PATTERNS OF BOWHEAD WHALE DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE NEAR BARROW, ALASKA, IN FALL 1982-1989

Authors


Abstract

Although the distribution and relative abundance of bowhead whales varied annually within the fall whaling area near Barrow, Alaska, the distance of whales from shore was not significantly different among years 1982-1989 (ANOVA, F= 0.5, P > 0.5). The minimum detectable distance for the ANOVA was 12 km (α= 0.05, β= 0.1). Annual median distance of random bowhead sightings from shore ranged from 23 to 39 km, with an eight-year median of 32 km. Highest annual bowhead sighting rates were positively associated with the proportion of feeding whales, indicating that whale feeding opportunities may affect the availability of whales within hunting range each fall.

Ancillary