Identifying Important Habitat

One of the most effective ways to protect marine mammals from a variety of impacts is to minimize or prevent those impacts from occurring in particularly important habitat areas (e.g. breeding and feeding areas, or migratory routes).

A large part of my work at NRDC involves synthesizing a broad array of scientific information from the literature and interviewing scientific experts to identify areas of the ocean that are particularly important for marine mammals. I then assess how vulnerable these areas are to human impacts. This information is used collectively by the Marine Mammal Protection Project to advocate for improved marine mammal protections against a range of impacts, including ocean noise (principally seismic exploration, sonar, and shipping).

To learn more about the work the Marine Mammal Protection Project is doing visit our NRDC Expert Blog.

To learn more about the impacts of ocean noise and what we can do about them, visit



Rosenbaum HC., Maxwell S., Kershaw F., Mate B. (2014). Long-range movement of humpback whales and their overlap with anthropogenic activity in the South Atlantic Ocean. Conservation Biology, 28(2), 604-615. [.PDF]

Kershaw F., Waller T., Micucci P., Draque J., Barros M., Buongermini E., Pearson RG., Mendez M. (2013). Informing conservation units: barriers to dispersal for the yellow anaconda. Diversity and Distributions, 19(9), 1164-1174. [.PDF] [Appendix S1]


Sommerkorn, M., Suatoni, L., Strickler, S., Norris, S., Wenzel L.  & Kershaw, F. PAME MPA-network toolbox: Area-based conservation measures and ecological connectivity. Guidance document to the Arctic Council. In review.

presentations & other media

Rosenbaum HC., Kershaw F. (2016). Approaches and considerations for understanding connectivity for marine mammals using various techniques. Invited Presentation. Arctic Council/PAME workshop - Science and tools for developing Arctic MPA networks: Understanding connectivity and identifying management models. Washington D.C., 22nd September, 2016.   

Rosenbaum, H.C.*, Maxwell, S. M., Kershaw, F. & Mate, B. (2014). Long-range movement of humpback whales and their overlap with anthropogenic activity in the South Atlantic Ocean. Oral presentation, IMCC3, Glasgow, Scotland, 18th August 2014.