Connect with us


Satellites Powerful Enough to Identify Individual Whales From Their Markings Can Track Migration and Help Save Species



University of Ottawa

Powerful space satellites that can identify individual whales from their markings have been used for the first time to track a Critically Endangered species.

Scientists are using the tech, which is powerful enough to map a 15 square centimeter area in a single pixel, to follow the North Atlantic right whale to keep them away from ships and find out where they go in the summer and autumn.

The latest satellites are able to capture finer images than Google Earth, meaning conservationists can identify species and even individuals.

By knowing where whales are off to, people could warn fisheries through which the whales pass, or ships to chart a new course in order to prevent collisions and net entanglements.

Writing in the journal Marine Mammal Science the researchers said until now people do not know where 50% of North Atlantic whales go in summer and autumn.

RELATED: World’s Largest Container Line is Rerouting its Fleet to Avoid Collisions with Endangered Blue Whales

They successfully spotted “Ruffian”, a North Atlantic right whale hailing from the Gulf of St. Lawrence who has a large white scar across his back after being injured by fishing gear in 2008.

“The North Atlantic right whale is critically endangered, with about 336 individual whales accounted for,” said Matus Hodel, a Ph.D. student at University of Ottawa. “Knowing where the whales are at any given time enables fisheries to open or close to avoid the whales and enables ships to bypass them to prevent collisions.”

WATCH: Fin Whales Are Feeding In Huge Numbers in Antarctica for First Time in 45 Years – WATCH

“This is a new type of satellite imagery which has a spatial resolution of 15 cm, which means each pixel in the image represents 15 cm on the ground,” he added. “For context, this is much finer than Google Earth satellite images [and] in some cases, it also allows us to identify individual whales, in circumstances where a whale has sufficiently distinct markings.”

The research spanned from April 2021 to late summer 2022, during which the University of Ottawa team conducted aerial surveys to locate and photograph the whales.

It’s a part of the Canadian Space Agency’s wider smartWhales initiative to explore ways to detect the North Atlantic right whales using space tech.

SHARE This Whale “Watching” Story On Social Media…

Continue Reading

Recent News

Blendable Blush Blendable Blush
Beauty2 days ago

Customising Your Makeup with Blendable Blush Options

In cosmetics, one’s face is a canvas for self-expression and creativity. Among the myriad of products available, blush is a...

Home Maintenance Home Maintenance
Home5 days ago

The Benefits of Regular Home Maintenance

Regular home maintenance is essential for maintaining and even raising the value of your house. A proactive approach to repairs...

Adelaide Adelaide
Digital Marketing6 days ago

Understanding the Importance of SEO in Adelaide

In the digital marketplace, Adelaide businesses are in a continuous contest to gain the attention of their target audiences. With...

Traveling Nurses Pay Traveling Nurses Pay
Health7 days ago

Breaking Down the Numbers: Understanding the Average Traveling Nurses Pay

The open road, adventure, and the chance to heal – travel nursing promises an undeniable allure. But amidst the excitement,...

Oily Skin Oily Skin
Fashion1 week ago

Dealing with Oily Skin in Summer: Tips and Tricks

As the temperature rises, those with oily skin often face an additional challenge—maintaining a clear and balanced complexion. Excess oil...

Mountain Wedding Mountain Wedding
Wedding2 weeks ago

Mountain Wedding Ideas for 2024

A mountain wedding is a stunning choice for couples who cherish nature and desire a distinctive wedding experience. Whether you...

Salon Salon
Health2 weeks ago

3 Of The Best Ways To Keep Your Salon Clean

It is of the utmost importance to ensure that a salon is kept scrupulously clean, not just for the sake...

Blood Tests Blood Tests
Health2 weeks ago

3 Reasons You Should Get Blood Tests Every Year

Regular blood tests are essential for preserving general health and identifying potential problems early on. Medical professionals can evaluate your...

Crafts Project Crafts Project
Lifestyle2 weeks ago

How to Make Your Next Crafts Project Pop

Crafting is a creative outlet that allows individuals to express themselves through various mediums such as paper crafts, sewing, painting,...

Traveling With Children Traveling With Children
Travel2 weeks ago

5 Things You Need When Traveling With Children

Traveling with children can be both thrilling and challenging, whether you’re embarking on a road trip across the country, navigating...