The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea

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dc.contributor.author Pomilla, Cristina
dc.contributor.author Amaral, Ana R.
dc.contributor.author Collins, Timothy
dc.contributor.author Minton, Gianna
dc.contributor.author Findlay, Ken P.
dc.contributor.author Leslie, Matthew S.
dc.contributor.author Ponnampalam, Louisa
dc.contributor.author Baldwin, Robert
dc.contributor.author Rosenbaum, Howard C.
dc.date.accessioned 2015-03-16T06:03:41Z
dc.date.available 2015-03-16T06:03:41Z
dc.date.issued 2014-12
dc.description.abstract A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, nonmigratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as ‘‘Endangered’’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world’s most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to ‘‘Critically Endangered’’ on the IUCN Red List. en_ZA
dc.description.librarian hb2015 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The Environment Society of Oman, Shell Oman Marketing, Petroleum Development Oman, The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ford Middle East, Veritas Geophysical, Salalah Port Services, Five Oceans LLC, Tawoos LLC, The Peter Scott Trust for Education Research in Conservation, Marina Bandar al Rowdha, DHL, Mustafa Sultan Communications, The ABA School Muscat, The British School Muscat, The Sultan School Muscat,The Embassy of the United States in Muscat,Emirates Airlines, Oman Air, Cathay Pacific,KPMG, Muscat Pharmacy, OHI Marine, Truck Oman, W.J. Towell and Co., Han Padron Associates, Mark Rental Cars, WS Atkins and the Wildlife Conservation Society. en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.plosmedicine.org en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Pomilla C, Amaral AR, Collins T, Minton G, Findlay K, Leslie, MS, Ponnampalam, L, Baldwin, R & Rosenbaum, H (2014) The World’s Most Isolated and Distinct Whale Population? Humpback Whales of the Arabian Sea. PLoS ONE 9(12): e114162. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114162 en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1549-1277 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1549-1676 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1371/journal.pone.0114162
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/44002
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_ZA
dc.rights © 2014 Pomilla et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. en_ZA
dc.subject Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) en_ZA
dc.subject Arabian Sea en_ZA
dc.subject Arabian Sea population en_ZA
dc.subject Isolated humpback whale population en_ZA
dc.subject Critically endangered species en_ZA
dc.title The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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