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First sightings of living Cuvier´s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in Albanian waters

May 26, 2014

The only published record of any beaked whale in Albanian waters is of a Cuvier’s beaked whale stranded dead in October 1975. Sightings in neighbouring Greek waters are concentrated in the Hellenic Trench in the central Ionian Sea. In this article we report sightings of five groups of Cuvier’s beaked whales in Albanian waters north of the island of Corfu on 29 July and on 02 August 2013. Four groups were encountered on 29 July in waters 859–975 m deep whereas a fifth group  was sighted in Greek waters on 02 August at a depth of almost 1,200 m. All groups consisted of two or three individuals but the close sighting of two mother/calf pairs is exceptional in the Mediterranean Sea and confirms calving in or near Albanian waters. Finally, we discuss the northward extension of the known beaked whale ‘hotspot‘ in the central Ionian Sea and its importance for the species‘ conservation in the Mediterranean Sea.

Bräger S, Kopcsányi T, Bräger Z, in press: First sightings of living Cuvier´s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in Albanian waters, Marine Biodiversity, doi:10.1007/s12526-014-0232-5. Article (subscription required).

 

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