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The effects of observed covariates (school size, sighting cue, latitude and sea state) on Antarctic minke whale abundance estimation parameters (effective search half-width, sighting forward distance and mean school size) were examined qualitatively. As the school size decreased, the effective search half-width and the sighting forward distance decreased. Most single and two animal schools were sighted by body, which was difficult in high sea states in comparison with those sighted by blow. Proportions of single and two animal schools increased as sighting latitude moved north. Small school sizes and bad weather conditions prevailed in the northern part of the survey area. As the survey area was extended to the north, the effects of small school size and bad weather conditions could be substantial in the third circumpolar survey. Observed covariates analysed in this paper should be incorporated into the estimation of effective search half-width and mean school size as covariates.
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