Occurrence of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) along southeastern Brazil

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Marcos César de Oliveira Santo
Salvatore Siciliano
Shirley Pacheco de Souza
Jose Luis Altmayer Pizzorno


This paper reports on the occurrence of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in southeastern Brazilian waters (18°S-25°S), with
evidence of their use of the region as an important calving area. Only in recent years have right whale sightings and strandings been reported
regularly within the surveyed area. Of 71 distinct sightings reported since 1936, 39 (54.9%) were mother-calf pairs observed close to the
shore. Most of these sightings (91.5%) were reported from early July to late October. Eight confirmed strandings of this species were
observed within the surveyed area, six of which were between July and October. Stranded calves represented 62.5% of these records. Two
calves showed evidence of incidental capture. The increasing number of sightings, and recent reports of stranded calves and one adult
female could be indicative of an increase in cetacean research efforts in the region. However, it also suggests use of the southeastern
Brazilian coast as an important right whale calving area.

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