[MARMAM] New publication on population structure of humpback whales on the coast of West Africa

Inês Carvalho carvalho.inesc at gmail.com
Mon Mar 31 03:15:00 PDT 2014

Dear all,

We are happy to announce our most recent publication in Marine Biology,
161(4): 805-819:

Does temporal and spatial segregation explain the complex population
structure of humpback whales on the coast of West Africa?

Inês Carvalho; Jacqueline Loo: Timothy Collins; Jaco Barendse; Cristina
Pomilla; Mathew S. Leslie; Solange Ngouessono; Peter B. Best; Howard C.

*Corresponding author: carvalho.inesc at gmail.com

Humpback whales (*Megaptera novaeangliae*) in the Southeastern Atlantic
Ocean (International Whaling Commission 'Breeding Stock B'--BSB) are
distributed from the Gulf of Guinea to Western South Africa. Genetic data
suggest that this stock may be sub-structured, but it remains unknown if
this is due to reproductive segregation. This paper evaluates the spatial
and temporal population structure of BSB humpback whales using a
combination of maternally and bi-parentally inherited markers. The genetic
differentiation that we identify in this study could be due to a
combination of (1) spatial and/or temporal segregation on breeding grounds
in the greater Gulf of Guinea, (2) the possibility of maternally inherited
site fidelity to specific feeding grounds and (3) the use of two
generalized but exclusive migratory routes (coastal and offshore) between
feeding and breeding areas. Further, photo-identification and genetic
sampling efforts in other areas of the Sub-Saharan Western Africa winter
range and targeted deployment of satellite tags would help to clarify some
of the apparent complexity in the population structure of animals biopsied
in this region.

The pdf of the article can be accessed at

or by sending an email to carvalho.inesc at gmail.com

Kind regards,
Inês Carvalho

Population and Conservation Genetics Group
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência
Rua da Quinta Grande, 6
2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal
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