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Cuvier’s Beaked Whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in the Ligurian Sea

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Presentation on theme: "Cuvier’s Beaked Whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in the Ligurian Sea"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cuvier’s Beaked Whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in the Ligurian Sea
Physical Habitat Description Angela D'Amico1,4, Frederic Mineur1, Alberto Alvarez 1, Cristina Mori1, Michela Podesta 2, Nicola Portunato1, Marco Ballardini3, Barbara Nani3 1   1  SACLANT Undersea Research Centre Viale San Bartolomeo La Spezia, Italy 2  Museo di Storia Naturale Corso Venezia Milano, Italy 3   bluWest   Via Scarincio 12 18100 Imperia, Italy 4 SPAWARSYSCEN D713 53560 Hull Steet San Diego, CA

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 Regional surveys Corsaro, bluWest Imperia, Italy Zifio ‘01 - May 2001 Sirena ‘ Aug Sirena ‘ Aug - 8 Sept Sirena ‘ Sept - 7 Oct Sirena ‘ July

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

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

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

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

7 Ziphius cavirostris in Genoa Canyon
1989 1983 1956 1992 1963 1997 1961 1934 1996 1964 1957 1987 1900 1925 Ziphius cavirostris in Genoa Canyon Sightings of Ziphius cavirostris during Sirena trials Historic strandings Ziphius cavirostris Regional sightings of Ziphius cavirostris 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

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

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

10 Conclusions 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

11 Acknowledgements 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 d’Etudes 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 dell’Oceanografica 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.


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