The occurrence of dwarf minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata subsp.) around the Antarctic Peninsula was examined based on 406 sightings of minke whales recorded during the Chilean Antarctic Scientific Expeditions and other opportunistic cetacean surveys. Identification of the species was made only for the whales sighted in the proximity of the vessels when the specific diagnostic characters could be confirmed. Of the 406 sightings, 296 were assigned to Antarctic (519 individuals), nine (11 individuals) to dwarf and 101 to unidentified minke whales (149 individuals). Dwarf minke whales were identified by the reported external diagnostic characters for this species. Seven animals occurred around the South Shetland Island and four in the Gerlache Strait. In addition, another two animals were identified as dwarf minke whales in the Bellinghausen Sea in winter 1993, being these the most southern records for this species. These results confirm the occurrence of dwarf minke whales around the Antarctic Peninsula during the summer seasons, as well as in the Bellinghausen Sea in winter. The geographical range of these sightings was comprised between 61°03´ and 69°25´S and between 55°29´ and 86°53´W. These results also suggest that some dwarf minke whales remain in the Antarctic during the austral winter.
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(Polar Biol., 34 (2011): 313–318, doi: 10.1007/s00300-010-0884-y)