Humpback Whales are still in the inside waters, and we feel that some are in the more remote inlets of the upper Georgia Strait. Humpbacks don`t tend to stay in close proximity to Orca or Dolphins. Perhaps due to Orca and Dolphins communicating in a much higher pitch than Humpbacks.
It`s great to hear about some Harbour Porpoise to round out this report. These shy Porpoise are not as easy to spot as they do not produce some of the spectular leaps that Dolphins do. With their numbers felt to be in the decline, we appreciate the reports. Every report is valuable so keep your eyes open and give us a call or email.
Are you enjoying our new WOWs Archive Explorer maps? We'd love to get some feedback from you.
Susan MacKay, Wild Ocean Whale Society
Real Time Monitoring Station Update:
The weather, co-ordinating equipment and volunteers, and the holiday season caused a variety of delays in the installation of our first live system. Although it's not up and running yet, it is being worked on, albeit a bit slower than anticipated. Thanks to some great volunteers, the specialized camera mast has been fitted, but not secured yet, our electrical components have had a few modifications that were not anticipated, and the work continues. The hydrophone, underwater listening device, will be installed as soon after the camera as possible with co-ordination of the divers. We can hardly wait and will keep you posted.
Our team of Volunteers continue to do a great job in making sure all your reports are mapped and published regularly. Would you like to join us?
ISSUE SIGHTINGS MAP 2017-002
UNIDENTIFIED KILLER WHALES
Fri Jan 13 2017
Mon Jan 09 2017
Sat Jan 07 2017
Fri Jan 06 2017
Sun Jan 15 2017
Wed Jan 11 2017
Thu Jan 05 2017
Wed Jan 04 2017
PACIFIC WHITE SIDED DOLPHINS
Sat Jan 14 2017
Tue Jan 10 2017
Fri Jan 06 2017
Thu Jan 05 2017
Wed Jan 04 2017
Sun Jan 15 2017
Dive into over 5,000 Cetacean Sightings, images, videos and audio recordings reported in our Sightings Updates with the WOWS Sightings Archive Explorer
Archive Explorer takes readers into the Cetacean world of the BC Coast. Easily view all Cetacean sighting reports together with all sighting photos and videos:
• View species such as Humpback, Grey Whale or Dalls Porpoise
• Follow the endangered Southern Residents Orca in the Salish Sea
• Search for encounters with T002C2 Tumbo
• Goto Port Alberni to watch a close-up video of Orca in the harbour
• Track the T010s Transients as they hunt and travel the inside passage
• Check-Out "KC", the ever popular Humphack and track his whereabouts this past August
• Goto one of 12,000 named locations on the BC and WA State coast
• Print custom sighting reports and maps (Coming Soon)
Explore this powerfull new research tool with the Archive Explorer Help page
Note: The Cetacean Sightings Archive is also available in database format together with sighting photo and video links for viewing, query and download here
Send your Comments and Questions to: Archive Explorer Feedback
REGIONAL & WEST COAST
The end of 2016 was a difficult time for endangered Southern Resident killer whales with the disappearance of several individuals leaving the population at only 78. As we start a new year, we appreciate the efforts of all or our partners to contribute to ongoing research and conservation programs for the Southern Residents. Below are updates on a few of NOAA's recent actions.
• 5-year Review for Southern Resident Killer Whales
• NOAA Invites Input on Proposed Killer Whale Protection Zone
• NOAA Completes Review of Exposure to a Mixture of Toxic Chemicals
The annual migration of some beluga whales in Alaska is altered by sea ice changes in the Arctic, while other belugas do not appear to be affected.
A new study led by the University of Washington finds that as Arctic sea ice takes longer to freeze up each fall due to climate change, one population of belugas mirrors that timing and delays its migration south by up to one month. In contrast, a different beluga population, also in Alaska, that migrates and feeds in the same areas doesn't appear to have changed its migration timing with changes in sea ice.
The paper was published Dec. 21 in the journal Global Change Biology.
"The biggest take-home message is that belugas can respond relatively quickly to their changing environment, yet we can't expect a uniform response across all beluga populations," said lead author Donna Hauser, a postdoctoral researcher at the UW's Polar Science Center.
Blue whales are the largest animals on the planet and yet curiously invisible to people, with sometimes deadly consequences.
Bigger and more numerous ships are plying the coastal waters off western North America, unloading goods at increasingly busy ports, notably Oakland and Long Beach, California. The problem? The ships’ routes overlap with blue whale foraging spots. Each year, an average of two blue whales are struck by ships in the California Current, though that is only documented cases and the reality is likely higher.
To help the situation, researchers from Oregon State University and the University of Maryland have been working with the fisheries department of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to build WhaleWatch, a new forecasting tool to alert ship captains to the presence of these endangered whales. It’s the first system to provide monthly maps of projected blue whale hotspots off the US west coast.
WhaleWatch combines location data from 104 blue whales tagged from 1994 to 2008 along with current and historical environmental
Custom-designed detection algorithms were run on 57,000 hours of underwater ocean noise to find the songs of endangered blue whales, rather than listening for each whale call. Most animals produce species-specific calls. Eavesdropping on their calls therefore provides a unique way to monitor them. This is completely rewriting our understanding of their population recovery.
Two new blue whale populations migrating off the east coast of Australia werer discovered using this technology. This is important news as the blue whale has been slow to recover after being hunted to the brink of extinction. How can the largest animal that has ever lived, the Antarctic blue whale, swim undetected just off the coast of Sydney?
It is remarkable that we have only now discovered them there. It is possible that they only started using this route recently, or perhaps they have been there all along and we have missed them.
Fortunately for us, blue whales sing, allowing us to detect them using arrays of listening devices spanning sites across the Indian and Pacific oceans. However, the frequency of their song is so low that humans can't hear it.
Blue whales produce different calls and these calls possibly reflect different subspecies. Their different songs help the International Whaling Commission manage the recovery of these subspecies...
Bottlenose dolphins are moving north from their warm-water haunts in the ocean waters off Southern California, and seaside observers are spotting more and more of them as far north as Mendocino.
Some seem to be taking up temporary residence inside San Francisco Bay, while others appear to be commuters from distant waters, marine biologists say.
Whether their movements mark another signal of a changing climate is still unknown, but the phenomenon is more than a curiosity, and the scientists are tracking the marine mammals closely.
Researchers from Murdoch University- in partnership with Duke University - studied the spinner dolphins of Hawaii Island, finding they display a unique daily behavioural schedule.
"The dolphins mainly rest between 10.00 and 16.00 upon their return to sheltered near shore habitats. We also observed that socialising behaviour occurred mainly in the early mornings and late afternoon within bays," said Dr Julian Tyne from the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit.
"Reinforcing social bonds and social cohesion between the dolphins may be important for success of their cooperative night-time foraging activities.
"We are not aware of any other cetacean species that partitions its behavioural activities in such a temporally ....
New Zealand is home to more than half of the world's whale species, and each beaching is a lesson to be learnt, says marine expert Anton Van Helden.
With 42 species and two subspecies in New Zealand waters, nearly half of the world's species of whales, dolphins and porpoises live off our coasts.
Despite this, less than one per cent of our oceans have 'no take' protection from fishing and extractive industries, which disrupt and harm marine animals, Forest & Bird marine mammal expert Anton Van Helden said.
A 2011 Video encounter with a pod of Sei whales spotted as the R/V Thomas G. Thompson conducted magnetic surveys of the ocean floor about 150 miles from Wake Island.
SEI WHALE SPECIES PROFILE
Common name: Sei Whale
Latin name: Balaenoptera borealis
Status under SARA: Listed as Endangered for the Pacific Population and Data Deficient for the Atlantic Population in a 2003 assessment.
Range: Sei Whales have a largely unknown geographic distribution, as their wintering grounds have not yet been identified. However, Sei Whales can be found in oceans in the sub-polar latitudes in each hemisphere during the summer months, and in sub-tropical waters during the colder months.
Life span: The oldest recorded age is 74 years in the wild.
Size: Females are slightly larger than males. These whales average 15-19 tonnes, and have an average length of 15m.
Population estimate: With the lack of recent data collection, the global population is estimated at 57 000.
The Sei Whale’s Canadian range encompasses both coasts, and they are sometimes spotted along the coast of British Columbia and in the waters off of Newfoundland. While this species is found worldwide, it is largely restricted to deep waters in the temperate latitudes between the poles and the tropics, as they are sensitive to overly cold and overly warm waters. Once a female is pregnant, she will begin her migration north to her feeding grounds. After 10.5-12 months of gestation, she will give birth to a single live baby whale called a calf. Her calf is weaned after 6 months but she will continue care for it closely and will not become pregnant for another 2-3 years.
Source: Nature Canada