|Reference : Historical records of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) of the province Río...|
|Scientific journals : Article|
|Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology|
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
|Historical records of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) of the province Río Negro, North Patagonia, Argentina (1991-2008)|
|Failla, Mauricio [ > > ]|
|Vermeulen, Els [Université de Liège - ULg > > > Form.doct. sc. (océanographie - Bologne)]|
|Cammareri, Alejandro [ > > ]|
|Report to the International Whaling Commission|
|[en] southern right whale ; Northeast Patagonia ; Incidental sightings ; ecology|
|[en] The increase of the southern right whale (SRW Eubalaena australis) population might rise questions about the reoccupation of previous sites. This report is a compilation of historical records of SRWs along the coast of the Río Negro province, Northeast Patagonia, to evaluate the tendency of their occurrence in the area over the past decade. A total of 308 records (425 whales) were collected over distinct coastal regions in Northeast Patagonia.
The majority of sightings were concentrated between the months July-October with a peak in August-September as was observed similarly in South Brazil, Uruguay and central Patagonia. Groups consisted out of 2 individuals on average whereas mother and calf pairs could be observed in only 11% of the sightings. There was a general increase in sightings over the subsequent years possibly explained by a cause-response relation of increasing sightings and increasing effort. The information presented in this report could suggest a similar hypothesis of reoccupation in the province of Río Negro, Argentina, as was suggested to be occurring along the southeastern coast of Brazil, Uruguay and the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. Data are too preliminary however, to determine the importance of this area for the reproduction and/or migration of this species. Nevertheless, the presented data completes an evolving database of the presence of SRWs along the whole Patagonian coast as was recommended by the International Whaling Commission in 2001. More data and systematic effort is needed to obtain the information on the ecology of SRWs in the Río Negro province, needed for the implementation of conservation measurements in the waters of the provincial jurisdiction, specially in the touristic area of the Natural Protected Area Bahía San Antonio.
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