[MARMAM] Abstracts - Aquatic Mammals vol 35(4), 2009, Special Issue on Sonars and Cetacean Strandings

Dagmar Fertl dagmar_fertl at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 22 07:58:07 PST 2010


Dear Marmam and ECS-mailbase subscribers,
 
Apologies to those of you who will receive duplicate emails due to cross-posting. The following are abstracts from the most recent issue of Aquatic Mammals, the scientific peer-reviewed journal of the European Association for Aquatic Mammals (EAAM).  The journal publishes papers dealing with all aspects of the care, conservation, medicine and science of aquatic mammals. The journal receives support of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the International Marine Animal Trainers' Association (IMATA). As a reminder, the journal is shifting to electronic only; paper copies would be available for an additional charge.
 
Abstracts are presented as a courtesy to the EAAM and the journal editors – Drs. Kathleen Dudzinski (kdudzinski at dolphincommunicationproject.org) and Justin Gregg (justin at dolphincommunication.com).
 
In conjunction with John Anderson of Terramar Productions, the new Editorial team will grow Aquatic Mammals into a multi-media journal.  Please see the journal's website http://www.aquaticmammalsjournal.org for exciting details about the new feature of real-time publishing, online publishing, ADA compatible publishing, Historical Perspective essays and DVDs. 
 
Contact information is provided for the corresponding author for each article. 
 
Thank you for your continued interest in the journal and these postings. This issue is a Special Issue on Sonars and Cetacean Strandings.
 
With regards,
 
Dagmar Fertl
Ziphius EcoServices
dfertl at gmail.com

http://www.ziphiusecoservices.com
 
 
Leendert Spoelstra,* J. 2009. Foreword. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):425.
 
*no contact information provided with this article
 
Introduction to the special issue by a Rear Admiral RNLN (retired;  Former Director of NATO Undersea Research Centre, NURC (1996-2003)) noting the use of sonar in the marine environment and the value of Marine Mammal Acoustic Risk Mitigation Programs.
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D’Amico, A.*, and R. Pittenger. 2009. A brief history of active sonar. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):426-434.
 
* Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, 53560 Hull Street, San Diego, CA 92152-5001, USA; E-mail: angela.damico at navy.mil
 
 
As background for this special issue on strand­ings and mid-frequency active sonar (MFAS), this paper presents a brief history of active sonar, trac­ing the development of MFAS from its origins in the early 20th century through the development of current tactical MFAS.

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Filadelfo, R.*, J. Mintz, E. Michlovich, A. D’Amico, and D. R. Ketten. 2009. Correlating military sonar use with beaked whale mass strandings: What do the historical data show? Aquatic Mammals 35(4):435-444.
 
*Center for Naval Analyses, 4825 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22151, USA; E-mail: filadelr at cna.org
 
There have been several incidents in which U.S. Navy sonar operations at sea coincided in time and location with a mass stranding of marine mammals, particularly beaked whales. Although a conclusive cause-and-effect relationship has not been established, there is strong evidence and scientific concern that use of military sonar has resulted in beaked whale mass strandings. Most previous attempts to determine whether military sonar use and whale strandings are correlated have looked at mass stranding records of beaked whales and have singled out those instances in which military operations appear to coincide in time and location with a mass stranding event. In this study, historical data on beaked whale mass strandings and military exercises that were likely to include active sonar use were compiled, and sta-tistical analyses were performed to determine the level of correlation between these events for four geographic regions. Strandings were significantly correlated with naval activity in the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas, but not off the coasts of Japan and southern California.

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Blanchet, M.-A.*, M. Wahlberg, and T. Ishigami. 2009. First observation of the parturition and peripartum events in a harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Aquatic Mammals 35(4):473-480 
 
* Fjord & Bælt, Margrethes Plads 1, 5300 Kerteminde, DenmarkCorresponding Author’s E-mail: marie_blanchet at yahoo.fr; current address:  Idrettsveien 40 B, 9009 Tromsø, Norway
 
Parturition events in cetaceans are difficult to observe in nature and scarcely described in detail. Observations from animals in captivity offer the possibility to follow complete gestations and to obtain a precise description of the series of events pertaining to pregnancy and parturition. After a gestation period of 11 mo, the parturition of a harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) was observed for the first time at the Danish research facility Fjord & Boelt on 8 August 2007. Five pre­partum signs useful to predict the onset of par­turition were identified: (1) decrease in appetite (from 5,064 Kcal/d to 907 Kcal/d at 2 d before birth [B-2]), (2) unusual behavior (disinterest in training sessions, seeking of physical contact with the trainers, restlessness), (3) decrease in body temperature of 1.6º C at B-1, (4) swollenness in the genital area, and (5) increase in the inter-mam­mary distance (from 5 to 8 cm at B-1).During labor, three stages described for other mammals in literature were observed and each stage’s duration recorded: Stage 1 was character­ized by uterine contractions and dilation of the cervix (between 2 h 19 min and 7 h 39 min), Stage 2 started with the rupture of fetal membranes (1 h 42 min at least), and Stage 3 comprised the expul­sion of the fetus and its membranes (7 h). The total duration of the parturition was at least 16 h 21 min as there is an uncertainty in regards to the exact beginning of the labor.
 
The sequence of visible events occurring during parturition was as follows: apparition of the amni­otic sac, apparition of the calf’s flukes, apparition of the peduncle, delivery of the calf, and expulsion of the left horn of the placenta followed by the right horn. As described for other cetaceans, the delivery was caudal.
 
Contractions seemed to be longer and more frequent during the first stage and during the beginning of the second stage of labor. The con­tractions then shortened and became more regular during the expulsion of the calf. We observed that the expulsion of the calf was not provoked only by contractions but helped at the end by a violent rotational movement of the mother that broke the umbilical cord. The female’s breathing rate increased dramatically towards the end of the expulsion of the calf.
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Filadelfo, R., J. Mintz, E. Michlovich, A. D’Amico, and D. R. Ketten. 2009. Correlating military sonar use with beaked whale mass strandings: What do the historical data show? Aquatic Mammals 35(4):435-444.
 
*Center for Naval Analyses, 4825 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22151, USA; E-mail: filadelr at cna.org
 
 There have been several incidents in which U.S. Navy sonar operations at sea coincided in time and location with a mass stranding of marine mammals, particularly beaked whales. Although a conclusive cause-and-effect relationship has not been established, there is strong evidence and scientific concern that use of military sonar has resulted in beaked whale mass strandings. Most previous attempts to determine whether military sonar use and whale strandings are correlated have looked at mass stranding records of beaked whales and have singled out those instances in which military operations appear to coincide in time and location with a mass stranding event. In this study, historical data on beaked whale mass strandings and military exercises that were likely to include active sonar use were compiled, and sta-tistical analyses were performed to determine the level of correlation between these events for four geographic regions. Strandings were significantly correlated with naval activity in the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas, but not off the coasts of Japan and southern California.
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Filadelfo, R., Y. K. Pinelis, S. Davis, R. Robert Chase, J. Mintz, J. Wolfanger, P. L. Tyack, D. R. Ketten, and A. D’Amico. 2009. Correlating whale strandings with Navy exercises off Southern California. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):445-451.
 
 *Center for Naval Analyses, 4825 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22151, USA; E-mail: filadelr at cna.org
 
 There have been several incidents when Navy sonar operations at sea coincided in time and loca­tion with the mass stranding of marine mammals, particularly beaked whales. Filadelfo et al. (this issue) compiled historical data on large-scale naval exercises and found significant correlations with whale mass strandings in some locations but not in others. In the present study, we compile infor­mation on Navy operations off southern California and single strandings of several cetacean species to see if there is a correlation between strandings and Navy exercises in this area. We use information on the state of decomposition of the stranded animals to treat the actual time of stranding as a random variable, and we simulate the correlation between Navy activity and strandings with a Monte Carlo model. For gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), the 95% confidence interval (CI) for the ratio of odds of a stranding occurring as a result of Navy exercises to the odds of a stranding occurring naturally was (0.879, 1.582), consistent with the null hypothesis of no difference in stranding rates between times of Navy exercises and other times. For other species, the 95% CI for the odds ratio was (0.716, 1.394), which is, again, consistent with the null hypothesis.
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D’Amico, A.*, R. C. Gisiner, D. R. Ketten, J. A. Hammock, C. Johnson, P. L. Tyack, and J. Mead. 2009. Beaked whale strandings and naval exercises. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):452-472 
 
* Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, 53560 Hull Street, San Diego, CA 92152-5001, USA; E-mail: angela.damico at navy.mil
 
 Mass strandings of beaked whales (family Ziphiidae) have been reported in the scientific liter­ature since 1874. Several recent mass strandings of beaked whales have been reported to coincide with naval active sonar exercises. To obtain the broad­est assessment of surface ship naval active sonar operations coinciding with beaked whale mass strandings, a list of global naval training and anti-submarine warfare exercises was compiled from openly available sources and compared by location and time with historic stranding records. This list includes activities of navies of other nations but emphasizes recent U.S. activities because of what is available in publicly accessible sources. Of 136 beaked whale mass stranding events reported from 1874 to 2004, 126 occurred between 1950 and 2004, after the introduction and implementation of modern, high-power mid-frequency active sonar (MFAS). Of these 126 reports, only two reported details on the use, timing, and location of sonar in relation to mass strandings. Ten other mass strand­ings coincided in space and time with naval exer­cises that may have included MFAS. An additional 27 mass stranding events occurred near a naval base or ship but with no direct evidence of sonar use. The remaining 87 mass strandings have no evidence for a link with any naval activity. Six of these 87 cases have evidence for a cause unrelated to active sonar. The large number of global naval activities annually with potential MFAS usage in comparison to the relative rarity of mass stranding events suggests that most MFAS operations take place with no reported stranding events and that for an MFAS operation to cause a mass stranding of beaked whales, a confluence of several risk factors is probably required. Identification of these risk factors will help in the development of measures to reduce the risk of sonar-related strandings.
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Osterrieder, S. K.*, and R. W. Davis. 2009. Summer foraging behaviour of female sea otters (Enhydra lutris) with pups in Simpson Bay, Alaska. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):481-489. 
 
*University of Rostock, Institute of Bioscience, Rostock, Germany; E-mail: ost_sylvia at yahoo.de
 
In altricial mammals, the mother’s care and attendance are essential for the young to acquire survival skills. Not much is known about mother-pup behaviour in the sea otter population of Simpson Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska. In this study, water depth and location of feeding females with pups of different ages were recorded. Shallow (0 to 20 m) and deep (60 to 80 m) waters were preferred for foraging over those of intermediate depths. There was no significant difference in foraging water depth relative to pup maturity, but female dive duration changed significantly with the age of the pup, likely resulting in increasing surface time for unattended pups. The range of measured dive durations increased with older pups. Dive duration was highly significantly dependent on foraging water depth.
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McCreery, L.*, and J. A. Thomas. 2009. Acoustic analysis of underwater vocalizations from crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus): Not so monotonous. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):490-501.
 
* Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University–Quad Cities, 3561 60th Street, Moline, IL 61265, USA; E-mail: mccreeryl at mail.davenport.k12.ia.us
 
Underwater vocalizations of pack-ice crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus) were recorded by J. A. Thomas off the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula during the austral breeding season in November 1978. Data were collected by dropping an ANS 57 sonobuoy from the side of a ship to a depth of 15.3 m and recorded on a Nagra III reel-to-reel recorder (system frequency response linear from 20 Hz to 20 kHz ± 2 dB). The acoustic proper­ties of 315 underwater vocalizations were analyzed using Spectrogram real time software. As previous investigators documented, all crabeater seal sounds during the breeding season were of one type, a long groan. D. Cothran recorded a solitary crabeater seal of unknown age and sex foraging during the non­breeding season in February 2007 in the same gen­eral area of the Antarctic Peninsula using a Sony TRV-900 digital underwater video camcorder. Twenty seconds of underwater acoustic data were spectrographically analyzed, and 18 vocalizations were identified and classified into four previously unreported sound types: (1) short groan, (2) whis­tle, (3) screech, and (4) grunt. For the first time, the acoustic characteristics of the common long groan and four previously undescribed underwater vocal­izations by crabeater seals were examined spec­trographically with parameters of frequency and time reported herein. The long groan showed little frequency or temporal variation and was repeated by other distant crabeater seals at about 20.0-s intervals. No long groans were recorded during the short February videotape. The four previously undocumented vocalizations were produced while a single crabeater seal foraged in shallow water. Hierarchical cluster analysis showed that the long groan was acoustically dissimilar to the four new vocalizations; however, only 18 sounds were avail­able for analysis. Still, this videotape documents that this species does produce more than one sound type. Further research should be conducted to adequately document the underwater acoustic rep­ertoire of the crabeater seal, especially outside the breeding season.
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Wenzel, F. W.,* J. Allen, S. Berrow, C. J. Hazevoet, B. Jann, L. Steiner, P. Stevick, P. López Suárez, and P. Whooley. 2009. Current knowledge on the distribution and relative abundance of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) off the Cape Verde Islands, eastern North Atlantic. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):502-510.
 
* NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA; E-mail: Frederick.Wenzel at noaa.gov
 
During the winter/spring months from 1990 to 2009, 13 cetacean surveys were conducted around the Cape Verde Islands off West Africa. The main target species was the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Study periods varied from 14 to 90 d in duration. Study platforms included a 5-m inflatable boat, a 12-m catamaran, and/or 15-m sailing or motor vessels. Collectively, we obtained 88 individual humpback fluke photo­graphs from this region. These fluke photographs have been compared to over 6,500 individual fluke photographs maintained in the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue. Based on photo-identification, humpbacks in the Cape Verde Islands have a relatively high interannual resight rate (> 22%) compared to other studied breeding locations in the West Indies. While this is partly due to increased probability of detection in a small population, this result nonetheless suggests strong site fidelity to this breeding ground. Three photo-identified individuals from the Cape Verde Islands had been previously photo­graphed on high-latitude feeding grounds off Bear Island, Norway, and Iceland. One Cape Verdean humpback was resighted in the Azores, possibly en route to the northern feeding grounds. These findings are consistent with the belief that the Cape Verde Islands represent a breeding ground for northeastern Atlantic humpback whales. 
 
Tourism activities in the Cape Verde Islands are rapidly increasing. A balance is needed whereby conservation, whale watching guidelines, habitat preservation, and enforcement are fully enacted in order to provide protection to both this species and its habitat. In addition, further research is required to clarify the importance of this small population and its breeding ground.
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Merriman, M. G.*, T. M. Markowitz, A. D. Harlin-Cognato, and K. A. Stockin. 2009. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) abundance, site fidelity, and group dynamics in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):511-522.
 
 *Coastal-Marine Research Group, Massey University, Private Bag 102904, North Shore MSC, Auckland, New Zealand; E-mail: m.g.merriman at massey.ac.nz
 
 Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are con­sistently observed in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. However, prior to the present study, no research has previously focused on this spe­cies within these waters, despite the potential for human impacts. Photo-identification undertaken during boat-based surveys conducted between 2003 and 2005 were used to assess occurrence, abundance, and movement patterns of bottle­nose dolphins in the Marlborough Sounds. Long-term site fidelity was evident, with the majority of individuals resighted over multiple years. Lagged identification rates showed consistency over a 4-y period, with some individuals remain­ing for longer periods, while others frequently interchanged between different areas of the Marlborough Sounds. Migration rates were high, with approximately 25% leaving and entering the 890 km² region annually. Bottlenose dolphins in the Marlborough Sounds appear to form part of a larger, open, coastal population consisting of 385 individuals, with 211 (95% CI = 195 to 232) dol­phins utilizing the region per annum. While their occurrence within these waters is frequent, the Marlborough Sounds appear to be only a section of a much larger home range for this bottlenose dolphin population.
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Kooyman, M. M., and G. L. Kooyman*. 2009. Historical perspectives: The history of pinniped studies in Antarctica. Aquatic Mammals 35(4):525-556.
 
*Scholander Hall, 0204, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA; E-mail: gkooyman at ucsd.edu
 
The Kooymans provide us with a detailed account of the history of pinniped studies in Antarctica. Melba Kooyman talks about the discovery and early history of Antarctic pinnipeds. Gerald Kooyman provides a summary of Weddell seal behavioral and physiological studies in McMurdo Sound (1964-1984)
 


 		 	   		  
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