[MARMAM] New note on the North Pacific right whale

Amy Kennedy amyskennedy at gmail.com
Wed Dec 7 14:58:01 PST 2011

I am pleased to announce the publication of the following note
detailing the first high- to low-latitude North Pacific right whale
photo-ID match:

Kennedy, A. S., Salden, D. R. and Clapham, P. J. (2011), First high-
to low-latitude match of an eastern North Pacific right whale
(*Eubalaena japonica*). Marine Mammal Science. doi:

*ABSTRACT:*  The North Pacific right whale (NPRW, *Eubalaena japonica) *was
hunted nearly to extinction in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the eastern
population of the species is now estimated at only about 30 animals.   The
location of right whale breeding grounds in the North Pacific has been
hypothesized, but remains entirely unknown.  Most of the recent
observations of eastern North Pacific right whales (including sightings,
whaling records, acoustic detections and telemetry tracks) have occurred in
the southeastern Bering Sea, but a few low-latitude sightings have been
recorded off Baja California, California and Hawai’i.  A photographic match
between a North Pacific right whale seen in Hawai’i on 02 April 1996 and
resighted in the Bering Sea on 30 July of that same year represents the
first documented movement of an individual between low and high latitudes.
While this match alone cannot confirm a species-wide annual high to low
latitude migration, we use this sighting and others to speculate on the
behavior and habitat use of this endangered and elusive remnant
population.   **

A pdf of this note can be downloaded from the Marine Mammal Science website


Amy Kennedy
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