[MARMAM] New publication: Fin whale movements and residency along the US West Coast

Erin Falcone efalcone at marecotel.org
Mon Sep 19 14:24:30 PDT 2022

On behalf of my coauthors, I would like to share our recent publication in
which we use  photographic sighting histories to investigate population
structure of fin whales along the west coast of the United States.

Falcone EA, Keene EL, Keen EM, Barlow J, Stewart J, Cheeseman T, et al.
Movements and residency of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the
California Current System. Mamm Biol [Internet]. 2022 Sep 15; Available
from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42991-022-00298-4

Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) along the western United States are
managed as a single stock whose range overlaps with the California Current
System (CCS). We used sighting histories of 932 individual fin whales
photographed in the CCS from 1987 to 2018 to investigate movements and
residency patterns within and among latitudinal regions. While 167 whales
(18%) were sighted in multiple years, only 4 were documented in both the
Northern and Southern CCS, with a boundary at 38.5 °N. A permutation test
of annual recaptures suggested movements among latitudinal regions of the
CCS occurred significantly less than expected if whales moved freely within
current stock boundaries. Fifteen whales were sighted in 6–10 different
years on an average of 30 different days (range: 8–101 days), all in the
heavily sampled Southern California Bight (SCB). There, we used lagged
identification rates (LIRs) to assess whether the probability of
re-sighting an individual over time differed from random values for the
region overall, within and beyond 25 km of the mainland, and by season. Our
results suggest that the SCB is used seasonally by whales from the larger
CCS stock but is also home to a smaller, year-round resident subpopulation.
This latter group increasingly uses the nearshore waters of the SCB, where
they are exposed to significantly elevated levels of anthropogenic activity.

The full text of the article is available at:  https://rdcu.be/cVGsE

Erin A. Falcone, Biologist
Marine Ecology and Telemetry Research
2468 Camp McKenzie Trail NW
Seabeck, WA 98380 USA
360-789-6474 (Mobile)
206-550-9806 (Office)
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