Whale Migration

It’s well known that some humpbacks wintering off the Hawaiian Islands migrate to British Columbia and Southeast Alaska for the summer, but until now it was not known that some animals from the Socorro Island population go to the same places.

This map illustrates the northward migration and probable feeding movements of a humpback whale tagged with satellite-monitored radio tags. This map shows a tagged whale moving from Socorro Island to the southern tip of Baja California Sur, Mexico, before migrating north to Alaska in a trip totalling 10,562 km (6,563 miles). This whale traveled much further offshore (by several hundred miles) than the first whale. It came nowhere near Vancouver Island, instead moving up to northern British Columbia and along the Alaskan coastline. The inset map shows the whale making typical feeding movements in an area northeast of Kodiak Island. Image courtesy of Exploring the Census of Marine Life 2002/2003 Expedition, NOAA-OER.

Related Links

Census of Marine Life 2002/2003

Census of Marine Life: Nekton

Maps Gallery