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Feeding grounds of the eastern South Pacific humpback whale population include the South Orkney Islands

Feeding grounds of the eastern South Pacific humpback whale population include the South Orkney Islands

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Authors

  • Luciano Dalla Rosa
  • Fernando Felix
  • Peter T. Stevick
  • Eduardo R. Secchi
  • Judith M. Allen
  • Kim Chater
  • Anthony R. Martin
  • Manuela Bassoi

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Original languageEnglish
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Pages-
Number of pages4
JournalPolar Research
Journal publication date2012
Volume31
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

This paper reports on two photo-identified humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) that were sighted in different years in the proximity of the South Orkney Islands, at the boundary between the Scotia and Weddell seas (60 degrees 54.5'S-46 degrees 40.4'W and 60 degrees 42.6'S-45 degrees 33'W). One of the whales had been previously sighted off Ecuador, a breeding ground for the eastern South Pacific population. The other whale was subsequently resighted in Bransfield Strait, off the western Antarctic Peninsula, a well-documented feeding ground for the same population. These matches give support to a hypothesis that the area south of the South Orkney Islands is occupied by whales from the eastern South Pacific breeding stock. Consequently, we propose 40 degrees W as a new longitudinal boundary between the feeding grounds associated with the eastern South Pacific and western South Atlantic breeding stocks.

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