Navigation Links
Killer whale at risk due to inadequate prey population
Date:6/8/2012

Southern resident killer whales, found along the northwest coast of North America, are in trouble mostly because of inadequate prey, the number vessels in their habitat has much less impact, according to work published June 6 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The researchers, led by Katherine Ayres, who completed the work while at University of Washington in Seattle, measured two different hormone levels, fecal thyroid and glucocorticoid, to distinguish between two different theories for the whale's decline. Both measures supported the inadequate prey hypothesis, which suggests that the killer whale is primarily limited by the decrease in the population of Chinook salmon, its major food source, more than the vessel impact hypothesis, which suggests that the animals are psychologically stressed from the high number of vessels in the area.

Ayres explains, "The data support Chinook salmon being a more important driver of physiology than vessel traffic for the Southern resident killer whale population, however vessel traffic may cause added physiological stress during times of low prey availability." Researcher Samuel Wasser concurs, adding, "Recovering their Chinook salmon prey is critical to assure long-term killer whale recovery. Everything, including boats and toxins, matters more when prey is low."

Both nutritional and psychological stress lead to an increase in glucocorticoid levels, while only nutritional stress affects thyroid hormone levels, so measuring both of these levels allowed the researchers to identify which of the two models is correct. The results suggest that whale conservation efforts should focus on salmon population recovery, the authors write.


'/>"/>
Contact: Lindsay Morton
lmorton@plos.org
415-935-2094
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Young researcher taking fight against global killer to the next level in Vietnam
2. Killer silk: Making silk fibers that kill anthrax and other microbes in minutes
3. Scientists discover a new sensory organ in the chin of baleen whales
4. A whale of a discovery: New sensory organ found in rorqual whales
5. Whale population size, dynamics determined based on ancient DNA
6. Study amplifies understanding of hearing in baleen whales
7. New iPad, iPhone app helps mariners avoid endangered right whales
8. How to make high-end perfumes without whale barf
9. Ancient whale species sheds new light on its modern relatives
10. Giant squids giant eyes: The better to see hungry whales with
11. Genetic survey of endangered Antarctic blue whales shows surprising diversity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/25/2016)... 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) ... Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New York City , ... imposters attempting to enter the United States ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last ... at JFK during January 2016. --> pilot testing ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... , Jan. 20, 2016 A market that ... directly benefit from the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn ... Sound Research. A range of dynamic trends are pushing ... - personalized medicine - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - ... large markets - greater understanding of the role of ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... ALBANY, New York , January 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transparency Market Research has published a new market report ... Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to ... mn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 ... from 2015 to 2023. In terms of volume, the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Bioethics International, a not-for-profit organization focused on ... marketed and made accessible to patients around the world, today ... named the publication of the Good Pharma Scorecard ... also featured as one of BMJ Open ,s ,Most ... that are most frequently read. Ed Sucksmith , ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...  Wellcentive today announced it has been selected ... -based community care organization (CCO) with more than ... reporting and care management solutions and services. Wellcentive,s ... quality managers, analysts and care managers while providing ... FamilyCare members. Oregon ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Dovetail Genomics™ LLC ... its beta program for a planned metagenomic genome assembly ... the company,s metagenomic genome assembly method in a talk ... Genome Biology & Technology conference in Orlando, ... these highly complex datasets is difficult. Using its proprietary ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...   BioInformant announces the February 2016 release ... Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies – Market Size, Segments, Trends, ... The first and only market ... BioInformant has more than a decade of historical information ... stem cell type. This powerful 175 page global strategic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: