Support for surveys and necropsies of gray whales in México during an Unusual Mortality Event
Urbán Ramírez, J
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur
In 2019, there was a significant increase in the number of gray whales stranded along the west coast of North America, ranging from Mexico to Alaska. Immediately preceding this increase in strandings, the number of calves born in the lagoons of Baja California in January 2019 was unusually low. These changes resulted in the declaration of an Unusual Mortality Event of gray whales by the National Marine Fisheries Service. As with previous events at the end of the 1990’s this event is likely to continue into 2020 if it is linked to changing environmental conditions in Arctic seas. To ensure adequate data are collected in 2020, field researchers along the west coast of North America are increasing efforts to count whales, assess their nutritional condition and necropsy stranded animals includes government and academic entities in Mexico and Canada.