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Who is Who Among the Minke Whales?

The ORES Minke Whale Identification Catalogue is the most comprehensive compilation of individual minke whales worldwide. It includes almost 300 individuals animals either identified by body colouration patterns, visible scars, distinct dorsal edge shapes, or dorsal edge marks. The latter are based on the position, size and numbers of marks grouped into different categories which facilitates the on-going matching process incredibly.

It is estimated that about 1000 minke whales might live in the St. Lawrence Gulf thus we know more than a quarter of them. Every year we can add a few new animals as we might have photographed a minke we missed before or which visits our study area for the first time. Or it might have been a calf without useable identification marks. Or it might be a baby minke born in previous December or January.

The catalogue includes photographs of both sides and all body sections available, as well as all information recorded on the individual’s sighting history, sex, age estimate, and behaviours such as surface feeding, breaching, grouping, and interacting with boats.

 

Based on the sightings in 2011 and 2012 quite a number of individually identified minke whales have been added to the catalogue. Therefore the online catalogue is currently under construction.