From Duke University:
Scientists have created highly detailed maps charting the seasonal movements and population densities of 35 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises — many of them threatened or endangered — in the crowded waters of the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.
The maps, which are freely available online here, integrate data from nearly 1.1 million linear kilometers of surveys and more than 26,000 sightings collected by researchers at five institutions over 23 years.
The work appears in the open-access journal Scientific Reports on March 3. It is the first time such highly detailed maps charting cetacean populations densities and seasonal movements for these regions have been published in peer-reviewed literature.
By analyzing and modeling how survey data and sightings related to environmental conditions such as water temperature and ocean currents, the researchers were able to create maps that display estimates of species’ population densities, region by region, on a monthly or year-round basis, and also track the seasonal movements of 11 species.
Read the Complete Article (via Duke News)