Southern right whales have a circumpolar distribution in the Southern Hemisphere. The distribution in winter, at least of the breeding component of the population, is concentrated near coastlines in the northern part of the range. Major current breeding areas are nearshore off southern Australia, New Zealand (particularly Auckland Islands and Campbell Islands), Atlantic coast of South America (Argentina and Brazil), and southern Africa (mainly South Africa). Small numbers are also seen off central Chile, Peru, Tristan da Cunha (British Overseas Territory), and the east coast of Madagascar (IWC 2001, Rosenbaum et al. 2001). In summer right whales are found mainly in latitudes 40-50°S (Ohsumi and Kasamatsu 1986) but have been seen, especially in recent years, in the Antarctic as far south as 65°S (IWC 2007, Bannister et al. 1999) and around South Georgia (Rowntree et al. 2001).
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