EWS Update #4 (02/09/98)

01/20/97 - 02/08/98


New England Aquarium

EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
Surveys For Right Whales

EWS Reports



(Page sponsored and maintained by WhaleNet)



I usually don't let so much time slide by without sending word on what's happening here but during the past three weeks not much has happened. At least as far as EWS sightings go. To date, we've been grounded as much as we normally would be over the course of an entire season. Most of the days we are flying are less than perfect for surveying. It doesn't appear that we'll get the long stretch of good weather we need to really ascertain what's going on in the calving ground this year. Last winter, we documented over 40 sightings of right whales between January 15 and February 08. During 1996, we had nearly 50 sightings during that time. This year we've scored 4 sightings during the same period. Our team has photographed no more than 6 different cow/calf pairs. With data from all other surveys combined, I'll bet we don't have 10 cow/calf pairs documented this year. Crop's looking thin, even considering the reduction in survey effort due to the hindrances of El Nino.

We have managed to get offshore biopsy darting a time or two during past few weeks. Follow the blue colored links from the address below to locate more info and Joe Roman's narratives of our trips, successful and otherwise.

http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff/Right_EWS98.html

Best regards from the calving ground--
Chris Slay