Author Posting. © The Authors, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of NRC Research Press for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 66 (2009): 1399-1403, doi:10.1139/F09-115.
Despite many years of study and protection, the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) remains on the brink of extinction. There is a crucial gap in our understanding of their habitat use in the migratory corridor along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Here, we characterize habitat suitability in migrating right whales in relation to depth, distance to shore, and the recently enacted ship speed regulations near major ports. We find that the range of suitable habitat exceeds previous estimates and that, as compared with the enacted 20 nautical mile buffer, the originally proposed 30 nautical mile buffer would protect more habitat for this critically endangered species.
This work was supported in part by SERDP/DoD grant
W912HQ-04-C-0011 to A.J. Read and P.N. Halpin as well
as a James B. Duke Fellowship and a Harvey L. Smith Dissertation
Year Fellowship to R.S. Schick.
Woods Hole Open Access Server