Peaking Numbers

Alisa Schulman-Janiger, Director Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project, sent exciting news on March 21, 2015:

"Last week's counts were nearly four times our counts at this time last season! We are still in the first pulse (non-calves) of northbound whales. On March 21, our season total for northbound grays was 1217, including 11 calves. We have tallied 773 northbound grays (including 9 calves) over the past 15 days. Our peak northbound count to date was on March 19 with 79 northbound grays! We continue to have mostly good weather conditions and lots of near-shore gray whales, both factors contributing to high counts of northbound grays passing Pt.Vicente. Over the next few weeks, we may get additional high northbound counts, then the numbers will decrease until the next Phase: Northbound calf counts will pick up and build next month.

"One of our most exciting sightings was a flukeless gray whale (NO TAIL!) on March 16. It was sighted the two previous days south of us at Dana Point and San Diego. The whale likely lost its fluke due to an entanglement, with circulation to its fluke slowly cut off so that the whale had time to adapt before its tail withered away. The flukeless whale joined two other grays off our census location and socialized before they continued their northbound journey."

Gray whale mother and calf migrating past Los Angeles