Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) in the Mediterranean Sea: anomalous event or early sign of climate-driven distribution change?

  title={Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) in the Mediterranean Sea: anomalous event or early sign of climate-driven distribution change?},
  author={Aviad P. Scheinin and Dani Kerem and Colin D. MacLeod and Manel Gazo and Carla A. Chicote and Manuel Castellote},
  journal={Marine Biodiversity Records},
On 8 May 2010, a gray whale was sighted off the Israeli Mediterranean shore and twenty-two days later, the same individual was sighted in Spanish Mediterranean waters. Since gray whales were last recorded in the North Atlantic in the 1700s, these sightings prompted much speculation about this whale's population origin. Here, we consider three hypotheses for the origin of this individual: (1) it represents a vagrant individual from the larger extant population of gray whales found in the eastern… 

Figures from this paper

Observation of the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) in the Laptev Sea
The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) as an Arctic species with seasonal migration may serve an indicator for climate changes in the Arctic (Moore and Huntington, 2008).
Forgotten Mediterranean calving grounds of grey and North Atlantic right whales: evidence from Roman archaeological records
The evidence that these two coastal and highly accessible species were present along the shores of the Roman Empire raises the hypothesis that they may have formed the basis of a forgotten whaling industry, and significantly extend the known range of the Atlantic grey whale.
What Happened to Gray Whales during the Pleistocene? The Ecological Impact of Sea-Level Change on Benthic Feeding Areas in the North Pacific Ocean
This work reconstructed gray whale carrying capacity fluctuations during the past 120,000 years by quantifying gray whale feeding habitat availability using bathymetric data for the North Pacific Ocean, and proposes that gray whales survived the disappearance of their primary feeding ground by employing generalist filter-feeding modes, similar to the resident gray whales found between northern Washington State and Vancouver Island.
Omura's whale off West Africa: autochthonous population or inter-oceanic vagrant in the Atlantic Ocean?
Beach surveys remain a useful tool to assess trends in cetacean species composition, to detect unusual mortality events and to help assess the impacts of anthropogenic activities in remote areas where the marine mammal fauna is poorly known and where fisheries effort is high.
Critically endangered western gray whales migrate to the eastern North Pacific
Satellite-monitored tags attached to seven Western North Pacific gray whales indicate that the population identity of whales off Sakhalin Island needs further evaluation and provides evidence of navigational skills across open water that break the near-shore north–south migratory paradigm of EGWs.
Climate impacts on transocean dispersal and habitat in gray whales from the Pleistocene to 2100
These first genetic data for Atlantic gray whales suggest that two recent sightings of gray whales in the Atlantic may represent the beginning of the expansion of this species' habitat beyond its currently realized range.
A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Atlantic Ocean, Svalbard, Norway, August 2012
A white humpback whale was observed on several occasions off Svalbard, Norway, during August 2012; the rarity of observations of such white individuals suggests that they are born at very low frequencies or that the ontogenetic survival rates of the colour morph are low.
A bowhead whale in the eastern North Pacific
Abstract Bowhead whales occur in the Arctic year‐round. Their movements are largely correlated with seasonal expansions and reductions of sea ice, but a few recent extralimital sightings have


Gray Whale ( Eschrichtius robustus ) Sightings in Eastern Beaufort Sea
Gray whales ( Eschrichtius robustus , Lilljeborg) migrate north each spring to feeding grounds, mainly in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. Regularly a few individuals travel as far northeast as Point
Gray whale distribution relative to forage habitat in the northern Bering Sea: current conditions and retrospective summary
A retrospective summary of gray whale and benthic fauna distribution and abundance was undertaken and available measures of biomass suggest a downturn in amphipod productivity from 1983 to 2000, when estimates ofgray whale popu...
Although the Bering and Chukchi seas are commonly cited as the principal summer feeding grounds of Eastern North Pacific (ENP) gray whales (e.g., Highsmith et al. in press, Swartz et al. 2006),
Gray whale Eschrichtius robustus population and stock identity
The available data strongly indicate that western gray whales represent a population geographically isolated from eastern gray whales and therefore that the western and eastern populations should be treated as separate management units.
Seasonal and annual variation in body condition of western gray whales off northeastern Sakhalin Island, Russia
The western gray whale population (Eschrichtius robustus) is critically endangered and its potential for recovery is uncertain. Along with other natural and anthropogenic threats, western gray whales
Global Invasions of Marine and Estuarine Habitats by Non-Indigenous Species: Mechanisms, Extent, and Consequences'
It is clear that non-indigenous species are a significant force of change in marine and especially estuarine communities globally and studies of marine communities that do not include NIS are increasingly incomplete.
A quarter of a world away: female humpback whale moves 10 000 km between breeding areas
This report reports on a female humpback whale first identified by natural markings off Brazil that subsequently was photographed off Madagascar, whose minimum travel distance is greater than 9800 km, more than twice the species' typical seasonal migratory distance and the longest documented movement by a mammal.
Foraging patterns of gray whales in central Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, Canada
It is shown that gray whales are dynamic and selective foragers that switch prey and foraging tactics rapidly to take advantage of short-term avail- ability of energy.
Quantifying the sensitivity of Arctic marine mammals to climate-induced habitat change.
Based on a pan-Arctic quantitative index of species sensitivity to climate change, the hooded seal, the polar bear, and the narwhal appear to be the three most sensitive Arctic marine mammal species, primarily due to reliance on sea ice and specialized feeding.