Presentation Title

Humpback Whale’s Use of Breeding Ground near Coiba Contreras off the Pacific Coast of Panama

Project Collaborators

Betzi Perez (Fundacion Panacetacea), Jose Julio (Ministry of the Environment of Panama), Laura May Collado (Collaborating Mentor)

Abstract

Some humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean migrate from feeding areas in the northern and southern hemispheres to Central America to breed. Each year approximately 2,000 Southern Hemisphere and 450 Northern Hemisphere humpbacks make the journey to these tropical waters to give birth and mate. Although there is little evidence of gen flow between these two populations, scientists suspect potential temporal in areas used by both populations. Autonomous underwater recorders were deployed near Contreras Island in Panama from August 2020 to February 2021 covering most of breeding season for both whale populations. We generated a presence-absence data matrix of male humpback whales’ songs to determine if there is temporal overlap at Contreras Island. We expect detections of southern whales from August of November and northern whales from November to February. The period of overlap is expected to be mid-end of November. Given that male from breeding populations have unique songs, if there is overlap, we should expect to have to distinct songs present during this period. This research will provide key information of when both whale populations are present in this area, and of the potential connectivity across hemispheres.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Laura May Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Biological Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Humpback Whale’s Use of Breeding Ground near Coiba Contreras off the Pacific Coast of Panama

Some humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean migrate from feeding areas in the northern and southern hemispheres to Central America to breed. Each year approximately 2,000 Southern Hemisphere and 450 Northern Hemisphere humpbacks make the journey to these tropical waters to give birth and mate. Although there is little evidence of gen flow between these two populations, scientists suspect potential temporal in areas used by both populations. Autonomous underwater recorders were deployed near Contreras Island in Panama from August 2020 to February 2021 covering most of breeding season for both whale populations. We generated a presence-absence data matrix of male humpback whales’ songs to determine if there is temporal overlap at Contreras Island. We expect detections of southern whales from August of November and northern whales from November to February. The period of overlap is expected to be mid-end of November. Given that male from breeding populations have unique songs, if there is overlap, we should expect to have to distinct songs present during this period. This research will provide key information of when both whale populations are present in this area, and of the potential connectivity across hemispheres.