Monster Seminar JAM - Habitat use and bioenergetics of Southern Resident killer whales
Dr. Dawn Noren, Conservtion Biology, NOAA - NWFSC
Free-ranging cetaceans are less accessible to researchers than other marine vertebrates due to their large body size and fully aquatic lifestyle. Consequently, data on the behavior and energetics of these animals are limited. Behavioral data collected during studies designed to assess vessel impacts can be used for additional analyses that provide information on habitat use and bioenergetics. This presentation will focus on how these data were used to assess the variability in where predominant generalized behavior states (e.g, rest, travel, forage) occur in the San Juan Islands and to model the daily energy expenditure and prey consumption requirements of resident killer whales. These studies are important for providing information that address two of the risk factors associated with the decline of the ESA-listed Southern Resident killer whales. First, a better understanding of habitat use, particularly where foraging and resting behaviors occur, is critical for potential future management actions, such as the selection of reserve areas where killer whales are protected from vessel traffic and other human activities. Second, a better understanding of daily energetic requirements is important to assess whether prey availability is sufficient to meet the metabolic demands of the Southern Resident killer whale population.
Date and Time:
February 5, 2009,
11:00 am - 12:00 pm