[MARMAM] New publication: The role of the environment at the local and large-scale levels on the abundance of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) in Baja California

Tatiana Acosta Pachon tatyacosta at gmail.com
Tue Feb 20 12:50:34 PST 2024

Dear MARMAM colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to share our new publication in
Regional studies in Marine Science, Vol. 71:

Molina-Carrasco, F.D.; Ortega-Rubio, A.; Acosta-Pachón, T.A., López-Paz,
N.; Mariano-Meléndez, E.; Montes-García, C.; Martínez-Rincón, R.O.

The role of the environment at the local and large-scale levels on the
abundance of gray whales (*Eschrichtius robustus*) in Baja California.

The Ojo de Liebre Lagoon is the largest wintering and calving area on the
Baja California Peninsula for the north Pacific stock of gray whales
(Eschrictius robustus), where up to 2721 individuals have been counted in a
single season (January-April). This study describes the effects of spatial
(zones), temporal (months), and environmental factors at the local
(temperature and chlorophyll-a) and large-scale levels (Pacific Decadal
Oscillation, PDO) on the abundance of gray whales in this lagoon using
generalized additive models. Results suggest that larger populations are
expected at temperatures below 15 ◦C and Chl-a values above 1 mg m- 3
during the neutral (0- 1) and positive (>1) phases of the PDO, in February
and March, and around the mouth of the lagoon (zone 6). Findings highlight
the importance of environmental variability on the abundance of this
species at the local and large-scale levels. According to our models, the
abundance of the gray whales that arrive in the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon is
affected by local and large-scale environmental variability. The latter
factor was evaluated by an index that integrated atmospheric and oceanic
variations in the northeast and tropical Pacific Ocean. In spatial terms,
the physical characteristics inside the lagoon may be the main factors that
impact the distribution of whales. Management and conservation measures can
use these results to improve strategies, considering the variability of the
population in both local and long-term perspectives.

You can find de paper here:


Or you can write to:

tatyacosta at gmail.com

raul.martinez.rincon at gmail.com

If you have any questions about our work, please reach out.



*Dra. Tatiana A. Acosta Pachón*
tatyacosta at gmail.com

Profesora - Investigadora
Departamento Académico de Ciencias Marinas y Costeras
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur
Baja California Sur, Mexico
Tel: +52 612 1238800 Ext. 4140
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