Researchers attribute big numbers of Right whales to a shift in female calving

Research manager at Pretoria University's Mammal Research Institute's Whale Unit, Dr Els Vermeulen says the scores of Right Whales along our coastline in Hermanus could be attributed to a change in female calving.

More than 1000 whales have been counted between Hawston and Witsand which is triple the amount counted in the first week of September 2017.

Vermeulen says normally females calve every three years but there's been a bit of a shift in that they now calve every four to five years.

The females that should've been here in 2015, 2016 and last year and most likely will be coming here this year.

Dr Els Vermeulen, Research manager at Pretoria University's Mammal Research Institute's Whale Unit

Normally October has been a peak season when all calves are supposed to be born so we might also be looking at a temporal shift in the season which we are now discovering that maybe the peak season for whales presence is no longer October but between August and September.

Dr Els Vermeulen, Research manager at Pretoria University's Mammal Research Institute's Whale Unit

To hear the rest of the conversation with Dr Els Vermeulen, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Researchers attribute big numbers of Right whales to a shift in female calving


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