[MARMAM] New publication: Post-Release Monitoring of a Stranded and Rehabilitated Short-Finned Pilot Whale Reveals Current-Assisted Travel

Reny Tyson Moore rtysonmoore at mote.org
Fri Mar 20 09:06:30 PDT 2020

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to announce that the following
article is now available online: http://www.aquaticmammalsjournal.org

Tyson Moore, R. B., Douglas, D. D., Nollens, H. H., Croft, L., and Wells.
R. S. (2020). Post-Release Monitoring of a Stranded and Rehabilitated
Short-Finned Pilot Whale (*Globicephala macrorhynchus*) Reveals
Current-Assisted Travel. *Aquatic Mammals*. *46*(2): 200-2014. DOI

*Abstract*: A subadult female short-finned pilot whale (*Globicephala
macrorhynchus*), which stranded on the northeastern Gulf of Mexico coast of
Florida in June 2017, was rehabilitated for 38 days and then monitored with
a satellite-linked, time-depth recording tag for 32 days after being
released off the West Florida Shelf. The individual, “Gale,” appeared to
regularly use ocean currents to facilitate a southeastward movement around
Florida, and then a northward movement along the continental shelf break to
the waters off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Indeed, 57% of her travel
along the coast of Florida was at speeds consistent with the surface speed
and direction of the Gulf Stream. Overall, current-assisted travel
contributed to a 19% increase in distance traveled (4,152 km) and to an
average rate of travel (130 km/d) that was higher than previously reported
for Globicephala spp. Gale’s dive behavior was typical of other
short-finned pilot whale observations, with average dive depths (243 ± 136
m; max = 712 m) and durations (7.9 ± 2.2 min; max = 16.0 min) within the
range of reported values for Globicephala spp. Gale also occupied habitats
known to be used by pilot whales, and her movements and behaviors were
consistent with those observed in other short-finned pilot whales in the
Gulf of Mexico and the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. The information
presented herein contributes to a better understanding of short-finned
pilot whales and to the assessment of rehabilitation and release protocols.

Please, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would
like a copy of the PDF.

Reny Tyson Moore, PhD
Staff Scientist
Sarasota Dolphin Research Program
Chicago Zoological Society

(352) 408-6018 cell
rtysonmoore at mote.org <rtyson at mote.org>
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