BDBSA Project Metadata Detail

Survey/Project Number: 752          Total No. of Sites: 6
Survey/Project Name: ECOLOGY OF BLUE WHALES (GILL)
Abstract: The Ecology of Blue Whales project was conducted in coastal waters off of South Australia, 2010. The objectives of the project were to: -Significantly increase our understanding of the population identity, affinities and movements of blue whales in our region, enabling assessment of population status and trends. -Significantly increase our understanding of blue whale ecology and habitat, and the ways in which blue whales exploit their habitat and prey. -Assess responses of blue whales to climatic variability including climate change. -Assess responses of blue whales to human activities so that these activities can be managed optimally with respect to the whales' needs. -Develop community awareness of blue whales and their habitat through a range of education and participatory monitoring programs.
 
Start Date: 23/03/2010      End Date: 31/05/2011
Survey Type: Vertebrates only
   
Study Area Description: Coastal waters off South Australia
Objectives
         Vegetation: *** No vegetation survey objectives recorded
         Fauna: The objectives of the project are to: Significantly increase our understanding of the population identity, affinities and movements of blue whales in our region, enabling assessment of population status and trends. Significantly increase our understanding of blue whale ecology and habitat, and the ways in which blue whales exploit their habitat and prey. Assess responses of blue whales to climatic variability including climate change. Assess responses of blue whales to human activities so that these activities can be managed optimally with respect to the whales' needs. Develop community awareness of blue whales and their habitat through a range of education and participatory monitoring programs.
Methodology
         Vegetation: *** No vegetation methodology recorded
         Fauna: Blue Whales, Humback Whale, Sine Whale and Fin Whale SATELLITE TAGGING Tag darts to be fired by pneumatic gun penetrating to their full length into skin, blubber and underlying fascia, with a stopping plate which leaves only a short length, and the transmitting antenna, protruding from the skin. Darts are coated with a slow-release antiseptic agent, gentomycin, which is released from a matrix of non-toxic methacrylate, thus minimising the possibility of infection. Darts are kept in sterile containers until use. SUCTION CUP METHOD Suction-cup attachment requires the same level of close approach as satellite tagging, as the tag must be physically attached using a 5m handheld pole. However, no physical wound is incurred by the whale. Tags are retrieved when the cups' suction is broken; the tags then float to the surface and emit a VHF radio signal which is tracked until recovery. TISSUE BIOPSY Close approaches (<20m) are required for biopsy, and delivery is likely to be by Paxarm pneumatic gun.

Data Distribution Rules: Sensitive Dataset: Data supplied to approved clients via DEWBioDataRequests@sa.gov.au
Project Basis: Fauna : Baseline Survey of flora and/or fauna - Standard Biol Survey of SA survey methodology not used.
Fauna : Monitoring - Fauna/Ecosystem (ie species records - usually re-visited for ongoing monitoring) NOTE:NON Std Svy methodology may have been used.
Fauna : Climate and climate change related investigations
Information Authority: Blue Whale Study Inc.