"Gray Whale Baby Boom Is Noted in Alaska and California"

"A gray whale baby boom appears to be under way along Alaska's arctic coast. Scientists tracking marine mammals in the Chukchi Sea report an unprecedented number of sightings of gray whale calves in July."

"The biggest number previously counted was 18, reported in 1982 and 2011. Those tallies were for the full season, which runs from late June/early July until October. But 57 cow-calf pairs were recorded between July 1 and July 26 this year, according to the federal Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

'There's the potential that some of those are repeat sightings,' said Megan Ferguson, project coordinator for the Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals Project in a phone interview from Barrow. 'But the fact that we're seeing a five-fold increase makes me think that it is a real increase.'"

Muke Dunham reports for the Anchorge Daily News August 3, 2012.
 

Monday, August 6, 2012