Right Whale Mom/Calf Tagging
Tagging North Atlantic right whales on the calving grounds in the southeastern United States in collaboration with the Duke University Marine Lab.
2017 SEUS Field Season by Julia DombroskiMarch 16, 2017
The official SEUS 2017 field season started on February 1st and ended on the 20th. A lot happened – and didn’t happen – over the 20 days I spent in Fernandina beach, Florida. I was over the moon knowing that was about to see North Atlantic right whales; but I was also very anxious as I knew I would be around people I’ve never met, doing something that I had never done before but dreamed of doing since I started working with marine mammals – tagging whales. Moreover, while this was my first tag operation, the field team I was being added to has been tagging all sorts of whales all over the world for at least 6 years. Pretty intimidating, right? Well, I had a great time with the field team (on board and on land) and learned A LOT with everyone. Sadly, despite all effort, we only found one mother-calf pair. But mum and calf were very cooperative and we successfully deployed the tag after the first attempt.Continue reading
More Dolphins and an Uncooperative Mom by Jessica McCordicFebruary 21, 2014
Monday, February 17:Continue reading
Tales of Tagging by Jessica McCordicFebruary 12, 2014
As I sit here listening to the wind rippling the flag on the deck and watching the gray waves roaring on the beach, it’s hard to believe that the weather was ever nice enough to tag whales. Luckily for us, though, it was! Sunday we managed to get a tag on a mom (#2123, “Couplet”) that stayed on for a little more than two hours. The tags are programmed to come off at a preset time for retrieval, but we think this one was knocked off early by the calf rolling around on mom. Calves seem to spend a lot of time on their mothers’ backs, especially here in the calving grounds. It probably saves the calves a lot of energy to get some nudges here and there from mom, but it’s also not particularly helpful in keeping suction cups attached to a whale’s back.Continue reading