Gray whale stranding records in Mexico during the 2021 winter breeding season
S. Mart?nez-Aguilar, A. Gonz?lez-Cisneros, F. Castillo-Romero, G.A Zaragoza-Aguilar, J. Rivera-Rodr?guez, E. Mariano-Mel?ndez, N. L?pez-Paz3, S. Swartz, L. Viloria-G?mora and J. Urb?n R.
In Marine Mammals, Unusual Mortality Events (UME)occur when mortalities increase above an average annual rate. In 2019the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declareda gray whale UMEthatstarted in2019,along the North Pacific Coastof North America. Examination of some of the stranded whalessuggestedthat a decline in body condition may have contributed to the increase in gray whale mortality but the cause is still undetermined.Gray whale stranding records collectedin Mexicobetween December 2020and April 2021indicated that at least 49gray whales stranded along the Pacific coast of Baja California and the Gulf of California, Mexico. The majority of the dead whales (59.1%)were encountered in Ojo de Liebrelagoon(LOL) and the surrounding areas. Fifteenof these were female gray whales,27were males,and 7were of undetermined sex. The age classes of thedead whales were: 35adults, 3subadults, 5yearling whalesand6calves.The number of strandings in 2021 is smaller than in 2019 and 2020, but it is because of lesseffort made in Ojode Liebre lagoon due to COVID-19 restrictions, but as in previous years, thegray whale strandingsin 2021appears to be related to adecline in body condition.