LSIESP 2020 Annual Gray Whale Report is Now Available

Winter 2020 characterized by the 3rd consecutive winter of the whales’ late arrival to the lagoons,

low calf counts, and increased numbers of “skinny” & “emaciated” whales… a cause for concern...

The 2020 winter gray whale reproductive season in Laguna San Ignacio and Bahía Magdalena was the third consecutive breeding season (2018, 2019, and 2020) that was characterized by: 1) an approximate two week delayed arrival of the whales to the lagoons; 2) very low numbers of calves-of-the-year; 3) increased adult mortality in the lagoons, and 4) an increase in the percent of “skinny” or “mal-nourished” adult whales observed compared to the previous seven winters (2011-2017). Unfortunately these observations continue to be mirrored in the ongoing Unusual Mortality Event (UME) that began in the spring and summer of 2019 and continues in 2020 (NOAA 2020).

And then, the world-wide outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic in mid-March 2020 resulted in all field activities being suspended, the Laguna San Ignacio field research station closed, and all researchers and students returned to their universities and homes for duration of the 2020 winter gray whale breeding season in the lagoons and aggregation areas of Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Read the entire 2020 LSIESP Annual Research Report (click here)

You may read more about the significance of these observations, along with reviews of all our research accomplishments during 2020 by visiting our website’s “Publications and Resources” web page.


          Gray whale abundance in Laguna San Ignacio and Bahia Magdalena in 2020

          Unusual Mortality Event (UME) affecting gray whales in 2019-2020

          Decreasing body condition of gray whales observed in Laguna San Ignacio

          Using Double UAV-drones to study gray whale behavior and vocal activity

          UAV-Drones obtain precise measurements of female whale condition and calf growth


          Gray whale abundance in Laguna San Ignacio & Bahia Magdalena

  Declining whale body condition in Laguna San Ignacio

          UAV-Drones measure gray whale growth and body condition

          Dual UAV-Drones evaluate gray whale behavior and vocal activity

          Sealion abundance increases in Laguna San Ignacio

          Monitoring gray whales in Laguna San San Ignacio 2020 UPDATE



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