Global cooling is threatening the gray whales!
Please, I beg of you, before it is too late: buy an SUV and drive around a lot.
SAVE THE WHALES!
Thick Arctic ice blamed for Piedras Blancas low gray whale count
7:59 a.m. June 6, 2007
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Thick Arctic ice may be the reason for a precipitous drop in this spring's two-month gray whale count at Point Piedras Blancas.
Only 115 gray whale calves were counted this year by scientists at Point Piedras Blancas, down dramatically from the 285 counted last year. It's the fourth-lowest count in the 14-year history of the cetacean census.
The most gray whale calves ever counted at the point was 456 in 2004, just three years after the low of 87 in 2001.
By counting calves swimming alongside their mothers, scientists said the health of the entire population can be assessed.
Counts fluctuate for a variety of reasons, including variations in populations and weather changes.
Wayne Perryman, of the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service, said he had expected fewer calves this year because of thick ice in the Arctic seas, the gray whale's summer feeding grounds. The thick ice makes it more difficult for cows to eat enough to support a successful pregnancy.
Gray whales migrate up to 5,400 miles from rich Alaskan feeding grounds to Baja California lagoons every winter, where females give birth and breed. In spring, they migrate back to Alaska with their calves.
Perryman predicted the count would go back up next year because the Arctic ice is reported to be thinner and is receding earlier and faster.
Information from: The Tribune, www.thetribunenews.com
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