Sea Shepherd Releases Never Before Seen Footage of Cuvier’s Beaked Whales Near Guadalupe Island
Sea Shepherd's research vessel the R/V Martin Sheen returned to Mexico’s Guadalupe Island to continue its study of Cuvier's beaked whales, capturing never before seen drone footage of these rare and elusive cetaceans.
During the two-week expedition, Mexican lead-scientist Gustavo Cardenas Hinojosa and American collaborator Jenny Trickey, deployed various acoustic devices to compare their effectiveness. The scientists will return and leave these devices for a longer period of time.
The acoustic instruments record the whales’ echolocation clicks, helping scientists estimate the distribution and abundance of Cuvier's at the Island. Some of these instruments are also the same ones used by Cardenas in the northern Gulf of California to estimate the population trends of the near-extinct vaquita porpoise.
Guadalupe Island is a Mexican reserve famous for its large congregations of great white sharks between the months of August and December. However, according to Cardenas, “what most people don't know is that in addition to large numbers of sharks we can also find the rarely seen Cuvier's beaked whales here."
Cuvier’s beaked whales are considered the most extreme mammal divers in the world, with the ability to dive down to almost 10,000 feet or 3000 meters - roughly the length of eight Empire State Buildings. They can stay under water for up to two hours and only need a few minutes of surface oxygen before going back down.
“Their exceptional diving ability makes them hard to study, in comparison to most whales which surface every 20 minutes or so," added Trickey.
Read the rest at Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Related: Fishing Restriction Expanded in the Upper Gulf of California to Protect Vaquita Porpoise and Totoaba (FIS)
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