Abstract: The sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) within the Kaikoura Canyon (New Zealand) have a regular spatio-temporal pattern between their time spent at the surface and the time diving for food. We built a spatio-temporal model that tracks the identity of individuals from a dataset of sperm whale sightings collected from a shore-based station. The model was built on the hypothesis that an individual should surface inside a spatio-temporal buffer of 30 to 60 min and 3 km around its last dive position. In order to validate the model, we correlated photo-identification of sperm whales collected from a boat-based station with the predictive identification made by the model. With the simultaneously recorded shore- and boat-based observations, a total of 160 sightings of sperm whales were made. We found that on average, 88% of our observed (boat-based) data were correctly predicted by the model.
Key Words: shore-based station, sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, spatio-temporal, diving behavior
Document Type: Research article
DOI: 10.1578/AM.40.4.2014.321
Page Numbers: 321-328

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