Gray Whale Migration Update: February 19, 1997
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
To: Journey North
Greetings from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary ! This is Laura Gorodezky reporting on the Gray Whale Migration off California. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is a very special place off the coast of southern California. The Sanctuary encompasses 1,658 square miles of ocean habitat surrounding the islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara. It is home to some 28 species of whales and dolphins, six species of seals and sea lions, thousands of sea birds, numerous varieties of fish, and extensive kelp forests. Our office is based in Santa Barbara, California.
This year I will work with Whale Corps Program, volunteer naturalists trained by the Sanctuary and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (www.rain.org/~inverts/), to provide sightings information for these Journey North reports. Whale Corps volunteers provide educational information to passengers aboard the CONDOR out of Santa Barbara.
The Grays have started the second leg of their 10,000-12,000 mile round trip migration from Bering and Chukchi seas between Alaska and Siberia to the warm lagoons of Baja California and western Mexico. Several northbound animals have been spotted off Goleta and Point Conception in the past few weeks.
There has been tremendous interest in a Gray whale calf that beached off the coast of Marina Del Ray, California on January 11,1997. The orphaned calf was transported to Sea World in a near-comatose condition. Named "J.J." by her caretakers, the whale has been under round-the- clock supervision of the park's animal care team. She has grown about 2 ft. since her arrival and has gained weight at a rate of about 1.2 pounds per hour!
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Initially, J.J. had to be fed with a stomach tube, but now she sucks down over two gallons of special formula containing heavy cream, fish and powdered milk every three or four hours. An adult gray whale will eat 2,400 pounds of food daily and requires a 660 pound meal to fill its stomach. A big appetite, but fitting for an animal that can be 55 ft. long and weigh as much as 37 tons. J.J. has recently been moved to a 1.7 million gallon pool where she is visible to park visitors through a 70ft glass viewing panel.
For regular updates and pictures of J.J., please visit Sea World on the WWW
That's it for now. Laura Gorodezky Signing off....
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The Next Gray Whale Migration Update Will be Posted on March 5, 1997.