This report provides updated West-Coast abundance estimates for blue and humpback whales from mark-recapture estimates based on photo-identifications work conducted by Cascadia Research Collective (CRC) and collaborators through 2018. A new analysis of the photo-identification data is underway using Bayesian models and will be available in the future. The purpose of this report is to provide updated estimates through 2018 using approaches that have been used previously (Calambokidis and Barlow 2004, 2013, 2017, Calambokidis et al. 2017).
During 2018, CRC worked closely with SWFSC and during the NOAA California Current Ecosystem Survey by conducting supplementary small boat operations to obtain photo-identifications and collect biopsy samples. This effort was combined with data from other projects as well as contributions from collaborators available through our collaboration with Happywhale.com (a web-based citizen science project that provides automated matching of humpback fluke identification photographs).
Calambokidis, J., and J. Barlow. 2020. Updated Abundance Estimates for Blue and Humpback Whales Along the U.S. West Coast Using Data Through 2018. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SWFSC-634.Download PDF
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