Vulnerability of migratory

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Date: Tue Oct 30 2001 - 10:58:30 EST

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    Clapham, P.J. and Brownell, R.L. Jr. 1999. Vulnerability of migratory
    baleen whales to ecosystem degradation. Convention on Migratory
    Species, Technical Publication No. 2: 97-106.

    SUMMARY Although most baleen whales are highly migratory, lack of human
    colonization of aquatic habitats generally makes them less vulnerable to
    ecosystem degradation than terrestrial taxa. However, some species of
    whales would be more vulnerable to such degradation than others.
    Reasons include: low abundance and associated problems (all northern
    right whales, western gray whales, eastern bowheads, and probably many
    blue whale populations); narrow prey specialization (right whales, blue
    whales); and either highly restricted habitat (gray whales) or habitats
    in coastal waters with high human activity (humpback whales, northern
    right whales). Several whale populations are critically endangered;
    however, ecosystem degradation in various forms is most likely to
    represent a threat to the recovery of northern right whales (notably in
    the North Atlantic) and western gray whales.

    The Society for Marine Mammalogy will be holding its 14th Biennial
    Conference from 28 November to 3 December 2001, in Vancouver, BC.  Visit
    the conference Web site at for full details of
    this important meeting.

    Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Protected Species Branch Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A.

    tel. 508 495-2316 fax 508 495-2066 email:

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