All Title Author
Keywords Abstract


Utilizing Occupancy Models and Platforms-of-Opportunity to Assess Area Use of Mother-Calf Humpback Whales

DOI: 10.4236/ojms.2018.82014, PP. 276-292

Keywords: Humpback Whale, Occupancy Model, Platform of Opportunity, Whale and Dolphin Tracker, Area Use

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib

Abstract:

The Hawaiian Islands, and particularly the Maui 4-island region, are a critical breeding and calving habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) belonging to the Hawaii distinct population segment. Our aims were to test the use of platforms-of-opportunity to determine trends in mother-calf pod use of the region and to present opportunistic platforms as an alternative method of long-term, cross-seasonal monitoring. Data were collected from whale watching vessels over a 4-year period and analyzed using occupancy models to determine the probability of habitat use of pods with calves and pods without calves within the study area. Detection probability was influenced by survey effort and month for all pod types with detection of adult only pods further influenced by year. Pods with a calf showed a preference for shallow (<100 meters) low latitude waters (<20.7°N), while pods without a calf preferred deeper waters (>75 meters). Results presented here align with previous work, both in Hawaii and in other breeding grounds, which show a distinct segregation of mothers with a calf from other age-classes of humpback whales. The need for long-term continuous monitoring of cetacean populations is crucial to ensure species conservation. Data collected aboard platforms-of-opportunity, as presented here, provide important insight on humpback whale spatial and temporal distribution, which are essential for species protection and management.

References

[1]  Mobley, J.M. and Herman, L.M. (1985) Transience of Social Affiliations among Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on Hawaiian Wintering Grounds. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 63, 762-774.
https://doi.org/10.1139/z85-111
[2]  Szabo, A. and Duffus, D. (2008) Mother-Offspring Association in the Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae: Following Behaviour in an Aquatic Mammal. Animal Behaviour, 75, 1085-1092.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.08.019
[3]  National Marine Fisheries Service (2016) Monitoring Plan for Nine Distinct Population Segments of the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, Silver Spring, 19.
[4]  Calambokidis, J., Falcone, E.A., Quinn, T.J., Burdin, A.M., Clapham, P.J., Ford, J.K.B., Gabriele, C.M., LeDuc, R., Mattila, D., Rojas-Bracho, L., Straley, J.M., Taylor, B.L., Urbán, J.R., Weller, D., Witteveen, B.H., Yamaguchi, M., Bendlin, A., Camacho, D., Flynn, K., Havron, A., Huggings, J., Maloney, N., Barlow, J. and Wade, P.R. (2008) SPLASH: Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpback Whales in the North Pacific. Unpublished Report Submitted by Cascadia Research Collective to USDOC, Seattle.
[5]  Bettridge, S., Baker, C.S., Barlow, J., Clapham, P.J., Ford, M., Gouveia, D., Mattila, D.K., Pace III, R.M., Rosel, P.E., Silber, G.K. and Wade, P.R. (2015) Status Review of the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) under the Endangered Species Act. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS, NOAA-TM-NMFSSWFSC-540, US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, California.
[6]  Mobley, J.R., Bauer, G.B. and Herman, L.M. (1999) Changes over a Ten-Year Interval in the Distribution and Relative Abundance of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) Wintering in Hawaiian Waters. Aquatic Mammals, 25, 63-72.
[7]  Mobley, J.M., Spitz, S., Grotefendt, R., Forestell, P., Frankel, A. and Bauer, G. (2001) Abundance of Humpback Whales in Hawaiian Waters: Results of 1993-2000 Aerial Surveys. Report to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Kihei.
[8]  Herman, L.M. and Antinoja, R.C. (1977) Humpback Whales in the Hawaiian Breeding Waters: Population and Pod Characteristics. The Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute, 29, 59-85.
[9]  Smultea, M.A. (1994) Segregation by Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Cows with Calves in Coastal Habitat near the Island of Hawaii. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 72, 805-811.
https://doi.org/10.1139/z94-109
[10]  Ersts, P.J. and Rosenbaum, H.C. (2003) Habitat Preference Reflects Social Organization of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on a Wintering Ground. Journal of Zoology, 260, 337-345.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S0952836903003807
[11]  Cerchio, S., Gabriele, C.M., Norris, T.F. and Herman, L.M. (1998) Movements of Humpback Whales between Kauai and Hawaii: Implications for Population Structure and Abundance Estimation in the Hawaiian Islands. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 175, 13-22.
https://doi.org/10.3354/meps175013
[12]  Craig, A.S. and Herman, L.M. (2000) Habitat Preferences of Female Humpback Whales Megaptera novaeangliae in the Hawaiian Islands Are Associated with Reproductive Status. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 193, 209-216.
https://doi.org/10.3354/meps193209
[13]  Félix, F. and Haase, B. (1997) Spatial Distribution of Different Age Groups of Humpback Whales along the Ecuadorian Coast. European Research on Cetaceans, 11, 129-132.
[14]  Martins, C.C.A., Morete, M.E., Coitinho, M.H.E., Freitas, A.C., Secchi, E.R. and Kinas, P.G. (2001) Aspects of Habitat Use Patterns of Humpback Whales in the Abrolhos Bank, Brazil, Breeding Ground. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 47, 563-570.
[15]  Oviedo, L. and Solís, M. (2008) Underwater Topography Determines Critical Breeding Habitat for Humpback Whales near Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: Implications for Marine Protected Areas. Revista de biologia tropical, 56, 591-602.
[16]  Craig, A.S., Herman, L.M., Pack, A.A. and Waterman, J.O. (2014) Habitat Segregation by Female Humpback Whales in Hawaiian Waters: Avoidance of Males? Behaviour, 151, 613-631.
https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003151
[17]  Frankel, A.S. and Clark, C.W. (2002) ATOC and Other Factors Affecting the Distribution and Abundance of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) off the North Shore of Kauai. Marine Mammal Science, 18, 644-662.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2002.tb01064.x
[18]  Cartwright, R., Gillespie, B., LaBonte, K., Mangold, T., Venema, A., Eden, K. and Sullivan, M. (2012) Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Habitat Selection in Female-Calf Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Pairs on the Hawaiian Breeding Grounds. PLoS ONE, 7, e38004.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038004
[19]  MacKenzie, D.I., Nichols, J.D., Royle, J.A., Pollock, K.H., Bailey, L.L. and Hines, J.E. (2006) Occupancy Estimation and Modeling: Inferring Patterns and Dynamics of Species Occurrence. Elsevier Academic Press, Burlington.
[20]  Martin, J., Chamaillé-Jammes, S., Nichols, J.D., Fritz, H., Hines, J.E., Fonnesbeck, C.J., MacKenzie, D.I. and Bailey, L.L. (2010) Simultaneous Modeling of Habitat Suitability, Occupancy, and Relative Abundance: African Elephants in Zimbabwe. Ecological Applications, 20, 1173-1182.
https://doi.org/10.1890/09-0276.1
[21]  Cove, M.V., Pardo Vargas, L.E., de la Cruz, J.C., Spínola, R.M., Jackson, V.L., Saénz, J.C. and Chassot, O. (2013) Factors Influencing the Occurrence of the Endangered Baird’s Tapir Tapirus bairdii: Potential Flagship Species for a Costa Rican Biological Corridor. Oryx, 48, 402-409.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605313000070
[22]  Grigg, R., Grossman, E., Earle, S., Gittings, S., Lott, D. and McDonough, J. (2002) Drowned Reefs and Antecedent Karst Topography, Au’au Channel, SE Hawaiian Islands. Coral Reefs, 21, 73-82.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-001-0203-8
[23]  Currie, J.J., Stack, S.H., McCordic, J.A. and Kaufman, G.D. (2015) Whale and Dolphin Tracker: An Application for Data Collection on Platforms of Opportunity. Document SC/66b/WW08 Presented to the IWC Scientific Committee, 11 p.
[24]  MacKenzie, D.I. (2006) Modeling the Probability of Resource Use: The Effect of, and Dealing with, Detecting a Species Imperfectly. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 70, 367-374.
https://doi.org/10.2193/0022-541X(2006)70[367:MTPORU]2.0.CO;2
[25]  Dwyer, S.L. (2014) Spatial Ecology and Conservation of Cetaceans using the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Massey University, Auckland, 275 p.
[26]  HMRG (2017) The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. The University of Hawai’i, Manoa.
http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/hmrg/multibeam/bathymetry.php
[27]  ESRI (2017) ArcGIS Desktop: Release 10. Environmental Systems Research Institute, Redlands.
[28]  Jenness, J.S. (2004) Calculating Landscape Surface Area from Digital Elevation Models. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 32, 829-839.
https://doi.org/10.2193/0091-7648(2004)032[0829:CLSAFD]2.0.CO;2
[29]  R Core Team (2017) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna.
https://www.R-project.org/
[30]  Gonzalez-Suarez, M., Gómez, A. and Revilla, E. (2013) Which Intrinsic Traits Predict Vulnerability to Extinction Depends on the Actual Threatening Processes. Ecosphere, 4, 1-16.
https://doi.org/10.1890/ES12-00380.1
[31]  Fiske, I. and Chandler, R. (2011) Unmarked: An R Package for Fitting Hierarchical Models of Wildlife Occurrence and Abundance. Journal of Statistical Software, 43, 1-23.
https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v043.i10
[32]  MacKenzie, D.I., Nichols, J.D., Hines, J.E., Knutson, M.G. and Franklin, A.B. (2003) Estimating Site Occupancy, Colonization, and Local Extinction When a Species Is Detected Imperfectly. Ecology, 84, 2200-2207.
https://doi.org/10.1890/02-3090
[33]  Burnham, K.P. and Anderson, D.R. (2002) Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: A Practical Information-Theoretic Approach. Springer-Verlag, New York.
[34]  MacKenzie, D.I. and Bailey, L.L. (2004) Assessing the Fit of Site-Occupancy Models. Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics, 9, 300-318.
https://doi.org/10.1198/108571104X3361
[35]  Whitehead, H. and Moore, M.J. (1982) Distribution and Movements of West Indian Humpback Whales in Winter. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 60, 2203-2211.
https://doi.org/10.1139/z82-282
[36]  Mattila, D.K. and Clapham, P.J. (1989) Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, and Other Cetaceans on Virgin Bank and in the Northern Leeward Islands, 1985 and 1986. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 67, 2201-2211.
https://doi.org/10.1139/z89-311
[37]  Chavanne, C., Flament, P., Lumpkin, R., Dousset, B. and Bentamy, A. (2002) Scatterometer Observations of Wind Variations Induced by Oceanic Islands: Implications for Wind-Driven Ocean Circulation. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 28, 466-474.
https://doi.org/10.5589/m02-047
[38]  Stopa, J.E., Filipot, J.F., Li, N., Cheung, K.F., Chen, Y.L. and Vega, L. (2013) Wave Energy Resources along the Hawaiian Island Chain. Renewable Energy, 55, 305-321.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2012.12.030
[39]  PacIOOS (2018) Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System.
http://www.pacioos.org
[40]  Herman, L.M., Forestell, P.H. and Antinoja, R.C. (1980) The 1976/77 Migration of Humpback Whales into Hawaiian Waters: Composite Description. Rep No. MMC-77/19, Marine Mammal Commission, Washington DC.
[41]  Glockner-Ferrari, D.A. and Ferrari, M.J. (1985) Individual Identification, Behavior, Reproduction, and Distribution of Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in Hawaii. US Marine Mammal Commission.
[42]  Chittleborough, R.G. (1965) Dynamics of Two Populations of the Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski). Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 16, 33-128.
https://doi.org/10.1071/MF9650033
[43]  Baker, C.S. and Herman, L.M. (1981) Migration and Local Movement of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) through Hawaiian Waters. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 59, 460-469.
https://doi.org/10.1139/z81-067

Full-Text

comments powered by Disqus