Long term trends in abundance of humpback whales in Hervey Bay, Australia

Forestell, Paul H., Kaufman, Gregory D. and Chaloupka, Milani (2011) Long term trends in abundance of humpback whales in Hervey Bay, Australia. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, Spec. 3: 237-241.

Author Forestell, Paul H.
Kaufman, Gregory D.
Chaloupka, Milani
Title Long term trends in abundance of humpback whales in Hervey Bay, Australia
Journal name Journal of Cetacean Research and Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1561-0713
1561-073X
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status
Issue Spec. 3
Start page 237
End page 241
Total pages 5
Place of publication Impington, Cambs, United Kingdom
Publisher International Whaling Commission
Formatted abstract
Seasonal abundance estimates of humpback whales resident during the austral winter in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia between 1987 and 2007 were obtained from a capture-mark-recapture study using photo-identification images of 3,155 individual whales. Hervey Bay is a major southbound stopover site for Breeding Stock E humpback whales returning to Antarctic waters from over-wintering in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef. Annual survival, recapture and abundance estimates were derived using a Cormack-Jolly-Seber modelling approach and a Horwitz-Thompson type abundance estimator. The best-fit model was a 2-ageclass Brownie-Robson type model that estimated apparent annual survival for the non-transient winter stopover ageclass at approximately 0.945 (95% confidence interval: 0.929–0.957). Apparent annual abundance of winter stopover humpback whales in Hervey Bay was estimated to have increased significantly over the past 21 years at ca. 13.4% per annum (95% CI 11.6–15.2). The most recent Hervey Bay winter stopover population (2007) was estimated to comprise ca. 6,246 post-yearlings (95% CI 5,011–7,482). This estimated rate of population increase is similar to estimates for other surveys along the east Australian coast but significantly higher than the intrinsic rate of increase (rmax) estimated recently for several recovering Southern Hemisphere humpback whale stocks based on the feeding ground sampling. 
Keyword Abundance estimate
Australia
Humpback whale
Mark-recapture
Photo-id
Southern hemisphere
Statistics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special issue 3.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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