5 thoughts on “Protests stop Japanese humpback whale killing

  1. Is infant albino humpack whale wayward calf of Migaloo?

    Article from: The Daily Telegraph

    By Simon Benson

    July 16, 2008 12:00am

    EXCLUSIVE pictures of an infant albino humpback whale off the coast of Sydney have sent Government scientists into a spin, with claims that it could be the wayward calf of Migaloo – and one of the first recorded white whale births.

    The tiny cetacean was discovered cruising off the Royal National Park last week with an adult of normal pigmentation – presumably its mother.

    But the sighting of the whales in southern waters at this time of year – they should be further north, in the warmer waters off the Coral Sea – has raised questions about whether climate change was already having an impact on sea temperatures.
    Save the whale: Read our in-depth section

    A study is now being launched to learn if changes to migratory patterns of whales could be an indicator of more serious oceanic environmental changes.

    NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change Acting Director General Sally Barnes said the all-white calf had “reignited the debate about Migaloo’s stature as a true albino or just a very pale humpback whale”.

    White whale Migaloo was first recorded in 1991 making its way from Antarctica in NSW waters.

    Since then, it has been found that Migaloo was a young male in search of a companion.

    Scientists said it was possible that the white calf was the product of Migaloo’s success.

    “Migaloo is the only documented, all-white humpback whale in the world, making him particularly interesting to wildlife experts, whale-watchers and scientists alike,” said Ms Barnes.

    “He was first reported in 1991 and since that time there have been numerous conjectures as to whether or not his unusual colouring was due to albinism,” she said.

    “Migaloo was sighted travelling with another whale near Coffs Harbour on the north coast in early May this year,” said Ms Barnes.

    “Making him one of the first whales to begin the migration and indicating a clear keenness to reach the breeding grounds up north.

    “It is generally agreed that albino animals typically suffer from low fertility and the chances of any offspring also being albino are slim – but not impossible.

    “We will just have to wait and see if this little calf stays white or grows darker with age – but it is certainly a luminous little whale at the moment,” said Ms Barnes.

    “Monitoring animal behaviour is an important scientific way of gauging the impacts of global warming and rising sea temperatures.

    “The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has been monitoring whale movements and numbers for over a decade now and this year joined forces with Macquarie University and their leading aquatic mammal experts to help provide a more comprehensive picture of the impacts climate change might be having on their world,” she said.



  2. Pingback: Japan whaling illegal, Australian court says | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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