Blue Whales in Australian waters

Subject: Blue Whales in Australian waters
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 16:20:54 +1000

From: Martin  on 03/25/2002 04:20 PM

Subject:  Blue Whales in Australian waters

Slightly off-topic but Simon Mustoe's trip report has reminded me to make the
following suggestions with respect to the species of whale observed on his trip.

My mammal expert colleague here has advise me as follows:

Three species of blue whale have been recognised.
- the 'true' blue whale of the Southern Hemisphere Balaenoptera musculus
- the 'true' blue whale of the Northern Hemisphere Balaenoptera musculus
- the 'pygmy' blue whale Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda

It is the last species that I understand is most commonly recorded in Victorian
waters (99% of records).

Unfortunately the size difference (pygmy blue whales are about 10m shorter) is
hard to determine in the field but 'true' blue whales are rarer and larger

Some useful facts and figures on whales in Australian waters can be found at the
following site:
     Draft Recovery Plan for Blue Whales in Australian waters (Sept. 1999)

Note that blue whales are a threatened species in Australia and Victoria.  All
observatiions of threatened species should be reported to the relevant state
fauna/conservation agency.  In Victoria this is the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife
in the Department of Natural Resources & Environment, Melbourne.


Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee
Department of Natural Resources and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde., East Melbourne  3002
Tel: 9412 4567

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Blue Whales in Australian waters, Martin . O'Brien <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU