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Gray whale abundance in Laguna San Ignacio and Bah?a Magdalena lagoon complex, B.C.S., M?xico for 2022 breeding season
J. Urb?n R., S. Mart?nez-Aguilar L. Viloria-G?mora and S.L. Swartz
The 2022 winter occupation of Laguna San Ignacio (LSI) and Bah?a Magdalena (BM) by gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) was characterized by low numbers of calves-of-the-year, an increased percentage (19.5 %) of whales in poor body condition, and an unexpected early departure of whales from both areas. In LSI The highest number of single adult whales counted in vessel surveys was 172 whales on 19 February, similar to high counts observed in previous winters. Compared to previous winters, counts of females with calves remained low throughout the 2022 winter season, with the highest count of 18 pairs observed on 9 March 2022. The highest BM counts were obtained on 9 February in the most southerly aggregation area of Bah?a Almejas with 173 adult whales and no female-calf pairs observed. In central Bah?a Magdalena, counts were greatest on 23 January with 42 adult whales and no calves. In the northern Canal de Santo Domingo, 36 single whales and two female-calf pairs were counted on 7 February.