Advertisement

Seasonal and geographical variation of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) habitat use in the German Baltic Sea monitored by passive acoustic methods (PODs)

  • Ursula K. Verfuß
  • Christopher G. Honnef
  • Harald Benke

Abstract

Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were known to be common in the Baltic Sea. In the past several decades, the abundance and distribution has decreased, leading to national and international agreements on the protection of this species. Plans for offshore windmill constructions and proposals for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to implement NATURA 2000, led to an increased research effort on the harbour porpoise in the German Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the North and Baltic Sea. Within this scope, the harbour porpoise habitat use of the German Baltic Sea from Fehmarn to the Pommeranian Bay (Pommersche Bucht) was investigated with the help of self-contained submersible data logger (Porpoise detectors, T-PODs), which register harbour porpoise echolocation click trains.

Comparison of the T-POD data from different measuring stations located throughout the Baltic Sea revealed a decrease of porpoise registrations from the west of the island of Fehmarn to the east of the island of Rügen. Seasonal variation of habitat use, and therefore of relative porpoise density, was seen around the island of Fehmarn and the Kadet Trench (Kadetrinne), with many days of porpoise registrations in the summer and fewer registration days in the winter months.

The results prove the regular use of the western part of the German EEZ of the Baltic Sea by harbour porpoises from Fehmarn to the Kadet Trench including adjacent coastal waters. The low amount of porpoise registrations east of the Darss Sill (Darsser Schwelle) allows the assumption of a low harbour porpoise density in the eastern part of the German Baltic Sea. Furthermore, a clear seasonal variation in the amount of porpoise registration proves porpoise migration out of the western part of the German Baltic Sea in wintertime.

Keywords

Marine Protect Area Acoustic Method Exclusive Economic Zone Harbour Porpoise Marine Protect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Au WWL (1993) The sonar of dolphins. Springer-Verlag, New York Berlin HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  2. Benke H, Siebert U (1994) Zur Situation der Kleinwale im Wattenmeer und in der südlichen Nordsee. In: Lozán JL, Rachor E, Reise K, von Westernhagen H, Lenz W (eds) Warnsignale aus dem Wattenmeer. Blackwell Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin, pp 309–316Google Scholar
  3. Benke H, Siebert U, Lick R, Bandomir B, Weiss R (1998) The current status of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in German waters. Arch Fish Mar Res 46:97–123Google Scholar
  4. Boye P, Hutterer R, Benke H (1998) Rote Liste der Säugetiere. Schriften-Reihe für Landschaftspflege und Naturschutz 55:33–39Google Scholar
  5. Goodson AD, Kastelein RA, Sturtivant CR (1995) Source levels and echolocation signal characteristics of juvenile harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in a pool. In: Nachtigall PE, Lien J, Au WWL, Read AJ (eds) Harbour porpoises — laboratory studies to reduce bycatch, vol 1. De Spil Publishers, Woerden, The Netherlands, pp 41–53Google Scholar
  6. Hammond PS, Berggren P, Benke H, Borchers DL, Collet A, Heide-Jorgensen MP, Heimlich S, Hiby AR, Leopold MF, Oien N (2002) Abundance of harbour porpoise and other cetaceans in the North Sea and adjacent waters. Journal of Applied Ecology 39:361–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Heide-Jørgensen MP, Teilmann J, Benke H, Wulf J (1993) Abundance and distribution of harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena in selected areas of the western Baltic and the North Sea. Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen 47:335–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Huggenberger S, Benke H, Kinze CC (2002) Geographical variation in harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) skulls: support for a separate non-migratory population in the Baltic proper. Ophelia 56:1–12Google Scholar
  9. ICES/ACME (1997) Report of the ICES Advisory Committee on the marine environment. ICES Cooperative Research Report. ICES, Copenhagen. 222Google Scholar
  10. Kamminga C, Engelsma FJ, Terry RP (1999) An adult-like sonar wave shape from a rehabilitated orphaned harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Ophelia 50:35–42Google Scholar
  11. Kinze CC (1995) Exploitation of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Danish waters: a historical review. In: Bjorge A, Donovan GP (eds) Biology of the Phocoenids. Black Bear Press, Cambridge, pp 141–153Google Scholar
  12. Koschinski S (2003) Current knowledge on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Baltic Sea. Ophelia 55:167–197Google Scholar
  13. Kröger R (1986) The decrease of harbour porpoise populations in the Baltic and North Sea. Final report on the Swedish-German harbour porpoise project funded by the World Wildlife Fund Sweden and Hamburg, University of HamburgGoogle Scholar
  14. Moreno P, Benke H, Lutter S (1993) Behaviour of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) carcasses in the German Bight: surfacing rate, decomposition and drift routes. In: Bohlken H, Benke H, Wulf J (eds) Untersuchungen über Bestand, Gesundheitszustand und Wanderung der Kleinwalpopulationen (Cetacea) in deutschen Gewässern. FKZ 10805017/11. BMU-Final Report. Institut für Haustierkunde, University of Kiel, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  15. Reijnders PJH (1992) Harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena in the North Sea: numerical responses to changes in environmental conditions. Neth J Aquatic Ecol 26:75–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Scheidat M, Gilles A, Siebert U (2004) Teilprojekt 2 — Erfassung der Dichte und Verteilungsmuster von Schweinswalen (Phocoena phocoena) in der deutschen Nord-und Ostsee. In: Kellermann A, et al. (eds) Marine Warmblüter in Nord-und Ostsee: Grundlagen zur Bewertung von Windkraftanlagen im Offshore-Bereich. FKZ 0327520. Final report. Investment-in-future program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Landesamt für den Nationalpark Schleswig-Holsteinisches Wattenmeer, Tönning. (www.wattenmeernationalpark.de)Google Scholar
  17. Schulze G (1996) Die Schweinswale. Westarp-Wissenschaften, MagdeburgGoogle Scholar
  18. Siebert U, Benke H, Schulze G, Sonntag RP (1996) Über den Zustand der Kleinwale. In: Lozán JL, Lampe R, Matthäus W, Rachor E, Rumohr H, von Westernhagen H (eds) Warnsignale aus der Ostsee. Parey Buchverlag, Berlin, pp 242–248Google Scholar
  19. Siebert U, Gilles A, Lucke K, Ludwig M, Benke H, Kock K-H, Scheidat M (in preparation) Review of occurrence of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in German waters — analyses of aerial surveys, incidental sightings and strandingsGoogle Scholar
  20. Sonntag RP, Benke H, Hiby AR, Lick R, Adelung D (1999) Identification of the first harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) calving ground in the North Sea. J Sea Res 1–8Google Scholar
  21. Teilmann J, Dietz R, Larsen F, Desportes G, Geertsen BM, Andersen LW, Aastrup PJ, Hansen JR, Buholzer L (2004) Satellitsporing af marsvin i danske og tilstødende farvande. Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser. Report. DMU 484, Electronic version: http://www2.dmu.dk/1_viden/2_Publikationer/3_fagrapporter/abstrakter/abs_484_DK.aspGoogle Scholar
  22. Tiedemann R (2001) Stock definition in continuously distributed species using molecular markers and spatial autocorrelation analysis. SC/53/SD3, London Paper presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling CommissionGoogle Scholar
  23. Verfuß UK, Miller LA, Schnitzler H-U (2005) Spatial orientation in echolocating harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). Journal of Experimental Biology 208(17):3385–3394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Verfuß UK, Schnitzler H-U (2002) R+D project: Untersuchungen zum Echoortungsverhalten der Schweinswale (Phocoena phocoena) als Grundlage für Schutzmaßnahmen. FKZ: 898 86 021, Final report. Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Dept. Animal Physiology, Germany. (Available at http://www.bfn.de/09/fkz89886021_end.pdf)Google Scholar
  25. Verfuß UK, Honnef C, Benke H (2004a) R+D project: Untersuchungen zur Nutzung ausgewählter Gebiete der Deutschen und Polnischen Ostsee durch Schweinswale mit Hilfe akustischer Methoden. FKZ: 901 86 020. Final report, German Oceanographic Museum, Stralsund, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  26. Verfuß UK, Honnef C, Benke H (2004b) Teilprojekt 3 — Untersuchungen zur Raumnutzung durch Schweinswale in der Nord-und Ostsee mit Hilfe akustischer Methoden (PODs). In: Kellermann A, et al. (eds) Marine Warmblüter in Nord-und Ostsee: Grundlagen zur Bewertung von Windkraftanlagen im Offshore-Bereich. FKZ 0327520. Final report. Investment-in-future program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Landesamt für den Nationalpark Schleswig-Holsteinisches Wattenmeer, Tönning. (www.wattenmeer-nationalpark.de)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ursula K. Verfuß
    • 1
  • Christopher G. Honnef
    • 1
  • Harald Benke
    • 1
  1. 1.Deutsches MeeresmuseumStralsundDeutschland

Personalised recommendations