Claire Garrigue, PhD.

As a scientific advisor of the NGO « Opération Cétacés », created in 1996, Dr Garrigue has developed a research and conservation program on marine mammals in New Caledonia. She was a founding member of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, where she has initiated collaboration with other scientists involved in marine mammals research.

The goal of her work is to determine the population status of humpback whales that over-winter in the lagoons. The field methodology for this long-term study (running now for over 18 years) is photo-identification of individuals using natural markings on the animals’ tail flukes, but biopsy sampling, acoustic recordings and more recently satellite tagging were also used.

Her research has focused on population dynamics, reproductive behaviour, habitat use and conservation biology. She is interested to understand how environmental features and habitat variables influenced the movement and behaviour of this population around the archipelago during the reproductive period.

In addition to this work she has been involved in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin and dugong research projects. She has initiated aerial surveys for dugong around the main island of New Caledonia, aimed at determining the distribution of the species, patterns of seasonal occurrence, as well as identifying critical habitats.

More recently she has been involved in ‘CETA’ a project the general objective of which is to gain background information on relative abundance and distribution of large whales off Terre Adélie in Antarctica using line-transect methodology.

For a summary in French of Dr Garrigue’s work click here:

Publications and reports

Schaffar, A., Madon, B., Garrigue, C., Constantine, R. 2012. Behavioural effects of whale watching activities on an endangered population of humpback whales wintering in New Caledonia. Endangered Species Research (sous presse)

Madon, B., Garrigue, C., Pradel, R., Gimenez, O. 2012. Transience in the humpback whale population of New Caledonia and implications for abundance estimation. Marine Mammal Science, in press.

Constantine, R., Jackson, J.A., Steel, D., Baker, C.S., Brooks, L., Burns, D., Claphma, P., Hauser, N., Madon, B., Mattila, D., Oremus, M., Poole, M., Robbins, J., Thompson, K., Garrigue, C. 2012. Abundance of humpback whales in Oceania using photo-identification and microsatellite genotyping. MEPS, 453 : 249-261 (doi : 10.3354//meps09613)

Garrigue, C., Franklin, T., Russell, K., Burns, D., Poole, M., Paton, D., Hauser, N., Oremus, M., Constantine, R., Childerhouse, S., Mattila, D., Gibbs, N., Franklin, W., Robbins, J., Clapham, P., Baker, C.S. 2011. First assessment of interchange of humpback whales between Oceania and the east coast of Australia. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, Special Issue 3 :269-274.

Garrigue, C. Baker, C.S., Constantine, R., Poole, M., Hauser, N., Clapham, P., Donoghue, M., Russell, K., Paton, D., Mattila, D.K., Robbins, J. 2011. Movement of individuals humpback whales between the breeding grounds of Oceania, South Pacific 1999-2004. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. Special Issue 3 :275-281.

Horton, T.W., Holdaway, R.N., Zerbini, A.N., Hauser, N., Garrigue, C., Andriolo, A., Clapham, P.J. 2011. Straight as an arrow : humpback whales swim constant course tracks during long-distance migration. Biology Letters, 20 April 2011, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0279

Garland, E.C., Goldizen, A.W., Rekdahl, M.L., Constantine, R. Garrigue, C., Hauser, N., Poole,M.M. Robbins, J. and Noad, M.J. 2011. Dynamic horizontal cultural transmission of humpback whale song at the ocean basin scale. Current Biology 21, 1-5, 26 April, doi: 10-1016j.cub.2011.03.019

Madon, B., Himenez, O., McArdle, B., Baker, C.S., Garrigue C. 2011. A new method for estimating animal abundance with two sources of data in capture-recapture studies. Methods in Ecology & Evolution. Doi: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2011.00091.x

Schaffar, A., Garrigue, C., Constantine, R. 2010. Exposure of humpback whales to unregulated whale-watching activities in their main reproductive area in New Caledonia. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 11(2): 147-152.

Garrigue, C. Zerbini, A. N., Geyer, Y, Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., Hanaoka, W. and Clapham, P. 2010. Movements of satellite-monitored humpback whales from New Caledonia. Journal of Mamalogy, 91(1) : 109-115.

Garrigue, C., Patenaude, N., Marsh, H. 2008. Distribution and abundance of the dugong in New Caledonia, South West Pacific Marine Mammal Science, 24 (1) :81-90.

Oremus, M., Garrigue, C., Schaffar, A. Baker, C.S. 2009. Fine-scale demographic and genetic structure in insular Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus): implications for conservation of populations under removal pressure. XVIIIth Marine Mammals Conference, October 2009, Quebec, Canada

Olavarría C., Baker C.S., Garrigue C., Poole M., Hauser N., Caballero S., Flórez-González L., Brasseur M., Bannister J., Capella J., Clapham P., Dodemont R., Donoghue M., Jenner C., Jenner M.N., Moro D., Oremus M., Paton D. & Russell K. 2007. Population structure of the South Pacific humpback whales and the origin of the eastern Polynesian breeding grounds. Marine Progress Series, 330: 257-268.

Garrigue, C. 2007. Marine mammals of New Caledonia and the Loyalty islands. Check list of the species. In Payri C.E. et Richer de Forges B. (eds.) Compendium of marine species from New Caledonia. Documents Scientifiques et Techniques II7. Seconde edition IRD Nouméa p 415-428, plate 19.

Garrigue, C., Dodemont, R., Steel, D., Baker, C.S. 2004. Organismal and ‘gametic’ capture-recapture using microsatellites genotyping confirm low abundance and reproductive autonomy of humpback whales on the wintering grounds of New Caledonia. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 274: 251-262.

Garrigue C., Greaves J. and Chambellant M. 2001. Characteristics of the New Caledonian humpback whale population. Memoirs of Queenland Museum, 47 (2) : 539-546.

Garrigue C. and Greaves J. 2001. Cetacean records for the New Caledonian area (South West Pacific). Micronesica, 24 (1) : 27-33.