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    Habitat use of type – C killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Request Meeting Document
    Document Number:
    G. Lauriano, E. Pirotta, T. Joyce, R. L. Pitman and S. Panigada
    Submitted By:
    Dr Giancarlo Lauriano (Italy)
    Approved By:
    Dr Marino Vacchi (Italy)

    In Terra Nova Bay, western Ross Sea, during the austral summer 2015 ten type - C killer whales were equipped withSmart Position Only (SPOT) and depth-recording satellite transmitters (SPLASH). Hierarchical switching state-space models (hSSSM) were applied to Argos satellite tracking data to characterize the horizontal behaviour of tagged whales.

    The Bayesian state-space model revealed discrete, largely non-overlapping Areas of Restricted Search (ARS) of killer whales along the coastline which matched the pattern of deeper dives thus indicating possible feeding grounds along the Ross Sea coast.

    Considering the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area (RSR MPA), these findings might be contemplated to completing the Research and Monitoring Program required by the MPA and furthering conservation measures in the existing Antarctic Special Protected Area (ASPA).