Beluga, Delphinapterus leucas, Group Sizes in Cook Inlet, Alaska, Based on Observer Counts and Aerial Video

Hobbs, Roderick C. and Waite, Janice M. and Rugh , David J. (2000) Beluga, Delphinapterus leucas, Group Sizes in Cook Inlet, Alaska, Based on Observer Counts and Aerial Video. Marine Fisheries Review, 62(3), pp. 46-59.

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Official URL: http://spo.nwr.noaa.gov/mfr623/mfr6236.pdf

Abstract

Belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, groups were videotaped concurrent to observer counts during annual NMFS aerial surveys of Cook Inlet, Alaska, from 1994 to 2000. The videotapes provided permanent records of whale groups that could be examined and compared to group size estimates ade by aerial observers.Examination of the video recordings resulted in 275 counts of 79 whale groups. The McLaren formula was used to account for whales missed while they were underwater (average correction factor 2.03; SD=0.64). A correction for whales missed due to video resolution was developed by using a second, paired video camera that magnified images relative to the standard video. This analysis showed that some whales were missed either because their image size fell below the resolution of hte standard video recording or because two whales surfaced so close to each other that their images appeared to be one large whale. The correction method that resulted depended on knowing the average whale image size in the videotapes. Image sizes were measured for 2,775 whales from 275 different passes over whale groups. Corrected group sizes were calcualted as the product of the original count from video, the correction factor for whales missed underwater, and the correction factor for whales missed due to video resolution (averaged 1.17; SD=0.06). A regression formula was developed to estimate group sizes from aerial observer counts; independent variables were the aerial counts and an interaction term relative to encounter rate (whales per second during the counting of a group), which were regressed against the respective group sizes as calculated from the videotapes. Significant effects of encounter rate, either positive or negative, were found for several observers. This formula was used to estimate group size when video was not available. The estimated group sizes were used in the annual abundance estimates.

Item Type: Article
Title: Beluga, Delphinapterus leucas, Group Sizes in Cook Inlet, Alaska, Based on Observer Counts and Aerial Video
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Hobbs, Roderick C.
Waite, Janice M.
Rugh , David J.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 62
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 46-59
Date: 2000
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 9770
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 20:26
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2014 19:30
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9770

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