Shore-based observations of seasonality, movements, and group behavior of southern right whales in a nonnursery area on the South African west coast

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dc.contributor.author Barendse, Jaco
dc.contributor.author Best, Peter B.
dc.date.accessioned 2014-11-18T05:41:23Z
dc.date.issued 2014-10
dc.description.abstract The southern right whale's (Eubalaena australis) demography, occurrence, habitat use, and behavior off South Africa are known predominantly from an ongoing aerial survey data set that started in 1971. The fixed timeframes of these surveys and their geographical bias towards south coast nursery areas have constrained our knowledge about the right whale's seasonal distribution elsewhere. We present shore-based observations and tracking of right whales at Saldanha Bay on the west coast (2001–2003) that reveal a near year-round presence and strongly nearshore distribution. With seasonal progression from winter to summer we observed a gradual increase in sighting rate, reduction in swimming speed, less directionality of movement, an increase in group size, and more surface active groups. The area appears to be important for feeding and socializing but not as a calving or nursery area. Individual transits between the south and west coasts, bidirectional alongshore movements, and extended seasonal presence may all be indicative of reoccupation of their former range along the west coast. This is important given the increasing ship traffic at Saldanha Bay, the rapid expansion of the region's oil and gas industry, and the known vulnerability of the closely related North Atlantic right whale (E. glacialis) to ship strikes. en_US
dc.description.embargo 2015-10-30
dc.description.librarian hj2014 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa (Grant no. 2047517), the Earthwatch Institute, and PADI Project AWARE UK (Small Grant no. 095). JB was the grateful recipient of postgraduate bursaries from the University of Pretoria and NRF, a Grant-in-Aid from the Society for Marine Mammalogy, and the Charles Astley Maberly Memorial bursary from the Wildlife Society of South Africa. en_US
dc.description.uri http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1748-7692 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Barendse, J & Best, PB 2014, 'Shore-based observations of seasonality, movements, and group behavior of southern right whales in a nonnursery area on the South African west coast', Marine Mammal Science, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 1358-1382. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0824-0469 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1748-7692 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1111/mms.12116
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/42644
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Wiley en_US
dc.rights © 2014 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article : Shore-based observations of seasonality, movements, and group behavior of southern right whales in a nonnursery area on the South African west coast, Marine Mammal Science, vol. 30, no. 4, pp.1358–1382, October 2014, doi : 10.1111/mms.12116. The definite version is available at : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1748-7692. en_US
dc.subject Southern right whale's (Eubalaena australis) en_US
dc.subject Shore-based observations en_US
dc.subject Seasonality en_US
dc.subject Distribution en_US
dc.subject Habitat use en_US
dc.subject Feeding en_US
dc.subject Theodolite tracking en_US
dc.subject Pythagoras en_US
dc.subject Southern Benguela upwelling en_US
dc.subject South Africa (SA) en_US
dc.title Shore-based observations of seasonality, movements, and group behavior of southern right whales in a nonnursery area on the South African west coast en_US
dc.type Postprint Article en_US


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