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 www.smmconference.org 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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