[MARMAM] Abstracts-Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, vol. 12, issue 3 - 2012

Dagmar Fertl dagmar_fertl at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 28 06:22:10 PST 2012


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 (Volume 12, issue 3, 2012) of the Journal of Cetacean Research and Management.
 
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) publishes The Journal of Cetacean Research and Management thrice yearly (Spring, Autumn, and Winter), with at least one supplement that will contain the full report of the IWC Scientific Committee. The following is posted on behalf of the IWC and the journal editor.
 
Further information can be found at: http://www.iwcoffice.org/publications/JCRM.htm. A guide for authors is included in the first volume of each issue and on the IWC website: http://www.iwcoffice.org/publications/authorsguide.htm. 
 
Contact information is provided for the corresponding author for each article. Please do not contact the listserve editors or me for pdfs or copies of the articles. Thank you for your continued interest in the journal and abstract postings. 
 
With regards and best wishes for the New Year,
 
Dagmar Fertl
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Laake, J.L.*, A.E. Punt, R. Hobbs, M. Ferguson, D. Rugh, and J. Breiwick. 2012. Gray whale southbound migration surveys 1967-2006: An integrated re-analysis. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):287-306.
 
Contact e-mail: Jeff.Laake at noaa.gov
 
Between 1967 and 2007, 23 seasons of shore-based counts of the Eastern North Pacific (ENP) stock of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) were conducted throughout all or most of the southbound migration near Carmel, California. Population estimates have been derived from these surveys using a variety of techniques that were adapted as the data collection protocol evolved. The subsequent time series of estimates was used to evaluate trend and population status, resulting in the conclusion that the population was no longer endangered and had achieved its optimum sustainable population (OSP) level. We re-evaluated the data from all of the surveys using a common estimation procedure and an improved method for treatment of error in pod size and detection probability estimation. The newly derived abundance estimates between 1967 and 1987 were generally larger (–2.5% to 21%) than previous abundance estimates. However, the opposite was the case for survey years 1992 to 2006, with estimates declining from –4.9% to –29%. This pattern is largely explained by the differences in the correction for pod size bias, which occurred because the pod sizes in the calibration data over represented pods of two or more whales and underrepresented single whales relative to the estimated true pod size distribution.
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Burt, M.L.*, D.L. Borchers, and P. Ensor. 2012. Trackline detection probability of Antarctic minke whales: Analyses of the BT mode experiments conducted on the IWC-SOWER cruises 2005/06-2007/08. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):307-316.
 
*Contact e-mail: louise at mcs.st-and.ac.uk
 
IWC sightings surveys to obtain abundance estimates of cetaceans have taken place in the Antarctic since 1978/79. In order to interpret the minke whale abundance from these surveys and trial different search protocols for future cruises, Buckland-Turnock (BT) search mode experiments were conducted during the IWC-SOWER 2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08 cruises. BT search mode is a particular configuration of a double-observer survey and two configurations of BT mode were implemented on the SOWER cruises; BT-NSP mode and BT-option 2. Normal standard passing (NSP) mode is a standard search mode for SOWER vessels and in BT-NSP mode, the observer located on the barrel became the primary and searched as usual in NSP mode with 7×50 binoculars; the observers on the upper bridge became the tracker and used big eye binoculars mounted on the upper bridge. Thus, the probability of detection for the observer in the barrel can be estimated which can help inform interpretations of abundance estimates of SOWER data. For BT-NSP mode, the estimates of detection probability on the trackline for the observer in the barrel ranged between 0.35 (CV = 0.57) to 0.69 (CV = 0.23) for the different years and combinations of data and models. In BT-option 2, the observer on the barrel (searching with 7×50 binoculars) acted as tracker and the observer on the independent observer (IO) platform acted as the primary (searching with naked eye). For this configuration, the estimates of primary detection probability on the trackline were 0.25 (CV = 0.59) and 0.28 (CV = 0.50) for two different models.
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Hansen, R.G.*, M.P. Heide-Jørgensen, and K.L. Laidre. 2012. Recent abundance of bowhead whales in Isabella Bay, Canada. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):317-319.
 
*Contact e-mail: rgh at ghsdk.dk
 
An aerial survey of the late-summer distribution of bowhead whales, Balaena mysticetus, in Isabella Bay, Nunavut, Canada, was conducted on 19 September 2009. A total of 28 sightings were obtained during 155km of survey effort and >90% of the sightings were detected by both platforms. Corrections were made for whales that were submerged during the passage of the survey plane, resulting in an abundance estimate of 1,105 bowhead whales (95% CI: 532–2,294). No cow-calf pairs were observed confirming earlier observations that east Baffin Island is primarily visited by subadult and adult whales.
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Franklin, W.*, T. Franklin, L. Brooks, N. Gibbs, S. Childerhouse, F. Smith, D. Burns, D. Paton, C. Garrigue, R.  Constantine, M.M. Poole, N. Hauser, M. Donoghue, K. Russell, D.K. Mattila, J. Robbins, A. Oosterman, R. Leaper, P. Harrison, S. Baker, and P. Clapham. 2012. Antarctic waters (Area V) near the Balleny Islands are a summer feeding area for some Eastern Australian (E(i) breeding group) humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(2):321-327.
 
*Contact e-mail: wally.franklin at oceania.org.au
 
Discovery mark tagging provided the first evidence of linkages between eastern Australian and Oceania Humpback whale breeding grounds and the Antarctic Area V feeding areas. Early investigation of movements of humpback whales in the Western Pacific led to the view that the Balleny Islands and the Ross Sea were the summer destinations for humpback whales from eastern Australia and the Oceania breeding grounds. Recent photo-identification (ID) studies provided further evidence of low levels of migratory interchange and complex linkages within Oceania and between eastern Australia and Oceania. We report here the migratory movement of three humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) between Eastern Australia (E(i) breeding stock) and the Area V Antarctic feeding area in the vicinity of the Balleny Islands. Using photo-ID techniques, comparisons between a Balleny Island fluke catalogue (n = 11 individuals) and existing fluke catalogues from eastern Australia (n = 3,120 individuals) and Oceania (n = 725 individuals), yielded three matches to Hervey Bay, Byron Bay and Ballina in eastern Australia and no matches to Oceania. The eastern Australia catalogue (n = 3,120) was made up of Hervey Bay (n = 1,556), Byron Bay, (n = 916) and Ballina (n = 648). The Oceania catalogue (n = 725) is made up of Tonga (n = 282); New Caledonia (n = 160); French Polynesia (n = 159); New Zealand (n = 41); Cook Islands (n = 36); American Samoa (n = 31); Vanuatu, Niue, Samoa and Fiji (n = 11) and Norfolk Island (n = 5). Only three previous individual photo-ID matches have been reported between eastern Australia Breeding Stock E(i) and Antarctic Area V feeding areas in the vicinity of the Balleny Islands and the Ross Sea. Only one genotype match has been reported between Antarctic Area V feeding areas and Oceania breeding grounds. An analysis of the frequencies of whales seen and not seen in the Balleny Islands, Oceania and eastern Australia, relative to the expected frequencies, based on the estimated population sizes and the sizes of the catalogues, supports the hypothesis that Antarctic Area V waters, in the vicinity of the Balleny islands, is a summer feeding area for some eastern Australian humpback whales.
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Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.*, E. Garde, N.H. Nielsen, O.N. Andersen, and S.H. Hansen. 2012. A note on biological data from the hunt of bowhead whales in West Greenland 2009-2011. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):329-333.
 
*Contact e-mail: mhj at remove-this.ghsdk.dk
 
One male and six female bowhead whales were taken for subsistence in Disko Bay, West Greenland, in April–May 2009-2011. All of these whales were sexually mature with body lengths exceeding 14m. One female was pregnant with a 3.87m foetus and three others presumably had small foetuses that were not detected in the field. Another female that showed no signs of recent pregnancy had a minimum of 7–8 corpora albicantia but no mature follicles. One 14.10m male with a 42kg testis was classified as sexually mature. Estimated ages of the whales were between 37 and 50 yrs. The observations on growth and reproduction were consistent with data on bowhead whales in Alaska. Four of the whales had recently been feeding as their stomachs contained calanoid copepods, especially Calanus hyperboreus.
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Gunnlaugsson, T. 2012. Relatedness between samples quantified and an optimal criterion for match detection approximated. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):335-340.
 
Contact e-mail: thg at hafro.is
 
Data on relatedness of individuals between or within samples can be used to address population parameters in much the same way as conventional mark-recapture data and has some advantages, but also opens up new research areas. In such studies not only decisions on the sample size have to be made but also the number of genetic markers to be worked up, or even developed, and during analysis the criteria for accepting a match chosen. The likelihood of detecting a true match must be assessed and weighed against the likelihood of including a false positive. To aid with this, formulae are presented here for the probability of the number of relatives alive over periods of time and a process to approach the optimal criterion for match detection. To apply the process programs were developed that are made available, and an example is given.
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Pampoulie, C.*, G. Olafsdottir, S. Hauksdottir, S. Skirinsdottir, K. Olafsson, S. Magnusdottir, V. Chosson, S.D. Halldorson, D. Olafsdottir, T. Gunnlaugsson, A.K. Danielsdottir, and G.A. Vikingsson. 2012. A note on a mother-foetus pair and alleged father match in the Atlantic fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) off Iceland. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(2):341-343.
 
*Contact e-mail: chrisp at hafro.is
 
The North Atlantic fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) undertakes long-distance annual migration between high-latitude summer feeding locations and low-latitude winter mating locations, like most of the baleen whales. By statistically comparing genotype profiles of mother-foetus pairs (n = 23) to that of the potential alleged father (n = 139) captured at the same feeding location in Iceland, we found a matching pairing of a mother-foetus captured in 2009 and a father captured in 2010. To our knowledge, the present study is the first one to detect a mother-foetus pair matching with an alleged father, caught at exactly the same feeding area one year later.
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Shirakihara, M.*, and K. Shirakihara. 2012. Bycatch of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in gillnet fisheries off Amakusa-Shimoshima Island, Japan. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):345-351.
 
*Contact e-mail: mikishirak at me.com
 
A year-round resident population of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) inhabits the waters off Amakusa- Shimoshima Island (32°25′N, 130°05´E), in Japan. The effect of bycatch in gillnet fisheries on the Amakusa population was examined. Population size in 2007 and 2008 was estimated at 230 individuals (CV = 2.5%) and 216 individuals (CV = 2.1%), respectively, based on a mark-recapture technique. The magnitude of bycatch was evaluated by analysing interview surveys (263 gillnetters) during these two years. Minimum numbers of dolphin bycatch were 12 individuals in 2007 and 14 individuals in 2008. Most of the dolphins, which were captured by bottom-set gillnets, were considered to be Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins for the following reasons: (1) two individuals were identified based on DNA analysis; (2) only Tursiops sp. and finless porpoises were found in the sighting survey by ferry boats, and fishermen can distinguish between the two; and (3) the seasonal and spatial distribution of bycatch corresponded well to habitat use patterns of the Amakusa population. If the US potential biological removal (PBR) approach is used it estimates two individuals per year, which is much lower than the minimum bycatch numbers of 12–14 individuals per year (5.2–6.5% of abundance estimates). Reducing bycatch mortality caused by bottom-set gillnets is essential for the effective conservation of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in Amakusa, Japan.
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Galletti Vernazzani, B.*, C.A. Carlson, E. Cabrera, and J.R. Brownell. 2012. Chilean blue whales off Isla Grande de Chiloe, 2004-2012: distribution, site-fidelity and behaviour.  Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):353-360.
 
*Contact e-mail: Barbara at ccc-chile.org
 
A collaborative research program (the Alfaguara Project) has collected information on Chilean blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) off Isla Grande de Chiloe, in southern Chile, through eight aerial and 85 marine surveys. A total of 363 individual blue whales was photo-identified from 2004 to 2010. Approximately 20% of all catalogued individuals were resighted within the same season and 31% were resighted between years. Recaptures of photo identified individuals from other areas to the north and south of the main study area support the hypothesis that the feeding ground off southern Chile is extensive and dynamic. The high overall annual return and sighting rates highlight the waters off northwestern Isla de Chiloe and northern Los Lagos as the most important aggregation areas currently known for this species in Chile and one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Observations on feeding and social behaviour also were recorded. These results provide important information on the conservation status of Chilean blue whales and highlight the necessity that long-term photographic identification research and line-transect surveys to monitor health conditions and population trends be continued off northwestern Isla de Chiloe. The high frequency of large vessels in the mouth of the Chacao Channel (along the north side of Chiloe) and the high number of blue whales in the area raises the possibility of vessel collisions. Therefore, it is necessary to develop and implement a conservation plan for these whales to address this and other potential threats
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Tellechea, J.S.*, and W. Norbis. 2012. A note on recordings of Southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) off the coast of Uruguay. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):361-364.
 
*Contact e-mail: jstellechea at gmail.com
 
Passive acoustic detection has the potential to provide data regarding the location of right whales. Right whales are not known to produce songs; nonetheless, the call repertoire of Eubalaena australis, the southern right whale, has been exhaustively and quantitatively analysed. This paper describes sound production by southern right whales in the coast of Uruguay (35°S) in the South Atlantic Ocean. No previous study of southern right whale sounds in Uruguayan waters exists. The calls recorded were: Up call, a low tonal call with a frequency of 50Hz to 200Hz; High call, which has the most energy in a range of 200–500Hz, and Pulsive call, a complex mixture made up of amplitude modulated noise and tones, 50–200Hz. This is the first acoustic study of E. australis in this region and focusses on the occurrence of calls previously identified by Clark to obtain more information about the acoustic behaviour of this cetacean in Uruguayan coastal waters. Future efforts will be made to obtain more recordings in different locations along the coast of Uruguay, where annual sightings occur. Such information is essential for examining global differences between vocalisations of southern right whales.
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Robinson, K.P.*, J.M. O'Brien, S.D. Berrow, B. Cheney, M.  Costa, S.M. Eisfeld, D. Haberlin, L. Mandelberg, M. O'Donovan, M.G. Oudejans, C. Ryan, P.T. Stevick, P.M. Thompson, and P. Whooley. 2012.  Discrete or not so discrete: long distance movements by coastal bottlenose dolphins in UK and Irish waters. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(3):365-371.
 
*Contact e-mail: kev.robinson at crru.org.uk
 
The potential for long distance movements in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from six UK and Irish study sites was examined using photographs of natural markings. Here we provide the first evidence for long-term re-sightings between the Moray Firth, Inner Hebrides and across international borders to the Republic of Ireland as determined for eight individuals over a ten year period from 2001 to 2010. Minimum dispersal distances of up to 1,277km were resolved providing a new distance record for the species in European waters. Although none of the sightings were made within protected areas, several were made in waters used by animals from a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) revealing some evidence for connectivity between areas previously regarded as discrete. Our findings highlight the need to mitigate broader-scale anthropogenic impacts affecting these dolphins across multiple sites throughout their coastal range. Accordingly, we underline the importance of developing wider conservation measures for this species in UK and Irish waters, but particularly in prospective corridor areas potentially linking designated SACs in the Moray Firth, Cardigan Bay and Shannon Estuary.
  		 	   		  
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