Beluga whales aerial survey conducted by Alaska Fisheries Scientific Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1993-06-02 to 2014-06-12 (NCEI Accession 0133936)

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The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has conducted aerial counts of Cook Inlet beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from 1993 to 2014 (excluding 2013). Nearly all counts were conducted during the month of June. The routine nature of these counts and the consistency in research protocol lend themselves to inter-annual trend analyses. Beginning in 2005, an aerial survey was added during the month of August to document calving groups within the upper Inlet (north of East and West Foreland). Research protocol has been based on paired observers on the shoreward side of the aircraft and a single observer and computer operator on the offshore side independently searching for marine mammals. Data on environmental conditions, time, location, species, and inclinometer angle were collected for each sighting. The counting protocol included multiple passes near each beluga group while simultaneously collecting video footage. The counting system and observer performance has been tested through paired, independent observational effort. Aerial observer counts are used to calculate median counts for each beluga group to provide a daily index for the population prior to calculating the abundance estimate. Video has been used to count the number of animals in the group to correct for missed animals in the observer counts (perception bias). One video camera had a lens set at a wide angle to view the entire beluga group while the second video camera was zoomed to approximately 10x to magnify a subsample of individual whales in the group. The zoomed video has been used to examine color ratios of white adults relative to smaller and darker juveniles and calves and correct for those individuals missed due to their size or coloration. Aerial counts and video footage of beluga whales provide the fundamental data used to calculate the abundance of and a calving index for the Cook Inlet population. The abundance estimates are applied to trends analyses to determine the status of the stock. Three datasets are included here that contain basic survey data such as latitude, longitude and sightings, as well as the counts of beluga whale groups made by the aerial observers and the results from video analysis from data collected on surveys from 1993-2012, and 2014.
  • Cite as: Kim E. W. Shelden; Christy L. Sims; Kimberly T. Goetz; David J. Rugh; Janice M. Waite; Roderick C. Hobbs (2015). Beluga whales aerial survey conducted by Alaska Fisheries Scientific Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1993-06-02 to 2014-06-12 (NCEI Accession 0133936). Version 3.3. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. [access date]
gov.noaa.nodc:0133936
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Distribution Formats
  • Originator data format
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Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Information Services
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Time Period 1993-06-02 to 2014-06-12
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 61.63
S: 58.82
E: -148.96
W: -154.28
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2015-10-14
  • revision: 2015-11-09
Edition 3.3
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Data Update Frequency As needed
Supplemental Information
Submission Package ID: 2RDY0Y
Citation:
Kim E. W. Shelden, Christy L. Sims, Kimberly T. Goetz, David J. Rugh, Janice M. Waite, Roderick C. Hobbs
Purpose Aerial counts and video footage of beluga whales provide the fundamental data used to calculate the abundance of and a calving index for the Cook Inlet population. The abundance estimates are applied to trends analyses to determine the status of the stock. Results from this study were the basis for adding this distinct population of whales to the list of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.
Use Limitations
  • accessLevel: Public
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: Kim E. W. Shelden; Christy L. Sims; Kimberly T. Goetz; David J. Rugh; Janice M. Waite; Roderick C. Hobbs (2015). Beluga whales aerial survey conducted by Alaska Fisheries Scientific Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1993-06-02 to 2014-06-12 (NCEI Accession 0133936). Version 3.3. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. [access date]
Cited Authors
  • Kim E. W. Shelden
  • Christy L. Sims
  • Kimberly T. Goetz
  • David J. Rugh
  • Janice M. Waite
  • Roderick C. Hobbs
Collaborators
  • Christy Sims
  • Roderick Hobbs
Contributors
Resource Providers
Points of Contact
  • Kim Shelden
Publishers
Theme keywords NODC DATA TYPES THESAURUS NODC OBSERVATION TYPES THESAURUS WMO_CategoryCode
  • oceanography
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science and Services Keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > CLOUDS > CLOUD PROPERTIES > CLOUD FREQUENCY
  • EARTH SCIENCE > BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION
  • EARTH SCIENCE > BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES
  • EARTH SCIENCE > BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES > MAMMALS
  • EARTH SCIENCE > BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES > MAMMALS > CETACEANS
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > OCEAN OPTICS
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > OCEAN WAVES > SEA STATE
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NODC > National Oceanographic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NMFS/AFSC/NMML > National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
NODC COLLECTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS
Platform keywords NODC PLATFORM NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • AIRCRAFT
Instrument keywords NODC INSTRUMENT TYPES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • VISUAL OBSERVATIONS
Place keywords NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN > GULF OF ALASKA
Keywords NCEI ACCESSION NUMBER
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Kim E. W. Shelden; Christy L. Sims; Kimberly T. Goetz; David J. Rugh; Janice M. Waite; Roderick C. Hobbs (2015). Beluga whales aerial survey conducted by Alaska Fisheries Scientific Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1993-06-02 to 2014-06-12 (NCEI Accession 0133936). Version 3.3. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. [access date]
Access Constraints
  • NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Fees
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Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • 2015-10-14T13:19:23 - NCEI Accession 0133936 v1.1 was published.
  • 2015-10-30T12:25:29 - NCEI Accession 0133936 was revised and v2.2 was published.
    Rationale: Updates were received for this data set. These updates were copied into the data/0-data/ directory of this accession. These updates may provide additional files or replace obsolete files. This version contains the most complete and up-to-date representation of this archival information package. All of the files received prior to this update are available in the preceding version of this accession.
  • 2015-11-09T15:28:27 - NCEI Accession 0133936 was revised and v3.3 was published.
    Rationale: Updates were received for this data set. These updates were copied into the data/0-data/ directory of this accession. These updates may provide additional files or replace obsolete files. This version contains the most complete and up-to-date representation of this archival information package. All of the files received prior to this update are available in the preceding version of this accession.
Output Datasets
Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • Data Type: LATITUDE (measured); Units: decimal degrees; Observation Type: other; Sampling Instrument: GPS.
  • Data Type: LONGITUDE (measured); Units: decimal degrees; Observation Type: other; Sampling Instrument: GPS.
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • GPS
  • visual observation
Platform
  • AIRCRAFT
Last Modified: 2018-03-06T13:21:39
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