Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Poor nutrition suggested for humpack strandings

A record number of deaths and strandings of humpback whales in Western Australia has raised concern about the impacts of climate change on ocean food webs.

Between 1989 and 2007, the average number of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) stranded was between two and three. However, in 2008 there were 13 strandings, followed by 46 in 2009 and 16 in 2010.

In 2011, 17 strandings (14 calves and three juveniles) were recorded, representing a rise in the number of young whales perishing than in previous years.

All strandings occurred between Exmouth and Stokes Inlet, east of Esperance, with all calves born at least 1000km south of the regular breeding grounds in the Kimberley region.






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