КамчатНИРО

Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography

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THE RESULTS OF LONG-TERM MONITORING AND FIRST EVIDENCE OF STABLE SOCIAL ASSOCIATIONS IN BAIRD’S BEAKED WHALES (BERARDIUS BAIRDII) IN THE WATERS OF THE COMMANDER ISLANDS, RUSSIAN FAR EAST
I. D. Fedutin*, O. A. Filatova*, E. G. Mamaev**, E. I. Chekalski**, A. M. Burdin***, E. Hoyt****
* Technician, scientist, Moscow State University
** Deputy director,  State Nature Biosphere Reserve “Komandorskiy” 
*** Senior scientist, Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography DVO RAS
**** Senior scientist, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society Brookfield House
COMMANDER ISLANDS, BAIRD’S BEAKED WHALES, SOCIAL ASSOCIATIONS, ABUNDANCE, DISTRIBUTION, TRAUMATISM, STRANDINGS
The waters off western Bering Island provide a convenient place for the detection and observation of Baird’s beaked whales because a deep-water trench lies close to shore. During 2007–2011, we observed 85 groups (a total of 597 animals) of Baird’s beaked whales from shore with a mean group size of 7.1±5.01 animals. During our boat-based work, we encountered 21 groups (188 individuals). The mean size of groups encountered at sea was 9.0±5.55 animals. Baird’s beaked whales were observed much more frequently in April–June and August–November, than in mid-summer. We analyzed the photo-ID data from 20 encounters with Baird’s beaked whales during four field seasons (2008–2011). We identified 78 individual animals. We found 48 matches of individual animals within and between field seasons. We found several long-term social associations numbering two to five animals. The time between the re-sightings of these associations within a field season was 4 to 130 days, and between seasons 245 to 778 days. One stable alliance numbering two animals was registered four times, and the maximum time between the re-sightings of this association was 1194 days (more than 3 years). The social structure of Baird’s beaked whales in the waters of the Commander Islands appears to resemble a fission-fusion society with some animals forming long-term social associations. Analyzing the shape of the scars on the animals’ back and flanks, we found 20 animals with scars from killer whale (Orcinus orca) teeth, 36 animals with scars probably from drift and other nets and three animals with other anthropogenic scars. All adult animals had scars from cookie-cutter shark bites suggesting travel and time spent in warmer waters. Over the past 130+ years, there were only nine known strandings of Baird’s beaked whales on the Commander Islands, though the species appears to be common (though perhaps not numerous) in the area.

MONITORING RESULTS OF WINTERING STELLER SEA LIONS (EUMETOPIAS JUBATUS) IN THE AVACHA BAY, 2001–2012
V.S. Nikulin, , S.I. Kornev, V.V. Vertyankin*, V.P. Esina**, V.N. Burkanov***
Scientist, Head of the Laboratory, Kamchatka Research Insitute of Fishery and Oceanography
* Scientist, Kronotskii State Nature Biosphere Reserve
**State guarder, The Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service
***Senior scientist, Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Geographical Institute Far-Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences
AVACHA BAY, KAMCHATKA, STELLER SEA LION, WINTERING, MONITORING, ABUNDANCE
Monitoring results of wintering Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in the Avacha Bay, 2001–2012.

TO THE PROBLEM OF SHARP DECLINE EVENTS OF STELLER SEA LIONS (EUMETOPIAS JUBATUS) ON THE COMMANDER ISLANDS
S. D. Ryazanov*, E. G. Mamaev**, V. N. Burkanov***
*Junior scientist, V.I. Il'ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS
**Deputy dir., S.V. Marakov Komandorsy State Nature Biosphere Reserve
*** Junior scientist, Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography FEB RAS
STELLER SEA LION, COMMANDER ISLANDS, ABBUNDENCE DECLINE
Analysis of return of the marked Steller sea lions to Yugo-Vostochny rookery in 2001–2011 and presence frequency of marked animals on the rookery in 2008–2011 was made. The return rate of marked animals started to decline in 2007 and amounted to a historical minimum in 2011. Presence frequency declined in 2009 and did not restore in following years. Derived results indicate a decline of Yugo-Vostochny rookery attractivity for Steller sea lions in the reproductive season.

APPLICATION OF PHOTO IDENTIFICATION APPROACH TO SUMMER ASSEMBLY OF BELUGA WHALES (DELPHINAPTERUS LEUCAS) IN RIVER ESTUARIES OF WESTERN KAMCHATKA
К. К. Tarasyan*, Т. S. Shulezhko**, D. А. Udovik*, О. V. Russkova*, D. M. Glazov*, V. V. Rozhnov*
*Scientist, scientist, scientist, scientist, deputy director, A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS
**Scientist, Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Geographical Institute RAS
BELUGA WHALES, PHOTO IDENTIFICATION, SITE FIDELITY, SEA OF OKHOTSK, WESTERN KAMCHATKA
We dedicate this paper to valuation of photo identification approach to beluga whales — species devoid of expressive features useful for visual recognition of individual whales. Based on images of individual animals we describe marks used for identification, make a conjecture about their origin and possibility of preservation for next years. Also we analyze local movements of groups and individual whales along coast of river estuaries in Western Kamchatka. We draw a conclusion about successful applicability of photo identification to beluga whales for collection data about repeated encounters of individual animals. But data collection require more than one field season and adopted photographing techniques.

SEASONAL DISTRIBUTION OF BELUGA WHALES DELPHINAPTERUS LEUCAS DEPENDING OF PREY CONCENTRATIONS IN COASTAL WATERS OF NORTH-WESTERN BERING SEA
D. I. Litovka*, P. Yu. Andronov*, R. L. Batanov*
*Senior scientist, Chukotka branch of Pacific Research Fisheries Center
BERING SEA, ANADYR GULF, BELUGA WHALE, MIGRATIONS, DISTRIBUTION, FEEDING
Using satellite telemetry tracking on tagged Beluga Whales the previously built on long-term observations and surveys beluga fall migration and winter distribution scheme was confirmed. The winter feeding ground for belugas from Anadyr Gulf was proven in the water area between Cape Navarin and St. Lawrence Island, where Russian whales are mixing with Canadian and American one’s. The diving analysis has shown mostly age differentiation in beluga behavior, as well as the variation of beluga diving pattern in different feeding water areas. The most important prey species for beluga in those waters at October–February period are the Pollock, the Pacific Cod, the Gobies and the Northern Two-line Flatfish.


PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF THE STUDY ON THE BELUGA WHALES (DELPHINAPTERUS LEUCAS) SUMMERING IN THE ESTUARIES OF THE KHAIRUZOVA, BELOGOLOVAYA AND MOROSHECHNAYA RIVERS (WESTERN KAMCHATKA)
T. S. Shulezhko*, B. A. Solovyev2,5, S. L. Gorin***, K. K. Tarasyan**, F. V. Kazansky****, D. M. Glazov**, V. V. Rozhnov**
*Scientist, Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Geographical Institute RAS
**PhD student, scientist, scientist, deputy director, A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of RAS
***Senior scientist, Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography
****Scientist, Kronotsky State Biosphere Reserve
WHITE WHALE, NUMBERS, DISTRIBUTION, BEHAVIOR, SEX-AGE STRUCTURE, ESTUARY
Results of the study on the beluga whales summering in the estuaries of the Khairuzova, Belogolovaya and Moroshechnaya rivers have been presented. Number of beluga whales summering in the estuary of the Moroshechnaya river varies significantly from 11 to 111 individuals. In summer time in the Khairuzova and Belogolovaya estuaries, as well as in the adjacent coastal waters of the Sea of Okhotsk number of beluga whales reaches 250–300 individuals. The main part of the activity of beluga whales in the rivers consists of the behavior directed on foraging and feeding on salmon. Social behavior is quite rare. Most of the beluga whales enter the river during high tides. A considerable number of belugas stay for hunt in the widest part of the river - estuary. During a low tide most of the animals return back to the sea, however, some beluga whales don't stay in the estuary but move upstream, where they stop in some particular but not numerous places. We suppose that in the investigated estuaries summer gatherings of the beluga whales is in the first place connected with the salmon run and with the fact that these estuaries are relatively comfortable for the whales.


SUMMARY DISTRIBUTION, SEASON MIGRATION AND COMPARATIVE NUMBER OF GRAY WHALES (ESCHRICHTIUS ROBUSTUS) KALIFORNIA-CHUKCHI SEA POPULATION IN COASTAL WATERS OF CHUKOTKA PENINSULA
V. V. Melnikov
Senier scientist,  V.I. Il’ichev  Pacific Oceonological Institute
GRAY WHALE, KALIFORNIA-CHUKCHI SEA POPULATION, CHUKCHI SEA, CHUKOTKA PENINSULA
The paper presents the data resulting from shore based observation of distribution and migrations of gray whale in waters adjacent to the Chukotka Peninsula in 1994–2003. The data cited indicate that in cold year, take place summer 1994 and 1998, with maximum extend ice edges in the region of the Chukchi Sea, the feeding period of gray whales in western part of Chukchi Sea was 3,5 month and in south part 4 month. In typical year, with minimum extend of ice edge, gray whales stay feeding in Chukchi Sea 5 and 6,5 month accordingly. Besides, in cold year floating ice blocked 2/3 feeding fields in northern and western part of Chukchi Sea, eastern part of East Siberian Sea, Longa Strait. High incidence of gray whale deaths in 1998/1999 one can explain by combination several factors: — overfill of feeding fields in connection with uncommon high population size of gray whale, cover up by ice 2/3 feeding fields, shortening of feeding period. In prevalent conditions gray whale not have possibilities accumulate enough energetic resources for winter time.

APPLICATION OF PHOTO-IDENTIFICATION METHOD TO ANALYSIS OF INHERITANCE OF MORPHOLOGICAL FEATURES IN GRAY WHALE
M. M. Sidorenko*, A. M. Burdin**, V. V. Melnikov*
*Senior engineer, senior scientist, V.I. Il'ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute
**Senior scientist, Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography (KBPIG) FED RAS
GRAY WHALE, PHOTO-ID, MORPHOLOGICAL FEATURES, MOTHER, CALF, INHERITANCE
Though a wide spread occurrence of a photo-Id method some of its features were not used for studying of gray whales, including identification by morphological character. In this work we investigated features of a hump form and evidence of dorsal-caudal mound, as well as the relative distances between them at gray whales. The analysis of photos of 124 mother calf pairs has revealed high probability of inheritance of these features, and comparison of a large number of images obtained over several years revealed their immutability (except for the relative distances between the dorsal-caudal mound of calf).


ON ECOLOGY AND MORFOLOGY OF DULL'S PORPOISE (PHOCOENOIDES DALLI, TRUE, 1885)
A. E. Kuzin*, V. S. Nikulin
*Leader scientist, Pacific Research Fisheries Center
Scientist, Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography
PORPOISES, ECOLOGY, MORPHOLOGY
The distribution range of Ph. d. truei was defined more accuratelythe latitude 58° N should be considered as its boundary in the Bering Sea, and also it must include the northeastern Sea of Japan. Additional data on feeding habits of Ph. dalli in Pacific waters east of Honshu Island were obtained; there the predominant prey was mackerel Scomber japonicus. Exterior and interior characteristics of both porpoise forms were described. It was noted that typical signs of ontogenetic development manifest in the prevailing growth of anterior body and extremities during earlier ontogenesis and also in the pre-adaptive development of organs like heart or lungs, which perform vital functions within a certain period of ontogenesis. Life in the hypogravity environment causes the relative volume of the amniotic fluid, which serves as a buffer for fetus, to decrease, thus reducing the specific weight of pregnant female. High hemoglobin content in the blood and muscles provides the abilities to move rapidly and dive deep. The lack of hypertrophy of the ascending aorta is a result of availability of «wonderful nets» in the circulatory system. Quantitative and weight characteristics of the skeleton are presented. The considered morphological and physiological features did not show any differences between Ph. d. dalli and Ph. d. truei.

OBSERVATIONS OF CETACEANS IN THE SEA OF OKHOTSK IN 2009–2010
I. G. Istomin*, V. A. Tatarnikov*, K. A. Zharikov*, T. Miyashita**, V. V. Akishin*
*Scientist., leading scientist, senior scientist, senior scientist, Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography
**Chief of department, National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries
CETACEANS, SEA OF OKHOTSK, SKIN BIOPSY, THE TREATMENT OF THE WHALES
The article deals with methods of pelagic whale research and the results of surveys of cetaceans in the Sea of Okhotsk in 2009–2010.

OBSERVATIONS AND PHOTOIDENTIFICATION OF AN UNUSUAL GROUP  OF MAMMAL-EATING KILLER WHALES (ORCINUS ORCA) IN THE WESTERN SEA OF OKHOTSK
O. V. Shpak*, T. S. Shulezhko**
*Scientist, A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of RAS
**Scientist, Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography of the Far East Department of  RAS
KILLER WHALE, ORCINUS ORCA, MAMMAL-EATING, TRANSIENT, ECOTYPE, PHOTO-IDENTIFICATION, GROUP SIZE, PREDATION, COOKIE-CUTTER SHARK, ISISTIUS SP., OKHOTSK SEA, ULBANSKIY BAY
In July–August 2011, in Ulbanskiy Bay (Okhotsk Sea), we frequently observed a group of mammal-eating killer whales of more than 30 individuals. Presented are results of visual observations and opportunistic interviews on killer-whale sightings in the Western part of Okhotsk Sea. Two successful bearded seal kills are recorded; the beluga whale and bowhead whale predation is also suspected. The data obtained suggest that, as opposed to the North-Western Pacific waters, in the Western part of Okhotsk Sea the mammal-eating killer whales are observed more frequently than fish-eaters. As a result of analysis of the photomaterial collected in Ulbanskiy Bay, 36 killer whale individuals of mammal-eating ecotype were identified, none of them found in the previously published photo-catalogues; re-sightings of the individuals between different observation days were confirmed; age-sex structure of the group was defined. Most individuals bear the scars typical for the bites of the cookie-cutter shark that inhabits subtropical and tropical waters. This suggests substantially distant movements of the identified killer whale individuals.

TOXIC METALS IN THE WALRUSES (ODOBENUS ROSMARUS DIVERGENS LINNAEUS, 1785) FROM BERING SEA
A. M. Trukhin, L. F. Kolosova, E. N. Slin'ko
Leading scientist, еngieer, scientist, V.I. Il'ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute
WALRUS, POLLUTION, TOXIC METAL, CADMIUM, LEAD, CONCENTRATION LEVEL
The analyzed organs from 22 Pacific walruses (11 male and 11 female) that were harvested by native hunters during August–September 2011 from coastal waters of Chukchi Peninsula. 9 organs were selected for analyses. The concentrations of heavy metals (Cd and Pb) were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Lead's content was temperate in all organs. The maximal concentration of cadmium was in eliminative organs: kidneys and liver. The difference in concentration lead between female and male is not revealed, but for cadmium in some organ this factor as higher in females. The level Pb do not depend from age of walruses, while level Cd appreciably increased the age of the walruses on measure of the increasing. This is indicative of bio accumulative nature of this metal

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