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Bowhead whales filmed exfoliating on rocks in arctic

For the first time bowhead whales have been filmed rubbing themselves on rocks to remove dead skin in Cumberland Sound in Nunavut, northern Canada. While local inuits and whalers had previously documented seeing whales taking part in this activity it had never been clear why. Now, with the help of drones, researchers have been able…

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Conserving Migratory Species

Some species of whales and dolphins can migrate many thousands of miles, travelling through the national waters of a number of different countries to get to their destinations. Others can live their lives more locally in the national waters of more than one country – take for example a dolphin in the Mediterranean Sea, in…

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New study uses facial recognition to identify dolphins

For many years, the leading non-invasive way to identify whales and dolphins has been to use photo-identification. Some markings on certain parts of their bodies, such as tail flukes in some species or dorsal fin in others, can remain largely unchanged throughout their lives which enables scientists to closely follow the lives of individuals. A…

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US recommendations to save endangered North Atlantic right whales are grossly inadequate

Two and a half weeks after WDC and its conservation partners issued a Notice of Intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for failing to adequately protect right whales, NMFS released a revised species review report with proposed recommended actions to prevent the extinction of North Atlantic right whales.  WDC and its partners are currently…

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New study on brain size and cultural behaviour in whales and dolphins

Authors of a new scientific paper published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution have put forward the theory that there is a link between brain size and social and cultural behaviour in whales and dolphins.  The researchers looked at 90 different species of whales and dolphins and suggest the bigger their brains, the more complex…

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Rare sighting of northern bottlenose whale in UK

A group of fishermen had an unusual encounter off the coast of Northumberland recently when they came upon a northern bottlenose whale. While these whales are occasionally seen in the UK, they tend to be found in the deeper offshore waters of the North Atlantic rather than the North Sea. In 2006, a bottlenose whale…

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Famine or Feast – Isle of Lewis Research Blog

It was a slow start to this seasons fieldwork here on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. High winds (at this time of year the remnants from the various hurricanes battering the Caribbean and USA) and lots of rain kept us on land and indoors for the first week however patience, being a…

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Dolphins in New Zealand listed on US Endangered Species Act

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has agreed to list the Maui Dolphin as Endangered and the South Island Hector’s dolphin as Threatened on the US Endangered Species Act on October 19th. Consultation on the proposal took place last year and WDC was one of the organizations that wrote in support while at the…

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