Waring Gordon T.

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Gordon T.

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  • Preprint
    The forgotten whale : a bibliometric analysis and literature review of the North Atlantic sei whale Balaenoptera borealis
    ( 2012-07) Prieto, Rui ; Janiger, David ; Silva, Monica A. ; Waring, Gordon T. ; Goncalves, Joao M. A.
    1. A bibliometric analysis of the literature on the sei whale Balaenoptera borealis is presented. Research output on the species is quantified and compared with research on four other whale species. The results show a significant increase in research for all species except the sei whale. Research output is characterized chronologically and by oceanic basin. 2. The species’ distribution, movements, stock structure, feeding, reproduction, abundance, acoustics, mortality and threats are reviewed for the North Atlantic, and the review is complemented with previously unpublished data. 3. Knowledge on the distribution and movements of the sei whale in the North Atlantic is still mainly derived from whaling records. Movement patterns and winter distribution are not clear. Surveys in some known summering areas show that the species has changed its distribution in parts of its previously known range. 4. With the present information, it is impossible to determine whether or not the North Atlantic sei whale population is subdivided into biological units. Abundance estimates are fragmentary and cover a restricted part of the summering habitat. 5. In the North Atlantic, sei whales seem to be stenophagous, feeding almost exclusively on calanoid copepods and euphausiids. On feeding grounds, they are associated with oceanic frontal systems, but how they find and explore these structures has not been fully investigated. 6. The available data on vital rates are based on whaling-derived studies and are 25 years old or older. Despite increasing human and environmentally induced pressures, there are no current estimates for mortality and population trends. 7. Current research needs include the clear definition of stock units, reliable abundance estimates, studies of distribution and migration that incorporate the identification of wintering areas, acquisition of up-to-date data on reproduction and mortality, and investigations into the consequences of environmental changes for the species.
  • Article
    Sei whale movements and behaviour in the North Atlantic inferred from satellite telemetry
    (Inter-Research, 2014-12-01) Prieto, Rui ; Silva, Monica A. ; Waring, Gordon T. ; Goncalves, Joao M. A.
    The stock structure of the sei whale Balaenoptera borealis in the North Atlantic is unknown, despite years of commercial hunting. New and up-to-date data on distribution and movements are essential for the creation of plausible hypotheses about the stock structure of this species. Between 2008 and 2009 satellite tracks of 8 sei whales were obtained, 7 during spring and 1 in late September. Using a hierarchical switching state-space model we investigated the movements, behaviour and the role of distinct areas in their life history. Two distinct phases corresponding to migratory and foraging movements were identified. A migratory corridor between the Azores and the Labrador Sea is clearly identifiable from the data. Behaviour consistent with foraging was observed frequently in the Labrador Sea, showing that it constitutes an important feeding ground. A link between the Labrador Sea and other feeding grounds to the east is deemed likely. The data also support a discrete feeding ground in the Gulf of Maine and off Nova Scotia. A possible link between the feeding grounds in the Labrador Sea and wintering grounds off northwestern Africa is proposed.
  • Article
    Google haul out : Earth observation imagery and digital aerial surveys in coastal wildlife management and abundance estimation
    (Oxford University Press, 2017-06-14) Moxley, Jerry ; Bogomolni, Andrea L. ; Hammill, Mike O. ; Moore, Kathleen M. T. ; Polito, Michael J. ; Sette, Lisa ; Sharp, W. Brian ; Waring, Gordon T. ; Gilbert, James R. ; Halpin, Patrick N. ; Johnston, David W.
    As the sampling frequency and resolution of Earth observation imagery increase, there are growing opportunities for novel applications in population monitoring. New methods are required to apply established analytical approaches to data collected from new observation platforms (e.g., satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles). Here, we present a method that estimates regional seasonal abundances for an understudied and growing population of gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) in southeastern Massachusetts, using opportunistic observations in Google Earth imagery. Abundance estimates are derived from digital aerial survey counts by adapting established correction-based analyses with telemetry behavioral observation to quantify survey biases. The result is a first regional understanding of gray seal abundance in the northeast US through opportunistic Earth observation imagery and repurposed animal telemetry data. As species observation data from Earth observation imagery become more ubiquitous, such methods provide a robust, adaptable, and cost-effective solution to monitoring animal colonies and understanding species abundances.
  • Article
    Prevalence of influenza A virus in live-captured North Atlantic gray seals : a possible wild reservoir
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2016-08-03) Puryear, Wendy Blay ; Keogh, Mandy ; Hill, Nichola ; Moxley, Jerry ; Josephson, Elizabeth ; Davis, Kimberly Ryan ; Bandoro, Christopher ; Lidgard, Damian ; Bogomolni, Andrea L. ; Levin, Milton ; Lang, Shelley ; Hammill, Michael ; Bowen, Don ; Johnston, David W. ; Romano, Tracy ; Waring, Gordon T. ; Runstadler, Jonathan
    Influenza A virus (IAV) has been associated with multiple unusual mortality events (UMEs) in North Atlantic pinnipeds, frequently attributed to spillover of virus from wild-bird reservoirs. To determine if endemic infection persists outside of UMEs, we undertook a multiyear investigation of IAV in healthy, live-captured Northwest Atlantic gray seals (Halichoerus grypus). From 2013 to 2015, we sampled 345 pups and 57 adults from Cape Cod, MA, USA and Nova Scotia, Canada consistently detecting IAV infection across all groups. There was an overall viral prevalence of 9.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 6.4%–12.5%) in weaned pups and 5.3% (CI: 1.2%–14.6%) in adults, with seroprevalences of 19.3% (CI: 15.0%–24.5%) and 50% (CI: 33.7%–66.4%), respectively. Positive sera showed a broad reactivity to diverse influenza subtypes. IAV status did not correlate with measures of animal health nor impact animal movement or foraging. This study demonstrated that Northwest Atlantic gray seals are both permissive to and tolerant of diverse IAV, possibly representing an endemically infected wild reservoir population.
  • Article
    Marine mammal skin microbiotas are influenced by host phylogeny
    (The Royal Society, 2020-05-20) Apprill, Amy ; Miller, Carolyn A. ; Van Cise, Amy M. ; U'Ren, Jana M. ; Leslie, Matthew S. ; Weber, Laura ; Baird, Robin W. ; Robbins, Jooke ; Landry, Scott ; Bogomolni, Andrea L. ; Waring, Gordon T.
    Skin-associated microorganisms have been shown to play a role in immune function and disease of humans, but are understudied in marine mammals, a diverse animal group that serve as sentinels of ocean health. We examined the microbiota associated with 75 epidermal samples opportunistically collected from nine species within four marine mammal families, including: Balaenopteridae (sei and fin whales), Phocidae (harbour seal), Physeteridae (sperm whales) and Delphinidae (bottlenose dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, short-finned pilot whales and melon-headed whales). The skin was sampled from free-ranging animals in Hawai‘i (Pacific Ocean) and off the east coast of the United States (Atlantic Ocean), and the composition of the bacterial community was examined using the sequencing of partial small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA genes. Skin microbiotas were significantly different among host species and taxonomic families, and microbial community distance was positively correlated with mitochondrial-based host genetic divergence. The oceanic location could play a role in skin microbiota variation, but skin from species sampled in both locations is necessary to determine this influence. These data suggest that a phylosymbiotic relationship may exist between microbiota and their marine mammal hosts, potentially providing specific health and immune-related functions that contribute to the success of these animals in diverse ocean ecosystems.