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Data from: Abundance, survival, and annual rate of change in Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) on a Navy sonar range

Citation

Curtis, K. Alexandra et al. (2020), Data from: Abundance, survival, and annual rate of change in Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) on a Navy sonar range, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.547d7wm4j

Abstract

Bayesian mark-recapture estimates of survival, abundance, and trend are reported for Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) using a Navy training range off southern California. The deep-diving beaked whale family is exceptionally vulnerable to mid-frequency active sonar (MFAS), which has been implicated in mass strandings and altered foraging behavior. Extremely low sighting probabilities impede studies of population-level impacts of MFAS on beaked whales. The San Nicolas Basin hosts a Navy training range subject to frequent MFAS use and attracts high densities of Z. cavirostris. An eleven-year (2007–2018) photo-identification program leveraged automated acoustic detection and location capabilities on the range’s 1,800-km2 hydrophone array to enhance capture probability. Estimated population parameters for Z. cavirostris using the range included mean (90% credibility intervals) apparent annual survival of 0.950 (0.899–0.986), annual number of individuals as 121 (71–219), and annual rate of change of -0.8% (-5.6 – 4.1%). Simulations show the probability of detecting abundance changes is currently low, but can be greatly improved through continued monitoring and increased effort. Complementary data collection on habitat use and demographic rates in San Nicolas and surrounding basins is also essential to relating direct effects of MFAS use to changes in vital rates and broader population outcomes.

Usage Notes

Data_key.docx defines data fields for

  • XLSX file
  • TXT files


KML file contains geocoordinates of study area, and is used in R scripts
for data selection and plotting.

R and BUG files used for processing, analysis, and plotting.

Funding

U.S. Navy, Award: N0001415IP00088

US Navy Living Marine Resources Program

US Navy N45 Program

US Navy Pacific Fleet

US Navy Living Marine Resources Program

US Navy N45 Program

US Navy Pacific Fleet