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Wine Glass Bay whales join Freycient Centenary Celebrations

Wine Glass Bay whales join Freycient Centenary Celebrations

Freycinet National Park had a welcome guest on its 100th birthday on August 29: an adult southern right whale, which was photographed by the DPIPWE Marine Conservation Program (MCP) in Wineglass Bay.

sr2The animal was relaxing in shallow water just off the beach and appeared to be rubbing its back on the sandy bottom.

MCP staff were alerted to the animal’s presence in the bay by a call from the public (thanks Damien!) to the Whale Hotline (0427WHALES).

MCP Marine Biologist Dr Kris Carlyon said that such calls greatly assisted the MCP’s long-term monitoring of this Endangered species.

“We have compared the pattern of callosities (the white barnacle-like features) on the whale’s head with photos of other animals in our database, and we can confirm that this individual hasn’t been identified in Tasmania during previous years,” Dr Carlyon said.

“The next step will be to compare images with those in databases held by other States – a match will provide valuable information regarding temporal and spatial aspects of migration and population connectivity.”

This visit was followed up less than two weeks later by a mother southern right whale and her calf, spotted in deep water off Lemon Rock just outside Wineglass Bay sr3on September 12.

The MCP was alerted to a whale in the area by Wineglass Bay Cruises which contacted the Whale Hotline.

The MCP had a good look at the pattern of callosities on the head and confirmed it was yet another new whale to add to the Tasmanian catalogue of individual southern right whales.

These whales are currently on their southern migration towards summer feeding grounds in the Southern Ocean, so there is a good chance more may be seen along the Tasmanian coast in the coming days.

Remember to report sightings of southern right whales to the Hotline (0427 942 537) to contribute to the MCP’s long-term monitoring of this endangered species.
Read more about whale sightings on #Whalestas

For more information about the MCP and whalesand dolphins in Tasmania, visit the DPIPWE website

A new Southern right whale to add to the catalogue

A new Southern right whale to add to the catalogue