Document of dataset 3350

Dataset record

Type
Dataset
title in English
SMRU sperm whale distribution around the Balearic Islands 2003-2008
Description in English
Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus habitat preferences are still poorly understood in the Mediterranean, despite the population being classified as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN. Techniques to make the best use of multiple data sources are important in improving this situation. This work provides a detailed evaluation of sperm whale distribution and habitat use around the Balearic Islands using a novel analytical framework that combines transect and follow data while accounting for any autocorrelation present. During dedicated research cruises (2003 to 2008), sperm whales were located by listening at regular intervals along a search track and subsequently followed acoustically. Sperm whales were encountered 56 times and followed for periods ranging from a few hours to 3 d. Logistic Generalized Additive Models were used to model the probability of whale presence across the study area as a function of environmental variables, and Generalized Estimating Equations were used to account for autocorrelation. The results suggest that sperm whales do not use the region uniformly and that topography plays a key role in shaping their distribution. Moreover, solitary individuals were found to use the habitat differently from groups. This segregation appeared to be driven by water temperature and might reflect different needs or intraspecific competition. By shedding light on sperm whale habitat preference in such a critical area, this study represents an important step towards the implementation of conservation measures for this population. Exact numbers for the presence of groups were not available, so an abundance of "2" was used as a conservative estimate. The sequences of consecutive presence points do not represent new animals being encountered, but follows of the same animals.
Abstract in English
In this study we develop a novel analytical framework that can make use of combined acoustic and tracking data and account for autocorrelation in such data. We use a multi-scale approach to investigate the pattern of sperm whale distribution around the Balearic archipelago, and the potential differences in habitat selection by single individuals versus groups.
License
https://spdx.org/licenses/CC-BY-NC-4.0.html
bibliographicCitation
Pirotta, E., J. Matthiopoulos, M. Mackenzie, L. Scott-Hayward and L. Rendell. 2011. Modelling sperm whale habitat preference: a novel approach combining transect and follow data. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 436: 257-272
Version
1

Temporal coverage

Temporal
Start date
2003-8-4
End date
2008-7-26

Geographical coverage

Spatial
MED, Mediterranean

Thesaurus terms

Keyword
Habitat selection

Themes

theme
Biology > Mammals

Taxonomic terms

Taxon keywords
Cetacea
Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758

Ownerships

contributor
Sea Mammal Research Unit
contactPoint
Enrico Pirotta
contactPoint
Sea Mammal Research Unit
contactPoint
Luke Rendell
contactPoint
Sea Mammal Research Unit
contributor
Enrico Pirotta
contributor
Sea Mammal Research Unit

Publication references

related reference
Based on this dataset /id/publication/248469

Dataset references

record
European Ocean Biodiversity Information System
record
Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations

Special collections

part of special collection
available through EurOBIS
EMODNET

Document metadata

date created
2012-11-14
date modified
2022-08-09