Today Cormac Booth is presenting at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Marine Mammal and Biology Program Review. His talk is entitled: PCoD Lite – Using an interim PCoD protocol to assess the effects of disturbance associated with US Navy exercises on marine mammal populations.

Cormacs talk covers how we adapted the interim PCoD (Population Consequences of Disturbance) framework so that it could be applied to US Navy situations. This adapted iPCoD framework was used to forecast the potential effects of disturbance associated with Navy exercises on Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center in the Bahamas, and at the Hawaii Range Complex in Hawaii. Since there is little or no empirical evidence to quantify the relationship between behavioural or physiological changes and fitness or survival, expert elicitation was used to accumulate opinions from experts. We received input from over 30 international marine mammal experts who delivered a range of opinions of how disturbance might impact the vital rates of Blainville’s beaked whales and sperm whales.

Here is a link to the Program Review Abstract Book where you can find abstracts for all the presentations going on this week. Cormacs PCoD Lite abstract can be found on page 48.

You can read the main PCoD Lite report here, which details the overall approach, how we dealt with eliciting information from experts and how the outputs of iPCoD can be tailored to the US regulatory system. We also produced a report applying the PCoD Lite model for the two species of interest on ranges in the Bahamas and Hawaii.