Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Migration patterns of marine predators

Date:
June 23, 2011
Source:
Dalhousie University
Summary:
Researchers have concluded a two year study tracking apex marine predator movements in the ocean.

Ian Jonsen, a research associate and adjunct professor in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University and co-lead investigator of the Future of Marine Animal Populations Project (FMAP), has teamed up with Barbara Block at Stanford University and several other American researchers to conclude a two year study entitled, "Tracking apex marine predator movements in a dynamic ocean" published in the science journal Nature released June 22.

Related Articles


The study summarized the results from a ten year tagging program called the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP). The TOPP program deployed 4,306 tags on 23 species in the North Pacific Ocean resulting in data that covers 265, 386 days-an extraordinary scale by industry standards. Both TOPP and FMAP were projects under the recently concluded Census of Marine Life program.

TOPP scientists have been tagging marine predators for ten years. Species like sharks, whales, tuna, seals and marine turtles are caught, tagged with an electronic device that keeps track of the animals' location, and released back into their natural habitat. Their movements are then monitored by researchers at several institutions in California. Dr. Jonsen helped synthesize that data over the last 2 years right here at Dalhousie.

"We wanted to be able to build a story on behalf of these marine predators. Tagging allows us to answer questions like, 'where are they going', 'how long are they there for', and 'how long does it take them to get there.' By tracking the movements of marine predators, we can build a map of the important 'traffic routes' in the ocean, something we haven't been able to do until now," Dr. Jonsen explains.

What the scientists discovered through this study was that that the California Current large marine ecosystem is a significant habitat for species like tunas, sharks, salmon and sea turtles.

The data collected also indicates these species are quite predictable in their movements and time their migrations so they arrive in the California Current when it is most productive. Species, such as tunas and sharks, residing in the California Current migrate north and south seasonally within this region as it warms and cools.

The study also indicates that predators, like the leatherback turtle, travel back and forth from Indonesia and Monterey Bay, California each year like clockwork.

Jonsen believes that although there is still a lot more work left to be done on predicting the movements of marine predators, this study is a step in the right direction.

"Knowing where and when species overlap is important information that can be used to manage and protect these large predators and their ecosystems from human activities."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dalhousie University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. A. Block, I. D. Jonsen, S. J. Jorgensen, A. J. Winship, S. A. Shaffer, S. J. Bograd, E. L. Hazen, D. G. Foley, G. A. Breed, A.-L. Harrison, J. E. Ganong, A. Swithenbank, M. Castleton, H. Dewar, B. R. Mate, G. L. Shillinger, K. M. Schaefer, S. R. Benson, M. J. Weise, R. W. Henry, D. P. Costa. Tracking apex marine predator movements in a dynamic ocean. Nature, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nature10082

Cite This Page:

Dalhousie University. "Migration patterns of marine predators." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623141639.htm>.
Dalhousie University. (2011, June 23). Migration patterns of marine predators. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623141639.htm
Dalhousie University. "Migration patterns of marine predators." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623141639.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins