Navigation Links
Habitat use by North Pacific right whales, Eubalaena japonica, in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska

The small population of North Pacific right whales, found during the summer in Alaska waters, is one of the most critically endangered whale populations in the world. Commercial whaling in the 1800s has now left us with only a few dozens. Recently these whales have been recognized as a different species from right whales seen in the North Atlantic and others in the Southern Hemisphere.

To help define areas and ecological parameters critical to the survival of this remnant population of right whales, habitat use was investigated by scientists at the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service's, National Marine Mammal Laboratory, in Seattle, Washington by examining all available sighting and catch records in the southeastern Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska over the past two centuries. These results were published recently in the journal Mammal Review.

Based on re-analyses of whaling records and surveys, important areas appeared to be (1) the Southeastern Bering Sea slope and shelf, (2) eastern Aleutian Islands, and (3) Gulf of Alaska slope and abyssal plain. Since 1980, the only area where right whales have been seen consistently is on the middle-shelf of the Southeastern Bering Sea. However, acoustic detections and single sightings have been reported in most other regions. In fact, the results of this study refute conclusions in another study that a "habitat shift" occurred when right whales moved from deep continental slope waters in the SEBS during the 1940s to 1960s to now occupy "a different habitat" on the middle-shelf of the SEBS. Given that right whales have been seen in middle-shelf waters from the 19th century to the present, it appears that the SEBS middle shelf was and continues to be important habitat for this species. Although there has been a conspicuous absence of right whale sightings from the outer shelf and slope habitat in recent years, this may be due, at least in part, to a lack of survey effort there. Results of acoustic recorder deploy ments along the slope are much anticipated.

All sightings since 1979 were in waters less than 200 m deep which may simply reflect the paucity of search effort elsewhere. From the commercial whaling era to the late-1960s, right whales were commonly seen in waters greater than 2000 m deep, indicating that their distribution is not restricted to shallow continental shelves. North Pacific right whale sightings through the centuries have been associated with a wide variety of oceanic features, and there is little in common in the bathymetry of these regions. These whales appear to have a greater pelagic distribution than that observed in the North Atlantic ?perhaps because of the wider availability of larger copepods in Alaskan waters.


'"/>

Source:Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Related biology news :

1. Habitat microstructure drives salamander metamorphosis
2. Alaskan puzzles, monitoring provide insight about North Pacific salmon runs
3. No relief for Pacific Northwest drought
4. Survey finds silver contamination in North Pacific waters
5. First North American Encapsulated Islet Transplant without Long-term Immune Suppression into a Patient with Type 1 Diabetes
6. Red delicious, Northern Spy apples have most antioxidants, chemists find
7. FSU scientist warns North Atlantic right whale facing extinction
8. Proposal would allow wild animals to roam North America
9. North & South American researchers find architectural abnormalities in T. cruzi ribosome
10. Drug resistant avian influenza viruses more common in Southeast Asia than North America
11. Skin disease common among Hispanic farmworkers in North Carolina, research shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed ... focused on medical screening and diagnostic applications, ... Wearable devices that facilitate and assure continuous ... movement are being bolstered through new opportunities ... signal acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray ... the digital and computed radiography markets in ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an ... as well as regional market drivers and restraints. The ... penetration and market attractiveness, both for digital and computed ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... , February 1, 2016 Rising ... to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ... Rising sales of consumer electronics coupled with new ... market size through 2020   ... coupled with new technological advancements to drive global touchfree ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... Australian-US drug discovery and development company, Novogen Limited ... a new Chairman, Mr John O,Connor , and new ... James Garner , has also been formally appointed ... CEO, Mr Iain Ross , will resume his role ... James Garner , has also been formally appointed to the ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments will showcase several new products, ... sessions, and present on the analysis of mycotoxins and medical cannabis at the ... at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. , Attendees should ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization ... at the 18 th Annual BIO CEO & ... a.m. EST in New York, NY . ... will provide an update on the ongoing clinical trial of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: ... China , today announced that the ... February 4, 2016 a preliminary non-binding proposal letter, dated ... V-Ming ( Shanghai ) Investment Holdings Co., ... Shenzhen ) Fund Management Co., Ltd., Beijing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: