Short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)

Shelf break systems are ecologically important regions of the ocean, and are often characterized by enhanced productivity and high densities of species from lower to upper trophic levels. Along with associated submarine canyons, shelf break regions provide important foraging habitat for deep-diving odontocetes such as pilot whales. Short-finned pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus are found throughout tropical and subtropical waters, but there is little information on the habitat use of this species in the northwest Atlantic.

Social structure can have a significant impact on divergence and evolution within species, especially in the marine environment, which has few environmental boundaries to dispersal. On the other hand, genetic structure can affect social structure in many species, through an individual preference towards associating with relatives. One social species, the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), has been shown to live in stable social groups for periods of at least a decade.

In 2014 a study was initiated off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to examine the spatial use and diving behavior of a number of species of odontocetes, with particular emphasis on Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) and short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus).

The United States Navy’s marine species monitoring program addresses four general topics surrounding the impact of mid-frequency active sonar (MFAS) on protected species: occurrence, exposure, response, and consequences.

As part of a long-term U.S. Navy-funded marine mammal monitoring program, in February 2016 a combining boat-based field effort and passive acoustic monitoring was carried out on and around the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF). The U.S. Navy funded five days of small-boat effort and the National Marine Fisheries Service funded an additional two days of effort. There were 859 kilometers (49 hours) of small-vessel survey effort over the course of the seven‑day project.

There are 18 species of odontocetes found around the main Hawaiian Islands, and 11 of these have resident, island-associated populations in the eastern main Hawaiian Islands (Baird 2016). Until recently, relatively little was known about the presence and residency status of most of these species in the western main Hawaiian Islands, in particular around Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. The U.S.

Divergence in acoustic signals used by different populations of marine mammals can be caused by a variety of environmental, hereditary, or social factors, and can indicate isolation between those populations. Two types of genetically and morphologically distinct short-finned pilot whales, called the Naisa- and Shiho-types when first described off Japan, have been identified in the Pacific Ocean.

In 2014 a study was initiated off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to examine the spatial use and diving behavior of a number of species of odontocetes, with particular emphasis on Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) and short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus).

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