December 05, 2023 – The Southern Right Whale is a migratory species which annually covers distances of thousands of kilometers between its feeding and breeding and calf-rearing grounds. Using state of the art technology, the “TrackingWhales” project aims to learn about the oceanic routes and relevant marine environments for the whale’s life cycle, contributing valuable information for their conservation. This project is carried out collaboratively by governmental and civil society organizations, and academic institutions, and has just launched its eighth season which will extend over 2023 and 2024.
During the month of October 2023, sixteen satellite transmitters were deployed on Southern Right Whales in Golfo Nuevo, Península Valdés, Chubut. Over time, which may vary from days to months, the devices detach without having affected the health or the behavior of the whales. This year, four of the deployed transmitters included a new generation of electronic components. The use of cutting-edge technology in the satellite tracking of the Right Whales from Peninsula Valdés contributes to research on this and other cetaceans around the globe.
During the ongoing breeding season of Right Whales in the northern Patagonia gulfs, satellite transmitters were deployed on 15 adult females, mothers with calves, and one solitary individual. This season the whales were named after Greek gods (Atenea, Perséfone, Afrodita, Zeus…).
Satellite tracking will provide information on the location of the whales with a frequency of several positions per day. Later, analyses of this data will shed light on how they use diverse marine environments, their travels within the breeding grounds, and whether they are traveling or feeding. The daily paths of the whales can be followed on the website https://siguiendoballenas.org/en/home/