Polar Biology

, Volume 31, Issue 7, pp 771–781

Movements of satellite-monitored humpback whales on their feeding ground along the Antarctic Peninsula

  • L. Dalla Rosa
  • E. R. Secchi
  • Y. G. Maia
  • A. N. Zerbini
  • M. P. Heide-Jørgensen
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00300-008-0415-2

Cite this article as:
Dalla Rosa, L., Secchi, E.R., Maia, Y.G. et al. Polar Biol (2008) 31: 771. doi:10.1007/s00300-008-0415-2

Abstract

Humpback whales were instrumented with satellite transmitters off the western Antarctic Peninsula in January of 2004–2006 to examine their movement patterns and habitat use. Whales were tracked from 4 to 80 days (mean = 36.5 days). Distance and travel rate estimates for nine individuals ranged from 223 to 4,356 km and from 17 to 75 km/day, respectively. Considerable individual variation was observed in direction, speed and range of movements. The overall pattern was characterized by short- and long-distance movements between presumed foraging areas with relatively short residency times. Travel rates were lower at these sites, characterized by erratic movements, than during traveling between them. Area usage for six individuals based on the 95% fixed kernel home range with least squares cross-validation ranged from 2,771 to 172,356 km2. The management boundary between the feeding grounds associated with Breeding Stocks G and A needs revision, as current available data suggest it should be located to the east of 50°W. This study is the first to present detailed information on the movements of humpback whales in the Southern Ocean.

Keywords

Humpback whale Satellite telemetry Movements Antarctic Peninsula 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Dalla Rosa
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. R. Secchi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Y. G. Maia
    • 4
  • A. N. Zerbini
    • 4
    • 5
  • M. P. Heide-Jørgensen
    • 6
  1. 1.Projeto Baleias/GOAL/Brazilian Antarctic Program, Laboratório de Mamíferos Marinhos, Museu Oceanográfico “Prof. Eliézer C. Rios”Fundação Universidade Federal do Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Zoology and Marine Mammal Research UnitUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Laboratório de Tartarugas e Mamíferos Marinhos/Departamento de OceanografiaFundação Universidade Federal do Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Projeto Monitoramento de Baleias por SatéliteInstituto AqualieRio de JaneiroBrazil
  5. 5.National Marine Mammal LaboratoryAlaska Fisheries Science Center/NOAA FisheriesSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Greenland Institute of Natural ResourcesNuukGreenland

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