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A Southern Resident killer whale leaps into the air. The Southern Residents are an endangered population of fish-eating killer whales. Credit: NOAA

Southern Resident Orcas Receive Oregon Endangered Species Protections

February 16, 2024 - Contact: Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, (508) 451-3853, [email protected] Brady...
Pilgrim and her calf in December 2022 © Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA permit #20556-01

Critically endangered whale dies due to inaction of Biden administration

Pilgrim and her calf in December 2022 © Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken...
© Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, taken under NOAA permit 24359. Funded by NOAA Fisheries and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Critically endangered North Atlantic right whale found dead off Georgia’s coast

February 13, 2024 - On February 13, a North Atlantic right whale was reported dead...
#5120 not entangled in July 2021 
© Gine Lonati, University of New Brunswick. Taken under DFO Canada Sara Permit

Entanglement rope of North Atlantic right whale identified

On February 14th, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced it had identified the fishing...

Barnacles used to track humpback whale movements

Researchers in the US have been using an interesting way to map the travel patterns of some humpback whales as they migrate around the globe, to look into how those patterns may have changed over many years, and also at the state of the ocean in the past.

By looking at the barnacles that attach themselves to humpback whales researchers can track their travels, potentially look at how the ancient migration patterns of these huge creatures may have changed, and also potentially use the information to reveal more about the oceans that ancient migrators were visiting.

Humpbacks swim thousands of kilometers between feeding and breeding grounds and understanding where they go, both now and in the past, helps to conserve these amazing individuals.

About 40 years ago, researchers were able to use barnacles attached to gray whales   to record the path those whales take each year by measuring oxygen atoms in the barnacle itself – warmer waters supplying a higher proportion of heavier oxygen atoms, for example.

Researchers have now decided to use the same tactic to track the migrations of ancient whale species in the same way, looking at coronulid barnacles, which live only on humpbacks. Even though some barnacles analysed are no longer attached to whales, because of the close association between this barnacle species and humpbacks, these barnacles passed their lives on ancient humpbacks. 

In the coming months it is hoped that data from the barnacles might help pin down exactly where whales were moving over the past five million years.

Why not adopt a humpback with WDC and help fight threats they face?

Sundown kick-feeding