Количество детенышей серых китов в Тихом океане увеличилось
2023-08-20 Global news

The number of gray whale calves in the Pacific Ocean has increased

This spring, almost twice as many gray whale calves have traveled north with their mothers compared to last year.

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According to a report from NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center, such numbers may indicate a stabilization of the eastern North Pacific gray whale population. These mammals migrate along the west coast and may play an important role in regulating the ocean ecosystem.

"We've also seen an increase in the number of mother-child pairs in Mexico's lagoons and a decrease in the number of whales that are stranded and killed during their northward migration," NOAA Fisheries.

Whale population researchers say it's a positive development. But it still needs improvement. For example, it's estimated that 412 female gray whales with calves headed north in 2023. This is almost twice as many as last year.

детенышей серых китов

"However, this is still down from 1,500 gray whale calves in 2016, when the population numbered nearly 27,000 whales. A count last winter showed that the total population had dropped to 14,500 whales," the scientists said.

At the same time, according to researchers, 13 gray whales stranded in Washington State in 2023. Whereas in 2022 the figure was slightly higher - 15. Even earlier, in 2019, there were 34 whales stranded. The numbers are lower, but they are still not enough to talk about major changes.

Read also: Study reveals behavior of marine predators off California beaches

Analyzing various data, the scientific team believes that the causes of mass deaths of whales and their stranding are changes in the ecosystem in the Arctic regions. In addition, whales are malnourished, struck by ships, and predated by killer whales.

Incidentally, whales make one of the longest migrations of any other species. They build up fat reserves in the summer to support their winter migration south to Mexico and then back to the Arctic.

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