Spike in whale deaths off Argentina's Patagonia

Jun 05, 2013
A Southern Right Whale rises out of the water in the New Golf, Peninsula Valdes, Argentina in June 2006. Southern Right Whales are dying off at a record rate in Argentina's Patagonia region, a conservation group warned.

Southern Right Whales are dying off at a record rate in Argentina's Patagonia region, a conservation group warned.

"In the year 2012, there were 116 whale deaths reported, including 113 whale calves," the Buenos Aires-based Whale Conservation Institute ICB said, adding that it was nearly double the 61 whale deaths it recorded in 2011.

The 2012 deaths represent about three percent of the population of these whales in the South Atlantic, estimated at 4,000, the ICB said.

Every year starting in June hundreds of the South Atlantic —Eubalina Australis—take cover in the bays of the , a .

Thousands of tourists travel to see the nursery phenomenon each year.

The whales, about 14 meters (46 feet) long and weighing up to 50 tons, have been dying for reasons scientists do not yet fully understand.

But the NGO believes they include climate change leading to less krill, and gulls eating chunks of skin off living whales, which can cause infections.

Explore further: Law of the Sea authorizes animal tagging research without nations' consent

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Iceland to resume disputed fin whale hunt in June

May 05, 2013

Iceland plans to resume its disputed commercial fin whale hunt in June with a quota of at least 154 whales, the head of the only company that catches the giant mammals said Saturday.

Recommended for you

How can we help endangered vultures?

Oct 24, 2014

Zoologists from the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin are proposing an ingenious idea to help conserve populations of African white-backed vultures. The iconic birds, which play a critical ...

Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

Oct 24, 2014

Amargosa voles, small rodents that inhabit rare marshes of the Mojave Desert, have faced dire circumstances in recent years. Loss of habitat, extreme drought and climate change brought this subspecies of ...

User comments : 0