Table 3: Summary of movement data for Antarctic blue whales generated by previous studies through Discovery marking, photo-identification and satellite tagging.

From: Towards population-level conservation in the critically endangered Antarctic blue whale: the number and distribution of their populations

 Discovery marks33Photo-identifications34,35,36,37, Olson pers. comm.Satellite tagging33
Austral summer seasons1934/35–1966/671987/88–2014/152012/13
Number of individuals22953992
Number recaptured within a season4936NA
Minimum movement within a season
(degrees longitude; km)
0.10; 320.04; 316.12; 1433
Maximum movement within a season
(degrees longitude; km)
76.45; 351624.69; 117275.06; 5300
Number recaptured between seasons4614NA
Minimum movement between seasons
(degrees longitude; km)
1.77; 1220.47; 19NA
Maximum movement between seasons
(degrees longitude; km)
172.58; 6250141.81; 6550NA
  1. The distances provided as km include latitudinal movements, and the movements within a season exclude those recorded on the same day. The “number of individuals” for Discovery marking is the number of mark deployments, however note that four individuals recaptured within a season, four recaptured between seasons, and one recaptured on the same day had two marks, and that one recaptured between seasons was morphologically identified as a pygmy blue whale33. The whale with the minimum movement detected by satellite tagging was also the whale with the maximum intra-seasonal photo-identification, with a photo-identification taken prior to tagging and on the day of tagging36. Two of the inter-seasonal photo-identification recaptures35 were also identified as recaptures using genetic methods40,43. One was a female identified in the current study as belonging to population 3 (estimated membership 0.474) and moved 131.70° longitude, the other was a male identified as belonging to population 1 (estimated membership 0.846) and moved 6.69° longitude. NA, not applicable.