Connectivity, Cetaceans & Conservation in the Arafura Timor Seas

Connectivity, Cetaceans & Conservation in the Arafura Timor Seas

The Arafura Timor Seas region, particularly the Ombai Strait and Timor Passage, is increasingly being recognised as a region of global significance, notably for the migration of marine megafauna (particularly cetaceans). For key globally threatened cetacean species, such as blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), there is a critical lack of understanding of key migratory routes, movements, population structure, critical habitat and the role and influence of major seasonal oceanographic signals in the region (e.g. the Indonesian Throughflow).There is a potential collaborative opportunity through NAMRA and the NERP Marine Biodiversity Hub to build on studies conducted in Timor-Leste: using field surveys, genetic fingerprinting and tagging studies using satellite telemetry, with access to national expertise in cetacean biology and oceanographic and habitat suitability modelling.

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