[MARMAM] New paper on variations in habitat preferences by individual humpback whale mother-calf pairs in the Hawaiian breeding grounds

Adam Pack pack at hawaii.edu
Tue Nov 14 16:16:02 PST 2017

Aloha Colleagues,

My co-authors and I are happy to inform you about the publication of our
latest paper *"**Habitat preferences by individual humpback whale mothers
in the Hawaiian breeding grounds vary with the age and size of their
calves,"  *in the journal *Animal Behaviour*.   The full citation and
abstract appear below.  The following link may be used to download a pdf of
the full paper from *Animal Behaviour* through January 02, 2018.
https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1W33FmjLiiNH  Alternatively, you can email
me for a pdf copy of the paper at pack at hawaii.edu.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.


Pack, A. A., Herman, L. M., Craig, A. S., Spitz, S. S., Waterman, J. O.,
Herman, E. Y. K., Deakos, M. H., Hakala, S. & Lowe, C. (2017).  Habitat
preferences by individual humpback whale mothers in the Hawaiian breeding
grounds vary with the age and size of their calves.  Animal Behaviour, 133,

We investigated whether calf age and calf size influence habitat choice by
humpback whale mother-calf pairs in their breeding grounds. During 1997-2008,
we conducted focal follows of mother-calf pairs in Hawaiian waters. Tail-fluke
identification photographs and calf lengths (measured through
videogrammetry) were obtained. Water depth and sea-bed terrain type were
derived from GPS data. Identification photographs were matched so that the
habitat choices could be established within breeding seasons. Across 72
mother-calf pairs resighted over various intervals within a breeding
season, magnitude of depth change between initial and final sightings
increased significantly with resighting interval. There was a significant
increase from initial depth to final depth for relatively long resighting
intervals (27-51 days), but no significant difference for relatively short
resighting intervals (2-26 days). Although there was no preference for
sea-bed terrain type by mother-calf pairs at their initial sighting, there
was a preference for rugged terrain at their final resighting. A resource
selection model indicated that the relative probability of a location being
used by a mother-calf pair increased (as a function of water depth and
rugged sea-bed terrain type) from initial to final sighting; a finding
supported by subsequent tests of habitat preference versus availability.
For 96 measured calves, calf length and water depth were positively
correlated, even when ordinal day of measurement was controlled for
statistically; a finding confirmed by a general linear model that
simultaneously investigated the relationship between water depth, sea-bed
terrain type, number of escorts, ordinal day and calf size. Thus, both calf
age and size influence habitat choice by mother-calf pairs in their
breeding grounds. The movement of mothers and their maturing calves into
deeper waters where they favour rugged sea-bed terrain appears to be part
of a suite of behavioural changes during the pre-migratory phase of
residency in the breeding grounds.

Adam A. Pack, Ph.D. Professor and Chair (Psychology)
Departments of Psychology and Biology
University of Hawai'i at Hilo
200 West Kawili Street
Hilo, Hawai'i 96720
(Office Voice): 808-932-7076 <(808)%20932-7076>
(Email): pack at hawaii.edu
(Webpage): https://hilo.hawaii.edu/faculty/adam-a-pack/

"Do or do not; there is no try." Yoda
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