Science

How long do bottlenose dolphins survive in captivity?

We were happy to host Zoology student, Grace Long for a two week placement at our UK headquarters, in March. Grace is a student at the University of Exeter and she’s keen to get into whale and dolphin research and conservation. She joined our End Captivity team during her time with us and took on an important piece of work, investigating the life span of bottlenose dolphins in captivity.

Two white whales sighted off Australia and New Zealand

White whales are very rare, but in the last couple of days there have been sightings off both New Zealand and Australia.

An adult white humpback whale, possibly the famous whale known as Migaloo, has been seen off the coast of Gisborne on New Zealand's North Island.

Meanwhile, off Lennox Head in New South Wales, a white whale calf was sighted by a passing paraglider. The mother of the calf has the usual dark colouration of a humpback whale.

Rare white orca returns

Colleagues from the Far East Russian Orca Project (FEROP) have encountered one of the rare white orcas off the Commander Islands, about 100 miles off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. The orca, known as Mama Tanya, was last seen in 2010. 

Blue whales in New Zealand found to be genetically distinct

Blue whales have long been known to frequent the waters around New Zealand but now scientists have discovered that the whales living between the North and South islands appear to be a genetically distinct population. 

A survey in 2014 by a team from the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University identified around 50 blue whales in the South Taranaki Bight but it was unclear if these whales were just seasonal visitors or might be there on a more permanent basis.

Fossil of new extinct baleen whale discovered in New Zealand

Scientists have discovered a new species of extinct baleen whale after examining a skull and other bones that were discovered on New Zealand's South Island 30 years ago.

Toipahautea waitaki, is estimated to have been around five metres in length and lived around 27.5 million years ago, making it one of the earliest known baleen whale to have been found so far.

Bowhead whales sing jazz songs

New research has revealed that not only do bowhead whales have the most diverse song range amongst whales, but that they may be singing their own vast and unique selection of ‘jazz’.

Kate Stafford, an oceanographer at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Seattle, studied a large group of the whales, listening in to their underwater concerts. She was amazed by what she heard and recorded.

Dolphins in WDC’s adopt a dolphin programme doing well

According to a report published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), with research undertaken by Aberdeen University, around 200 bottlenose dolphins make the Moray Firth and Scottish north east coast their home, and the population is ‘stable'.

WDC warmly welcomes this news. The population was at one time estimated to be around 130 dolphins, so this appears to show an increase, though there is now much more dedicated research and monitoring.

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