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Southern right whale tagging in South Africa

Recent changes to the South African southern right whale population, including decreased calving rates and body condition have prompted a need to better understand their foraging ecology and migratory behaviour. As such, in addition to four tags deployed in October 2021, 11 mothers with calves were tagged in Walker Bay in South-Western South Africa in October 2022. Of the animals tagged in 2022, 10 have migrated into the Southern Ocean and most are positioned between 40°S and 50°S in the SE Atlantic. One individual has moved into the SW Indian Ocean. Two whales utilized the west coast of South Africa as a feeding ground, one temporarily before migrating South, and another is still present on our coast. You can find out more information about the project and follow the track data here.

Contributor: Matthew Germishuizen & Els Vermeulen