[MARMAM] New Publication on the Behaviour and Social Structure of Sperm Whales off Dominica

Shane Gero sgero at dal.ca
Tue Nov 19 12:46:53 PST 2013

On behalf of my co-authors, I would like to announce the publication of a
new paper on the social structure of sperm whales in the Eastern Caribbean


Title: Behavior and social structure of the sperm whales of Dominica, West


Authors: Shane Gero, Marina Milligan, Caroline Rinaldi, Pernell Francis,
Jonathan Gordon, Carole Carlson, Andrea Steffen, Peter Tyack, Peter Evans
and Hal Whitehead



There is substantial geographic variation in the behavior and social
structure of sperm whales worldwide. The population in the Eastern Caribbean
is thought to be isolated from other areas in the North Atlantic. We
describe the behavior and social structure of the sperm whales identified
off Dominica during an eight year study (2005-2012; 92% of photographic
identifications) with supplementary data collected from seven other
organizations dating as far back as 1981. A total of 419 individuals were
identified. Resighting rates (42% of individuals between years) and
encounter rates with sperm whale groups (mean = 80.4% of days at sea) among
this population were both comparatively high. Group sizes were small (7-9
individuals) and were comprised of just one social unit (mean = 6.76
individuals, SD = 2.80). We described 17 units which have been reidentified
off Dominica across 2-27 yr. Mature males are seen regularly off Dominica,
but residency in the area lasts only a few days to a few weeks. Males were
reidentified across years spanning up to a decade. Management of this
population within the multinational Wider Caribbean Region will require
governments to work towards international agreements governing sperm whales
as a cross-border species of concern.


Members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy and other subscribers can
download an Early View pdf copy of the paper here:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mms.12086/abstract or by
contacting me directly: sgero at dal.ca


This is the 14th publication emanating from The Dominica Sperm Whale Project
<http://www.thespermwhaleproject.org/> , others can be found here:


All my best,




Shane Gero, Ph.D.

Department of Biology

Dalhousie University

Halifax, N.S.


sgero at dal.ca



Twitter_2012_bird_icon 20  <http://ca.linkedin.com/in/shanegero>


Learn more about The Dominica Sperm Whale Project at
http://www.thespermwhaleproject.org <http://www.thespermwhaleproject.org/>
Find us on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/spermwhaleproject>  or Follow
@DomWhale <http://twitter.com/#!/domwhale> 


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