Watching Whales at Night

Watching Whales at NightThermal imagery of migrating Gray Whales

(NOTE:This video contains audio)

 MP4 Video

Thermal Imaging , also know as FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) cameras, are being utilized by scientists at the Protected Resources Division (PRD) of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) to help reliably monitor the California gray whale population, even when the whales can’t be seen by daylight. Every winter, the population migrates within a few miles of land during the annual migration between feeding and breeding grounds along the west coast of North America. Infrared cameras can capture the slight differences in temperature between the moist breaths exhaled by the whales in contrast to the cold of the water in which they swim. This video was taken in February of 2010 as the gray whales were traveling south past the field station at Granite Canyon, 8 miles south of Carmel, CA, along the Big Sur coast.

For more information on gray whale population studies please visit: /textblock.aspx?Division=PRD&ParentMenuId=211&id=9036