Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 August 2012
In this study we present data on 46 strandings of Bryde's whales along the coast of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro States, south-eastern Brazil. The aim of this study was to evaluate the stranding pattern of Bryde's whales in south-eastern Brazil. The results show a relationship with annual increasing of strandings in a 20 year period of data collection (1990–2010). No significant seasonal trend was observed among four seasonal categories, but most whales stranded during winter (July–September). Males stranded more frequently than females. There was a significant trend in strandings of sexually mature whales (>11.12 m; 53.6%), but juveniles (≤8 m; 21.9%) were also relatively common. The present work confirms that Bryde's whales are common on the south-eastern Brazilian coast. Some discrepancy in published results from sightings and our results on strandings (e.g. seasonal pattern) was observed and may be related to environmental condition and the presence of inshore and offshore populations with differences in life history and behaviour. No whales showed signals of impact caused by human interactions, despite the potential threats in the study area. Future studies comparing morphology with genetics are suggested to be carried out to elucidate the taxonomic status of the Bryde's whales in Brazil.
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