[MARMAM] New publication: Whale distribution in Hawaii

PWF Research Department research at pacificwhale.org
Mon Apr 30 15:41:53 PDT 2018

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of a new

Currie, J.J., Stack, S.H., McCordic, J.A., Roberts, J. Utilizing Occupancy
Models and
Platforms-of-Opportunity to Assess Area Use of Mother-Calf Humpback Whales,
Open Journal of Marine Science, 2018, 8, 276-292.

The Hawaiian Islands, and particularly the Maui 4-island region, are a
critical breeding and calving habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera
novaeangliae) belonging to the Hawaii distinct population segment. Our aims
were to test the use of platforms-of-opportunity to determine trends in
mother-calf pod use of the region and to present opportunistic platforms as
an alternative method of long-term, cross-seasonal monitoring. Data were
collected from whale watching vessels over a 4-year period and analyzed
using occupancy models to determine the probability of habitat use of pods
with calves and pods without calves within the study area. Detection
probability was influenced by survey effort and month for all pod types
with detection of adult only pods further influenced by year. Pods with a
calf showed a preference for shallow (<100 meters) low latitude waters (<
N20.7°), while pods without a calf preferred deeper waters (>75 meters).
Results presented here align with previous work, both in Hawaii and in
other breeding grounds, which show a distinct segregation of mothers with a
calf from other age-classes of humpback whales. The need for long-term
continuous monitoring of cetacean populations is crucial to ensure species
conversation. Data collected aboard platforms-of-opportunity, as presented
here, provides important insight on humpback whale spatial and temporal
distribution, which is essential for species protection and management.

The full article is available online at:

You can also email us to request a PDF copy: research at pacificwhale.org

*Research Department*

Pacific Whale Foundation

300 Ma'alaea Rd., Suite 211

Wailuku, HI 96793, USA

Phone: +1 808-856-8338

Email: research at pacificwhale.org

Website: www.pacificwhale.org


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