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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Getis-Ord Gi* plots highlight marine mammal hotspots in the Barents Region–walruses were one of 13 species studied (using new custom-GPS tags). Photo: Kit M. Kovacs and
Christian Lydersen; Image: C. D. Hamilton; NPI

Hamilton CD, Lydersen C, Aars J, Biuw M, Boltunov AN, Born EW, Dietz R, Folkow LP, Glazov DM, Haug T, Heide-Jørgensen MP, Kettemer LE, Laidre KL, Øien N, Nordøy ES, Rikardsen AH, Rosing-Asvid A, Semenova V, Shpak OV, Sveegaard S, Ugarte F, Wiig Ø, Kovacs KM


Marine mammal hotspots in the Greenland and Barents Seas


Identifying “hotspots” is essential for protecting marine mammals from multiple threats (e.g. climate change, expanding human activities) they currently face in the Arctic. Hamilton and co-authors use biotelemetry data from 13 marine mammal species (585 devices) to identify hotspots and regions of high species richness in the Greenland and Barents Seas. Hotspot locations varied by species and season, but areas used heavily by multiple species included the marginal ice zone and coastal/shelf regions of Svalbard (Norway) and East Greenland. Species and regions where additional data are urgently required to fill knowledge gaps were also identified. Dynamic conservation measures will be needed to address the rapid rate of climate change and concomitantly changing distributions of marine mammals in this Arctic region.


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