A comprehensive understanding of the population abundance and degree of spatial connectivity of southern right whales in Australian waters is currently lacking. This limits assessments of the species recovery and understanding of the nature and degree of difference between the south-eastern and south-western Australian populations.
This project will provide, for the first time, an abundance estimate of the total Australian population of southern right whales. It will also investigate the connectedness of whales that utilise breeding areas on the eastern, southern and western coasts of Australia.
Information provided by this project will allow the Australian government to better evaluate progress made against the Conservation Management Plan for southern right whales and ensure conservation efforts for the species are effectively coordinated at the regional level.