Progress report on Southern Hemisphere Blue Whale Catalogue: Period April 2021-March 2022
Barbara Galletti Vernazzani, Paula A. Olson, Chandra Salgado-Kent
The Southern Hemisphere Blue Whale Catalogue has a total of 2209 individual blue whale photo-identifications (photo-IDs) that include regions off Antarctica, Chile, Peru, Ecuador-Galapagos, Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), Australia, Timor-Leste, New Zealand, southern Africa, Madagascar and Sri Lanka. From April 2021 to March 2022, new collections of photo-identifications (+80 IDs) have been received from areas off Galapagos and Costa Rica Dome. Photo comparisons with new collections received up to March 2021 within the Southeast Pacific and ETP, and within New Zealand have also been completed. One match between southern Chile and the ETP provides evidence of migratory movements. A total of 37 matches within southern Chile (n=22) or within northern Chile (n=15) reveal strong site fidelity to feeding areas. Quality control of datasets from Australia, New Zealand and Chile has also been completed and data are now being prepared to be used for regional blue whale assessments.