|Reference : Abundance estimates of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in Bahía San Antonio,...|
|Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference|
|Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology|
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology
|Abundance estimates of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in Bahía San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina|
|Vermeulen, Els [Université de Liège - ULg > > > Form.doct. sc. (océanographie - Bologne)]|
|Cammareri, Alejandro [ > > ]|
|64th meeting of the Internation Whaling Commission|
|from 9-06-2012 to 6-07-2012|
|[en] southern right whale ; Eubalaena australis ; Abundance|
|[en] The abundance of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) was estimated by the means of aerial line-transect surveys for the area of Bahía San Antonio, a bay located in the north-western region of the San Matías Gulf (40°50’S 64°50’W), Rio Negro, Patagonia Argentina. In total, 7 aerial surveys were conducted in the first week of August and September 2009, September, October and November 2010, and August, September 2011. Survey effort equalled a total flight time of 12.4h, during which 200 whales were seen in 119 whale groups. Overall, half of the encounters were solitary animals, whereas 17% were mating groups. Corrected abundance estimates showed a maximum amount of whales present in the bay during the month of September with 85 ± 71, 207 ± 108 and 117 ± 55 animals in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. In adjacent months, less than half the amount of whales seemed to be present. The correction factor g(0) resulted 0.392 ± 0.456.
These aerial surveys resulted in the first specific estimates of southern right whale abundance in this north Patagonian bay and indicated a rather abrupt peak during the month of September. This being the peak month for right whale presence is consistent to data from other regions in the Southwest Atlantic, but data obtained in the other months remained scarce and thus results should be interpreted carefully. The complete absence of whales in the area in November 2010 and August 2011 further raises questions on the predictability of the whale’s presence in the area. Overall, more consistent aerial surveys should be conducted to accurately determine the annual and interannual evolution of southern right whale abundance in the study area.
|Rufford Small Grants Foundation|
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