March 2016 Statistics Report

On the map above, we can see the Sightings of the past month of March.

NOTE: To see the interactive map please visit

We sighted 7 different species of Cetaceans and 1 species of Sea Turtle in a total os 13 tours!

Two Species of Baleen Whales: Fin Whales (Bp) and a Humpback Whale (Mn);

One Species of Toothed Whales: Sperm Whales(Pm);

Four Species of Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins(Tt), Common Dolphins (Dd), Risso’s Dolphins (Gg) and Striped Dolphins (Sc).

One Species of Sea Turtle: Green Sea Turtles (Cm).

March 2016 Chart - % of trips in which the selected species were seen (MONICET)

March 2016 Chart – % of trips in which the selected species were seen (MONICET)


It’s the Mysticeti season(the Baleen Whales)! They are characterized by having baleen plates for filtering food from water, rather than teeth like the Odontoceti (Toothed Whales and Dolphins). They pass here from around March to June, on their migratory route.

At this time of the year the “North Atlantic spring bloom” happens.  The water temperatures and hours of daylight increase and it causes the phytoplankton to do so. And in its turn, the increase of phytoplankton causes an increase of the zooplankton and Krill.

That’s what attracts the Baleen Whales to the Azorean Waters at this time. They pass through here on their way further to the North Atlantic to their summer feeding grounds.



Fin Whale/Balaenoptera physalus

Fin Whale/Balaenoptera physalus – Photo from May of last season

Although it’s the Baleen Whales season, our Resident Species are also present at this time. And they are the Sperm Whales, the Bottlenose Dolphins, the Common Dolphins and the Risso’s Dolphins.

Sperm Whales/Physeter macrocephalus

Sperm Whales/Physeter macrocephalus – 21st of March 2016


Risso's Dolphins/Grampus griseus

Risso’s Dolphins/Grampus griseus – 19th of March 2016

April just started and it seems that will be a great month as well.

Stay tunned for our next updates on our fantastic adventures in the ocean! 🙂





Stephanie Almeida

About Stephanie Almeida

Stephanie is Guide at TERRA AZUL since 2013 and Operations Assistant since 2017. Contributed for several years on Data collection for MONICET – The Azores Islands Cetaceans Research & Conservation long-term monitoring project.

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