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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Tracking longest ever shark and whale migration

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This is the tiger shark from a side view. Credit: Courtesy of Nick Filmalter/Danah Divers

Longest ever tiger shark tracking reveals remarkable, bird-like migrations

Posted: 09 Jun 2015 06:33 PM PDT

A new study has yielded the first ever continuous, two or more-year satellite tagging tracks for tiger sharks. This study reveals remarkable, and previously unknown, migration patterns more similar to birds, turtles and some marine mammals than other fishes. Long believed to be mainly a coastal species, the tiger sharks, in fact, made more than 7,500 kilometer, round-trip journeys every year between two vastly different ecosystems — the coral reefs of the Caribbean and the open waters of the mid-North Atlantic. Furthermore, they returned reliably to the same overwintering areas each year, a discovery with significant conservation implications….

 

 

Isabela’s dorsal fin. Image taken in Chile’s Gulf of Corcovado in 2006. Credit: Courtesy of Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete/Blue Whale Center

Epic journey by blue whale

Posted: 11 Jun 2015 01:12 PM PDT

Scientists studying blue whales in the waters of Chile through DNA profiling and photo-identification may have solved the mystery of where these huge animals go to breed, as revealed by a single female blue whale named “Isabela.” The researchers have discovered that Isabela — a female animal named after the lead author’s daughter and a major Galapagos Island of the same name — has traveled at least once between Chile’s Gulf of Corcovado and the equatorial waters of the Galapagos Islands, a location more than 5,000 kilometers away and now thought to be a possible blue whale breeding ground. The journey represents the largest north-south migratory movement ever recorded for a Southern Hemisphere blue whale….

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