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Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems$
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James Estes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248847

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248847.001.0001

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Worldwide Distribution and Abundance of Killer Whales

Worldwide Distribution and Abundance of Killer Whales

(p.145) Twelve Worldwide Distribution and Abundance of Killer Whales
Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems



University of California Press

This chapter provides a review of the published literature on worldwide killer whale population structure, abundance, distribution, and known prey. It discusses differences in the methods that have been used to identify and assess killer whale populations, including sighting and whaling records, photo-identification methods, mark-recapture estimates, and distance sampling methods from shipboard and aerial platforms. Each method has limitations and strengths and provides somewhat different information on population size, structure, and distribution. When combined within a single region, these sources can complement one another to provide a clearer picture of killer whale biology; however, taken individually, they make comparisons between regions difficult.

Keywords:   killer whale biology, whaling records, mark-recapture estimates, distance sampling methods, photo-identification

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