New Gray Whale Research to Begin in 2018

Advances in Gray Whale Research to Begin in 2018

The Laguna San Ignacio Ecosystem Science Program and the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur (LSIESP-UABCS) gray whale research team is preparing for what will be a very interesting and busy field season in 2018. This winter we will collaborate with several of our university research partners to apply new technologies and methods to research gray whales, and to begin a new chapter in gray whale investigations in Laguna San Ignacio. These collaborative projects will expand research methods for detecting and evaluating changes in behavior, body condition, growth, and health that may be evidence of stress and disturbance for gray whales resulting from environmental conditions, human activities, or some combination of factors.

This much needed information will help marine scientists and wildlife managers to understand gray whale behavior, and to conserve the whales and their winter habitat in Laguna San Ignacio. New research activities include:

Understanding Gray Whale Sounds: Dr. Aaron Thode and his graduate students from  Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla California.

Estimating Gray Whale Condition, Growth, and Energetic Cost of Reproduction: Dr. Fredrik Christiansen and his students from Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia.

Fine-Scale Movements and Bioenergetics of Gray Whales: Dr. Lars Bejder and his research associates from the University of Hawaii.

Analysis of Hormones to Assess Reproductive Fitness and Stress in Gray Whales: Dr. Celine Godard-Codding and her students from Texas Tec University, Lubbock, Texas.

We are very excited about beginning this winter’s research with our collaborators in Laguna San Ignacio. While we have only limited internet service in the field, we will be posting research reports and research updates on our website beginning in the spring of 2018 following the winter field season.

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