Aerial Surveys of Endangered Whales in the Beaufort, Chukchi & Northern Bering Seas.
Final rept. Apr-Oct 81,
NAVAL OCEAN SYSTEMS CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Aerial surveys and acoustic recordings of bowhead whales and other endangered whales were made from April to October 1981 in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas. Bowhead whales were observed in the northern Bering Sea in large concentrations prior to their northward spring migration. Most whales were involved in social activity, including apparent copulation. Many bowhead sounds were recorded during these observations. The bowhead migration was followed through the Beaufort Sea from Pt. Barrow to Herschel Is. along a migration corridor centered at 71 deg 30 min. N latitude. The summer survey efforts concentrated on gray whale distribution in the Chukchi and northern Bering Sea and delineated a high-density feeding area between St. Lawrence Island and the Bering Strait. During these surveys, normal gray whale behaviors were observed in the presence of seismographic sounds. The fall nearshore bowhead migration through the Beaufort Sea moved slowly to the west along the 20-m contour line. Feeding behavior was noted most often. This report describes all results of 1981 surveys and summarizes the spring and fall migrations of the bowhead whale through the Beaufort Sea for 1979, 1980, and 1981. Author
- Biological Oceanography