Wildlife

Whales Moving Into Thawed Arctic Ocean

Microphones submerged in the waters of the Bering Strait recorded an increasing number of whale calls from 2009 to 2012, including some from whales that normally live further south. The whales may have expanded north as the Arctic warmed and the animals’ populations recovered from hunting.

The increase in whale numbers coincided with more ship traffic in the region. More shipping could lead to whales being injured or killed in collisions and interfere with whale communications.

Along with native Arctic whales including belugas and bowheads, the microphones recorded the songs of sub-Arctic whales, such as humpbacks, minkes, fins and orcas.

The microphones recorded humpbacks’ melodious songs into late autumn. And oceanographers observed fin and minke whales from July to September, and their vocalizations were recorded into early November.

The northern seas provide more hospitable habitat for southern species, as the far north warms quicker than the rest of the planet and sea ice retreats.

4 000 penguins threatened after diesel spill – South Africa

A fishing trawler that spilled 10 000 liters of diesel fuel after it collided with rocks near the Stony Point Penguin colony has placed the lives of 4 000 penguins in jeopardy.

The collision occurred 5km away from the colony and resulted in the death of one crew member.

CapeNature’s seabird and animal rescue team has been stationed near the accident epicentre to determine the extent of the diesel contamination on the wildlife.

Conservationists are trying to rescue as many penguins and seabirds as possible by creating a perimeter around the colony, in the hopes of isolating the birds away from the spill site.

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