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Using hierarchical bayes to understand movement, health, and survival in the endangered north atlantic right whale.

Schick RS, Kraus SD, Rolland RM, Knowlton AR, Hamilton PK, Pettis HM, Kenney RD, Clark JS - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: We also included the effect of reproductive status and entanglement status on health.The resulting time series of individual health highlight both normal variations in health status and how anthropogenic stressors can affect the health and, ultimately, the survival of individuals.This modeling approach provides information for monitoring of health in right whales, as well as a framework for integrating observational data at the level of individuals up through the health status of the population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America. rss5@st-andrews.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Body condition is an indicator of health, and it plays a key role in many vital processes for mammalian species. While evidence of individual body condition can be obtained, these observations provide just brief glimpses into the health state of the animal. An analytical framework is needed for understanding how health of animals changes over space and time.Through knowledge of individual health we can better understand the status of populations. This is particularly important in endangered species, where the consequences of disruption of critical biological functions can push groups of animals rapidly toward extinction. Here we built a state-space model that provides estimates of movement, health, and survival. We assimilated 30+ years of photographic evidence of body condition and three additional visual health parameters in individual North Atlantic right whales, together with survey data, to infer the true health status as it changes over space and time. We also included the effect of reproductive status and entanglement status on health. At the population level, we estimated differential movement patterns in males and females. At the individual level, we estimated the likely animal locations each month. We estimated the relationship between observed and latent health status. Observations of body condition, skin condition, cyamid infestation on the blowholes, and rake marks all provided measures of the true underlying health. The resulting time series of individual health highlight both normal variations in health status and how anthropogenic stressors can affect the health and, ultimately, the survival of individuals. This modeling approach provides information for monitoring of health in right whales, as well as a framework for integrating observational data at the level of individuals up through the health status of the population. This framework can be broadly applied to a variety of systems - terrestrial and marine - where sporadic observations of individuals exist.

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Health time series for whale #1245.Photographic observations of H are color and size coded as in Figure 8. Additional health observations H, include periods of entanglement, and calving status. #1245 has experienced several periods of compromised health, but has recovered from each, and is currently imputed to be alive.
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pone-0064166-g009: Health time series for whale #1245.Photographic observations of H are color and size coded as in Figure 8. Additional health observations H, include periods of entanglement, and calving status. #1245 has experienced several periods of compromised health, but has recovered from each, and is currently imputed to be alive.

Mentions: At the population level, health is positively linked to health at the previous time, as well as weakly positively and negatively linked to linear and quadratic terms for age (Table 1). We chose four individuals to illustrate the output from the model, because these individuals exhibited a broad range of health trajectories. These included: 1) an adult male (#1333) with a multi-year decline in health followed by a known death (Figure 8); 2) a reproductively active female (#1245) with a long and detailed sighting history (Figure 9); 3) a juvenile female (#3911) with a short sighting history and a severe entanglement leading to death (Figure 10); and 4) a rarely seen adult male (#1077) with a sparse sighting history (Figure 11).


Using hierarchical bayes to understand movement, health, and survival in the endangered north atlantic right whale.

Schick RS, Kraus SD, Rolland RM, Knowlton AR, Hamilton PK, Pettis HM, Kenney RD, Clark JS - PLoS ONE (2013)

Health time series for whale #1245.Photographic observations of H are color and size coded as in Figure 8. Additional health observations H, include periods of entanglement, and calving status. #1245 has experienced several periods of compromised health, but has recovered from each, and is currently imputed to be alive.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3675107&req=5

pone-0064166-g009: Health time series for whale #1245.Photographic observations of H are color and size coded as in Figure 8. Additional health observations H, include periods of entanglement, and calving status. #1245 has experienced several periods of compromised health, but has recovered from each, and is currently imputed to be alive.
Mentions: At the population level, health is positively linked to health at the previous time, as well as weakly positively and negatively linked to linear and quadratic terms for age (Table 1). We chose four individuals to illustrate the output from the model, because these individuals exhibited a broad range of health trajectories. These included: 1) an adult male (#1333) with a multi-year decline in health followed by a known death (Figure 8); 2) a reproductively active female (#1245) with a long and detailed sighting history (Figure 9); 3) a juvenile female (#3911) with a short sighting history and a severe entanglement leading to death (Figure 10); and 4) a rarely seen adult male (#1077) with a sparse sighting history (Figure 11).

Bottom Line: We also included the effect of reproductive status and entanglement status on health.The resulting time series of individual health highlight both normal variations in health status and how anthropogenic stressors can affect the health and, ultimately, the survival of individuals.This modeling approach provides information for monitoring of health in right whales, as well as a framework for integrating observational data at the level of individuals up through the health status of the population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America. rss5@st-andrews.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Body condition is an indicator of health, and it plays a key role in many vital processes for mammalian species. While evidence of individual body condition can be obtained, these observations provide just brief glimpses into the health state of the animal. An analytical framework is needed for understanding how health of animals changes over space and time.Through knowledge of individual health we can better understand the status of populations. This is particularly important in endangered species, where the consequences of disruption of critical biological functions can push groups of animals rapidly toward extinction. Here we built a state-space model that provides estimates of movement, health, and survival. We assimilated 30+ years of photographic evidence of body condition and three additional visual health parameters in individual North Atlantic right whales, together with survey data, to infer the true health status as it changes over space and time. We also included the effect of reproductive status and entanglement status on health. At the population level, we estimated differential movement patterns in males and females. At the individual level, we estimated the likely animal locations each month. We estimated the relationship between observed and latent health status. Observations of body condition, skin condition, cyamid infestation on the blowholes, and rake marks all provided measures of the true underlying health. The resulting time series of individual health highlight both normal variations in health status and how anthropogenic stressors can affect the health and, ultimately, the survival of individuals. This modeling approach provides information for monitoring of health in right whales, as well as a framework for integrating observational data at the level of individuals up through the health status of the population. This framework can be broadly applied to a variety of systems - terrestrial and marine - where sporadic observations of individuals exist.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus