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On the Australian coast, southern right whales are known to use widely separated coastal areas (200–1500 kilometres apart) within a season, indicating substantial coast-wide movement. The longest movements are undertaken by non-calving whales, though calving whales have also been recorded at locations up to 700 kilometres apart within a single season (DSEWPaC 2012). Within season, southern right whales have been documented to move between Australia and sub-Antarctic New Zealand coastal habitats. These movements indicate that connectivity of coastal habitats is important for southern right whales.


A recent cross matching exercise completed by the GABRWS compared photo identified individuals from Fowlers Bay with the long term photo identification catalogue from Head of Bight. Results show that over a third (39%) of southern right whales sighted in Fowlers Bay have previously been sighted at Head of Bight. Of these cross-matched animals, approximately two thirds (59%) were calving females that had been sighted at both aggregation sites (Charlton et al. 2014). See Fowlers Bay Connectivity Report.

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