Gray Whale Census Data

San Ignacio Lagoon Gray Whale Census Beginning 2002

The following census data is for San Ignacio breeding and calving lagoon only. We began taking censuses in 2002 and have recorded this data annually. We take the census from a small boat while traveling the length of the lagoon at a speed a bit faster than the whales normally travel. It is quite accurate and we can count the whales in the lagoon with an error plus or minus 7% to 10%. What we cannot count are how many whales are transiting or staying just outside of the lagoon during tide changes which is when many is when many of the whales will either move out or back into the lagoon. So these censuses represent only the whales counted inside of the lagoon. There are a great number of whales just outside of the lagoon entrance during these counts.

 

2009

Census
Date
Cow &
Calf Pairs
Single
Adults
Total
Whales
Observations
22-Jan-09
9
15
33
30-Jan-09
11
49
71
05-Feb-09
33
85
151
13-Feb-09
79
144
302
20-Feb-09
29
117
175
census taken at low tide - many whales outside mouth of lagoon
12-Mar-09
40
46
126
census taken at low tide - many whales outside mouth of lagoon



2008

Census
Date
Cow &
Calf Pairs
Single
Adults
Total
Whales
Observations
23-Nov-07
1
2
4
16-Jan-08
0
2
2
24-Jan-08
3
4
10
07-Feb-08
25
32
82
15-Feb-08
43
28
114
22-Feb-08
56
43
155
28-Feb-08
54
117
225
01-Mar-08
223
no breakdown-only total
13-Mar-08
62
134
258
18-Mar-08
53
66
172
26-Mar-08
47
14
108



2007

Census
Date
Cow &
Calf Pairs
Single
Adults
Total
Whales
Observations
18 Jan
2
11
15
 
25 Jan
5
13
23
 
1 Feb
68
Low tide so some whales at mouth or outside of lagoon
8 Feb
25
69
119
 
22 Feb
46
113
205
 
10 Mar
74
36
146
Low tide…many whales outside of the lagoon
15 Mar
15
14
44
I question this count; I believe it was taken at a time of a minus low tide, when many whales were outside the lagoon. Also, we missed our Peak numbers count, as no census was taken between 2-22 & 3-10 due to high winds. That gap is when we usually see our highest count.

 

2006

Census
Date
Cow &
Calf Pairs
Single
Adults
Total
Whales
Observations
2 Feb
24
32
80
 
9 Feb
56
43
155
 
23 Feb
74
138
286
 
2 Mar
53
182
288
 
17 Mar
82
53
217
 
24 Mar
95
9
199
 
30 Mar
33
4
70
Low tide, so many of the whales were outside the lagoon

 

2005

Census
Date
Cow &
Calf Pairs
Single
Adults
Total
Whales
Observations
24 Jan
129
 
27 Jan
33
107
173
 
3 Feb
53
83
189
 
17 Feb
45
85
175
 
23 Feb
73
79
225
 
2 Mar
58
68
184
 
9 Mar
32
22
86
Low tide, so many of the whales were outside the lagoon
30 Mar
55
1
111
 

 

2004

Census
Date
Cow &
Calf Pairs
Single
Adults
Total
Whales
Observations
21 Jan
36
33
105
2 dead calves with umbilical cords attached
30 Jan
51
34
136
 
12 Feb
59
48
166
 
18 Feb
71
112
254
 
26 Feb
94
68
256
 
3 Mar
83
102
268
 
11 Mar
118
52
288
 
20 Mar
53
3
109
 
25 Mar
58
5
121
 
1 Apr
76
1
153
 

 

2003

Census
Date
Cow &
Calf Pairs
Single
Adults
Total
Whales
Observations
30 Jan
30
43
103
 
13 Feb
34
175
243
 
20 Feb
51
143
245
 
28 Feb
53
112
218
 
7 Mar
42
50
134
 
8 Apr
30
0
60
 

 

2002

Census
Date
Cow &
Calf Pairs
Single
Adults
Total
Whales
Observations
29 Jan
70
 
17 Feb
200
 
28 Feb
43
170
256
 
7 Mar
70
54
194
 
21 Mar
59
9
127
 
12 Apr
50
 

 

 

 


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