Photo-identification of gray whales in Bahia Magdalena, Baja California Sur: the use of a student-base photographic archive

Eduardo Najera Hillman, Laura Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Photographs of grey whales have been collected by students of the School for Field Studies in Puerto San Carlos, B.C.S., Mexico, since 1998. We evaluated the utility of this student-based photographic archive as a tool to identify gray whale individuals and to characterize injuries over the whale’s bodies. A total of 278 individual were identified, several were re-sighted within years; however, none were re-sighted between years. The dorsal area was the most commonly photographed body region; however, photographs of the flukes proved to be useful for photographic identification as well. 6.8% of the whales photographed had injuries; most of them were big scratches followed missing tips of the flukes. Our results indicate that a well managed student-based cetacean photographic archive could easily and economically apply for short-term movement patterns investigations and for monitoring the occurrence injuries from anthropogenic interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalRevista de Zoología
Volume21
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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