Navigation Links
Researchers discover new wintering grounds for humpback whales using sound
Date:3/8/2011

In the thick of whale season, researchers from Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shed new light on the wintering grounds of the humpback whale. The primary breeding ground for the North Pacific was always thought to be the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). However, a new study has shown that these grounds extend all the way throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago and into the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), also known as Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM).

Humpback whales, an endangered species, were once on the brink of extinction due to commercial whaling practices of the last century. Today, thanks to international protection, their numbers have dramatically increased, resulting in a greater presence of these singing mammals during the winter months. Song is produced by male humpback whales during the winter breeding season. All males on a wintering ground sing roughly the same song any given year, but the song changes from year to year. No one is exactly sure why the whales sing but some researchers believe it could be a display to other males. Between 8,500 and 10,000 whales migrate to Hawai'i each winter; while the rest of the population can be found in places like Taiwan, the Philippines, the Mariana Islands, Baja California, Mexico, amongst other Pacific locations (Calambokidis et al. 2008).

Over the past three decades, population recovery has resulted in a steady increase in the number of whales and a geographic expansion of their distribution in the MHI. Until recently, however, no empirical evidence existed that this expansion included the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This changed recently when scientists from HIMB and NOAA published their findings in the current issue of the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, detailing the presence of humpback whale song in the Northwestern Hawaiian Archipelago. These researchers deployed instruments known as Ecological Acoustic Recorders (EARs) in both the NWHI and MHI to record the occurrence of humpback whale song, as an indicator of winter breeding activity. Humpback whale song was found to be prevalent throughout the NWHI and demonstrated trends very similar to those observed in the MHI.

Dr. Marc Lammers, a researcher at HIMB and the lead scientist of the project explains "these findings are exciting because they force us to re-evaluate what we know about humpback whale migration and the importance of the NWHI to the population." The results are also of particular relevance in light of recent suggestions that an undocumented wintering area for humpback whales exists somewhere in the central North Pacific. Dr. Lammers and his colleagues believe that the NWHI could be that area.


'/>"/>

Contact: Carlie Wiener
cwiener@hawaii.edu
647-296-0491
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Berkeley Lab researchers illuminate laminins role in cancer formation
2. Researchers discover new shapes of microcompartments
3. Researchers find possible new treatment strategies for pancreatic cancer
4. Scripps oceanography researchers discover arctic blooms occurring earlier
5. Nature study: Jefferson researchers unravel proteins elusive role in embryo and disease development
6. York U researchers uncovering how ovarian cancer resists chemotherapy
7. Researchers predict age of T cells to improve cancer treatment
8. Researchers looking at a rare disease make breakthrough that could benefit everyone
9. Researchers develop curious snapshot of powerful retinal pigment and its partners
10. 20 researchers selected as 2011 Leopold Leadership Fellows
11. Researchers from Hebrew U., US discover how mercury gets into fish we eat
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt and ... Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian ... to the country,s inflation target, which is set by both ... "In certain areas there needs to be ... why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica ... in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a ... , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   Boston Biomedical , an industry ... to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its ... Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug ... including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an ... cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: