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Short-finned pilot whale distribution


Short-finned pilot whales are distributed in the tropical and warm temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Off the southwest coasts of several Canary Islands (especially Tenerife and La Gomera), east off Japan, off Hawaii, in waters off the Azores, in the Monterey Bay, California, and Madeira nomadic as well as resident groups can be found. At these places, there is a good chance to meet these animals close to the shore and year-round and has led to research activities such as photo-ID studies ( as well as the development of whale watching activities ( Further data obtained from fossil findings, strandings, incidental catches and opportunistic surveys showed that short-finned pilot whales were encountered off French Polynesia, the British Columbia coast, off Peru, Pacific coast of Mexico and Costa Rica, Taiwan (for the Pacific), Brazil, U.S.A., in the Caribbean, Angola, Senegal (for the Atlantic), Indonesia, Malasia, Seychelles, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, and India (for the Indian Ocean).

Foto Another point of interest is to gain insights to the daily movements (home range) of short-finned pilot whale individuals and groups within and maybe between populations. Photo-ID studies showed that populations consists of resident and nomadic individuals ( Tagging studies have been conducted mostly with stranded and captive long-finned pilot whales being released in open waters (with one individual travelling more than 7,600km in 95 days). Short-finned pilot whales have been locally monitored using suction-cup attachments and the research has focused solely on their diving behavior ( In 2013 this species was satelite-tracked the first time and they were found to move up to 7.5 km/h. Own acoustic research suggests that short-finned pilot whale groups move between islands being 50km apart (