Southern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis) in an Urbanized Area off the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean: Updated Records and Conservation Issues

Abstract: The southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) has been placed in the category of “least concern” in the International Union for Conservation of Natureʼs Red List of Threatened Species and in the category of “endangered” in the Brazilian Red List of Threatened Fauna. The aim of this study was to update sighting and stranding records of right whales along the southeastern Brazilian coast between 2000 and 2015 and to assess the main threats they face. Records occurred mainly between May and October, and mother and calf pairs represented 78% of all sightings, evidencing the use of the southeast coast of Brazil as part of the breeding and possibly calving area. A total of eight strandings was reported. On 6 September 2012, the first confirmed ship strike on a right whale was reported in the surveyed area. The intensified conflicts between coastal development and the use of protected and calm waters along southeastern Brazil by southern right whales as breeding areas should be considered in management plans.
Key Words: Cetacea, Balaenidae, southern right whale, Eubalaena australis, vessel strike
Document Type: Research Article
Page Numbers: 52-62

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