[MARMAM] New publication on Distribution patterns of migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Jervis Bay, Australia:

scott at marinemammalresearch.com scott at marinemammalresearch.com
Wed Aug 27 23:29:09 PDT 2014

Dear MARMAM  Marine Explorers

My coauthors and I are pleased to announce the recent publication of our paper:

Distribution patterns of migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Jervis Bay, Australia: A spatial analysis using geographical citizen science data

Eleanor Bruce a, b, *, Lindsey Albright a, Scott Sheehan c, Michelle Blewitt b, c
a Geocoastal Research Group, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Madsen Building F09, 2006, NSW, Australia
b University of Sydney Institute of Marine Science (USIMS), University of Sydney, Australia
c Marine Mammal Research, PO Box 117 Huskisson, Jervis Bay, NSW, 2540, Australia

Increases in east Australian humpback whale populations, specifically in areas where sightings were previously infrequent, highlight the importance of understanding the usage patterns and habitat preferences for resting grounds along migration pathways. This study investigates the spatio-temporal distribution of humpback whales in Jervis Bay, Australia, based on pod composition, providing insight on the role of this shallow coastal embayment for mother-calf pods during the southern migration to polar feeding grounds. Geographical citizen science-based sighting data, collected from a commercial whale-watch platform during the 2007–2010 migration seasons, were used to examine variations in bay usage and pod composition. Differences in the distribution patterns of mother-calf and non-calf pod sightings were examined using spatial cluster analysis. The impact of sampling bias, introduced through non-specialist volunteer collected data, on spatial cluster detection was simulated. Observation error and spatial sampling bias may affect local spatial cluster detection. Sampling processes with potential to contribute to this bias should be recorded in the survey design of geographical citizen science based data collection programmes. Mother-calf pods showed a significant preference for the shallow waters of Jervis Bay during October and November, indicating the bay may function as a preferred resting location during their southern migration with important marine management implications.

Keywords: Humpback whale; GIS; Spatial statistics; Marine management; Geographical citizen science; Jervis Bay

Follow the link to download PDF

University of Sydney (UOS)
Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMR)

 Contact senior author Dr Eleanor Bruce

DR ELEANOR BRUCE| Senior Lecturer| Marine Science and Management Postgraduate Coordinator
School of Geosciences | Faculty of Science                                                                                                                                                        
Rm 458, Madsen Building F09 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006        
T +61 2 9351 6443  | F +61 2 9351 2442   
E eleanor.bruce at sydney.edu.au  | W http://www.geosci.usyd.edu.au 
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