A blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) feeding ground in a southern Australian coastal upwelling zone

Gill, Peter C. 2002, A blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) feeding ground in a southern Australian coastal upwelling zone, Journal of cetacean research and management, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 179-184.

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Title A blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) feeding ground in a southern Australian coastal upwelling zone
Formatted title A blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) feeding ground in a southern Australian coastal upwelling zone
Author(s) Gill, Peter C.
Journal name Journal of cetacean research and management
Volume number 4
Issue number 2
Start page 179
End page 184
Publisher International Whaling Commission
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publication date 2002
ISSN 1561-0713
Keyword(s) blue whale
Australasia
feeding grounds
euphausiids
oceanography
habitat
Summary A localised aggregation of blue whales. which may be pygmy blue whales (B. m. brevicauda), occurs in southern Australian coastal waters (between I39°45'E-143°E) during summer and autumn (December-May), where they feed on coastal krill (Nyctiphanes australis). a species which often forms surface swarms. While the abundance of blue whales using this area is unknown, up to 32 blue whales have been sighted in individual aerial  surveys. Krill appear to aggregate in response to enhanced productivity  resulting from the summer-autumn wind-forced Bonney Coast upwelling along the continental shelf. During the upwelling's quiescent (winter-spring) period. blue whales appear to be absent from the region. Krill surface  swarms have been associated with 48% of 261 blue whale sightings since 1998, with direct evidence of feeding observed in 36% of all sightings. Mean blue whale group size was 1.55 (SD =0.839), with all size classes represented including calves. This seasonally predictable upwelling system is evidently a regular feeding ground for blue whales, and careful  management of human activities is required there.
Language eng
Field of Research 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, International Whaling Commission
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30001819

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