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Humpback Whale with Calf

The Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program (CAEP) is responsible for conducting studies to assess the status of cetaceans in Alaskan waters under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  Major  CAEP projects have included studies of North Pacific right whales, bowhead whales, gray whales, humpback whales, beluga whales, killer whales, Dall’s porpoise, and harbor porpoise.  Other species included in CAEP research are blue whales, fin whales, sei whales, minke whales, sperm whales, beaked whales (including Cuvier’s, Baird’s, and Stejneger’s), and Pacific white-sided dolphins.  Most research projects involve determination of abundance, trends, stock structure, habitat use, and feeding ecology using aerial and vessel surveys, shore-based counts, acoustic studies, radio and satellite tagging, genetic studies, photo-identification of individual animals, and opportunistic sighting data.  CAEP uses the results of these stock assessments to provide the scientific advice necessary to manage cetaceans in Alaskan waters.  CAEP scientists also collaborate widely with other national and international research groups working on cetaceans across the North Pacific and, sometimes, in other oceans.

Program Leader: Phillip Clapham

Note:  The National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) has recently changed its name to "Marine Mammal Laboratory" (MML). Please be aware that the former name still exists on lower-tier pages which have been retained for historical context.

Recent Reports, Publications, and Posters

Quarterly Reports
Publications
  • STAFFORD, K. M., M. CASTELLOTE, M. GUERRA, and C. L. BERCHOK. 2017. Seasonal acoustic environments of beluga and bowhead whale core-use regions in the Pacific Arctic. Deep Sea Res. II. Early Online. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.08.003   Online.
     
  • STAFFORD, K. M., M. CASTELLOTE, M. GUERRA, and C. L. BERCHOK. 2017. Beluga whales in the western Beaufort Sea: Current state of knowledge on timing, distribution, habitat use and environmental drivers. Deep-Sea Res. II. Early online. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.11.017  Online.
     
  • SHARP, D. L., M. CASTELLOTE, P. R. WADE, and L. A. CORNICK. 2017. Call types of Bigg’s killer whales (Orcinus orca) in western Alaska: using vocal dialects to assess population structure. Bioacoustics. Early online. https://doi.org/10.1080/09524622.2017.1396562  Online.
     
  • SCALES, K. L., G. S. SCHORR, E. L. HAZEN, S. J. BOGRAD, P. I. MILLER, R. D. ANDREWS, A. N. ZERBINI, and E. A. FALCONE. 2017. Should I stay or should I go? Modelling year-round habitat suitability and drivers of residency for fin whales in the California Current. Divers. Distributions 23:1204-1215. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12611C  Online.
     
  • MOORE, M. J. and A. N. ZERBINI. 2017. Dolphin blubber/axial muscle shear: implications for rigid trans-dermal intra-muscular tracking tag trauma in whales. J. Exper. Biol. 220:3717-3723. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.165282  Online.
     
  • MOREY, J. S., K. A. B. HUNTINGTON, M. CAMPBELL, T. M. CLAUSS, C. E. GOERTZ, R. C. HOBBS, D. LUNARDI, A. J. MOORS, M. G. NEELY, L. H. SCHWACKE, and F. M. Van DOLAH. 2017. De novo transcriptome assembly and RNA-Seq expression analysis in blood from beluga whales of Bristol Bay, AK. Mar. Genomics 35:77-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2017.08.001   Online.
     
  • JOYCE, T. W., J. W. DURBAN, D. E. CLARIDGE, C. A. DUNN, H. FEARNBACH, K. M. PARSONS, R. D. ANDREWS, L. T. BALLANCE. 2017. Physiological, morphological, and ecological tradeoffs influence vertical habitat use of deep-diving toothed-whales in the Bahamas. PLoS One 12:e0185113. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185113   Online.
     
  • CRANCE, J. L., C. L. BERCHOK, and J. L. KEATING. 2017. Gunshot call production by the North Pacific right whale Eubalaena japonica in the southeastern Bering Sea. Endang. Species Res. 34:251-267.  Online.
     
  • THODE, A., J. BONNEL, M. THIEURY, A. FAGAN, C. VERLINDEN, D. WRIGHT, C. BERCHOK, and J. CRANCE. 2017. Using nonlinear time warping to estimate North Pacific right whale calling depths in the Bering Sea. J. Acoust. Soc. America. 141:3059-3069. http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4982200   Online.
     
  • WELLER, D. W., J. V. CARRETTA, S. J. CHIVERS, J. K. B. FORD, A. K. KOWNACKI, A. R. LANG, S. MARTINEZ-AGUILAR, B. K. RONE, and A. SCHULMAN-JANIGER. 2017. Collaborative large whale survey 2015: Gray whale photo-identification catalog. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-584, 142 p.  Online.
     
  • MORDY, C. W., E. D. COKELET, A. De ROBERTIS, R. JENKINS, C. E. KUHN, N. LAWRENCE-SLAVAS, C. L. BERCHOK, J. L. CRANCE, J. T. STERLING, J. N. CROSS, P. J. STABENO, C. MEINIG, H. M. TABISOLA, W. BURGESS, and I. WANGEN. 2017. Advances in ecosystem research: Saildrone surveys of oceanography, fish, and marine mammals in the Bering Sea. Oceanography 30(2) Early Online. https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2017.230   Online.
     
  • WEDEKIN, L. L., M. H. ENGEL, A. ANDRIOLO, P. I. PRADO, A. N. ZERBINI, M. M. C. MARCONDES, P. G. KINAS, and P. C. SIMÕES-LOPES. 2017. Running fast in the slow lane: rapid population growth of humpback whales after exploitation. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 575:195-206. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps12211   Online.
     
  • Additional recent Cetacean Assessment & Ecology Program publications


Posters

  • Comparing Estimates of Arctic Cetacean Density Derived from Manned and Unmanned Aerial Surveys
    By:  FERGUSON, MEGAN, ROBYN P. ANGLISS, VAN HELKER, AMY KENNEDY, BOB LYNCH, AMY WILLOUGHBY, AMELIA A. BROWER, JANET T CLARKE
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2017
    (2017 poster, .pdf, 12.463 MB)   Online.

     
  • Gray Whale Calf Occurrence in the Chukchi Sea, Summer and Fall 2015
    By:  AMY WILLOUGHBY, AMELIA BROWER, JANET CLARKE, MEGAN FERGUSON
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2016
    (2016 poster, .pdf, 1.46 MB)   Online.

     
  • Occurrence of Humpback, Fin, and Minke Whales in the Eastern Chukchi Sea, 2008-2015: Population Recovery, Response to Climate Change, or Greater Effort?
    By:  JANET CLARKE, MEGAN FERGUSON, AMELIA BROWER, AMY WILLOUGHBY, CHRISTY SIMS
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2016
    (2016 poster, .pdf, 1.03 MB)   Online.

     
  • Observations of Bowhead Whale Foraging Near Barrow, Alaska, in 2015 Support the Krill Trap Model
    By:  MEGAN FERGUSON, STEPHEN OKKONON, JANET CLARKE, AMY WILLOUGHBY, AMELIA BROWER, CARIN ASHJIAN, CRAIG GEORGE
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2016
    (2016 poster, .pdf, 3.46 MB)   Online.

     
  • Finding the Calls in the CHAOZ: Marine Mammals and Oceanographic Conditions off Alaska's Northern Slope
    By:  JESSICA L. CRANCE, CATHERINE L. BERCHOK, ELLEN C. GARLAND, JEFF NAPP, PHYLLIS J. STABENO
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2016
    (2016 poster, .pdf, 2.66 MB)   Online.

     
  • Gray Whale Foraging Occurrence in the Northeastern Chukchi Sea, Summer and Fall 2015
    By:  AMELIA BROWER, AMY WILLOUGHBY, JANET CLARKE, MEGAN FERGUSON
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2016
    (2016 poster, .pdf, 1.2 MB)   Online.

     
  • CHAOZ in a Nutshell: Five Years of Work in Sixteen Square Feet
    By:  CATHERINE L. BERCHOK, CHRISTOPHER W. CLARK, JESSICA L. CRANCE, ELLEN C. GARLAND, JULIE A. MOCKLIN, SUE E. MOORE, JEFF M. NAPP, PHYLLIS J. STABENO, BRENDA K. RONE, ADAM H. SPEAR, MUYIN WANG
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2016
    (2016 poster, .pdf, 4.72 MB)   Online.

     
  • Operating UAS in the Arctic: Comparing Manned and Unmanned Surveys of Cetaceans
    By:  ROBYN ANGLISS, MEGAN FERGUSON, PHILIP HALL, VAN HELKER, AMY KENNEDY, TODD SFORMO
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2016
    (2016 poster, .pdf, 2.61 MB)   Online.

     
  • Steak for Breakfast and Calamari for Dinner – Does 'Surf & Turf' for Killer Whales Mean a Predator Pit for Steller Sea Lions?
    By:  PAUL R. WADE, JOHN W. DURBAN, RUSS D. ANDREWS, TOM GELATT
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2016
    (2016 poster, .pdf, 1.31 MB)   Online.

     
  • Marine Mammal Occurrence in the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) From Ship-based Visual and Passive Acoustic Surveys
    By:  CATHERINE L. BERCHOK, JESSICA L. CRANCE, BRENDA RONE, SUE E. MOORE
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2015
    (2015 poster, .pdf, 11.7 MB)   Online.

     
  • A New Bird in the Alaskan Arctic: Lessons Learned During Coordination of Manned and Unmanned Aerial Operations in 2013 and 2014
    By:  MEGAN FERGUSON, JANET CLARKE, ANDREW HARCOMBE, WILLOW HETRICK, SHEYNA WISDOM
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2015
    (2015 poster, .pdf, 18.8 MB)   Online.

     
  • Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) Vocalizations From the Eastern Beaufort Sea Population
    By:  ELLEN C. GARLAND, CATHERINE L. BERCHOK, MANUEL CASTELLOTE
    Conference:  Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK, Jan 2015
    (2015 poster, .pdf, 4.01 MB)   Online.

     
  • Additional recent Cetacean Assessment & Ecology Program poster presentations



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