[MARMAM] Long-term resightings of humpback whales in Hawaii

Louis Herman lherman at hawaii.edu
Sat Feb 26 18:48:57 PST 2011

We are pleased to announce the availability of the following article 
published on-line in Marine Mammal Science. It will also appear in 
print in an issue later in the year.

Herman, L. M., A. A.  Pack, K. Rose, A. Craig, E. Y. K. Herman, S. 
Hakala & A. Milette (in press). Resightings of humpback whales in 
Hawaiian waters over spans of 10-32 years: Site fidelity, sex ratios, 
calving rates, female demographics, and the dynamics of social and 
behavioral roles of individuals. Marine Mammal Science

 From a database of approximately 5,000 Hawaiian humpback whales 
identified photographically between 1976 and 2010, we extracted 71 
males and 39 females having resighting spans of 10 or more years, 
from first to most recent sighting. Findings included: (1) the 
male-biased sex ratio was like that found in breeding grounds 
worldwide; (2) the mean span for males of 20.7 yr (maximum = 32 yr) 
did not differ significantly from the mean of 19.8 yr (maximum=29 yr) 
for females, but males were seen in significantly more years during 
their spans than were females; (3) the mean number of females seen 
with and without calf across 11 three-year intervals from 1977 to 
2009 did not differ significantly; (4) the calving rate for the 39 
females was 0.48 and seven females produced two to eight calves over 
spans of 22-26 yr; (5) females attracted significantly more escorts 
in years without calf than in years with calf; (6) individuals showed 
great diversity in the social units they occupied over their sighting 
spans, but with the most frequently observed unit for both sexes 
being the trio of mother, calf, and escort. Males were also observed 
frequently in competitive groups centered about a female without calf.

A pdf may be downloaded from:


or a PDF copy may be obtained from  Lou Herman <lherman at hawaii.edu>

Louis M. Herman Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, University of Hawaii

President, The Dolphin Institute
420 Ward Ave. Ste 212
Honolulu HI 96814

lherman at hawaii.edu

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