MEPS 411:285-297 (2010)  -  doi:10.3354/meps08652

Bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus seasonal selection of sea ice

Steven H. Ferguson1,2,*, Larry Dueck1, Lisa L. Loseto3, Sebastián P. Luque2

1Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N6, Canada
2University of Manitoba, Department of Biological Sciences, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada
3University of Victoria/Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Rd, Sidney, British Columbia, V8L 4B2, Canada

ABSTRACT: Highly mobile large-bodied organisms are adapted to seasonal variation associated with polar environments. We used satellite tracking data from 27 bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus of the Eastern Canada-West Greenland population to test for movement and habitat selection of the highly variable sea ice landscape that encompasses near-complete coverage in winter to near-complete absence in summer. We demarcated 2 bowhead whale seasons based on movement behaviour identified from inflection points of polynomial