Accès membre


Happy Whale – Assessing humpback whale connectivity from photo-identification data

A partnership has been established between IndoCet and HappyWhale with the general objective of conducting a regional assessment of connectivity between south-western Indian Ocean humpback whale sub-stocks and more broadly with other breeding stocks of the southern hemisphere (particularly Central African, Brazilian and Australian breeding stocks). Ultimately, the data would be used to produce estimates of population abundance and rates of exchange, which will be relevant to the next IWC Southern hemisphere humpback whale in-depth assessment, as well as improve regional management decisions. 

This joint effort is meant to be inclusive and collaborative, and we would like to invite other IndoCet members to contribute to this collaborative initiative by contributing humpback whale photo-identification data (flukes) to HappyWhale public platform. 

To date, several researchers’, conservation organisations and citizen science networks from the region have submitted their fluke images to HappyWhale. The numbers of photo-identifications from the region uploaded into HappyWhale have significantly increased over the last few years. Currently the platform includes around 4,500 individuals sighted in the south-western Indians Ocean (SWIO). The resulting matches are already stunning, with multiple recaptures found between sub-stocks of the SWIO, and with other breeding stocks, including other oceans:  

Matches between breeding stock C (SWIO) and B (eastern Atlantic) included:
•    matches between Gabon and Reunion, Madagascar, eastern South-Africa
•    matches between Reunion and western South-Africa 
Matches between breeding stock C (SWIO) and Australia (Breeding stocks D and E) include:
•    Reunion and both western and eastern Australia 
•    Kenya and eastern Australia
Matches between breeding stock C (SWIO) and A (western Atlantic) include:
•    Eastern South Africa and Brazil 
•    Madagascar and Brazil 

Contributor : Alexander Vogel