Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Aerial photogrammetry and tag-derived tissue density reveal patterns of lipid-store body condition of humpback whales on their feeding grounds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Kagari Aoki, Saana Isojunno, Charlotte Bellot, Takahashi Iwata, Joanna Louise Kershaw, Yu Akiyama, Lucía Martina Martín López, Christian Ramp, Martin Biuw, Rene James Swift, Paul Wensveen, Patrick Pomeroy, Tomoko Narazaki, Ailsa Jane Hall, Katsufumi Sato, Patrick Miller

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Monitoring the body condition of free-ranging marine mammals at different life-history stages is essential to understand their ecology as they must accumulate sufficient energy reserves for survival and reproduction. However, assessing body condition in free-ranging marine mammals is challenging. We cross-validated two independent approaches to estimate the body condition of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) at two feeding grounds in Canada and Norway: animal-borne tags (n = 59) and aerial photogrammetry (n = 55). Whales that had a large length-standardized projected area in overhead images (i.e. whales looked fatter) had lower estimated tissue body density (TBD) (greater lipid stores) from tag data. Linking both measurements in a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate the true underlying (hidden) tissue body density (uTBD), we found uTBD was lower (−3.5 kg m−3) in pregnant females compared to adult males and resting females, while in lactating females it was higher (+6.0 kg m−3). Whales were more negatively buoyant (+5.0 kg m−3) in Norway than Canada during the early feeding season, possibly owing to a longer migration from breeding areas. While uTBD decreased over the feeding season across life-history traits, whale tissues remained negatively buoyant (1035.3 ± 3.8 kg m−3) in the late feeding season. This study adds confidence to the effectiveness of these independent methods to estimate the body condition of free-ranging whales.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number20202307
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Volume288
Issue number1943
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2021

    Research areas

  • Tissue body density, UAV, Feeding season, Animal-borne sensor, Neutral buoyancy, Cetacean

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Declining reproductive success in the Gulf of St. Lawrence’s humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) reflects ecosystem shifts on their feeding grounds

    Kershaw, J. L., Ramp, C. A., Sears, R., Plourde, S., Brosset, P., Miller, P. J. O. & Hall, A. J., 24 Dec 2020, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Global Change Biology. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Assessing cetacean body condition: is total lipid content in blubber biopsies a useful monitoring tool?

    Kershaw, J. L., Brownlow, A., Ramp, C. A., Miller, P. J. O. & Hall, A. J., 6 Sep 2019, In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 271-282 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Body density of humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) in feeding aggregations estimated from hydrodynamic gliding performance

    Narazaki, T., Isojunno, S., Nowacek, D. P., Swift, R., Friedlaender, A. S., Ramp, C., Smout, S., Aoki, K., Deecke, V. B., Sato, K. & Miller, P. J. O., 12 Jul 2018, In: PLoS ONE. 13, 7, 23 p., e0200287.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Sperm whales exhibit variation in echolocation tactics with depth and sea state but not naval sonar exposures

    Isojunno, S., von Benda-Beckmann, A., Wensveen, P., Kvadsheim, P., Lam, F-P., Gkikopoulou, K. C., Pöyhönen, V., Tyack, P. L., Benti, B., Foskolos, I., Bort, J., Neves, M., Biassoni, N. & Miller, P. J., 6 Dec 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Marine Mammal Science. Early View, 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Modeling potential masking of echolocating sperm whales exposed to continuous 1–2 kHz naval sonar

    von Benda-Beckmann, A. M., Isojunno, S., Zandvliet, M., Ainslie, M. A., Wensveen, P. J., Tyack, P. L., Kvadsheim, P. H., Lam, F. P. A. & Miller, P. J. O., 30 Apr 2021, In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 149, 4, p. 2908-2925 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Kate Arnold (Reviewer)

    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Michael Gordon Ritchie (Editor)

    20102011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Member of editorial board)

    2009 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Iain McCombe Matthews (Editor)

    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. A synthesis of senescence predictions for indeterminate growth, and support from multiple tests in wild lake trout

    Purchase, C. F., Rooke, A. C., Gaudry, M. J., Treberg, J. R., Mittell, E. A., Morrissey, M. B. & Rennie, M. D., 12 Jan 2022, In: Proceedings. Biological sciences. 289, 1966, 10 p., 20212146.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Sex-biased demography modulates male harm across the genome

    Hitchcock, T. & Gardner, A., 22 Dec 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1965, 9 p., 20212237.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Speciation in the deep: genomics and morphology reveal a new species of beaked whale Mesoplodon eueu

    Carroll, E. L., McGowen, M. R., McCarthy, M. L., Marx, F. G., Aguilar, N., Dalebout, M. L., Dreyer, S., Gaggiotti, O. E., Hansen, S. S., van Helden, A., Onoufriou, A. B., Baird, R. W., Baker, C. S., Berrow, S., Cholewiak, D., Claridge, D., Constantine, R., Davison, N. J., Eira, C., Fordyce, R. E. & 13 others, Gatesy, J., Hofmeyr, G. J. G., Martín, V., Mead, J. G., Mignucci-Giannoni, A. A., Morin, P. A., Reyes, C., Rogan, E., Rosso, M., Silva, M. A., Springer, M. S., Steel, D. & Olsen, M. T., 27 Oct 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1961, 20211213.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Emerging themes in population consequences of disturbance models

    Keen, K. A., Beltran, R. S., Pirotta, E. & Costa, D. P., 25 Aug 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1957, 13 p., 20210325.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. What happened? Do preschool children and capuchin monkeys spontaneously use visual traces to locate a reward?

    Civelek, Z., Völter, C. J. & Seed, A. M., 11 Aug 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1956, 10 p., 20211101.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 267454006

Top