[MARMAM] New paper on right whale conservation

Peter Corkeron - NOAA Federal peter.corkeron at noaa.gov
Fri Nov 9 11:38:42 PST 2018

Greetings Marmamers

On behalf of my coauthors, I am pleased to announce the publication of a
new paper on right whales.

The paper's citation is:

Peter Corkeron, Philip Hamilton, John Bannister, Peter Best, Claire
Charlton, Karina R. Groch, Ken Findlay, Victoria Rowntree, Els Vermeulen,
Richard M. Pace III. 2018 The recovery of North Atlantic right whales,*
Eubalaena glacialis*, has been constrained by human-caused mortality. R.
Soc. open sci. 5 180892; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180892.

And the Abstract is:

North Atlantic right whales (NARW), *Eubalaena glacialis*, were nearly
exterminated by historical whaling. Their abundance slowly increased up
until 2010, to a maximum of fewer than 500 whales, and since then they have
been in decline. We assessed the extent to which the relatively slow
increase demonstrated by NARW was intrinsic, and how much could be due to
anthropogenic impacts. In order to do so, we first compared calf counts of
three populations of Southern right whales (SRW), E. australis, with that
of NARW, over the period 1992–2016. By this index, the annual rate of
increase of NARW was approximately one-third of that of SRW. Next we
constructed a population projection model for female NARW, using the
highest annual survival estimates available from recent mark–resight
analysis, and assuming a four-year calving interval. The model results
indicated an intrinsic rate of increase of 4% per year, approximately twice
that observed, and that adult female mortality is the main factor
influencing this rate. Necropsy records demonstrate that anthropogenic
mortality is the primary cause of known mortality of NARW. Anthropogenic
mortality and morbidity has limited the recovery of NARW, and baseline
conditions prior to their recent decline were already jeopardizing NARW

The paper is available at:
http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/5/11/180892 .

Royal Society Open Science is an Open Access journal, so you can download
it freely from there.

I hope this is of interest.


Leader, Large Whale Team

Protected Species Branch
NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center
166 Water St
Woods Hole MA 02543

phone: 508-495-2191
webpage: https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/psbStaff_PeterCorkeron.html
ResearchGate: researchgate.net/profile/Peter_Corkeron
Orcid: orcid.org/0000-0003-1553-125

One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives
alone in a world of wounds.

Aldo Leopold
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