Early spring distribution of bowhead whales balaena mysticetus in the bering sea

Brueggeman, J.J.

Journal of Wildlife Management 46(4): 1036-1044


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-541X
Accession: 005206924

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Helicopter surveys were conducted of the pack ice in the northwestern Bering Sea during early spring 1979 to determine bowhead whale (B. mysticetus) distribution. Bowheads (109) were observed in the approximately 15,000 km2 surveyed. Whale use of the pack ice was disproportionately highest in the 3-4 okta ice concentration category and lowest in the 7-8 okta category; the 1-2 and 5-6 okta categories were used in proportion to their availability. The association of whales with these ice concentration categories appeared to suggest the possible location of a spring migration corridor. No calves were observed during the study.