Photo: Belén Etchegaray
In September-October 2021 we deployed 18 satellite transmitters on southern right whales at Península Valdés with 12 short-term and 6 long-term devices. We tracked 13 mothers with calves and 5 solitary individuals through their migratory routes from the Golfo Nuevo breeding ground to their feeding areas in the Southwest Atlantic ocean and subantarctic seas. The most outstanding highlights of the season 2021-2022 were:
- Amalthea, transmission duration record: 302 days of transmissions since she was tagged in September 2021. Amalthea was also the whale to travel the farthest eastward, reaching 28°W longitude.
- Electra, first record of a complete migratory journey for a mother and calf: Electra and her calf departed from Golfo Nuevo in November 2021, and after traveling 11,413 miles (18,368 km) returned to Golfo San Jose in June 2022.
- Andromeda, the southernmost migration record: Andromeda broke the southernmost latitude record among tracked mothers with calves in this project, surpassing latitude 66°S as she crossed the Weddell Sea, east of the Antarctic Peninsula.
- Antares, unique record of a whale’s migratory journey in different years: Antares, a mother with calf tagged in 2021 was matched via photoidentification to Atrevida, a solitary female whose migratory journey had previously been monitored during 2015. This was the first migration record of a female whale in two different reproductive stages, with and without calf.