Subject: Re: Gray Whale Migration - Annual Tracking?

Courtney E. Stirling (stirling@gsosun1.gso.uri.edu)
Sun, 1 Dec 1996 12:52:21 -0500 (EST)

Dan, 
	I an sure that there is a research group that keeps very close
track of the grey whale migration up and down the US West Coast.  My best
bet would be someone at Bruce Mate in Oregon or Dan Costa in California -
unfortunately that is as specific as I can get.  Email MIke Williamson who
operates the WhaleNet Home page and I am sure he will be able to direct
you better.
	Now, about migration patterns themselves, I think I can help. 
Grey whales mate and calve around Baja California and the Gulf of
California in Mexico - in the protected lagoons - between early December
and early March.  Most births occur in January (after at 13.75 month
gestation period - so conceived the previous winter).  The, there are two
phases of migration northward - one occurring in March and April.  This
early migration bunch consists mostly of non-breeding adults and immatures.
 The second wave heads northward about a month later.  This late wave is
made up of cows and claves.  These two waves head north parallel to the
coast, oftern within 2 km of it.  The migration can lead as far north as
the Northern Berring Sea and the Chukchi Sea.  The particulars of the
crossing from the Northern US coast to these most northerly destinations
are not know.

Good Luck.

Courtney

On Sat, 30 Nov 1996, Dan Sulllivan wrote:

> Hello,
> 
> 	Does any organization track the annual migration of gray whales along
> the Pacific coast?  I know some of the rangers at Point Reyes (Marin
> County,California) and Point Lobos (Monterey County, California) keep an
> informal track of passing whales, but does is there anything more
> formally done? If so, how can I contact that group? 
> 
> 	Also, how spread-out is the migration?  That is, is the entire
> population of Pacific coast gray whales on the move at the same time,
> and if so, do they stretch hundreds, or thousands, of miles along the
> Pacific coast or are they more bunched-up?
> 
> 	I'm really new at this and I hope my e-mail address is correct. It's
> "dans@netwizards.net".  Thanks greatly.