[MARMAM] Critical Decline of the Eastern Caribbean Sperm Whale Population [NEW PUBLICATION]

Shane Gero shane.gero at bios.au.dk
Fri Oct 7 12:26:54 PDT 2016

Dear all,

It is unfortunate that we must announce the publication of the following in PLoS ONE:

Critical Decline of the Eastern Caribbean Sperm Whale Population
By: Shane Gero and Hal Whitehead

The paper is OPEN ACCESS and available here:

HTML Full Text: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0162019

PDF: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0162019.PDF


Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) populations were expected to rebuild following the end of commercial whaling. We document the decline of the population in the eastern Caribbean by tracing demographic changes of well-studied social units. We address hypotheses that, over a ten-year period of dedicated effort (2005-2015), unit size, numbers of calves and/or calving rates have each declined. Across 16 units, the number of adults decreased in 12 units, increased in two, and showed no change in two. The number of adults per unit decreased at -0.195 individuals/yr (95% CI: -0.080 to -0.310; P = 0.001). The number of calves also declined, but the decline was not significant. This negative trend of -4.5% per year in unit size started in about 2010, with numbers being fairly stable until then. There are several natural and anthropogenic threats, but no well-substantiated cause for the decline.

Citation: Gero S, Whitehead H (2016) Critical Decline of the Eastern Caribbean Sperm Whale Population. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0162019. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162019

My very best

Shane Gero<http://www.shanegero.com/>
VILLUM Research Fellow
Marine Bioacoustics Lab<http://www.marinebioacoustics.com/>
Institute for Bioscience
Aarhus University

Learn more about The Dominica Sperm Whale Project at http://www.thespermwhaleproject.org<http://www.thespermwhaleproject.org/> Find us on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/spermwhaleproject> or Follow @DomWhale<https://twitter.com/DomWhale>

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