Species distribution modelling of Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, southern right whales, and sperm whales in the Southern African region to inform their conservation in expanding economies

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Purdon, Jean
dc.contributor.author Shabangu, Fannie W.
dc.contributor.author Yemane, Dawit
dc.contributor.author Pienaar, Marc
dc.contributor.author Somers, Michael J.
dc.contributor.author Findlay, Ken
dc.date.accessioned 2020-12-23T08:07:58Z
dc.date.available 2020-12-23T08:07:58Z
dc.date.issued 2020-09
dc.description.abstract In southern African waters, information about species distribution and habitat preferences of many cetacean species is limited, despite the recent economic growth that may affect them. We determined the relative importance of eight environmental variables (bathymetry, distance to shore, slope, chlorophyll-a, salinity, eastwards sea water velocity, northwards sea water velocity and sea surface temperature) as drivers of seasonal habitat preferences of Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera brydei), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Using presence only data from multiple sources, we constructed predictive species distribution models (SDMs) consisting of ensembles of seven algorithms for these species during both summer and winter. Predicted distribution for all cetaceans was high in southern Africa and, in particular, within the South African Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Predictive models indicated a more pronounced seasonal variation for humpback, sperm and southern right whales than for Bryde’s whales. Southern right whales occurred closer to shore during winter, humpback whales were more likely to occur along the east coast in winter and the west coast in summer, and sperm whales were more concentrated off the shelf in winter. Our study shows that ensemble models using historical, incidental and scientific data, in conjunction with modern environmental variables, can provide baseline knowledge on important environmental drivers of cetacean distribution for conservation purposes. Results of this study can further be used to help develop marine spatial plans and identify important marine mammal areas. en_ZA
dc.description.department Mammal Research Institute en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian pm2020 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology en_ZA
dc.description.uri https://peerj.com en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Purdon J, Shabangu FW, Yemane D, Pienaar M, Somers MJ, Findlay K. 2020. Species distribution modelling of Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, southern right whales, and sperm whales in the southern African region to inform their conservation in expanding economies. PeerJ 8:e9997 http://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9997. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2167-8359 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.7717/peerj.9997
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/77492
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher PeerJ en_ZA
dc.rights © 2020 Purdon et al. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0. en_ZA
dc.subject Conservation Biology en_ZA
dc.subject Ecology en_ZA
dc.subject Marine Biology en_ZA
dc.subject Zoology en_ZA
dc.subject Environmental Impacts en_ZA
dc.subject Cetaceans en_ZA
dc.subject Ensemble models en_ZA
dc.subject Important marine mammal areas en_ZA
dc.subject Species distribution models en_ZA
dc.subject South Africa (SA) en_ZA
dc.subject Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) en_ZA
dc.subject Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) en_ZA
dc.subject Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) en_ZA
dc.subject Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) en_ZA
dc.title Species distribution modelling of Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, southern right whales, and sperm whales in the Southern African region to inform their conservation in expanding economies en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record