[MARMAM] New paper on killer whales of the Strait of Gibraltar

Ruth Esteban ruth at circe.info
Tue Oct 8 22:18:28 PDT 2013

Dear Colleagues,

The following paper was recently published in Journal of Marine Biological
Association of the UK "Identifying key habitat and seasonal patterns of a
critically endangered population of killer


Killer whales have been described in the Gulf of Cadiz, southern Spain, in
spring and in the Strait of Gibraltar in summer. A total of 11,276
cetaceans sightings coming from different sources (dedicated research
surveys, whale watching companies and opportunistic observations) were used
to create two presence–‘pseudo-absence’ predictive generalized additive
models (GAM), where presence data were defined as sightings of killer
whales and ‘pseudo-absence’ data as sightings of other cetacean species.
One model was created using spring data when killer whales’ main prey,
Atlantic bluefin tuna, enter the Mediterranean Sea, and the other model
used summer data when Atlantic bluefin tuna return to the Atlantic Ocean.
Both model predictions show that killer whales are highly associated with a
probable distribution of bluefin tuna during their migration throughout the
study area, constraining their distribution to the Gulf of Cadiz in spring
and the Strait of Gibraltar in spring and summer. Knowledge of the
distribution of killer whales in the study area is essential to establish
conservation measures for this population.

It is available from publisher website (
or by request to this email.

Kind Regards

Ruth Esteban.

*Ruth Esteban*
*CIRCE (Conservation Information and Research on Cetaceans)*
*C/Cabeza de Manzaneda 3*
*C.P. Pelayo-Algeciras (Cadiz) Spain*
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