[MARMAM] New paper on North Atlantic humpback whale satellite telemetry
Amy Kennedy - NOAA Federal
amy.kennedy at noaa.gov
Tue Dec 3 14:01:34 PST 2013
I am pleased to announce the publication of the following paper
detailing local and migratory movements of humpback whales
satellite-tracked in the North Atlantic Ocean:
Kennedy, A. S., A. N. Zerbini, et al. (2013). "Local and migratory
movements of humpback whales (*Megaptera novaeangliae*)
satellite-tracked in the North Atlantic Ocean." Canadian Journal of
*ABSTRACT:* North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae
(Borowski, 1781)) migrate from high-latitude summer feeding grounds to
low-latitude winter breeding grounds along the Antillean Island chain. In
the winters and springs of 2008 through 2012, satellite tags were deployed
on humpback whales on Silver Bank (Dominican Republic) and in Guadeloupe
(French West Indies) breeding areas. Whales were monitored, on average, for
26 days (range = 4–90 days). Some animals remained near their tagging
location for multiple days before beginning their northerly migration, yet
some visited habitats along the northwestern coast of the Dominican
Republic, northern Haiti, the Turks and Caicos islands, and off Anguilla.
Individuals monitored during migration headed towards feeding grounds in
the Gulf of Maine (USA), Canada, and the eastern North Atlantic
(Iceland or Norway).
One individual traveled near Bermuda during the migration. This study
provides the first detailed description of routes used by North Atlantic
humpback whales towards multiple feeding destinations. Additionally, it
corroborates previous research showing that individuals from multiple
feeding grounds migrate to the Antilles for the breeding season. This study
indicates that North Atlantic humpbacks use an area broader than the
existing boundaries of marine mammal sanctuaries, which should provide
justification for their expansion.
Key words: humpback whale, migration, satellite telemetry, North Atlantic,
breeding ground, movements.
A pdf of this note can be downloaded from the Canadian Journal of Zoology
Amy S. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Cetacean Research Biologist
National Marine Mammal Laboratory
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Seattle, WA 98115
tel (206) 526-4141
fax (206) 526-6615
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