Dear Mr Garrett,
My son is doing a project on whales and he needs some information on
the seasonal migration of a Southern Humpback Whale. This information will
be very helpful.
Dear Matina Nelson,
I looked on the web and found this link:
Each year several southern humpback whale groups leave their feeding
grounds in the Antarctic to begin their epic voyage of approximately 10,000
Kilometres. One of the groups travel up along the eastern seaboard of
Australia, passing Cape Byron on their way to their birthing and mating
grounds in the sub tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef beyond Hervey Bay.
At birth humpback whale calves have little body fat and would not survive
in the icy waters of the Antarctic; hence the annual return to the warm
waters of the Great Barrier Reef for birthing and mating.
Also, this URL contains the below:
Humpbacks undertake extensive seasonal migrations. They migrate annually
from colder waters, where they feed in spring and summer to tropical winter
breeding grounds where they mate, calve and usually do not feed. The first
detailed descriptions of long distance migrations between summering and
wintering areas were for the Southern Hemisphere populations, where
information was available from shore-based and pelagic whaling operations.
Humpback whales mostly migrate through deep waters (beyond the 200 m depth
contour) although Northern Hemisphere feeding grounds are often coastal, as
are the breeding grounds on the shallow banks in the tropics. The exact
routes followed by migrating humpbacks are not known for all populations.
Humpbacks may undertake local movements in summer in search of prey.
Humpback whales appear to be segregated into different age or reproductive
classes when migrating, although this segregation is not as clear in the
Northern Hemisphere as in the Southern Hemisphere.
Some humpback whales may be resident in certain areas year round.
You might also be interested in this recent paper:
CULTURAL DISPLACEMENT AND REPLACEMENT IN THE SONGS OF AUSTRALIAN HUMPBACK
Michael J Noad, Douglas H. Cato, and M.M. Bryden
Song was recorded from Australian east coast humpback whales, Megaptera
novaeangliae, during migration in 1995 - 1998. Over 1000 hours of song were
used to determine the song pattern in 252 song sessions. While the pattern
of the song was initially highly stereotyped, in 1996 two singers were
recorded with a completely different song type. During the 1997 migrations
the use of the 'new' song type increased dramatically and completely
replaced the 'old' song by 1998. The 'new' song type was identical to song
from Australian west coast humpback whales recorded in 1996 but identical
to song from Australian west coast humpback whales recorded in 1996 but
different to that from 1995 or 1997. These results demonstrate that the
introduction of west coast song at a very low initial prevalence was able
to completely displace the vocal cultural tradition of the east coast
population. The process of change in humpback whale song and bird song has
been described as 'cultural evolution' whereby changes in songs are passed
among individuals by learning and accumulate over time. The song changes
described here were cultural, but were revolutionary rather than
evolutionary, the cultural vocal pattern of one population displacing and
replacing completely that of another population.
2403 So. North Bluff Rd.
Greenbank WA 98253
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