2015 Gray Whale Calf Count

Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale Calf Production Survey
Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, CA 
23 March – late May

Notes from the Field:

Week 4:
  The fourth week of the survey showed an increase of calves relative to previous weeks: 20 cow/calf pairs were recorded, including a calf that breached. 


Figure 1. Gray whale calf/cow counts by week for 2015 field season.

Notes from the Field continued:

Week 3: The third week of the survey had some wind and rain that cut down effort and only three cow/calf pairs were seen. This is about normal for this time of the year and next week we expect to see the counts of calves start to increase. 

Week 2: The team completed the second week of the survey of northbound gray whale calves on Friday, April 3rd. The team recorded 10 northbound calves and also the first blue whale of the season. The second week was characterized by high winds that cost 14 hrs of effort. Still, counts of calves (14 for the season) are running a little higher than normal for this stage of the migration which is consistent with what has been reported from the lagoons and others counting northbound gray whales.

Week 1: The team completed the first week of the annual survey of northbound gray whale cows and calves from the Piedras Blancas Light Station last week, recording 4 calves in the 46 hours of survey effort; about 11 hours of effort was lost to fog and high winds. In addition to gray whales, there were sightings of killer and humpback whales from the watch station. 

Last modified: 4/21/2015