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Half a century of sightings data of southern right whales in Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

  • Maria A. Mandiola (a1), Gisela Giardino (a1), Julián Bastida (a2), Sergio Morón (a3), Diego H. Rodríguez (a1) and Ricardo Bastida (a1)...

Abstract

In South-western Atlantic waters, individuals of the southern right whale (SRW) Eubalaena australis spend part of the year (the austral winter and spring) in northern inshore waters where they breed and then migrate to southern feeding grounds during the summer. Mar del Plata (MDP) is located between two main reproductive areas (Península Valdés-Argentina and Santa Catarina-Brazil). The purpose of the present study is to report the presence of SRWs on their journey off the coast of MDP based on sighting records during the past half century. We carried out whale observations through systematic weekly coastal marine mammal surveys in different points of the MDP area from 1966 to 2016. The first SRW sighting was recorded in 1970; since then, sighting frequency has gradually increased, reaching a peak of 28 sightings (N = 63 whales) in 2016. These are unique long-term sighting records of SRWs in Argentina and the first on their journey off the shores of Buenos Aires province. We expect that these results will help local authorities to regulate tourism and other activities in the area and thereby contribute to the conservation of the species.

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Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: M. Agustina Mandiola, E-mail: agusmandiola@gmail.com

References

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Keywords

Half a century of sightings data of southern right whales in Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

  • Maria A. Mandiola (a1), Gisela Giardino (a1), Julián Bastida (a2), Sergio Morón (a3), Diego H. Rodríguez (a1) and Ricardo Bastida (a1)...

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