Accession Number : ADA317678

Title :   Final Report from the Right Whale Necropsy Assessment Team. Results, Analysis, and Recommendations.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL COMMAND CONTROL AND OCEAN SURVEILLANCE CENTER RDT AND E DIV SAN DIEGO CA

Personal Author(s) : Ridgway, Sam H.

PDF Url : ADA317678

Report Date : OCT 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 111

Abstract : As many as six endangered right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, out of a western north Atlantic population estimated to number only about 300, were reported and/or found dead in their southern breeding range in the Atlantic Ocean along Georgia and Florida coasts during January and February 1996. There was suspicion by the press, public, and whale biologists studying the species that the deaths were linked to U.S. Navy operations. In view of concern within and outside the Government, the Chief of Naval Operations requested an evaluation of the four available necropsy reports. On 19 April 1996, a panel of scientific experts was convened in Washington, DC, at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). This document presents results, analysis, and recommendations of the panel. After analyzing the four avallable reports, viewing videotapes, and listening to the descriptions of the necropsy surgeons, the panel concluded that the cause of death could not be conclusively determined in three of the four cases. One animal had suffered massive, acute trauma, probably inflicted by a large moving, unidentified vessel. It was generally agreed that the protocol followed for such mortalities in the future is critical to ensure that better material will be available for evaluation.

Descriptors :   *COASTAL REGIONS, *ENDANGERED SPECIES, *DEATH, *UNDERWATER SOUND, *WHALES, REPORTS, POPULATION, NAVAL OPERATIONS, ANIMALS, PATHOLOGY, ATLANTIC OCEAN, NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN, SOUTH(DIRECTION), VIEWERS, FLORIDA, TRAUMA, AUTOPSY, GEORGIA, VIDEO TAPES, BIOLOGISTS, BREEDING.

Subject Categories : Biology
      Anatomy and Physiology
      Biological Oceanography
      Acoustics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE