Migratory preferences of humpback whales between feeding and breeding grounds in the eastern South Pacific

Jorge Acevedo, Anelio Aguayo-Lobo, Judith Allen, Natalia Botero-Acosta, Juan Capella, Cristina Castro, Luciano Dalla Rosa, Judith Denkinger, Fernando Félix, Lilian Flórez-González, Frank Garita, Héctor M. Guzmán, Ben Haase, Gregory Kaufman, Martha Llano, Carlos Olavarría, Aldo S. Pacheco, Jordi Plana, Kristin Rasmussen, Meike ScheidatEduardo R. Secchi, Sebastian Silva, Peter T. Stevick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Latitudinal preferences within the breeding range have been suggested for Breeding Stock G humpback whales that summer in different feeding areas of the eastern South Pacific. To address this hypothesis, humpback whales photo-identified from the Antarctic Peninsula and the Fueguian Archipelago (southern Chile) were compared with whales photo-identified from lower latitudes extending from northern Peru to Costa Rica. This comparison was performed over a time span that includes 18 austral seasons. A total of 238 whales identified from the Antarctic Peninsula and 25 whales from the Fueguian Archipelago were among those photo-identified at the breeding grounds. Our findings showed that humpback whales from each feeding area were resighted unevenly across the breeding grounds, which suggests a degree of spatial structuring in the migratory pathway. Humpback whales that feed at the Antarctic Peninsula were more likely to migrate to the southern breeding range between northern Peru and Colombia, whereas whales that feed at the Fueguian Archipelago were more likely to be found in the northern range of the breeding ground off Panama. Further photo-identification efforts and genetic sampling from poorly sampled or unsampled areas are recommended to confirm these reported connectivity patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1052
Number of pages18
JournalMarine Mammal Science
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to all of the volunteers and personnel for providing valuable help in the field and the laboratory as well as logistical support. In particular, we would like to thank P. Acuña, B. Alcorta, G. Arias, R. Bernal, G. A. Bravo, A. Cañas, D. Cardenas, S. Cornejo, L. Crowe, P. Falk, T. Fernald, W. Gómez, T. Grados, S. Gubbins, C. Guevara, C. Guidino, D. Haro, W. Henao, Klein Family, H. Krajewsky, E. Larrañaga, A. Larrea, C. Martínez, F. Martínez, M.C. Medina, G. Moreno, F. Moreno, Marcos César de O. Santos, C. Perazio, B. Perez, E. Pérez, A. Petit, N. Ramírez, S. Rangel, G. Ravenscrofft, F. Sánchez-Salazar, I. C. Tobón, C. Valdivia, B. Wallis, S. Yeskén, and M. Zapetis. We would also like to thank “Ecologia e Conserva©cão da Megafauna Marinha - EcoMega/CNPq”, the Antarctic Research Project Baleias/Proantar (CNPq grant number 408096/2013-6), National Institute of Science and Technology Antarctic Environmental Research (INCT-APA) (CNPq grant number 574018/2008-5), Pacific Whale Foundation, USFQ GAIAS grant, INACH Projects grant number 163 and G-16-10, Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservancy, Colciencias, Eco-fondo, WWF-Colombia, Fundación Sentir, Fondo para la Acción Ambiental, Cetacean Society International, Idea Wild, Moore Charitable Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Homeland Foundation, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama), Darwin Initiative (UK), Conicyt Regional grant number R13A1002, and Conicyt Regional/GORE Magallanes (grant number R07K1002) for financial support. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions by fishermen, Hosteria El Acantilado, Machalilla National Park, Palo Santo Travel, Fitz Roy Expeditions, Unidad de Parques Nacionales de Colombia, Grupo de Ecogúıas de Coqúı, Consejo Comunitario Los Riscales, Cabañas Pijibá, El Cantil, Nautilus, La Joviseña, Punta Brava, Turqúı, El Almejal, local communities, and other whale watching operators who helped us with our research. The first author would like to thank the Director of Fundación CEQUA for providing time and constant support in the writing of this material, and Lorena Viloria for his valuable comments that improved the quality of our manuscript.

Funding Information:
We are grateful to all of the volunteers and personnel for providing valuable help in the field and the laboratory as well as logistical support. In particular, we would like to thank P. Acu?a, B. Alcorta, G. Arias, R. Bernal, G. A. Bravo, A. Ca?as, D. Cardenas, S. Cornejo, L. Crowe, P. Falk, T. Fernald, W. G?mez, T. Grados, S. Gubbins, C. Guevara, C. Guidino, D. Haro, W. Henao, Klein Family, H. Krajewsky, E. Larra?aga, A. Larrea, C. Mart?nez, F. Mart?nez, M.C. Medina, G. Moreno, F. Moreno, Marcos C?sar de O. Santos, C. Perazio, B. Perez, E. P?rez, A. Petit, N. Ram?rez, S. Rangel, G. Ravenscrofft, F. S?nchez-Salazar, I. C. Tob?n, C. Valdivia, B. Wallis, S. Yesk?n, and M. Zapetis. We would also like to thank ?Ecologia e Conserva??o da Megafauna Marinha - EcoMega/CNPq?, the Antarctic Research Project Baleias/Proantar (CNPq grant number 408096/2013-6), National Institute of Science and Technology Antarctic Environmental Research (INCT-APA) (CNPq grant number 574018/2008-5), Pacific Whale Foundation, USFQ GAIAS grant, INACH Projects grant number 163 and G-16-10, Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservancy, Colciencias, Ecofondo, WWF-Colombia, Fundaci?n Sentir, Fondo para la Acci?n Ambiental, Cetacean Society International, Idea Wild, Moore Charitable Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Homeland Foundation, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama), Darwin Initiative (UK), Conicyt Regional grant number R13A1002, and Conicyt Regional/GORE Magallanes (grant number R07K1002) for financial support. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions by fishermen, Hosteria El Acantilado, Machalilla National Park, Palo Santo Travel, Fitz Roy Expeditions, Unidad de Parques Nacionales de Colombia, Grupo de Ecogu?as de Coqu?, Consejo Comunitario Los Riscales, Caba?as Pijib?, El Cantil, Nautilus, La Jovise?a, Punta Brava, Turqu?, El Almejal, local communities, and other whale watching operators who helped us with our research. The first author would like to thank the Director of Fundaci?n CEQUA for providing time and constant support in the writing of this material, and Lorena Viloria for his valuable comments that improved the quality of our manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society for Marine Mammalogy

Copyright:
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Breeding Stock G
  • Fueguian Archipelago
  • Megaptera novaeangliae
  • feeding ground
  • migratory destinations
  • photo-identification

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