[MARMAM] New publication on seasonal and diel variation in North Atlantic right whale up-calls

Sarah Mussoline smussoline at whoi.edu
Thu Apr 12 06:19:06 PDT 2012


The following paper was recently published in Endangered Species
Research and I thought some of you may be interested. The article is
freely available for download at
http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/esr/v17/n1/ or by request to me.

Kind regards,
Sarah Mussoline

Mussoline SE, Risch D, Hatch LT, Weinrich MT, Wiley DN, Thompson MA,
Corkeron PJ, Van Parijs SM. 2012. Seasonal and diel variation in North
Atlantic right whale up-calls: implications for management and
conservation in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Endangered Species
Research 17: 17-26.

Ship strikes are a major cause of anthropogenic mortality for the
endangered North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis. Year-round
data on animal presence are critical to managing ship strike
mortality. Marine autonomous recording units were deployed throughout
the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS, Massachusetts
Bay, USA) for 13 mo from January 2006 to February 2007 and on Jeffreys
Ledge (JL, Gulf of Maine, USA) for 7 mo from November 2004 to May 2005
to determine whether passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) can improve
information on right whale occurrence. Automated detection and manual
review were used to determine presence and absence of right whale
up-calls. In SBNMS, up-calls were detected year round, except during
July and August, and calling rates were highest from January through
May, peaking in April. In JL, up-calls occurred throughout all
recording months, with the highest numbers from November through
February. Up-calls were heard extensively in the wintertime throughout
SBNMS and JL, suggesting that these areas are important overwintering
grounds for right whales. Additionally, up-calls showed a strong diel
trend in both areas, with significantly more calls occurring during
twilight than dark and light periods. These data indicate that right
whales are present more often and over longer time periods in the
western Gulf of Maine than previously thought using conventional
visual techniques. Finally, this study demonstrates the utility of PAM
in providing a detailed and long-term picture of right whale presence
in an area that poses a significant risk of anthropogenic mortality.

Sarah Mussoline
Research Assistant
Biology Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
MS #33, Redfield 256
Woods Hole, MA 02543
smussoline at whoi.edu
(508)289-3479 phone

More information about the MARMAM mailing list