Effects of Model Formulation on Estimates of Health in Individual Right Whales (Eubalaena glacialis)

  • Robert S. Schick
  • Scott D. Kraus
  • Rosalind M. Rolland
  • Amy R. Knowlton
  • Philip K. Hamilton
  • Heather M. Pettis
  • Len Thomas
  • John Harwood
  • James S. Clark
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 875)

Abstract

Right whales are vulnerable to many sources of anthropogenic disturbance including ship strikes, entanglement with fishing gear, and anthropogenic noise. The effect of these factors on individual health is unclear. A statistical model using photographic evidence of health was recently built to infer the true or hidden health of individual right whales. However, two important prior assumptions about the role of missing data and unexplained variance on the estimates were not previously assessed. Here we tested these factors by varying prior assumptions and model formulation. We found sensitivity to each assumption and used the output to make guidelines on future model formulation.

Keywords

Missing data Body condition Process error Bayesian Photo identification 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Office of Naval Research Grants N00014-10-1-0516 and N00014-12-1-0286 to Duke University and the University of St. Andrews. This work benefited from discussions with participants in a working group supported by Office of Naval Research Grants N00014-09-1-0896 to the University of California, Santa Barbara, and N00014-12-1-0274 to the University of California, Davis.

References

  1. Clark JS (2007) Models for ecological data: an introduction. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  2. Clark JS, Bjørnstad O (2004) Population inference from messy data: errors, missing and hidden states, and lagged responses. Ecology 85:3140–3150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Conn PB, Silber GK (2013) Vessel speed restrictions reduce risk of collision-related mortality for North Atlantic right whales. Ecosphere 4:art43. doi:10.1890/ES13-00004.1
  4. Hamilton PK, Martin SM (1999) A catalogue of identified right whales from the North Atlantic: 1935–1997. New England Aquarium, BostonGoogle Scholar
  5. Hunt KE, Rolland RM, Kraus SD, Wasser SK (2006) Analysis of fecal glucocorticoids in the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). Gen Comp Endocrinol 148:260–272. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2006.03.012 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Knowlton AR, Hamilton P, Marx M, Pettis HM, Kraus SD (2012) Monitoring North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis entanglements: a 30 yr retrospective. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 466:293–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kraus SD, Brown MW, Caswell H, Clark CW, Fujiwara M, Hamilton PK, Kenney RD, Knowlton AR, Landry S, Mayo CA, McLellan WA, Moore MJ, Nowacek DP, Pabst DA, Read AJ, Rolland RM (2005) North Atlantic right whales in crisis. Science 309:561–562CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Miller CA, Best PB, Perryman WL, Baumgartner MF, Moore MJ (2012) Body shape changes associated with reproductive status, nutritive condition and growth in right whales Eubalaena glacialis and E. australis. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 459:135–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Moore MJ, Andrews RD, Austin T, Bailey J, Costidis AM, George C, Jackson K, Pitchford T, Landry S, Ligon A, McLellan WA, Morin D, Smith J, Rotstein DS, Rowles TK, Slay CK, Walsh M (2012) Rope trauma, sedation, disentanglement, and monitoring-tag associated lesions in a terminally entangled North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). Mar Mamm Sci 29:E98–E113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. New LF, Clark JS, Costa DP, Fleishman E, Hindell MA, Klanjšček T, Lusseau D, Kraus S, McMahon CR, Robinson PW, Schick RS, Schwarz LK, Simmons SE, Thomas L, Tyack P, Harwood J (2014) Using short-term measures of behaviour to estimate long-term fitness of southern elephant seals. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 496:99–108. doi:10.3354/meps10547 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pettis HM, Rolland RM, Hamilton PK, Brault S, Knowlton AR, Kraus SD (2004) Visual health assessment of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) using photographs. Can J Zool 82:8–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Rolland RM, Hamilton P, Marx M, Pettis HM, Angell CM, Moore MJ (2007) External perspectives on right whale health. In: Kraus SD, Rolland RM (eds) The urban whale: North Atlantic right whales at the crossroads. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 273–309Google Scholar
  13. Rolland RM, Parks SE, Hunt KE, Castellote M, Corkeron PJ, Nowacek DP, Wasser SK, Kraus SD (2012) Evidence that ship noise increases stress in right whales. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 279:2363–2368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Rubin DB (1987) Multiple imputation for nonresponse in surveys. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schick RS, Kraus SD, Rolland RM, Knowlton AR, Hamilton PK, Pettis HM, Kenney RD, Clark JS (2013a) Using hierarchical Bayes to understand movement, health, and survival in the endangered North Atlantic right whale. PLoS ONE 8:e64166PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Schick RS, New LF, Thomas L, Costa DP, Hindell MA, McMahon CR, Robinson PW, Simmons SE, Thums M, Harwood J, Clark JS (2013b) Estimating resource acquisition and at-sea body condition of a marine predator. J Anim Ecol 82:1300–1315. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12102 PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Schick
    • 1
  • Scott D. Kraus
    • 2
  • Rosalind M. Rolland
    • 2
  • Amy R. Knowlton
    • 2
  • Philip K. Hamilton
    • 2
  • Heather M. Pettis
    • 2
  • Len Thomas
    • 1
  • John Harwood
    • 1
  • James S. Clark
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM), The ObservatoryUniversity of St. AndrewsSt. Andrews, FifeUK
  2. 2.John H. Prescott Marine Laboratory, New England AquariumBostonUSA
  3. 3.Nicholas School of the EnvironmentDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations