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Cuviers Beaked Whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in the Ligurian Sea Physical Habitat Description Angela D'Amico 1,4, Frederic Mineur 1, Alberto Alvarez 1,

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Presentation on theme: "Cuviers Beaked Whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in the Ligurian Sea Physical Habitat Description Angela D'Amico 1,4, Frederic Mineur 1, Alberto Alvarez 1,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cuviers Beaked Whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in the Ligurian Sea Physical Habitat Description Angela D'Amico 1,4, Frederic Mineur 1, Alberto Alvarez 1, Cristina Mori 1, Michela Podesta 2, Nicola Portunato 1, Marco Ballardini 3, Barbara Nani 3 1 1 SACLANT Undersea Research Centre Viale San Bartolomeo 400 19138 La Spezia, Italy 2 Museo di Storia Naturale Corso Venezia 55 20121 Milano, Italy 3 bluWest Via Scarincio 12 18100 Imperia, Italy 4 SPAWARSYSCEN D713 53560 Hull Steet San Diego, CA 92152-5001

2 Sirena Sea Trials Objectives Develop integrated database of environmental parameters and marine mammal populations Develop techniques which enable detection, classification, and tracking of marine mammals Sirena 99 3 - 13 Aug Sirena 00 21 Aug - 8 Sept Sirena 01 20 Sept - 7 Oct Sirena 02 1-24 July Sirena 99 3 - 13 Aug Sirena 00 21 Aug - 8 Sept Sirena 01 20 Sept - 7 Oct Sirena 02 1-24 July Regional surveys Zifio 01 - May 2001 Corsaro, bluWest Imperia, Italy Corsaro, bluWest Imperia, Italy

3 NATO research vessel, NRV Alliance Italian Navys Hydrographic Office research vessel, Nave Magnaghi Italian Navy Sea King Helicopter Italian Navy 30 o Aerostormo (ELMAS) marine patrol aircraft Visual Monitoring Oceanographic/biologic/acoustic observations Remote sensing Sirena Measurements Istituto Centrale per la Ricerca Applicata al Mare, Bestiaccia

4 Western Corsica Current Ligurian Current Levantine Intermediate Water Sirena 01 Temperature at 50m Section 1 Sirena 01 Sub-surface circulation Sirena 01 Geostrophic currents at 50m Sirena 01 Vertical salinity distribution along section 1 Counter clockwise current causes doming of cold water in basin center

5 Seasonal/Yearly Variability Ligurian Sea Early Aug 1999Late Sep 2001Early Sep 2000 Upwelling of cold water in basin center is visible on satellite images Region of upwelling has high biologic productivity

6 Slope gradient within the canyon (0, 200, 1000, 2000m contours shown). Bathymetry of the canyon area (200m contour lines shown). Genoa Canyon Steep submarine canyon exists in NW portion of basin

7 1989 1983 1956 1992 1963 1997 1961 1934 1996 1964 1957 1987 1900 1925 Historic strandings Ziphius cavirostris Ziphius cavirostris in Genoa Canyon Sirena sea trial data indicate presence of Ziphius cavirostris in canyon region, not in basin center Sighting data base indicates that all sighting were made in water depths over 1000m Stranding data indicates presence of Ziphius cavirostris in this region since 1900 Sightings of Ziphius cavirostris during Sirena trials Regional sightings of Ziphius cavirostris

8 Sediment flow along surface and bottom of steep canyon walls Not present in wider canyon region SPM layer may have higher organic content Sirena 01 Suspended Particulate Matter

9 Canyon Circulation Zifio 01 Geostrophic velocities at 50 m depth Interaction between Ligurian current and steep canyon walls form regional circulation pattern

10 Stranding and sighting data suggest Ziphius cavirostris exhibit site fidelity in the Genoa Canyon Ziphius cavirostris have been sighted on the surface only in water depths greater than 1000m Canyon environments form traps for suspended particulate matter containing high biomass Canyon region has regional circulation pattern resulting from interaction between the Ligurian Current and the steep canyon bathymetry Combination of these factors may form a preferential habitat, providing food for the species upon which Ziphius cavirostris prey Futher detailed measurenments of prey field required Conclusions

11 The authors would like to thank all participants from the NRV Alliance, CRV Manning; ITN Magnaghi, Corsaro, Bestiaccia. Special thanks to ADM D. Nascetti, CDR S. Monti, the Italian Marina Militare and to their Istituto Idrografico della Marina Office and R. Gisiner, the Office of Naval Research. The SOLMAR project acknowledges the participation of V. Teloni, M. Quero, W. Zimmer, P. Tyack, G. Pavan, J. Bondaryk, D. Barbour, F. DeStrobel, A. Strulese. Additionally, the authors would like to acknowledge all personnel from the following organizations who participated in the data collection effort, without them the success of the Sirena sea trials would not be possible; SACLANTCEN, Acquario di Genova, Aquastudio, BAE Systems, Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (A. Williams for the coordination of the visual survey during Sirena 99 and 00), Centre dEtudes Biologiques de Chize, Centre de Recherche sur les Mammiferes Marins, Groupe de Recherche sure les Cetaces, Centro di Bioacustica, Università di Pavia, Centro Studi Cetacei, Defense Establishment Research Agency, Istituto Centrale per la Ricerca Applicata al Mare, Istituto per lo Studio dellOceanografica Fisica, Istituto per lo Studio della Dinamica delle grandi Masse, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, Office of Naval Research (R. Gisiner for supporting researchers to participate in the Sirena cruises), Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Tethys Research Institute, University of Genoa, University of North Carolina, University of Siena, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, WWF Liguria. Acknowledgements


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