Killer Whale Foraging Drone Observations - Coastal British Columbia - 2019 & 2020

The Hakai Institute's contribution to the project was to record feeding, social interactions, and provide imagery for identifying and determining the size of the killer whales being studied. The killer whale study was conducted with the partnership of University of British Columbia's Marine Mammal Research Unit. UBC project leads were Sarah Fortune and Andrew Trites.

Permit Information: DFO and UBC animal care permit info (XMMS 6 2019 & A19-0053)

Results and full methodology documentation to be completed after the 2019 & 2020 field seasons.

Research occurred aboard two vessels - the M/V Gikumi (18 m wooden, liveaboard vessel) and the Steller Quest (6 m aluminium hull vessel). The M/V Gikumi was used to collect hydroacoustic data, survey for marine mammals, conduct focal follows and facilitate drone operations. The Steller Quest was principally used for the deployment of suction-cup attached Customizable Animal Tracking Solutions tags (CATs tags) and tracking tagged animals. An overview map (Fig. 1) details the route and areas of concentrated research activity. The main research goal was to collect comparative information about the feeding behaviour of Southern and Northern resident killer whales and the vertical distribution and abundance of their prey (e.g., Chinook salmon).

Datasets: 4k video, GPS track data, flight laser altimeter data. Processed killer whale data are under review.

Overview of the research themes: Focal follows Visual observation of animals were made from the vessel to continuously record their location and behaviour concurrent with the collection of physical oceanographic data (salinity and temperature) and prey data. Hydroacoustics Multi-frequency echosounders were used to collect fine-scale information about the vertical distribution and abundance of encountered prey (e.g., Chinook, Sockeye, Coho). These data will be used to quantitatively assess the quality and quantity of prey in Northern and Southern resident killer whale habitat. Biologgers To record underwater dive patterns and feeding behaviour at depth using a biologer with a high-definition video camera, time-depth recorder, accelerometer and magnetometer, fast acquisition GPS and hydrophone. The tag will be used to kinematically and acoustically determine when and where whales capture their prey and how successful they are at hunting. Drone imagery To record feeding, social interactions, and provide imagery for identifying and determining the size of the killer whales being studied.

Access and Use

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Limitations: Appropriate credit must be given to Hakai Institute and the authors of the dataset.

Data and Resources

Citation

Keywords

Dataset extent

Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Metadata Reference Date(s) August 27, 2021 (Revision)
September 23, 2021 (Publication)
Dataset Reference Date(s) July 29, 2019 (Creation)
December 03, 2020 (Publication)
Frequency of Update As Needed

Responsible Party 1
Name
Hakai Geospatial Technology Team
Affiliation
Hakai Institute
Email
data@hakai.org
Role
  • Custodian
  • Owner
  • Point of Contact
Responsible Party 2
Name
Keith Holmes
Affiliation
Hakai Institute
Role
  • Custodian
  • Point of Contact
  • Processor
Responsible Party 3
Affiliation
Hakai Institute
Email
data@hakai.org
Role
  • Distributor
  • Resource Provider
Responsible Party 4
Affiliation
Hakai Research Institute
Email
data@hakai.org
Role
  • Custodian
  • Distributor

Field Value
Ocean Variables Other
Scope Dataset
Status On Going
Topic Category oceans
Maintenance Note Generated from https://cioos-siooc.github.io/metadata-entry-form
Spatial Extent { "coordinates": [ [ [ -128.79636634, 48.27416613 ], [ -122.64402259, 48.27416613 ], [ -122.64402259, 51.99005865 ], [ -128.79636634, 51.99005865 ], [ -128.79636634, 48.27416613 ] ] ], "type": "Polygon" }
North Bounding Latitude 51.99005865
South Bounding Latitude 48.27416613
East Bounding Longitude -122.64402259
West Bounding Longitude -128.79636634
Temporal Extent
Begin
2019-07-29
End
2020-09-15
Vertical Extent
Min
0.0
Max
0.0
Default Locale English