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dc.contributor.authorOña, Javier
dc.contributor.authorGarland, Ellen C.
dc.contributor.authorDenkinger, Judith
dc.identifier.citationOña , J , Garland , E C & Denkinger , J 2017 , ' Southeastern Pacific humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) and their breeding grounds  : distribution and habitat preference of singers and social groups off the coast of Ecuador ' , Marine Mammal Science , vol. 33 , no. 1 , pp. 219-235 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 245996106
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 4bc3e9e1-d2d0-4176-80bd-34b8d9d2870d
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84988566070
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-8240-1267/work/49580221
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000391037300011
dc.descriptionThe study was supported by a Rufford Small Grant, ECG. is currently funded by a Royal Society Newton International Fellowship; part of this work was completed while ECG was funded by a National Research Council (National Academy of Sciences) Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, AFSC, NMFS, NOAA.en
dc.description.abstractUnderstanding the distribution, habitat preference and social structure of highly migratory species at important life history stages (e.g., breeding and calving) is essential for conservation efforts. We investigated the spatial distribution and habitat preference of humpback whale social groups and singers, in relation to depth categories (<20 m, 20–50 m, and >50 m) and substrate type (muddy and mixed) on a coastal southeastern Pacific breeding ground. One hundred and forty-three acoustic stations and 304 visual sightings were made at the breeding ground off the coast of Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Spatial autocorrelation analysis suggested singers were not randomly distributed, and Neu’s method and Monte Carlo simulations indicated that singers frequented depths of <20 m and mixed substrate. Singletons, and groups with a calf displayed a preference for shallower waters (0–20 m), while pairs and groups with a calf primarily inhabited mixed bottom substrates. In contrast, competitive groups showed no clear habitat preference and exhibited social segregation from other whales. Understanding the habitat preference and distribution of humpback whales on breeding and calving grounds vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbance provides important baseline information that should be incorporated into conservation efforts at a regional scale.
dc.relation.ispartofMarine Mammal Scienceen
dc.rights© 2016, Society for Marine Biology. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at /
dc.subjectSpatial distributionen
dc.subjectHabitat preferenceen
dc.subjectSea floor substrateen
dc.subjectHumpback whaleen
dc.subjectMegaptera novaeangliaeen
dc.subjectSoutheastern Pacificen
dc.subjectGE Environmental Sciencesen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleSoutheastern Pacific humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and their breeding grounds  : distribution and habitat preference of singers and social groups off the coast of Ecuadoren
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Biological Diversityen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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