[MARMAM] New Publication: Large whale occurrence in northeastern Chukchi and southern Beaufort Seas from vessel surveys, 2008 to 2014

Kate Lomac-MacNair klomacmacnair at gmail.com
Tue Aug 2 23:24:23 PDT 2022


Dear MARMAM Community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce our new publication in
*Northwestern
Naturalist*:

Lomac-MacNair, K., Wisdom, S., De Andrade, J. P., Stepanuk, J. E.,
Anderson, M., Zoidis, A., & Esteves, E. (2022). Large whale occurrence in
northeastern Chukchi and southern Beaufort Seas from vessel surveys,
2008-2014. *Northwestern Naturalist*, 103(2), 136-153.
https://doi.org/10.1898/NWN21-11

ABSTRACT
With global climate change and increasing ocean-based human activities,
large whales face novel challenges in the Arctic seas. Understanding and
assessing large whale occurrence and the links between occurrence and
environmental variables in this region is a key issue in current management
and conservation strategies for Arctic marine mammal species. During the
Chukchi Sea Environmental Studies Program, large whale occurrence data were
collected from vessel surveys during >56,909 km of observation effort in
summer and autumn, 2008 to 2014, in the northeastern Chukchi, southern
Beaufort, and Bering Seas. The most-recorded species were the Bowhead (*Balaena
mysticetus*) and Gray (*Eschrichtius robustus*) Whales. Subarctic species
recorded included the Humpback Whale (*Megaptera novaeangliae*), Fin
Whale (*Balaenoptera
physalus*), and Minke Whale (*Balaenoptera acutorostrata*). Sightings data
were analyzed with respect to environmental variables: sea-surface
temperature (SST), depth (m), and distance from shore (km), by month and
year. Investigating occurrence associations with environmental parameters
is a key element for predicting large whale trends in these Arctic seas and
for understanding marine mammals as sentinels of oceanic shifts.

Our paper is available online: https://doi.org/10.1898/NWN21-11

Or via e-mail request: klomacmacnair at gmail.com

Cheers,

Kate Lomac-MacNair, PhD
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