Notes on a talk by Sue Moore entitled “Marine Mammals: Insight to climate change through surveys and song” at UW (16:00-16:45)
Overarching question: are grey whales a sentinel species to climate change in the Arctic and North Pacific?
Polar bears now expected to be down 30% by 2050.
Arctic ice down 3Mkm^2 from 7M. 10x increase in walrus haul-out on land in Russia in 2007.
- ~18-10k whales (delisted in 1992)
- 99-00 mortality event was a puzzle (post 97-98 El Nino)
- 1967 abundance estimates (3%/yr, steady until event)
- Six observations tell a story
- 1 week delay after ’78 NPAC shift (Rugh et al., 2001)
- calving increases in years after ‘early’ ice-free Chirikov Basin (Perryman et al., 2002) — due to early access to feeding in Chirikov
- fewer calves in lagoons after ’98 El nino (Urban et al.); more calves sighted off S CA…
- Surveys in 2002 vs 81-85, 17x drop in central Chirikov, but many 100s further north in Chukchi Sea (Moore et al, 2003)
- 10-100s of greys feeding year round offshore Kodiak Island, AK (Kate Wynne)
- ARPS recorded grey whale calls through the winter (Bioscience cover; Moore et al., 2006; Stafford et al., 2007)
- Acoustic tools: HARP and SeaGlider
- Kristin Laidre recorded bowhead whales song in March with sonobuoy (main period of conception)