[MARMAM] New publication on prey availability vs. humpback whale reproduction

Elisa Seyboth elisaseyboth at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 29 23:53:53 PDT 2021

Dear MARMAR colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper:

Elisa Seyboth, Fernando Félix, Mary-Anne Lea, Luciano Dalla Rosa, George M. Watters, Keith Reid, Eduardo R. Secchi. 2021. Influence of krill (Euphausia superba) availability on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) reproductive rate. Marine Mammal Science, DOI: 10.1111/mms.12805<http://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12805>

Influence of krill (Euphausia superba) availability on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) reproductive rate<http://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12805>
Click on the article title to read more.

Marine food webs, from primary producers to top predators, can be strongly influenced by climate. Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a key component of the Southern Ocean ecosystem and is the main prey of all baleen whales that feed in Antarctic waters. Krill abundance has been decreasing at the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) given climate warming in the region. Here we investigated the effect of variation in krill density on the reproductive success of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from Breeding Stock G. Humpback whales’ relative birth rate (RBR), defined as the observed number of calves in relation to non-calves, was obtained from opportunistic surveys carried out on board whale-watching vessels operating near the coast of Ecuador between 2004 and 2010. The relationship between RBR and krill density was significant when considering a lag of 1-year (r2 = 0.9, P = 0.02), and was consistent when considering the RBR balanced by the number of trips (r2 = 0.8, P = 0.02). Therefore, it is recommended that management strategies for krill fisheries consider the effect of climate on the whole Antarctic ecosystem and the potential effect of krill removal on the population recovery of whales.

It can also be accessed upon request<https://www.researchgate.net/publication/350376968_Influence_of_krill_Euphausia_superba_availability_on_humpback_whale_Megaptera_novaeangliae_reproductive_rate>.

Best wishes,

Dr Elisa Seyboth

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Cape Peninsula University of Technology - CPUT - South Africa
District Six Campus

Collaborating Researcher
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande - FURG - Brazil

APECS Council Member (2016-2019)
APECS-Brazil Member and National Committee Representative (2017-2019)
CCAMLR Scholarship recipient (2018-2019)

seybothe at cput.ac.za
Tel.: +27 079 056 5394
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