[MARMAM] New paper - Southern right whale Eubalaena australis in Golfo San Matías (Patagonia, Argentina): Evidence of recolonisation

Magdalena Arias ariasmalala at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 13:12:25 PST 2018

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce our new publication:

*Southern right whale Eubalaena australis in Golfo San Matías (Patagonia,
Argentina): Evidence of recolonisation*
Arias M,
Coscarella MA, Romero MA, Sueyro N, Svendsen GM, Crespo EA, González RA
(2018) Southern right whale *Eubalaena australis* in Golfo San Matías
(Patagonia, Argentina): Evidence of recolonisation. PLOS ONE 13(12):
e0207524. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207524

Abstract: Since the 1980s, the distribution range of the southern right
whale (*Eubalaena australis*) in Argentina was mostly located in the winter
calving grounds around Península Valdés. After the international moratorium
that forbade the commercial hunting, southern right whales have shown signs
of recovery during the last few decades. Nowadays, it is thought that the
species is experiencing a density-dependent process while expanding its
distribution range in Patagonia. From 2007 to 2016, data on right whale
distribution, group composition and relative abundance were collected in
Golfo San Matías, Patagonia through aerial surveys. Generalized linear
models with a negative binomial error distribution were used to determine
the population trend of right whales in this area. In addition, the group
composition and the relative abundance of right whales among the northern
Patagonian gulfs were compared. Finally, a literature review was conducted
to assess the historical presence of right whales in Golfo San Matías,
revealing the presence of right whales in Golfo San Matías during and after
the commercial exploitation. During aerial surveys (2007–2016), right
whales were observed from August to October in the area, with a peak in
late August-early September. Our results suggested a geographic
distribution change with a regular use of the northwest coast of the gulf
in recent years and a positive trend in the population growth rate inside
Golfo San Matías. This area was dominated by unaccompanied whales (solitary
individuals and breeding groups) as opposed to Península Valdés where the
dominant group type was the mother calf pairs. Therefore, Golfo San Matías
appears to be important for socializing and mating but not as a nursery
ground. In addition, the density of whales was four times greater in the
gulfs of Península Valdés. Our findings contribute to a better
understanding of the recovery of this species in Patagonia, Argentina and
should be considered for the management measures for right whales in this

A PDF copy of the publication can be downloaded from:

Best regards,
Magdalena Arias

Lic. Magdalena Arias

CONICET-Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos
Centro de Investigación Aplicada y Transferencia Tecnológica en Recursos
Marinos Alte. Storni" (CIMAS)
Güemes 1030 - San Antonio Oeste (R8520CXV).
Río Negro - Argentina.
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