About the Right Whale Migration Study
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watching on-line! Come along with Anne Smrcina, Education Coordinator at Stellwagen
Bank National Marine Sanctuary, as she reports the sightings of Northern Right Whales
on their spring migration from wintering waters off the shores of Georgian and Florida
to the Caribbean to the northern summer feeding waters in the North Atlantic. Right
Whales are among the most endangered whales, with only 300 individuals in the entire
Along the way, students will explore why whales migrate and why they go where they
do. Students will learn that these gentle giants-which grow to 60 feet long and weigh
up to 100 tons - survive by eating tiny ocean plankton and small fish. At the same
time, they build up huge fat reserves to live off during their migration south when
they will stop eating entirely. They'll explore the ocean process of "upwelling"
which creates a far-reaching food chain that whales and many other ocean creatures
depend upon. In addition, students will study the conservation issues facing these
endangered creatures and explore why one species, the humpback, is making a stronger
recovery than the northern right whale. Students will have the chance to "interview"
other students who will take actual whale-watching expeditions and report their experiences.
Finally, if we're lucky, we'll receive reports on gray and humpback whales and an
orca or two from our friends in the Pacific.
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