[MARMAM] North Atlantic Right Whale Publication
awhitt at geo-marine.com
Mon Mar 25 08:02:47 PDT 2013
We are pleased to announce a recent publication on North Atlantic right whales in the Mid-Atlantic.
Whitt AD, Dudzinski K, and Laliberté JR. 2013. North Atlantic right whale distribution and seasonal occurrence in nearshore waters off New Jersey, USA, and implications for management. Endangered Species Research 20:59-69.
ABSTRACT: The presence of endangered North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glacialis in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA is not well understood. Adequate protection of right whales in the face of plans to develop offshore renewable energy requires more information about this species' distribution and occurrence in this region. We present findings from the first year-round study dedicated to marine mammals in New Jersey's nearshore waters using line transect surveys and passive acoustic monitoring. Four groups of right whales, including a cow-calf pair, were sighted. Right whales were detected acoustically during all seasons. Sightings of females and subsequent confirmations of these same individuals in the calving grounds a month or less later illustrate that these waters are part of this species' migratory corridor. Observations of skim-feeding behavior suggest that feeding may also occur in areas farther south than the main feeding grounds. Based on the year-round occurrence of right whales off New Jersey, we recommend that presumed seasonal migratory patterns not be used alone to determine the timing of construction activities or monitoring/mitigation efforts for offshore development. Our results also provide support for the expansion of existing critical habitat to include nearshore waters of the mid-Atlantic.
The paper is available online http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/esr/v20/n1/p59-69/
Or via email request to adwhitt at gmail.com<mailto:adwhitt at gmail.com>
Amy D. Whitt, M.E.M.
Senior Marine Scientist
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