Life history of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Scottish (UK) waters

JA Learmonth, S Murphy, PL Luque, RJ Reid, IAP Patterson, A Brownlow, HM Ross, JP Barley, MB Santos, GJ Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Life history parameters were determined for stranded and bycaught harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from Scottish (UK) waters (1992–2005). Fetal growth rate was 84.4 mm/mo and mean size at birth was 76.4 cm (range 65–88 cm). Males and females had a similar range of body lengths (65–170 cm and 66–173 cm, respectively), although asymptotic lengths were higher in females than males (approximately 158 cm and 147 cm, respectively). Nonpregnant females were significantly lighter, in relation to their length than males. Maximum estimated age was 20 yr for both sexes. Age at sexual maturity (ASM) was estimated as 4.35 yr in females and 5.00 yr in males. Conception occurred mainly in July and August although reproductively active males were recorded during April to July. Gestation lasted 10– 11 mo, with calving mainly between May and July. Lactating females were recorded during June to November, while small calves with solid food in their stomachs were found mainly during February to May. Estimated pregnancy rate (0.34–0.40) is lower than recorded elsewhere, but is likely underestimated due to the prevalence of mature females of poor health status in the sample. Nevertheless, cetacean strandings can be an essential source of data on demographic parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427 - 1455
Number of pages29
JournalMarine Mammal Science
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 24 Apr 2014

Fingerprint

Phocoena phocoena
life history
lactating females
fetal development
bycatch
health status
pregnancy rate
sexual maturity
body length
calving
stomach
demographic statistics
pregnancy
calves
gender
sampling

Keywords

  • Age
  • Conservation
  • Growth
  • Maturation
  • Mortality
  • Porpoise
  • Reproductive status
  • Scotland
  • Seasonality
  • Strandings

Cite this

Learmonth, JA., Murphy, S., Luque, PL., Reid, RJ., Patterson, IAP., Brownlow, A., ... Pierce, GJ. (2014). Life history of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Scottish (UK) waters. Marine Mammal Science, 30(4), 1427 - 1455. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12130
Learmonth, JA ; Murphy, S ; Luque, PL ; Reid, RJ ; Patterson, IAP ; Brownlow, A ; Ross, HM ; Barley, JP ; Santos, MB ; Pierce, GJ. / Life history of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Scottish (UK) waters. In: Marine Mammal Science. 2014 ; Vol. 30, No. 4. pp. 1427 - 1455.
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Learmonth, JA, Murphy, S, Luque, PL, Reid, RJ, Patterson, IAP, Brownlow, A, Ross, HM, Barley, JP, Santos, MB & Pierce, GJ 2014, 'Life history of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Scottish (UK) waters', Marine Mammal Science, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 1427 - 1455. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12130

Life history of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Scottish (UK) waters. / Learmonth, JA; Murphy, S; Luque, PL; Reid, RJ; Patterson, IAP; Brownlow, A; Ross, HM; Barley, JP; Santos, MB; Pierce, GJ.

In: Marine Mammal Science, Vol. 30, No. 4, 24.04.2014, p. 1427 - 1455.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Life history of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Scottish (UK) waters

AU - Learmonth, JA

AU - Murphy, S

AU - Luque, PL

AU - Reid, RJ

AU - Patterson, IAP

AU - Brownlow, A

AU - Ross, HM

AU - Barley, JP

AU - Santos, MB

AU - Pierce, GJ

PY - 2014/4/24

Y1 - 2014/4/24

N2 - Life history parameters were determined for stranded and bycaught harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from Scottish (UK) waters (1992–2005). Fetal growth rate was 84.4 mm/mo and mean size at birth was 76.4 cm (range 65–88 cm). Males and females had a similar range of body lengths (65–170 cm and 66–173 cm, respectively), although asymptotic lengths were higher in females than males (approximately 158 cm and 147 cm, respectively). Nonpregnant females were significantly lighter, in relation to their length than males. Maximum estimated age was 20 yr for both sexes. Age at sexual maturity (ASM) was estimated as 4.35 yr in females and 5.00 yr in males. Conception occurred mainly in July and August although reproductively active males were recorded during April to July. Gestation lasted 10– 11 mo, with calving mainly between May and July. Lactating females were recorded during June to November, while small calves with solid food in their stomachs were found mainly during February to May. Estimated pregnancy rate (0.34–0.40) is lower than recorded elsewhere, but is likely underestimated due to the prevalence of mature females of poor health status in the sample. Nevertheless, cetacean strandings can be an essential source of data on demographic parameters.

AB - Life history parameters were determined for stranded and bycaught harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from Scottish (UK) waters (1992–2005). Fetal growth rate was 84.4 mm/mo and mean size at birth was 76.4 cm (range 65–88 cm). Males and females had a similar range of body lengths (65–170 cm and 66–173 cm, respectively), although asymptotic lengths were higher in females than males (approximately 158 cm and 147 cm, respectively). Nonpregnant females were significantly lighter, in relation to their length than males. Maximum estimated age was 20 yr for both sexes. Age at sexual maturity (ASM) was estimated as 4.35 yr in females and 5.00 yr in males. Conception occurred mainly in July and August although reproductively active males were recorded during April to July. Gestation lasted 10– 11 mo, with calving mainly between May and July. Lactating females were recorded during June to November, while small calves with solid food in their stomachs were found mainly during February to May. Estimated pregnancy rate (0.34–0.40) is lower than recorded elsewhere, but is likely underestimated due to the prevalence of mature females of poor health status in the sample. Nevertheless, cetacean strandings can be an essential source of data on demographic parameters.

KW - Age

KW - Conservation

KW - Growth

KW - Maturation

KW - Mortality

KW - Porpoise

KW - Reproductive status

KW - Scotland

KW - Seasonality

KW - Strandings

U2 - 10.1111/mms.12130

DO - 10.1111/mms.12130

M3 - Article

VL - 30

SP - 1427

EP - 1455

JO - Marine Mammal Science

JF - Marine Mammal Science

SN - 0824-0469

IS - 4

ER -

Learmonth JA, Murphy S, Luque PL, Reid RJ, Patterson IAP, Brownlow A et al. Life history of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Scottish (UK) waters. Marine Mammal Science. 2014 Apr 24;30(4):1427 - 1455. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12130