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SUCKLING RATE BEHAVIOR OF BALEEN WHALES

The goal of this project is to determine how humpback whales mothers and calves use breeding grounds to prepare for migration. A suite of methods including UAS and archival tags is used to quantify the behavior and energetic transfer between females and their calves.

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Background Information

 

Baleen whales are capital breeders where their breeding and feeding ground are temporally and geographically separated. Female whales have to ensure that they have enough resources to migrate back to feeding grounds while optimizing their calves' growth. Using UAS and archival tags (CATS TAG), we are interested in quantifying the behavior and energetic transfer between females and calves 

 

AIMS

 

The goals of this project are :

  • Quantify suckling rate of humpback whale calves based on video and acceleration data collected on CATS TAGS;

  • Measure the body condition of females and their calves over the breeding season to quantify calf growth and the associated female blubber loss;

  • Infer energetic requirements for successful breeding as well as important data that can be used to promote the conservation of this population

 

research team

 

- MMRP (L. Bejder, M. van Aswegen)

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (M. Lammers, E. Lyman)

- Pacific Whale Foundation (S. Stack, J. Currie)

- Golbogen lab (J. Golbodgen, W. Gough)

- Friedlaender lab (A. Friedlaender)

- Oceanwide Science Institute (M. Lammers)

PROJECT BLOGS