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SPATIAL ECOLOGY

Illustration by Danielle Clackson

Calls reveal population structure of blue whales across the southeast Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific Ocean

and low latitude northern waters – as far north as the Lau Basin.

But this does not happen every year. We are now examining what drives these changes in Antarctic blue whale distribution patterns. We are looking across the ocean basins of the southern hemisphere. We detect their vocalizations in continuous multi-year (over 16-years at some sites) recordings using different arrays, including the world-wide network of underwater hydrophones that listen for nuclear explosions (the UN General Assembly CTBT Nuclear Test Ban Treaty system).  It is poetic that infrastructure developed to prevent nuclear warfare is perfect to answer questions about one of the world’s most secretive mammals – the blue whales.

 

BLUE WHALES IN WARM WATER 

– drivers of Southern Hemisphere distribution pattern

ANTARCTIC BLUE WHALES

 

Antarctic blue whales move between summer-time high-latitude productive feeding grounds in Antarctica to low-latitude winter-time warm-water breeding grounds. But to our surprise, not all Antarctic blue whales returned to the Antarctic to feed in the austral summer as we detected their vocalizations year-round in mid

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SPATIAL ECOLOGY

Temporal Segregation of the Australian and Antarctic Blue Whale Call Types Balaenoptera musculus spp

Calls reveal population structure of blue whales across the southeast Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific Ocean

PYGMY BLUE WHALES

 

We have found that there are different populations of dialect speaking pygmy blue whales off the Eastern and Western Australian coast lines. The pygmy blue whales migrating along the east coast of Australia have a "Kiwi" NZ dialect, not an Australian accent.

Drawings by Alicia Guerrero & Tracey Rogers