This video from Argentina is called Approached by Southern Right Whales in Patagonia.
By Rebecca McLeod in New Zealand:
Southern right whale population on the rebound
Southern right whales, hunted perilously close to extinction last century, appear to be making a remarkable recovery in New Zealand according to recent research. For the past four years a group of scientists from Auckland and Otago Universities, the Department of Conservation and the Australian Antarctic Division have been sailing south to the Auckland Islands to count and identify individual whales that go there to breed and calve. Recent DNA matches of whales recorded in both the Auckland Islands and mainland New Zealand have shown that the animals migrate between these two areas and likely form one intermingling population. Certain individuals have also been seen at the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island, mainland New Zealand and South Australia – these animals certainly get around!
Results of genetic analyses by Professor Scott Baker and his team at Auckland and Oregon State Universities indicate that the New Zealand population of southern rights was reduced to as few as 50 reproductive females following years of hunting in the 1800s and early 1900s, and further illegal whaling of the species by the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s. Since the 1960s the population appears to have been steadily increasing. Ten years ago the population was estimated to include about 900 whales, and the preliminary findings of the latest surveys, indicate that numbers have likely doubled since then. According to Dr Simon Childerhouse, the leader of the most recent expeditions, the rate of recovery of New Zealand southern right whales appears to be at least as high as that seen for populations in Australia and South Africa. In contrast, populations of northern right whales are incredibly depleted, and do not appear to be recovering. Despite right whales being protected in the northern hemisphere, mortality from ship strike and entanglement in fishing gear appears to be outweighing natural population increase. In this sense, southern right whales are fortunate – their natural home range around the Southern Ocean and coastal and offshore New Zealand, has relatively low volumes of shipping traffic.
May 2013. The southern right whales that use the Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San José, protected by the Valdés Península in Argentina, as a nursery ground have suffered the largest mortality event ever recorded for the species. At least 605 right whales have died along the Argentine coast since 2003, including 538 new-born calves. One hundred and thirteen calves died in 2012 alone. The Southern Right Whale Health Monitoring Program is working with scientists worldwide to determine why the whales are dying, but as yet, a common cause remains to be found: here.
Stunning close-up photographs capture southern right whales: here.
Whale-sized Genetic Study Largest Ever For Southern Hemisphere Humpbacks: here.
Moby Dick comes to life: The astonishing rare images of a sperm whale feasting on a giant squid: here.
- Southern right whale sightings on the rise (stuff.co.nz)
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- Endangered Southern Right Whales Returning to Mainland New Zealand (scienceworldreport.com)
- DoC seeks help spotting southern right whales (nzherald.co.nz)
- Historic whaling data used by NIWA (stuff.co.nz)
- Humpbacks back in the Bay: Strong winds make food abundant (mercurynews.com)
- Whales rediscover New Zealand waters (stuff.co.nz)
- Turtle, dolphin and bird watching (omantourism20220.wordpress.com)
- In Defense of Whales – Sea Shepherd Australia: Sea Shepherd launches Operation Relentless, its 10th Antarctic whale defence campaign (friendnature.wordpress.com)
- Fauna! (mussennurwollen.wordpress.com)