Añihue Reserve

Research about cetacean behaviour around Aisén

Añihue Reserve supports Heike Vester, german biologist specialist on the study of the impact of noise and human activities on the marine fauna.

Our first excursion of the pilot project to study the behaviour of whales in Aysen was a great success, both for research and for our hearts. We started at Añihue Reserve and saw plenty of dolphins right at the river opening but also at the beach. There we two different species, Peale’s dolphins and Chilean dolphins. Chilean dolphins are known to be shy, but not the ones we saw there. Both species were often coming close to the boat and either swam in the water stream of the propellers in the back of the boat or were bow riding in the front. It was fantastic to be accompanied by these small and curious animals.

On the second one of my biggest dreams came true. After an intensive search I finally spotted the greatest animal on this planet, the Blue Whale. But there was not just one, no there were three of them feeding close to shore and at one point this 24-30m long whale came to the surface very close to the boat.

We further searched the fjords around a national reserve, the Island of Magdalena and spotted dolphins and seals in many places. Another highlight happened on the first of February after we finished our lunch at open sea. A group of 40-50 Bottlenose dolphins came up to our boat and were bow riding, jumping and looking at us for over 2 hours. That was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

After 9 days of being in the field we came back happy but exhausted.

At the moment I continue my field work here at Añihue Reserve and most fantastic and wonderful things keep happening. Yesterday we witnessed two blue whales mating just around our boat. An incredible view!

We will keep you updated on our research progress on this page.

—Heike Vester, Biologist, head of the research project, Ocean Sounds (www.ocean-sounds.com)

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