Presentation Title

Environmental Factors and Ship Traffic Density Influencing Orca Habitat Preference in the Salish Sea

Session Title

General Habitat Topics

Conference Track

Habitat

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

This study examines resident and transient killer whales in the Puget Sound, and the environmental and anthropogenic factors which may influence their behavior and habitat preferences. By utilizing georeferenced data of killer whale sightings in the Puget Sound over the last twenty years, and analyzing it in ArcGIS, it is possible to generate geospatial and temporal correlations with numerical fluctuations in the populations of dietary species, tide and current data, sea surface temperature and seismic anomalies. Changes in killer whale habitat selection over time were also compared to evolving vessel traffic activity in the Salish Sea overall. The findings of this study are designed to illuminate changes in killer whale habitat selection preference over the last two decades, and correlate these changes with physical, environmental, and anthropogenic phenomena.

Comments

Authors: Coast Guard Academy Cadets 1/c Hailey Thompson & 1/c Sheila Dutt, Monika Wieland,

LT Christopher Verlinden

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Environmental Factors and Ship Traffic Density Influencing Orca Habitat Preference in the Salish Sea

2016SSEC

This study examines resident and transient killer whales in the Puget Sound, and the environmental and anthropogenic factors which may influence their behavior and habitat preferences. By utilizing georeferenced data of killer whale sightings in the Puget Sound over the last twenty years, and analyzing it in ArcGIS, it is possible to generate geospatial and temporal correlations with numerical fluctuations in the populations of dietary species, tide and current data, sea surface temperature and seismic anomalies. Changes in killer whale habitat selection over time were also compared to evolving vessel traffic activity in the Salish Sea overall. The findings of this study are designed to illuminate changes in killer whale habitat selection preference over the last two decades, and correlate these changes with physical, environmental, and anthropogenic phenomena.