Marine Biodiversity Records (2019)

DOI: 10.1186/s41200-019-0178-1


The Burmeister’s porpoise Phocoena spinipinnis is a small, poorly-studied, and Near Threatened cetacean species, with a limited geographic range comprising the Pacific and Atlantic coastal temperate waters of five South American countries. Here we describe a stranding of a freshly-dead adult male Burmeister’s porpoise that was discovered opportunistically on the eastern coast of the Falkland Islands (51°40.9′S, 57°43.2′W) on 29 June 2019. Unfortunately the carcass was removed by an unknown source prior to any scientific sampling, but the morphological features revealed in photographs taken of the dead animal were sufficient to verify the species identification. This is the first known record of Burmeister’s porpoise in the Falklands, confirming a sixth range state for the species and expanding its known distribution range eastwards from the previous nearest documented occurrence in Tierra del Fuego by at least 600 km across the Patagonian Shelf.