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Whale Monitoring in the Southern Ocean

Projectdata

Project leader: Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert
Scientific work: Dr. Helena Herr
Sponsorship: Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Cooperation: Wageningen Institute for Marine Resources & Ecosystem Studies (IMARES), Institut für Seefischerei des Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Instituts (vTI)

Project description

Knowledge on the occurrence, distribution and abundance of cetaceans in the Southern Ocean is limited. The project "Whale Monitoring in the Southern Ocean" focusses on the collection of data relevant for management and protection of cetaceans. Therefore, data on occurrence, distribution and abundance of cetaceans are being collected during scientific voyages to the Southern Ocean, following internationally established standards for wildlife population assessment.

Since 2006, the research ice-breaker RV Polarstern of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research was regularly utilized for aerial as well as shipboard surveys. For aerial surveys the onboard helicopters were used, ship based surveys were conducted from the ship's crow's nest. All surveys were conducted following line-transect distance sampling methodology. In addition, behavioural observations were undertaken by means of high powered binoculars, so called "Big Eyes". These observations mainly aim to analyse whale behaviour towards the ship in order to investigate potential responsive movement.

Collected data are used for density estimation and distributional analyses of cetaceans, as well as for a comparison of survey methods. Furthermore they will be used to validate automated whale blow detections recorded by an Infrared camera system tested by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research.

Data collected within the framework of this project will enhance our knowledge on whale distribution in the Southern Ocean and as such provide valuable base line data for decisionmakers with regard to management and protection.

 

Final repoprt UBA

 

Behavioural observations of cetaceans with Big Eyes installed on the crow's nest of RV Polarstern of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research © ITAW

Aerial survey for cetaceans in the Southern Ocean by means of onboard helicopters of RV Polarstern of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research © ITAW

Contact person

University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research Werftstr. 6 25761 Büsum

 

Dr. Helena Herr

Tel.:+49 511 856-8153

Fax.:+49 511 856-8181

 

send e-mail

Anschrift
Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
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