[MARMAM] New publication on humpback whales in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Marc Lammers lammers at hawaii.edu
Fri Feb 11 12:37:19 PST 2011


Aloha Colleagues:

I would like to share with you the recent publication of the following 
article: Lammers, M.O., Fisher-Pool, P., Au, W.W.L., Wong, K., Meyer, C. 
and Brainard, R., (2011). "Humpback whale /Megaptera novaeangliae/ song 
reveals wintering activity in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands" Mar. 
Ecol. Prog. Ser. 423:261-268.

The abstract is below:

The main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) are the principal breeding ground for 
humpback whales in the North Pacific. Over the past 3 decades, 
population recovery from whaling-era losses has resulted in a steady 
increase in the number of whales wintering in Hawaiian waters and a 
geographic expansion of their distribution in the MHI. Until recently, 
no existing evidence showed that this expansion included the islands, 
atolls, and banks of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). To better 
understand the occurrence of humpback whales in the NWHI, 9 ecological 
acoustic recorders (EARs) were deployed at sites throughout the 
archipelago to record the occurrence of humpback whale song, an 
indicator of winter breeding activity. Song was found to be prevalent at 
Maro Reef, Lisianski Island, and French Frigate Shoals but was also 
recorded at Kure Atoll, Midway Atoll, and Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Both 
the timing and abundance of song at several locations closely followed 
trends observed on Oahu, which is one of the MHI, strongly suggesting 
that humpback whales use the NWHI as a wintering area. This finding is 
of particular relevance in light of recent suggestions that, based on 
photo-identification data, a yet undocumented wintering area exists 
somewhere in the central North Pacific. We propose that the NWHI could 
be that area.

The paper can be obtained as an open access article at: 
http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v423/ or by emailing 
lammers at hawaii.edu <mailto:pack at hawaii.edu>.

Kind regards,
Marc

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marc O. Lammers, Ph.D.
Assistant Researcher
Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
P.O. Box 1346
Kaneohe, HI 96744
Tel: 808-375-0010
Fax: 808-247-5831
Email:lammers at hawaii.edu

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