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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Minke Whales Tagged and Tracked in World-first Study

real scientific research on whales collaborative results

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, August 18, 2013/Categories: wildlife conservation, marine mammals, sustainability, environment

Occasional journal contributors, Wayne and Pam Osborn, have provided Riled Up with a post about a collaboration between Australian and international scientists to radio-tag dwarf minke whales in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. The study makes for fascinating reading and is what real scientific research on whales and other marine mammals should be about. WHB

Minke whales tagged and tracked in world first

August 14, 2013

Four dwarf minke whales have been tagged and tracked in a world-first study. Australian and international marine researchers tagged the whales in the northernQueensland and they are now being tracked as they race down the east coast of Australia.

James Cook University’s Dr Alastair Birtles commented that the pilot study was an attempt to solve one of the great mysteries of the oceans: Where do minke whales go after wintering in the Great Barrier Reef? He said: “Although they occur all around the Southern Hemisphere, the GBR hosts the world’s only known predictable aggregation of these exquisitely beautiful little whales.”

According to the study, a multi-million dollar ecotourism industry has emerged over the past 20 years that for a few weeks each year provides a thousand or so fortunate people with extraordinary, often life-changing, wildlife encounters.

The pilot study was conducted from the state-of-the-art research vessel Whale Song operated by Curt and Micheline Jenner of the Western Australian Center for Whale Research in Perth, WA. One of the unexpected immediate benefits was a close collaboration between the research team and the Australian Defence Force to monitor whales as the first two animals headed straight for Talisman Saber, the massive joint military exercise between Australia and the USA based in northern Australia.

The report released by James Cook University can be read here.

Minke Whales Tagged and Tracked
(credit: James Cook University)


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