Summary of Tag Deployments on Cetaceans off Washington, May 2010 to May 2013
Schorr, G., Falcone, E., and Calambokidis, C. 2013. Summary of Tag Deployments on Cetaceans off Washington, May 2010 to May 2013. Prepared for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Submitted to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific (NAVFAC PAC), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 96860-3134, and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest (NAVFAC NW), Silverdale, WA 98315-1101, under Contract # N62470-10-D-3011, issued to HDR Inc., San Diego, California 92123. 12 June 2013.
The United States (U.S.) Navy (Navy) provided support for the purchase of satellite tags to be deployed opportunistically during other ongoing projects by Cascadia Research.
This report summarizes the results of deployments within the Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC) conducted in conjunction with existing survey efforts off Washington and also includes results from additional deployments on the same species funded with other sources and which are best reported together.
The Navy has designated a number of areas for use in training operations along the West Coast. Much of the NWTRC and the W-237 warning area (Figure 1) include habitat that is important to a number of marine mammal species (e.g. Calambokidis et al. 2004, Wiles 2004, Schorr et al. 2011). Much of the NWTRC falls in remote areas where data collection can be very difficult. There is a paucity of information concerning the population identity, density, seasonality, and movements of many of these species in and around designated ranges. These include several cetacean species and populations which are federally listed as endangered or threatened, and thus detailed knowledge of their movements and habitat use in these training ranges is of great importance.
Recent developments in the field of cetacean satellite telemetry have improved the collection of medium to long term movements, habitat use, and in some cases diving behavior, of whales and dolphins. These methods are particularly valuable in regions where remoteness and/or predominantly poor weather conditions limit the utility of stand-alone visual surveys.