Podcast Episode 17 – Bob Pitman, world champion cetacean lister

The final mammalwatching podcast episode of 2021 – released just hours before the end of the year – featured the remarkable Bob Pitman, whalewatcher extraordinaire.

I thought I was doing pretty well with my 50 something cetacean list. And then we talked to Bob. This man has seen 86 different whale and dolphin species in the wild…. 86!! He has only a handful left to spot and I have little doubt he will see them all. He had plenty of great stories including having a snowball fight with a Killer Whale.

Here’s a short YouTube trailer put together by Jose Gabriel.

The full audio podcast is available on most podcast platforms (look for “mammalwatching” one word) or here.

The next episode, coming very soon,  features Charles’s and my kids. They got together on New Year’s Eve to talk about the highlights and lowlights of their mammalwatching childhoods.

I hope 2022 is starting well for everyone.


1 Comment

  • Jon Hall

    Here is a comment that cetacean expert Charles Anderson asked me to post on his behalf…

    Your recent post on Marine Mammals of Southern Africa and excellent podcast with Bob Pitman both mention the apparent lack of reliable sites for beaked whales. Part of the problem for potential beaked-whale-watchers, as highlighted in the podcast, is of course that they are animals of the deep ocean, mostly living far from land.

    One exception is the Maldives. This string of coral atolls in the tropical Indian Ocean rises directly from the deep ocean. There is no continental shelf. So deep water, with steep bottom topography, lies immediately offshore. This is prime beaked whale real estate, and at least four species are found here: Cuvier’s, Longman’s, Blainville’s and Deraniyagala’s.

    We do not encounter beaked whales on every trip here, but in particular areas at particular times of year we do see beaked whales aplenty (up to 16 separate sightings of 3 species during one April trip).

    Chas Anderson


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