Humpback Whale Migration Update: February 28, 2001
Today's Report Includes:
Greetings from the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Direct From Samana Bay!
Samana Bay is a protected area on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Whalewatching regulations were put in place here in 1994 to help protect the mother-calf pairs and social groups from too many boats and dangerous boat drivers. We have a short report to share from Pamela Lamelas, manager of planning and programs for the Center for the Conservation and Eco-development of Samana Bay (CEBSE) and its surroundings.This area is both beautiful and rich in history. The Samana Bay/CEBSE Web site notes that:
A SEA Semester
Samana Bay Whale Sparks Curiosity
"The reports we have from our volunteers is that they have seen mothers and calves only four times during the season (as of February 24). We have had some very curious and active juveniles, and in some occasions, big interesting active groups. The only unusual behavior noticed was that of a female who was seen resting for a very long time at the surface, and alone.Everybody was worried, thinking that maybe she was sick. But suddenly, she decided to become more active (reasons unknown). Whalewatching regulations and enforcement are going really well, and the patrols from the Protected Areas Department are doing a fine job at keeping the whales safe."
Sarah the Sailor Shares Stories
You can read all of Sarah's fascinating report then come back and try to answer this:
(To respond to this question, please follow
the instructions below.)
An "Eco-Tourist's" Poetic Journal from Silver Bank
What's in a Name? Discussion of Challenge Question #5
"How do humpback whale researchers select the names for these whales? What do you think are their whale naming rules?"
Anne writes, Individual humpbacks are identified by the black and white pigmentation patterns and scars on the underside of their flukes (tails), and the distinctive scalloped edge, called the trailing edge of the flukes. When humpbacks dive, they raise their flukes above the water's surface and provide researchers with the opportunity to photograph the markings on the underside or ventral surface. Photographs of these natural markings have allowed researchers to monitor the movements, health and behavior of individual humpbacks since this research began in the early 1970s.
Thanks once again to the thoughtful answers from the seventh grade whale experts at Iselin Middle School!
UFO or Whale Songs?: Discussion of Challenge Question #6
Last update we shared two different humpback songs. It was fun to listen to the strange and beautiful sounds. Jessica had some funny thoughts about both songs. This is what she shared:
The Purpose of Whale Songs: Some Thoughts About CQ #7
Sometimes our students sound like the experts. Such is the case with another group of researchers at the Iselin Middle School. This is their answer, "Whale sounds are for mating, calling their young, and communication. The whales have many different pitches for mating, and each male has a different song. The whales repeat these songs over and over to get the females attention. For communication, the whales also use different pitches in their songs. The young can tell who their parents are by learning their parents call.
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions:
1. Address an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Next Humpback Whale Migration Update will Be Posted on March 7, 2001.
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