Claire Garrigue, PhD.

Senior scientist at French Institute for Research and Development

Member IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group

Member IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group

Member IUCN Task Force on Marine Mammal protected Areas.


Research interests

The research I have developed over the last twenty years is on the ecology and conservation of marine mammals. Most of them were carried out in the South West Pacific Ocean in collaboration with the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium and the NGO Cetacean Operation. I also had the opportunity to conduct some work in polar environments (Adélie land, IPEV program 1014).

The majority of my work focuses on the IUCN subpopulation of Humpback Whales classified by IUCN as an endangered species, with the aim of assessing its status and estimating existing connectivity in the South Pacific, and identifying its migratory routes nutrition areas. I am also interested in dugongs, small delphinids and sperm whales. In general, the difficulty of studying these species in their natural environment leads to the collection of all available information, especially during stranding, as was the case in 2013 during a grounding in Longman’s beaked whale mass, little known.

The issues I address relate to population dynamics, connectivity, reproductive behavior, habitat use, migration, and human impact. In order to answer these questions, various tools are used including demographic methods (to evaluate the abundance and trends of populations by capture-recapture based on visual and / or genetic identifications), molecular (genetic analysis to know the links kinship), acoustic (to estimate connectivity through song transmission) and telemetry (to study movements, habitats and human impact). These complementary methods make it possible to obtain the knowledge necessary for the implementation of effective management for the conservation of populations.

For a summary in french click here.


Publications from 2010

For a full list of publication see on Research Gate.

Derville, S., Torres, L. G., Dodemont, R., Pérard, V., Garrigue, C. 2019. From land and sea, long-term data reveal persistent humpback whale breeding habitat in New Caledonia, Aquatic Conservation : Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems: 1-15. Doi:10.1002./aqc.3127

Owen, C., Rendell, L., Constantine, R., Noad, M.J., Allen, J., Andrews, O., Garrigue, C., Poole, M.M., Donnelly, D., Hauser, N., Garland, E.C. 2019. Migratory convergence facilitates cultural transmission of humpback whale song. Royal Society Open Science 6: 190337. Doi:

Derville, S., Torres, L.G., Albertson, R., Andrews, O., Baker, C.S., Carzon, P., Constantine, R., Donoghue, M., Dutheil, C., Gannier, A., Oremus, M., Poole, M.M., Robbins, J., Garrigue, C. 2019. Whales in warming water: Assessing breedig habitat diversity and adaptability in Oceania’s changing climate. Global Change Biology 25:1466-1481.

Derville, S., Torres, L.G., Iovan, C., Garrigue, C. 2018. Finding the right fit: Comparative cetacean distribution models using multiple data sources and statistical approaches. Diversity and distributions, 24:1657-1673. doi : 10-1111/ddi.12782

Riekkola L., Zerbini A.N., Andrews O., Andrews-Goff V., Baker C.S., Chandler D., Childerhouse S., Clapham P., Dodémont R., Donnelly D., Friedlaender A., Gallego R., Garrigue C., Ivashchenko Y., Jarman S., Lindsay R., Pallin L., Robbins J., Steel D., Tremlett J., Vindenes S., Constantine. R. 2018. Application of a multi-disciplinary approach to reveal population structure and Southern Ocean feeding grounds of humpback whales. Ecological Indicators 89:455-465

Derville, S., Torres, L., Garrigue, C. 2018. Social segregation of humpback whales in contrasted coastal and oceanic breeding habitats. Journal of Mammalogy 1-14.

Hagihara,R., Jones, R.E. Sobtzick, S., Cleguer, C., Garrigue, C., Marsh, H. 2018. Compensating for geographic variation in detection probability with water depth improves abundance estimates of coastal marine megafauna. PlosOne 13(1): e0191476.

Steel, D., Anderson, M., Garrigue, C., Olavarría, C., Caballero, S., Childerhouse, S., Clapham, P., Constantine, R., S. Dawson, S., Donoghue, M., Flórez‑González, L., Gibbs, N., Hauser, N., Oremus, O., Paton, D., Poole, M.M., Robbins, J., Slooten, L., Thiele, D., Ward, J., Baker C.S. 2017. Migratory interchange of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) among breeding grounds of Oceania and connections to Antarctic feeding areas based on genotype matching. Polar Biology.

Albertson G.R., Friedlaender A.S., Steel D.J., Aguayo-Lobo A., Bonatto S.L., Caballero S., Constantine R., Cypriano-Souza A.L., Engel M.H., Garrigue C., Florez-Gonzalez, L., Johnston, D.W., Nowacek, D.P., Olavarria, C., Poole, M., Read, A.J., Robbins, J., Sremba, A.L., Baker, C.S. (2017) Temporal stability and mixed-stock analyses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the nearshore waters of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biology:1-18. Doi: 10.1007/s00300-017-2193-1

Rosenbaum, H.C., Kershaw, F., Mendez, M., Pomilla, C., Leslie, M.S., Findlay, K.P., Best, P.B., Collins,  T., Vely, M., Engel, M.H., Baldwin, R., Minton, G., Meÿer, M., Flórez-González, L., Poole,  M.M., Hauser, N., Garrigue, C., Brasseur, M., Bannister, J., Anderson, M., Olavarría, C., Baker, C.S. 2017. First circumglobal assessment of southern hemisphere humpback whale mitochondrial genetic variation at multiple scales and implications for management. Endangered Species Research:32: 551-567. Doi: 10.3354/esr00822

Cleguer, C., Garrigue, C., Fuentes, M.M.P.B., Everingham, Y., Hagihara, R., Hamann, M., Payri, C. Marsh, H. 2017. Drivers of change in the relative abundance of dugongs in New Caledonia. Wildlife Research, 44: 365-376 Doi: 10.1071/WR16133

Garrigue, C., Oremus, M., Dodemont, R., Bustamante, P., Kwiatek, O., Libeau, O., Lockyer, C., Vivier, J.C., Dalebout, M. 2016. A mass stranding of seven Longman’s beaked whales (Indopacetus pacificus) in New Caledonia, South Pacific. Marine Mammal Science 32 (3): 884-910. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12304

Garrigue, C., Clapham, P.J., Geyer, Y., Kennedy, A.S., Zerbini, A.N. 2015. Satellite tracking reveals novel migratory patterns and the importance of seamounts for endangered South Pacific humpback whales. Royal Society open Science, 2 150489; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150489. Published 25 November 2015

Carroll, E. I., Brooks, L., Baker, C.S., Burns, D., Garrigue, C., Hauser, N., Jackon,J., Poole M. and Fewster, R.M. 2015. Assessing the design and power of capture-recapture studies to estimate demographic parameters for the Endangered Oceania humpback whale population. Endangered Species Research 28: 147-162. doi:10.3354/esr00686

Garland, E., Goldizen, A.W., Lilley, M.S., Rekdahl, M.L., Garrigue, C., Constantine, R., Hauser, N.D., Poole, M.M., Robbins, J., Noad, M.J. 2015. Population structure of humpback whale in the western and central South Pacific Ocean as determined by vocal exchanges among populations. Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12492

Oremus, M., Garrigue, C., Tezanos-Pinto, G., Baker, C.S. 2015. Phylogenetic identification and ppulation differentiation of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) in Melanesia, as revealed by mitochondrial DNA. Marine Mammal Science 31 (3): 1035-1056 doi:10.1111/mms.12210

Cleguer, C., Grech, A., Garrigue, C., Marsh, H. 2015. Spatial mismatch between marine protected areas and dugongs in New Caledonia. Biological Conservation, 184: 154-162.

Orgeret, F., Garrigue, C., Gimenez, O., Pradel, R. 2014. Robust assessment of population trends in marine mammals applied to the New Caledonia humpback whales. Marine Ecology Progress series, 515:265-273. doi: 10.3354/meps10992

Constantine,R.,  Steel, D., Allen, J., Anderson, M.,  Andrews, O.,  Baker, C.S.,  Beeman, P.,  Burns, D.,  Charrassin, J.B., Childerhouse, S., Double, M. Ensor, P. Franklin, T., Franklin, W., Gales, N., Garrigue, C., Gibbs, N., Harrison, P. Hauser, N. Hutsel, A. Jenner, C., Jenner, M.N., Kaufman, G., Macie, A., Mattila, D. , Olavarría, C., Oosterman, A., Paton, D., Poole, M., Robbins, J., Schmitt, N., Stevick, P., Tagarino, A., Thompson, K., Ward, J. 2014. Remote Antarctic feeding ground important for east Australian humpback whales. Marine Biology, DOI 10.1007/s00227-014-2401-2

Clua, E.E., Manire, C.A. and Garrigue C. 2014. Biological data of pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata) from a mass stranding in New Caledonia (South Pacific) associated with 2006 Hurricane Jim. Aquatic Mammals 40 (2) :162-172.

Oremus, M. and Garrigue C. 2014. Humpback whale surveys in the Chesterfield Archipelago: A reflection using 19th century whaling records. Marine Mammals Science, 30 (2):827-834. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12080

Schmitt, N.T., Double, M.C., Baker, C.S., Gales, N., Childerhouse, S., Polanowski, A.M., Steel, D., Albertson, R., Olavarria, C., Garrigue, C., Poole, M., Hauser, N., Constantine, R., Paton, D., Jenner, C.S., Jarman, S.N., Peakall, R. 2014. Mixed-stock analysis of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on Antarctic feeding grounds. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, 14:141-157.

Franklin W., Franklin T., Brooks, L., Gibbs N., Childerhouse S., Garrigue C., Constantine R., Brooks, L., Burns, D., Paton, D Poole M., Hauser N., Donoghue M., Russell K., Mattila D., Robbins J., Anderson, M., Olavarria, ., Jackson, J., Noad, M., Harrison, P., Baverstock, P., Leaper, R., Baker C.S. and Clapham P., 2014. Photo-identification confirms that humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from eastern Australia migrate past New Zealand but indicates low levels of interchange with breeding grounds of Oceania. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, 14 (1): 133-140.

Garland EC, Gedamke J, Rekdahl ML, Noad MJ, Garrigue C,, Gales N. 2013. Humpback Whale Song on the Southern Ocean Feeding Grounds: Implications for Cultural Transmission. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79422. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079422

Garland, E.C., Noad, M.J., Goldizen, A.W., Lilley, S.M., Rekdahl, M.L., Garrigue, C. Constantine, R. Hauser, N., Poole, M., Robbins, J. 2013. Quantifying humpback whale song sequences to understand the dynamics of song exchange at the ocean basin scale. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 133 (1) : 560-569. doi:10.1121/1.4770232.

Ceccarelli, D.M. McKinnon, A.D., Andréfouët, S., Allain, V., Young, J., Gledhill, D.C., Flynn, A., Bax, N.J., Beaman, R., Borsa, P., Brinkman, R., Bustamante, R.H., Campbell, R., Cappo, M., Cravatte, S., D’Agata, S., Dichmont, C.M., Dunstan, P.K., Dupouy, C., Edgar, G., Farman, R., Furnas, M., Garrigue, C., Hutton, T., Kulbicki, M., Letourneur, Y., Lindsay, D., Menkes, C., Mouillot, D., Parravicini, V., Payri, C., Pelletier, B.,  Richer de Forges, B., Ridgway, K., Rodier, M., Samadi, S., Schoeman, D., Skewes, T., Swearer, S., Vigliola, L., Wantiez, L., Williams, A., Williams, A. and Richardson. A.J. 2013. The Coral Sea: Physical Environment, Ecosystem Status and Biodiversity Assets. Advance in Marine Biology 66: 213-290.

Schaffar, A., Madon, B., Garrigue, C., Constantine, R. 2013. Behavioural effects of whale watching activities on an endangered population of humpback whales wintering in New Caledonia. Endangered Species Research 9: 245-254. doi:10.3354/esr00466

Madon, B., Garrigue, C., Pradel, R., Gimenez, O. 2013. Transience in the humpback whale population of New Caledonia and implications for abundance estimation. Marine Mammal Science, 29:669-678. (doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00610.x)

Garland, E.C., Lilley, M.S., Goldizen, A.W., Rekdahl, M.L., Garrigue, C. & Noad, M.J. 2012. Improved versions of the Levenshtein distance method for comparing sequence information in animals’ vocalisations: tests using humpback whale song. Behaviour 149:1413-1441. (doi :10.1163/1568539X-00003032)

Constantine, R., Jackson, J.A., Steel, D., Baker, C.S., Brooks, L., Burns, D., Clapham, 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. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 453: 249-261 (doi : 10.3354//meps09613)

Franklin W., Franklin T., Brooks, L., Gibbs N., Childerhouse S., Smith, F., Burns, D., Paton, D., Garrigue C., Constantine R., Poole M., Hauser N., Donoghue M., Russell K., Mattila D., Robbins J., Oosterman, A., Leaper, R., Harrison P., Baker C.S. and Clapham P., 2012. Antarctic waters (Area V) near the Balleny islands are a summer feeding area for some eastern Australian Breeding Stock E(i) Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, 12 (3): 321-327.

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., Gimenez, 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 Mammalogy, 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.

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.  doi:10.3354/meps274251