[MARMAM] New publication on New Zealand southern right whales

Emma Carroll ecar026 at aucklanduni.ac.nz
Thu Apr 18 15:21:14 PDT 2013

Dear Colleagues,
we are please to announce the following publication presenting
evidence for the re-establishment of the mainland New Zealand southern
right whales


Reestablishment of former wintering grounds by New Zealand southern right whales

Emma L. Carroll* , William J. Rayment*, Alana M. Alexander, C. Scott
Baker, Nathalie J. Patenaude, Debbie Steel, Rochelle Constantine,
Rosalind Cole, Laura J. Boren, Simon Childerhouse

*These two authors contributed equally to the data analysis and
preparation of this manuscript.

Historically, the range of the southern right whale (SRW) included
winter calving grounds around the North and South Islands (mainland)
of New Zealand (NZ) and in the NZ subantarctic Auckland and Campbell
Islands. Due to extensive whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries, no
SRW was seen around mainland NZ for nearly four decades (1928–1963).
Here we present evidence for the regular use of the mainland NZ
wintering ground, presumably from a remnant population that persisted
in the NZ subantarctic Auckland and Campbell Islands. SRWs have been
sighted every year around mainland NZ since 1988, with 125 sightings
during the focus of this work: from 2003 to 2010. There were 28
cow-calf pairs sighted around mainland NZ from 2003 to 2010, compared
with 11 sightings from 1991 to 2002. Furthermore, two females,
identified by DNA profiles, were sighted with calves around mainland
at 4 yr intervals: the first evidence of female site fidelity to the
mainland NZ calving ground. Individual identification from photographs
of natural markings and DNA profiles provided information on
within-year movements and residency around the mainland, and further
evidence for exchange between the mainland and subantarctic wintering
grounds. Despite these promising signs, the distribution of NZ SRWs
remains primarily concentrated in the NZ subantarctic.


Emma Carroll PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher
Molecular Ecology and Evolution | School of Biological Sciences
University of Auckland | phone 64 9 3737599 x 71762

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