Subject: El Nino,Whale's migration

Dagmar Fertl (Dagmar_Fertl@mms.gov)
Mon, 4 Jan 1999 08:31:20 -0500

     Subject: How does El Nino affect Whale's migration?
     Author:  Mark Kingsolver <kingsolver@mindspring.com> at ~smtp
     Date:    12/29/98 3:23 PM
     
     
     I am a middle school student and I need to know how El Nino affects 
     the migration of whales.  Any information you have would be great.
     
     
     ______________________________ Reply 
     Hi Mark.  Thanks for your great question.  In short, we don't really 
     know how El Nino affects the migration of whales.  I just sent an 
     answer to WhaleNet to a related question regarding gray whale 
     migration and why it seems 'delayed' this year.  I'll go ahead and 
     forward you my response, and the rest of the folks reading this 
     message can look in the WhaleNet archives for the answer (it should be 
     right before this message).  If you don't understand my answer that 
     I'm forwarding to you (from the other message), please let me know, 
     and I'd be happy to try to explain.
     
     Thanks again!
     Dagmar
     
     
ring the migration).  Imagine if you have an 
extreme El Nino, which (as you know from the previous message I sent to 
you, and which is now in the WhaleNet archives), there is decreased food.  
This means that the whale probably has to move longer distances looking for 
food.  This takes a lot of energy (which they may not have a lot of after 
migrating from the breeding grounds and they are really hungry after not 
eating and/or could mean that the animals have to migrate an even longer 
distance than they usually have to, to get back to the breeding grounds 
later on, and might not have as much energy stored up (in the form of 
blubber) that they need to have).  This would be especially critical for a 
female that is taking care of a calf.

Hope this helps.