, for which no SINE inconsistencies have been found. Furthermore, we found monophyletic groupings between humpback and fin whales as well as between (sei+Bryde's) whales and blue whales, both of which have not previously been recognized. The comprehensive SINE insertion data, together with the mitochondrial DNA phylogeny that was recently completed (Sasaki, T., M. Nikaido, H. Healy et al. 2005. Mitochondrial phylogenetics and evolution of mysticete whales. Syst. Biol. 56:77-90; Rychel, A. L., T. W. Reeder, and A. Berta. 2004. Phylogeny of mysticete whales based on mitochondrial and nuclear data. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 32:892-901), provide a nearly complete picture of the evolutionary history of baleen whales.

  6. [Viruses of whales and dolphins].

    PubMed

    Birkun, A A

    1996-01-01

    DNA- and RNA-genome viruses of whales and dolphins belong to families Poxviridae, Herpesviridae, Adenoviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Togaviridae, Picornaviridae. Virological, serological and pathomorphological signs of infection have been registered in Odontoceti (bottle-nosed dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, striped dolphin, harbona porpoise, white-beaked dolphin, common dolphin, sperm whale, pilot whale, white whale) and Musticeti (sei whale, fin whale, gray whale, and bowheaded whale). A brief characteristic of diseases is presented. No relations of some viruses with pathologic states of Cetacea were found.

  7. A Bayesian approach for understanding the role of ship speed in whale-ship encounters.

    PubMed

    Gende, Scott M; Hendrix, A Noble; Harris, Karin R; Eichenlaub, Bill; Nielsen, Julie; Pyare, Sanjay

    2011-09-01

    Mandatory or voluntary reductions in ship speed are a common management strategy for reducing deleterious encounters between large ships and large whales. This has produced strong resistance from shipping and marine transportation entities, in part because very few studies have empirically demonstrated whether or to what degree ship speed influences ship-whale encounters. Here we present the results of four years of humpback whale sightings made by observers aboard cruise ships in Alaska, representing 380 cruises and 891 ship-whale encounters. Encounters occurred at distances from 21 m to 1000 m (x = 567 m) with 61 encounters (7%) occurring between 200 m and 100 m, and 19 encounters (2%) within 100 m. Encounters were spatially aggregated and highly variable across all ship speeds. Nevertheless a Bayesian change-point model found that the relationship between whale distance and ship speed changed at 11.8 knots (6.1 m/s) with whales encountering ships, on average, 114 m closer when ship speeds were above 11.8 knots. Binning encounter distances by 1-knot speed increments revealed a clear decrease in encounter distance with increasing ship speed over the range of 7-17 knots (3.6-8.7 m/s). Our results are the first to demonstrate that speed influences the encounter distance between large ships and large whales. Assuming that the closer ships come to whales the more likely they are to be struck, our results suggest that reduced ship speed may be an effective management action in reducing the probability of a collision.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 75 FR 10223 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-05

    ... Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. They must follow the...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-07

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 7. Humpback Gap Overlook. View of stone railandrider fences built ...

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

    7. Humpback Gap Overlook. View of stone rail-and-rider fences built in 1943 with the curvilinear alignment of the parkway in the background. View facing southwest. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  6. 5. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. Closeup view of the unmortared ...

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

    5. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. Closeup view of the unmortared hand-laid stone and doorway of the root cellar, relocated from the John C. Clark Place. View faces east-southeast. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-01

    induced drag due to tip vortices. Experiments were performed on flapping wings with tubercles. Tubercles were observed to affect the spanwise flow...tests on delta wings with a sweep of 508 showed that at high angles of attack large-scale, three-dimensional separation occurred for the wing with a...which is a key feature along flap - ping wings with a straight leading edge (Ozen and Rockwell 2010). Spanwise flow reduces the efficiency of a wing . A

  8. Fine-Scale Survey of Right and Humpback Whale Prey Abundance and Distribution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    information, we accomplished: (1) Identification of the prey type (e.g. copepod, krill , fish) and numerical abundance of zooplankton and nekton in...estimated), abundance, species, and behavior (when possible) of any marine mammals near the vessel. These data are collected to supplement the observations...deployed additional video samplers to supplement the net and acoustic data. A Video Plankton Recorder (VPR) was used to collect vertical profiles of

  9. Fine-scale Survey of Right and Humpback Whale Prey Abundance and Distribution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-30

    critical information, we will: (1) Identify the prey type (e.g. copepod, krill , fish) and numerical abundance of zooplankton and nekton in the... krill in this area) and nekton (small fish such as sand lance). The general approach is to conduct a regular grid-like survey while our...of any marine mammals near the vessel. These data are collected to supplement the observations made by our collaborators and will provide us with a

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-12-01

    John Calambokidis Todd Chandler Lisa Schlender Kristin Rasmussen Gretchen Steiger Cascadia Research 218½ W Fourth Ave. Olympia, WA 98501...been documented from the 1970s to the mid-1990s ( Roemmich and McGowan 1995). Dramatic declines have been noted in some krill-feeding marine seabirds...Massachusetts. Roemmich , D. and J. McGowan. 1995. Climatic warming and the decline of zooplankton in the California Current. Science. 267:1324-1326

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-08-01

    John Calambokidis Todd Chandler Lisa Schlender Gretchen H. Steiger Annie Douglas Cascadia Research 218½ W Fourth Ave. Olympia, WA 98501...Problem. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Roemmich , D. and J. McGowan. 1995. Climatic warming and the decline of zooplankton in

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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)

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Tagging and Playback Studies to Toothed Whales

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    whales react strongly to sonar, killer whale calls, and bandlimited noise by ceasing echolocation and completing an unusually slow, directional ascent...the research cruises funded under this project. The data obtained in this study on responses of pilot whales to playback of killer whale sounds were...award number N000140810661, so that they could boost their sample size of playbacks of killer whale sounds to pilot whales , and to add playbacks that

  18. Monitoring Beaked Whale Responses to Sonar Tests at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-11-01

    whales, Cuvier’s beaked whale, Blainville’s beaked whale, sperm whale, pilot whale, melon -headed whale, photo-identification, sonar exposure. 16...sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and melon -headed whales (Peponocephala electra), and will increase...172 9.3 Sperm whale 9 109 2 Melon -headed whale 40 22 0 Pygmy sperm whale 2 1 0 06-May-11 125 11.1 Sperm whale 9 430 5 Melon -headed whale 25 47 0

  19. 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)

  20. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales Alexander M... airways of beaked whales, as it relates to presence and actuation of intrapulmonary shunts. OBJECTIVES The objectives of the first year are to gain...Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK

  1. 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

  2. 244. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. View of the Mountain Farm ...

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

    244. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. View of the Mountain Farm Exhibit located on the general site of the Old Charlie Carter Farm. To the left is the CA. 1890 single-crib log William Lawless Billy Ramsey cabin moved from below Robinson Gap and to the right is a chicken house relocated from the John C. Clarke place about a mile north of Irish Gap. View faces north. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  3. 4. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. View of the Mountain Farm ...

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

    4. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. View of the Mountain Farm Exhibit located on the general site of the Old Charlie Carter Farm. To the left is the CA. 1890 single-crib log William Lawless Billy Ramsey house moved from below Robinson gap and to the right is a chicken house relocated from the John C. Clark Place about a mile north of Irish Gap. View faces north. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 78 FR 13028 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-26

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC460 Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence... those captains may engage in whaling. Captains and crew must follow the provisions of the...

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-23

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ] DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA309 Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence... control of those captains may engage in whaling. They must follow the provisions of the...

  8. 77 FR 21540 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-10

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA967 Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence... under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. Captains and crew must follow the...

  9. 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.

  10. 50 CFR 216.271 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... following marine mammals of concern: Beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, short-finned pilot whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, or sei whales. (iii) A group of...

  11. 50 CFR 216.271 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... concern: Beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, short-finned pilot whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, or sei whales. (iii) A group of 2 or more cetaceans of...

  12. 50 CFR 216.271 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... following marine mammals of concern: Beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, short-finned pilot whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, or sei whales. (iii) A group of...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    The objective was to describe and better understand the gross morphology of the blood vessels in the heads of beaked whales. Gross anatomical...the research was to investigate the vascular morphology within the lungs of bottlenose dolphins (and beaked whales if specimens allowed). The purpose...completion of research and publication goals. The second objective required the acquisition of high quality lungs specimens from bottlenose dolphins

  18. Echolocation in wild toothed whales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

    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.

  19. 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

    2014-03-13

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

  20. 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.

  1. Tagging and Playback Studies to Toothed Whales

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    stranding has not been elucidated. We now know that beaked whales react strongly to sonar, killer whale , and bandlimited noise by ceasing echolocation and...follows and attempts at tagging these animals, no tags were successfully deployed. In 2011, playbacks of both mammal-eating killer whale calls and...Right: Stereotyped calls consist of two independently modulated frequency contours similar to killer whale calls. Low and high frequency contours

  2. Cetacean diversity on the Parnaiba Delta, Maranhão state, northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, F A; Tosi, C H; Garri, R G; Chellappa, S; Silva, F L

    2008-08-01

    The increase in the research of cetacean surveys on the Brazilian coast has brought new data on the distribution of species never reported before. The present work reviews the current knowledge on cetaceans species and extends this knowledge with an analysis of cetaceans stranded in the Parnaiba Delta, on the coast of Maranhão State, Brazil. The studies on cetacean diversity on the coast of the Parnaíba Delta were made from August 2004 to August 2006. Fourteen strandings were reported, representing six distinct species, such as the estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera edeni), dwarf minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), pigmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and two specimens which have not yet been identified. The significant degree of cetacean diversity in the region shows that the Parnaíba Delta is, possibly, of an important area for cetacean studies in Brasil.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-31

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-09

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

  8. 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.

  9. Vestimentiferan on a whale fall.

    PubMed

    Feldman, R A; Shank, T M; Black, M B; Baco, A R; Smith, C R; Vrijenhoek, R C

    1998-04-01

    Discovery of chemosynthetic communities associated with whale bones led to the hypothesis that whale falls may serve as stepping-stones for faunal dispersal between disjunct hydrothermal vents and cold seeps on the ocean floor (1). The initial observation was followed by a faunal inventory that revealed a diverse assemblage of microbes and invertebrates, supported by chemoautotrophic production, living in close proximity to whale remains (2, 3). To date, the conspicuous absence from whale falls of vestimentiferan tubeworms (a predominant constituent of eastern Pacific vent and seep habitats) has been a major objection to the stepping-stone hypothesis (4-5). We report the first evidence of a vestimentiferan tubeworm associated with a whale fall (Fig. 1). The tubeworm, Escarpia spicata, was identified by morphological criteria and DNA sequence data from a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase C subunit I (COI) gene. Additionally, the bacterial endosymbiont in the tubeworm possessed a 16S rRNA gene that was similar to that of endosymbionts from vestimentiferans in sedimented cold-seep environments.

  10. Recent progress in reproduction of whale oocytes.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yue-Liang

    2013-08-01

    Whale oocytes recovered from follicles can be matured in vitro. Whale sperm and mature oocytes can be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF), and IVF embryos have the ability to develop to morula stage. Whale sperm injected into bovine or mouse oocytes can activate the oocytes and form pronucleus. Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos have been reconstructed with whale somatic cell nucleus and enucleated bovine or porcine oocytes, and interspecies cloned embryos can develop in vitro. This paper reviews recent progress in maturation, fertilization and development of whale oocytes.

  11. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Translocation of Humpback Chub into tributary streams of the Colorado River: Implications for conservation of large-river fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spurgeon, Jonathan J.; Paukert, Craig P.; Healy, Brian D.; Trammell, Melissa; Speas, Dave; Smith, Emily Omana

    2015-01-01

    The Humpback Chub Gila cypha, a large-bodied, endangered cyprinid endemic to the Colorado River basin, is in decline throughout most of its range due largely to anthropogenic factors. Translocation of Humpback Chub into tributaries of the Colorado River is one conservation activity that may contribute to the expansion of the species’ current range and eventually provide population redundancy. We evaluated growth, survival, and dispersal following translocation of approximately 900 Humpback Chub over a period of 3 years (2009, 2010, and 2011) into Shinumo Creek, a tributary stream of the Colorado River within Grand Canyon National Park. Growth and condition of Humpback Chub in Shinumo Creek were consistent among year-classes and equaled or surpassed growth estimates from both the main-stem Colorado River and the Little Colorado River, where the largest (and most stable) Humpback Chub aggregation remains. Based on passive integrated tag recoveries, 53% ( = 483/902) of translocated Humpback Chub dispersed from Shinumo Creek into the main-stem Colorado River as of January 2013, 35% leaving within 25 d following translocation. Annual apparent survival estimates within Shinumo Creek ranged from 0.22 to 0.41, but were strongly influenced by emigration. Results indicate that Shinumo Creek provides favorable conditions for growth and survival of translocated Humpback Chub and could support a new population if reproduction and recruitment occur in the future. Adaptation of translocation strategies of Humpback Chub into tributary streams ultimately may refine the role translocation plays in recovery of the species.

  18. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    system in bottlenose dolphins and investigate the presence of anatomic intrapulmonary shunts. Results may help inform future models of pulmonary...objective of the research was to investigate the vascular morphology within the lungs of bottlenose dolphins (and beaked whales if specimens allowed...processing was also necessary. The second objective required the acquisition of high quality lungs specimens from bottlenose dolphins (and beaked

  19. Lethal entanglement in baleen whales.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-06

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

  20. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Observations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) feeding on the remains of beaked whales have been previously documented; however, to date, there has been no published account of killer whales actively preying upon beaked whales. This article describes the first field observations of killer whales interacting with, hunting and preying upon beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp.) on four separate occasions during 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Bremer Sub-Basin, off the south coast of Western Australia. PMID:27923044

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. Acoustic Seaglider (trademark) for Beaked Whale Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    bench and in-water tests to characterize system performance (FY2009). • Deploy locally in the presence of killer whales (Orcinus orca) as a proxy...effective tool for detecting beaked whale echolocation clicks, and relaying those detections ashore, with a reasonable amount of supporting data, in near...Johnson, M., Madsen, P. T., Zimmer, W. M. X., Aguilar de Soto, N., and Tyack, P. L. [2004]. “Beaked whales echolocate on prey”, Proc. R. Soc

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Comparison of echolocation clicks from geographically sympatric killer whales and long-finned pilot whales (L).

    PubMed

    Eskesen, Ida G; Wahlberg, Magnus; Simon, Malene; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2011-07-01

    The source characteristics of biosonar signals from sympatric killer whales and long-finned pilot whales in a Norwegian fjord were compared. A total of 137 pilot whale and more than 2000 killer whale echolocation clicks were recorded using a linear four-hydrophone array. Of these, 20 pilot whale clicks and 28 killer whale clicks were categorized as being recorded on-axis. The clicks of pilot whales had a mean apparent source level of 196 dB re 1 μPa pp and those of killer whales 203 dB re 1 μPa pp. The duration of pilot whale clicks was significantly shorter (23 μs, S.E.=1.3) and the centroid frequency significantly higher (55 kHz, S.E.=2.1) than killer whale clicks (duration: 41 μs, S.E.=2.6; centroid frequency: 32 kHz, S.E.=1.5). The rate of increase in the accumulated energy as a function of time also differed between clicks from the two species. The differences in duration, frequency, and energy distribution may have a potential to allow for the distinction between pilot and killer whale clicks when using automated detection routines for acoustic monitoring.

  10. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    oral regions (Figs. 11-12) but also along the maxillary (Figs. 13-14) and submaxillary regions of the rostrum. In fact, all peripheral arteries of the...George JC (2013) An Intraoral Thermoregulatory Organ in the Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus), the Corpus Cavernosum Maxillaris . Anat. Rec. 296, 701...intramandibular fat body (IMFB) with a venous plexus injected with contrast medium (bright region medial to mandible). Insert at top left shows the location of

  11. Immunology of whales and dolphins.

    PubMed

    Beineke, Andreas; Siebert, Ursula; Wohlsein, Peter; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang

    2010-02-15

    The increasing disease susceptibility in different whale and dolphin populations has led to speculation about a possible negative influence of environmental contaminants on the immune system and therefore on the health status of marine mammals. Despite current efforts in the immunology of marine mammals several aspects of immune functions in aquatic mammals remain unknown. However, assays for evaluating cellular immune responses, such as lymphocyte proliferation, respiratory burst as well as phagocytic and cytotoxic activity of leukocytes and humoral immune responses have been established for different cetacean species. Additionally, immunological and molecular techniques enable the detection and quantification of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in lymphoid cells during inflammation or immune responses, respectively. Different T and B cell subsets as well as antigen-presenting cells can be detected by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Despite great homologies between marine and terrestrial mammal lymphoid organs, some unique anatomical structures, particularly the complex lymphoepithelial laryngeal glands in cetaceans represent an adaptation to the marine environment. Additionally, physiological changes, such as age-related thymic atrophy and cystic degeneration of the "anal tonsil" of whales have to be taken into account when investigating these lymphoid structures. Systemic morbillivirus infections lead to fatalities in cetaceans associated with generalized lymphoid depletion. Similarly, chronic diseases and starvation are associated with a loss of functional lymphoid cells and decreased resistance against opportunistic infections. There is growing evidence for an immunotoxic effect of different environmental contaminants in whales and dolphins, as demonstrated in field studies. Furthermore, immunomodulatory properties of different persistent xenobiotics have been confirmed in cetacean lymphoid cells in vitro as well as in animal models in vivo

  12. 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.

  13. Culture in whales and dolphins.

    PubMed

    Rendell, L; Whitehead, H

    2001-04-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 50 CFR 230.4 - Aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Aboriginal subsistence whaling. 230.4 Section 230.4 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WHALING WHALING PROVISIONS § 230.4 Aboriginal subsistence whaling. (a)...

  16. 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...

  17. 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... 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...

  18. 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…

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Whaling. 12.30 Section 12.30 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  2. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Whaling. 12.30 Section 12.30 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  3. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Whaling. 12.30 Section 12.30 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  4. 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

  5. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Whaling. 12.30 Section 12.30 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  6. 19 CFR 12.30 - Whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Whaling. 12.30 Section 12.30 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.30 Whaling. The importation and exportation...

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Whales, science, and scientific whaling in the International Court of Justice

    PubMed Central

    Mangel, Marc

    2016-01-01

    I provide a brief review of the origins of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and the failure to successfully regulate whaling that led to the commercial moratorium in 1986. I then describe the Japanese Whale Research Programs Under Special Permit in the Antarctica (JARPA I, JARPA II) and the origins of the case Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand Intervening) in the International Court of Justice. I explain that the International Court of Justice chose to conduct an objective review of JARPA II, the standard that it used for the review, and the pathway that it took to adjudicate the case without providing a definition of science to be used in international law. I conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of the Judgment for the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, and the International Whaling Commission in particular, for other international treaties, and for the interaction of science and law more generally. PMID:27799524

  14. Whales, science, and scientific whaling in the International Court of Justice.

    PubMed

    Mangel, Marc

    2016-12-20

    I provide a brief review of the origins of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and the failure to successfully regulate whaling that led to the commercial moratorium in 1986. I then describe the Japanese Whale Research Programs Under Special Permit in the Antarctica (JARPA I, JARPA II) and the origins of the case Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand Intervening) in the International Court of Justice. I explain that the International Court of Justice chose to conduct an objective review of JARPA II, the standard that it used for the review, and the pathway that it took to adjudicate the case without providing a definition of science to be used in international law. I conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of the Judgment for the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, and the International Whaling Commission in particular, for other international treaties, and for the interaction of science and law more generally.

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-23

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

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

    PubMed

    Domenici, P

    2001-12-01

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

  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. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2014-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Diel Variation in Beaked Whale Diving Behavior

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    finned pilot whales (G. macrorhynchus) off the Canary Islands spent more time foraging at night near the surface, based on acoustic tags recording...dive data from two species, Cuvier’s and Blainville’s beaked whales, tagged with time-depth recorders off the west coast of the island of Hawai‘i...Methods Field work was undertaken off the west side of the island of Hawai‘i in each year from 2002 through 2007. Methods have been

  4. 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.

  5. Blue Whales Respond to Anthropogenic Noise

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andersen, Matthew E.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 50 CFR 216.241 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... pair of any of the following marine mammals of concern: beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, melon-headed whales, pilot whales, right whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, or sei whales. (iii) A group of 2 or more cetaceans of any species...

  10. 50 CFR 216.241 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... pair of any of the following marine mammals of concern: beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, melon-headed whales, pilot whales, right whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, or sei whales. (iii) A group of 2 or more cetaceans of any species...

  11. 50 CFR 216.241 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    .../calf pair of any of the following marine mammals of concern: beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, melon-headed whales, pilot whales, right whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, or sei whales. (iii) A group of 2 or more cetaceans of any species...

  12. 50 CFR 216.241 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... pair of any of the following marine mammals of concern: beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, melon-headed whales, pilot whales, right whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, or sei whales. (iii) A group of 2 or more cetaceans of any species...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) have attracted considerable attention due to their critically endangered status and related conservation issues, but their trophic relationships and ecological significance in coastal ecosystems are poorly understood. For instance, this species is noticeably more abundant in the Xin-Huwei River Estuary (Ex) of Western Taiwan than in the nearby Zhuoshui River Estuary (Ez), though it is unclear why the distribution shows such partitioning. To explore this topic, we conducted field surveys seasonally for two years from 2012 to 2013 and constructed Ecopath models of Ex, Ez, and an offshore site (Dm) to compare energy flow within the food webs. Model comparisons showed that the availability of food resources was the main factor influencing the biomass of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Specifically, its more frequent occurrence in Ex can be attributed to greater phytoplankton production and greater biomasses of macroinvertebrates and prey fish than in the other two areas. An increase in fishing activity might decrease the food availability and, consequently, the biomass of the dolphins. Although the decline in the dolphin population would increase the biomass of some prey fish species, local fishermen might not necessarily benefit from the decline due to the concurrent decrease of highly valued crabs and shrimp. Collectively, our work suggests that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a keystone species in tropical coastal waters of Taiwan, and thereby exhibit a disproportional large ecological impact given their relatively low abundance. PMID:27780252

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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).

  20. 50 CFR 218.71 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... MAMMALS Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; U.S. Navy's Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing..., humpback whale, sperm whale, blue whale, fin whale, sei whale, or monk seal. (iii) A group of two or...

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

    The use of voluntary approaches to achieve conservation goals is becoming increasingly popular. Nevertheless, few researchers have quantitatively evaluated their efficacy. In 1998 industry, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations established a voluntary conservation program for whale watching in the northeast region of the United States, with the intent to avoid collisions with and harassment of endangered whales by commercial and recreational whale-watching vessels. One important aspect of the program was the establishment of 3 speed zones within specific distances of whales. We wanted to determine the level of compliance with this aspect of the program to gauge its efficacy and gain insights into the effectiveness of voluntary measures as a conservation tool. Inconspicuous observers accompanied 46 commercial whale-watching trips from 12 companies in 2003 (n= 35) and 2004 (n= 11). During each trip, vessel position and speed were collected at 5-second intervals with a GPS receiver. Binoculars with internal laser rangefinders and digital compasses were used to record range and bearing to sighted whales. We mapped whale locations with ArcGIS. We created speed-zone buffers around sighted whales and overlaid them with vessel-track and speed data to evaluate compliance. Speeds in excess of those recommended by the program were considered noncompliant. We judged the magnitude of noncompliance by comparing a vessel's maximum speed within a zone to its maximum recorded trip speed. The level of noncompliance was high (mean 0.78; company range 0.74-0.88), some companies were more compliant than others (p= 0.02), noncompliance was significantly higher in zones farther from whales (p < 0.001), and operators approached the maximum speed capabilities of their vessel in all zones. The voluntary conservation program did not achieve the goal of substantially limiting vessel speed near whales. Our results support the need for conservation programs to have quantifiable

  2. 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

  3. Acoustic Seaglider(trademark) for Beaked Whale Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-30

    are rich in content. In addition to the recognizable killer whale calls and echolocation clicks, one can clearly identify sounds associated with...fishing nearby. Spectrograms of the recorded data clearly show the killer whale calls and echolocation clicks. A representative spectrogram is...characterize system performance. • Deploy locally in the presence of killer whales (Orcinus orca) as a proxy for beaked whales . • Deploy off Kona (west) coast

  4. 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....

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 50 CFR 230.5 - Licenses for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 75 FR 2853 - False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-19

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XT76 False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team... (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of establishment of a False Killer Whale Take Reduction... Insular, and Palmyra Atoll stocks of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in the Hawaii-based...

  11. 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...

  12. True's beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) in Macaronesia.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Resource partitioning in sympatric delphinids: space use and habitat preferences of Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.

    PubMed

    Parra, Guido J

    2006-07-01

    1. Many species of delphinids co-occur in space and time. However, little is known of their ecological interactions and the underlying mechanisms that mediate their coexistence. 2. Snubfin Orcaella heinsohni, and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis, live in sympatry throughout most of their range in Australian waters. I conducted boat-based surveys in Cleveland Bay, north-east Queensland, to collect data on the space and habitat use of both species. Using Geographic Information Systems, kernel methods and Euclidean distances I investigated interspecific differences in their space use patterns, behaviour and habitat preferences. 3. Core areas of use (50% kernel range) for both species were located close to river mouths and modified habitat such as dredged channels and breakwaters close to the Port of Townsville. Foraging and travelling activities were the dominant behavioural activities of snubfin and humpback dolphins within and outside their core areas. 4. Their representative ranges (95% kernel range) overlapped considerably, with shared areas showing strong concordance in the space use by both species. Nevertheless, snubfin dolphins preferred slightly shallower (1-2 m) waters than humpback dolphins (2-5 m). Additionally, shallow areas with seagrass ranked high in the habitat preferences of snubfin dolphins, whereas humpback dolphins favoured dredged channels. 5. Slight differences in habitat preferences appear to be one of the principal factors maintaining the coexistence of snubfin and humpback dolphins. I suggest diet partitioning and interspecific aggression as the major forces determining habitat selection in these sympatric species.

  16. Comparison of amikacin pharmacokinetics in a killer whale (Orcinus orca) and a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas).

    PubMed

    KuKanich, Butch; Papich, Mark; Huff, David; Stoskopf, Michael

    2004-06-01

    Amikacin, an aminoglycoside antimicrobial, was administered to a killer whale (Orcinus orca) and a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) for the treatment of clinical signs consistent with gram-negative aerobic bacterial infections. Dosage regimens were designed to target a maximal plasma concentration 8-10 times the minimum inhibitory concentrations of the pathogen and to reduce the risk of aminoglycoside toxicity. Allometric analysis of published pharmacokinetic parameters in mature animals yielded a relationship for amikacin's volume of distribution, in milliliters, given by the equation Vd = 151.058(BW)1.043. An initial dose for amikacin was estimated by calculating the volume of distribution and targeted maximal concentration. With this information, dosage regimens for i.m. administration were designed for a killer whale and a beluga whale. Therapeutic drug monitoring was performed on each whale to assess the individual pharmacokinetic parameters. The elimination half-life (5.99 hr), volume of distribution per bioavailability (319 ml/kg). and clearance per bioavailability (0.61 ml/min/kg) were calculated for the killer whale. The elimination half-life (5.03 hr), volume of distribution per bioavailability (229 ml/kg). and clearance per bioavailability (0.53 ml/min/kg) were calculated for the beluga whale. The volume of distribution predicted from the allometric equation for both whales was similar to the calculated pharmacokinetic parameter. Both whales exhibited a prolonged elimination half-life and decreased clearance when compared with other animal species despite normal renal parameters on biochemistry panels. Allometric principles and therapeutic drug monitoring were used to accurately determine the doses in these cases and to avoid toxicity.

  17. 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.

  18. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in...responses in Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) inhabiting the northern Bahamas. These...species were chosen to include a particularly acoustically- sensitive cetacean (beaked whales) and a co-occurring species ( sperm whales) for comparison

  19. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales ... whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) inhabiting the northern Bahamas. These deep-diving species were chosen to...include a particularly acoustically-sensitive cetacean (beaked whales ) and a co-occurring species (sperm whales ) for comparison. The immediate goals

  20. Whale's tail technique: A case series

    PubMed Central

    Mrunal, Deshpande Milind; Jaypal, Jarde Samiksha; Wilson, Rohan Srinivasan; Chatterjee, Anirban

    2016-01-01

    The Whale's tail technique performed to obtain maximum interdental papilla fill in the anterior region after placement of bone grafts. This study aims to assess the clinical efficacy of this new technique. This report describes a series of three cases with a probing depth of 6–7 mm in the maxillary anterior teeth and their treatment with Whale's tail technique to obtain regeneration and maximum papilla preservation. The cases in this report showed a pocket depth reduction of 3-4mm and a clinical attachment gain of 3-4mm. The application of the “Whale's tail” flap leads to clinically significant improvement of hard and soft tissue conditions and allows regeneration of wide intrabony defects involving the maxillary anterior teeth with notable interdental diastemas, maintaining interproximal tissue to recreate a functional attachment with esthetic results. PMID:28298831

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-14

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

  6. Automatic identification of individual killer whales.

    PubMed

    Brown, Judith C; Smaragdis, Paris; Nousek-McGregor, Anna

    2010-09-01

    Following the successful use of HMM and GMM models for classification of a set of 75 calls of northern resident killer whales into call types [Brown, J. C., and Smaragdis, P., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 125, 221-224 (2009)], the use of these same methods has been explored for the identification of vocalizations from the same call type N2 of four individual killer whales. With an average of 20 vocalizations from each of the individuals the pairwise comparisons have an extremely high success rate of 80 to 100% and the identifications within the entire group yield around 78%.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Successful euthanasia of a juvenile fin whale.

    PubMed Central

    Daoust, P Y; Ortenburger, A I

    2001-01-01

    A stranded juvenile fin whale was successfully euthanized with an intravenous injection of sedative and cardioplegic drugs. Veterinarians may face a number of serious difficulties if called to perform this task, and advance preparation is required for successful euthanasia of these animals. Images Figure 1. PMID:11272456

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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)

  5. 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…

  6. Monitoring Beaked Whale Movements during Submarine Commanders Course Using Satellite Telemetry Tags

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-30

    sperm whales , pilot whales , false killer whales and melon-headed whales . APPROACH This is a collaborative project between the Bahamas Marine...monitoring during multi-day SCC exercises involving tactical mid-frequency sonars has shown that beaked whales stop echolocating and likely move...measure the responses of individual whales to sonar, especially once they have ceased echolocating . The initial data presented here evidence the

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. High feeding costs limit dive time in the largest whales.

    PubMed

    Acevedo-Gutiérrez, A; Croll, D A; Tershy, B R

    2002-06-01

    Large body size usually extends dive duration in air-breathing vertebrates. However, the two largest predators on earth, the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and the fin whale (B. physalus), perform short dives for their size. Here, we test the hypothesis that the foraging behavior of these two species (lunge-feeding) is energetically expensive and limits their dive duration. We estimated the cost of lunge-feeding in both species using an approach that combined attaching time/depth recorders to seven blue whales and eight fin whales and comparing the collected dive information with predictions made by optimality models of dive behavior. We show that the rate at which whales recovered from a foraging dive was twice that of a non-foraging dive and that the cost of foraging relative to the cost of travel to and from the prey patch was 3.15 in blue whales (95 % CI 2.58-3.72) and 3.60 in fin whales (95 % CI 2.35-4.85). Whales foraged in small areas (<1 km(2)) and foraging bouts lasted more than one dive, indicating that prey did not disperse and thus that prey dispersal could not account for the limited dive durations of the whales. Despite the enormous size of blue whales and fin whales, the high energetic costs of lunge-feeding confine them to short durations of submergence and to areas with dense prey aggregations. As a corollary, because of their limited foraging time under water, these whales may be particularly vulnerable to perturbations in prey abundance.

  18. Automatic Detection of Beaked Whales from Acoustic Seagliders

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    detection and classification of odontocetes echolocation clicks and especially beaked whale sounds for the PAM Seaglider. Because any methods...Soc. Am. 129(6):3610-3622. Mellinger, D.K., K.M. Stafford, and C.G. Fox. 2004. Seasonal occurrence of sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) sounds ...To appear. Estimating minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) boing sound density using passive acoustic sensors. In press, Marine Mammal Science

  19. Automatic Detection of Beaked Whales from Acoustic Seagliders

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-30

    whale (Ziphius cavirostris) echolocation clicks have a spectral rise between approximately 25 and 35 kHz (Zimmer et al., 2005). The ratio between the...configure a classifier which will distinguish beaked whale echolocation clicks from those produced by dolphins. This classification problem is...then as generic C code for bench testing, then as C code for the operating environment of the ASG. It was configured for the detection of killer whales

  20. 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.

  1. Acoustic Seaglider(Trademark) for Beaked Whale Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-30

    to characterize system performance. • Deploy locally in the presence of killer whales (Orcinus orca) as a proxy for beaked whales . • Deploy off Kona...X., Aguilar de Soto, N., and Tyack, P. L. [2004]. “Beaked whales echolocate on prey”, Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 271, S383-S386. McSweeney, D...M. X., Johnson, M. P., Madsen, P. T., and Tyack P. L. [2005]. “ Echolocation clicks of free-ranging Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris)”, J

  2. An Ocean Observing System for Large-Scale Monitoring and Mapping of Noise Throughout the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    right whale, fin, humpback and minke whales). Data on the distributions and acoustic behaviors of ships and the four species of baleen whales were...including North Atlantic right, humpback , minke, and fin whales. For fin and minke whales, one-week periods representing their peak occurrence were...the up-call or gunshot were more predominant. For humpback whales, two one-week periods were also chosen, representing a change in predominant

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  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, 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...

  7. 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...

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Estimating cetacean carrying capacity based on spacing behaviour.

    PubMed

    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.

  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. 76 FR 30397 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-541)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-25

    ... satellite tag or attach suction cup tags and take skin biopsies from Killer whales, Minke whales and..., the applicant wishes to revise his current takes to 400 Killer whales, 300 Humpback whales, and...

  13. Beaked Whale Hearing and Noise Impact Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-20

    beaked whales). In addition, parallel CT and/or histologic measurements of inner ear anatomy were also obtained from 5 species of land mammals and 5...electric device for direct measurement of middle ear stapes footplate. Middle Ear Anatomy A number of different hypotheses have been put forth over the...at the middle ear anatomy in odontocetes with an eye towards creating a detailed model biomechanical model by employing microCT to scan ears from our

  14. Beaked Whale Habitat Characterization and Prediction

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-30

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

  15. Beaked Whale Strandings and Naval Exercises

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    whales (family Ziphiidae) (Frantzis, 1998 , 2004; Evans & England, 2001; Martín Martel, 2002; Brownell et al., 2004; Freitas, 2004; Martín et al., 2004...ings associated with naval exercises (Simmonds & Lopez-Jurado, 1991; Frantzis, 1998 , 2004; Evans & England, 2001; Martín Martel, 2002; Freitas, 2004...Martín et al., 2004) have suggested that they may occur over more than 1 d and along many km of coastline. Frantzis ( 1998 ) defined an “atypical

  16. 75 FR 81972 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-29

    ... endangered stocks of Central North Pacific (CNP) humpback whales, Western North Pacific (WNP) stock of humpback whales, Northeast Pacific (NEP) stock of fin whales, North Pacific stock of sperm whales, and... are registered. Take Reduction Plans (TRPs) are not required for the NEP stock of fin whales or...

  17. 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.

  18. 78 FR 66681 - Draft 2013 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-06

    ...), northern fur seal, bearded seal, ringed seal, ribbon seal, Cook Inlet beluga whales, narwhal, killer whale... stocks), sperm whale, beaked whales (Baird's, Cuvier's, and Stejneger's), western and central stocks of humpback whales, fin whale, eastern North Pacific right whale, and bowhead whale. Most revisions...

  19. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    Wasser, S.K. 2012. Distinguishing the impacts of inadequate prey and vessel traffic on an endangered killer whale (Orcinus orca) population. PLoS One...1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales ...hormone assays to assess stress responses in Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Behavioral and Physiological Response of Baleen Whales ...LONG-TERM GOALS This study began in late 2013 with the primary goal of examining the behavioral and physiological response of baleen whales to...species including blue and right whales that appear to be particularly susceptible. Initial research demonstrated the feasibility of documenting whale

  1. 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.

  2. Environmental Influences on Diel Calling Behavior in Baleen Whales

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    simultaneously observe prey migration behavior and whale acoustic activity, and (2) conduct shipboard zooplankton sampling in the region to...physical and biological oceanographic properties (e.g., temperature, salinity, chlorophyll fluorescence) as well as a proxy of zooplankton abundance (1...from autonomous underwater vehicles to adaptively plan research activities. Once on scene with whales, we will collect depth-stratified zooplankton

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 50 CFR 230.8 - Reporting by whaling captains.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Section 230.8 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC... not landed. (c) If the relevant Native American whaling organization fails to provide the National... submitted by the whaling captains directly to the National Marine Fisheries Service....

  8. 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...

  9. 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)

  10. 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…

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Behavioral response of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) to vessel traffic.

    PubMed

    Ng, Sai Leung; Leung, Sze

    2003-12-01

    A series of land-based surveys were conducted at two vantage points of known dolphin abundance in Hong Kong. The purpose of this study was to determine the behavioral response of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) to vessel traffic. Results indicated that dolphins dove for a longer duration in areas of heavy vessel traffic or when there was the presence of an oncoming vessel. Dependent upon the type of vessel and the relative distance, dolphins might flee, continue their ongoing activity, perform a new activity, or approach the vessel. Whilst slow-moving vessels appeared not to cause immediate stress on the dolphin community, fast-moving vessels often cause disruption of behavior and social life. In order to ensure a better environment for the animals, we suggest that proactive conservation measures such as the creation of a marine park, rules and regulations for dolphin watching activities, and regional control of vessel speed should be implemented.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, John H.; Duda, Jeffrey J.

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 15 CFR 922.182 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.182... space for individual and population growth and normal behavior of humpback whales, and include sites... nation. Sanctuary means the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Sanctuary...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 15 CFR 922.182 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.182... space for individual and population growth and normal behavior of humpback whales, and include sites... nation. Sanctuary means the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Sanctuary...

  4. 15 CFR 922.182 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.182... space for individual and population growth and normal behavior of humpback whales, and include sites... nation. Sanctuary means the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Sanctuary...

  5. 15 CFR 922.182 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.182... space for individual and population growth and normal behavior of humpback whales, and include sites... nation. Sanctuary means the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Sanctuary...

  6. 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...

  7. 15 CFR 922.180 - Purpose.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 75 FR 29984 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-28

    ... North Pacific (CNP) stock of endangered humpback whales by the Hawaii-based longline fisheries (deep-set... humpback whales incidental to commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the CNP stock of humpback whales, that a recovery plan has been developed, that a monitoring program is established, that...

  10. 15 CFR 922.182 - Definitions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary § 922.182... space for individual and population growth and normal behavior of humpback whales, and include sites... nation. Sanctuary means the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Sanctuary...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Interactions Among Behavioral Responses of Baleen Whales to Acoustic Stimuli, Oceanographic Features, and Prey Availability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    observed are feeding, traveling, resting, and socializing. Blue whales visit the southern California Bight in the summer months primarily to forage, and...ecological decisions made by individual whales when foraging, and how the broader oceanographic environment affects blue whales in southern California...including blue whales and thus is considered the most accurate way of determining feeding events in baleen whales from tag-derived records. Data from the

  1. Structure of the integument of southern right whales, Eubalaena australis.

    PubMed

    Reeb, Desray; Best, Peter Barrington; Kidson, Susan Hillary

    2007-06-01

    Skin (integument) anatomy reflects adaptations to particular environments. It is hypothesized that cetacean (whale) integument will show unique anatomical adaptations to an aquatic environment, particularly regarding differences in temperature, density, and pressure. In this study, the gross and histological structure of the southern right whale integument is described and compared with terrestrial mammals and previous descriptions of mysticete (baleen whale) and odontocete (toothed whale) species. Samples were taken of the integument of 98 free-swimming southern right whales, Eubalaena australis, and examined by both light and electron microscopy. Results show that three epidermal layers are present, with the stratum corneum being parakeratotic in nature. As in bowhead whales, southern right whales possess an acanthotic epidermis and a notably thick hypodermis, with epidermal rods and extensive papillomatosis. However, unlike bowhead whales, southern right whales possess an uninterrupted hypodermal layer. Surprisingly, the integument of balaenids (right and bowhead mysticetes) in general is more like that of odontocetes than that of the more closely related balaenopterids (rorqual mysticetes). Similarities to odontocetes were found specifically in the collagen fibers in a fat-free zone of the reticular dermal layer and the elastic fibers in the dermal and hypodermal layers. Callosities, a distinctive feature of this genus, have a slightly thicker stratum corneum and are usually associated with hairs that have innervated and vascularized follicles. These hairs may function as vibrissae, thus aiding in aquatic foraging by allowing rapid detection of changes in prey density. Although the thick insulatory integument makes right whales bulky and slow-moving, it is an adaptation for living in cold water. Epidermal thickness, presence of epidermal rods, and callosities may act as barriers against mechanical injury from bodily contact with conspecifics or hard surfaces in

  2. 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...

  3. History of polar whaling: insights into the physiology of the great whales.

    PubMed

    Castellini, M

    2000-06-01

    The sheer size and pelagic nature of the great whales has effectively precluded detailed studies of most of their physiological processes. The vast majority of all data for these species have come from anatomical studies conducted on specimens that were caught in commercial and native whaling operations. In both the polar regions, an incredible number of whales were hunted, but anatomical studies were not usually conducted until relatively recent times. However, the anatomical data that do exist provide a valuable insight into some of the physiological demands placed on the animals by their marine habitat. These include information on blubber and nutrition; baleen and feeding ecology; contaminant chemistry and tissue samples; diving chemistry and acoustics. Taken together, these anatomical data provide the only substantial information on how these animals dive and hunt. Recent breakthroughs in chemical techniques however, are providing even greater details on function (for example, fatty acid signature methods). Coupled with advanced methods for tracking these whales at sea (acoustic and satellite), future studies should provide significant new information on the general physiology of these difficult to study species.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    and ecology , and also has relevance to assessing the impact of potential changes in behavior or spatial use that may be associated with anthropogenic...description and comparison of diet composition as well as provide insight into the foraging behavior and ecology of these whales in the North

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

    PubMed

    Bose, N; Lien, J

    1989-07-22

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

  6. Beaked Whales and Pilot Whales in the Alboran Sea SW Mediterranean

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    dorsal fin and other distinguishing features (for example, pigmentation patterns and scars) of individual pilot whales were usually taken by 5 or 6...and photosynthetically available radiation (PAR) measurements from the SeaWiFS sensor aboard the GeoEye spacecraft, SST measurements from the NOAA

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    Pacific. We examine the long term impacts on health, reproduction , and mortality unitizing the past deployments of implant and suction cup tags on...objectives for this multi-year project are as follows: 1. Examine the long-term survival of tagged animals in relation to animals that were not...tagged. 2. Test for differences in the visual health status of tagged versus untagged animals . 3. Examine the condition of the tag site and evaluate

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    Approved for public release; distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT 15. SUBJECT TERMS 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17...resighting. 8. Organized a workshop for 8 December 2013 in Dunedin ahead of the Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals specifically on...and British Columbia by Cascadia and other collaborators under a project primarily sponsored by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory (Calambokidis

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    Approved for public release; distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT 15. SUBJECT TERMS 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17...resighting. 8. Organized a workshop for 8 December 2013 in Dunedin ahead of the Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals specifically on...Washington, and British Columbia by Cascadia and other collaborators under a project primarily sponsored by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-25

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

  16. The role of infrasounds in maintaining whale herds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Roger S.

    2004-05-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.