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ARTICLE

Killer whales in Chilean Patagonia: additional sightings, behavioural observations, and individual identifications

Authors

CORRESPONDING

Verena Häussermann

v.haussermann@gmail.com

1

1

Huinay Scientific Field Station, Casilla 462, Puerto Montt, Chile

2

2

Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Facultad de Recursos Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Avda. Brasil 2950, Valparaíso, Chile

Jorge Acevedo

3

3

Centro Regional de Estudios del Cuaternario Fuego-Patagonia y Antártica (Fundación CEQUA), 21 de Mayo 1690, Punta Arenas, Chile

Günter Försterra

1

1

Huinay Scientific Field Station, Casilla 462, Puerto Montt, Chile

2

2

Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Facultad de Recursos Naturales, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Avda. Brasil 2950, Valparaíso, Chile

Michelle Bailey

michelle.marcotte@gmail.com

4

4

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Anelio Aguayo-Lobo

5

5

Instituto Antártico Chileno, Plaza Muñoz Gamero 1055, Punta Arenas, Chile

Abstract

Very little is known about the killer whales (Orcinus orca) that frequent the waters of Chilean Patagonia. Even information as to whether identified individuals are visitors or residents of the region is unknown. Here, we report on opportunistically collected observations in this region from 2001 through 2012. Killer whales were observed on 119 separate occasions in group sizes ranging from one to groups of over 50 individuals. We also describe observed behaviour and present a first catalogue of individuals in Chilean Patagonia. We identified 49 individuals, only seven of which were sighted more than once.

Key words

Orcinus orca, Chilean fjord region, group size, feeding behaviour, photo-identification catalogue

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