Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Endangered whale becoming a regular visitor to New Zealand


Endangered whale becoming a regular visitor to New Zealand

Scientists have shown that mainland New Zealand has become an increasingly important winter habitat for southern right whales – a population hunted to near extinction in the 19th century – and members of the public have played a critical role in the research.

"This endangered whale now seems to be a regular visitor to mainland of New Zealand" said lead author Dr Emma Carroll from The University of Auckland "For the first time we have documented southern right whales returning to the mainland, including females returning with their calves in different years.”

The findings suggest that mainland New Zealand could become an important habitat for mothers and calves and perhaps larger social groups. Between 2003 and 2010, for instance, 28 mother-calf pairs were seen in the area, compared with only 11 sightings from 1991-2002 and none between 1976 and 1991.

New Zealand’s coastal waters were once the seasonal home of tens of thousands of southern right whales. However extensive whaling saw the whales all but disappear from around the mainland, with few sightings for most of the twentieth century.

In recent decades a remnant population was found around the sub-Antarctic islands and members of this growing population now appear to be re-colonising mainland New Zealand.

“We now have photo-ID matches confirming that the same individuals are moving back and forth between the Auckland Islands and the mainland,” said co-author Dr Will Rayment from the University of Otago.

“This is great news because the population at the Auckland Islands is recovering strongly. Hopefully we’ll see more of these whales around the mainland in the future.”

“The public plays a key role in supporting this research by reporting sightings to 0800 DOCHOT (0800 36 24 68),” says Dr Laura Boren from the Department of Conservation (DOC). “Their reports enable our staff to obtain samples from opportunistic sightings, in numbers that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. This has been a great piece of collaborative work to monitor the re-colonisation of an endangered species”.

To monitor the whales’ numbers around mainland New Zealand DOC launched a public awareness campaign in 2003, encouraging people to report sightings. This led to a collaborative research project involving researchers from The University of Auckland, University of Otago and Oregon State University.

The latest findings are based on these sightings data, and whales individually identified from photographs of natural markings and/or DNA profiles from small samples of skin. The research has been published in the current issue of Marine Mammal Science.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>


BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news