Bamford Connor C. G.

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Bamford
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Connor C. G.
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  • Article
    Genetic diversity and connectivity of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) found in the Brazil and Chile-Peru wintering grounds and the South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur) feeding ground
    (Oxford University Press, 2020-04-29) Carroll, Emma ; Ott, Paulo H. ; McMillan, Louise F. ; Galletti Vernazzani, Bárbara ; Neveceralova, Petra ; Vermeulen, Els ; Gaggiotti, Oscar E. ; Andriolo, Artur ; Baker, C. Scott ; Bamford, Connor ; Best, Peter B. ; Cabrera, Elsa ; Calderan, Susannah ; Chirife, Andrea ; Fewster, Rachel M. ; Flores, Paulo A. C. ; Frasier, Timothy ; Freitas, Thales R. O. ; Groch, Karina ; Hulva, Pavel ; Kennedy, Amy S. ; Leaper, Russell ; Leslie, Matthew S. ; Moore, Michael J. ; Oliveira, Larissa ; Seger, Jon ; Stepien, Emilie N. ; Valenzuela, Luciano ; Zerbini, Alexandre N. ; Jackson, Jennifer A.
    As species recover from exploitation, continued assessments of connectivity and population structure are warranted to provide information for conservation and management. This is particularly true in species with high dispersal capacity, such as migratory whales, where patterns of connectivity could change rapidly. Here we build on a previous long-term, large-scale collaboration on southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) to combine new (nnew) and published (npub) mitochondrial (mtDNA) and microsatellite genetic data from all major wintering grounds and, uniquely, the South Georgia (Islas Georgias del Sur: SG) feeding grounds. Specifically, we include data from Argentina (npub mtDNA/microsatellite = 208/46), Brazil (nnew mtDNA/microsatellite = 50/50), South Africa (nnew mtDNA/microsatellite = 66/77, npub mtDNA/microsatellite = 350/47), Chile–Peru (nnew mtDNA/microsatellite = 1/1), the Indo-Pacific (npub mtDNA/microsatellite = 769/126), and SG (npub mtDNA/microsatellite = 8/0, nnew mtDNA/microsatellite = 3/11) to investigate the position of previously unstudied habitats in the migratory network: Brazil, SG, and Chile–Peru. These new genetic data show connectivity between Brazil and Argentina, exemplified by weak genetic differentiation and the movement of 1 genetically identified individual between the South American grounds. The single sample from Chile–Peru had an mtDNA haplotype previously only observed in the Indo-Pacific and had a nuclear genotype that appeared admixed between the Indo-Pacific and South Atlantic, based on genetic clustering and assignment algorithms. The SG samples were clearly South Atlantic and were more similar to the South American than the South African wintering grounds. This study highlights how international collaborations are critical to provide context for emerging or recovering regions, like the SG feeding ground, as well as those that remain critically endangered, such as Chile–Peru.
  • Article
    Have whales returned to a historical hotspot of industrial whaling? the pattern of southern right whale Eubalaena australis recovery at South Georgia
    (Inter Research, 2020-11-05) Jackson, Jennifer A. ; Kennedy, Amy S. ; Moore, Michael J. ; Andriolo, Artur ; Bamford, Connor C. G. ; Calderan, Susannah ; Cheeseman, Ted ; Gittins, George ; Groch, Karina ; Kelly, Natalie ; Leaper, Russell ; Leslie, Matthew S. ; Lurcock, Sarah ; Miller, Brian S. ; Richardson, Jessica ; Rowntree, Victoria ; Smith, Patrick ; Stepien, Emilie N. ; Stowasser, Gabriele ; Trathan, Phil N. ; Vermeulen, Els ; Zerbini, Alexandre N. ; Carroll, Emma
    Around 176500 whales were killed in the sub-Antarctic waters off South Georgia (South Atlantic) between 1904 and 1965. In recent decades, whales have once again become summer visitors, with the southern right whale (SRW) the most commonly reported species until 2011. Here, we assess the distribution, temporal pattern, health status and likely prey of SRWs in these waters, combining observations from a summertime vessel-based expedition to South Georgia, stable isotope data collected from SRWs and putative prey and sightings reports collated by the South Georgia Museum. The expedition used directional acoustics and visual surveys to localise whales and collected skin biopsies and photo-IDs. During 76 h of visual observation effort over 19 expedition days, SRWs were encountered 15 times (~31 individuals). Photo-IDs, combined with publicly contributed images from commercial vessels, were reconciled and quality-controlled to form a catalogue of 6 fully (i.e. both sides) identified SRWs and 26 SRWs identified by either left or right sides. No photo-ID matches were found with lower-latitude calving grounds, but 3 whales had gull lesions supporting a direct link with Península Valdés, Argentina. The isotopic position of SRWs in the South Georgia food web suggests feeding on a combination of copepod and krill species. Opportunistic reports of SRW sightings and associated group sizes remain steady over time, while humpback whales provide a strong contrast, with increased sighting rates and group sizes seen since 2013. These data suggest a plateau in SRWs and an increasing humpback whale presence in South Georgia waters following the cessation of whaling.