Monday, April 19, 2010

Right Whales


Currently scientists are perplexed with the increased deaths of Right Whales. These whales, which wash ashore along the Patagonian Coast of Argentina, are mostly calves, younger than three months old. Adults of this species can grow up to fifty - five feet in length and weigh sixty tons. The fist deaths were recorded in 2005 and currently reach a total of 308 individuals. The only similarity among each whale is the relatively thin layer of blubber (compared to healthy individuals). The high number of calves being washed ashore is most likely due to the shore's proximity to Peninsula Valdes, which is a crucial nursery and calving environment for the Right Whale population in the Southern Hemisphere. About one - third of Right Whales are thought to depend on the waters surrounding the Peninsula Valdes. Although these deaths have been occurring over the past year, later this month a team from the Wildlife Conservation Society as well as experts from other organizations will meet and discuss solutions to this problem. Current hypotheses include: biotoxins, disease, environmental factors, and prey availability at the whales' feeding grounds.



2 comments:

  1. I think the new efforts in finding solutions to this problem are amazing. I hope the team planning on finding solutions are successful in doing so.

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  2. Yeah, I read that they sometimes beach themselves accidentally because they get sick and confused, thinking they are heading towards their breeding areas. But what is making them sick? Pollution? We still need more information.

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