abstract: Stranding and mortality of Mn

Michael Williamson (whe_william@flo.org)
Mon, 11 Feb 1995 10:55:49

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: abstract: Stranding and mortality of Mn
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Subj:	abstract: Stranding and mortality of Mn
Date:         Fri, 10 Feb 1995 11:13:52 LCL
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From:         "David N. Wiley" <dnwiley@iwcusa.win.net>
Subject:      abstract: Stranding and mortality of Mn
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Wiley, D.N., R.A. Asmutis, T.D. Pitchford, and D.P. Gannon.
1995. Stranding and mortality of humpback whales, Megaptera
novaeangliae, in the mid-Atlantic and southeast United States,
1985-1992. Fishery Bulletin 93:196-205.
Abstract -  Stranding data for humpback whales (Megaptera
novaeangliae) along the eastern seaboard of the United States
(New Jersey-southern Florida) were examined for the years
1985-1992.  Significantly more animals stranded during the
last half of the study period (1989-1992, n=34) than the first
(1985-1988, n=3) (P=0.02).  A significantly elevated area of
strandings extended from Chesapeake Bay, VA to Cape Hatteras,
NC (P<0.01).  Many strandings occured during mid-winter, a
time when the majority of humpbacks are thought to be located
in more tropical waters.  Body length data indicated that all
stranded animals were sexually immature, with the majority
being newly independent calves.  Males and females stranded
with equal frequency.  Up to sixty percent of the animals
exhibited indications that ship strike or fishery entanglement
may have contributed to or been directly responsible for their
death, but not all signs of anthropogenic interaction were
obvious.  A greater emphasis on thorough necropsy of stranded
animals would allow a more reliable investigation into
mortality, and provide greater ability to evaluate and
alleviate the impact of anthropogenic interactions.
David N. Wiley, Senior Scientist    Tel: 508/564-8328, X 220
International Wildlife Coalition    Fax: 508/564-8542
70 EastFalmouth Highway             e-mail:dnwiley@iwcusa.win.net
East Falmouth, MA 02536