Photoidentification catalog of Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) in the Ligurian Sea

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Revelli, Eletta
Pusser, Todd
Bocconcelli, Alessandro
Ballardini, Marco
Sturlese, Albert
Johnson, Mark P.
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A photo-ID catalog of Cuvier's beaked whales was compiled by analyzing data collected in the Ligurian Sea from 1998 to 2007. Data were collected during dedicated surveys for beaked whales, opportunistic whale watching cruises, and during several tagging efforts. A total of 2,300 photographs was collected and referenced to time and GPS position. Of these photographs, 650 were of sufficient quality to use for photo-identification. Photographs were divided into four categories, based on scarring and pigmentation patterns: very distinctive (heavily scarred and/or bold pigmentation), distinctive (many distinct scars and/or bold pigmentation), slightly distinctive (few scars and lack of bold pigmentation), and not distinctive (no scars and solid brown animal). 127 individual whales were identified, of which 10 were classified as adult males, 3 as adult females, 3 as calves, and 27 as immature whales, based on the above criteria. An additional 26 whales were classified as possible males, and 28 as possible females. During the 9 year study period, 34 whales were resighted, and the longest time between resights was 7 years.
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