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Photoidentification of individual killer whales orcinus orca off the coast of norway 1983 1986

Photoidentification of individual killer whales orcinus orca off the coast of norway 1983 1986

Rit Fiskideildar 11: 89-94

Photoidentification of individual killer whales has been conducted since 1983 in two study areas off Norway, one in Lofoten, northern Norway, and one in More, southwestern Norway. Thus far, 26 individuals have been identified. Based on associations among individuals, six whales have been preliminarily assigned to one pod (field estimates of pod size ranged from 7 to 10 whales), nine to a second pod (field estimates 7-12 whales) and six to a third pod (field estimate 10-15 whales). The remaining five whales have not been assigned to any pod, even provisionally. Comparison between years and areas has resulted in the following matches: five individuals of two pods photographed in Lofoten in September 1983 were again photographed in Lofoten in September-October 1986. One of these whales was also photoidentified in the same area in December 1984. One individual photographed in Lofoten in the autumn of 1985 was photographed in the same area in the autumn of 1986. Two individuals of one pod photoidentified in southern More in April 1984 were photographed in Lofoten in the autumn of 1985, representing the first documented movement of identified killer whales between these two areas, about 700 km apart. Comparison of photographs of these 26 known killer whales from Norway with photographs of 143 killer whales photoidentified in coastal waters off eastern Iceland, 1981-1986, has not resulted in any matches.

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Accession: 007653506

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