Whale researchers are taking to the sky to study the gray whale migration that is currently underway off the coast of California. The whale research team is conducting aerial surveys from an airplane to capture photographs of the gray whales that are swimming south on their annual migration from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic to their winter calving areas in warmer waters off the coast of Baja California and in the Gulf of California. These surveys are a non-invasive way to assess the body condition of gray whales. The researchers are able to gain valuable information about the reproductive and nutritional status of the gray whales by measurements of length and width taken from the vertical aerial photos.
Recent press coverage:
San Diego Union Tribune – Aerial Photos Give Perspective on Gray Whales
To learn more about eastern North Pacific gray whale research, please check out the following links:
Recent Aerial photos
Above Left: A very pregnant gray whale
Above Right: Common dolphins bow ride in front of a gray whale