In the sixth edition of the project we equipped 18 right whales at the Península Valdés breeding ground in Chubut, Argentina. The most outstanding highlights of the season were:
- Amalthea, transmission duration record: 302 days of transmissions since she was tagged in September 2021. Amalthea was also the whale to travel the farthest eastward, reaching 28°W longitude.
- Electra, first record of a complete migratory journey for a mother and calf: Electra and her calf departed from Golfo Nuevo in November 2021, and after traveling 11,413 miles (18,368 km) returned to Golfo San Jose in June 2022.
- Andromeda, the southernmost migration record: Andromeda broke the southernmost latitude record among tracked mothers with calves in this project, surpassing latitude 66°S as she crossed the Weddell Sea, east of the Antarctic Peninsula.
- Antares, unique record of a whale’s migratory journey in different years: Antares, a mother with calf tagged in 2021 was matched via photoidentification to Atrevida, a solitary female whose migratory journey had previously been monitored during 2015. This was the first migration record of a female whale in two different reproductive stages, with and without calf.
Important information about satellite tracking
Animal welfare: New generation satellite tags used by the project may have minimal and short-term effects on the behavior and health of the animals. This research strives to use the safest technology to track whales.
Positions recorded: Positions have a margin of error of 200 to 2000 meters (which is the reason some tracks that are close to shore seem to be on dry land).
Duration: The devices stop sending data when they become detached, which can occur weeks or months after their deployment, or when their batteries run out, depending on various factors, but mainly on the type of tag used. In 2021, we deployed 12 short-term and 6 long-term devices.