[MARMAM] Paper on beaked whale movements

Greg Schorr GSchorr at cascadiaresearch.org
Wed Nov 18 09:38:14 PST 2009

Hi all,

A new paper on the movements and habitat use of satellite-tagged
Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) has been published
in the special theme section, Biologging Technologies: New Tools for
Conservation, in Endangered Species Research.


Schorr, G.S., R.W. Baird, M. B. Hanson, D.L. Webster, D.J. McSweeney,
and R.D. Andrews. 2009. Movements of satellite-tagged Blainville's
beaked whales off the island of Hawaii. Endangered Species Research DOI:


The paper and an animation of the movements can be found at:



Additional information and copies of the paper can be found at Cascadia
Research's website, www.cascadiaresearch.org






ABSTRACT: Studies of movement patterns and habitat use in cetaceans are
often constrained by factors such as ship time, logistics, and the
ability to follow individuals over time. Obtaining this information on
beaked whales is especially difficult, yet the information is critical
to their management and conservation, particularly in light of their
susceptibility to naval sonar. To better understand the movements of
beaked whales around Hawai'i, Argos-linked satellite tags were remotely
applied to the dorsal fins of 8 Blainville's beaked whales Mesoplodon
densirostris in 2006 and 2008, representing the first time that beaked
whales have been tracked by satellite. Transmissions from the tags were
received for 15 to 71 d (mean = 48 d). All 8 individuals were tagged
west of the island of Hawai'i, and moved out of the small-boat survey
area, also making forays into naval training areas. Despite cumulative
straight-line distances moved of up to 2383 km, maximum displacement
from tagging location for any individual was only 139 km. Individuals
utilized slope waters (mean depth = 1156 m) and remained relatively
close to the island (mean distance = 16.9 km). No movements to the east
side of the island were documented, despite the availability of similar
deep-water habitat. Overall movement patterns suggest that the
population is island associated and that individuals exhibit strong site
fidelity, both of which increase the susceptibility of this small
population to local perturbations.



Greg Schorr

Cascadia Research Collective

218 1/2  4th Ave W

Olympia, WA 98501

(360) 943-7325 Office

(206) 931-4638 Cell



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