Bowhead Whale Feeding in the Beaufort Sea Studies

NSB Project Coordinator J. Craig George, Ph.D.
Collaborators Gay Sheffield (ADF&G), Lloyd Lowry, Lara Horstmann (UAF)
Funding MMS, NSB, ADFG, UAF

Summary:

Stomach content analyses were conducted using samples taken during subsistence harvest of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) during a twenty year period in Barrow, Nuiqsut and Kaktovik, Alaska. Samples are collected under NMFS permit #814-1899-03. The conclusions from this study are:

  • Coastal waters of the entire Alaskan Beaufort Sea are commonly used for feeding by bowhead whales during September-October.
  • This entire coastal region should be considered part of their normal summer-fall feeding range.
  • In the Alaskan Beaufort Sea there are regional and seasonal differences in bowhead whale diet.
  • During spring, feeding by bowheads near Barrow is more common than previously thought.

The results are outlined in the poster below from 2007:

Bowhead Whale Diet Study Continued: Bering Sea to Beaufort Sea (2007-2012)

Poster presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage in 2014.

Publications:

Journal article

Previous articles

  • Lowry, L. F., Frost, K. J., and Burns, J. J. 1978. Food of ringed seals and bowhead whales near Point Barrow. Canadian Field-Naturalist 92(1): 67-70.
  • Lowry, L. F. and Burns, J. J. 1980. Foods utilized by bowhead whales near Barter Island, Alaska, autumn 1979. Marine Fisheries Review 42: 88-91.

Posters

St. Lawrence Island Feeding Project

Principal Investigators J. Craig George, Ph.D.
Collaborators ADF&G (through 2009), Gay Sheffield (UAF-Northwest Campus)
Funding ADFG, MMS

Summary:

Stomach content analyses were conducted using samples taken during subsistence harvest of bowhead whales the fall of 2005 to the spring of 2008 on Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska. Samples are collected under NMFS permit #814-1899-03. Data were compared to previous harvest records (1972-2008).

The results are outlined in the poster below:

Publications:

Banner photo credit: Vicki Beaver

Close Search Window