Movements and spatial use of odontocetes in the western main Hawaiian Islands: results from satellite-tagging and photo-identification off Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau in July/August 2011
Baird, Robert W.
Webster, Daniel L.
Schorr, Gregory S.
Aschettino, Jessica M.
Gorgone, Antoinette, M.
Mahaffey, Sabre D.
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Although considerable information is available on residency patterns and spatial use of odontocetes in the eastern half of the Hawai‘i Range Complex (HRC), much less is known about odontocetes in the western half of the HRC. In the second year of a three-year effort in the western main Hawaiian Islands we undertook surveys off Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau in July/August 2011, to examine spatial use and residency patterns using satellite tags, to provide visual verification of acoustically-detected odontocetes on the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), and to obtain individual identification photographs and biopsy samples for assessment of population identity and structure. During 18 days of field effort we covered 1,972 km of trackline and had 65 encounters with five species of odontocetes. Twenty-four of the encounters, of three species, were cued by acoustic detections from the Marine Mammal Monitoring on Navy Ranges (M3R) system, thus providing species verifications for future use of the M3R system on the PMRF range. During the 65 encounters we obtained 22,645 photos for individual and species identification, and collected 48 biopsy samples for genetic analyses. One encounter with a group of four killer whales was only the second encounter with this species in 12 years of directed field surveys in Hawaiian waters. Photos from that encounter were compared to our photo-identification catalog but no matches were found, further suggesting that there is no population of this species resident to the Hawaiian Islands. There were three encounters with a lone pantropical spotted dolphin, each time in association with a group of spinner dolphins. Photos of this individual matched to a spotted dolphin identified off Kaua‘i in 2004 and in 2005, both times with spinner dolphins, suggesting this individual may be part of a long-term association with spinner dolphins. Four satellite tags were deployed; three on rough-toothed dolphins and one on a bottlenose dolphin. These are the first tag deployments on either species in Hawaiian waters and the first deployments of satellite tags on free-ranging rough-toothed dolphins anywhere in the world. Rough-toothed dolphin tag data were obtained over periods from 7.6 to 18.5 days. Over these periods the three rough-toothed dolphins moved cumulative horizontal distances ranging from 573 to 1,295 km, yet remained an average distance from the tagging locations of from 10.4 to 13.9 km. Median depths used by the three rough-toothed dolphins ranged from 816 to 1,107 m, with median distance from shore ranging from 11.6 to 12.2 km. Two of the three individuals had been previously photo-identified off Kaua‘i (in 2007 or 2008), and all link by association with the resident population from Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. Movement and habitat use data were obtained over a 34-day period for the satellite-tagged bottlenose dolphin. During this time the individual remained associated with the island of Kaua‘i using waters with a median depth of 82 m. Although this individual had not been previously photo-identified, others from the group it was in had been previously documented off Kaua‘i and/or Ni‘ihau in 2003-2005, suggesting it is part of the island-resident population. Overall these efforts provide the first unbiased movement and habitat use data for both species in Hawaiian waters.
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Movements and Spatial Use of Odontocetes in the Western Main Hawaiian Islands: Results from Satellite-Tagging and Photo-Identification off Kaua'i and Ni'ihau in July/August 2011. Baird, Robin W.; Webster, Daniel L.; Aschettino, Jessica M.; Schorr, Gregory; Mahaffy, Sabre D.; Gorgone, Antoinette M. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate SchoolDepartment of Oceanography, 2012-09); NPS-OC-12-003CRThis report summarizes the second year of a three-year effort in the western main Hawaiian Islands to study the residency patterns and spatial use of odontocetes in the Hawaii Range Complex. Surveys were made off Kaua‘i ...
Movements and Spatial Use of Odontocetes in the Western Main Hawaiian Islands: Results from Satellite-Tagging and Photo-Identification off Kaua'i and Ni'ihau in July/August 2011. Baird, Robin W.; Webster, Daniel L.; Schorr, Gregory S.; Aschettino, Jessica M.; Gorgone, Antoinette M.; Mahaffy, Sabre D. (2012-06-07);This report summarizes the second year of a three-year effort in the western main Hawaiian Islands to study the residency patterns and spatial use of odontocetes in the Hawaii Range Complex. Surveys were made off Kaua i ...
Movements and Spatial Use of Odontocetes in the western Main Hawaiian Islands: Results of a Three-year Study off O‘ahu and Kaua‘i Baird, Robin W.; Webster, Daniel L.; Mahaffy, Sabre D.; Schorr, Gregory S.; Aschettino, Jessica M.; Gorgone, Antoinette M. (Cascadia Research Collective, 2013-11-08);A long-term assessment of odontocete populations throughout the main Hawaiian Islands has involved small-boat surveys using photo-identification, genetic sampling and satellite tagging, to address questions related to ...