[MARMAM] New paper on western gray whales migrating to the eastern North Pacific

Irvine, Ladd Ladd.Irvine at oregonstate.edu
Fri Apr 17 12:59:54 PDT 2015

Dear All,

We are pleased to announce the publication of our manuscript 'Critically endangered western gray whales migrate to the eastern North Pacific.' In the journal Biology Letters.

Full Citation:

Mate BR, Ilyashenko VY, Bradford AL, Vertyankin VV, Tsidulko GA, Rozhnov VV, Irvine LM. 2015 Critically endangered western gray whales migrate to the eastern North Pacific. Biol. Lett. 11: 20150071.

Western North Pacific gray whales (WGWs), once considered extinct, are critically endangered with unknown migratory routes and reproductive areas. We attached satellite-monitored tags to seven WGWs on their primary feeding ground off Sakhalin Island, Russia, three of which subsequently migrated to regions occupied by non-endangered eastern gray whales (EGWs). A female with the longest-lasting tag visited all three major EGW reproductive areas off Baja California, Mexico, before returning to Sakhalin Island the following spring. Her 22,511 km round-trip is the longest documented mammal migration and strongly suggests that some presumed WGWs are actually EGWs foraging in areas historically attributed to WGWs. The observed migration routes provide evidence of navigational skills across open water that break the near-shore north-south migratory paradigm of EGWs. Despite evidence of genetic differentiation, these tagging data indicate that the population identity of whales off Sakhalin Island needs further evaluation.

PDF requests can be sent to me at ladd.irvine at oregonstate.edu<mailto:ladd.irvine at oregonstate.edu>


Ladd Irvine
Sr. Faculty Research Assistant
Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 S Marine Science Dr.
Newport, OR 97365

Phone: 541-867-0394


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