The Urban Whale: North Atlantic Right Whales at the Crossroads

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2007 - Nature - 543 pages
3 Reviews

In 1980 a group of scientists censusing marine mammals in the Bay of Fundy was astonished at the sight of 25 right whales. It was, one scientist later recalled, "like finding a brontosaurus in the backyard." Until that time, scientists believed the North Atlantic right whale was extinct or nearly so. The sightings electrified the research community, spurring a quarter century of exploration, which is documented here.

The authors present our current knowledge about the biology and plight of right whales, including their reproduction, feeding, genetics, and endocrinology, as well as fatal run-ins with ships and fishing gear. Employing individual identifications, acoustics, and population models, Scott Kraus, Rosalind Rolland, and their colleagues present a vivid history of this animal, from a once commercially hunted commodity to today's life-threatening challenges of urban waters.

Hunted for nearly a millennium, right whales are now being killed by the ocean commerce that supports our modern way of life. This book offers hope for the eventual salvation of this great whale.

  

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Contents

Right Whales in the Urban Ocean
NearAnnihilation of a Species Right Whaling in the North Atlantic
37
Right Whales Tell Their Own Stories The PhotoIdentification Catalog
73
Surveying for Discovery Science and Management
103
Enormous Carnivores Microscopic Food and a Restaurant Thats Hard to Find
136
High Investment Low Return The Strange Case of Reproduction in Eubalaena Glacialis
170
Right Whales Past and Present as Revealed by Their Genes
198
The Inner Whale Hormones Biotoxins and Parasites
230
The Entangled Lives of Right Whales and Fishermen Can They Coexist?
378
Running the Gauntlet Right Whales and Vessel Strikes
407
Right Whales and Climate Change Facing the Prospect of a Greenhouse Future
434
The Big Picture Modeling Right Whales in Space and Time
458
The Urban Whale Syndrome
486
Permit Information
512
Opportunistic Contributors to the Right Whale Catalog
514
Other Resources
516

External Perspectives on Right Whale Health
271
Acoustic Communication Social Sounds and the Potential Impacts of Noise
308
Listening to Their World Acoustics for Monitoring and Protecting Right Whales in an Urbanized Ocean
331
Right Whale Mortality A Message from the Dead to the Living
356
Acknowledgments
519
Contributors
523
Index
529
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Scott D. Kraus is Vice President for Research at New England Aquarium.

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