More Western gray whales photographed in Baja California in 2021
Historically two gray whale populations have been recognized: Eastern North Pacific population numbering approximately 25,000 whales, and a “critically endangered” Western North Pacific population numbering approximately 300 whales. In recent years Photographic Identification analysis (Photo-ID), radio tagging, and genetic analyses suggest that these population are mixing on their summer feeding grounds and in the winter breeding and in the aggregation areas off of the Pacific Coast of Baja California, Mexico.
New Findings in 2021:
During the 2021 gray whale breeding and calving season in Laguna San Ignacio and Bahía Magdalena, Baja California Sur, Mexico, we photographed 6 gray whales that had previously been identified in the feeding areas of Western North Pacific (WNP) gray whale population; at Sakhalin Island or Peninsula of Kamchatka, in Russia.
Photographic identification data confirm that at least 54 gray whales have migrated from the summer feeding ground in Russia to the winter breeding grounds of the Eastern North Pacific gray whale population in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
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