[MARMAM] New Paper: Global distribution of fin whales in the post-whaling era (1980-2012)
Elizabeth Edwards - NOAA Federal
elizabeth.edwards at noaa.gov
Thu Sep 24 08:32:27 PDT 2015
We are pleased to announce the following publication in Mammal Review:
Edwards EF, Hall C, Moore TJ, Sheredy C and Redfern JV (2015). Global
distribution of fin whales *B**alaenoptera physalus* in the post-whaling
era (1980–2012). Mammal Review
Volume 45, Issue 4, pages 197–214.
1. The global distribution of fin whales *B**alaenoptera physalus* is
not fully understood. Existing maps can be divided into two conflicting
categories: one showing a continuous global distribution and another
showing an equatorial hiatus (gap in the global distribution) between
approximately 20°N and 20°S. Questions also remain about the seasonal
distribution of fin whales.
2. To explore the suggested equatorial hiatus and seasonal distribution
patterns, we synthesised information on fin whale distribution in the
post-whaling era (1980–2012) from published literature, publicly available
reports and studies conducted by various organisations. We created four
seasonally stratified maps showing line-transect density estimates,
line-transect survey effort, acoustic detections, and sightings.
3. An equatorial hiatus in the global distribution of fin whales during
the post-whaling era is supported by numerous line-transect surveys and by
the rarity of equatorial acoustic detections and sightings, and
corroborated by whaling era reports, morphological analyses, and genetic
4. Our synthesis of post-whaling era data is consistent with results
from other studies indicating that fin whales are more abundant at higher
latitudes during warmer months and more abundant at lower latitudes
(although these latitudes are still greater than 20°) during colder months.
However, our synthesis and results from other studies also indicate that
some fin whales in both hemispheres remain in higher latitudes (50°–60°
north or south) during colder months and in lower latitudes (to
approximately 20°–30° north or south) during warmer months, indicating that
seasonal fin whale movements differ from the seasonal migrations of blue
whales*B**alaenoptera musculus* and humpback whales *M**egaptera
5. Our maps of global fin whale distribution provide a comprehensive
picture of current knowledge and highlight important geographical and
temporal data gaps. Surveys should be conducted within the identified data
gaps in order to increase fine-scale spatial and temporal knowledge of
distribution patterns, improve fin whale taxonomy, and identify areas of
elevated fin whale densities that may require management of threats, such
as ship strikes.
The article is located at:
If you are unable to download the article, please contact me for a pdf at:
elizabeth.edwards at noaa.gov.
*Elizabeth Edwards, Ph. D.*
Marine Mammal and Turtle Division
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
8901 La Jolla Shores Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037-1509
(858) 546-7099 (office)
Elizabeth.Edwards at noaa.gov
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