[MARMAM] New paper: Quantitative analysis of response to biopsy sampling using DTAGs

Dani Crain ddiancrain at gmail.com
Fri Apr 18 06:00:06 PDT 2014

Dear MARMAM subscribers,
We are pleased to announce the publication of our Note in the 2014 April 
issue of Marine Mammal Science: 

Crain, D. D., A. S. Friedlaender, D. W. Johnston, D. P. Nowacek, B. L. 
Roberts, K. W. Urian, D. M. Waples and A. J. Read. 2014. A quantitative 
analysis of the response of short-finned pilot whales, *Globicephala 
macrorhynchus,* to biopsy sampling. *Marine Mammal Science* *30: *819-826. 

*Summary:* Remote biopsy sampling is commonly used to obtain tissue samples 
from wild cetaceans. Analysis of these tissues can provide important 
information on specific identity, sex, pollutant levels, diet, age, and 
reproductive status. Biopsy sampling is generally considered to be a 
relatively benign procedure, but all prior attempts to evaluate its impact 
have relied on subjective assessments of the behavioral response of 
individuals at the surface. The goal of the present study was to 
quantitatively assess the short-term effects of biopsy attempts on the 
behavior of short-finned pilot whales (*Globicephala macrorhynchus*) 
equipped with digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) off Cape Hatteras, 
North Carolina. We examined five metrics to determine if the behavior of 
whales was affected by a biopsy attempt, including: foraging behavior 
(number of dives, depth of dives, and number of prey capture attempts); 
time spent within 3 m of the surface; fine-scale body orientation; fluke 
rate and amplitude; and group vocalization rate. This first quantitative 
assessment of these quantitative metrics suggested that the short-term 
reactions to biopsy attempts are likely ephemeral and should not compromise 
the fitness of the animal. Most individuals exhibited a short-term increase 
in group vocalization rate following a biopsy attempt, which should be 
further investigated.

For any questions or to request a PDF copy of this paper, please feel free 
to email me at: ddiancrain at gmail.com

Danielle Crain
Danielle Crain 
UC Santa Cruz | B.Sc, 2009
Duke University | MEM, 2012      
E-mail: ddiancrain at gmail.com
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