Subject: How do you know where whales are?

Al Romero (
Wed, 03 Feb 1999 07:05:37 -0600

At 03:59 PM 2/2/99 -0800, you wrote:
>Dear Dr. Romero,
>My name is Jeff and I work for a science research group. We will be
>doing some research at sea in the near future, and we want to be
>"whale friendly" and avoid bothering our fellow mammals. My question
>is, how do you know where whales are and how are they tracked? Is
>there a web site or some information source that has this information
>readily available and updated?
>Thank you,
>Jeff Cooper

The most common approach is simple observation either from a boat, from the
coast, a helicopter, or an airplane. In order to track them tagging has
been performed although photo identification (based on the fact that almost
every animal displays distinctive marks and scars on the body) has become
much more popular.

If you want to have an overall view on these type of observational
procedures for different species, I would recommend that you take a look of
the Handbook of Marine Mammals, published by Academic Press, volumes 3-6.

Best wishes,

Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.
Director and Associate Professor
Environmental Studies Program
Macalester College
1600 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105-1899
(651) 696-8157
(651) 696-6443 (fax)