First Acoustic Documentation of Non-Traditional Arctic Species in the Bering and Chukchi Seas
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University of New Hampshire Durham United States
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Warming in the Arctic region is three times the rate of the global average with summer sea ice declining 11.5 per decade since 1979. This drives ice-obligate and ice-associated marine mammal species northward and opens space for temperate species to also shift poleward. Larger and more rapid shifts are to be expected, especially if the Arctic is predicted to be ice free in the summers by the 2030s. Previous research shows several traditionally Arctic marine mammal species bowhead, gray, and beluga whales and bearded and ribbon seals adjust their distributions, mating, and migrating behaviors concurrently with ice cover changes, such as ice retreating midwinter compared to being continuously present. Passive acoustic monitoring PAM was key in these studies.
- Biological Oceanography