How little we know!!! In a recent blog I made the mistake of saying that Western Pacific Gray Whales were strictly found near the Sakhalin Islands which are of the east coast of Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk. Further they did not mix and were genetically separate making interbreeding most unlikely in regards to our closely aligned California Gray Whale.
Flex was born in the summer of 1997 making him thirteen years old and one of only 130 living members of this species. By following the link below through Bruce Mate at the Oregon State University more exact information and specifics of this seemingly unusual migration can be found.
Again I feel we have a creature screaming for help, for all we know there may be several traveling together, since Flex was the only one tagged. Credit should be given to the Russian branch of the International Wildlife Federation for attempting to stop further drilling for oil near the Sakhalin Islands. Therein lies the real problem, the search for and extraction of petrochemicals and its high decibel sounds.
Thanks Lily, once again you have clarified the intent of my blog. The entire issue of mans intrusion into the sea world needs critical review. Looking at previous articles we have published here, it is obvious out attempt continues to portray marine creatures as in need of protection. Looking back, our original post dealt with sonar and the adverse effects it has on whales, dolphins and porpoises not to mention all other marine creatures.
Marine mammals are highly sophisticated beings with emotions like ours. Flex really needs to be tagged like I need another hole in my head. Sure we are learning about what appears to be an usual migration, but at what cost to his dwindling population? Take a look at what happed to the killer whale that lost its life based on an ill conceived tagging operation, again an action we opposed, “Stop NOAA tagging file #781-1824.”
How interesting. When you say the real problem with oil is that the sound escalates causing pain to the Gray Whale? Is it similar to the pain and suffering whales go through when sonar is active? I think it is great the Russians are doing something to help.