[MARMAM] New publication on humpback whales

Craig, Alison AL.Craig at napier.ac.uk
Tue Apr 8 09:24:50 PDT 2014

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article:

Craig, A. S., Herman, L. M., Pack, A. A. & Waterman, J. O.  (2014).  Habitat segregation by female humpback whales in Hawaiian waters: avoidance of males?  Behaviour, 151: 613-631.



Humpback whales congregate annually in low-latitude winter breeding and calving grounds. While on these grounds, females with a dependent calf ('maternal females') are sometimes closely attended by one or more male escorts. Using data collected from a shore-based observation platform in the Hawaiian Islands, we tested the hypothesis that the spatial distribution of maternal females is driven primarily by avoidance of males. As predicted, we found that (1) pods containing a calf occurred in significantly shallower water than pods that did not contain a calf, (2) unescorted maternal females occurred in significantly shallower water than escorted maternal females, (3) the number of males escorting a female decreased significantly with decreasing water depth, and (4) the swimming speed of maternal females increased as a function of male presence, with escorted females travelling significantly more rapidly than unescorted females and a significant positive correlation between swimming speed and number of escorts. We suggest that maternal females incur increased energetic costs when escorted by males and consequently position themselves in shallow waters to reduce the likelihood of unwanted male attention.

If you are interested but can't access this paper online, please email me (al.craig at napier.ac.uk<mailto:al.craig at napier.ac.uk>) for a pdf reprint.

Best wishes,

Dr Alison S. Craig,
School of Life, Sport and Social Sciences
Edinburgh Napier University
Sighthill Campus
Sighthill Court
EH11 4BN

Tel: +44(0)131 455 2245

Edinburgh Napier University offers industry informed courses and 92.3% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of leaving. With over 17,000 students from over 110 countries, we are an international university and are also proud to be the largest UK provider of higher education in Hong Kong. In 2014, we are celebrating 50 years since we opened our doors as Napier Technical College.

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