right whale feeding

From: Phil Clapham (phillip.clapham@noaa.gov)
Date: Fri Oct 12 2001 - 15:29:06 EDT


Right whales are in trouble because there are not many of them (only
about 300) and many whales die from either ship collisions or
entanglements in fishing gear.

Your question about fasting is a good one. Pregnant whales eat a lot so
that when they fast in winter they have lot of fat to live off, and it's
this fat that they use to produce milk for their babies. So as long as
they get enough food during the feeding season they and their babies are

> Jennifer Johann wrote:
> Dear Dr.Phil
> Please tell me if this is why Right Whales are disapearing. When
> Right Whales go down to Florida the mother whale fasts. The baby whale
> eats off the mother but if the mother is not able to give it good
> milk, because she is fasting, will the baby whales will die?
> from
> Casey

The Society for Marine Mammalogy will be holding its 14th Biennial
Conference from 28 November to 3 December 2001, in Vancouver, BC.  Visit
the conference Web site at www.smmconference.org for full details of
this important meeting.

Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Protected Species Branch Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A.

tel. 508 495-2316 fax 508 495-2066 email: phillip.clapham@noaa.gov

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