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MEPS 395:37-53 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08362

Environmental correlates of blue and fin whale call detections in the North Pacific Ocean from 1997 to 2002

Kathleen M. Stafford1,*, John J. Citta2, Sue E. Moore3, Mary Ann Daher4, Joseph E. George4

1Applied Physics Laboratory, 1013 NE 40th St, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA
2Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1300 College Road, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701, USA
3NOAA Fisheries, Science & Technology, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98115, USA
4Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MS #36, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA

ABSTRACT: A 6 yr time series of blue whale Balaenoptera musculus and fin whale B. physalus call detections in the North Pacific Ocean was correlated with 3 oceanographic variables (sea-surface temperature, chlorophyll a concentration, and mixed layer depth), to investigate the broad-scale calling behavior of these species. Monthly values for satellite-derived oceanographic data and whale call data were compared for 4 regions (30° longitude by 15° of latitude) encompassing the whole subarctic North Pacific and an area in the temperate northeastern Pacific. To determine predictive models for whale call occurrence, generalized linear models were used to determine which, if any, oceanographic variables might influence whale calling behavior over such broad space and time scales. Sea-surface temperature was the best oceanographic variable for predicting whale call detections for both species and all regions.


KEY WORDS: Blue whale · Fin whale · North Pacific · Acoustics · Oceanography


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Cite this article as: Stafford KM, Citta JJ, Moore SE, Daher MA, George JE (2009) Environmental correlates of blue and fin whale call detections in the North Pacific Ocean from 1997 to 2002. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 395:37-53. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08362

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