[MARMAM] New publication on the occurrence of fin whales between Vancouver Island and continental North America

Jared Towers jrtowers at gmail.com
Mon Apr 9 13:52:59 PDT 2018


My co-authors and I are pleased to share our recently published article:

Towers JR, Malleson M, McMillan CJ, Cogan J, Berta S & Birdall C (2018)
Occurrence of fin whales (*Balaenoptera physalus*) between Vancouver Island
and continental North America. Northwest. Nat. 99(1):49-57.

This article can be found at
http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1898/NWN17-16.1?journalCode=nwnt or by
contacting the lead author at the e-mail address provided below.

ABSTRACT - Historically, Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) were relatively
common off the west coast of North America but very few records of their
occurrence in waters between Vancouver Island and continental North America
exist. To confirm their presence in these waters we collected photographs
documenting at least 13 unique individuals during 43 encounters from 1999
to 2017. These records are the first of live Fin Whales in Queen Charlotte,
Johnstone, Georgia and Juan De Fuca Straits and are also the only confirmed
sightings between Vancouver Island and continental North America since
1930. Additionally, 12 dead Fin Whales all with evidence of ship strikes
are reported in these waters between 1986 and 2017. Most (88%) sightings of
live Fin Whales occurred between July and October and no individuals were
documented dead or alive between January and April. We suggest that Fin
Whales in coastal waterways may be at greater risk to ship strikes and
predation by mammal-eating Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) than in less
confined waters further offshore.

    regards,   Jared Towers


Alert Bay BC
jrtowers at gmail.com
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