[MARMAM] New publication on Galapagos Blue whale distribution

Judith Denkinger jdenkinger at usfq.edu.ec
Mon Jun 12 08:21:08 PDT 2023

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce our new publication on Year-round presence of northern and southern hemisphere Blue Whales (Balaenoptera musculus) at the Galapagos Archipelago in the Journal for Cetacean Research and Management.

The article can be accessed at:

Information about blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in the Eastern Tropical Pacific is scarce with only few whales sighted within the last decades. Molecular, photo ID and acoustic studies suggest a connectivity of Chilean and Antarctic blue whales to potential breeding areas off the coast of Peru and in the Galapagos, whereas blue whales of the Costa Rica Dome relate to the Northern Hemisphere population feeding off the coast of California and breeding areas are yet unknown.
With opportunistic sighting records in the Galapagos, we document group size and distribution throughout the year during a 17-year period from 2001 to 2018. Sightings slightly increased during the study period with 50% of the whales seen as singletons. Whales were seen year-round but mostly during the Austral winter (82%) and calf sightings occurred from June to September. With 18% of the sightings occurring during the Austral summer, we propose there is geographical overlap between equatorial Galapagos and Northern hemisphere blue whales. One blue whale was identified in the Galapagos in February 2009, resighted in the Costa Rica Dome in January 2014, and sighted again in the Galapagos in May 2016, when whales from the Southern Hemisphere could already be present. The fact that blue whale sightings were recorded throughout the year and the identified individual strongly suggest a non-migratory blue whale population and that in the Galapagos overlapping of both North and Southeast Pacific blue whale populations can occur.

Best regards

Judith Denkinger

[http://www4.usfq.edu.ec/owa/logo_usfq.png]             Judith Denkinger, PhD
Colegio de Ciencias Biol?gicas y Ambientales
Universidad San Francisco de Quito
T: (+593) 2 297-1700 ext. 1153
Correo: jdenkinger at usfq.edu.ec
Diego de Robles y V?a Interoce?nica, Quito, Ecuador
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