Changes in the Large Whales of the Salish Sea and Recent Mortality and Threats

The Sound Waters University 2020 Keynote Speaker John Calambokidis will present some of the new findings on large whales in the Salish Sea including the return of humpback whales to this area. He will share some of the insights from deployments of tags on both humpback and gray whales, and discuss some of the new threats they face including the unusual mortality event of gray whales currently underway. His presentation will include video from the tag deployments that provide a unique perspective on underwater behavior, feeding, and social interactions of these inhabitants of the Salish Sea.

Photo of researcher deploying tag on whale

Information on new research on gray whales has revealed a far more complex role for this species in the region and shown that  several local populations use our waters more extensively than solely as a migratory corridor.

John also will  discuss the recent changes in occurrence of humpback whales and latest research findings concerning them.  For example, recent results show that humpback whales have increased their use of Pacific Northwest inside waters as a feeding ground and are potentially returning to a role more similar to that which occurred prior to whaling.

 

By: John Calambokidis

Photo of John CalambokidisKEYNOTE SPEAKER John Calambokidis is a Senior Research Biologist and one of the founders of Cascadia Research Collective, a non-profit research organization formed in 1979 and based in Olympia, Washington. Between 1991 and 2013, he periodically served as an Adjunct Faculty at the Evergreen State College, teaching a course on marine mammals. His primary interests are the biology of marine mammals and the impacts of humans.

John has served as Project Director of over 100 projects, conducting studies on a variety of marine mammals throughout the North Pacific. He has studied blue, humpback and gray whales for more than 30 years.  Some of his recent research has included attaching tags to whales with suction cups to examine their feeding behavior and vocalizations. 

John has authored more than 140 scientific publications and two books on marine mammals. His work has also been featured on National Geographic Channel, BBC, and Animal Planet. In 2012 he received the American Cetacean Society's John Heyning Award for Lifetime Achievement in Marine Mammal Science.

 

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