Department of Conservation researchers are encouraging the public to report all Southern right whale sightings in efforts to support a research programme looking into photo identification and habitat use of the animals.
An excerpt: (read in full here)
“A sighting near the beach at Te Angiangi, in the Hawke’s Bay region has signalled the start of the whale migration season and the beginning of the Department of Conservation’s southern right whale research programme, said the department’s marine mammal coordinator Laura Boren.
“The number of whales sighted around the mainland doubled between 2008 and 2009.
“The research helped the department track the recovery of the southern right whale population.
“It also helped DOC to better understand the relationship between whales seen around the mainland and those from the New Zealand subantarctic region, Ms Boren said.”