Spatial and temporal occurrence of killer whale ecotypes off the outer coast of Washington State, USA

Rice, Ally, Deecke, Volker B. ORCID logo ORCID: , Ford, John K.B., Pilkington, James F., Oleson, Erin M., Hildebrand, John A. and Sirovic, Ana (2017) Spatial and temporal occurrence of killer whale ecotypes off the outer coast of Washington State, USA. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 572 . pp. 255-268.

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Three killer whale Orcinus orca ecotypes inhabit the northeastern Pacific: residents, transients, and offshores. To investigate intraspecific differences in spatial and temporal occur-rence off the outer coast of Washington State, USA, 2 long-term acoustic recorders were deployed from July 2004 to August 2013: one off the continental shelf in Quinault Canyon (QC) and the other on the shelf, off Cape Elizabeth (CE). Acoustic encounters containing pulsed calls were analyzed for call types attributable to specific ecotypes, as no calls are shared between ecotypes. Both sites showed killer whale presence year-round, although site CE had a higher number of days with en- counters overall. Transients were the most common ecotype at both sites and were encountered mainly during the spring and early summer. Residents were encountered primarily at site CE and showed potential seasonal segregation between the 2 resident communities, with northern resi- dents present mainly during summer and early fall when southern residents were not encountered. Offshore encounters were higher at site QC, with little evidence for seasonality. Spatial and temporal variability of residents and transients matches the distribution of their prey and can potentially be used for further inferences about prey preferences for different transient groups.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
Publisher: Inter Research
ISSN: 1616-1599
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Forestry and Conservation
Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
Additional Information: Open Access under Creative Commons by Attribution Licence.
Depositing User: Volker Deecke
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2017 09:52
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 17:31


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