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:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 According to a ... Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment ... the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in ... Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... No two people are believed to ... York University Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan ... partial similarities between prints are common enough that ... and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable ... in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems feature ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... EDETEK, Inc., a ... that it is launching two new additions of its award-winning cloud-based platform CONFORM™: ... at the DIA 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, June 19-22, 2017. , ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... , ... June 19, 2017 , ... A colony of ... its cells and tissues by delivering pollen and nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth ... to stay healthy. , Many recent indicators point to a decline in honey bee ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... June 16, 2017 , ... Cambridge ... announced that its Anzo Smart Data Lake® (Anzo SDL) solution was named ... the 2017 Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Awards. , Finalists ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... New resistant soybean and cotton ... managing Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf weeds resistant to glyphosate. But scientists with ... herbicides are known to drift and to cause harm to sensitive, off-target broadleaf ...
Breaking Biology Technology: