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Title: Abundance estimates for management of endangered false killer whales in the main Hawaiian Islands
Short Name: Abundance of main Hawaiian Island false killer whales
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2018-08-29

Effectively using the best available data to meet management mandates for endangered populations is a common conservation challenge. False killer whales Pseudorca crassidens occur as 3 distinct populations in Hawaiian waters, including a resident main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) population that is endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. A longitudinal, photo-identification dataset of 171 distinctive individuals and open mark-recapture methods were used to estimate current MHI false killer whale abundance as needed for management of this population. The data are from dedicated and opportunistic surveys conducted from 2000 to 2015 around the MHI and reflect unquantified spatiotemporal biases imposed by necessary sampling constraints. Accounting for temporal variation and especially social group affiliation was important in modeling capture probability. Sensitivity analyses found that the resulting time series of 16 abundance estimates is robust to some forms of sampling variability and bias. However, because the study area was partially sampled each year, the annual abundance estimates apply only to the portion of the population using the sampled area and may underestimate true population abundance. Nonetheless, the resulting estimates and supporting evidence indicate that the MHI false killer whale population is relatively small; for example, only 167 (SE = 23, 95% CI = 128-218) individuals were estimated to have used the sampled area in 2015. Until data are available to estimate or overcome sampling biases, this estimation framework offers a tool for using data that have been regularly collected each year to produce current abundance estimates that are improvements over existing management inputs.

Other Citation Details:

Bradford AL, Baird RW, Mahaffy SD, Gorgone AM and others (2018) Abundance estimates for management of endangered false killer whales in the main Hawaiian Islands. Endang Species Res 36:297-313.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.3354/esr00903


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None abundance
None false killer whales
None Hawaii
None management
None mark-recapture

Physical Location

Organization: Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
City: Honolulu
State/Province: HI
Country: USA

Document Information

Document Type: Journal article
Format: Acrobat Portable Document Format
Status Code: Published

Support Roles


CC ID: 568180
Date Effective From: 2017-05-12
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Bradford, Amanda L
Address: 1845 Wasp Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
Email Address:
Phone: (808)725-5714
Business Hours: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Procedure:

Machine-readable versions of the data used in the manuscript tables and figures has been provided to PIFSC Editorial Services and can also be requested by email from the author. The annual encounter histories of distinctive false killer whales can be requested by email from the author. The raw data from which these encounter histories were made belong to Cascadia Research Collective and are subject to their data access requirements.

Data Access Constraints:

The only restrictions are that the raw identification data that were used to compile the annual encounter histories of distinctive false killer whales belong to Cascadia Research Collective (CRC) and are thus subject to CRC's data access requirements.



CC ID: 568183
URL Type:
Online Resource

Data Quality

Quality Control Procedures Employed:

Strict cataloging and matching protocols were used by Cascadia Research Collective to ensure quality control in matching distinctive false killer whales from photographs. Only high quality photographs (top two quality ratings) were used in the abundance analysis described in this paper.

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 46055
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:46055
Metadata Record Created By: Amanda L Bradford
Metadata Record Created: 2017-05-12 16:21+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2022-08-09 17:11+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2022-05-04
Owner Org: PIFSC
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2022-05-04
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2023-05-04