Subject: whale migration

Martine Berube (
Mon, 22 Mar 1999 16:31:29 GMT

At 09.15 AM 22-03-1999 -0500, you wrote:
>I am helping a second grade student on a report of whale migration.  any
maps and info would help.  do yoy have maps of their migrations.
Dear Lorraine,
There is quite a broad question. I think you would benefit by concentrating
on a couple of species. This is your decision but think about it. You can
find information about migration patterns on different species at WhaleNet or and look for the search section.
As a start here is some general information taking from the Seaworld homepage.
1. Most baleen whales are highly migratory, moving toward high-latitude
(polar) feeding areas in the summer and toward
low-latitude (tropical) calving areas in the winter.

    a. Migrations for most baleen whales average 3,000 to 5,000 km
(1,800-3,000 mi.) each way, depending on the

    b. Gray whales migrate over 10,000 (6,000 mi.) each way--the longest
known migration for any mammal. See

    c. Other species migrate much shorter distances. For example, Bryde's
whales only move from temperate regions to the
    equator. And sei whales don't migrate as far towards the poles as most
species do.

    d. Northern and southern hemisphere populations of the same migratory
species don't encounter one another due to the
    opposite seasons. The northern population is feeding in the polar region
while the southern population is breeding and
    calving in the tropical region.

    e. Many factors may act as environmental cues to help baleen whales
navigate along a migratory route: sun orientation,
    topography of the ocean floor, water temperature, chemical changes in
the water, and magnetic sensing.
    Satellite-tracking studies assist scientists in research on migratory
behavior of baleen whales.

2. Some individual whales do not migrate. These may be juveniles or
post-reproductive adults and may stay in protected
nearshore areas.

3. Variations in water temperature, food availability, and feeding habits
may account for movements of some animals.

Here are maps showing the migration pattern of the blue and humpback whale.

Good luck with your friends report,
Martine Berube
School of Biological Sciences 		    
University of Wales - Bangor                
Deiniol Road, Bangor 		
Gwynedd LL57 2UW 		
Wales, United Kingdom		
Phone 	+44 1 248 38 22 96
Fax     +44 1 248 38 28 25