The goal of this study is to maintain long-term continuous monitoring of humpback whales that use Ecuador as their breeding ground, while also documenting the presence and use of this area by other cetaceans. From these data we provide science-based recommendations to contribute to humpback whale recovery and cetacean management strategies.
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Ecuador belong to breeding stock G. Each year they migrate from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to the breeding grounds along the coasts of Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru. This population, like many others, was subject to heavy pressure from the whaling era and has recently shown positive signs of recovery.
Despite being removed from the endangered species list in 2016, there is very little information known about the life history, behavior, and migration patterns of humpback whales in this part of the world. In addition, our knowledge is extremely limited on the other whales and dolphins that use this area, and most populations are considered “data deficient”. Through population monitoring, we aim to advance our understanding of species richness and population status and facilitate long-term continuous monitoring of humpback whales and other cetaceans to assess trends over time.
Ted Cheeseman, Southern Cross University and Happywhale.com
Fernando Felix, Museo de Ballenas
Koen van Waerebeek, Centro Peruano de Investigación de Cetáceos
Ana Segarra, CIFAMAC Peninsula de Mejillones, Chile
Divna Djokic, GMIT Galvao Mayo Institute, Dublin
Renata Sousa Lima, Universidad Federal de Río Grande del Norte, Brazil
2020: Remili, A., Gallego, P., Pinzone, M., Castro, C., Jauniaux, T., Garigliany, M.M., Malarvannan, G., Covaci, A. and Das, K. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) breeding off Mozambique and Ecuador show geographic variation of persistent organic pollutants and isotopic niches. Environmental Pollution 267: 115575.
2018: Félix, F., Van Waerebeek, K., Sanino, G. P., Castro, C., Van Bressem, M. F., & Santillán, L. Variation in Dorsal Fin Morphology in Common Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea: Delphinidae) Populations from the Southeast Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 72(3), 307-320.
2011: Félix, F., Castro, C., Laake, J.L., Haase, B. and Scheidat, M. Abundance and survival estimates of the southeastern Pacific humpback whale stock from 1991–2006 photo identification surveys in Ecuador. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management (Special Issue 3): 301-307.
*For a full list of our research publications, click here: https://www.pacificwhale.org/research/publications/
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