Gray Whale Migration Update: February 24, 1999
Today's Report Includes:
Latest News From the Gray Whale Observation
More northbound gray whales are being sighted and experts believe that
their migration has now shifted from southbound to northbound! Despite recurring
storms on the West Coast, more gray whales are being counted each day, reports Susan
Payne from Kodiak, Alaska.
The highlights of this week's report are provided below, along with:
Susan Payne with son Will Ross H. Dumm
This Week's Highlights from the Migration Trail
More gray whales are now on their way north! As of Monday, February 22, 65 northbound
gray whales had been counted by the American Cetacean
Society (ACS) census from Point Vicente on the Palos Verdes Peninsula near Los
Angeles (33.44N,-118.24W), and ACS believes the migration has now shifted from southbound
to northbound. At the Channel Islands Marine
Sanctuary near Santa Barbara (34.40N,-119.69W) whale-watch charters reported
northbound gray whales daily over this past weekend. Monterey
Bay Whale Watch reported their "first" northbound whale on February
11 and on February 22 reported 4-10 gray whales in three hours of observation (36.67N,-122.00W).
Storms on the West Coast are preventing some whale watch efforts all along the coast.
Some southbound migration continues off of both Los Angeles and Monterey. CNN reported,
on February 18, that the gray whales had arrived a month later than usual at their
breeding lagoons in Mexico. I will try to find some confirmation of this report.
In the meantime, see if you can answer:
Challenge Question #2
"Why do most gray whales make such a long journey of 10,000-12,000 miles
each year, leaving southern waters for northern seas?"
to this Challenge Question, please follow the instructions at the end of this report.)
National Marine Fisheries Service
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Report your FIRST Gray Whale Sighting to Journey
on the West Coast, we hope you'll help provide gray whale migration data this spring.
To track the whales' trip to their northern feeding grounds we are collecting the
FIRSTnorthbound Gray Whale you see this spring to Journey North!
- Date of first sighting of northbound gray whales.
- Date of first sighting of northbound gray whale mother/calf pairs.
Obviously, you would need to watch for whales every day to accurately report these
"firsts" of the season. Therefore, we encourage you to contact the captain
of one of the many whale-watch vessels in your area. These people are lucky enough
to be out every day and can provide accurate data for you.
Helpful Links and Special Thanks!
Today's data and observations were generously shared by the many people named in
Susan's Field Notes, and by the following organizations:
How to Respond to Today's Gray Whale Challenge
1. Address an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge
Question # 2
3. In the body of the message, give your answer to the question above.
The Next Gray Whale Migration Update will Be Posted on March 10,
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