Short communication: New records of sperm whale social units in the Pelagos Sanctuary, Mediterranean Sea

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Davide Ascheri
Elena Fontanesi


In the Ligurian Sea, the northern part of the Western Mediterranean Sea, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758) are historically sighted as solitary individuals or loose aggregations of males, while social units are extremely occasional. On 21 August 2020, two different social units were recorded in this area with an estimate of 21 individuals in total (12 in the first and nine in the second). The Mediterranean sperm whale subpopulation is considered Endangered under the IUCN Red List and an understanding of its movements and social structure is lacking. These observations increase our knowledge on its conservation biology and possible threats.

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