whale migration

From: Kim Marshall-Tilas (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Wed May 15 2002 - 12:36:27 EDT

> Dear Kim Marshall,
> What are the migration routes or the southern and northern-most sightings, in
> the northern hemisphere, of the minke, fin, beluga, and orca whales?
> Reply:
> Dear Solomon,
> The following information about the migration routes of minke, fin, beluga,
> and orca whales in the northern hemisphere has been taken from ³Whales,
> Dolphins, and Porpoises, The visual guide to all the world¹s cetaceans²
> Eyewitness Handbooks, by Mark Carwardine.
> Minke whales are found worldwide mostly in the cooler waters of the North
> Atlantic, North Pacific and southern hemisphere. They are usually more
> concentrated in higher latitudes during the summer and low latitudes during
> the winter but their migrations vary from year to year. They enter inlets,
> estuaries, bays to feed sometimes.
> Fin whales are more common in the southern hemisphere but there are
> populations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. They migrate between the
> warmer low latitudes in winter to the cooler high latitudes in summer. It is
> believed that the population found in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico, may be
> yearlong residents.
> Beluga whales are found in the subarctic to high arctic off the coasts of
> Scandinavia, Greenland, former Soviet Union, and North America and their
> seasonal distribution is directly related to ice conditions. Most populations
> do not make long migrations, the longest being from the Bering Sea to the
> Mackenzie River in Canada. The residents of the St. Lawrence River, Canada,
> do not migrate at all. They generally spend their summers in shallow bays and
> estuaries and winters in areas of loose ice.
> Orcas or killer whales are one of the most wide ranging mammals on earth and
> do not seem to have a regular migration pattern as they follow the food
> sources. They are seen more often in cool waters in surf zones to open sea.
> Also please review WhaleNet¹s species/classification pages at
> http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff?/classification.html.
> Thank you,
> Kim
Kim Marshall-Tilas
Executive Director
Ocean Alliance
(Encompassing the Whale Conservation Inst. & the Voyage of the Odyssey)
191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA 01773
781-259-0423 x 14 fax: 781-259-0288
www.oceanalliance.org www.pbs.org/odyssey

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