Influences of underwater bottom topography and morphology on minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) distribution in the Mingan Island, Canada
Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) distribution was derived from a 12 year observation programme in the Mingan Islands (Canada) and related to three geological features of the sea-floor: maximum depth, topography and geomorphology. Minke whale distribution was not uniform nor random in relation to maximum depth and topography, however, no evident trend was found. The most prominent factor was the presence of underwater sand dunes, where significantly more minke whales were observed than on any other bottom types. Because sand dunes are the favoured habitat of the minke whale major prey in the study area, an indirect link between minke whale distribution, geomorphology and substrate type is suggested.
Naud, M.J., B. Long, J.C. Brêthes, and R. Sears. 2003. Influences of underwater bottom topography and morphology on minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) distribution in the Mingan Island, Canada. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 83:889-896.