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Thursday, June 14, 2018

RESEARCH: New publication: Right whale distribution shift and extinction risk

Meyer-Gutbrod, E.L., C.H. Greene, and K.T.A. Davies. 2018. Marine species range shifts necessitate advanced policy planning: The case of the North Atlantic right whale. Oceanography31(2), https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2018.209.

Rising global temperatures are causing a poleward shift in species distribution. Range shift velocities are higher in the marine environment, with observed rates of 30–130 km per decade. Both protected and exploited species will be at risk if marine species management policies are not structured to anticipate these range shifts. The 2017 mass mortality event of the North Atlantic right whale showcases the detrimental impact of unanticipated climate-mediated behavior in a species protected by geographically and seasonally fixed policies. Based on the results of a demographic capture-​recapture model, right whales may face extinction in fewer than 30 years unless protective policies are expanded to cover their shifting distribution. Increased support of long-term monitoring programs paired with environmental modeling research is critical to developing more proactive conservation management strategies and preventing further ecological crises.

Meyer-Gutbrod, E.L., C.H. Greene, and K.T.A. Davies. 2018. Marine species range shifts necessitate advanced policy planning: The case of the North Atlantic right whale. Oceanography31(2), https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2018.209.

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Erin Meyer-Gutbrod, Ph.D.
http://meyer-gutbrod.weebly.com/

Marine Science Institute; Rm 3405
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150

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