[MARMAM] Recent publication Bejder et al 2019 Scientific Reports

Lars Bejder lbejder at hawaii.edu
Tue Jan 29 15:31:26 PST 2019

Dear MARMAM community,

We (Bejder, Videsen, Hermannsen, Simon, Hanf and Madsen) are pleased to
share with you our recent paper in Scientific Reports focusing on
quantifying the importance of breeding/resting habitat for humpback whale
mothers and calves in Western Australia.

A Youtube summary of the paper is available here:

The full citation details are:     Bejder, Videsen, Hermannsen, Simon, Hanf
and Madsen. 2019. Low energy expenditure and resting behaviour of humpback
whale mother-calf pairs highlights conservation importance of sheltered
breeding areas. Scientific Reports. Volume 9, Article number: 771. Doi

Understanding the behaviour of humpback whale mother-calf pairs and the
acoustic environment on their breeding grounds is fundamental to assessing
the biological and ecological requirements needed to ensure a successful
migration and survival of calves. Therefore, on a breeding/resting ground,
Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, we used animal-borne DTAGs to quantify the
fine-scale behaviour and energetic expenditure of humpback whale mothers
and calves, while sound recorders measured the acoustic environment. We
show that: (i) lactating humpback whales keep their energy expenditure low
by devoting a significant amount of time to rest, and their use of energy,
inferred from respiration rates, is ~half than that of adults on their
foraging grounds; (ii) lactating females mainly rest while stationary at
shallow depths within reach of the hull of commercial ships, thus
increasing the potential for ship strike collisions; (iii) the soundscape
is dominated by biological sources; and (iv) even moderate increases of
noise from vessels will decrease the communication range of humpback
whales. Planned commercial infrastructure in Exmouth Gulf will cause a
substantial increase in shipping traffic with the risk of ship strikes and
acoustic disturbance potentially compromising energy reserves for the
southern migration of humpback whales.

The paper is freely downloadable here:

Kind regards,
Lars, Simone, Line, Malene, Daniella and Peter
[image: University of Hawaii at Manoa]
Lars Bejder | Director, Marine Mammal Research Program
University of Hawaii at Manoa | Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
*Website*: www.mmrphawaii.org
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