Authors: BAYRAM ÖZTÜRK, MEHMET ARDA TONAY, MELİKE İDİL ÖZ, İZZET NOYAN YILMAZ, HALİM AYTEKİN ERGÜL, AYAKA AMAHA ÖZTÜRK
Abstract: During the cetacean surveys of the first Turkish-Ukrainian Antarctic Research Expedition conducted on 5-8 April 2016 in Lemaire Channel, Penola Strait, Flanders Bay, southern Gerlache Strait, and southern Neumayer Channel in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, 74 humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in 24 sightings and 11 Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) in 6 sightings were recorded. The overall encounter rate (number of sightings/survey effort in nautical miles) was 0.333 (0.266 for humpback whale, 0.066 for Antarctic minke whale). According to the sighting distribution, the Lemaire Channel and Penola Strait are important migration and feeding habitats for whales. Five humpback whales were photo-identified individually by natural features on their flukes; one of them had a match in the Antarctic Humpback Whale Catalogue. The matched individual was first recorded on 30 August 2007 at Salinas, Ecuador.
Keywords: Western Antarctic Peninsula, Argentine islands, humpback whale, Antarctic minke whale
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