Gray Whale Migration Update: April 4, 2007

Today's Report Includes:

Mystery Photo

Look closely. What is this? Clickto enlarge >>
Photo: Caroline Armon
Whale Watching: News From Observation Posts >> 

Welcome to Alaska, whales! Everyone in Kodiak is excited to see the first arrivals, who were spotted April 1 in Kodiak waters (#12 on map). More whales are coming; a whale-watch boat captain in Newport, Oregon (#9) said "It's an Interstate out here!" Oregon’s Whale Watching Center is seeing a steady stream of whales headed north to the Arctic. On March 29 they counted 56 whales!


At the other end of the migration trail, babies and moms are still entertaining lucky whale watchers. Don't miss Carolina's heartwarming stories from Laguna San Ignacio (#2 on map). Whale traffic has slowed at both official counting stations (#5 and #6) on the California coast. Still, they're seeing fun things like bubble blasts. Michael at Gray Whales Count (#6) saw a mom paddling on her back with junior bobbing and spyhopping alongside!

Spring training has moms and babies busy in the lagoons, and whale watchers are getting ready for the next phase of the migration. Wayne Perryman is the government's leading expert on gray whale moms and babies. He has begun his yearly calf count at Pt. Piedras Blancas, CA (#7). See all their stories and photos:

Click yellow arrows to read the news! >>

Explore: What Rules Protect Whales? >>

Wouldn't you just love to touch a friendly gray whale? What kind of rules must whale watchers obey in the lagoons? Think about rules YOU might make. Then have a look at an actual sign in Laguna Ojo de Liebre.

Read the rules and see if you can figure out why each rule is important.

  • Rules! Rules! Rules! >>

Journal: Think Like a Whale

Gray whales were once nearly wiped out by whale hunters. They went to the lagoons where they found grays in huge numbers. Whale guide Carolina at San Ignacio Lagoon says, "Here’s one of my random thoughts: what if the whales' perception of us is that we are sea monsters (consider whaling), and they are taming us?"

  • What are the whales' possible intentions in approaching human visitors to the lagoons?

Write your answer in your Gray Whale Journal. >>

Photo Caroline Armon
Migration Order: Who's Next? Watch! >>

To help you with this week's data questions, review the order in which gray whales migrate north. What do you notice? Who is first? Who travels with whom? Why do you think some travel alone? Together? Why do whales travel in a certain order?

Tracking the Migration: Does Data Tell a Story?

Think about the order in which gray whales migrate. Then let's check the daily whale counts at our two California counting stations to see if there's a story in the data.

  • Which whales are Californians seeing?
  • Do the latest numbers show any pulses (surges in numbers), or any lulls (slow-down in numbers)?
  • Graphing gray whale data through the whole season? Add the latest data. >>
Current Gray Whale Migration Data >>

Handout Questions About This Week's Data >>
Conservation: More Good News for San Ignacio >>
For the third week in a row, there's more good news for Laguna San Ignacio! The Mexican government has just donated 109,000 acres of federal lands surrounding this spectacular whale habitat for conservation. This fantastic decision may well be the nail in the coffin of a decade-old Mitsubishi plan to build the world’s largest industrial saltworks on the shores of the most pristine whale sanctuary remaining. More... >>
Links: This Week's Gray Whale Resources to Explore
  • Highlights: Springtime in the Lagoon: A Big School >>
  • Observe Video Clip:Mom and Baby >>
  • Journals: Print Your Own Gray Whale Migration Journal >>
  • Lesson: Tracking Gray Whale Migration from California Observation Posts >>
More Gray Whale Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Gray Whale Migration Update Will Be Posted on April 18, 2007.