Asian Surveying & Mapping
Breaking News
Australian spacetech companies partner to deliver the world’s first on-demand satellite imaging platform.
Over the course of several decades, satellite imagery has...
Singapore boosts geospatial property collaboration
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has signed memoranda of...
Esri India partners with AGNIi (Invest India) to roll-out ‘GeoInnovation’
Empowering start-ups to build location Intelligence and facilitate wider...
‘ISRO gearing up for multiple space missions in 2022’
After a rather muted 2021 in terms of satellite...
Australian company develops system for real time mapping of wildfires
At Wildfire Today we have often advocated for what...
Israel awards nearly $6 million in grants to space tech startups
From growing super-vegetables in space to taking high-resolution images...
Modi Govt’s ‘Urban Geospatial Data Stories Challenge’ To Promote Innovation Begins
The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said that...
Ethiopian Government to Merge the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute and Ethiopian Geospatial Information Institute
In November 2021, the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives...
Iran Slaps Down US ‘Concerns’ Over Space Programme After Satellite Launch
Iran launched a rocket carrying three satellites into space...
Russia and China Ink Cooperative Deal on Respective GNSSs
Russian space agency Roscosmos and the Chinese Satellite Navigation...
  • May 12, 2020
  • Comments Off on Satellite Tracking Discovers Elusive Whale Feeding Grounds
  • Feature

South Australian scientists are helping track southern right whales in search of summer foraging grounds, with a new report recording the first contemporary data on this seasonal migration. The study could provide valuable information in making guidelines to protect the species as numbers rebound from devastating whaling from 1790 to 1980.

Six whales were tracked using satellites in the multi-site study to monitor whales as they travelled from winter calving grounds in Australia and New Zealand.

Scientists, including corresponding author Alice Mackay from the South Australian Research and Development Institute, found the whales likely summer foraging grounds were in southwest Western Australia, along with the Subtropical Front and Antarctic Waters.

“(This provides) new information on migratory corridors and identifying areas of restricted research and increased residency which could be indicative of feeding,” the paper reported.

Winter calving grounds for southern right whales extend from Western Australia across southern Australia to the New Zealand sub-Antarctic Islands.

During summer, these whales are thought to migrate from coastal waters to feed but knowledge about their feeding ground locations are only inferred from historical whaling data.

Three whales from South Australia’s Head of Bight were tagged along with two whales at the Auckland Islands in New Zealand and one at Pirates Bay in Tasmania. Australian, New Zealand and American researchers then tracked the whales finding they travelled distances ranging from 645 kilometers to 6,381 kilometers over an average of 78.5 days.

Likely foraging grounds identified were southwest Western Australia, the Subtropical Front, and Antarctic Waters, with the Subtropical Front appearing to be a summer feeding ground for both New Zealand and Australian southern right whales from the Head of Bight calving area.

The paper said this data indicated potential human impacts on whales during this time could be better managed to protect the species.