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ESR 54:219-224 (2024)  -  DOI:

mtDNA variation of humpback whales in their wintering grounds of Guerrero, southern Mexican Pacific

Luis Medrano-González1,*, Katherina Audley2, Charles Scott Baker3, Debbie Steel3

1Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
2Whales of Guerrero, Barra de Potosí 40835, Mexico
3Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University, Newport 97365, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Here, we describe variation in mtDNA haplotypes among 22 individual humpback whales off the Guerrero coast in southern Mexico and compare this to other wintering regions in the eastern North Pacific Ocean using published data. After correcting for different sample sizes, Guerrero humpback whales fit the cline in the eastern North Pacific in which A types are more abundant northwards, while E and F types are more abundant southwards. Whales observed around Guerrero in early winter exhibited a greater frequency of F types that are also observed earlier in winter at Bahía de Banderas in the mainland region, suggesting a seasonal passage of whales from Mexico to Central America. Four diversity indices were higher in different wintering regions between Nayarit and Guerrero. Departures from neutrality were observed in the bordering wintering grounds of the region. Four measures of differentiation by distance indicated boundaries between Nayarit and Southern Jalisco, and between Guerrero and Oaxaca, suggesting a transitional region between wintering regions of Mexico and Central America from 17.5° to 19.5°N.

KEY WORDS: Humpback whale · Eastern North Pacific Ocean · Southern Mexican Pacific · Distinct population segments · mtDNA · Haplotype · Haplogroup

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Cite this article as: Medrano-González L, Audley K, Baker CS, Steel D (2024) mtDNA variation of humpback whales in their wintering grounds of Guerrero, southern Mexican Pacific. Endang Species Res 54:219-224.

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