[MARMAM] Publication on bowhead whales in the Beaufort Sea

Cynthia Christman - NOAA Federal cynthia.christman at noaa.gov
Mon Sep 9 14:59:32 PDT 2013


We are pleased to announce our recent publication in Polar Biology. The
citation and abstract are below. If you would like a pdf of the
publication, please contact me at cynthia.christman at noaa.gov.

Cynthia L. Christman

Field Research Leader III
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
National Marine Mammal Laboratory
7600 Sand Point Way NE, Bldg. 4
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone Number: (508) 274-3142
Email: cynthia.christman at noaa.gov

Christman CL, Citta JJ, Quakenbush LT, Clarke JT, Rone BK, Shea RA,
Ferguson MC, Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen. 2013. Presence and behavior of
bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea in July
2011. Polar Biology: 1-6. DOI 10.1007/s00300-013-1395-4

Abstract The Western Arctic bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is highly
adapted to sea ice and annually
migrates through the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. While the overall
distribution and seasonal movements of bowhead whales are mostly
understood, information about their distribution in the Alaskan Beaufort
Sea in early to mid-summer has not been well documented. In July 2011, we
conducted an exploratory flight in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, north of
Camden Bay (71 N 144 W), near the location of a single satellite-tagged
bowhead whale. Eighteen bowhead whales were observed, and behavior
consistent with feeding was documented. To our knowledge, this is the first
documentation of behavior consistent with feeding north of Camden Bay in
mid-July. Few studies have focused on bowhead whale distribution in the
Alaskan Beaufort Sea in early to mid-summer, and no long-term, region-wide
surveys have been conducted during summer. Bowhead whales are already
exposed to anthropogenic disturbance in the Canadian Beaufort Sea in
summer, the Alaskan Beaufort Sea in fall, and the Chukchi and Bering seas
from fall through spring. The presence of bowhead whale aggregations in the
Alaskan Beaufort Sea in summer should be considered when assessing the
cumulative effects of human-related activities.
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