Updated abundance estimates of blue and humpback whales off the US West Coast incorporating photo-identifications from 2010 and 2011

Publications >> Updated abundance estimates of blue and humpback whales off the US West Coast incorporating photo-identifications from 2010 and 2011

Citation

Calambokidis, J. and J. Barlow. 2013. Updated abundance estimates of blue and humpback whales off the US West Coast incorporating photo-identifications from 2010 and 2011. Final Report for contract AB-133F-10-RP-0106. PSRG-2013-13R. 8pp.

Introduction

Cascadia Research has conducted photographic identification efforts for humpback and blue whales off the US West Coast since 1986 and these have served as the primary basis for examining the movement, population structure, abundance, and trends of these populations (Calambokidis et al. 1990, 2001, 2008, 2009, Calambokidis and Barlow 2004). Here we report updated abundance estimates and trends from past data (including any corrections or late additions to our catalog) as well as incorporating field effort from 2010 and 2011 funded under a contract from SWFSC with support from the Navy's N45 research program.

Humpback whales in the North Pacific utilize distinct feeding areas with little interchange among them based on both photo-ID information (Calambokidis et al. 2008) and genetics (Baker et al. 2008). The humpback whales that feed off the US West Coast appear to be part of two feeding aggregations, one that ranges from California north roughly through Oregon and a second one that extends from Washington through southern British Columbia Calambokidis et al. 1996, 2004, 2008).

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