Fecal glucocorticoids and anthropogenic injury and mortality in North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glaciallis


Rolland, R.M., McLellan, W.A., Moore, M.J., Harms, C.A., Burgess, E.A. and K. Hunt



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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA rrolland@neaq.org

The fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGC) concentrations from right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) chronically entangled in fishing gears or live stranded were compared to right whales quickly killed by vessels and healthy right whales. The study aimed to characterize fGC responses to acute vs. chronic stress. fGCs in entangled whales and stranded whales were significantly higher than in whales killed by vessels and healthy whales. Serum cortisol and corticosterone in a live stranded whale were much higher than values reported in other cetaceans.