Main Hawaiian Archipelago IMMA

Area Size

61 950 km2

Qualifying Species and Criteria

Spinner dolphin – Stenella longirostris

Criterion B (1)

Common bottlenose dolphin – Tursiops truncatus

Criterion B (1)

Pygmy killer whale – Feresa attenuata

Criterion B (1)   

Short-finned pilot whale – Globicephala macrorhynchus

Criterion B (1)

Dwarf sperm whale – Kogia sima

Criterion B (1)

Blainville’s beaked whale – Mesoplodon densirostris

Criterion B (1)

Melon headed whales – Peponocephala electra 

Criterion B (1)

Pantropical spotted dolphin – Stenella attenuata

Criterion B (i)

Rough toothed dolphin – Steno bredanensis

Criterion B (1)

Cuvier’s beaked whale – Ziphius cavirostris

Criterion B (1)

False killer whale – Pseudorca crassidens

Criterion A; B (1)

Humpback whale – Megaptera novaeangliae

Criterion C (1)

Marine Mammal Diversity 

Criterion D (2)

Neomonachus schauinslandi, Stenella coeruleoalba, Steno bredanensis, Grampus griseus, Kogia breviceps, Physeter macrocephalus, Indopacetus pacificus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, Balaenoptera borealis

Summary

There is evidence of resident populations of at least 11 cetacean species within the Main Hawaiian Archipelago IMMA.  Most of the key habitats for each of these species have been designated as Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) (Baird et al., 2015), with humpback whales separately protected in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary. The IMMA encompasses the home ranges for the following small, resident, island-associated cetacean species: Tursiops truncatus, Feresa attenuata, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Kogia sima, Mesoplodon densirostris, Peponocephala electra, Stenella attenuata, Stenella longirostris, Steno bredanensis, Ziphius cavirostris, Pseudorca crassidens, and includes important reproductive habitat for the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae.

Description of Qualifying Criteria

Criterion A – Species or Population Vulnerability

The main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale population is listed as ‘endangered’ under the US Endangered Species Act (Carretta et al., 2016).

Criterion B: Distribution and Abundance

Sub-criterion B1: Small and Resident Populations

Within this IMMA there are one or more small, resident, island-associated cetacean populations, recognised as U.S. Biologically Important Areas (BIAs), around the main Hawaiian Islands for each of the following 11 species: Tursiops truncatus, Feresa attenuata, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Kogia sima, Mesoplodon densirostris, Peponocephala electra, Stenella attenuata, Stenella longirostris, Steno bredanensis, Ziphius cavirostris and Pseudorca crassidens (Baird et al., 2013, 2015; Baird, 2016, Carretta et al., 2016).

Criterion C: Key Life Cycle Activities

Sub-criterion C1: Reproductive Areas

This IMMA encompasses the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary, which is defined as an important reproductive area for humpback whales. Many thousands of humpback whales use the Hawaiian waters as calving and mating areas during the winter.

Criterion D: Special Attributes  

Sub-criterion D2: Diversity

There is evidence of resident populations of at least 12 marine mammal species within the Main Hawaiian Archipelago IMMA, including (those not mentioned above already) Neomonachus schauinslandi, Stenella coeruleoalba, Steno bredanensis, Grampus griseus, Kogia breviceps, Physeter macrocephalus, Indopacetus pacificus, Balaenoptera physalus, balaenoptera acutorostrata, Balaenoptera borealis.

Supporting Information

Albertson, G.R., Baird, R.W., Oremus, M., Poole, M.M., Martien, K.K. and Baker, C.S. 2016. Staying close to home? Genetic differentiation of rough-toothed dolphins near oceanic islands in the central Pacific Ocean. Conservation Genetics doi: 10.1007/s10592-016-0880-z

Aschettino, J. M., Baird, R. W., Mcsweeney, D. J., Webster, D. L., Schorr, G. S., Huggins, J. L., Martien, K. K., Mahaffy, S. D. and West, K. L. 2012. Population structure of melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra) in the Hawaiian Archipelago: Evidence of multiple populations based on photo identification. Marine Mammal Science, 28, 666-689.

Baird, R.W. 2016. The lives of Hawai‘i’s dolphins and whales: natural history and conservation. University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Baird, R. W., Cholewiak, D., Webster, D. L., Schorr, G. S., Mahaffy, S. D., Curtice, C. and Van Parijs, S. M. 2015. 5. Biologically Important Areas for cetaceans within U.S. waters – Hawai’i region. In S. M. Van Parijs, C. Curtice, and M. C. Ferguson (Eds.), Biologically Important Areas for cetaceans within U.S. waters (pp. 54-64). Aquatic Mammals (Special Issue), 41(1). 128 pp.

Baird, R. W., Webster, D. L., Aschettino, J. M., Schorr, G. S. and Mcsweeney, D. J. 2013. Odontocete cetaceans around the main Hawaiian Islands: habitat use and relative abundance from small-boat sighting surveys. Aquatic Mammals, 39, 253-269.

Beniot-Bird, K. J. and Au, W. W. L. 2003. Prey dynamics affect foraging by a pelagic predator (Stenella longirostris) over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 53, 364-373.

Benoit-Bird, K. J. and Au, W. W. L. 2009. Cooperative prey herding by the pelagic dolphin, Stenella longirostris. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 125, 125-137.

Carretta, J. V., Oleson, E., Baker, J., Weller, D. W., Lang, A. R., Forney, K. A., M.M, M., Hanson, B., Orr, A. J., Huber, H., Lowry, M. S., Barlow, J., Moore, J. E., Lynch, D., Carswell, L. and Brownwell Jr, R. L. 2016. US Pacific Marine Mammal Stock Assessments 2015. NOAA Technical Memorandum

Heenehan, H., Basurto, X., Bejder, L., Tyne, J., Higham, J. E. S. and Johnston, D. W. 2015. Using Ostrom’s common-pool resource theory to build toward an integrated ecosystem-based sustainable cetacean tourism system in Hawai`i. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23, 536-556.

Heenehan, H. L., Johnston, D. W., Van Parijs, S. M., Bejder, L. and Tyne, J. A. 2016a. Acoustic response of Hawaiian spinner dolphins to human disturbance. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 27, 010001.

Heenehan, H. L., Tyne, J. A., Bejder, L., Van Parijs, S. M. and Johnston, D. W. 2016b. Passive acoustic monitoring of coastally associated Hawaiian spinner dolphins, Stenella longirostris, ground-truthed through visual surveys. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 140, 206-215.

Heenehan, H. L., Van Parijs, S. M., Bejder, L., Tyne, J. A. and Johnston, D. W. 2017a. Differential effects of human activity on Hawaiian spinner dolphins in their resting bays. Global Ecology and Conservation, 10, 60-69.

Heenehan, H. L., Van Parijs, S. M., Bejder, L., Tyne, J. A. and Johnston, D. W. 2017b. Using acoustics to prioritize management decisions to protect coastal dolphins: A case study using Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Marine Policy, 75, 84-90.

Martien, K. K., Baird, R. W., Hedrick, N. M., Gorgone, A. M., Thieleking, J. L., Mcsweeney, D. J., Robertson, K. M. and Webster, D. L. 2012. Population structure of island-associated dolphins: Evidence from mitochondrial and microsatellite markers for common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) around the main Hawaiian Islands. Marine Mammal Science, 28, 208-232.

NOAA 2016. Protective Regulations for Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act 81 FR 57854 080302361-6677-01.

Norris, K. S., Würsig, B., Wells, S. and Würsig, M. 1994. The Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press.

Thorne, L. H., Johnston, D. W., Urban, D. L., Tyne, J., Bejder, L., Baird, R. W., Yin, S., Rickards, S. H., Deakos, M. H., Mobley, J. R., Jr., Pack, A. A. and Chapla Hill, M. 2012. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. PLoS ONE, 7, e43167.

Tyne, J. A. 2015. A scientific foundation for informed management decisions: Quantifying the abundance, important habitat and cumulative exposure of the Hawaii Island spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) stock to human activities. PhD, Murdoch University.

Tyne, J. A., Johnston, D. W., Christiansen, F. and Bejder, L. 2017. Temporally and spatially partitioned behaviours of spinner dolphins: implications for resilience to human disturbance. Royal Society Open Science, 4.

Tyne, J. A., Johnston, D. W., Rankin, R., Loneragan, N. R. and Bejder, L. 2015. The importance of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat: Implications for management doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12434. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52, 621-630.

Tyne, J. A., Loneragan, N. R., Johnston, D. W., Pollock, K. H., Williams, R. and Bejder, L. 2016. Evaluating monitoring methods for cetaceans. Biological Conservation, 201, 252-260.

Tyne, J. A., Pollock, K. H., Johnston, D. W. and Bejder, L. 2014. Abundance and Survival Rates of the Hawai’i Island Associated Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) Stock. PLoS ONE, 9, e86132.

Wolanski, E. and Hamner, W. M. 1988. Topographically controlled fronts in the ocean and their biological influence. Science, 241, 177-181.

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