Sighting of southern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii) in the Magellan Strait, Chile


The southern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii) is a seldom seen cetacean of southern latitudes. In the eastern South Pacific, there are less than 73 confirmed records of live and stranded animals. Moreover, all live individual records have been sighted in offshore and deep waters, but not in the shallow water of the channels and fjords of southern Chile. Two sightings of southern right whale dolphins were made on March 21 and April 7, 2018 at Ballena Sound and Charles Islands in the western area of Magellan Strait. All individuals were identified as putative adults. Both sightings may correspond to the same group of animals and, if this assumption is correct, the dolphins would have stayed at least 17 days in the area. Even though it is not clear whether the southern right whale dolphins were initially present in the Magellan Strait, or what route they took from the open sea and what biological and physical properties were determinants for this presence, without a doubt, the occurrence of southern right whale dolphins in the eastern South Pacific channel systems is unusual.

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  • 19 March 2019

    This correction stands to correct the co-author name originally credited as: Daniel Bravo. The author group would like readers to know that the name should be credited as <Emphasis Type="Bold">Daniel Bravo-Gómez</Emphasis> and not the former. The original article has been corrected.


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The sightings of southern right whale dolphins were made during the fieldwork of the Project Dynamics of Air-Sea Exchange of CO2 in Subantarctic Waters: The Role of Glacier Melting and Primary Production as Drivers of pCO2 in a Patagonian Glacial Fjord (Regular FONDECyT code 1170474), directed by the Dr. JL Iriarte of the Graduate School, Institute of Aquaculture (Puerto Montt) and Dr. M. Frangópulos R., GAGIA Antarctic Research Center, University of Magallanes. The second author expresses his gratitude to CEQUA Foundation for their constant support in the marine mammal research, as well as the support of GORE Magallanes under Grant number R07K1002 and Conicyt Regional under Grant number R13A1002. We also appreciate the review received from Natalia Dellabianca and Koen Van Waerebeek, which was both helpful and complementary to improve this manuscript, and thank Aaron Cooke for the revision of the English.

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Correspondence to Jorge Acevedo.

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Pinto-Torres, M., Acevedo, J., Mora, C. et al. Sighting of southern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii) in the Magellan Strait, Chile. Polar Biol 42, 633–638 (2019).

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  • Southern right whale dolphin
  • Lissodelphis peronii
  • Subantarctic ecoregion
  • Magellan Strait
  • Chile