Southern hemisphere humpback whale populations spend a large portion of the year breeding in tropical waters and migrating between this region and their summer feeding grounds in the Antarctic. They travel great distances during their seasonal migration, the farthest migration of any mammal, with distances up to 11,706 miles recorded. Despite this impressive feat, minimal information is known about their migratory journeys. We have tagged numerous humpback whales with ARGOS satellite tags in the Antarctic feeding grounds over the past several years and have collected data on complete tracks from Antarctica to the western coast of South America. This is the first study to examine humpback whale migratory routes from foraging to breeding grounds, and one of the few to have a workable sample size. We will use this information to create a comprehensive overview of migratory behaviors and characteristics.
Speaker: Michelle Modest, UC Santa Cruz
Editor's Note: This event was originally scheduled for October 23, 2018.
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