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Western North Atlantic Humpback Whale Census, Hispaniola - 1980

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3 Author(s)
Balcomb, K.C. ; Ocean Res. & Educ. Soc., Boston, MA, USA ; Nichols, G. ; Haenel, N.J.

From 13 January to 20 April 1980, the ORES research vessel, r/v REGINA MARIS, conducted visual and acoustic censuses on breeding and calving banks of Western North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) near the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles. Seventy censuses were run and 2949 sightings were made along 672.4 nautical miles of ship's track (4.4 sightings/n.m.). The peak population was estimated at not less than 1784 (whales counted early February), and it was very likely 2600 or more, depending upon the statistical methods used for analysis. The successive rise and drop of numbers of whales on Navidad, Silver and Mouchoir Banks and photodocumentation of individual whales on more than one of these banks suggests that they represent one breeding population that gradually moves West and North as the breeding and calving season progresses.

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16-18 Sept. 1981