[MARMAM] New Paper - Distribution and abundance of beaked whales (Family Ziphiidae) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA.

Keenan-Bateman, Tiffany Fay tfk9187 at uncw.edu
Mon Apr 23 12:23:32 PDT 2018

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of the following paper in Marine Mammal Science:

McLellan, W.A., McAlarney, R.J., Cumming, E.W., Read, A.J., Paxton, C.G.M., Bell J.T., and Pabst, D.A. 2018. Distribution and abundance of beaked whales (Family Ziphiidae) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA. Marine Mammal Science.  DOI: 10.1111/mms.12500


Beaked whales are vulnerable to the impacts of disturbance from several sources of anthropogenic sound. Here we report the distribution and abundance of beaked whales off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, U.S.A., an area utilized by the U.S. Navy for training exercises, and of particular interest for seismic geophysical surveys. From May 2011 through November 2015, monthly aerial surveys were conducted at the site. Beaked whales were encountered 74 times (n=205 individuals) during these surveys. Ziphius cavirostris, the most commonly encountered species, was observed in every month of the year. Mesoplodon spp. were encountered in ten months of the year. Photographs of adult males with erupted teeth permitted six sightings to be identified conclusively as M. europaeus; M. mirus was also photographed just outside the study area. Beaked whale surface densities stratified by depth (0.005–0.007/km2) were among the highest reported in the world for small ziphiids. A quantitative comparison of sightings and stranding records suggests that strandings do not accurately reflect the relative abundance of beaked whale species in this area. We conclude that Cape Hatteras, at the convergence of the Labrador Current and Gulf Stream, is a particularly important year-round habitat for several species of beaked whales.

This article is available online at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/mms.12500

Or, please feel free to email directly for a PDF copy:  mclellanw at uncw.edu

Best regards,

 William A. McLellan

Department of Biology and Marine Biology
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 S. College Road
Wilmington, NC, 28403
Cell: 910-599-2294

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