June 12, 2024

Rehabilitation and Homing Behavior of a Satellite-Tracked Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)


T. David Schofield, Greg Early, Frederick W. Wenzel, Keith Matassa, Cindi Perry, Gerry Beekman, Brent Whitaker, Erika Gebhard, Wendy Walton, and Mark Swingle


Abstract: A yearling male harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) stranded alive on the shores of Avon, North Carolina, and was rehabilitated for nearly 10 mo at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the University of New England. The porpoise was released over 1,204 km north of its original stranding location and was tracked for 63 d with a satellite tag. The porpoise remained in the Gulf of Maine for 3 wks before moving south along the edge of the continental shelf, returning near to its original stranding site on the coast of North Carolina. Data suggests that the animal was thriving at the time of tag failure, 63 d after release. In this paper, the rehabilitation, release, tagging, tracking, and homing behavior (returning to a previously occupied home range or activity area) are described for this Northwest Atlantic harbor porpoise.

Key Words: satellite tag, rehabilitation, homing, harbor porpoise, Phocoena phocoena

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.34.1.2008.1

Page Numbers: 1-8

Info SKU: Vol__34__Iss__1__Schofield_et_al Category: