2010 NIWS (publ 2011)


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2010 Norfolk Island Whale Survey (NIWS)

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2010 NIWS (publ 2011)

  1. 1. 2010 Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />© A. Oosterman 2010<br />
  2. 2. Our goal ...<br />In the long term, we expect the findings of the Norfolk Island Whale Survey (NIWS) will contribute to the building of a useful dataset that will complement the humpback whale research that is being conducted in other regions of the South Pacific …<br />... especially along the migratory corridor that encompasses New Caledonia and New Zealand. To maintain the link between the latter two locations it is vital that the migration of humpback whales past Norfolk Island (NI) continues to be monitored.<br />© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />
  3. 3. Preamble<br /><ul><li> Like Byron Bay on Australia’s east coast, Norfolk Island (on approximately the same latitude) had a history of commercial whaling until the early 1960s.
  4. 4. During the period from 1956 until the commencement of the NIWS in 2003 no whale research occurred on NI. In recent years, cetacean research has increased significantly throughout the SW Pacific .
  5. 5. Results of survey work we were involved with which had been conducted at Cape Byron over many years suggested that humpback whales migrating along that corridor were recovering at a rate of approximately 10% per annum.
  6. 6. Only a few years of research by the NIWS including information gathered from the people of NI, revealed that a significant recovery rate of humpbacks migrating past NI (E2 stock) was clearly not occurring.
  7. 7. As dedicated experienced researchers were active both on NI and the east coast of Australia the results were not called into question.
  8. 8. Furthermore, researchers were also on a fact finding mission in Fiji in 2004. The latter area also showed a lack of recovery to humpback whale numbers.
  9. 9. Since the commencement of the NIWS, a survey was carried out in New Zealand’s Cook Straits (where the Perano Brothers and others undertook commercial whaling ventures). This produced similar results to those of NI and Fiji.</li></ul>© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />
  10. 10. Conclusions<br /><ul><li> It is undeniable that the numbers of humpback whales migrating past NI (as with those that migrate along some other SW Pacific corridors) have not recovered to anywhere near the numbers that existed in pre-whaling days.
  11. 11. As whaling ceased on Australia’s east coast and NI in 1962, humpback whales have had nearly half a century to recover at NI.
  12. 12. This begs the question ...</li></ul>Will humpback whales ever be seen migrating past NI in the numbers that they were prior to the cessation of whaling activities in that region and by the Soviet Whaling fleets in the Southern Ocean?<br />© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />
  13. 13. Location of Key Observation Platforms<br />CASCADE LOOKOUT<br />Q. ELIZABETH II<br />© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />
  14. 14. Minke whales are not an uncommon sight at Norfolk Island but only two were observed by the NIWS team in 2010<br />The NIWS has been asked to support James Cook University by photographing and documenting all minke whale sightings<br />image captured 29 August 2008<br />© Jason Henrich<br />
  15. 15. A minke whale “mugged” our vessel for about 45 minutes on 19 October 2010<br />© A. Oosterman<br />
  16. 16. This photograph is an example of what was observed on two consecutive days to the northeast of Norfolk Island<br />Note: this image captured on 6 September 2010 in Monterey County California <br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/weboutput/4965686071/<br />
  17. 17. Schedule of dates for cetacean research at Norfolk Island 2003 – 2010 showing number of<br />humpbacks observed per on-effort hour during each annual survey<br />© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />
  18. 18. Numbers of large cetacean species observed in Norfolk Island vicinity 2003 – 2010<br />An extended (12-week) survey was conducted in 2008<br />Photographic evidence obtained of sperm whales in 2009<br />© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />
  19. 19. Cetacean species documented by NIWS personnel (2003-2010) in Norfolk Island waters<br /><ul><li> bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821:75)
  20. 20. dwarf minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata ssp.
  21. 21. false killer whale Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, 1846:516) * NEW in 2010
  22. 22. humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781:21)
  23. 23. pygmy killer whale Feresa attenuata (Gray, 1827:375)
  24. 24. sei whale Balaenoptera borealis (Lesson, 1828:342)
  25. 25. shortbeak common dolphin Delphinus delphis (Linnaeus, 1758:77)
  26. 26. southern minke whale Balaenoptera bonaerensis (Burmeister, 1867:xxiv)
  27. 27. sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758:76)
  28. 28. striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen, 1833:609) *NEW in 2010</li></ul>© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />
  29. 29. Acknowledgements<br /><ul><li> Darren Bates
  30. 30. Gaelene Christian (Norfolk Window)
  31. 31. Howard Christian (for use of vessel free of charge)
  32. 32. Ken and Margaret Christian
  33. 33. Phil Clapham
  34. 34. James Edwards (for supply of vehicle)
  35. 35. Borry Evans (for accommodation, supply of vessel and dedication)
  36. 36. Peter Garbett
  37. 37. Claire Garrigue
  38. 38. Sue Goodfellow
  39. 39. Paul Hodda
  40. 40. Gilbert Jackson (photos)
  41. 41. Joan Kenny
  42. 42. Ken Nobbs (Cameralines)
  43. 43. Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre
  44. 44. The Norfolk Islander (Jonathon Snell)
  45. 45. http://flickr.com/photos/weboutput/4965686071/ (blue whale blow photo)</li></ul>© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />
  46. 46. Dedication and Enthusiasm...<br />Merv Whicker, an integral part of the NIWS since its inception in 2003, stationed at Cascade Lookout in 2009<br />© Norfolk Island Whale Survey<br />