Predicting Dolhpin & Whale density with Geospatial

Predicting Dolhpin & Whale density with Geospatial

DataSet Animal(s) : Dolhpin, Whale
DataSet Category : Mammals
DataSet Country : Global
DataSet Region : Across the World
DataSet Type : Survey
DataSet Access : Public
DataSet URL :

Cetaceans(Dolhpin & Whale) are protected worldwide but vulnerable to incidental harm from an expanding array of human activities at sea. Pursuant to the urgent need for this knowledge in U.S. waters of the western North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, we integrated aerial and shipboard cetacean surveys conducted by five scientific organizations over 23 years and linked them to environmental data relating to cetacean habitat, such as sea surface temperature and chlorophyll concentration, obtained from satellite remote sensing and ocean models.

Using distance sampling methodology, statistical models of cetacean density are built—the number of individual animals found per square kilometer of area—from environmental variables for 26 species and 3 multi-species guilds, and produced maps showing average density across the modeled region. Depending on the survey data that was available and how well each modeled taxon’s movement patterns were described in the scientific literature, produced either 12 monthly maps or one “year-round” map for each taxon. These are the first cetacean density maps for these regions to be published in the peer-reviewed literature.

DataSet Agency : Marine geospatial ecology laboratory / Duke university

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In Collaboration With: Northeast Fisheries Science Center / Noaa Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center / Noaa Fisheries, Department Of Biology And Marine Biology / Unc Wilmington, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.